White Summer

Joelle Biele
MFA, 1993
Southern Illinois University Press, 2002

In White Summer, Joelle Biele investigates the problems of personal and cultural memory. Rich with images of flight and displacement, Biele’s poems show a love for words, their music and physicality. In lyric addresses, historical meditations, and autobiographical narratives, she takes readers on a journey that includes stops at a dinner party in ancient Rome, a market square in Germany, an Italian feast in the Bronx, and the main concourse of Manhattan’s Grand Central Station. She shows a sharp eye for the telling detail whether she is studying the migrations of birds or sketching portraits of people wishing to escape the confines of their lives. Throughout her first collection, Biele reveals and revels in the power of language to shape and create experience.