In Dropping Death, Ralph Nazareth and Duane Esposito juxtapose their very different work to create a many-layered dialogue about what it means to face, and make meaning from, our own mortality. From Esposito’s “Don’t you see? Nothing/but nature survives” to Nazareth’s “I found myself nailed to God in the web of my own making,” Dropping Death explores with dignity, courage, and even humor, the confrontation with what Kierkegaard called “the absolute” that awaits us all.
Richard Jeffrey Newman, author of Words for What Those Men Have Done
|About the Authors
In Dropping Death, Duane Esposito and Ralph Nazareth craft intimate journeys that run parallel and yet intersect. They each undertake willingly the long walk into the dark woods, without fear of getting lost, without need of finding truth, required of those who will confront themselves, their relationships, their faiths and most especially their mortality. This last they acknowledge while still insisting on being fully present in the complexity of this moment and on being open to the moment which may come next.
Scott Ash, Professor of English, Nassau Community College
Dropping Death is a warm-blooded meditation on love, the beauties of trees and sky, of dear ones, of the fragile thread of life and identity. Esposito’s poetic lines, like twigs laid to mark a quiet path of thought through woods, open out to the inter-rooted mangrove islands of Nazareth’s prose. The writing explores and questions its generation of self. “It seemed that language was all she had and being in it was the next most painful thing to not being at all….” The implicit mutually sensitive conversation of the two parts, of the two writers, concludes with “Vigil,” a tender shared poem listening for “what silence means.”
Suzanne Ironbiter, author of Devi: Mother of My Mind
Even more than their stalwart investigations of self and other, of death and the human relationship to nature, these two poets both search for poetry’s moral center. They recognize their kinship in their searching, although the poetic forms and the structures of thought are their own. This abiding, this space for difference within one’s own poetic and ethical practice, is, if not all, then a significant part of what the book is about … And so poetry in Dropping Death can never just be a means of personal expression. It is always something more: it is an ethical action where another’s independent practice (and thus being), even while remaining discrete, becomes indistinguishable from one’s own.
Tim Wood, author of Notched Sunsets
DUANE ESPOSITO is a Professor of English at Nassau Community College, where he has taught for twenty years. He has an MA from SUNY Brockport and an MFA from the University of Arizona. His work was selected by Diane Glancy for an Academy of American Poets Award, and over the years his poems have been published in dozens of journals. His book The Book of Bubba was published by Brown Dog Press in 1998; Cadillac Battleship by brokenTribe Press in 2005; and Declaration for Your Bones by Yuganta Press in 2012. He lives on Long Island—on Lopsided Farm—with his wife, daughter, son, two cats, three chickens, five hamsters, and eight hermit crabs.
RALPH NAZARETH is a poet and teacher. His book Ferrying Secrets was published by Yugadi Publishers, Hyderabad, India in 2005; Cristal: Poemas Selectos by Quirófones Editions in Ecuador in 2015; and Between Us the Long Road by Owlfeather Collective in 2017. His poetry has been heard and read in many parts of the world. He has taught for over four decades in schools, colleges, universities and maximum security prisons. The Managing Editor of Yuganta Press, he currently also heads GraceWorks, Inc., an international nonprofit charitable foundation. He lives with his wife Marianela Medrano in Stamford, CT.