San Francisco Bay Press (January 1, 2009)
In her second full-length poetry collection, Joan Gelfand explores the poignancy of living in a world that is war-torn and environmentally damaged. With a nod to the humorous paradox of modern life, Gelfand writes from the vantage point of a mother, an artist, and a Zen meditator. A Dreamer’s Guide… looks beyond the surface of our lives at the connections that make life worth living, and the sensual details that color it.
Praise for A Dreamer's Guide to Cities and Streams
"‘… In that space between day and night / Romance and expectation loiter.’ Loiter. Yes. On such smooth and well-charged turns, Joan Gelfand’s poems vibrate, shudder or take flight, roaring and purring to safe and not so safe landings in the heart, in the gut. Readers, beware. This is powerful stuff.”
–Al Young, California State Poet Laureate
"A Dreamer’s Guide to Cities and Streams, Joan Gelfand’s latest collection of poems, is a remarkable journey. With an artist’s eye and a seeker’s soul she takes the reader from Tuscan olive groves to a family’s Seder table. Using humor and introspection she asks questions, states opinions and tell tales all which leave one – to quote the award winning 'Anthology Sonnet' – with 'a delicious taste that lingers.'"
–Martha Meltzer, Pleasanton Poet Laureate
"Two years ago I found Gelfand’s first book, Seeking Center, a slim volume that was my first encounter with poetry that spoke to me on a personal level. It is not an exaggeration to say that this book infused the wellspring of my own inspiration when I was just beginning to believe in the power of poetry to transform a life, my own in particular. I am thrilled to welcome this new book in which poems like “Ode to Cecil Bruner” and “Seven X Seven” once again remind me of something I might have dreamed or written from my own life if I’d only had the words."
—Rebecca Foust, author of Dark Card (Texas Review Press 2008), winner of 2007 Robert Phillips Poetry Chapbook Prize and Allegheny Mountain Bowl(forthcoming from Main Street Rag in 2008)