Maria Caltabiano’s poems are the result of years of ponderings and musings about life after losing her husband to cancer. They paint moments that clung to her and begged expression. Most try to work through the sadness and introspection that accompanies loss and mourning. But they also depict a healing process that imposes a new perspective as one embarks on an unknown road: the fears, the guilt, the joys. Nature figures prominently as a teacher and a source of solace. A sanctum away from a troubled world, be it the inner world, or the outer one of politics, religion, and human relationships.
Born in Benevento, Italy, Maria Montuori Caltabiano immigrated to Canada with her parents when she was a child. A graduate of Concordia University, she worked as a teacher, magazine editor, and journalist for CBC Radio Canada International. Drawing Daybreak is her first poetry collection. Maria now lives and writes in Montreal.
It is always exciting when a new voice asserts itself in the landscape of poetry. You expect new metaphors and new melodies, new insights and new images, and Maria Caltabiano in her first book, Drawing Daybreak, doesn’t disappoint. We can all share this lyrical journey on which Caltabiano treats us to a woman’s struggle to transcend the death of her true love: “I stopped breathing when you did, / stopped seeing when you / closed your eyes. ” As she gives voice to her grief, memories of their shared life begin to emerge. The final poems, however, point to a joyous return to the world.
— Henry Beissel, author of Footprints of Dark Energy, Winner of the 2020 Ottawa Book Award
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