Rebecca Schumejda announces the release of her latest collection, Sentenced, published by NYQ Books.
Rebecca explains what the book is all about, “Sentenced: It’s not that we didn’t know what the sentence would be, it’s that we didn’t know what would happen on the other side of the sentence. We didn’t understand that it would be a long story, paragraphs filled with contrasting sentences: mine, my husband’s, my mother’s, her mother’s, her father’s, their sons, her sister’s, her brother’s, friends and family. What we didn’t know is that, for us, this day would not bring closure; instead, this day propelled us into new directions.”
Very few of us will ever experience what Rebecca Schumejda has experienced, but her writing induces images and feelings that pull us all into her world where we begin to understand that it is never just the individuals confined within concrete fortresses surrounded by bars and locked doors that live their lives trying to navigate through an institution of incarceration. “When your house is framed with bones / and the walls are sheet rocked with flesh / there is no room for full-length mirrors / or empty apologizes,” Schumejda’s new book Sentenced shows us that even in the wide-open fields of our own freedom, there is always that space between one’s head and one’s heart that acts like an emotional prison we spend time in, and may never be set free from.
—Victor Clevenger, author of The Most Beautiful Thing About June
Rebecca Schumejda is the author of several full-length collections, including Falling Forward (sunnyoutside press), Cadillac Men (NYQ Books), Waiting at the Dead End Diner (Bottom Dog Press), Our One-Way Street (NYQ Books), Something Like Forgiveness, a single epic poem accompanied by collage art by Hosho McCreesh (Stubborn Mule Press) and Sentenced (NYQ Books). Her new poetry/photography collaboration with Jason Baldinger is forthcoming from Kung Fu Treachery Press. She is the co-editor at Trailer Park Quarterly. She received her MA in Poetics from San Francisco State University and her BA from SUNY New Paltz. She lives in New York’s Hudson Valley.
Rebecca Schumejda’s Sentenced proves Joyce Carol Oates’ theory about “tragedy [being] the highest form of art.” With empathy and compassion that seemingly exceeds human capacity, Schumejda examines how an unfathomable crime rocked two families to their very foundation. I’ve been a fan of Schumejda’s poetry for more than two decades, and Sentenced gifts her readers with the opportunity to watch an immensely talented poet working at the zenith of her considerable capabilities.
—Nathan Graziano, author of Fly Like The Seagull and My Next Bad Decision