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Poetry Women Authors

The Snow Kimono

by (author) Ilona Martonfi

Inanna Publications & Education Inc.
Initial publish date
Sep 2015
Women Authors, Canadian
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2015
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Aug 2015
    List Price

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Ilona Martonfi's third poetry collection, The Snow Kimono, can best described as an obsession with truth. The Snow Kimono invites the reader into a magical world where reality shimmers with the fragile beauty of the moment and the dark, haunting awareness of a painful past that lingers just out of sight. Compassionate and disturbing, witness poems elaborate on history, exile, the war refugee, the dispossessed, and the disappeared. Other, more personal poems concern themselves with love, identity, place, and with loss -- especially in the series keening for a mentally ill daughter. The past and the present mix in this compelling collection of free verse and prose poetry that draw the reader into a language that illuminates the way in which the beauty of human spirit is both concise and eloquent.

About the author

Ilona Martonfi is a Montreal poet born in Budapest. She is a writer, editor, creative writing teacher, and founder of the writing group, Rue Towers Writers. She is the author of the poetry books, Blue Poppy (2009), Black Grass (2012), The Snow Kimono (2015), and Salt Bride (2019), as well as seven chapbooks, Visiting the Ridge, Charivari, Magda, Adagio, Mud, Moth and Black Rain. Ilona is Founder and Literary Curator of The Yellow Door and Visual Arts Centre Reading Series and Argo Bookshop's Reading Series. She is a recipient of the QWF 2010 Community Award. Ilona has published extensively in print and online literary publications. She was a Finalist for the 2007 Quebec Writing Competition. Her story, "My Daughter, Marisa," was published in CBC Story Anthology III, In Other Words: New English Writing from Quebec (2008), and Ilona's "Stories of Belonging" was shortlisted for Canada Writes in the adult category (2014). She was also a StepAway Magazine nominee for the 2018 Pushcart Prize for the poem "Dachau Visit on a Rainy Day". The Tempest is her fifth poetry collection.

Ilona Martonfi's profile page

Editorial Reviews

"I don't know how many wounds poetry can heal, but I know poetry can bear witness. Ilona Martonfi's clear-eyed poems in The Snow Kimono bear witness to a grief shared across time and continents. From what she calls 'the unsalvageable,' she has salvaged a difficult beauty - the lucid, unflinching songs of one who has come through."--Mark Abley, Canadian poet, journalist, editor and non-fiction writer"Poems to be worried in the hand over and over like small beads. Poems that are honed, hard-won, distilled through memory, pain, love, redemption. This latest collection, The Snow Kimono, by Ilona Martonfi bears the same sparse yet painterly language, the same staccato intoning of the world and self that has marked her poetry from the start. Barbed wire. Reed warbler. Streetcar. Wooden clogs. Ochre yellow. The lone images gather. Meaning moves, clutches, in the liminal spaces between. Martonfi's personal past here broadens out, mingles with imagined others - a bomb victim, Margarita of Medieval Verona, Bog woman. We move through a world implacably harsh, yet graced with a keening beauty and, always, the salve of nature. Always, too, flawed humanity, with clipped wing, insisting still on flight. As witness, these poems."--Victoria LeBlanc, Concordia University, creative writing and art studies. Curator of the Gallery at Victoria Hall and director of the Visual Arts Centre and the McClure Gallery"In The Snow Kimono, Ilona Martonfi deftly paints a series of succinct tableaux which present women's distress with as much subtlety as restraint. Their grief is depicted through precise and masterly poetic writing that touches the reader deeply. When we close the book, these portraits continue to inhabit us. Here, poetry meets life."--Louise Dupré, Author of art books, poetry collections, essays and novels. Recipient of the 2011 Governor General's Award for her poetry collection Plus haut que les flames

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