We Became Summer

by Amy Barone

92 Pages, 5˝ x 8˝

Library of Congress Control Number:  2018930050

ISBN:  978-1-63045-053-3

Publication Date:  02/02/2018

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We Became Summer embodies a journey of awareness and transcendence, where an eclectic soundtrack continuously plays and steamy weather produces the sweetest fruit. Family and lovers may disappoint, but redemption is unearthed in familiar and other-worldly places, including ancestral roots. Open roads beckon where bikes give way to purring motorcycles. In these mini-tales imbued with wit and color, transition calls for abandoning convention: piano lessons, black clothes, and nostalgia. Technology doesn't hold all the answers. Nature speaks and teaches. Background music—jazz, soul, prog rock—represents landmarks. Arrival demands the right mix of detachment and resignation, a destination where one's anima can thrive.


The declarative coolness of We Became Summer by Amy Barone belies its hot spots. "I want to jump off this cross," she writes in "Passion Sunday," and finding a place to land means lessons learned in Rome, Trieste, Teramo, Ravenna, Positano and memory itself. "Pledge to stay forever and never go back," she writes. "Buy a mask and hide in Burano." Music creates another kind of journey. "It's all the juice I need tonight," Barone writes in "Bop Juice," and ends with the title poem's revelation: "First-borns have a knack for stirring idolatry." We Became Summer stirs, seduces and chips away at what is idealized. In the process, Barone leads us into resonant moments emblematic of her talent.

—Lynn McGee, author of Sober Cooking, Heirloom Bulldog and Bonanza

The golden light of memory suffuses Amy Barone's poems in We Became Summer, as if time might stand still for us and us alone, just at the moment of collision between innocence and experience when we discover the delicate balance between eternity and mortality. In poem after shimmering poem, and with the mastery of a still life painter, Barone brings us to that blink of an eye she experienced at the pinnacle of youth, and which we all might recall—youth exposed in all its conflicted glory, and scented with the faint fragrance of Memento Mori.

—George Wallace, writer in residence, Walt Whitman Birthplace

Amy Barone's new book of poetry We Became Summer is a delight. In well-crafted poems she masterfully fashions summers blinded not only by sunshine and wishful thinking but also by the melancholy of memory. Some of my favorite poems unearth the hidden enchantment that comes from wonderfully drawn moments of real sadness. We have all been there, looking back, bathed in sunshine and yet when we push ourselves to truly remember there is more shadow than light. Of course there is more here than the blues especially when she writes about pop music and Italy as both allow her to imagine the possibilities of where her life is going and the contemplation of where it has been.

—Richard Vetere, author of novels The Writers Afterlife and Champagne and Cocaine and play Lady Macbeth and Her Lover