Through lovely phrasing and pinpoint description, the brief, open form poems of Pura Vida record Dana Larkin Sauers’ impressions of a 2012 service trip to Costa Rica. Her poems describe her journey in vivid sensory images of the food: cheese that “hang like softballs” at the roadside market. She captures the voices of the children at the school, her companions both living and dead, and she opens the eyes of the reader to the lush beauty of Costa Rica. “Living once, living twice, we recall through our work what happened to us, learning in this way the events’ true meaning.” The poem Wesley McNair said this, and it certainly applies to the moving poems in Pura Vida. – Anne Higgins
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