Carnegie Mellon University
June 03, 2015

Gay Giordano (CW ’82) Debuts Poetry Collection

Gay Giordano (CW ’82) Debuts Poetry Collection

Gay Giordano recently published her first poetry collection of dreamlike poems, "Waking From So Rich A Nightmare."

“It is a homage to the lost and sad people I see, read about, and find in literature,” said Giordano who graduated with a B.A. in creative writing in 1982. “I grew up in New York City and walked in and around these stories all my life.”

Giordano said these sad stories from her childhood still haunt her to this day. For instance, before she could play in the playground sandbox across the street from her apartment, Giordano’s mother used a cat litter scooper to dig hypodermic needles out of it.

Giordano wonders, “What were the nights like right across the street from our comfy, little lives?”

It’s memories like this one that inspired her to write “Waking From So Rich a Nightmare.”

Giordano’s book also intertwines the excitement she felt about “nature” when she moved to the Bahamas from her hometown of New York City – where her only exposure to nature was Central Park.

“I always knew I had to find a way to intertwine them and see them from inside myself – not as an observer of myself,” said Giordano. “I was finally ready and grown up enough to do that. It took me a while!”

Giordano’s former professor, Jim Daniels, CMU’s Thomas Stockham Baker University professor of English has remained supportive of her work, even after all these years. His blurb about her new collection was published on its front cover:

“Gay Giordano’s debut collection “Waking from So Rich a Nightmare” reads like a ‘selected poems’—there’s maturity and wisdom here, the confident voice of a poet in her prime. This book is full of surprises, none greater than the striking freshness of the images, one after another, as they tumble down the page, unlikely, evocative, reckless, and just right. You will be caught up in the sensory spell cast by these rich poems bursting with ‘unimaginable otherness.’”

Daniels said he is most proud of Giordano’s perseverance.

“Gay graduated shortly after I started teaching at Carnegie Mellon and I am so thrilled for her that she is now publishing her first book,” said Daniels. “She always had the talent and it’s very exciting to see that talent recognized with the publication of this fine collection of poems.”

Giordano’s work has also appeared in Ghost Ocean Magazine, alittlepoetry.com, “r.k.v.r.y quarterly literary journal,” “The Oakland Review Anthology 1972 – 1997,” “The Oakland Review (4th alumni edition),” The Lullwater Review, and “The South Carolina Review.”

Purchase Giordano’s book here.

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By: Amanda King