Please join us as NightBallet Press celebrates Women's History Month with the release of Lyn Lifshin's newest collection of poems, Little Dancer - The Degas Poems!
In her introduction, Lifshin writes:
"Now loved, Degas' original wax version of the little dancer was hated, though his paintings had been greeted enthusiastically. His sculpture of The Little Dancer, Aged 14, was considered shocking and unsettling, like a little monkey. It is said one father cried, 'God forbid my daughter should become a dancer.' Many were shocked by her pose and the material used: human hair, beeswax, silk. Degas loved the opera and ballet but this statue was called 'repulsive' and 'vicious,' a threat to society. It forced viewers to look at the seamy side of life since most of the young girls came from very poor slums and working class families. Others were horrified that she seemed to champion ugliness and depravity. Degas never again exhibited the sculpture. And, though he painted ballerinas all his life, The Little Dancer was largely forgotten until it was rediscovered with dozens of other sculptures. His fascination with making sculpture was little know in his lifetime, unlike his portraits, history paintings, scenes from modern life, the world of horse racing, and the theater and ballet."
Christina Zawadiwsky, winner of a National Endowment Award, and author of The Hand on the Head of Lazarus, wrote this review:
"We now recognize The Little Dancer sculpture by Degas as arresting and compelling, but there was a time when she was considered scandalous and disturbing. Lyn Lifshin's poems celebrate her creation as a symbol of so many young and impoverished French female dancers who attempted to fill our world with grace, energy, and beauty. And Lifshin's insightful and incisive Little Dancer poems remind us to remember her name, Marie Van Goethem, so that she will never fade into obscurity."
Little Dancer - The Degas Poems contains 29 poems on 40 pages, printed on creamy white paper in a clean Arial 10 font. The front cover cardstock is a pale dove gray, and the heavy cardstock insert is a rich gray-green. The cover photo and inside photos were taken by Albert Jordan at the National Gallery of Art.
Lyn Lifshin won the Jack Kerouac Award for her book Kiss the Skin Off, the Paterson Poetry Award for Before It's Light, and the Texas Review Award for The Licorice Daughter: My Year with Ruffian. She's been praised by Robert Frost, Ken Kesey, and Richard Eberhart, and is the subject of the award-winning documentary Not Made of Glass. Lifshin earned the distinction "Queen of the Small Presses" for her dedication to the small presses which first published her. Her most recent books include Secretariat: The Red Freak, the Miracle (Texas Review Press, 2014) and #AliveLikeALoadedGun (Transcendent Zero Press, 2016). For much more, visit her website at www.lynlifshin.com.
Little Dancer - The Degas Poems is available beginning March 19, 2017, for only ten dollars plus four dollars shipping/handling, right here, directly through PayPal. (Canadians and overseas buyers, please do not use the PayPal button. Contact the press - nightballetpress at gmail dot com - for your shipping costs. Thank you!)
Mention "Women's History Month" in the order's "note to the seller" section, and I will include another NightBallet Press book authored by a woman (my choice) for free!
You can also find Little Dancer on Amazon, and of course, it will be available from Lifshin herself at her website. Order your copy today!