Siblings Release PEARLS BENEATH THE RIND Poetry Book
Even siblings who have lived vastly different lives in different places can sometimes be surprised by their similarities. Richard Seldin and his sister, Carole R. Seldin-Bolinski, grew up with more than the usual dose of sibling rivalry and estrangements. They discovered they shared a love of writing poetry when both unknowingly entered the same poetry contest. More than a decade later, they have collaborated on this new book of poems that shows some writing similarities but from sharply distinct perspectives.
"Pearls Beneath the Rind" demonstrates the divergent ways two siblings have experienced themselves, their relationships and environment, cooperating in writing as they worked toward an improved relationship. Carole's work often describes the outer world and nature and is filled with visual details even when describing a relationship. A number are so visually compelling they could be turned into paintings. Richard's poems, on the other hand, focus on the play of the mind in its articulation of ideas, yearning for intimacy and dream states.
Carole's poem, "Winter in Chino Valley," paints a clear picture of the valley in its austere bleakness: "The daily scenes don't change: naked tumbleweed gathering in barbed clumps, icy tree limbs bending in the strain of winter." And in "Intended" she employs nature to highlight the ironies of love: "Although I intended to love with breath of butterfly and length of anaconda ... I have loved with breath of skunk and length of ant." In "Waiting for the Word" Richard ponders the loss of creativity: "It seems everything is moving only from the outside out and not from the inside out or even the outside in. So that lines drop like sand bags on a bare floor." And his poem "Sunday Night" sings his desire for connection: "Tonight I long for your breath on my heart, a guitar string in the wind, to roll and tumble in the gush of love."
Kirkus Reviews has described the book as a "smart, unusual collection of poetry with honed, pleasant surprises." And Carol Christy White, president of the Arizona State Poetry Society, writes: "Reading these poems was like listening in on a conversation between Richard and Carole after a long separation. ... The balance of observations of what is with what could have been and might be is poignant and so human."
Richard Seldin is a freelance writer who has published short fiction and nonfiction in English and Chinese and translated Chinese novellas and short stories. For many years he worked as a lawyer for the U.S. government, focusing on international relations and trade. Carole "CR" Seldin-Bolinski has published short mystery stories, flash fiction and poetry. In 2010 she won the Oregon State Poetry Association's new poet's category for "The Car" and recites poems with others as part of The Mad Women Poets of Prescott. She is currently working on another book of poetry, "I Don't Want To Die In Chino Valley."