In Dear Descendent, Carol Masters draws upon her life as an activist and her love of the natural world to fashion thoughtful overlays and wry juxtapositions that can delight the senses or prick the conscience—often both. A master of metaphor, yet she doesn’t shy away from an occasional grand (and whimsical) metaphysical statement: Everything is Made of Everything. There are prison cells and fields of flowers—even her straightforward descriptions of the moon demonstrate that something new and evocative can still be found in its age-old countenance. Gratitude and grief commingle in her poems about aging and loved ones lost. Topping it all off is an intermittently surreal and sometimes almost crazy freedom in the use of images. In the poem “Fly Ball,” for example, sports, physics, and the Second Coming converge as the sacrifice fly approaches the mitt. (Apollinaire would have approved.) The words flow freely, musically, from the page, ensuring that Masters’ voice is one that her descendents—and ours—will want to listen to.
Carol Masters grew up in Chicago and has lived and worked in Kansas, Texas, and Minnesota. Her children and friends inspired her to action with peace and environmental movements and she served useful time in jails for nonviolent protests of nuclear weapons. She is a recipient of a Loft Mentor Series Award, Loft-McKnight fellowship, Minnesota State Arts Board fellowship, and Minnesota Voices Project award for The Peace Terrorist (short stories) (New Rivers Press, 1993). Her biography You Can’t Do That: Marv Davidov, Nonviolent Revolutionary was published by Nodin Press in 2009, and was selected as a finalist for a Midwest Independent Publishers Award. She lives at Becketwood, a cooperative, with her husband Ken.