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kings of the rock and roll hot shop

Heart of Glass

I feel its pulse and flare still –
beat of primitive fire, memory
of the molten womb from which
I drew it glowing and gave it
shaping breath:
never cold, never still.

Read more about the writing process of this collection here.

“Through empathy and penetrating observation, Edwards goes deep inside the art of glassmaking. What she brings back in the form of poems is fascinating – she has absorbed and passes on to use the jargon of the guild, as well as the cautions and the glories the “kings of the hot shop” encounter on the way to finished creations. It is a small, self-enclosed universe, and Edwards its sympathetic cosmologist. As one might expect, those who work with a substance and tools that can reach temperatures of a
thousand degrees are practical folk, possessed of a dark sense of humor. Moten glass is pretty, and look delicious, “like taffy/pulled by hook and hand.” But injury and failure are only a breath away, and Edwards is quick to add, “mind your tongue / friend, this is
nothing / you want between your teeth.” Kings of the Rock and Roll Hot Shop captures this paradox and more, in poems that entertain even as thy bring us close to the heat, beauty, and danger of creation.”

—Jeffrey Skinner

In Kings of the Rock and Roll Hot Shop, Lynnell Edwards captures the intricacy and beauty of the glass-blower's art in finely-wrought poems that gleam with verbal heat, color, and grace, celebrating and embodying creation's mystery and joy.

—Charles Harper Webb


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