Love in the Time of Dinosaurs

Grand Prize Winner, Elliston Poetry Prize
Isabel & Mary Neff Creative Writing Fellowship
First Place, 
Elliston Poetry Prize
Second Place, Elliston Poetry Prize
Centennial Review 
Prize for Poetry
Honorable Mention, Non-Rhyming Poetry,
Writer’s Digest 
Creative Writing Contest

Love in the Time of Dinosaurs includes all Szeman’s non-Holocaust poetry from 1980-2010. Many of the poems begin with a narrator’s or character’s questioning his expectations of life versus the reality s/he encounters. In Portrait of the Poet as a Woman, the poems, firmly grounded in everyday objects and people, examine marriage, children, and family relationships; eventually expanding the narrator’s or character’s view to include the universal human condition, especially that of women. The narrators of all the family dramatic monologues speak poignantly of our desire for acceptance and love, of the fear of betrayal, of loneliness and isolation even when within a relationship, as well as of treasured moments of love, happiness, and desire.

Imaginative depictions of mythological, literary, and biblical characters’ lives frequently appear: from Cain to Ahab’s Wife, from Penelope to Ulysses. Characters from Szeman’s award-winning short story collection are present, including favorites like Eddie Madison and his friend Auggie Vernon, as each explores the suddenly unfamiliar landscape of his marriage and fatherhood, or attempts, through dubious methods, to discover God Himself.

Szeman’s themes are universal, encompassing the perspectives of men and women, adults and children, equally honestly. All of the poems in the collection have been previously published in literary and university journals; several were part of her dissertation, Survivor: One Who Survives. Elliston Poetry Prize (’83, 84, ’85) and the Isabel & Mary Neff Creative Writing Fellowship (’84-85). Along with her Holocaust poetry collection, Where Lightning Strikes, this collection, Love in the Time of Dinosaurs, was unanimously accepted for publication by all outside readers of UKA Press in 2004.

As powerfully written, darkly humorous, surprising, and accessible as her prose works, these poems let you glimpse into the hearts, lives, and minds of ordinary people — whether they be mythological, biblical, literary, or contemporary — as they struggle to make sense of relationships, family, marriage, divorce, children, spirituality, faith, and the existence of God. As they struggle to comprehend the very things each of us experiences every day.

Read excerpts from
Love in the Time of Dinosaurs,
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Auggie Vernon and the Eclipse

Auggie Vernon and the Eclipse

He has everything he needs set up in the back yard: two triangular UPS shipping tubes held together by duct tape in the middle, with ...
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Field Trip to the Serpent Mound

Field Trip to the Serpent Mound

Once again our professor reminds us that we have not come here to see the Serpent Mound but to see the geological formations beside it, ...
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Holiday

Holiday

  Day followed day, and this and that Seemed to be happening As always, but through it all Already loneliness was seeping. Anna Ahkmatova I ...
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Portrait of the Poet as a Woman

Portrait of the Poet as a Woman

Your second wife calls to say that the children get ill after you bring them home Sunday night it must be something they eat what ...
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Should, Should Not

Should, Should Not

after a poem by Czeslaw Milosz A woman should not love a man, but if she does, she should keep the child of their breath ...
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The Lies Our Parents Tell Us

The Lies Our Parents Tell Us

The Lies Our Parents Tell Us begin in childhood: you're not dumb, you were not an accident, the sight of you doesn't make us sick, ...
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The Toast

The Toast

To God, Who did not save us. (after a poem by Anna Ahkmatova) Let’s drink a toast to this dreadful old house, filled with lost ...
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While the Music Lasts: Poem to My Younger Self

While the Music Lasts: Poem to My Younger Self

For most of us, there is only the unattended Moment… or music heard so deeply That it is not heard at all, but you are ...
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Portrait of the Poet as a Woman: The Creative Process

If you don't count the short stories about vampires, shrinking girls, and monsters that I wrote -- and tried to sell as little books -- ...
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The Butcher Birds

The Butcher Birds

Each morning as we walk the farm's perimeter, we find victims of the butcher birds: grasshoppers, beetles, lizards, frogs, snakes, mice, impaled on cactus spines, ...
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Love in the Time of Dinosaurs
© 1980-1986, 2000-2007, 2013, 2017 by Alexandria Constantinova Szeman.
May not be reprinted or excerpted without written permission.
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