OOLITHS is a poetry collection that challenges commonly held American values such as the sanctity of the family, the American Dream, the nobility of parenthood, and faith in God. Divided into eight sections, the collection follows the arc of childhood, adolescence, maturity and decline. Images of birds, crickets, the beach, the moon, and rainstorms anchor the poems to Miami’s natural habitat and to each other, while images involving music, sleep, raisins, coffee beans and eggs unite them in the realm of the domestic.
OOLITHS includes traditional forms such as sonnets, as well as nonce forms, prose poems, free verse and newer forms. “Art History for Breast Cancer Survivors”—a twenty-stanza pecha kucha inspired by Terrence Hayes that deals with the narrator’s battle with breast cancer—marks the middle of the collection. Having scratched the varnish off our illusions, OOLITHS concludes by acknowledging the inevitability of loss with a bittersweet smile.