Cassandra Langer gives high praise to my new book, Released From the Wheel. It’s in the current edition of The Gay & Lesbian Review. I’ve copied it below. My only quibble is where she says I’m no longer an activist. I’m not organizing new groups or demonstrations these days, but still participate as much as I can.
“Martha Shelley was a cofounder of the Gay Liberation Front and president of the New York chapter of Daughters of Bilitis. She earned her stripes by being monitored by the FBI and as a participant and witness to the Stonewall uprisings of June 1969.
“She also played a part in the Lavender Menace in the early 1970s. The author of three previous books of poetry, her latest collection stirs up the worlds of nature and revisits Buddhist precepts. Her poems are funny, quirky, consciousness-raising musings. She presents a series of high intensity engagements that take her down new paths: “a raucous chorus overhead/ become a vee of geese,/ emerges from the mist, flying low/ hilarious as bowling pins with wings/ but each time like a first kiss/ they take my breath away.
“Shelley has purposefully stepped off the activist treadmill. She is currently intent on capturing the enduring and healing properties in nature’s minutiae to find what really matters in the struggles, pleasures, and insatiable lusts for life of every living thing. In this she recalls the pared-down poetry of Mary Oliver. Released from the Wheel is oceanic ebbing and flowing with the full tides of our uncertain times. Shelley’s great appreciation for life’s singing, twittering, and chattering is the reward of closely observing nature. Her poetry is a gathering from a lifetime of lesbian feminism, Jewish activism, and enduring humanism. One comes away from this book feeling uplifted, renewed, and ready to mend this beautiful, broken world we share with each other and with other sentient beings.”
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Released From the Wheel is available exclusively through Ebisu Publications. Although some previous work is available on Amazon, I won’t put anything new there (I’m not sure how to take the older stuff off.) As I’m sure you know, Jeff Bezos recently took a $5.5 billion flight into space in a penis-shaped rocket. He thanked his employees for making it possible–the same employees who are denied bathroom breaks, suffer higher injury rates than other warehouse workers, and have even died on the job.