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The Apple Speaks
Poems by
Becca J. R. Lachman

Reviewing on the Englewood Review of Books, Caitlin Mackenzie says that "The Apple Speaks is a densely woven fabric of faith, longing, and embrace. But I urge you to read and hear for yourself."

Summary:  Service work and community have been central to Anabaptist identity for centuries, and Becca J. R. Lachman’s first collection of poetry reflects on the rewards and "underbellies" of them both. Her lyric-driven poems braid together a rural upbringing, Ohio Swiss Mennonite history, and her loved ones’ humanitarian service in war-torn nations. Stanzas filled with music and the natural world join with taut issues of race and gender.

Ultimately, Lachman creates a dialogue between powerful binaries in which the poems’ speakers find themselves negotiating daily life (body/spirit, self/community, traditional/contemporary, wife/daughter). The Apple Speaks quite literally speaks to anyone who has struggled to embrace a loved one’s "calling," an individual’s voice, or generational expectations.

See also more DreamSeeker Poetry Series titles.

Comment: "These poems are what hymns or sermons ought to be: full of the light of radiant faces. The quality of held breath, and the clean, enveloping silence of a first snow are ever-present here. We can be grateful that a poet whose ‘long seasons of listening’ have specially fitted her to sing with such mindfulness is thinking this deeply about what harmony is. There’s a freshness to Lachman’s reverence, a respect and an ethics, a tuneful humility that’s never received or rote but always newly wrought. This is just as I imagine God, if she exists, would want any written offering. If, as Lachman writes, "music is God breathing," then these poems come to us on waves of holy exhalation." —Amy Gerstler

"Lachman reflects on a heritage that inspires but also restrains. From within that struggle, in language of striking clarity and subtlety, Lachman witnesses a world generous with both pain and redemption, music and despair. These are poems born of a rigorous heart and a questioning mind." —Mark Wunderlich, Author, Voluntary Servitude

"Through her art and authenticity, Lachman engages even the most reluctant readers as they enter new worlds under her astute guidance. From service with Swiss Mennonites to an observant private lyricism, Lachman offers rare insights. She can make an apple speak and she can inspire us to listen." —Susan Kinsolving, Poet, The White Eyelash; Dailies & Rushes; Among Flowers

Market: Lachman’s poems should appeal to anyone who appreciates fine poetry and especially readers drawn to poetic engagement with issues of community, negotiating daily life, family, humanitarianism,  race and gender, Mennonite life, and more. 

Shelving: Poetry; Anabaptist-Mennonite literature; Personal experience; BISAC: Poetry; RTM: 640 Poetry.

The Author: Becca J. R. Lachman teaches writing at Ohio University, from which she received her M.A. in English. She holds B.A.s in music composition and creative writing from Otterbein University and an M.F.A. from the Bennington College Writing Seminars. Her 2004 chapbook "Songs from the Springhouse" won the national Florence Kahn Memorial Award. A singer-songwriter and past fellow with the Johnny Mercer Foundation and Melodious Accord, Becca's choral music is available through The Lorenz Corporation's Heritage Press. Her first book of poetry brings to the surface questions and emotions rarely discussed regarding international missionary work, new marriage, and straddling two worlds as a young feminist Mennonite writer.

Publisher: Cascadia Publishing House LLC
Imprint: DreamSeeker Books
Copublisher: None
Publication date: April 1, 2012
Approximate Pages: 96
Tentative Format: 5.5 x 8.5" trade paper
Prices: $12.95 US/Can. ISBN 13: 978-1-931038-93-5; ISBN 10: 1-931038-93-7

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