Under the Broom Tree
The voices of four San Diego poets meet at a crossroads of poetic traditions to contemplate home––home as a sense of place and a sense of self, home as much outside as it is inside.
In this collaboration, the lyrical greets the ecstatic in free verse and form. The portrait, the narrative, and the muscle of language collide and reform. The poems lean against each other for support and weave the light and the dark in a quest for purpose, family, community and reason. Each poet responds to the beauty, the truth, and the ugliness found along the way.
Lantern Tree won the award for BEST POETRY ANTHOLOGY at the San Diego Book Awards in 2012.
Under the Broom Tree: Chris Baron was born and raised in a Jewish family of eccentric artists. His upbringing in a home where nude models were commonplace left little room for innocence. His adulthood offered a rediscovery of the self and a making of his own journeys as an athlete, a husband, a traveler, and a father. His search for a transformed self has forced him to walk a physical and spiritual path confronting the truth of his beliefs set against the strong pull of family history and cultural heritage. These poems tell this story.
Acclaim for Lantern Tree:
“Chris Baron’s Under the Broom Tree takes us on a series of awe-filled, expansive, spiritual journeys, whether they occur in domestic spaces or in Mecca. Eastern, Western, and aesthetic beliefs collided in this stunning and contemplative collection that invites us to restore of faith in the magical powers of language, to listen deeply to a poet who speaks carefully, thoughtfully, ‘in muted prayers sewn into me through countless afternoons.'”
-Hadara Bar-Nadav, author of The New Nudity, Fountain and Furnace, A Glass of Mill to Kiss Goodnight, and the Frame Called Ruin.
“There is so much to love in these four books. They tell ecstatic and transcendent tales about the diversity of Southern California lives. Both magical and local, the four voices merge into a splendid swirl. And the reader is catapulted into a rich mecca that includes both the sacred and the profane: of “beltless” romances and the “opening star” of a persimmon, of trickster deer women, barflies and hills of Quetzalcoatl’s rainbow yucca, of electrical currents and hips holding the endless light, and ample doses of Torah lessons and grandma’s latkes. The landscapes/inscapes are both spiritual and tactile. And we witness the Whitmanesque melding of body and soul––where the brilliant images shout out persistent invitations: yes, this is a neighborhood party that you won’t want to miss!”
-Marilyn Chin, Author of Revenge of the Mooncake Vixen, Rhapsody in Plain Yellow, The Phoenix Gone, The Terrace Empty, and Dwarf Bamboo.