Posted by: jeannineatkins | February 12, 2015

What I’m Reading: Breathless and Gorgeous Infidelities

Two new poetry collections from friends have brightened my winter. The themes of family and time bind the poems in Sarah Lamstein’s Breathless, available from Finishing Line Press. References to rites and rituals take place beside ordinary family moments in kitchens, yards, or bedrooms. With the first poem titled “Pregnant” and that last one “Old Man Catching His Breath,” a loose line weaves generations considered with honor, humor, and awe. In “Last Moments,” Sarah compares the way a mother watches her young children to sitting with someone dying, “keyed to every sound and movement/ trying to ease their passage.” Her language is precise, and her vision makes the world seem larger and full of joy.


Gorgeous Infidelities is beautifully printed and bound with marble-papered covers, suitable for an artistic collaboration. The poems were written by Naila Moreira and the black and white photographs, mostly of people, landscapes, and interiors, were taken by Paul Ickovic. The poems are in a sort of loose dialogue with the photographs; sometimes I’d find a link, sometimes not, but there was never a sense of direct illustration and both works were complete in themselves. Many poems are built on the forces of love, curiosity and yearning and bring in science – particularly botany and astronomy – politics, religion, and nursery rhymes. The gifts of chance encounters seem to link the poems and pictures in this signed, limited edition that’s available at Broadside Bookshop.

It was a pleasure to read poetry by writers known more for their prose. Thank you Sarah and Naila for your good words and inspiration!



  1. Dear Jeannine, your generosity knows no bounds.

    • A lovely little review, Jeannine – thank you!

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