In Conspiracy Cherry, Cesca Janece Waterfield unveils poems that gambol with wit and sympathy. High and low cultural references often inhabit the same poem. Conspiracy Cherry is a polyphonic collection home to a cast of richly-voiced women ranging from a Parisian dancer who flees the city with a wedge of swans, to the Biblical woman known from antiquity merely as “Lot’s wife” who the reader learns has a name as well as erotic reminiscences that invite her to look back.
“Conspiracy Cherry feels like a space where love and war meet, on the precipice of redemption, in a natural world that provides sustenance even as it dies. The images are as precise as they are mind-bending: ‘…wind / braids air
‘Raspberries picked between briars float / in a zinc basin / as if water had eyes.’
Waterfield’s poems are ephemeral markings that yearn for permanence yet have made peace with evanescence, like the touch of a lover who is impossible even when possible:
‘You’re made to inscribe / what you’re poised / to strip . . .’
‘. . . whatever / we scratch down / for the record / rubs out with a buff.’
How close can we come to touching fingertips with the divine before calling it a near miss or succumbing to the black rider? The poet’s musical voice answers:
‘There’s little left / but try, try, try.’
— KIM VODICKA, author of The Elvis Machine (Clash Books) and Psychic Privates (White Stag)
Available Summer 2020 in print and fixed-layout ebook to preserve lineation. Author available for webcast appearances and interviews. Publisher Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
A portrait miniature of the South including the estuaries and rivers of the Chesapeake Bay. The poems of The Oyster Garden evoke pine and pecan trees, the freshwaters of the Blue Ridge Hills, evoke the Rappahannock River and the wild cherry trees that hang over its banks. Conjure lightning-season burns that promote growth of fire-adapted native plants in the Wiregrass region of Alabama.
The collection is timely. Greenhouse gases driving climate change threaten both ecosystems. Not long ago, oysters of the Chesapeake Bay region were nearly decimated by increased algae resulting from warming oceans. Though recovery efforts recently brought a resurgence of crassostrea virginica oysters, this progress has been imperiled with huge cuts to the EPA’s program that funds Bay efforts.
The Oyster Garden is also the figuration of southern identity as it shapes a family who ultimately finds the land is inseparable from
“people for whom
the creek will everlasting rise,
whose fields boll weevils plague
perpetually, who were born with bowed heads,
bitten tongues, whose backs bend
in the sun.”
“Waterfield is a convinced verbalist, obsessed with not just the right words but also the most surprisingly electric combinations of words about the sea and family…” — Robert Peebles Arthur, award winning playwright, poet, and author of Hymn to the Chesapeake
My name is Cesca Waterfield and I am a writer whose short fiction and poetry are published in journals and magazines. My journalism has been featured widely in major daily, weekly, and glossy publications. I earned my MFA Creative Writing and MA English Literature from McNeese State University. Visit my extended portfolio. Watch me play original music. Listen to my songs. Stream my music on Spotify. As a musician, I proudly use Morley pedals when I play, and they are integral to performances.
Savannah Morning News
Palm Beach Post
Style Weekly, Richmond, VA