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Flowers for the Living: Remembering Solana “Sunny” d’Lamant
November 10, 2018 @ 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Flowers for the Living
Remembering Solana “Sunny” d’Lamant
Saturday, November 10th | 2:00-4:00pm @ The Writer’s Garret (1250 Majesty Dr, Dallas, TX 75247)
The Writer’s Garret invites you to join us for a special memorial reading commemorating the life of Solana “Sunny” Chem-Luz d’Lamant, who passed away in December 2016 after a valiant two-year battle with cancer. Robert J Sadler, Sunny’s friend of eighteen years, presents Flowers for the Living, a posthumous publication of Sunny’s collected works, featuring a foreword by poet Tim Seibles.
A reception with refreshments will begin at 2:00pm. The memorial reading will begin at 3:00pm.
About Solana d’Lamant
Sunny grew up in the border town of El Paso, Texas, situated across the Rio Grande River from Mexico. Born into a family of doctors in this world of bilingualism and dual cultures, the ethics, ethos, and industry of the medical field were as much a part of her daily life as the agrarian and bracero culture of her family’s ranch. Trained from early childhood in a variety of the arts, dance and writing poetry became her fascination.
In a compromise between becoming a doctor or a dancer, Sunny earned a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology and Philosophy from Southern Methodist University, with the intent to earn a doctorate in the discipline. However, her love of dance led her to enroll at Texas Christian University under the tutelage of renowned choreographer Jerry Bywater Cochran, where she earned her Master of Fine Arts in Modern Dance.
In a perpetual state of creative motion, Sunny danced, choreographed, and wrote poetry. She earned her a MFA in Creative Writing from Vermont College. Her graduate thesis, The Effects of Bilingualism on the Effects of Metaphor Selection, received great praise as did her novel in poetic form, It’s a Long Dive, Darlin’. Published in various literary reviews and magazines, she also produced three chapbooks: You Get it by Breathing, Dancing on One Leg While the Other One Signs, and Lost High. Always an active community member, Sunny participated in a variety of civic and corporate boards, including The Writer’s Garret.
About Flowers for the Living
One of life’s most precious gifts is discovery. Sometimes in discovering the voice of another poet, as with encountering a beautiful voice singing, one is compelled to stop, listen, and viscerally enjoy what is being heard. Sunny had such a voice—once you stopped to listen, you were rewarded with singular beauty and depth. Her words sent you out to a different place, and, regardless of the destination, you were grateful to travel there. As Sunny herself would say, “I am not a roadblock. I am the road.” The same may be said of her poetry: there was no impediment, only the journey.
I doubt that Sunny knew exactly how many poems she had written in her lifetime. I have collected the poetry she left with me for safe-keeping, along with additional poems she left on her computer. This collection contains nearly three hundred poems, each of which were born and resided on the pages of her journals until she transcribed them. I feel quite sure there are many more poems that remain hidden there.
I am especially gratified to present this collection of Sunny’s poetry for all of us to enjoy together.
— Robert J Sadler
Praise for Solana d’Lamant
“Solana’s book-length poem, It’s A Long Dive, Darlin’, is a world unto itself that contains all the mysteries and wonders of theater, as well as all the complexities and joys and failures of familial and romantic love. Solana is possessed of an exquisite lyrical gift—one that jumps from high culture to low with great grace. She has a sumptuous ear. Her poems are full of intricate sound patterns and have such a strong musical integrity. Imagistically, her work is a feast.”
— Gillian Conoley
“Solana’s ability to elucidate theoretical concepts with clarity and animation—while at the same time not dumbing down her presentations—ensures her success.”
— David Wojhan
“Solana’s poetry is richly sensual and works by a series of associative leaps. Often it includes an element of the surreal, or what might be called an absolute trust in the unconscious and the images that rise to that surface. When she explores difficult subjects she does so with such linguistic verve that the poems are never grim or self-absorbed. Rather, the poems are richly inclusive—combining levels of inner and outer experience, different languages, and social awareness. There is something rich and intuitive, sensual and spiritual at once in these poems, and a fine risk-taking imagination.
— Betsy Sholl
Excerpt from Tim’s foreword to Flowers for the Living:
“With each poem, we take a step: the words reveal something precise about our daily lives while changing our sense of life by offering us something beautiful, possible, wished for and, perhaps, grieved in the same moment.”
— Tim Seibles, Poet Laureate of Virginia