Reviews/Comments on:
Reviews for MARCH, BEFORE SPRING from writers, grief professionals and widows:

Reviews from Writers:

I love this spare, lush, beautiful, aching book of poems. An absolutely lovely collection, it blew me away, right into a woman's heart, hope, grief, and love. -- Anne Lamott, best selling author

All art is a tract against death, a reminder that life is brief, fragile, unrepeatable. These artful poems are Stephanie Mendel's tract for the living--praise pieces, prayers of witness and remembrance, quiet, brave and heartbreakingly real.
 -- Dorianne Laux, Poet

Reviews from Grief Professionals

This book is the best I have read that uses poetry to simply and eloquently describe the loss of a mate. As a facilitator for bereavement support groups, I have used poems from Stephanie Mendel's book as a tool to help people better understand their own situation in a way that speaks more to the heart than the intellect. The poems use specific details of everyday life to make approachable the devastation of loss and the ability to find hope and the perseverance to push ahead. -- Fred Silverman, Grief Counselor

I use selections from Stephanie Mendel's beautiful book for my Writing through Grief workshops. Her evocative poems provide solace and support, as well as a reminder that others too have survived the painful loss of a spouse. -- Joan Monheit, Licensed Clinical Social Worker

"MARCH, BEFORE SPRING" chronicles the illness, death from cancer, process of mourning and healing of a husband in a long and successful marriage from the point of view of the widow. The poetry, in the tradition of the very best of "confessional" poetry in contemporary American letters, is spare, elegant, lyrical and deeply felt. Ms. Mendel is a master at the use of the vivid image and ordinary experiences of life to convey the varied experiences of the entire process of caring for and about a dying person, and putting life back together again after his death. The lover of poetry will enjoy this book for the sheer artistry of the craft. The person seeking a book of poems to give voice to the universal experiences of mourning she so vividly portrays will find comfort and solace in its pages. As a psychotherapist, I have recommended this book on many occasions to people who are grieving, and all have been moved and grateful for the chance to read it. In every sense, this is a book to own and to treasure. -- Karla Clark, Psychotherapist

In my practice many of my clients are experiencing grief in various stages. I offer them the beauty of your poems.  Your words, as simple as they are, carry a depth that feels profound.  Wounded hearts are rekindled with hope. You share a glimpse of the intimacy you have with your husband, in life and in death.  Thank you. -- Margaret Cossentino, Nurse Psychotherapist

This small volume of poetry has within its covers magnificent words and thoughts to ponder.  For me personally, it has enabled me to look at life through a different set of lenses.  For that, I will always be grateful. -- Caroline Bridges

Ms. Mendel's poems are stunning. She balances love and grief on the small details of ordinary life: an old shirt, the crumbs left on the counter, the dent left in a pillow. They speak softly but can tear your heart as the poems recall her husband, their love, his death from cancer and her struggle through grief. My first reading left me in tears; each subsequent reading shows me more of Ms. Mendel's power to give voice to near-overwhelming grief and what it takes to overcome such a loss. I am a physician and I prescribe copies to patients coping with the loss of a beloved. The local Hospice organization keeps copies in their library. The poems carry great healing power as well as beauty. -- Catharine Clark-Sayles, M.D.

Stephanie Mendel has written a touching book about the many aspects experienced during the illness and death of her husband. The book is open and honest. Her poetic sharing of those intimate thoughts helps others recognize some of the universality of emotions in an experience where one often feels utterly alone and without words. --Helen Kinsella, Psychiatrist

I couldn’t put down "MARCH, BEFORE SPRING." Then I read it again.  Each page is touching and intimate.  I found the poetry to be comforting and healing. -- Ellen Surburg, RN, CRNH, Director of Hospice of Bloomington Hospital

With heartbreak and humor Stephanie Mendel uses her unique poetic power to offer consolation to those who are grieving. -- Mary Taverna, President of The Hospice of Marin Foundation

Reviews from Widows:

"MARCH, BEFORE SPRING" puts into words what I feel. It has the honesty of emotions that make up grief and shock of loss. -- Aurelia M. Goldman

Stephanie Mendel has opened up her heart to share the fear, heartbreak and pain of her loss. She has given us a powerful tool with which to process our own grief, and a hope for another tomorrow. -- Donys Powell

Stephanie Mendel's brave poetry traces the journey of losing one's spouse to cancer, from diagnosis to death and then facing life again. The words are few but gorgeous, cutting to the heart of the experience in a way that prose cannot. Highly recommended. -- Patricia Blau

When I finished reading your book I wanted to send it to everyone I knew to say to them that this is what it’s like. -- Carolyn Timmins

"MARCH, BEFORE SPRING" arrived today - It is the most beautiful book - I truly treasure it. Thank you for what you share - how you write - I don't have words, but your words truly do go right to my heart.  You capture what we need to know and share.  Thank you. -- Cathy

© 2011 Stephanie Mendel. All rights reserved.