Meet Alissa – that’s me. I write and practice law in Cincinnati, Ohio. My poetry has been published by Sheila-Na-Gig Online, Black Moon Magazine, Change Seven, Quiet Diamonds, Main Street Rag, Evening Street Review, Hags on Fire, Stone Canoe, But There Was Fire, and elsewhere.
Exciting news – my debut chapbook, Beyond the Dawn, will be here in September of 2023. This book of poems takes you on a journey with the newly weds from their windswept honeymoon, to unsettled domesticity. Each poem brings you a surprise and you will want to tear them out and send them with your love letters.
Coming up in quick succession are three more chapbooks: I See Them Now (January 2024),
Moon Landing Day (June 2024), and
Cupcake Day (December 2024).
Beyond the Dawn, Alissa Sammarco’s debut poetry collection, reads like a novella-in-verse. In brief, image-based poems she shows the trajectory of a relationship, from windswept abandon to an uneasy domesticity where, “Not a word slips between tongue and teeth, / only sips of coffee, like the T-shirt in which you sleep, now ragged.” Alissa brings her story alive in these musical, well-drawn poems of love and loss.
In poems as picturesque as any postcard you could send, Alissa Sammarco invites us to a love story in short poems that are tactile and dexterous. These poems make you feel as if they have been dashed off in the breathless haste of arriving and departing. They are a honeymoon, a morning in a beloved coffee shop, a kiss. You can read this collection of poems over or over, but I think they would love to be ripped out and sent around the world.
A Longing That Lasts: A Review of Beyond the Dawn
A new book of fine lyric poetry is always a cause for rejoicing. Poems express an intense and personal view of the world, a view not seen before, and thus the world is illuminated as never before.
Alissa Sammarco’s book, Beyond the Dawn, is such a book of fine lyric poetry, one which shows us love in a new way. In “Traveling Together” the contrast of practical things in one suitcase and sparkles in another reveals a love hopeful and possibly doomed. That love might thrive in Belize, “where the rain comes and goes/ it comes and goes’ to show the sweet dailiness of love. In that love, the lovers dance, kissing as they touch their “mouths in time” kisses that become “kisses in the night/ soft whispers on my skin.”
But love can be full of “beautiful things/ you say to me/ in the hours/ when the dark is dark,” but with dawn “fade/ like shadows” as if there is no hope of love lasting beyond early dreams. And yet Sammarco’s tender depiction of love includes gin martinis that “put clouds in my eyes/ that drifted between your fingers / and my skin.” There is the “bourbon on your tongue [that] tastes sweet like Christmas oranges” and “kisses on my arms/ my legs/ soft against the lids of my eyes/and when I wake/ I will have wings.”
In Beyond the Dawn Sammarco reveals love as tentative, tender, erotic, and enduring. She shows us how love can be a force for the sweetest and most powerful metamorphosis from a mere person to a beloved.
Alissa Sammarco´s poetry has a simple and particular beauty, the beauty we can find in a smile, a tear or one of Chopin´s nocturnes. It is at times conversational, but it always has a spark both magical and poetic. Like some great poets, she has the ability to turn the ordinary into unique and is able to communicate the complex human emotions in straight forward free verse. Love is at the center of her work, and with love comes acceptance and beauty. In Alissa´s poems there is always something unexpected, a turn that keeps us on our toes, engaged as reader and ready to enjoy the beauty of poetry.