Allegra Silberstein

Allegra was born in the middle of a blizzard on a farm in Wisconsin. Her Norwegian ancestors had by-passed the flat prairie land and settled in the coulees and hills of the non-glaciated area near the Mississippi River. Love of poetry began as a child when her Mom would recite poems as she worked. She has lived in California since 1963 but her growing years on the farm brought a deep appreciation for the natural world that stays with her and sustains her.

She has been widely published in journals and in several anthologies. Her chapbooks include "Acceptance" by Small Poetry Press, "In the Folds" by Rattlesnake Review and "Through Sun-glinting Particles" published 2012 by Parallel Press in Madison, Wisconsin. In March of 2010 she was honored to become the first Poet Laureate for the city of Davis, CA. She also performs there with Pamela Trokanski’s Third Stage Dance Company and sings and plays washboard with a group called Front Porch Bluegrass.


106pp. +  Soft Cover.  Perfect Bound. 6" x 9". 
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Though the clocks are ticking throughout this book, Allegra Silberstein orchestrates them into “the cricket’s ballad/ the lark’s canticle// a blue sky ringing/ above the garden wall.” Like her poetic ancestor Ruth Stone, Silberstein confronts the hard realities and the fleet- ing joys with a rare exuberance and vitality, striking a balance between the contemplative and a voracious poet-speaker whose ‘companion is wolf’— a “wild child, beguiled child ...intent on the music she hears…” Yes, there is an extraordinary savor to the poems in West of Angels: Every second is sacred; every syllable counts.
                                                                 Susan Kelly-DeWitt Writer/Poet


Like some of the characters in this marvelous new book, West of Angels, beloved and perceptive Davis Poet Laureate Emerita Allegra Silberstein speaks “in hushed temple voices of ordinary things” and makes the quotidian awaken and enliven, like one poem’s “gigantic petrified eggs . . . hatching in golden shadows.” The Silberstein voice is recep- tive to the offerings of nature, from the “lacework lichens on an altar of fallen limbs,” to the “murmurations of light that move / through maple leaves golden red in the winter sun.” Compelled to “speak the tender of [her] thoughts,” Silberstein explores discoveries made possible by an alert and sympathetic imagination, she recounts generous insights about the human spirit, and she “mirrors with perfect clarity” the specific and chromatic variety of the natural world. Silberstein’s writing reminds us why, as one poem’s title tells us, “there are so many reasons for singing,” and each of these patient and accessible songs rewards the reader and speaker innumerably. With West of Angels, Silberstein reminds us all why she is so widely welcomed and appreciated by event hosts, editors, and anthologists alike.
                                       Dr. Andy Jones Poet Laureate, Davis, CA