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Dancing Across County Lines

Jack Grapes, Lucia Lemieux


Bombshelter Press, 2001 40pp

Only 50 copies of this limited edition chapbook were produced for a reading to raise money for the New York Red Cross. The reading was sponsored by the Arts Council of the Conejo Valley and the Ventura County Arts Council. Lemieux is an award-winning poet and writer, recipient of a 2001-2002 Artist-in-Residence grant from the California Arts Council. She has written several collections of poetry, numerous short stories, and screenplays. Jack Grapes has won numerous awards and grants for his poetry, plays, acting, publishing and teaching.

The Authors

Jack Grapes
is an award-winning poet, playwright, actor and teacher, recipient of numerous fellowships and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the California Arts Council. He's the author of 13 books of poetry, and also wrote and starred in Circle of Will, which ran for several years in Hollywood and won drama critic awards for Best Comedy and Best Performance by an Actor.
Lucia Lemieux
In the forward to her first collection of poetry, "Writing on Eggshells," ONTHEBUS editor Jack Grapes said this of Lucia Lemieux: "She shares the words we all struggle with - and comes up singing." The journey of being, the search for purpose, the meaning behind our earth-bound lives are just some of the themes Lucia explores in her work. Lucia believes that each artist holds a piece of the puzzle called the universe, and has a duty to express it. "Rollo May says it takes courage to create," Lucia says, "and that's because creating requires us not only to be truthful, but to be true to ourselves. That's never easy. But the attempt, the encounter, is requisite to an artful life." If Lucia's work seems filmlike, it's not surprising: she received her M.F.A. from the American Film Institute and has written and produced several short films and documentaries.


Grapes is not an artiste-saviour out to heal the world in his own image, just a poet whose writing is unpretentious, honest, humanistic. These qualities make us care when Grapes dishes up little slices of his life on paper. He unfolds his world with courage and forthrightness. On one page of his book Breaking On Camera, he uses a quote from Pablo Neruda that seems to describe the intent of Grapes's poetry: "There is no insurmountable solitude. All paths lead to the same goal: to convey to others what we are." Grapes does just that with imagination and vulnerability.

Mark Watt, "Great Overlooked Books," Gosh Literary Review