The following is an excerpt of a review of The Call: An Anthology of Women's Writing by Caroline Malone at the Monserrat Review. You can read the complete review here.
In the anthology’s title poem, “The Call,” by Calder Lowe, the mundane sound of a train whistle transports the speaker back three centuries to the landscape of her ancestors” – glass blowers in the Black Forest, kin carrying Lafayette “off the battlefield”, the Von Eberhardt’s glowing furnaces – where fragments of history lead her back to the recent past. Her ancestors’ craft sometimes succeeds and sometimes fails, glass being a difficult medium with which to work. The speaker imagines “Some of the goblets flower, some crack.” The church bells that end stanza one are then heard at the end of the poem where the immediate past is recalled in which a single mother abandons her children, her son left at “an orphanage / tucked behind the spire of a Presbyterian Church,” her creations left behind. The speaker carries her history as part of her identity, and one sound, the whistle of the train, collapses the divisions of time allowing the speaker to connect with the past.
The writers represented in The Call are summoned to memory and respond with a wide palette of voices to bear witness to the lives of extraordinary ordinary women: daughters, granddaughters, mothers, lovers, caretakers, sisters, adolescents who celebrate life.
Cynthia Benson, Grace Cavalieri, K.E. Copeland, Carolyn Dille, Sharon Doyle, Jean Emerson,
Blanca Espinosa, Anne Gelhaus, Cynthia W. Gentry, Lara Gularte, Parthenia M. Hicks, Kathie Isaac-Luke, Calder Lowe, Margaret Luongo, Patricia McKeown, B.L.P. Simmons, Mary Lou Taylor, and Roberta Young
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