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Carousel (Melinda Cochran International Publishing, 2015)

Reviewed by Kristen D. Scott

 

 

            Gina Nemo´s new collection of poetry Carousel (Melinda Cochrane International, 2015) houses lines that reminds its readers of the disappearing classical era of verse. With writers such as Sara Teasdale, Dorothy Parker, Robert Herrick, and Dickenson fading with the Beat Generation, in Gina Nemo´s Carousel this waning lyrical form of verse resurrects. Nemo gives breath to traditional rhyme that sings off the pages from the beginning lines in “Floral Dreams:”

                      I close my eyes

                      And remember

                      Those times

                      When I found

                      A treasure

                      And didn’t

                      Measure

                      What it meant

                      Or what it

                      Was worth

                      I just held it

                      Inside my heart

                      Like a child

                      With a

                      Lovely flower

                      In her hand

                      (1-16)

 

            In Nemo´s classical verse form there is something intoxicatingly fresh that awakens from the first section titled Spinning to the second section Flying. She manages to bring new tropes that progress as the speaker emotionally progresses from naïveté to savoir-faire with images of “wings, “sprouts,” “flowers,”and even other planets:

                      Oneness tempts her soul

                      Like a warm wind just flows

                      Where do the days keep going?

                      Love and flowers are still growing

                      (“Stillness” 5-8)

 

            It is both growth and clarity that are at the heart of Carousel, growth in wisdom

 

from life lessons, emotional pain, loss, lovers, and life’s toils:

 

                      (…) Her flowers they keep losing leaves

                      A thread alive inside her sleeves

                      Life is not like what she sees

                      It’s honey poisoning the bees

                      It’s dew falling off the trees

                      (“Creeping In” 16-20)

 

            Gina Nemo successfully brings freshness to classical verse in this collection;

 

however, Carousel is not only classical, but classy in image, rhythm, and rhyme:

 

                      We are wind

                      Inside our minds

                      Free as the birds

                      Owning the sky.

                      (“We Are Wind” 16-19)

 

            Carousel (Melinda Cochrane International, 2015) from writer Gina Nemo is a ride that takes its readers from Spinning to Flying, and does so with musicality and old-world charm and style.

Kristen D. Scott  is a nominee of the Pushcart Prize in poetry for five works from her 2014 collection OPIATE. She is  an award-winning essayist for her work on Federico Garcia Lorca and his books the Divan del Tamarit, Poet of the Deep Song, and essay, "The Duende."

 

She has published in several anthologies, newspapers, and ezines, including the San Diego Poetry Annuals, Nomos Review, Perigee, Alesbuyia, and published two poetry collection from Garden Oak Press; LIAISONS (2012) and OPIATE (2014). She has been translated into Arabic, Albanian, Türçe and Bengali. Recently, her work appeared in Nacional an Albanian newspaper (translated by Laureta Peshoti), and she was featured poet in MeArteka (May, 2015) where she had several poems translated into Albanian as well. Her new and selected poems are forthcoming from Garden Oak Press in 2016.

 

Scott is currently the Editor-In-Chief, founder, and web designer of KNOT Magazine, holds an MFA in Creative Writing, MA in English Literature, and is progressing with her Ph.D in Global Education and Comparative Literature.

 

Originally from Colorado, Scott has resides on the Riviera in Türkiye, where she has lived for several years.

Gina Nemo (Poet, Writer, Speaker, Singer, Actress, Director, Producer) was born in New York and raised in Los Angeles, California. She performed on stage and in television commercials since she was 4 years old. She is best known for her music career and her award-winning role as Dorothy Pezzino in the television series, “21 Jump Street” in which an Emmy was presented to her by the late Bob Hope. Her father was the famous late jazz musician and composer Henry Nemo who came to prominence in the 1940’s and who had many hits in the Jazz era.

 

Gina began her career in the music business singing at Stepping Tone Records, an Indie Label in Hollywood.  She loves to sing and performed in many musicals in the Los Angeles area in the 80’s and 90’s. In the early days, she performed in many television shows and holiday specials with Dick Clark, Maury Amsterdam and Tim Conway and was also the lead girl in Air Supply’s video Power Of Love in the 80’s. In the early 90’s she formed the band “22 Nemo” performing concerts in the Hollywood area along the sunset strip and at private functions.  She originally produced an album for an Indie Label in Buffalo, New York but it was never released.  In 1999 she produced and released the alternative pop/rock album Plastic Wonderland on her own Indie Label, Omen Records. Many of the songs from this album found their way into indie films and promotional campaigns for the television show Stargate SG-1.  Her next musical venture was Waiting, an EP recorded in the UK (2009) and then Cicada, an electronica dance music album released by G Plan Music, G Plan Media in 2014.

 

Gina went on to become a marketing executive for the major music labels Universal Records and Sony/Epic in the 90’s, launching the careers of major artists. She eventually became an independent public relations/marketing company for musical artists, music labels, entertainment companies and small businesses.  She is a Singer, Writer, Director, Producer and Marketing Consultant for her production company.

 

She is currently producing music and releasing albums for independent artists on her G Plan Music label (a subsidiary of G Plan Media) and also producing a documentary about poetry. G Plan produces commercials, television marketing campaigns, television pilots and documentaries. Her other production company that she co-owns has produced various campaigns for Sony Corp, advertising promos and television pilots for television networks and film companies.

 

Carousel was released in March 2015. Other poetry books that have been released are her poetry books Strings (2013) and Scarlet (2014) on MCI in Canada.  Poetry audio releases “Swoop” and “Strings” were released on G Plan Music, G Plan Media and her upcoming poetry audio release “Serenade” will be out soon.

 

Updates on current projects can be found at: www.ginanemo.com and at www.gplanmedia.com