Publisher's Weekly: The number of titles published during National Poetry Month strained this column's space, but [Sharon Dolin's Serious Pink] can just as easily help celebrate the solstice. "Periwinkle drowns pentimenti-almost/ could be a headline," notes the speaker of Serious Pink, Sharon Dolin's collection of poems written from art work by Richard Diebenkorn, Joan Mitchell and others: "Rosettes/ are not poppies/ but moments of attention/ burned into the wall."
"[T]he poems don't try for some verbal analogue to painterly abstraction. Instead, they celebrate opportunities for collaborative inspiration. . . Serious Pink is an important book, especially for those interested in the ongoing relationship and interplay between the visual and verbal arts."—Reed Wilson, Poetry International
“As much as Dolin has entered into a creative conversation with
avant-garde painters, her work is also in dialog with modern American poets. One hears echoes of Stevens and Ashbery, both masters of recording the process of thinking about a subject in the act of writing poetry. In "Black Painting #8: Predicament," Dolin's struggle to find a way to 'read' a self-portrait by Joan Mitchell mirrors the artist's own
initial act of deciding what to do with a blank canvas: "It's the same predicament: / what to start with, what to fix / on . . . . Clearly, Dolin isn't intersted in reproducing in some objective, reportorial sense the actual contours and design of the visual works that serves titles for her poems. . . . For Dolin, the paintings become two-way mirrors that produce uncanny self-portraits."—The Spoon River Poetry Review
"Since these poems are inspired by paintings, it only makes sense that color-ful words should have a place. Dolin's Serious Pink is pleasurable like paintings whose perspectives are at balance: there is harmony in Dolin's diction. Serious Pink's poems arise organically from the arbitrariness of their starting points to transcend their initial
constraints. By doing so, they are freed into poems capable of offering
visual delight to the ears as much as the eyes - yet another proof of
how Love defies categories."—JACKET 24. ( For complete review click on http://jacketmagazine.com/24/tabi-dolin.html)
"Serious Pink is fascinating in that it both brings certain paintings to life in words and inspires the reader to try and see the originals. The vibrant "Sad Flowers" by Howard Hodgkin, which adorns the cover, is just one tantalizing view. The poem on this painting is done in a kind of open field style, fluctuating between thoughts such as "Because their
brilliance is so redundant / yet redemptive" and "Because they heal as they die" and "Because we insist we prefer their steady colors / when our heads turn at a mere squiggle/ or waver or smudge or ripple or splotch." In the end, Dolin the poet uses the paintings of others as kinds of pools of water-for imagism, self reflection, and as windows into other ways of seeing."—American Book Review
“Serious Pink is playful, high-spirited, and deeply serious, and in it Sharon Dolin has done a seemingly impossible thing: her poems have the presence of paintings, a vivid materiality. Her fields of color vibrate . . . and the language of which they are made involves us in a deeply individual, engaging sensibility.” –Mark Doty
“These cool, beautiful, intelligent lyrics take seeing (and especially seeing paintings) as metaphor for everything else: mistakes, regrets, betrayal, despair; and finally are, I think, almost more like paintings than poems-paintings that, as Howard Hodgkin says about the pictures he longs to make, ‘will speak for themselves.’”—Jean Valentine
“ Sharon Dolin’s Serious Pink is a series of ecstatic ekphrastics, a collaboration with and celebration of visual art. Dolin steps into each painting she references, first obsessed with image and pose, then leaps beyond the frame to enlarge her quirky narratives. In ‘Mistake,’ she writes, ‘The point of interest in any story / is where it goes off the tracks. . . .’ and Dolin indeed takes us to the back of the canvas and the painter’s first strokes. She eats the fruit in the still lives and tells us exactly what she’s tasting. A dazzling, sensuous, and serious book.“—Denise Duhamel
With playful exuberance Sharon Dolin confronts the limits of abstraction in language in three series of poems that celebrate three great twentieth century abstract painters: Richard Diebenkorn, Joan Mitchell, and Howard Hodgkin. The collection also contains “Ode to Color,” a dazzling extended meditation/dialogue with writers and painters on the subject of color.
ISBN 978-0-9906669-3-6 (pbk.) $18.00