Penelope Karageorge, The Neon Suitcase - Announced in The Hellenic Voice

(The Hellenic Voice, August 2015)

With devastating wit and compassion, prize-winning poet Penelope Karageorge travels boldly into the figurative highways and byways of the human heart. In her third poetry collection The Neon Suitcase, she writes about life in the psychic border between Greece and the American Dream. Fearlessly, Karageorge investigates the mythic and emotional pull of families and memory. She had many inspirations, including the Goddess Circe, actress Bette Davis, Las Vegas neon, Aegean moonlight, the world of work, and Dionysian desire.

Asked how she came to write poetry, Karageorge explains that “It was not a straight line.” She wrote poetry as a child, and won first prize in her high school poetry contest. At Simmons College in Boston, she gained a new perspective on poetry in a class taught by the brilliant Wylie Sypher who led her to discover T.S. Eliot and John Keats. After college, she became a journalist, novelist, and publicity director of People magazine.

When New York City announced, in the New York Times Sunday Book Review, a contest for New York City poets celebrating the city, she wrote “New York Love Letter, P.S. You’re Crazy.” It took third prize out of thousands of contestants. Mayor Abe Beame awarded the honors.

Author Molly Peacock succinctly summarizes and praises The Neon Suitcase: “With its freewheeling mash-up of Greek island and Manhattan island, the stylish Neon Suitcase is Penelope Karageorge’s latest volume of sassy but serious poems.  At once classy and classical, Neon Suitcase is the perfect carry-on and Karageorge, a sensuous, wise travelling companion, may carry you away.”