Face Painting in the Dark

THE BOOK: Face Painting in the Dark.


THE AUTHOR: Ann Cefola.

THE PUBLISHER: Dos Madres Press is dedicated to the belief that the small press is essential to the vitality of contemporary literature as a carrier of the new voice and new works by established poets, as well as the older, sometimes forgotten voices of the past. Founded in 2004 by poet Robert J. Murphy, the press has a strong commitment, in our ever virtual world, to creating fine books pleasing to the eye and hand.

SUMMARY: My first collection of poetry explores the feminine spiritual in the everyday of suburbia and works to more complex quests in painting, astronomy, and nature.

WHY THIS TITLE? It came to me in a dream and helped me organize the poems into a format—or a flow—of art, work, and the cosmos.

THE BACK STORY: This book follows and includes poems from two chapbooks, Sugaring (Dancing Girl Press, 2007) and St. Agnes, Pink-Slipped (Kattywompus Press, 2012). It took a few tries, over a decade, to get the right poems to coalesce into a book. The title brought it together. I spread all the poems on the floor and knew exactly where each one had to go. The collection’s first poem will explain the title.

WHY WOULD SOMEONE WANT TO READ IT? If you love lyric narrative with a spiritual bent, this book is for you. It’s also for women who want to reflect on the unique aspects of our journey in this world, and anyone who enjoys painterly, image-rich language.


“I’m enthralled by Ann Cefola’s Face Painting in the Dark: its tender humor, its wise and elegant diction. It’s the very best companion on days like these, when one is too busy and yet haunted by memories of times better or worse but, nevertheless, gone. Girlhood and womanhood are Cefola’s subjects, and she treats them with motherly love. “— Janet Kaplan

“This is a wondrous book. The sprung rhythm of the self undergirds all of Ann Cefola’s poems. The poems infuse object with perception, the external with a delighted perspective, and their strong pulsation of the individual compels belief. I couldn’t put the collection down until I’d read it through. It beckons from my bookshelf and I take it down again.” – Ruth Handel

“Whether comparing apples to oranges, describing shoe shopping at Saks, or tackling the Kennedy assassination, Ann Cefola uses her unique perspective to color your imagination like the painter she is. Expect to come away from this collection feeling enlightened about your own world and intimately connected to hers. ” – May Candlewood

AUTHOR PROFILE: I live in a New York suburb where my father grew up. His architect-dad designed beautiful homes here. One day, bicycling by his own, I introduced myself to the current owner. Addressing improvements she’d made, she said, “Of course we left the sink in the closet in the front room.” I laughed. “That must’ve been my grandmother’s studio!” Even she knew about my artist-grandmother. Sometimes poetry happens like that, and I continue to record it.

AUTHOR COMMENTS: Face Painting in the Dark is a timely read for people “on pause” during this extraordinary time. Thanks to this unexpected staycation, many are questioning the purpose and quality of their lives. Face Painting can be a reminder that if we can enter quiet and gratitude, we can experience wonder and beauty on unimaginable levels.

SAMPLE CHAPTER: See a sample poem on my page at Dos Madres Press

WHERE TO BUY IT: Dos Madres Press.

PRICE: $16.

CONTACT THE AUTHOR: Through my website, anncefola.com, or on Facebook. If you would like to subscribe to my monthly poetry and arts e-newsletter, include your email address.


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Recently retired after 35 years with the News & Advance newspaper in Lynchburg, VA, now re-inventing myself as a novelist/nonfiction writer and writing coach in Lake George, NY.

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