Reading How to Disappear, I have the sense of someone tearing the past apart and rebuilding with naked raw hands. Claudia Reder is a story teller and this book is her lyrical gift to us, poems of growing up in the teeming city with the complex women who shaped her—immigrant grandmother and mother whose rich mix of languages turned the struggling young girl into a poet who survives to tell their stories. “The list of ghosts / who, no matter where I wander,/ who I marry, / who as mother, wife and sister, / haunt me still.” These full to bursting poems recreate large, unavoidable terrors and the seemingly small but necessary moments of joy that make art an act of love. They constantly go farther, go deeper with language that is wildly alive, informed by erudite and whimsical exuberance. How to Disappear is a splendid book, serious, poetically authentic, spiritually discerning. As I read it, I keep thinking, “This is why I love poetry.”


Mary Kay Rummel, 

Former poet laureate of Ventura County

Author of numerous books, including Cypher Garden, The Lifeline Trembles, and What’s Left is the Singing

Cover art: by Daniel S. Reder

Colette Inez, Awards Judge

Paul Pines

    Ron Wallace

Claudia M. Reder's poem "Photograph" asks "how to translate these fragments into a whole story," and in her chapbook Uncertain Earth proceeds to do just that, with warmth, humor and nostalgia. She brings her mother to America through their visit to Ellis Island. They take off like Chagall figures in "To the Post on the Roof.» When she visits her mother in a nursing home, they age together. By turns rueful and compassionate, with a touch of magic realism, Reder gathers her mother's life, and pours the prickly love that is the legacy she leaves her daughter, into a series of poems filled with the meaningful objects of their lives lived together and apart, vivid colors, umbrellas and uncles, sisters and jewels, and always, stories.

Florence Weinberger, author of numerous poetry collections, including Carnal Fragrance (Red Hen Press) and Sacred Graffiti (Tebot Bach Press)

Reder takes us on a journey of memory that enchants and disenchants in equal measures as she reflects on the life of her Latvian mother. In this collection, Reder returns to tradition, fusing language and wisdom from the Hall of Remembrance as she reflects on the circumstances of her mother's tragedy. In meditative verses Reder lays her grief bare; candles swiftly burn to ash...mother returns in a cloud of steam, and yet, her grief does not weigh us down. Reder's grace of language moves and compels us, as the images of her mother wait in our memories like the soft scent of orange peels.

Michal Mahgerefteh, Poetry Editor and Publisher, Poetica:

Contemporary Jewish Writing and Art

Cover art by Amy F. Scott

from Finishing Line Press, 

Selected Anthologies

from Holy Cow! Press. This book has been successfully used in workshops about 'home.'   Link: 

Anthologies from Blue Light Press, Director, Diane Frank.  To purchase these books go here: