Helen Marie Casey's "Zero Degrees" is a brave endeavor to remember victims of hatred, mayhem, and violence. The writer of this series embeds poems of remarkable strength and beauty in our consciousness. She makes international turmoil real and vivid to us, not as a journalist, but as a poet of intensity and empathy.
Louisiana Literature: A Review of Literature and the Humanities Vol 34 No 1--Two Poems
See Helen's poem "Spooky Action at a Distance" in the current issue of Louisiana Literature 35/2
MY DEAR GIRL: THE ART OF FLORENCE HOSMER
This is the first biography of noted portraitist Florence Armes Hosmer. The narrative re-creates vignettes of the lives of Florence, her sister Alice, and her brothers Burt and Fred. In addition, this study follows the triumphs and disappointments of Miss Hosmer through almost nine decades. Florence never reached the pinnacles of fame. Nevertheless, she retained her love of art and did not stop painting until her vision failed her. The memory of her indomitable spirit is one of the gifts she leaves us.
This investigative work takes a first look at racially-motivated educational decisions in the early days of Portland’s school system. The solution of a "separate School for the education of the Colored children of the District" was relatively short-lived.
Helen Marie Casey’s powerful poems about a dark period of American history when people were hanged by zealots in the name of God are a necessary reminder for our contemporary world of how power combined with prejudice can persecute and ultimately silence voices. Casey chronicles the life of Mary Dyer who was hanged because of her Quaker faith.
Capturing Joan of Arc in poetry is potentially as dangerous as riding onto a medieval battlefield. But Helen Marie Casey disproves the notion that one can’t create artfully with a story so full of its own natural artistry. Her treatment of the facts is principled, fresh, and unsentimental, but still allows her to see a fire’s hem rush across a bridge or notice a petty-thieving Burgundian pocket Joan’s precious spurs. Her warmly recommended Joan is a listener who harkens to the divine will until marching boots beneath her prison window make it hard to hear.
--Deborah A. Fraioli