The coast has always been a place of beauty and healing for Ann. The salt air blows away the details of her daily life, and the rhythm of the waves soothes something deep inside her. Ann’s mother passed away in 2007 after 14 years of living with Alzheimer’s. During a series of retreats at the beach, Ann found the time to embrace memories of her mother and discover herself again. This collection shares the story of her journey from grief to joy.
Reading Ann Campanella's The Beach Poems is like pressing a conch shell to one's ear and listening to the sound of waves. Whether "simply/lying side by side on towels/sharing the sea," exploring the lonely landscape of grief and loss, or reveling in the healing power of "a scatter of shells at mid-tide" and the "tiny chirrup of a seabird," we find ourselves, in the end, "salt-streaked,/holding tight to our buckets/of treasure," which will forever include this tender, multilayered, and deeply moving collection.
- Terri Kirby Erickson, author of Becoming the Blue Heron
The Beach Poems by Ann Campanella is a collection of poems that offers readers the opportunity to remember the past and find a way to make peace with it. The book's introduction explains how and why Ann Campanella wrote these beautiful poems and is in itself an inspiring and poignant part of the book. Each poem displays raw emotion that is capable of reaching out of the page and moving you to tears. These poems are somehow able to transport you to your own moments of wounding, and offer comfort and healing in that hurtful place. The experiences, people, situations, and places may be different, but the message and release in each individual poem are relatable to the reader’s own story. Find a quiet place, sit and relax, and enjoy.
Ann Campanella gives us beautifully written poetry in her own unique, free-flowing style. The language skills and word pictures are simple yet powerful in their ability to express emotions through the written word. Ann Campanella’s poetry may reach into some painful areas of your life, but they will also bring a calm and serenity to the situation. Ann’s poems are thought provoking and introspective, taking us on an emotional journey. The style and tone of this poetry reminds me of some of Rod McKuen's work. Read aloud with a music backdrop, this would make a beautiful recording. If I could only choose one of these well-written, exquisitely descriptive poems, I would choose “Water.” I am glad that I don’t have to choose only one. Beautifully written, and very moving and inspiring.
- Deborah Stone, Reviewer for Readers’ Favorite
The Beach Poems was awarded a 5-star review!
I love how Ann Campanella, in her wonderful new book of poems, The Beach Poems, locates not only herself, but all of us, “at the edge / of the earth / face down,” supplicant to the whim of locus, beneath a “blue belt of sky.” In beautiful, dire language, she conjures a beckoning sea that is the vessel of her sojourn on earth, a vast ever-shifting crucible of memory. At the very heart of these poems is the speaker’s mother, who is also the Mother of the Muse, wellspring, archetype, mythologized in one lyric, elegiac vision after another, tethering the speaker in the relentless tide of memory – what it replenishes, what it spirits off. These are soulful, contemplative poems about discovering – often at great cost – peace and purchase, “a seam of light on the horizon.”
- Joseph Bathanti, North Carolina Poet Laureate, 2012-14
The Beach Poems by Ann Campanella is not only a beautiful book, it is a redemptive book, centering on the mysterious spiritual power of the sea itself leading the soul to find itself again after a long period dominated by duty and restraint. In addition to the sea, two wonderful figures—the ever present, nurturing mother and the imaginative, dancing, miraculous daughter—dominate the book, their presence reminding us that in the midst of tragedy, life renews itself daily through things as simple as a walk on the shore, the picking up of a shell, the rhythm of the retreating waves, the opening of the heart.
-Anthony Abbott, author of The Angel Dialogues