NEWS

Faith, family and alligators: Canton native covers it all in her new poetry book

Seth Jacobson

Though she’s now a long way from Canton, Marlene Tova Fineberg wants people in her native hometown to know she’s doing fine.

She also wants people to know she just released her first book of poetry called “Elephants, Alligators, Umbrellas.”

“The book was meant to be a form of therapy for me,” Fineberg said, adding the book of poems covers subjects like overeating, the country’s fascination with television, celebrities, family, personal crises, her Jewish faith and the Holocaust.

She said when her father died more than five years ago, she decided to leave Canton and move to Tucson, Ariz., where she currently resides.

Although she had been moving around, living in different parts of the country for years, Fineberg’s arrival in Tucson was met with a number of stressful, personal situations. All the while, she was still coping with the death of her father, who was her hero.

“I had a lot of problems, a lot of stress,” she said. “A lot of things went wrong.” She said her car was broken into and she had a lot of problems finding the right place to live.

“I channeled all that negative energy into my writing and it helped tremendously,” she said. “I love the book. I’m very proud of it.”

It took her a number of years to complete but she called it a worthwhile “labor of love.”

She said the book has been selling very well in local Tucson shops and noted it is for sale at Amazon.com. She’s been profiled on the local Tucson PBS station and also in newspapers in the area.

“A lot of people have written me notes, thanking me for writing the books,” she said. “Many of them are saying they can really relate to a lot of the poems.”

Many of the poems can be seen as whimsical—in her poem called, “Mel,” she takes aim at actor Mel Gibson and his anti-semetic remarks last year. But other poems, such as “The Remnants of a Ghost,” are both sorrowful and dark.