REQUIEM: A PATRIMONY OF FUGUES by Tina Schumann
About the Author
Tina Schumann is a pushcart nominated poet and the author of three poetry collections, “Praising the Paradox” (Red Hen Press, 2019) which was a finalist in the National Poetry Series, Four Way Books Intro Prize and Julie Suk Award, “Requiem. A Patrimony of Fugues” (Diode Editions, 2017) which won the Diode Editions Chapbook Contest and “As If” (Parlor City Press, 2010) which was awarded the Stephen Dunn Poetry Prize. She is editor of the IPPY-award winning anthology “Two Countries. U.S. Daughters and Sons of Immigrant Parents” (Red Hen, 2017). Schumann’s work received the 2009 American Poet Prize from The American Poetry Journal, finalist status in the Terrain annual poetry contest, as well as honorable mentions in The Atlantic and Crab Creek Review. She is a poetry editor with Wandering Aengus Press, and a graduate of the Rainier Writing Workshop at Pacific Lutheran University. Her poems have appeared widely since 1999, including The American Journal of Poetry, Ascent, Cimarron Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, Nimrod, Parabola, Palabra, Poetry Daily, Poemeleon, Rattle, Verse Daily, and read on NPR’s The Writer’s Almanac.
Few poets make ideas as tactile as Tina Schumann. At once readily accessible and piercingly ambiguous, Requiem: A Patrimony of Fugues presents both the heartbreak and the epiphanies involved in caring for a beloved parent who is gradually fading into self-eradicating dementia. Each deeply elegiac poem stands on its own while serving as yet one more critical juncture in this most remarkable sequence. The volume astonishes not simply because of its consistently remarkable phrasing or its myriad musical nuances, but because of the inventive line-by-line composing and the manifold interpretative possibilities on every page. Schumann’s achievement is that the brilliant verse rendering of her ministrations calls us back to her daughterly devotion over and over.
—Kevin Clark, author of Self-Portrait with Expletives, winner of the Lena-Miles Wever Todd Poetry Series Book Competition
“It’s a rare poet whose words plumb the depths of our lives with the resonant complexity of music; it’s an ambitious poet who attempts this. In Requiem. Patrimony of Fugues, Tina Schumann honestly and fearlessly explores what it means to lose a father to dementia. From the opening “Overture (anticipation)” through the final “Long Distance Dirge,” Schumann shuttles back and forth in time, reweaving her father and their complex relationship in memory as he frays. Despair is here, but so is redemption: “what he taught me with intention—that I could bear my own weight, /that I was stronger than I knew.” Every difficult note rings true; every poem will break open your heart, reminding us of our shared, fragile humanity.”
—Holly J. Hughes, editor of Beyond Forgetting: Poetry & Prose about Alzheimer’s Disease (Kent State University Press)
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