Crisis Chronicles Press is thrilled to announce the publication of our fifth title of the year, Ouroboros by Chansonette Buck (with striking visual art by Jillian Mardin), on April 22nd 2022. Our release date also happens to be the author's birthday!
Ouroboros is c. 130 pages, perfect bound paperback, 11" x 8.5". Cover art also by Jillian Mardin. Available for $20 from Crisis Chronicles Press, 535 Parkside Boulevard, Cleveland, Ohio 44143 USA.
ISBN: 978-1-64092-950-0. First edition, 125 copies.
Praise for Ouroboros:
Chansonette Buck's Ouroboros: Memoir of a Dreamwalker takes us on a rich journey through the alchemy of dreams. Buck’s dreams are the kind we wish we remembered—full of significance, of meanings, of important messages. Dreams that reveal the deeper truths and greater understandings. Dreams that nourish our souls.
This is a journey of transfiguration—a word that came to me before I saw it in the book. Transfiguration: changing the forms of difficulty, challenge, and darkness into beauty, illumination, wholeness. Into nourishment for our souls. Like holding a kaleidoscope up to the light, and seeing the patterns form and reform, each more lovely than the last.
Buck is our guide, our priestess, our teacher of transfiguration—holding the lamp to illuminate our way. Singing us through her dreams into our own healing.
—Ariana Newcomer, Author; Sound Healer; Spiritual Mentor
In her newest collection of prose works, Ouroboros, author Chansonette Buck chronicles her life’s journey over a dreamscape that defies expectation and interpretation. What at first seem promising destinations end up as obstruction; while impassible crevices and peaks become pathways to forgiveness and grace, as a movable cast of characters provide aid, conflict and insight to our beleaguered walker. The opening section plays like an overture before descending this landscape into deep trauma, and also, ultimately back into the dreamscape of healing and recovery. Once on this path, the reader will find themselves unable to “leave the trail” until they have gone exactly where Ms. Buck wants them to go…into discovery, the divine, and rebirth.
—Paul Corman-Roberts, author Bone Moon Palace (Nomadic Press, 2021)
When I first met Chansonette Buck, she was a student of painting at the Museum School in Boston. She doesn’t use paints anymore, but draws the most exquisite word pictures, evocative of far more than could be represented in two dimensions. The partnership here with Jillian Mardin is brilliant, because these visual cues help one take the inner journey I think the poet intended.
There are very few writers whose work I find so rich. I can only read them in small doses. This book is one of those. The words, and word-pictures, have to be savored. As a person who works with both words and pictures, I found Ouroboros: Memoir of a Dreamwalker to be a rare treat.
—Martha Cotton, FinallyFilms.net
Chansonette Buck’s Ouroboros: Memoir of a Dreamwalker depicts multiple dreamscapes through which, in poetic language, she shares her psychological journey. Her luminous descriptions (enhanced with gorgeous collages by Jillian Mardin) take readers on a multi-dimensional voyage of obstacles, shadows, and dangerous precipices, but affirms the wisdom of elders, animals, and priestesses. Although the profound losses of fathers and lovers punctuate the book, she returns always to intentional survival and healing. With Whitmanesque exuberance immersed in female magical powers, she bears witness to loving affiliation with everything from people to galactic beings to nematodes. The many portals—windows, doors, cave entries—enable access to deep interiorities: watery domains and tunnels in caves. Those, in turn, allow access between minds, epistemologies, species, even planets. Spheres and consciousnesses interpenetrate. A beautiful book in every way, Ouroboros is a testament to our vulnerabilities, our interconnectedness, and our ever-shifting possibilities of renewal.
—Hertha D. Sweet Wong, Professor of English and Associate Dean of Arts and Humanities at University of California, Berkeley
Chansonette Buck shares her dream world in Ouroboros: Memoir of a Dreamwalker, an expansive landscape that blends the natural world, both familiar and ordinary, with a fantastic territory of the imagination. All told with vivid and descriptive detail. She faces challenges, danger, and her own fear. Animal and human companions inhabit imaginary worlds, ancient and futuristic, realistic and visionary, threatening and comforting. Surely, Chansonette has a method for remembering her dreams. The “dreamwalker” of the title indicates these intense dreams are with her in her waking life, both a link to and a dialogue with her interior self. We all have similar episodic dreams, but this long literary stream of remembered dreams creates a personal world that treads somewhere between everyday reality and the nighttime recesses of the psyche. The writing is richly illustrated with collage images by Jillian Mardin, which reflect this magical adventure of both individual struggle and personal power.
—Harvey Smith, Historian; President, National New Deal Preservation Association; Author, Berkeley and the New Deal
Reading Chansonette Buck’s latest offering, Ouroboros: Memoir of a Dreamwalker (with Jillian Mardin’s multidimensional artwork accompanying) enabled me to enter a dreamscape occupied by myriad characters, archetypes, shapes, textures, layers, and meanings: light, dark, and in-between. The Carl Jung quote sets the tone from the start, inviting and warning the reader to advance with caution: this will be a journey of initiation and initiates.
It took me many months to travel through this book as part of the unfoldment of circumstances in my life at the time that involved deep incubation, excavation, birth, death, and rebirth many times over. Sometimes it provided a parallel narrative. At other times, it was analogous to entering another world that allowed me to open another way to see.
Always it speaks to defeat, loss, despair, acceptance, redemption, wisdom, and the will to create, and to be.
Such messages are rife throughout, with sentences standing on their own as ends in themselves, or as worlds to get lost in. Senses go on alert as danger makes itself known and must be faced. And yet, despite the danger (or because of it), one travels with kindred spirits all the way as we traverse the dreamtime landscape, pausing to drink in the images. Always we are held and guided, and although we must also collapse, mourn, and endure, it is clear we are always moving towards becoming, letting go, and becoming again. Letting go into life, letting go into death. Light and dark, and the cycles ever-continuing.
Thank you, beloved Chansonette, for sharing yourself so generously with us all. Your work is so necessary.
—Fatima Bacot, Author; Trainer; Personal Development Mentor; Speaker
holds the PhD in English from UC Berkeley. She earned an BFA in Painting from Massachusetts College of Art in Boston, where she won both of two juried prizes for her works on paper at a New England Regional show. Winner of the first Judith Stronach Prize in Poetry at Berkeley and a two-time Pushcart nominee, Dr. Buck has authored four chapbooks of poetry as well as a memoir of her time growing up “on the road” with “the great minds of [that] generation” as stepchild of Black Mountain School poet Edward Dorn. She is an ordained minister and certified spiritual healer and is adept in many energy healing modalities. As Principal Prose Wrangler in her consultancy Appaloosa WordCraft, she helps public policy think tanks and nonfiction authors with research, writing, and editing. A California Bay Area expat, she now lives in Southern Oregon’s magnificent Rogue Valley with her family. This is her first full-length collection. Another will be following from Hand to Mouth Press soon.