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Sabne Raznik is an internationally published poet, a former community theatre actress, and an award-winning artist with three full-length poetry collections - Following Hope, Linger to Look, and Rabbit Hole. She also released a collection of artworks titled Renaissance: Visual Art 2005 - 2019. Her e-chapbook - Dreaming of Bono - is available from VoiceLux (2022). In 2023, a bilingual selected poems was released, Fingers: Selected Poems/Dedos: Poemas Seleccionados. She founded and co-edits AvantAppal(achia) ezine. Raznik believes herself to be a supranational poet, in that she feels the arts transcend manmade boundaries. In view of that, her effort as part of the Appalachian Renaissance is to break stereotypes and showcase Appalachian poetry as a living part of the world-wide literary scene, as well as to encourage the underrepresented but thriving Appalachian avant-garde in the global context.
Fingers: Selected Poems/Dedos: Poemas Seleccionados
Sabne Raznik’s latest collection of poetry Fingers, Selected Poems / Dedos, Poemas Seleccionados contains four powerfully emotive poems (“The Bearded Prophet,” “Poetry,” “Through Our Skin,” and “Fingers”). The English original of each poem is followed by an illustration and then by a Spanish translation by María Del Castillo Sucerquia. It concludes with a photo of the author followed by a one-paragraph biography in English and then its Spanish translation. The four poems are extremely different thematically and make use of different poetic languages. The common denominator between them is an underlying existential anxiety resulting from the inability of human beings collectively to understand each other and set aside greed and self-interest, and individually, in the case of the poet, to find consummation in love, and to discover the language in words and images to capture and communicate the essence of her experience. The poet notes in “Bearded Prophet,” she finds herself in “the era of pain -stampeding pain,” one which paradoxically leads her to identify with the “dumb hillbilly,” the bearded prophet who wears a sign that says “The End of the World Is Near.” Impending doom is suggested by images of the destruction of the environment, the open gashes of Appalachian strip mines, trees stripped bear of life to a height of eight feet by herbicide, and the violent midwestern storms intensified by climate change. “Poetry,” the most abstract of the four poems, prescribes in the form of a series of commands (“arm yourself, “leave the figure,” “Virgin love grow bold” which do not lead to consummation; they prove impotent. “Through the Skin” evokes the locus of creativity, where books, and papers, paint and turpentine are present on a table along with cup and saucer, the place where the written word and the painted image are crafted. The poem leaves the reader with a sense of a purpose shared by the “us” of the poem: “to sketch an idea to live by.” The last poem “Fingers” evokes images of a painful, repeated sexual encounter described as a violation, “like cactus thorns raking down my shapeless lines,” but the violation seems not to result from the violent impulse of the other, rather from the inability of the speaking subject to make good on the promise to the self with the words “Never again, never again.” The four poems are satisfying both as individual compositions and as panels of a multi-media whole. – Yndiana Montes Fogelquist and Jim Fogelquist, Appalachian Latinidad.
Fingers/Dedos is a powerful chapbook with 4 elaborate poems in English, with the same poems being translated into Spanish. The poetry captures strong images and emotions: "You sat cross-legged in the grass/And the earth framed your face." I was pulled into these poems and transformed into a cocoon waiting to be released into something with such fingers that would "Feel the bone crack,/Grind against my teeth/As I scream [...]" and become new in the aftermath. – John Compton, the castration of a minor god and how we liberated what secrets we modified
Dreaming of Bono
A little girl, a young lady, and a mature woman walk into a bar and order a pint of Guinness. Only the mature woman leaves.
Because "hope has wings" and only the mature woman has the experience enough to manipulate "the sadness in our will : the courage of noble righteous doomed, who defy and defy ... because we must, if only for those who lack the strength to fight". Because, as I told you, "she's lived more than you'll ever read".
The collection is a taste of mental growth in action, weaving dreams, reality and over the top stardom into a father figure only to outgrow him in the most superlative way.
