I moved to the west coast from the east coast where I was a poet in the schools in PA, DE, NJ, and CA. for twenty years. Previously, I taught in Lesley University’s Creative Arts in Learning Program (I taught Storytelling, Poetry, and Final Project.). I now teach at California State University at Channel Islands. Along with teaching Poetry Workshop, I work with preservice teachers with whom I do a lot of poetry writing and reading in hopes that they will bring new audiences to poetry in the future. I received first prize in the Charlotte Newberger Poetry Prize from Lilith Magazine, selected by Alicia Ostriker. I have attended poetry residencies at Squaw Valley Community for Writers, and Napa Community of Writers ,and received two literary fellowships from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts.
Ph.D. New York University – Storytelling and arts as vehicles in Education
M.F.A. University of Iowa, Poetry Workshop
How to Disappear
About How to Disappear:
Reading How to Disappear, I have the sense of someone tearing the past apart and rebuilding with naked raw hands. Claudia Reder is a story teller and this book is her lyrical gift to us, poems of growing up in the teeming city with the complex women who shaped her—immigrant grandmother and mother whose rich mix of languages turned the struggling young girl into a poet who survives to tell their stories. “The list of ghosts / who, no matter where I wander,/ who I marry, / who as mother, wife and sister, / haunt me still.” These full to bursting poems recreate large, unavoidable terrors and the seemingly small but necessary moments of joy that make art an act of love. They constantly go farther, go deeper with language that is wildly alive, informed by erudite and whimsical exuberance. How to Disappear is a splendid book, serious, poetically authentic, spiritually discerning. As I read it, I keep thinking, “This is why I love poetry.” Mary Kay Rummel, Former poet laureate of Ventura County
Claudia M. Reder’s poem “Photograph”asks “how to translate these fragments into a whole story,” and in her chapbook Uncertain Earth proceeds to do just that, with warmth, humor and nostalgia. She brings her mother to America through their visit to Ellis Island. They take off like Chagall figures in “To the Poet on the Roof.” When she visits her mother in a nursing home, they age together. By turns rueful and compassionate, with a touch of magic realism, Reder gathers her mother’s life, and pours the prickly love that is the legacy she leaves her daughter, into a series of poems filled with the meaningful objects of their lives lived together and apart, vivid colors, umbrellas and uncles, sisters and jewels, and always, stories. Florence Weinberger, author of four books of poetry including Carnal Fragrance, (Red Hen Press, 2004), and Sacred Graffiti, (Tebot Bach, 2010).