Jackson-Feild Homes was honored to have Angela M. Carter serve as Gwaltney School ‘s 2015 commencement speaker. Her message came from her heart and resonated with our youngsters. It was a message of hope in spite of trials and tribulations and how to address and overcome obstacles and adversity. Our graduates and students who have experienced hardships and extremely difficult situations identified with Ms. Carter’s story and she was e a role model which they can emulate. We are very thankful for her time and kindness in serving in this capacity. We extend our best wishes for much success and happiness in the future.
VP of Advancement
Angela M. Carter is an incredibly dynamic and powerful presence in the classroom. She riveted the students in a SOC 334 Gender and Sexualities Studies course I teach at Bridgewater College for a solid hour with her combination of inspiring poetry and insightful commentary. The energy in the room was electric and her visit reinforced for the students the importance of art as an effective vehicle for social change. I wholeheartedly recommend her for appearances/readings in any academic/public venue.
-David L. Reznik, Ph.D.
As MC for Poetry and Literature Night at Rapunzel’s Books and Coffee, I am always looking for dynamic poets and writers to headline our future evenings. Within seconds of Angela Carter’s walking on stage to read during the ‘Open Mic’ segment of our night; I knew I had found one. She delivers with grace and directness, humor and strength the metamorphic rise out of her difficult beginnings. The audience listened with reverence punctuated with enthusiastic affirmations of applause, with some ululation thrown in.Near stranger that I am, her public voice, and my later private reading of her book, makes me want to crow in a kind of surrogate mother’s pride, “Yes! Yes!”
In delight and awe,
Featured on Danielle Campbell Photography’s blog. November 2014.
Angela featured on London-based blog by Fantastical Dom, June 2014.
Angela M. Carter’s January 2014 performance was featured on the I Love My Burg blog.
Angela M. Carter, featured on Local Love Blog Story
I was so moved by your poetry reading at Allen Chapel yesterday. I can’t wait to buy your book. I spoke to you after the program yesterday and have had you on my mind ever since. I feel in my heart that you are a very special person and you have so much to share with the world.
Angela’s book, Memory Chose a Woman’s Body, will be out very soon from Unbound CONTENT. A confessional poet, Angela’s work is sometimes dark and disturbing, but always bold. Still she managed to end on an upbeat note! (View post)
–Clifford Garstang, author of What the Zhang Boys Knew
PANK book review. January 15, 2015.
“Angela M. Carter’s Memory Chose A Woman’s Body may be unflinchingly honest, but it is also a testament to what that honesty can do when honed with a lyric, supple tongue. Carter’s first collection will reach out to you with its clear intensity, its compounded sadness, and its grounded images. It is viscerally dense, a kind of recollected image that you feel in your gut. “
Featured on Julian Callo’s book review blog: Interview and book review. December 31, 2014.
“These works also speak to how important events in one’s childhood can permanently etch themselves into a person’s being; how crucial these formative years actually are for all of us, how destructive silence can be and in the end how art can be a powerful redemptive force in one’s life.” -Julian Callo
Review by Mark Fogarty for At the Inkwell:
It’s nice when a book of poems has an effective throughline. These can be done in any number of ways but I like the way Angela M. Carter does it in Memory Chose a Woman’s Body. From the second poem in her collection, “On the Loose,” to the last poem, “Woman Child,” there is an emphasis over and over again on skin.
Shedding skin, skinned knees, skin as a “dirty plain”, a snakeskin, skin as a commodity to be sold by a prostitute, tough skin, cigarette skin, a tattoo, past skin, skin below the eyes, skin being formed, skin as a covering for cold meat, skin to be protected: the cumulative effect is quite visceral, suggesting both a protective cover and the horror of being flayed.
And they make collective sense, since it is skin that covers the “Woman’s Body” of the title, and skin that ultimately protects that body from the horror and long aftermath of sexual abuse.
Memory Chose a Woman’s Body is a loosely framed narrative of those events. It’s not an easy read, but it is a satisfying one. It is full of what Williams Carlos Williams called “live language” and steers remarkably clear of clichés. The live language consists of one startling image after another, a verbal liberation from the dead language of abuse.
So there’s a self-description of the author as “a meaty doll with stolen underwear.” And there is sex, described as a search party. And “machine gun band aids.” And a fence like a wedding dress. Melancholy as a derby hat. Voices “boxing to be heard over one another’s.” Canoes created by cigarette papers. Sanity as a washing machine. An “unpainted heart”.
The actual abuse isn’t rendered very graphically, but the pall of it runs through the author’s life like the background buzz of the universe. “The rotten fist of a man on my breast” comes after the author realizes that she carries the scent of prey. Alienation, depression, lack of self-esteem, happy pills and a stay in a hospital all were the result.
Carter credits poetry with saving her life, and I’m going to credit that as deep truth and not being trite. She goes out of the book as a survivor, with a heart that protects that skin, even if it is tissue-thin.
But I find a brilliant summing up poem a few pages earlier, in the poem “Sweetly,” as the narrator wonders “what color my children’s eyes would be.” She dreams of handwritten letters from a secret admirer “with black hair and safe eyes.” All poets dream of the sweet life; few are able to articulate it so clearly and concisely.
Reviews of Memoir Writing
Angela, there was so much of your story I could relate to. Thank you so much for sharing, and I hope YOU see how brave you really are. It takes incredible courage to keep fighting the effects of abuse day after day; but I think, like you, I have experienced powerful healing through writing my story, and sharing it with others. There is amazing gratification knowing that I made someone feel less alone, and understood – perhaps for the first time. Every time you share your story, you’re reaching someone, encouraging someone, moving someone to break their silence. THANK YOU! You’re a true warrior, and are living such an awesome example of strength to your beautiful kids. My daughters were my inspiration to fight; I needed to break the chain of abuse that ran through far too many past generations. Seeing my girls’ confidence today, and their understanding of what I was fighting for, makes every painful moment of healing worth it. Keep sharing, Angela! You’re truly making a difference in the world. XO
–Author Juanima Hiatt
Angela–I cried when I read your words and I thank you for writing in such a clear voice. I felt as if I could feel your pain, even though our life experiences are not at all similar; your story is one that should touch every woman who reads about it or hears about it and the message needs to spread that words have the power to heal a lot of different types of wounds, including emotional ones that can’t be seen by the naked eye. Thank you again for allowing us to read your story.
Well done Angela. Speaking in such a clear voice will not only give confidence to those in a similar situation that they can survive and win, but will help others understand the issues and have more sympathy with those who suffer.
You’re a very brave lady and I hope your books a major success.
Your testimony is very helpful to all kinds of suffering. We must:” fight the good fight”. The following words you write are so true:
“Sometimes it takes us a while to end up where we need to be.”
If only we could meet people like you, to bring us there!
Thanks for sharing your victory! All the best.
–Carol (last name not given)
Your strength and beauty shines forth in your story. You are an inspiration. I wish you oceans of blessings in the days to come.
© 2015 Angela M. Carter