TO BE NONCHALANTLY ALIVE- In Kerry Trautman’s new collection, To Be Nonchalantly Alive, it’s all about simplicity. It’s the smells of bananas, cardamom, and soot, the tastes of fudge and hosewater, the sounds of glass bottles breaking against each other. Trautman’s complexity manifests in her descriptions of these simple things. In “To the Pineapple,” she asks “Why would you come here in August / when Ohio fields orgasm into baskets?” In “Jeanne Calment of France,” she wonders “Did she know who he was— / Van Gogh—… noting his eyes glazed / like halved oysters in their liquor.” Her observations are artfully executed by words and phrases splashed boldly and brilliantly on the page. In To Be Nonchalantly Alive, Trautman is anything but nonchalant.
Dianne Borsenik, publisher NightBallet Press, author Raga for What Comes Next
Like a patchwork quilt, To Be Nonchalantly Alive sews together the varied facets of community life—family, food, faith, celebration, death—with the threads of keen observation and lyrical language. By turns probing, reflective, and compassionate, Trautman invites us into her world with invocations of earth, air, fire, and water. Their varied manifestations illuminate everyday experiences in ways that are as rewarding as the human connections created and reinforced in gathering around a table for a good meal. In this feast for the senses and the soul, no reader will go home hungry. Steve Abbott, author A Green Line Between Green Fields and A Language the Image Speaks, editor Common Threads