A carry in your pocket lifting of burdens to peruse over and over again. Why? Because "hope" is making a ruckus to get your attention! -- Marica, Artist
Sabne has some beautiful poems and a heart that is open to the process needed to make them. She has the "shine" as Stephen King would say and in a good way. There is an extra spirit level perception involved, a supernatural openness to receiving from Heaven that Sabne carries within herself and a grace that each of her poems relate very well. Sabne's poems are like secrets from an old friend spoken as "heartsongs", they draw you in and keep your attention. -- T. Byron Kelly, Project End of Days and Poems of the Infinite Dream
Renaissance: Visual Art 2005-2019
Renaissance is an emotional collection of work. Sabne Raznik’s pieces present the human experience in a thought-provoking and abstract way through body shapes and delicate hues. A mix of digital and traditional media, Raznik’s work is compelling in a way that makes the viewer’s eyes want to linger - taking all the details in. The traditional drawings of the Salome Series capture movement and exotic femininity with only the use of line and simple shading, while mixed media pieces like Beautiful Tatters find beauty in the mundane or unusual, like a scrap of paper soaked in wine. Raznik’s digital paintings feel like one is looking at a human emotion depicted in soft fields of color. Raznik is well known for her written word, but is proving herself to be quite the visual storyteller as well. This body of work is an excellent addition to any collection.-- Erin Alise Conley, Mixed Media Artist, Host of Weird Appalachia Podcast
I want the reader to imagine a dream, a dream of the sort that is not quite a nightmare where the dreamer wakes in terror but rather a dream where the dreamer is led on from curiosity to curiosity, image to image, and, confused perhaps but no less surprised by the images, wakes with a head scratch and begins the day, thinking about the world as a much stranger place than when the reader laid down to sleep ... [In the poems where the language is more] extreme . . . the deconstruction of language . . . [mirrors] the shattered state of language today and the impossibility to understand discourse of any kind anymore. It is as if language itself is designed to disguise meaning rather than convey it. -- George Fillingham
Linger to Look
The over-arching themes of Linger to Look seem to be desire, belonging, transformation, and loss. Many of the poems are spoken in the voice of a woman who longs to dance and break free from the bonds that tether her to dusty reality. Horse, bird, water, and stone images abound. Musical use of language led me to finally read many of the poems aloud to myself to further experience the poet’s skill with sound. Linger To Look ... is a dance of musical language and metaphysical imagery, swirling in experimentation and shimmering in the jingling of human heart. -- Roberta Shultz, Braver Self
A lovely, heartbreaking handmade chapbook ... poems that emerge from a deep place of suffering and anguish. -- Yon Walls, SpicyLetter.net
Raznik is an artist. The picture is so beautifully drawn through words; I was carried away as if I were looking down the hospital hallway watching this unfold. Good writing stirs emotion and emotion is concentrated in these 15 pages. The best things come in small packages. -- JohnLeeReviews.com
Although it may be a difficult read, it is loving, it is touching, it is truth, it tells the story of all who are afflicted with cancer and of those who love and care for someone with this monstrous disease. The author’s heart is in every word. There is no other writing which can reach inside and touch you more deeply. --Renee Robinson
The language is haunting; in fact the entire book reads like a haunted, lyrical, warm, violent, wounded love-poem in which togetherness and a chilly gulf of separation vie with each other, and hurt is inseparable from loving passion. This leads to a situation where warm intimacy and icy distance assess as they embrace. ... This book doesn't really get laid aside; it walks the streets of Dublin with me. -- Brendan Kennelly
Raznik's poems are fantastic. I was ready to go up and set fire to all my attempts. -- Sally Adkins
A collection preoccupied with the visual: glitter, dazzle, kinetic energy. ... There are fine phrases scattered throughout: "Experience is a changeling", "water coloured smiles and gypsy-clad/ habits", "A leather-clad, muted blue star" (Valhalla: blue) "Crowded streets of baked rain" (Une Ville), "the certainty of ships" (Fingers). There's a real commitment and dedication to language in this first collection that promises much for the future. --Kit Fryatt
Raznik’s writing is deep and colorful and reminds me of an expressionist painting or perhaps like a Picasso showing multiple dimensions and perspectives simultaneously of the same topic - each phrase is like a brush stroke of rich pigment. -- Claudia Duffee
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