Letters to Molly ~ Lady on a Red Leash, Other Poems, and Images of Molly

5/5 - (1 vote)

Author: Michael Chacko DanielsA sample cover of the book: midnight blue coloured handloom sari with gold embossed nameplate and lettering for the title and author's name. The border of the sari lines the right hand margin of the cover.
Illustrator: Aaron Bass
Pages: 136
Year of Publication: 2021
Price: Rs 500 / $25
978-81-953583-7-3 (9788195358373)

About the Author
Michael Chacko Daniels lives and writes in San Francisco. He grew up in Bombay, where he attended St. Michael’s High School, Wilson College, and University of Bombay’s Department of Economics. He holds a Master’s degree from Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism. His parents grew up in an ancient Syrian Christian community in the south Indian state of Kerala. In their middle years, in Bombay, they joined the local Baptist Church out of conviction. His adventures in the United States include five years as a Volunteer In Service To America (VISTA); four as editor/publisher of the New River Free Press of Grand Rapids, Michigan; four as assistant editor in San Francisco at The Asia Foundation; and sixteen at Berkeley’s Center for Independent Living. He helped start the Jobs for Homeless Consortium of Alameda County (California) in 1988, and to run it through mid-2004. He is a naturalized citizen of the United States. He has been writing for over five decades and this is the ninth book he has published with Writers Workshop, India.

About the Illustrator
Aaron Bass is an artist who primarily works in printmaking media. He has a master’s in fine art from the University of New Mexico and is a Tamarind certified professional lithographer. His prints have been exhibited in Japan, China, South Korea, Mexico, the U.K., India, Germany, and Pakistan, as well as across the U.S. His work is inspired by animism and folktales. He lives currently in New Mexico and teaches printmaking at the University of New Mexico.

About the Book
In his foreword to the book, Ralph Dranow writes:

“Michael Chacko Daniels’ new poetry collection — Letters to Molly: Lady on a Red Leash & Other Poems — discovers poetry in the seemingly mundane events of everyday life. His eyes and ears are wide open, as he captures in precise detail the quirky behavior and dialogue of people he meets at San Francisco farmers markets, on buses and trolleys, and hiking trails.

He’s a consummate storyteller, and many of his poems, which are based on emails he sent to his sister Molly, are miniature stories, laced with humor and are often quite touching.

In the poignant, offbeat “The Gallant Dad with Twins on a Trolley,” a father on an electric trolley has one child strapped to his chest and its twin to his back, as he’s taking them to where his wife works, so she can suckle them. The narrator is greatly concerned about the twins’ safety, and I was holding my breath as well…

Daniels has many more arrows in his quiver. In addition to their engaging content, the poems are a delight to read because of Daniels’ visual artistry, the varied and imaginative spacing of his lines, and the different fonts occasionally employed, all used to great effect. Some of the poems are beautifully arranged, such as “A Walk to the Mild Side,” which is shaped like a wine glass.”