Category: Book Buzz
Published: 21 June 2013
pale blue mercy by Sally Stewart Mohney
Main Street Rag
Available from the publisher
"Pale blue mercy is a compelling collection of daring poems. Poetic power rests in Sally Stewart Mohney's style—each poem stripped of excessive language—and in her fearlessness as a writer to bare the truth with emotional restraint. Haunting images are distilled from her refusal to look away from what she is learning about mortality through heart-rending, stark observations: 'So now, your mother's head, a white plastic mask—/…. A London wax museum piece to be studied/or a Greek marble statue in sheer ecstasy of pure pain' ('Spurs'). Tenderness prevails, especially when Mohney touches on a mother's longing to protect loved ones from harm and on the human need for comfort and relief from grief, made palpable in 'Next May': 'you'd like to not suffer a huge loss./You'd prefer to not tiptoe/and have to speak/to/strangers/at a sudden death/or lingering one./You'd like to pull out/beach towels/and/pure nestlings of warmth./And, never once, regret.'"
—Irene Blair Honeycutt
A native of Charlotte, Sally Stewart Mohney graduated from the University of North Carolina with an Honors degree in Creative Writing and Art History, and has taken graduate writing courses from the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop, The University of Florida, Georgia State University, and Callanwolde. She has had short stories published in literary journals, as well as articles published in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. While a student at UNC, she was the recipient of the Jesse Rehder Prize, the University's most prestigious writing award. She was a presenter at the 2009 Southern Women Writers Conference, and presented poems from this collection for the 2012 SWWC conference. Her career in Art History has included working for art appraiser Sigmund Rothschild in New York, as well as working as curator and coordinator in galleries and museums all over the country. After moving to Atlanta, she founded her own tutoring business.