Poet Mary Freericks Shares & Signs her Latest Collection, “Cheer for Freedom”

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Date & Time

Tue, Oct 29 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM

Address (map)

3321 State Street Santa Barbara, CA 93105

Venue (website)

Chaucer's Books



Chaucer’s Books is pleased to welcome back author/poet Mary Freericks as she launches her newest collection entitled Cheer for Freedom, a continuation of her first book of narrative poems about her childhood in Iran. This is a larger book including the poet’s paintings of her Armenian and Russian family executed in an impressionistic manner. This book focuses on the strength of family, especially the women’s support of each other from great-grandmother to great-granddaughter.

The book begins with “Armenian Rhapsody” where her hair is noted into the first rug ever woven, the Pazyryk. It continues with “My grandmother opens her mouth and her mother wakes. We are wrapped in one rainbow shawl.” As flour lifts, families move from Armenian to Russia, to Iran, to America, the challenge of learning a new tongue. She sees language as fluid “All seas are seven conversations.” “As a child how easily I learned Russian, Armenian, Persian In America I struggled learning English.” And continues into “Lost again, the road unfamiliar.” In the last section she questions having left the rule of the Shah, the peacock throne, she questions “will our flag still wave liberty?” And “who will count my vote?’ In the end, the book reaffirms the power of women as half a dozen members of her family support each other in a cheerleading stance with her granddaughter on top.

Freericks, a prize-winning poet who “bristles on the heels of courage” through her images of growing up as a young girl under the reign of the Shah. Daughter to an Armenian/Christian father, and Russian/Jewish mother, Freericks says she didn’t begin to learn about Judaism until her twenties. She learned Persian when she started school, and later English when the family moved to the US.

Mary Freericks holds an M.F.A in poetry from Columbia University, and her work has been featured in the New York Times. She now resides in Santa Barbara.


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