This morning, it is my pleasure to welcome Lynda McKinney Lambert to The Write Stuff. Lynda is sharing a review of her book of stories and poems, Walking by Inner Vision. I know you folks will really enjoy this one, and will share it on all your social media. Thanks so much!
“Walking by Inner Vision” Book Review
Posted on 5/1/2017
by Beckie Horter
Celebrating our successes as visually impaired people is an essential step on the journey to healing. Peer advisor, Lynda McKinney Lambert knows this firsthand.
Celebrating in a Memorable Way
After profound vision loss in 2007 due to Ischemic Optic Neuropathy, Lynda did not use a computer for almost two years. When she finally did relearn her way around the computer with the help of adaptive technology, she decided to celebrate in a memorable way. She started a blog.
Lynda’s blog, “Walking by Inner Vision,” grew and grew over a seven-year period. Last year, she decided to collect her stories and poems in a delightful book by the same name.
Walking by Inner Vision: Stories & Poems is Lynda’s second book. The first, Concerti: Psalms for the Pilgrimage, was published in 2003 by Kota Press.
Into the Mind of the Artist
Lynda is an artist and a retired professor of fine arts and humanities from Geneva College. Her artistic background permeates her writing in an unmistakable style, painting word pictures and setting vivid scenes. Her black and white photography accompanies several stories and adds to the visual appeal.
“This book takes readers into the mind of an artist, how we work in layers, seeing connections between history, philosophy, psychology, and nature. It’s the artist’s job to tell the things others don’t notice. We see nuances and fragments—these things spark the mind,” Lynda said.
Walking by Inner Vision is arranged as a year-long pilgrimage from January through December. Each month begins with a poem and reflects the happenings unique to its time and place. For example, in “March Arrived Like a Capricious Cat,” she speaks of the changeable nature of late winter in her native Western Pennsylvania.
“Glass wind chimes
shrouded in new snow.
March arrived like a capricious cat
crouched—hunkered down, bent over
Viewing a World of Beauty with Vision Loss
Throughout the 16 poems and 27 essays, Lynda views her world through the lens of beauty even in the midst of vision loss.
“I want to give people a strand of hope to hold on to,” Lynda said. Her personal Christian faith provides the anchor for her own hope and optimism.
Lynda draws on her wealth of experiences to offer the reader a treasure chest of reading variety. While some stories are light and humorous (“A Wintry Tale”), others are poignant, like the story of her mother’s last family gathering and ensuing struggle with Alzheimer’s (“The Living Room”).
Regardless of the form—free verse or creative non-fiction—one thing remains consistent: lingering images stay with the reader long after the book is finished. They have been taken into the world of Lynda’s inner vision. And all is well.
The artist has done her job.
This book is the dream-come-true of Pennsylvania artist, author and Professor of Fine Arts and Humanities, Lynda McKinney Lambert.
Through her poetry and creative non-fiction essays, Lynda invites her readers into her personal world of imagination, faith, beauty, travels, music and more. Since her retirement from her teaching career in 2008, she writes full-time in her century-old rural western Pennsylvania home where she has lived for over ½ a century with her husband, Bob.
In her books and her art works, she takes strands from ancient mythology, history, and contemporary life and weaves a richly textured new fabric using images that are seen and unseen.
Lynda’ firs book is Concerti: Psalms for the Pilgrimage. This collection of poems, historical notes and reflections was written over several years as she lived and taught courses in Austria every summer. Her students came from all over the country to be in her classes. Her course, “Drawing and Writing in Salzburg,” took students on daily excursions in a variety of places in Austria. Students travelled with Lambert to locations in Austria, Italy, Czech Republic, and Germany during a month-long sojourn. Lynda kept journals each summer and the stories and poems in her book were inspired by her journaling.
In her newest book, Walking by Inner Vision: Stories & Poems she takes us on a year-long journey through the seasons. The book opens in the month of January. She takes readers through each month, with a final destination at the end of December.
