Anne Tammel is a well-known name in poetic/literary circles in the USA, and increasingly known, now, amongst serious readers and literati in Europe, the Middle East and South Asia. She has already previously published works of poetry and fiction, which have appeared in noted journals and magazines such as Mediterranean Poetry, Philadelphia Review of Books, 3Elements Literary Review, Clarify Anthology, Sisters Born, Annapurna, Edgar Allan Poet Literary Journal and many more. She is also the founder and owner of Poets and Dreamers, a fine arts journal and organization, based in San Clemente, California, USA.
All of her works are marked by a special imaginative, creative sensibility that is highly pronounced and very sophisticated in tone; that takes us away on lofty wings into regions that are hitherto unknown, mysterious. All these mysteries, these visions, are opened unto us suddenly, for, according to American author and reviewer Melissa Studdart, ” Anne Tammel takes the reader on a journey through a historical and literary landscape so vibrant, so vividly and generously splashed with color and love that it could only be explored through poetry. Here is a woman… who looks at the world with extraordinary, resplendent vision…”
Her latest work, the collection ”Endless: A Literate Passion” , which has come out only a short while ago, is yet another tour de force from this very talented writer. It contains a series of poetic takes on known love stories and legends; narratives that transport the reader through exotic, sensuous locales–the Red Sea, the Mediterranean, the rainy streets of Paris, Manhattan on lonely days–and into the secret lives and loves of many famous Western literary and cultural icons–Anais Nin, Zelda Fitzgerald, Amelia Earhart, Marilyn Monroe, Jack Kerouac, Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Paul Celan and others. Each ‘poetic tale’ is told with considerable gusto and verve and with a sensuous and passionate involvement that carries us away into a unique, transformational experience. Sometimes tender, sometimes enrapt in a searing vitality, we cannot fail to be moved by this work. In the words of the Kyoto Poetry Journal , ”Anne Tammel’s gorgeous collection reads like a love letter, not only to the iconic authors and adventurers of the 20th century whose personas she authetically inhabits, but as an epistle of her own love of life. ” And this zest is often resplendent , in passages of sheer lyricism, for example
all I dreamt of last night
was the sea;
I tasted that sea on my lips
I dreamt of tasting that sea with you, your taste
as intimate as that Red
Red sea- ”
or in a more nostalgic vein :
”My father used to tap dance in thick black shoes
dance all night on the winter kitchen floor, birds
elated in the blue night sky;”
or in a more visonary mode, somewhat reminiscent of William Blake :
” Bodies upon bodies ascended there, angels waiting to slip
through those Gates of Paradise- lovers who lost and loved,
lived, ate and wept at those gates, hoping to catch one
glimpse of heaven, listening for chimes. Waiting, singing
at those gates, writing at those gates…”
and so on, beautifully. We are often taken out on travels that are half-real and half-surreal, all meticulously drawn and executed. And we cannot fail to be moved by the thoughts and emotions that overwhelm us and speak to us so distinctly in a voice that is, at times soaring and at times dipping, but also exhilerating.
”Endless: A Literate Passion” a collection of poetry by Anne Tammel (2015)
Published: USA, 2015 , M/S Saint Julian Press , ISBN : 978 0 9965231 0 3
POSTSCRIPT: AN E-CHAT WITH POET ANNE TAMMEL
”Prachya Review” had the chance to have an informal little e-chat with poet Anne Tammel, and the main features are given below.
PR: What is your advice to young poets/writers who are aspiring to become full time writers?
Anne: The great poet Ralph Waldo Emerson said: “Make the most of yourself, for that is all there is of you.” While a full-time career as a novelist or poet may not happen overnight, if you are filled with a need to write, you must write daily and give yourself to your craft. Whether you only have time on the bus, in the early hours of dawn, or late into the night, you must carve out time for yourself daily, and make this happen. To inspire and support writers, fifteen years ago, after I returned from a transformative journey through the Mediterranean I created the organization, Poets and Dreamers. When we have a dream, we have it for a reason, and it is important to follow that and actualize oneself. Poets and Dreamers has been featured in CBS Los Angeles as a best resource for writers, and we have also released our own literary journal, which features works from poets and artists around the world.
PR: Are there any writers /poets that you like from the East/Asia – and what are your views about global/intercultural literary exchanges ?
Anne: Having grown up in San Jose, close to Japantown, I was drawn to Asian poetry and poetics from an early age. I grew up writing in red silk journals from China, which I bought blocks from my house. I have read Rumi for longer than I can remember; this has influenced the spiritual as well as the romantic aspect of my work. During my MFA, I also studied Asian poetics, which influenced my approach to white space, the line breaks, and the contemplative nature of my poetry; some of my lines can be on the shorter side, but this is not because the poetry is “simple;” the early Asian poets and the imagists have taught us there is great complexity and potency in the economy of space, and the line breaks are deliberate, to elicit a certain affect. Reading poets like Lao Tzu and Basho has certainly influenced me, as the Asian poets have also had a great influence on the imagists as well as the beatniks, who have all represented critical foundations for my work. More modern Asian poets whose work I admire include Lee Young Li and Ocean Vuong. And two eastern contemporary poets I know and admire are poet Rehan Qayoom, who translates works from Urdu, as well as a lovely, mystical poet originally from Kashmir, Kalyani Kapur. Kalyani is a poet to watch, as she is barely starting to release her works to the world, and they are wondrous.
As for global/intercultural literary exchanges, these are certainly critical to our world today. For this reason, Poets and Dreamers, which started in Southern California, has now expanded into a worldwide circle of literary and fine artists. We are joined by this collective belief that words, art, and music act as a transcendent bridge, and they allow us to create the lives we have imagined for ourselves. Poets and Dreamers provides an opportunity for authors and artists to actualize themselves and their dreams through the collaboration and circulation of our greatest works. Sometimes it is the artists who evolve more quickly, and bring our world together through wisdom, love, and greater consciousness.
More about Anne and her work at http://www.poetsanddreamers.com/