As powerfully written, darkly humorous, surprising, and accessible as Szeman’s 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.
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.
• 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
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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. Please do not support the piracy of Intellectual Property.