Shield the Joyous

SHIELD THE JOYOUS
poems

CHRISTOPHER X. SHADE

ISBN 978-1-7323025-9-4
Library of Congress Control Number: 2020930703

Release Date: April 2, 2020
Pages: 80
Price: $16.00
Distributors: Bookshop, Amazon, B&N, Ingram (wholesale)

PALOMA PRESS RELEASES SHIELD THE JOYOUS

San Mateo, 2 April 2020 — Paloma Press is pleased to announce the release of Shield the Joyous, a first poetry collection by Christopher X. Shade, author of the critically acclaimed novel, The Good Mother of Marseille.

Established in 2016, PALOMA PRESS is a San Francisco Bay Area-based independent literary press publishing poetry, prose, and limited edition books. Paloma believes in the power of the literary arts, how it can create empathy, bridge divides, change the world. To this end, Paloma has released fundraising books such as Marawi, After Irma After Harvey, and Humanity.

A portion of the proceeds from Shield the Joyous will go to a nonprofit residential treatment program at a women’s center in Pomona, California, called Prototypes. The program aids and supports women, and single moms with their children, in recovery from addiction. It is a lifeline to women who are struggling with addiction and other serious issues.

On Christmas Day in 2017, author Christopher X. Shade’s younger brother was found nonresponsive in rural Alabama, and died that night. With this book of poems, Shade’s journey to better understand addiction and the loss of loved ones draws from both the world of his imagination and, in poignant poetic memoir, from his Alabama roots. This follows his 2019 debut novel The Good Mother of Marseille, its search for belonging through turbulent Marseille streets to a better understanding of ourselves. Shield the Joyous is deeply touching in its vulnerability and often entertaining. Mary and Joseph give 5-year-old Jesus an enormous pair of eyeglasses. Rice Krispies speak of death and resurrection. In North Alabama bottomlands, tall grasses long to protect ducks from hunters. And while paramedics wait in their parked ambulance for the next call, they try on each other’s sunglasses. The book continues the thread of coming to understand ourselves by working to understand others. And a strong message of love and hope transcends what is happening in our families where the disease of addiction pulls us apart and kills our loved ones.

“Meditative as the monastery he temporarily yet frequently inhabited in the writing of this book, Christopher X. Shade’s Shield the Joyous contemplates not only the loss of a brother through addiction but the search for deeper understanding. These poems mourn. They engage in magical thinking, exuding wonderment toward death. They traverse the gulf of detachment to find solace and wisdom in the earth. Eventually the poet is ‘led … to the I, to that inner self to which [he’d] been working [his] way toward all along’.”
Joseph O. Legaspi, cofounder of Kundiman, and author of Threshold

Shield the Joyous is a work of great wonderment and love, amidst “the ghostly whirl” of the author’s own grief and loss. His baby brother has died of addiction and there is much to think about — so into the deep quiet of a monastery he goes, where the gloom and majesty of memory and trouble surge and mix alongside the Hudson River and the swirl is able to illuminate, settle, calm. “I was elsewhere \ when my brother died” — but the writer is fully present now, to honor his sibling with rich care and tender thinking and writing that will help anyone who has ever lost anyone, now and forever, amen.”
Naomi Shihab Nye, the Young People’s Poet Laureate, and author or editor of over 30 volumes, most recently The Tiny Journalist

Shield the Joyous is a powerful memoir of a man’s journey in coming to terms with his brother’s drug addiction and subsequent death. It is a deeply spiritual book, conceived in a monastery where the author goes on retreats to recover from loss and save himself. It is also a survival guide, lifting us all out of despair. In the sublime manner of W. H. Auden, Shade builds his work on the canonical hours, beautifully combining prose and poetry to express intense emotion.”
Grace Schulman, author most recently Without a Claim

Christopher X. Shade by Beowulf Sheehan

Christopher X. Shade is author of the novel The Good Mother of Marseille. His stories, poems, and book reviews have appeared widely. He is also co-founder and co-editor of Cagibi, a journal of poetry and prose at cagibilit.com. He teaches poetry and prose writing at The Writers Studio. Raised in the South, he now lives and works in New York City. (Photo by Beowulf Sheehan)

Shield the Joyous is available now through Ingram Book Group’s distribution partners: Bookshop, Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and wherever books are sold.


GLIMPSES

GLIMPSES
A Poetic Memoir
(Through the MDR Generator)
Leny Mendoza Strobel

ISBN 978-1-7323025-8-7
Release Date: August 1, 2019
Pages: 114
Price: $18.00
Distributors: Bookshop, Amazon, B&N, Ingram (wholesale)

Cover art by Leny Mendoza Strobel
Book cover design by Perla Ramos Paredes Daly, Omehra Sigahne
Interior Design by C. Sophia Ibardaloza

Paloma Press is delighted to announce the release of GLIMPSES: A Poetic Memoir (Through the MDR Generator) by Leny Mendoza Strobel, which began as a daily meditation practice of reading a poetic line from Eileen Tabios’ Murder, Death, Resurrection, and then allowing the heart’s response to flow without censorship. The meditations offer us a glimpse of Leny’s life-long reflections on love, history, decolonization, healing trauma, finding belonging and purpose, and building community. 20% of book sales from today (July 27, 2019) through December 31st will go to the Center for Babaylan Studies. Get your copy now!

