Donna J. Gelagotis Lee

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Donna J. Gelagotis Lee’s On the Altar of Greece actually does place its reader before, or on, an elevated place where the ceremony of everyday sublime life in Greece plays out. Without resorting to prefabricated classical references we’ve already heard to the nth, she includes us totally in everything she experiences and sharply senses there, the orange-turned-yellow air, corners of walls, the shaded grove of stone men, the dark beach, a thread through looped thread, Poseidon cracking a wave, goat bells, 'the speech unfolding / that flung dice against the white walls / until they wore eyes.’ Then, as important, there’s the undertow of her subtle and deft suggestions of how the people in these scenes relate, and of the intriguingly close connection she herself has to them. Ms. Lee shows us a new, vivid, freshly layered world inside an ancient and long-known one. With her eyes, strong mind and solidly classical style of picturing in new terms this historical place turned myth turned 'real’ again, the journey of our time at this altar offers us a striking, immense set of views of a world we thought we knew, and still, wonderfully, do know in much richer ways by the end. —Don Berger, Judge of the 2005 Gival Press Poetry Award, Poet Laureate of Takoma Park, Maryland, and author of Quality Hill and The Cream-Filled Muse


Advance Praise:  Molly Peacock  Dean Kostos


Donna J. Gelagotis Lee earned a B.A., cum laude, in English and creative writing from Sweet Briar College, where she was a Davison-Foreman scholar. She lived in Athens, Greece, for many years. Her poetry has appeared in numerous literary and scholarly publications, including The Bitter Oleander, CALYX: A Journal of Art and Literature by Women, Feminist Studies, Jacket, The Massachusetts Review, and Women’s Studies Quarterly





On the Altar of Greece (Gival Press, 2006)

Winner of the Seventh Annual Gival Press Poetry Award

Recipient of a 2007 Eric Hoffer Book Award: Notable for Art Category

Nominated for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Poetry 




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