Author Lynda McKinney Lambert
Lynda is a diverse and creative writer, author and visual artist who has earned degrees in fine arts and literature. She worked at Geneva College, Beaver Falls, PA as Professor of Fine Arts & Humanities. She lectured in art history, and a variety of special topics in contemporary literature with an emphasis on modern/post-modern poetry and writers.
In addition, she taught studio arts courses in a variety of genre in art.
What is remarkable about her personal and professional history is that she went back to the university to pursue her degrees, at the age of forty-two. She and her husband, Bob, had nearly completed raising their 5 children, and Lynda decided it was time for her to return to her passions in art and literature. Over a period of only 9 years, she earned all 3 of her degrees, at universities in 2 different states. During those 9 years of full-time studies, she also taught courses at a community college and summer art programs for children at a local art museum. During her graduate work at West Virginia University in Morgantown, WV. Lynda began submitting her poems to publishers and immediately began her career as a published poet in her first year at grad school with that first publication she was hooked on pursuing her career of poetry and publications.
In 2017, Lynda had over 140 publications of her essays and poetry published in literary magazines, anthologies, blogs, and print books.
Her academic degrees are:
BFA in Painting from Slippery Rock University of PA, 1989.
MFA in Painting from West Virginia University, 1991.
MA in English Literature from Slippery Rock University of PA, 1994.
At the time when she was offered a tenure track position at Geneva College, she was serving as executive director of the Hoyt Institute of Fine arts, New Castle, PA from 1993 – 1996.
When she accepted a tenure track position at Geneva College, Beaver Falls, PA, she began her teaching career in the fall of 1996. She taught courses in English Literature, Humanities, and Fine Arts during her years at Geneva College. She retired in 2008 from teaching and has been writing and making art full-time since her retirement.
Lynda’s career has taken her around the world. She was included in international exhibitions in the U.S., Japan, Austria, New Guinea. She was selected by the U.S. Department of State for the Arts in Embassies program and her wood-cut prints were on display at the U.S. Embassy in Paupau, New Guinea. Another notable recognition in 2017-8 was her nomination for the Skirt Best-of-the-Net Award for an essay, “Knitting a Life Back Together,” nominated by Spirit Fire Review. SFR published non-fiction essay and selected it for this nomination.
In 1991, Lynda’s wood-cut prints were chosen as 1 of 8 U. S. printmakers invited to the international exhibition – The Osaka Triennale (Japan). Her unique prints and paintings were shown all over the U.S. in traveling exhibitions and in invitational shows. She still actively exhibits her art work. She exhibits her art for over 40 years in museums and galleries.
Since her sight loss, she began creating mixed-media fiber art in her River Road Studio, which was established in 1976. She has won over 100 awards for her art. Currently, Lynda writes two blogs. She began blogging in December 2009, 2 years after her profound sight loss. Her writing appears on numerous blogs as a guest blogger and as a featured writer. She garners many awards for her writing throughout the year.
Lynda’s poem, “Red December,” was a winner in the Proverse Poetry Prize Anthology, Mingled Voices #2, published in Hong Kong. In 2018, Lynda completed two manuscripts that are now ready to be published and she is beginning to let potential publishers know of her desire to have them published. FIRST: Lynda completed her first chapbook, first snow, a collection of “little poems” with a wintry theme. It is a collection of SIXTEEN poems. SECOND: she completed her next full-length book, Star Signs: New & Selected Poems, which contains 60 original poems.
Reach Lynda on Social Media here:
Personal Page: https://www.facebook.com/lyndamckinneylambert
SCAN, Blog Connection Page – https://www.facebook.com/SCAN-782814908467623/
River Road Studio – My Artist Page – https://www.facebook.com/River-Road-Studio-175785105811956/
Walking by Inner Vision Blog Connection Page – https://www.facebook.com/walkingbyinnervision/