general, poetry books

Congratulations Gianna Russo!

Congratulations, Gianna Russo on a successful book launch!

It was a huge success, and we couldn’t be happier for her. Last night, she officially launched her One House Down. There were about 100 people there and they gave her a standing ovation, an encore call, and then bought every single book!

She read at the beautiful University of Tampa, where we well be attending the Other Words Conference with her in just a few short weeks. It was the perfect venue for this collection of poetry focusing on Tampa, and Gianna is the perfect person to tell the stories of this, her hometown.

So, again we say, congratulations, Gianna Russo! You deserve it.

Here are just a few of the comments from early readers:

“…happiness is a snow globe, our house glued inside…: This is what I feel when reading One House Down, this fantasy in verse, this beauty contained in sprawling lines and stanzas. Each poem, a song. Each song, a swoon. Russo’s newest collection is both a love song and an indictment of a place she knows so well, a Florida without palms and sun, a Florida that is grit, a Florida that represents our world-one which breaks the heart and heals it in the same beat.

—Ira Sukrungruang, author of In Thailand It Is Night

One House Down is filled with story-poems from the unsung American South, where natural beauty butts up against strip malls and human ugliness. Tracing her family’s history in Tampa, a city many readers will be surprised to visit, Russo documents with terrific detail a diverse and fascinating culture in this original exploration of a very particular place.

—Heather Sellers, author of You Don’t Look Like Anyone I Know:
a True Story of Family, Face-Blindness and Forgiveness

Get ready. You’ve read the tour-de-force of an opening sentence, a poem hurdling you into the world of One House Down. Now watch Gianna Russo illuminate histories so electric and elegiac, and shadows of shame so persistent, they’re writ in our bones. Yes, this is a book very much about place; but, more importantly, this wonderful collection examines the emotional spaces we occupy as we strive for satisfaction, safety, and meaning. As Russo writes, “Flash at sunset like the luck I never spied.”

—Erica Dawson, author of When Rap Spoke Straight to God

 From front porches to the places where we live, work, and love, to the highways that lead us both out of the city and back home again, One House Down takes us on a precise and lovingly rendered tour of the rhythms, movements, and loves of a city and its people. Gianna Russo’s poems, expansive yet intimate, make a case that perhaps poetry, rather than the evening news, is the true first draft of our collective history.

—Steve Kistulentz, author of Panorama and Little Black Daydream

When it comes to one’s place of origin, the tides are strong—the pull to hold on, and the push to let go. In this luminous, thoughtful collection, Gianna Russo explores the bittersweet legacies of old Florida. One House Down is rooted rooted deeply in place, whether Nebraska Avenue and Central Avenue, cultural seats such as the Fun-Lan Drive-In and the Sanwa market, or the ripe specificity of “Faedo’s Bakery [as] men roll loaves / of Cuban bread, turnovers of guava paste.” I appreciate Russo’s musicality and her formal agility, as she experiments with ekphrasis, ghazal, pantoum, and pecha kucha. Whether the stubborn advice of the Methodist Women’s Society Cookbook, or the dark chuckle of a plaster cat on a funeral home’s roof, these are poems we need.

—Sandra Beasley, author of Count the Waves

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