Edward DiMaio’s newest poetry collection, Germination Point, is filled with gentle musings, reflections on love and life, brutal acts, tragic loss, and betrayal. Each poem is wrapped in layers of rich imagery, making even the most inexplicable topics penetrable and easier to access.

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The collection opens with the inviting and lovely Red Moon:

Red moon rises upon a velvet sky./I make my way from love and into love: Full love, thick with passion.

DiMaio then follows it with Chocolate and a handful of other equally thoughtful and well-crafted works that relax the reader into a sense of ease and connection within a shared humanity. Then the unexpected reader is hit with Gritty, a dedicated poem to James Byrd, Jr., an African-American man brutally murdered in 1998 by being dragged behind a pick-up truck by three white supremacists:

Life finishes where desire is confused and muddled by fear./Once willing, now still, life passes from where it is banished without mercy./Broken men leave bits of their brother’s broken body along a dirt road./They show the world what they see deep within their own eyes.

Gritty is followed by Ashes of Auschwitz where the author echoes the same questions many of us ask about past atrocities and the current abominations that we’re witnessing in our world today: What will be learned?/What will change?

On the heels of these heart-heavy works, DiMaio gingerly hands the reader Heart,

How deep is it buried?/Listen!/It’s calling to you!/Dig, dig till you hear it loud and strong!/Dive under the story./it, bring it into the light!/Breathe life into its mouth, embrace its muddy body, swim it clean

giving the reader the opportunity to cleanse the pallet so they can taste the next delicious morsels that fill the collection.

Reading DiMaio’s Germination Point is like hiking an unfamiliar trail where much of the path is flat and easy, interspersed with steep and treacherous climbs that leave your lungs burning and your legs shaky. But like all challenges in life, once you reach the top, the view is priceless. DiMaio’s collection does what all good art should do, it opens the mind and heart just a bit more, allowing much needed light to seep inside where true growth lives.

Lisa Heidle, Author; Writer & Editor

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