Pearls Beneath the Rind
List Price: 9.99
Available: November 2013
Many siblings overcome estranged family relationships, but few decide to express this emotional advance by collaborating on a book of poems. “Pearls Beneath The Rind” invites the reader to enter the world of an older brother and younger sister of vastly different character and lifestyle. Their differences, quite naturally, extend to their poems. Whereas Richard’s work focuses on the play of the mind, employing self-referential, conversational and dream-like states, Carole’s stresses the outer world even when depicting relationships; a number are so visually compelling they could easily be turned into paintings. Although “Pearls Beneath The Rind” does not deal with Richard and Carole’s relationship or the relationships between siblings, it demonstrates the divergent ways in how two siblings have experienced themselves and the world. As important, their cooperative act in writing it affirms that even heavily conflicted sibling relationships can substantially improve.
Like many works of art that are not planned, “Pearls Beneath The Rind” had its inspiration in several unrelated events. Some 15 years ago Carole and Richard entered poems in the same amateur poetry competition. When Carole was asked to edit her poem for publication in the contest volume, a computer hit for the name “Seldin” produced a “Seldin,” who much to her surprise wasn’t her but rather her brother. While Richard was aware Carole was writing fiction, he’d assumed the last poetry she’d penned was in high school; and Carole had no idea Richard had written any poetry. Then several years later during the course of their father’s terminal illness, Carole asked Richard to send her any poems he may have written about their father. It turned out he had written one and sent it to her. This led to their sharing other poems which she eventually made into a chapbook, “Along The Way,” for Richard’s 65th birthday. A new idea developed when one of Richard’s friends mentioned that “Politics and Prose” (a well-known Washington, D.C. bookstore), had begun printing and selling self-published books. This began their collaboration on “Pearls Beneath The Rind.”
Richard Seldin is a freelance writer who lives with his wife in Bethesda, Maryland. His publications include short fiction and non-fiction in both English and Chinese and translations into English of Chinese novellas and short stories. He also has written poems and enjoys memorizing and reciting them. For many years he worked as an attorney for the United States Government, specializing in International Relations and Trade.
Carole R Seldin-Bolinski (aka CR) has published mystery short stories, flash fiction and poetry. Her poetry credits include winning the Oregon State Poetry Association’s new poet’s category for The Car. She’s also a participant in “The Mad Women Poets of Prescott;” a group of local poets who recite their poems at various locations. Bolinski has a M.A. in art education, a M.Ed. in secondary education and has completed the creative writing certificate program at Yavapai College. Although Richard and Carole grew up under very similar circumstances—same social, religious and educational influences, same parks, same movie theaters—their views about their family and sibling relationship differ greatly. Also, as both tend to feel like outsiders, they have expressed this in their own distinctive ways. As a young woman Carole became captivated by New Guinea, Tahiti and other remote islands and has spent considerable time in the rural areas of the American Southwest. In contrast, Richard prefers the stimulation and anonymity that large cities can provide. In younger years he spent considerable time in Mexico City and Paris; then on later trips to China he preferred larger cities, such as Shanghai, to the county-side. Their differences also extend to earlier influences on their writing. As a young adult Richard found delight in the spoken word, both in English and foreign languages, eventually focusing on Mandarin Chinese. Although Carole started writing poetry in her late teens, her fascination with the visual world led her to degrees in studio art and art education.