The Angel Notebook is the remarkable debut of a poet who has boldly left the beaten track of anecdotal realism for Expressionist depths. This is really four books in one- each a distinctly different virtuoso performance. The title section is a fantasia on the phenomenology of angels- a broken cascade of evocative flights toward, and visitations by, the Invisible that intersects the known world.
?The Stutter Notebook? dramatizes, in ways that are at once playful and philosophically incisive, the speech impediment not only as poignantly limiting affliction but as dynamic metaphor of the nature and plight of language itself. ?From the Interior Castle? dares to explore the life of the Spanish mystic St. Theresa in the first person: in psycho-sexual terms, through a series of graphic scenes. And then, ?The Mercy of My Father's House? confronts, with a sensibility both tragic and surrealistic, the most emotion-charged portions of the author's own personal history, involving family, lovers, and friends in the Little Italy where he grew up. ?The world of Luciano Iacobelli's Angel Notebook is a place of loss, dreams, ghosts, and darkness, countered by angels of human resiliency that mitigate human suffering. Iacobelli's lyric, frequently surreal meditations move us through encounters with family, philosophers, friends, lovers, and childhood neighbourhoods, reminding us of the ephemeral and unstable nature of memory. Iacobelli is a poet who is an astute observer with a compassionate voice. Deeply intimate and personal, yet universal, this is an eloquent and long awaited first book. ? -Rishma Dunlop
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