Praise for Red Wax Rose

February 22, 2007

The Comstock Review

The Critic’s Pen

Reviewed by Peggy Miller, Senior Editor, February 2007

“Here is a delightful find, an appealing combination of simple, dark and wise…”

These works are open-eyed to life’s tenderness and sadness—and the intersection of tenderness and sadness, which is the source of power in Finch’s writing.

A native Floridian, Finch was the recent writer in residence at Kerouac House in Orlando. Many Americans these days relocate often, but Finch lives in the midst of her history. In the poem “Hometown” she writes, “There are ghosts in the sanctuary,/ and our hometown is a place/ where we visit family/ alone/ on opposite ends of town.”

“I {Heart} My Wife” is perhaps my favorite poem here. The voice of the poem imagines that the wife placed that bumper sticker on the truck herself, a message to “all women like me” who stop behind the truck, “who she surely knows are sitting/ at every red light/ in every town/ wishing they could one day be/ someone’s/ very best thing.”

Finch’s writing is so fresh that it is as though she finds her reawakening on the pages of this collection, tracing difficult times and emerging cleansed and delightful. Lighthearted, she sings, “I wanna be a big-boned gal…”

Finch defines a moment of finding comfort within herself in “Mirror Mirror.” In childhood she learned painfully that she must be modest and humble—must not love her reflection in the mirror too much. But years have given her wrinkles around her eyes, and she has come to love her reflection again. The poem concludes, “and I/ kissed her there in the mirror/ kissed her right on the lips/ kissed her fogging and smudging the mirror.”

Because of Finch’s direct and intimate voice, because of her easy style, you come away from this book feeling as though you know the author as a close friend, one who can give good counsel when you need it.

–Peggy Miller 2/07

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Darlyn Finch

The setting should be as memorable as the words when writer Darlyn Finch reads from her newly published book, Red Wax Rose (Shady Lane Press), on the patio of the Cornell Fine Arts Museum, under the stars and/or clouds.

For a taste, here’s the poem that gave the book its title.

After the Burning

i am the red wax rose after the melting

i am the blackened wick

no light is left

no warmth

i am the last puff of breath

stirring these ashes

even the smoke is still

A Florida-born native, Finch has a rich history with Winter Park. She graduated with an English major and a writing minor from Rollins and worked as editor of the school’s literary journal, Brushing. After Rollins she continued her writerly ambitions by attending graduate school at Spalding University in Louisville, Ky. She still maintains, which keeps the Central Florida writing community in close contact.

Currently, Finch is staying at the Jack Kerouac House in College Park and she is proud to be the first Orlandoan accepted to stay at the writers’ residence. She’ll be there rent-free through February 2007. The residence, once the hearth of Kerouac and his mother, now serves as a place for writers to get away from it all and concentrate on writing. (8 p.m. Saturday at Jack Kerouac Project House; 6:30 p.m. Monday at Cornell Fine Arts Museum, Rollins College, Winter Park;

— Issac Stolzenbach

{ 1 comment }

Brad February 22, 2007 at 7:10 pm

Darlyn: Congratulations! We couldn’t be prouder.

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