by Joan Shillington
Joan Shillington writes about the family
life and court influences of Tsar Nicholas II and his wife, Alexandra,
as they construct their “nest” over twenty-three years
of rule. From the cannon voice of Nicky’s father, Tsar Alexander
III, to the Romanov family’s bloody assassination in July 1918,
these poems explore a man’s ability to have absolute power in
one realm of his life, yet be powerless in another, and, as a result
lose it all.
" ... Images of glass and crystal
— the windows of the Romanov’s country prison that reflect
their hopeful faces in the night; the antiseptic walls in the Faberge
factory to keep the Master from the dirt of his own making; the jewels
the royals sewed into their garments to keep them from theft but which
became the failed body-armour that only prolonged their dying ...
written through such images from history as these, Joan Shillington
gives us a delicate and sadly sympathetic study of the way in which
any family cut off from its society is forever cut off from knowing
itself." Richard Harrison
Harrison's work can be found
We are grateful to Alexey Titarenko and to
the Nailya Alexander Gallery, New York, NY for permission to use
the cover image Untitled (Crowd 3) from City of Shadows.
You can see the artist's work at alexeytitarenko.com.
You can visit the gallery at nailyaalexandergallery.com
Joan Shillington has been published in
Room of One’s Own, Grain, Freefall, Prairie Journal
and University of Calgary’s Writing the Terrain. She is a
member of the Alberta Writer’s Guild and Alexandra Writers
Centre. At home in Calgary, there is a loft overlooking the Rocky
Mountains with a desk and rocking chair where her husband, five
children and two grandchildren often sit and visit.