ADVANCE WORDS

Leny Mendoza Strobel has created diary tracks in which the warm luminosity of her words emerges at the fertile intersection of the intimately personal and our historical and cultural stories. Her poetic sentences catalyze disturbances in our habits of perception and thought that open doors to healing in surprising ways and places. Hers is a voice urgently needed in our polarized times.
Jurgen W. Kremer, Ph.D., author of Ethnoautobiography: Stories and Practices for Unlearning Whiteness, Decolonization, Uncovering Ethnicities

In her innovative memoir, Glimpses: A Poetic Memoir (through the MDR Generator), Leny Strobel reveals connections that run deep in our collective memories in a collage of personal narratives. Through an intimate conversation between the author’s experiences with lines from poet Eileen Tabios’ Murder Death Resurrection (MDR), Strobel assembles a complex montage of a woman’s life, fully lived. This inventive form challenges conventional approaches to memoir writing as it is born of a collaborative act that is at once as courageous and vulnerable as it is inventive and beautiful.
M. Evelina Galang, author of Lolas’ House: Filipino Women Living with War

Leny Mendoza Strobel writes as she lives, with fierce, heartfelt inquiry and an ethic of generosity. In this precious collection, her wisdom is a spiraling dance, owing within, between, and beyond mundane and sacred, self and kapwa, prosaic and poetic. Leny continues to feed us all — ancestors, spirits, and kindred — at this altar of the word, powerful and vulnerable offerings.
M.Rako Fabionar, Regenerative Entrepreneur and Healer

For three months, before going to bed, Leny Mendoza Strobel made a date with Poetry. Glimpses: A Poetic Memoir, contains what emerged from her listening to “what’s to come in the sacredness of it all.” The root of the word memoir—a kind of record, a memory—is cleverly positioned with poetry lines which begin with, “I forgot…” and which also serve as the catalyst for characteristically deep contemplations [her “holy tunganga” (gaze)], and the emergence of stories between forgetting and remembering again. Many of the pieces muse about learning: “learning that we are energy and consciousness”; “learning to tune in more closely to the scientific fact… that we are made of stars and stardust”—the attunements of a scholar and her deeply beautiful sensitivities toward nature’s rhythms and message.
Lisa Suguitan Melnick, author of #30 Collantes Street

As soon as I started reading Leny’s journal entries, triggered as she puts it by Eileen Tabios’ poems, I immediately felt I was in for an intimate journey with an old friend who has been a fount of wisdom through her own research, revelations and reflections. Her book, Coming Full Circle, opened my eyes that welled with tears when I realized for the first time why Filipinos believed they were doomed to fail, and how this insidious belief defined our outlook, making us feel small and inferior. Leny’s latest book, Glimpses: A Poetic Memoir, reminds me yet again of the power of “indigenous consciousness,” of recovering our memories, and of remembering and rewriting our stories. In this context, I am able to view past incidents and images in my life with a deeper understanding of my own history and what that means moving forward. Leny’s honest and open evocations of her own truths as she crafts “a new way of being in the world,” profoundly speak to me as I sort through my own encounters and entanglements, particularly as they relate to our shared passion of building community.
Jon Melegrito, Civil Rights Advocate and Editor-in-Chief of Manila Mail (Washington, D.C.)

GLIMPSES provides an insightful, poetic journey into Leny Mendoza Strobel’s memories, musings, reveries, impressions, perceptions, and inventions as encouraged by Eileen Tabios’s MDR poetry generator. Journal entry for 4.3.18 struck a chord: “I forgot when memory became a colander with generous holes / And perhaps we need those big-holed colanders as sieves for unwanted memories of a broken past / But wait / Why call the past ‘broken’? /…Sure the past reeks of colonial ventures that trampled islands and archipelagos / But we are still here / We have not been made to disappear /…Everything can be reframed / Stories can be edited /…I’ve been pondering this for a while now / I think of Tongva elder, L Frank, saying: They’ve taken nothing from us. We are still stardust / Remember your strength / Remember your Source / How do we tell this to each other?” Maraming salamat for sharing your heart with us. Yes, we are still stardust.
Abraham Ignacio, Librarian, Filipino American Center, San Francisco Public Library

Liberating. Poetic. So beautiful that each page choked me with different emotions—love, pain, happiness, anger, hatred. She reminds me that wherever we are, our ‘womanity’ and the strength that we have inherited from our ancestors cannot be taken away from us. Through her poetic memoir, Dr. Strobel speaks to us through her beautifully and painfully woven experiences. And we can talk back. She has the answers. Dr. Strobel’s journey mirrors the diaspora of a Filipino woman in search of the self and finding the self that has become stronger in a foreign land despite the struggles and questions. I read her words with my heart.
Eunice Barbara C. Novio, educator, journalist, and recipient of the 2017 Plaridel Award, Philippine American Press Club

Taking another poet’s lines as her starting points, Leny creates mediations and meditations within which she tells her story and invites her readers to come in and dwell a while to contemplate what she has created: a retreat, a cocoon, a place in which to see oneself and to be seen, from which to spin forward and inspire other poetic awakenings.
Myriam J. A. Chancy, Guggenheim Fellow, author of The Loneliness of Angels, and HBA Chair in the Humanities, Scripps College

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Leny Mendoza Strobel is Professor Emeritus of American Multicultural Studies at Sonoma State University. She is also one of the Founding Directors of the Center for Babaylan Studies. Her books, journal articles, online media presence reflect her decades-long study and reflections on the process of decolonization and healing of colonial trauma through the lens of indigenous perspectives. She is a grandmother to Noah and she tends a garden and chickens with Cal in Northern California. More information is available at https://www.lenystrobel.com/.


Racial Justice Allies features Leny Mendoza Strobel’s GLIMPSES

In Glimpses: A Poetic Memoir (Through the MDR Generator), Filipino-American author, academic and local community leader Leny Mendoza Strobel takes an arguably more personal approach to this work than in her previous writing. However, as the reader soon learns, the distinctions between the personal and the political, between poetics and polemics, and between the individualContinue reading “Racial Justice Allies features Leny Mendoza Strobel’s GLIMPSES”

Loading…

Something went wrong. Please refresh the page and/or try again.