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The Glass Studio / Sandra Yannone

The Glass Studio

By: Sandra Yannone

In The Glass Studio, Sandra Yannone returns to the memory and reality of her father’s iconic stained glass art studio to turn her artistic attention toward a deep meditation on glass, its properties and materiality. Glass objects inhabit every poem including reproductions of Tiffany stained glass lamps, eyeglasses from an early 20th-century crime scene, and drinking glasses from Orlando’s Pulse nightclub, and every poem il...
ISBN 978-1-915022-51-6
Pub Date Monday, February 26, 2024
Page Count 98
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In The Glass Studio, Sandra Yannone returns to the memory and reality of her father’s iconic stained glass art studio to turn her artistic attention toward a deep meditation on glass, its properties and materiality. Glass objects inhabit every poem including reproductions of Tiffany stained glass lamps, eyeglasses from an early 20th-century crime scene, and drinking glasses from Orlando’s Pulse nightclub, and every poem illuminates a core truth: that in its fragility, its ever-present danger of breakage, glass casts an irrefutable strength of spirit and light that endures even after death and the closure of the beloved glass studio. 

“In her second collection, Sandra Yannone has crafted a new poetics of glass and flameworking. To take in the book’s widely-varying formal choices—from prose blocks to fissured columns to dispersed fragments and shards—is to gaze into a jar of sea glass and understand both the shapes and their silences, their narratives without neat resolutions. What does it mean to return home? And how can radical tenderness and belonging hold love’s fragility and resilience? Like light prisming through a lamp, the poems flicker, refract, ebb, and flow from sorrow’s shadows to desire’s flames. The Glass Studio reminds us that grief, erotic longing, loneliness, intimacy, and memory are all expressions of the same shifting luminosity.”

Ansley Clark  author of Bloodline

“With crystalline imagery and sensitivity, The Glass Studio both marvels at and mourns the fragility and beauty of human resilience, with a sense of loss and longing braided into these textured and musical poems. Yannone compiles a glossary of objects, encoding and building the collection’s arc, as personal, historical, and cultural reference points form sympathetic resonances, fusing together to purposefully illuminate the sum of the parts. This is a beautifully formed and radiant collection.”

D’or Seifer  co-host of Lime Square Poets and co-editor of Skylight 47

“Sandra Yannone’s The Glass Studio conjures both an external place and a vast interior landscape. "We were/ double-paned," she writes, invoking the inner and outer worlds at once. Across these pages, emotions crystallize, no longer abstract: ‘Love has a tinny taste/ of crinkled foil’ and ‘despair is just/ one bus stop/ on this long ride home.’ Family history appears, paratactic with public history (9/11, the 2016 presidential election, the massacre at Pulse, the long pandemic), while historic figures make intimate cameos (Lizzie Borden, Leopold and Loeb, David Cassidy). In these probing poems, Yannone writes with humility, authenticity, and grace: ‘what you don’t/ know is like/ the future/ remembered, a shirt/ worn/ inside out.’ When she tells us ‘I won’t stay/ shattered here/ for long,’ we believe her with our whole hearts.”

Julie Marie Wade  author of Skirted and When I Was Straight

"The shards of past, present, and future—both personal and public—are re-set and resoldered in this heartbreaking and hope-filled meditation on fragility and resilience."

Allison Arth  Host of the Little Oracles podcast

"The moving poems in Sandra Yannone’s The Glass Studio are prismatic with past, with longing, with empathy, and, most importantly, with love. There is a deep respect for work and craft in this collection. For the beautiful structures—both physical and emotional—humanity creates in the name of tenderness, community, and kin."

Gustavo Hernandez  Author of Flower Grand First

“There is so much more/ than what we perceive... rising all around us/ like immaculate glass/ cities,” assures Sandra Yannone, in The Glass Studio. With lyric intensity and syntactic virtuosity, this poet writes deftly of grief, tragedy, heartbreak, and struggle. Whether elegizing the victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting, reliving a fraught  apprenticeship in her beloved, late father’s glass studio, or envisioning the shattered mind of Lizzie Borden, these poems illuminate, reveal, cut, and last. This collection is delicate as the fine lamps of her father’s creation, “miraculously whole,” shining with “glass-infused light.”

Kim Ports Parsons  The Mayapple Forest

Sandra Yannone

Sandra Yannone grew up near the edge of the Atlantic Ocean off Long Island Sound in Old Saybrook, Connecticut. Throughout her pre-teen to college years, she worked as a laborer and sales clerk at ViJon Studios, her parents’ stained glass art studio and supply center. Salmon Poetry published her debut collection Boats for Women in 2019. Her poems and book reviews have appeared in anthologies and literary journals (print and online) including Ploughshares, Poetry Ireland Review, Prairie Schooner, Women’s Review of Books, and The Gay and Lesbian Review Worldwide. Her work has received the Academy of American Poets Prize and Associated Writing Programs (AWP) Intro Award and been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net Award. She earned her B.A. in writing and literature from Wheaton College (MA); an M.F.A. from Emerson College; and a Ph.D. in English from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. In March, 2020, she co-founded and continues to host Cultivating Voices LIVE Poetry, an international, intersectional, intergenerational Facebook poetry group and reading series. After living in the Pacific Northwest for over two decades directing a college writing center, she now enjoys cultivating her love of poetry and all things vintage and nautical from her hometown of Old Saybrook, Connecticut.

The Glass Studio

In the Copper Room in Limerick, on what should be called Copper

Road, the low copper ceiling is held up by copper walls. They sing me

their copper songs whenever I can be within them under copper

ground. Last visit, Edward and I drank pint after coppery pint

of Treaty Ale, so many coppery pints that we began to see

our reflections in our makeshift hall of copper mirrors; another night,


another friend told me about her cancer but didn’t use that word, 

choosing instead to call it something more shimmery or burnished

like copper, while the candles amplified their messages 

against the copper walls. The Copper Room always feels familiar

like the press of copper foil between my fingers

that I used to wrap pieces of hand-cut glass in my father’s stained

glass studio as a girl. Every now and then the copper foil

would slice through my unsuspecting skin; my blood would ooze

like a copper river until someone would bandage me,

the blood drying to an even deeper, copper hew. Every lamp

in the studio was made this way: copper foil, silver solder, 

a toxic elixir of patina that muted the shine. People

would buy their lamps to hang in their copper kitchens 

near their copper pans, but few knew the process to make 

each lamp as I did. Few knew that copper lay buried 

beneath the skin of the solder’s seams or of all that blood

turned copper that went into the making of their coppery light. 

* * * 

Disaster Glass

The cubes bob and float in my night

ocean of iced tea, clink

against the constraints of the drinking 

glass’ circumference, the glass 

won at a Pennsylvania Dutch country auction, 

what feels like a century ago, packed


with plastic swizzle sticks from long gone 

roadside bars. For twelve dollars, I wrestled 

this Libbey glass from the clutches of bidders 

eager to own those obsolete stirrers. Everyone 

collects something. I was bidding 

to acquire my first disaster


glass, my name for this perfect vessel 

of ground sand, a replica of the front page 

of The Allentown Morning Call. Tuesday Morning, 

April 16, 1912 edition, the left headline 

listing across three columns to the right: 

1,200 Reported Lost on Titanic

the inky black image of her grainier 

than what I imagine it looked like 

on Allentown stoops

that April morning 

with the misspelled, but well-intentioned 

names of the survivors 

the Carpathia plucked from the lifeboats early 

on Monday, April 15th. Now Thursday evening. 

I lift this disaster to my lips, a glass

that rests patiently on the top shelf usually out of reach, 

but this was no usual morning, NPR reporting 

that the submersible is almost out of oxygen; 

there’s thin swizzle sticks of hope that rescue is possible, 

the Coast Guard doing all it can to keep on this side of search 

and rescue instead of recovery, but the ice 

keeps melting into the tea as I quench 

my thirst for sorrow. I know the true 

cost of this disaster glass’ story all too well.

* * *

David Cassidy Writes Me a Fan Letter from the Great Painted Bus Beyond

From the pages of all those Tiger Beat magazines 

you purchased with your allowance, I became more

like sugar with each poster you pulled 

from the centerfold’s staples. I never liked 

that my crotch was always pinned to the crease,

that girls tugged at my sleeves, ripped off my clothes

and shredded what was left of me at my concerts. 

I was hoping to be a firefly that feasted 

on night flowers, leaving my scent behind 

with my original songs, the ones no one heard 

over the din of those pop hits that ABC’s money 

moguls shoveled into my mouth. During boxed lunches 

on the set, I had to sign thousands of postcards 

to girls I’d never met. I was drowning, Sandy, 

in the fountain of teen idol fame, and I didn’t know 

how to swim. Who does in that kind 

of water? So I vanished into those cheap 

newsprint pages of 16 magazine. I became 

a paper ghost and only the drugs and sex 

told me that I was alive. What can I say? 

Why am I risking this from the great painted bus beyond 

to share with you? I think you know better 

than the lyrics to “I Think I Love You.”

Every poem is a spotlight that shines the light 

back into your eyes. You need to keep them open

to honest desires. Don’t get caught beneath

the undertow of the trap door’s weight. Come on, 

you know how to escape, to get happy. You 

almost do it every day, except you act like it’s your shadow 

side. You never let yourself fully embrace the miracle of you.

I sang all those songs on those albums that I know 

you still sing, when you are alone or driving 

with your sister in her van. I know you gave 

a private concert to Tara Hardy 

in your living room, that you have two microphones

at the ready to practice when you feel inspired 

by songs you wore down the needles

in your pre-teen bedroom to hear over and over. 

I wasn’t ready for everything that came next 

after the gold records and the show’s opening credits 

dressed in mod. I should have shaken off that Partridge

Family tree sooner, but this isn’t my ending, Sandy,

this is your beginning. So come on, stay happy, 

swallow my songs, my prayers for that girl long ago

who loved me as no one could. Retire all those faded 

fan magazines. You know you are happier 

when you are unlocked, unleashed

from inside the glass house where you’ve been 

waiting your whole ludicrous life to sing.

All of the above poems are Copyright © Sandra Yannone, 2024

Other Titles from Sandra Yannone

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