Letters to Colin Firth

Praise:

“On the surface, the writing was boldly funny, and I never once felt alienated that the letters weren’t addressed to me directly. I knew they were for Colin Firth, for Katherine, for me, and for anyone else willing to take part in the journey they lay out. Over time, the letters reveal a quiet depth that sneaks in and spreads itself thick across each page. The density of it speaks for itself. Start reading for tea and trip to England, and stay for a run through the tar pits of grief.”  —Nicole Oquendo, contest judge

“With language that is both frankly conversational and lyrically beautiful, Riegel trusts her wasps to Colin, and to us. On April 17th she writes, “Me, these days I’m as shameless as a god and as directive: I’m distributing flyers, wearing my own face on a t-shirt, carrying a big sign with an arrow pointing down saying Love me.” To admit such difficulties as asserting the desire for acceptance and love takes bravery, and Riegel’s honesty is just that—the kind of bravery that is too often confused with sentimentality or weakness, the bravery that Mr. Darcy and Lizzie Bennett must possess to set aside their pride and open themselves to love. This vulnerability and openness is generous; as a reader I am validated in my own emotional experiences and welcomed to join Riegel in the drawing room of her distress. In that place of unending, cyclical emotion she offers us the same comfort she receives from Colin Firth.” —Elizabeth Theriot, in a review for Black Warrior Review

“The letters are self-aware and recognize both the absurdity of their destination and also the fact that they’re more than just letters to Colin Firth…The chapbook, despite the poetry in its language and depth of its emotion, seems structured like a good rom-com with an ending to rival the best of them, allowing readers to hope for a sequel—starring, of course, Colin Firth.” —Kimberly Ann Southwick, in a review for the Ploughshares blog

                           Watch the book trailer. 

CF Cover for CreateSpace 12-9 233pm

From the book:

“I wonder what People magazine has had to say about you over the years? And is it easy for you to ignore whatever they say, to let all that go, to live in the secret revolutions of dark and light inside your own ribcage?”

“What do you need kept alive, what do you need touched gentle inside so you can bloom again?”

“Every day I get older and for some reason the world doesn’t panic.”

“Is that what happens when a marriage ends? Everyone dies but we go on anyway: disappearing, reappearing, falling. Our arms too heavy to keep up the old struggle, our new selves less delicate than we thought.”

“You never really know someplace until you’ve been there. Today at 1:42pm, I was there. Wherever happy is.”

“I have said this before but no matter where I go I am always leaving.”