A SPACE BETWEEN: Story and history told as narrative poetry
& San Francisco, California
Late 1800’s through 1960’s
Date available: to be determined/ 2019
Price: not yet determined ISBN: not yet determined
Tentative Cover (I’m still exploring possibilities)
Making a home while living between worlds can fulfill dreams. It can also cost you your life. Enter San Francisco’s turn of the century world through the eyes of an immigrant Italian family as they cope with complex challenges to their traditional way of life during a time of speakeasies, government corruption, natural disaster, the opening of the Golden Gate, and neighbors being sent to internment camps.
After a life threatening moment at the turn of the last century, Gaetano, a barber, leaves Calabria in Southern Italy, and immigrates to California to start a new life so his wife Luisa can later join him. Narrated in a several character’s voices, the poems tell the story of people between places and definitions searching for how to redefine themselves and feel at home as they encounter celebrations, losses, delights, difficulty and disaster. Consider what it means to be American, reflect on what carries us through transition’s hardship, and join this family in their journey across a space between worlds.
Though I currently live beside redwoods and oaks in Soquel, California, for twenty-six years I taught abroad in international schools in six different countries, each place holding wonders. Amazing things await outside our doors when we look closely with a curious mind and heart. Listening and watching for the details of life that speak, I carry my camera and journal with me nearly everywhere. They’re a net that helps me gather in the moments that make the world. Writing brings me joy. It allows me to enter life more deeply and to understand it more fully. I hope the words I write touch people’s spirits and affirm their inner selves.
What others have said about Anna’s writing:
Comments in response to Anna’s chapbook, Saudade:
Anna Citrino’s poems are exquisitely beautiful! Her poems show us clearly the beauty, as well as the broken, on the dusty streets of Delhi and elsewhere around the world. Anna insists on looking, and not turning her gaze away, until the poem transforms her and our experience. Her poems fill us with longing for a world made whole again.
I have always wanted a literature that, to me, brings the world inside. Happily, the poetry of Anna Citrino does exactly that: her writing embodies the world in the best way, with concrete, tangible images we feel we can touch, hear, and see vividly. When she observes that “[t]he Portugese created fado to hold the world’s longing,” I am enchanted to feel such waves of music rolling into my own existence. Her focus delves between fascination for the world and a deep responsibility to the world. For all of us who long for the world, this is a poetry that well provides.
“I want to write a poem / like a lightning bolt,” begins Anna Citrino‘s “The Poem I Want to Write.” No such ordinary—and dare I say benign—phenomenon as lightning could increase the impact of these subtle, penetrating poems. Lightning wishes it had the power of just one of Anna Citrino‘s images, or line breaks, or words. To read her work is to enter a world in which joy and sadness inhabit nearly every moment; to read her work is to become a citizen of this world. “We turn through the pages of time / and off we go each day to make our story, / paint our picture, lift our bricks, do our work,” she writes in “Seen and Heard.” With the poet Anna Citrino as our guide, off we go indeed.
I purchased Saudade because I’ve known Anna Citrino for thirty years; I loved the poetry because it’s exquisite. I read one poem each night for nineteen nights, savoring the poem like a fine port. At the end of each one, I felt as though I’d been taken on a journey and returned to the starting point with a fresh perspective. In “Into the Dark,” “We climb high up into the hills to peer through/the windows of a monastery, hoping to see/India’s highest mountain, Kachendzonga.” It’s a magical trek, even if “clouds surround us.” We may not see the mountain, but the possibility is there for us, unlike for the person whose “kaleidoscopic color” is “lost now/ to the gauze of blindness.”
Books by Anna
A Space Between, Bodighera Press, forthcoming
Canary, issue 35, & 42
Collages and Bricolages
International Journal of Wilderness
Paterson Literary Review, issue 44
San Diego Poetry Annual 2016
Ship of Fools
So to Speak
Other publications where Anna’s work has appeared
Decisions, Decisions, the Dynamics of Choice, a Chrysalis Reader
Knowing Stones: Poems of Exotic Places, ed. Maureen Tolman Flannery
Safe to Chew, Wicwas Press
Chapter, “E-mail Publication Projects,” in Publishing With Students, Heinemann
Articles, The International Educator
Free-lance writing for Six Red Marbles