Rita Banerjee’s poetry debut Echo in Four Beats (FLP, 2018) has been selected for the Ruth Stone Foundation Book Club. The Ruth Stone Foundation will feature Echo in Four Beats on a podcast this Spring along with an interview of Banerjee this Spring.
Established in 2013, The Foundation serves to fulfill Ruth Stone’s wish that her physical and literary estate would be used for the furthering of poetry and the creative arts. It was created not only to nurture contemporary poetry and art in its many forms, but also to cultivate and celebrate the works and legacy of the poet herself. The Ruth Stone Foundation seeks to provide poets and artists time, space, and opportunities to create new work and share it with a wider audience. This is accomplished through The Foundation’s small-press publishing house, the Next Galaxy Poetry Initiative (a writers’ retreat and haven, located in Ruth Stone’s house in Goshen, Vermont) and other programming in New York City. Compelled by Ruth Stone’s life and work, The Foundation seeks to support under-represented artists and stand for a literary community outside the usual institutions. The Ruth Stone Foundation connects the writers and artists it supports with the community at large, especially to empower women and foster leadership through creativity, writing, and publishing.
Rita Banerjee’s poetry collection, Echo in Four Beats, has also been nominated for the2019 Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize at the Academy of American Poets, has been selected by Finishing Line Press as their 2018 Nominee for the National Book Award in Poetry, has been nominated for the 2018 Kate Tufts Discovery Award, and was recently named one of Book Riot’s “Must-Read Poetic Voices of Split This Rock 2018.”
Combining elements, rhythms, and personas from American jazz, blues, and ragtime, poet Rita Banerjee presents a modern-day spin on the love story of Echo and Narcissus in her debut full-length poetry collection, Echo in Four Beats. But in this story, told in four parts, Echo is more than just a fragment, she is a Sapphic voice that speaks, foretells, forestalls, and repeats.