Intimate Memories Inform These Poems
Fithian Press is delighted to present Añoranza, the first book of poetry by Paula Amen Judah. Packed with emotion, plot, character, and consequence, her poems evoke small-town, mid-century life with intimate detail,both physical and emotional, capturing moments of girlhood that linger and haunt the poet’s memory in later life.
Añoranza,(Spanish for yearning or longing) traces the impressions of a small-town girl whose family is dominated by a father’s harsh rule over the household. His “spare the rod, spoil the child” philosophy is buffered by the presence of her mother and grandmother—their songs, their strengths, their lessons. Some of these memories are of watching the annual Fair Parade, drinking 7-Up on her father’s hunting trips and strolling the main street of town with her mother, inhaling the smell of steam from the dry-cleaning shop, the aroma of bourbon wafting from the hotel bar.
Añoranza’s constellation of themes—faith, death, power, and conflict—culminate in the author moving north and discovering a new geography of acceptance and redemption. The wind from the south that visits the poet in her mountain garden becomes a beautiful evocation of the past.
Paula Amen Judah grew up in Napa, California, and now lives in Shasta County, in far-northern California. She has been a high school counselor, taught Spanish, directed plays, and founded The Very Cool Poetry Project, a performing group of high school students. She lives in a cabin with her husband on six acres where she writes, counsels, and tends enormous vegetable and flower gardens.