Citywalker


Poetry - General
90 Pages
Reviewed on 07/11/2011
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Orlando Ferrand is an award-winning multidisciplinary artist, writer, and poet, born in Santiago de Cuba in 1967. He emigrated to the U.S., his claimed homeland, in 1992, after a "life-changing experience" while touring through the Caribbean, Mexico, the Canary Islands and Europe as an actor, theater director and playwright.

With over 30 years of sustained professional practice in the Arts and Letters, Orlando Ferrand has received numerous scholarships and awards in the U.S. He is the recipient of the 2011 Artist Summer Institute by the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and Creative Capital's Professional Development Program, the Artist-in-Residency at Princeton University while writing, designing, and directing his opera "Still Life with Daniel, the Lonely Mutant", the Gold medal in the Poetry/Music category for "Citywalker" (PublishAmerica, 2010) in the Readers Favorite International Book Review and Award Contest 2011, and the Linden Lane Poetry Prize 2011 for "The Other Island" ("La otra isla", Spanish Edition, LLP 2011).

"Apologia: Cuban Childhood in My Backpack" (PublishAmerica, 2011), the author's memoir about his childhood and adolescence in Cuba, was recently selected as the Book-of-the-Semester for the Spring Term 2012, at Hostos Community College, City University of New York.

Orlando Ferrand is a member of the National Association of Latino Arts & Culture. He is working on two new titles. He lives in New York City with his partner, and his Doberman Sookie.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Bernadette Acocella for Readers' Favorite

Orlando Ferrand's collection "Citywalker" is full of poems about his Cuban heritage, religion, the search for identity and the loneliness he encounters in New York City. The city is almost a character in this book, a backdrop for all the important encounters that stir up so much emotion for the poet. In this collection the reader watches the poet go through a spectrum of emotions while dealing with his family, his lovers, and himself. The theme of home and homeless occurs over and over, though early on in the collection, in the poem "Family Landscape," the poet decides that "Home does not remain the same." Throughout the book Ferrand uses religious imagery in unique ways, such as in the poem "Space" and "Do you believe in love?" The poem "Song for a romantic season in white" contains one of the most beautiful loneliness images I've encountered recently: "that colorless insect/killing us all."

In one of my favorite poems, "September 11," Ferrand writes the word "falling" down the page and writes each letter twice. This was a beautiful visual representation of the Twin Towers, and was also reminiscent of something e.e. cummings might do. The poem describes a very human reaction to the tragedy and the final stanza of the poem sums up how many New Yorkers felt that day: "Today, I am New York/ I walk downtown/ Gazing at Ground Zero/ Surrounding the incomplete horizon/ Of my own geography." I believe many people in and around New York felt this very same way that day.

There were many beautiful poems in this collection that I could understand and relate to. Ferrand is clearly a poet unafraid to share his journey around New York and toward himself with readers, and the result is often beautiful. Overall this book was very moving and a pleasure to read. At times some of the imagery was a bit too opaque for me, but the emotion behind even Ferrand's most nebulous lines was clear. Finally, as someone who owns and reads many poetry books, I do feel that the book would benefit from a table of contents, so that readers could find their way to favorite poems more easily.

Charlie Vazquez

I loved this book! Inspired me to write poetry of my own! CV

Mildred Nicotera

Beautiful Book! The poet has taken up the entire lane to light upon the beauty of NYC but He speaks only when he has something exquisite to say.

Joey Medina

I so loved this book! It's rare to find well refined poetry with themes dealing with the inner being's search for identity and freedom in an urban setting as NYC. Orlando Ferrand does it in "Citywalker" in such a magnificent way, that we can't help but reflect on our own lives. And extraordinary collection of poetry for the 21st Century!

Dianne-Bowen

CityWalker - In the late night hours, I find myself here
Orlando Ferrand's recent book of poetry, "Citywalker" is a compilation of poems exploring the poet's journey through the emotions of love, self identity and acceptance in a city where live connection is as priceless as space. Classic Romanticism written in a contemporary language and imagery, Ferrand explores the human condition with depth akin to Pablo Neruda and W.B Yeats. "And words have fallen asleep, horses don't run, and swords are crossed, when time has absent eyes-" Song For A Romantic Season In White, is but one example of Orlando Ferrand's gentle use of language. Ferrand takes us through the streets of New York City, late night hours, desperate moments, finding joy and love in unexpected places and people he encounters along his journey. His words are like the fragile layers of a pearl, which must have contact with the skin, or they die. His poems collectively are a trail of sand we keep kicking into, breadcrumbs left in the forest. Consuming each one, a word bit by bit until we find our home together. "remote miracle birds from the Lost Paradise"- Days Of Yore: Landscape With Prince and Fisherman.

Mannysan

Citywalker: a must!
I started to read Citywalker, and it was kind of slippery, I slipped from poem to poem, falling without even knowing into Orlando Ferrand's world. I felt as if I had lived those same experiences, and it made me want to read more, I definately connected with the writer, but also with the man behind these poems.

