All That’s Left: Poems and Paintings
Part coffee table art book, part poetry collection, All That’s Left gathers Rosalind Brenner’s poetry and painting in all their splendor.
“In this compelling and often beautiful book, Rosalind Brenner demonstrates through her poems and paintings that the ‘all’ of All That’s Left is considerable, while acknowledging the difficulty and fragility of the world she inhabits. The poems and paintings may be ‘finely wrought,’ but they pretty up nothing. What I felt sure of after finishing this book is that one of the things Brenner is left with is talent.”
—Stephen Dunn, winner of Pulitzer Prize in poetry for Different Hours
and the Academy Award in Literature from The American Academy of Arts & Letters
“The poems in All That’s Left stir pigments of memory and loss to reveal their hues, textures and sheen. ‘I know what’s real can’t be held,’ Brenner writes, as she helps one box turtle cross a busy road while crushing another on her driveway. Eyeing an attractive laborer painting a neighbor’s house, she invites him to touch up her bedroom. ‘It’s been about three years, and that’s enough.’ But it’s not enough. Brenner’s paintings merge images with imagination giving life to still life, animating landscapes and complicating faces and figures to render what we recognize as purely human.”
—Peter E. Murphy, poet, teacher, founder of Murphy Writing Seminars
“Rosalind Brenner’s got the deconstructive/ reconstructive thing going on full force in these poems. When one person produces a book of poems and visual paintings which is possessed of this high level of craftsmanship and sophistication in both fields, it’s time to sit up and take notice. All That’s Left is no requiem, it’s a palpable signal of hope. As it is in the life of one soul, so it may be in all — the promise of a fruitful new day, exercised through a transformative art.”
—George Wallace, Suffolk County Poet Laureate; Writer in Residence, Walt Whitman Birthplace Association
”This book All That’s Left holds both the unspeakable art of language and the unspoken words of pure artistry. In parallels, and through careful juxtaposition, these poems and paintings say what can’t be said, but is “known” to us, and felt. All That’s Left is a blessed eyeful, a blessed earful, and an intuitive, wild sufficiency unto itself—what a gift!”
—Kate Knapp Johnson, poet and chairperson of Sarah Lawrence College Graduate Poetry Program
“What a gift Rosalind Brenner’s new book is! These domestic, sensitive poems draw us into her layered language, brilliant images made of words, juxtaposed with her glorious art work. Here is a poet unafraid of addressing the issues of fragile relationships in a larger world wrought with the trauma of human conflict and loss. But in a world where the “air might disappear,” she is a poet who can also celebrate harmony and beauty through close observations of nature at work, a spider web, “the glow of animals and stars” “a flutter of roots. ” “Is the garden still here under all this ice?” she asks, and we participate in the emotional range of her existential questions while contemplating her beautiful paintings. Take time to settle in and enter into her paradoxically complex, but comforting world.”
—Deborah DeNicola, author of Original Human and the memoir, The Future That Brought Her Here
"A beautiful paring of images and text in a way that really helps the graphics to step out and grab the reader/viewer immediately and with vivacity. The focus, for our purposes, is on the words and they do well—the poems here deal with issues of memory and retrieval as we see in ‘Roots’: ‘A flutter of roots passes through my mind. / All that's left pays court to memory in me. ‘ These powerful words provide the collection its title and its guiding light. Throughout, we glimpse what happens when memory takes us, and when it leaves."
— Judge's Review, 20th Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards