Book Reviews: Shot In The Head by Lee Varon

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“When you returned / from your father’s funeral / smell of the mill / like pinking shears, / cut through your lungs." So insists the speaker of Lee Varon’s Shot in the Head, addressing her grandmother as she relives her grandparents’ tragic connection, marred by infidelity and revenge. These poems, sharpened on the whetstone of Varon's grandmother’s genteel deprivations, bigotry, and disappointment, cut with the same keen edge. It’s a stunning collection, from start to finish.

— Tom Daley, author of House You Cannot Reach


From beatific bluebirds to the blunt finality of a spent gun, Lee Varon expertly couples the beauty and allure of nature with the sting of tragedy. A truly unique collection with lush imagery, artfully tarnished with heartbreak.

— Doug Holder, Editor Ibbetson Street Press, author of Last Night At The Wursthaus


Lee Varon’s poems take us to the shooting of her grandfather in 1936. The images like “a blush that turned to blood,” are breathtaking. At first it is a family story, but as you examine it further, the views of prejudice in the community are jaw-dropping, yet amazingly relevant to today’s issues. Her grandmother, Virginia Marie, navigates life with pride and loyalty, yet fear and bigotry, highlighting the complexity of human nature.

— Jean Flanagan, author of Black Lightning

 

Buy Shot In The Head here or from your favorite local bookstore (also available on Amazon and many other online booksellers).