John Robert

An Emotional Journey
Citywalker is a book that comes to me from the author himself, and after having read the book, find it to be a fascinating read. I appreciate the writer's use of literary devices, namely allegory and metaphor, to poetically cloak what a previous review so eloquently states as the "combin[ation] [of] loneliness, fear, heartbreak, addiction and the most earnest longing for love and acceptance that we are all looking for."
This book is truly a wonderful journey full of emotion.

dlbodero

Insightful and raw
A compelling and raw look inside the tortured soul of a man looking to find his identity within the melting pot that is New York. Combining loneliness, fear, heartbreak, addiction and the most earnest longing for love and acceptance that we are all looking for, I found myself at times having to put the book down because I encountered emotions that I myself, found too intimate and vulnerable to face.
The thread of hope and of journeying with this imperfect man who finally finds the love and acceptance he craves within himself, brings the reader from experiencing the childhood memories, jolts of adult despair, addiction and addicting love & lust, to standing shoulder to shoulder with the author and peering into the concrete asphalt that houses his upbringing from a seeker into a giver of self, ready to experience what the blue skies overhead have to offer and finally being able to have something of himself to contribute. His recognition of his self worth cannot be contained or distracted by the city and its denizens.
What a wonderful read.

M_Nicotera

Citywalker is a journey that recreates identity using New York as scenario.
"I am building a temple
In this body
I am building a temple
me, a churchless man"
Orlando Ferrand, Citywalker
PublishAmerica, USA, 2010
English Poet William Cowper (1731-1800) once wrote: "God made the country and Man made the town..." The reader can sense the possibility of this dual birth also troubles the author of Citywalker. Even after God departed, emerging from the secular human traffic is a rebirth of consciousness and a renewal of wisdom. There is a prince who left
his mark on the fisherman. There is (...) "No Farewell. I am aware of Remoteness. I am simply the man who casts the net into the waves"-says the Poet-while fleshing out the timeless urban feeling of abandonment and resurrection.
Citywalker is a journey that recreates identity using New York as scenario, metaphor, and as a driving catalyst for both, the author and his reader. They will become engulfed by its tempting as much as inspiring nuances. This is the spiritual revolution of a man recomposing his memories, his ethnicity and sexuality in every face, at every instant within his own vernacular understanding of the city. Can we sort loneliness? Can sanity be recovered through the acquisition of mundane commodities? Where is home? And who bears witness to the ceremony? The machinery of identity recreation is nearly a collaborative deal, since after all: "We need to rebuild this city for the two of us..."

Robert F. Cohen

Some people have the walk. Others have the talk. But Orlando Ferrand has the walk and the talk. In Citywalker, his first published book of poetry, he takes us on a personal journey which narrows the distance between two island cultures, that of his native Cuba and that of the Manhattan of his chosen country, the U.S.A. Through the tension that exists between what seems like two gravitational poles, one reflecting nostalgia for his childhood and the other pointing to an ever-affirming adulthood, Mr. Ferrand reveals his identity, an identity that virtually becomes our own. For in his accounts of failed attempts at love and of conscious efforts towards finding a place for himself in this world, he compassionately tells our own story. In such works as "Family Landscape," for example, where "Mama talks to [him] in her accent/of forgotten gods" and "Paper ships from the distance/prolong every man's desire/ to nurture his childhood," and "Landscape with Quixotic Dreamer," where his "dreamed island" becomes "a place for an endless sequence of shipwrecks," one cannot help but identify with the poet. And that is what is so gripping about the "citywalker," a word so appropriately coined by Mr. Ferrand: He embraces not only his own fate but the common fate of all his fellow citizens as he takes palpable steps towards selfhood in the continually evolving "landscapes" of his personal universe. At the same time, however, his readers must never forget that this thrust towards commonalty is achieved in spite of the sense of isolation that he also endures in response to the inner pull of his two island cultures and his own individual dictates.

This poetry needs to be heard. In the rhythmic cadences of each verse, it has the power of speech that not only provokes us and puts us on edge but also inspires us and moves us to tears. And it is precisely for this reason that Mr. Ferrand's book should have an accompanying compact disc, a CD in his voice which will so cogently implore "strangers" to return "the rainbow" ... "after the storm." Indeed, readers of Citywalker will undoubtedly see that it is this metaphor of the rainbow, emerging on its very first page, which provides the vibrant color, the rare variety, and the eternal hope of the poems of Orlando Ferrand's book.

Robert F. Cohen

By AvidReaderNYC \"00Auth

Water lillies on the pavement..., January 31, 2012

By AvidReaderNYC "00Author00" (Staten Island, NY)

This review is from: Citywalker (Paperback)

CITYWALKER is a brilliant collection of poetry by an amazingly gifted poet/writer. Being a club kid back in the 90's I related to the poems that documented that experience during the days of "The Garage", "Limelight", "1018" and "The Tunnel" Although it was all about the dancing and about the drugs, all of us, in those night spots, were all looking for something bigger than ourselves. A direction in life, love, a purpose that would reveal itself in a late night encounter with a beautiful stranger or a moment of clarity, alone under the stars, looking over the Hudson river. CITY WALKER documents that journey of self discovery, during a time when America was still innocent. What I loved most about this book is the poet's ability to connect his early life in Cuba to his life in the streets of New York. Pretty brilliant stuff. I so look forward to this author's next book! I am a fan!