Event date: 
Friday, March 10, 2023 - 6:30pm
Featured Book: 
Amusing the Angels



Copperfield’s Books welcomes Stewart Florsheim and Diane Frank to Santa Rosa for a conversation about Stewart’s latest book - Amusing the Angels.  

The discussion will be followed by a Q&A and book signing.

This event is free and open to the public. Masks required.

* Book available for purchase online and at the event.

Winner, 2022 Blue Light Book Award

In this richly diverse mélange of human lives, many actual and many imagined, Stewart Florsheim embraces the light and the dark much as his beloved Rembrandt employed chiaroscuro to reveal the complexity of a single individual, and thus, all individuals. Florsheim's vision is encompassing, with room enough for the emotional convolutions of family, Holocaust survivors, spiritual seekers, intimate partners, world travelers, artists, and even total strangers. Taking his cue from Aristotle, and perhaps from the painters he admires, he approaches life from theparticular. Pulsing through the array of details is the tempered passion of someone who considers desire as "the trembling to be whole."

- Thomas Centolella, author of Almost Human

Here, as in his previous collections, Stewart Florsheim combines closely observed detail with moments of transcendence-sometimes metaphorical, other times supernatural-that conjure the lost world of European Jewry, the intimate sphere of his family life, and the lines of blood and spirit that connect the two. He steps into famous paintings as if through a looking glass and renders public events with evocative brushwork. Having read his poetry for more than thirty years, I am impressed by how consistent his body of work is and grateful for the rich worldview it provides.

- Scott Norton, author of Developmental Editing: A Guide for Freelancers, Authors, and Publishers, Second Edition (forthcoming 2023)

In his third full-length poetry collection from Blue Light Press, Stewart Florsheim wrestles with the possibilities and contradictions of what it means today to be a man. The child of a Holocaust survivor, he lends his poetic voice to the lost and dispossessed, "amusing the angels," perhaps, by evoking his forebears, with insight and tenderness, in all their flawedhumanity. Many of these poems can be read as prayers, as when he recalls his adolescent terror at facing the high jump in gym class, "hoping my wings won't get mangled/as I ascend above the trees/into the incandescent light." Without ignoring any of the familiar impulses orvanities of a husband, father, and successful man of the world, he nonetheless embraces the vulnerability of his anima. Making pesto with his daughter, he confides how much he loves the smell of basil, evoking Italian landscapes he hopes to share with her someday. His ekphrastic poems could be a volume all of their own, filled with the color, light, and stories of the paintings that come under his knowledgeable and imaginative gaze. Everything in daily life, from taking out the trash to sexual desire -"the trembling to be whole" - comes under the poet's lens as he strives to "discover the pleasures of being vigilant."

- Barbara Quick, author of The Light on Sifnos and What Disappears

Author: Stewart Florsheim has been widely published in magazines and anthologies. He was the editor of Ghosts of the Holocaust, an anthology of poetry by children of Holocaust survivors (Wayne State University Press, 1989). He wrote the poetry chapbook, The Girl Eating Oysters (2River, 2004). In 2005, Stewart won the Blue Light Book Award for The Short Fall From Grace (Blue Light Press, 2006). His collection, A Split Second of Light, was published by Blue Light Press in 2011 and received an Honorable Mention in the San Francisco Book Festival, honoring the best books published in the Spring of 2011. Stewart's new collection, Amusing the Angels, won the Blue Light Book Award in 2022. Stewart has been awarded residencies from Artcroft and the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts. He has held readings throughout the Bay Area, as well as in New York, Boston, London, and Jerusalem.

Diane Frank is author of eight books of poems, two novels, and a photo memoir of her 400 mile trek in the Nepal Himalayas. While Listening to the Enigma Variations: New and Selected Poems is Winner of the 2022 Next Generation Indie Book Award for Poetry. She is editor of the bestselling anthology: Fog and Light: San Francisco through the Eyes of the Poets Who Live Here. Diane plays cello in the Golden Gate Symphony and creates her life as an art form. She teaches writing workshops at San Francisco State University and Dominican University. Blackberries in the Dream House, her first novel, won the Chelson Award for Fiction and was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. 

Event Location: 
Copperfield's Books - Montgomery Village
775 Village Court
Santa Rosa, Ca
Amusing the Angels By Stewart Florsheim Cover Image
ISBN: 9781421835280
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Blue Light Press - October 28th, 2022


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