Touch: The Journal of Healing


Editor's Choice: The voice of Larina Warnock

It is difficult to remember a time when I wasn't familiar with the poetry and prose penned by the writer featured as this month's Editor's Choice.  I first learned of Larina Warnock in the summer of 2007 through the online poetry workshop forum sponsored by the Academy of American Poets,  In the ensuing several years, our mutual love of the written word moved beyond poetry, and though we've never met, our relationship has developed to the point where I consider her a lifelong friend and a confidante.  I have come to know her poetic style nearly as well as I know my own, and I have learned to trust her opinions and advice more as time passes.  Some people may believe our friendship is the reason her work is featured in this issue, but nothing could be further from the truth.  If anything, I am more critical and more vocal with my thoughts on the poetry written by friends than I am with writers to whom I have no personal connection.

What initially drew me to Larina's poetry was her ability to express pivotal moments in life with vivid detail and to convey the myriad of emotions experienced by the narrator and subjects in her work with a degree of clarity that is unparalleled.  Whenever Larina has sent her poetry to me for review, I've felt a great sense of responsibility, not only to the poet, but also to the poems when I wrote my critiques.  When I felt a poem just wasn't working, I would tell her; and when I felt a line, stanza, or strophe seemed out of place from the voice I heard speaking from the heart of a poem, I would tell her this as well.  My sense of responsibility to Larina and her poetry exists because when she sends me a poem for critique, it is a compliment.  She is saying, I trust you with my work, and I consider myself fortunate to be counted among the small group of people she believes will tell her the truth.

The four poems selected for this issue embody a lifetime of collected writing skills, dedicated to the craft of poetry, which can only be described as poetic artistry.  Larina's vision spans both time and generations as she reflects from different perspectives on the challenges and triumphs of life.  The first two poems, "Body Language” and "Life Cycle," encompass the relationship between a child and parent in transition when the child is the narrator.  In the second two poems, "They Said" and "Autumn 2003," the narrator has become the parent and speaks to the many transitions experienced in the emerging life of her child.  In all of these poems, one can sense not only the responsibility the narrator feels towards the subject, but also the responsibility held by the poet in revealing the essence of the moment of the stories with clarity and without becoming maudlin.  After reading these poems, I cannot help but believe you will identify her mastery of this craft as artistry as well.

Without further ado and with great pleasure, I present you with a voice of Touch: Larina Warnock.

O.P.W. Fredericks, Editor

© 2010 O.P.W. Fredericks


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Touch: The Journal of Healing

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