Rapture of Matter

Paino The Rapture of Matter .jpg
Paino The Rapture of Matter .jpg

Rapture of Matter


Frank Paino




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Frank Paino was born in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1960. He holds a B.A. in English from Baldwin-Wallace College and an M.F.A. in creative writing from Vermont College. His first book of poetry, The Rapture of Matter, was published by Cleveland State University Poetry Center in 1991. Paino's work has appeared in many magazines and journals including The American Voice, Antioch Review, Crazyhorse, Indiana Review, Iowa Review, Prairie Schooner, and Quarterly West. He has won a number of awards including the Missouri Review’s Tom McAfee Discovery Feature, a Pushcart Prize, and the 1992 Cleveland Arts Prize for poetry.

“The rapture in this superb first book is initially in the engagement with and attention to detail, a sense of care for the art that then allows Paino’s elegiac vision to achieve an elevating rapture that overcomes the deaths, the losses, the betrayals she faces. It is a vision based on a wondrous music, a mature voice that struggles passionately for dignity in the here and now. ‘Some things are worth risking everything for,’ Paino says in one poem, and the whole book itself is the proof of that statement. Finishing it, I think of the great Rilke, how he wrote to the young poet: ‘no experience has been too slight, and the least incident unfolds like a destiny . . . guided by an infinitely tender hand.’” –Richard Jackson

“It’s almost impossible, reading these poems, to believe they are the ingredients of a first book. So wise, so full of experience and concrete details, they hook us, as few early poems do, into sitting up half the night, rereading. There’s no doubt in my mind that Paino is already one of America’s best poets.” –Paula Rankin

“Seductive, edgy, gothic and sublime, these poems haunt the body as much as the soul. Paino’s Out of Eden quickens with the articulation of votive flames. The shadows they cast become, in her skilled hands, earthly pietas of a new transfiguring gospel which declares, ‘We / will never turn back toward any paradise where there is no fire and we have nothing, nothing to lose.’ Paino makes us feel how marvelously everything’s at stake in a world where our desire to know is both tragic and redemptive.” –Beckian Fritz Goldberg

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Cleveland Arts Prize