"Lyric...evocative...graceful...poignant."

— Nadia Colburn, author of The High Shelf

The poems in Monica Lynn Manoski's sisters in this ritual weave an esoteric spell for close relationships and healing. In black and white photography and verse, this collection calls out—in Rumi-like fashion—to the ecstatic other—a dear friend, the coastal New England landscape, and creation itself. Its lush language alchemically transforms an experience into art, "black as charcoal / white like snow / iridescent metallic spill / yellow feather glow / like red blood." These poems—created during a hybrid artist's residency, which involved seasonal escapes to Cape Ann, MA with her best friend—rise from the primal, mythic dust, are watered at the ocean's edge, and ethereally wander the earth as the boundaries between self and other dissolve. 

"We come and go / our bodies covered in holes / through which rivers flow / if we're open / we recede deeper / into what we become." Indeed, Manoski's words open and pour through the reader so that we, too, share these sister-friends' "skin hunger" for the healing earth—its sacred ash, cleansing waters, and pneumatic breath. When the seaside journey ends, we long to return to these pages, which serve as relics of a profound experience. We find ourselves—along with the poet and her companion—drawn into relationship, transformed, and "wearing the secrets of this place all over our hands."

—Tell Tell Poetry

About the Author

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Artist, Poet, Reiki Practitioner, Non-Profit Leader

Monica Lynn Manoski is an artist, Reiki practitioner, and poet. In her creative practices, she wears many hats, including event organizer, family advocate, spoken word performer, and healer. She believes democratizing art and wellness empowers individuals and strengthens communities.

Originally from Munster, IN, Monica earned a B.F.A. in Drawing and Painting from Arizona State University (2010), an M.F.A. in Studio Art from Tufts University and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts (2013), and an M.S.Ed. in Early Childhood Education from Dominican University (2016). She completed her Master Reiki certification at the Northeast Reiki Center in Framingham, MA (2019).

Monica has spent her career working as an educator and fundraiser for non-profit organizations, including Teach For America in Chicago and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. She currently lives in Boston and serves as the Executive Director of the Essex Art Center in Lawrence, MA.

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