Naked by Cindy B. Stevens
Main Street Rag
Available from the publisher
"Raw in its resistance to suffering—that of loved ones, ultimately, things of the world—Stevens’ poems are stylistic, adrenaline-charged, possessing heart-deep lyrics. Through subjects such as family, relationships, womanhood, birth, and religion, Naked displays a sense of the omnipresence of what’s important, powered by a gifted use of imagery, turn of phrase, and stays true to its own music."
—Phillip Shabazz, author of Flames in the Fire
"Naked is a deeply personal and emotionally sweeping collection of poems. Each one is a meditation, a memorial. Sensual moments. Elegies for the lost. Profound explorations of the landscapes of the soul. Stevens’ poems sing of family and lovers, of locales seen more clearly in the rearview mirror and of longings laid bare. I was transformed by their reading. Cindy B. Stevens is a tremendous poet with a singular voice."
—John Claude Bemis, Piedmont Laureate and author
"Cindy B. Stevens’ collection Naked reminds me of a passage from Cory Taylor’s book Dying: A Memoir, '…how to tolerate the terror of our own impermanence…' Cindy’s poems create the space where love, loss, and memory swirl to find voice. Death is 'a suitable place to store' grief, love of brothers, mother, father, and lover. Marbled within the poems is a keen wit, 'Lester grieves for me/my sister is too dignified/to let tears soak her peach silk blouse…I need a Bellini.' The poem 'Kind of Girl' proclaims love as 'you beg me not to die' reminding me of St. Augustine, 'to say I love you is to say I want you to be.' Her poetry conveys a direct connection to the natural world, trees, curtains, a cat’s meow, soft tar highways, as well as angels who watch over the 'tail end of the minute.' Naked is an invitation to reflect seriously on the uneasiness that the here is where there will be no me. In 'The Fireball' Stevens writes, 'I realize I am not your breath/your food or water/but I want to be necessary.' What more could we want from a poet?"
—Elon G. Eidenier, author of Sonnets to Eurydice and Draw Flame Catch Fire
Naked is evocative, deceptively straightforward, and ironic poetry that delivers a surprise to the system.
Cindy Stevens was born in Pennsylvania and raised on the east coast with her military family. She received a degree in Psychology from Trevecca Nazarene College and has spent her married life living in Kentucky and North Carolina. She graduated with high honors from Johnston Community College with a degree in Paralegal Technology. After her eighteen-year career as a family law paralegal, she enjoys her part-time workweek and low-stress life. She is a singer and appears as a regular “jingler” and a Piedmont Player on the Murphey School Radio Show. She is also a member of the North Carolina Writers’ Network.
She and her husband, Richard, have two adult sons and daughters-in-love, and live in Hillsborough with their cats, Stella and Izzy. This is her first collection.