Monday, April 19, 2010

The Fevre and Ice

I just recieved my copies of Storms from the Edge, a small poetry chapbook of mine published by Virgogray Press. Michael Casares editor/publisher did a beautiful job making this book and wrote a synopsis which humbles me.
Virgogray announces the release of its newest collection, “Storms at the Edge” by Gail Gray. Gail Gray is the founder of Shadow Archer Press, editor of Fissure Magazine and author of several chapbook collections, and a novel, Shaman Circus. The poetry of Gail Gray can best be described as contemporary cauterized with a mystic edge that lucidly delves into realms of myth and fantasy though anchored to realities through the severe connections, emotions and understandings of a world that mystifies the poet sensitive to the true nature of things. “Storms at the Edge” is a testament to this quality. Bound is a gripping poem layered in spiritual/occult themes and a higher understanding of the elusive meaning behind things. With gracious determination, it readies the reader for subsequent poems in the collection. Vulnerable, the second poem, literally peels away the intensity that Bound created, but elegantly so with a gravity all its own. ”Storms at the Edge” continues with a sense of longing and a frustration for something (or sometime) higher and purer. There is also a sense of delicacy to this book, as in Foreshadow, with phrases like “delighting in the playground of vulnerability” and “Fragile as sea glass.” Drowning at 3:30 AM was one of my favorites. It is fraught with interesting imagery both whimsical and dark. “Wind dismantles / copper tube chimes / a meticulous / manicure of my psyche ‘ as the shadows spooked to the / other side.” This bipolar lapse of tone and context “play cacophony games / with my past-nightmare / pauses” to a stirring conclusion. Gail Gray’s poems are almost mythic in some instances with themes that recall other times beneath society’s veneer. With “Storms at the Edge,” Gail Gray comes a step closer to perfecting that voice.
What was even nicer is that Michael also sent me a copy of his newest poetry chap Dusking.
Michael and I have worked together off and on for a few years and he's a highly respected publisher, poet, radio host and artist form Austin, Texas.  I also published his chapbook,  The Winter King under my small press, Shadow Archer Press. The Winter King was the first epic fantasy poem I published and it's a complex vivid visual mind ride with many many layers, addressing issues of isolation, loss, despair and hope. Steve viner of th UK did an amazing job with the cover art.
This is a brief synopsis I wrote about The Winter King:
The Winter King delineates all the stark grandeur of Norse sagas, with its visually stunning landscapes and images of high fantasy. The underlying themes, layers upon layers, reminiscent of Shelley or Byron, are carried along in this fluid tale peopled with surreal characters, rich with high symbolism. Readers are swept up as tears turn into beads, leading us alongside our hero. Casares reaches far and wide in this circle of references and symbols creating a beautiful yet frightening mosaic of ice and mirrors.
One of the greatest aspects of working  in this business is the amazingly talented prople you meet from all over the world.  When I received Michael's manuscript from The Winter King, I fell in love with the story, as well as the poetry and imagry. We share some of the same philosophical and spiritual ideas but have such different ways of expressing them
In Dusking, Michael approaches some of the same concepts but from a more cerebral aspect.  In many of the poems, Michael looks to cosmokogy, especially the sun, to explore the paths taken in relationships. Once again his imagery is vivid and bold, but in Dusking, we are confronted with aspects of light and heat, stars and sun, both in the heavens and in relationships, as opposed to the cold, trauma and loss we deal with in The Winter King.  I love it when a writer examines the same subjects from various angles - like holding up a crystal and exploring all the various facets to try and figure out the deeper meanings.  In addition Dusking offers a glimpse of Michaels artwork in the miontage, Full of Laughter.
 It was such a wonderful gift to find this gemstone of a chapbook in among mine.


  1. ...congrats on "Storms" Gail:) You're absolutely correct with your statement about meeting so many other talented writers along the journey. It seems as though every time I think I've eclipsed some literary hurdle that I've been struggling to climb, and my work really starts humming along, I run into a fellow writer, be it at a conference, a signing, or online, and find myself in awe of their talent, thinking to myself, "Dude, you've still a ways to go." I guess in the end that's the beauty of it. Take care and good luck, Gail!


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