Thursday, April 30, 2015

Loving from the Backbone by Catherine Arra

Loving from the Backbone, is a collection of love poems and a little erotica. Catherine Arra's intent in gathering the poems, many of which were scattered throughout various notebooks and journals, is to celebrate the loving of everyday.

Read an in-depth interview about Loving from the Backbone with Catherine Arra conducted by Clare L. Martin, editor of Mockingheart Review here.


Read this lovely review by Michael Dennis of Today's Book of Poetry.

“Pour a glass of wine, cook something delicious, and join Catherine Arra in Loving from the Backbone as the “he” and “she” of her poems fall in and out of love. Pieces such as “Premature Snow,” offer layers of meaning:

‘Suffocating ice has stolen the green
stripped bark and bones.

Can't you see how dawn shivers
and laments this cruel trade

this pre-emptive strike
as if you would not get your dormant due?’

Arra’s pieces are carefully constructed still lifes, minus the “still”; so sensual and alive are the flowers in her garden, the food on her table, and the lust in her bed.”

-Tina Barry, poet

“Arra’s poems—about the food of love—are daring for all the right reasons and
wrought with grace.  Her lovers are: 

‘two scaly backed reptiles
drenched in
green plasma
ancient with fertility.’

-Lisa Mullenneaux, author of Painters and Poets

“What a precious collection of poetry. Catherine Arra’s poems are written with such quiet grace and gentleness that they seem fragile and ethereal. ‘Can’t you see how dawn shivers,’ she writes in “Premature Snow,” but at the point her poems are about to break, we glimpse the passion that burns beneath them.”

-Vuong Quoc Vu, Editor of Perfume River Poetry Review

"This slender volume speaks volumes about love and erotic love, and how much they intertwine with the natural world. The title poem Loving from the Backbone begins: "I love waking with you /two scaly backed reptiles / drenched in green plasma / ancient with fertility /..." This poet understands the great cosmic connection between all things living and dead. In beautiful simple language the poems roll out with the days and nights and seasons. Most highly recommended."

~ Susan Tepper, Writer, Second Chance Books on Facebook

"Catherine Arra’s book of poetry and prose, “Loving from the Backbone” is an eloquent exploration of emotions and relations. Catherine’s words flow like water, sometimes cool and refreshing and sometimes hot and steamy. Anecdotes rich in family and relationships that ring true and familiar, Arra’s narratives will warm your heart and sometimes expose the painful truths of life, love and death. Loving from the Backbone is both romantic and revealing. Buy one for yourself and one for someone dear to you. And I love the cover!"

~ Review from

"I recently discovered this wonderful collection of love poems. There is a strong feminist voice, never strident, but a reminder that love is pure and uncomplicated only in fleeting, rare moments. As the poet says, "When...did I make the rule I could write only sweet when I wrote about you?" Indeed, it is the edginess and occasional anger in the tone that makes these poems so true to women's experience. "One of the Girls" speaks to any woman who has ever felt haunted by a man's past loves. "He Says" recalls the "classic dilemma" of how (or if) a relationship evolves from desire to deeper, more lasting love. The title poem explores the lover's wonder as they journey "with only a God-sense/of our reptilian sex," toward beings who can love "from the backbone at the base of evolved spines." The poems are sensual, luscious, filled with images and sounds from nature--"the swishing of earthworms burrowing in soft sod/the sucking sounds their tubular bodies make." Insightful and delightful....I look forward to reading more from this poet."

~ Review from


Catherine Arra’s poetry has been published in various journals online and in print. Recent work appears in Nine Mile Magazine and The Timberline Review. Red Ochre Literature published her first chapbook, Slamming & Splitting in 2014. She lives in the Hudson Valley in upstate NY. Her interests include hiking, biking, wildlife preservation, photography and yoga.

27 pages, 21 poems

Purchase Loving from the Backbone 

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