Book Reviews for The Lava Storyteller



“Each poem in this collection is a quiet celebration: of ancestors, of nature, of love. Poet, Cristina Norcross, draws from a rich, deep well of inspiration, layering her work with echoes of other artists’ paintings and poetry. Even a poem about the simple act of eating a mango becomes timeless, sensual and grace-laden. These gentle poems will open your eyes to the beauty in everything you see and experience.”


~Kim Suhr, author Maybe I’ll Learn: Snapshots of a Novice Mom,



“Cristina M. R. Norcross takes "deep breaths" in and "long strides" through the "white sand" of time.  The Lava Storyteller celebrates Earth and life "still humming the old stories," but also weaving them with the new.  "Drink it in," she says.  The Lava Storyteller, a collection of seventeen poems, will undoubtedly quench your thirst and touch your heart with a longing to read more.” 

~Jeannie E. Roberts, author of Nature of it All, a collection of poetry, and Let's Make Faces!, a children's book,



“Cristina M.R. Norcross’s latest work: The Lava Storyteller is an inclusive invitation that transports the reader’s mind to experience emotional, spiritual and physical wonderment. 


Island of clay, sand and earth –

liquid lava now silent.

You are the land of trees dripping mangoes

and goats clinging to cliffs…



This talented Midwest and worldly poet allows us to peek behind the curtain to discover parts of ourselves otherwise hidden, yet fully acknowledged:


You jump through

the only open window,

because this is how we leave –

with a gust of wind

and the scent of grass

on our breath.



Her words are woven in sensual and intellectual landscapes of lush intersecting worlds that are inspired by her heritage, famous artists, celebration of gender and the beauty of science as seen through the heart of emotion, all of which are Divinely celebratory as well as personally sacred.”


~Kimberly A. Blanchette, author of Layers of Moments (poetry/photography book and audio CD), All Natural (audio CD) and the poetry chapbooks, Naked, The Master and The Student and Lotus on Fire.



“In Cristina M.R. Norcross's reflective collection of poems, she tells the story of her journey across landscapes of life, both real and imaginary, from the ancestral island of Saba where "bare feet read braille -- / ancient explosions," to those inspired by art. There is a strong feeling of searching in Norcross's poems, of entering a painting to not only experience it, but to understand it with the art of her own words, often finding there is no single answer, but only listening and waiting. The Lava Storyteller gives the reader inspiration to seek her own path as well.”



~Liz Rhodebeck, author of What I Learned in Kansas, Benthos, The Book of Ruth, and soon to be published, Here the Water is Deep.



“Cristina M. R. Norcross writes from the center of wonder, the wildness of nature and the deep waters of wisdom. The Lava Storyteller is a luminous collection drawing from Norcross' love of everyday life, fine art, nature and the sublime magic of existence. Her poems look deep into the heart of everyday life to find the river of meaning underneath. Reading this collection, I was both expanded and brought home more fully to myself — such is the power and beauty found within these pages.”


~Shannon Jackson Arnold, author of Flowering Wisdom: Inspiring Thoughts on Life, Love and Blooming Big.


“Readers will experience a life affirming experience when they turn the pages of Cristina M. R. Norcross’s latest collection of poems, The Lava Storyteller.  Magic permeates each poem—the magic of being alive and letting the senses inhale life … even the wind knows how to reach me.  The narrator of each poem is rooted in nature and the glories of life. From sandy beaches to the bluest skies, she is at home and alive in the moment...breathing becomes a whisper.  Cristina’s earthiness, her vivid imagination, and the purity of her writing shine in these poems. Grant yourself the pleasure of reading them. You won’t be disappointed, and life will begin again in a swirling blur.



~Maureen Hand, author of Write the Snapshots of Life, a book on memoir writing.  Maureen Hand’s poems and writings have appeared in literary journals, magazines, and newspapers.


Quotes From a Book Review of Unsung Love Songs

Reviewed by Kathleen Serley in the July 2011 Issue of

Verse Wisconsin Online


“But it is her descriptions of love in those everyday moments that draw us in.”



“One of the strengths of Norcross’s love poems is the imagery she creates to capture the depth of the love she feels.”


“Each poem in this collection has a special appeal, but “These Things Matter” captures the essence of this collection. We reach for love and must remind ourselves to find it in ordinary moments as they come to us in our imperfect lives.  We make love happen in the everyday events of our lives.”


“How fortunate to know such love to inspire her poems.  Unsung Love Songs by Cristina M.R. Norcross is worth remembering.”


The latest reviews for The Red Drum ...

"The Red Drum is a heart-felt collection of poems written by a woman quite obviously in love with living.  Cristina Norcross sets out to celebrate the joy of living in the presence of authentic moments, and these poems are just one way, I imagine, that she succeeds in doing this.  As a reader, I go to poems in search of beautiful language, and light, and wisdom.  And I found quite a few gems in  "The Red Drum."   In the poem, "No Progress," is the beautiful line, "We all celebrate life on earth in a unique way.  Embrace your celebration and be here."   In "Unfolding -"  "It doesn't last forever- the dark cloud, but then what is forever in a series of eternal days?"   In her poem, "Acceptance," Cristina writes, "When I place my finger on the table by lamplight, a message in dust appears.  This is the life you always wanted.  You just don't know it yet."  And in her poem, 'The Sacredness of Now," she reminds us, "The only thing worth waiting for- is for your heart to acknowledge the sacredness of now."  It is a lovely thing that Cristina captures these leaves of thought, and puts them in her poems for all of us to enjoy."

~ Ingrid Goff-Maidoff ( Author, poet, musician, professional bookbinder.

Author of: The Honey Sutras, Calling Forth the Riches, Conversing with the Holy, Good Mother Welcome and many other titles.

"The Red Drum by Cristina M. R. Norcross is a testimony to the transformative power of words.  Her masterful poems find joy and meaning in every day experiences through vivid language and imagery."                             

~ Michele Wehrwein Albion, author of The Florida Life of Thomas Edison

     "Cristina Norcross’s THE RED DRUM is a joy to read. Like a camera captures precious moments, her poems capture the emotions of those moments. In simple yet elegant language, she writes of a love of words—words that she uses to create those special moments as well as the emotions surrounding them. “Words have weight./They fall to earth,/embedded in dusty text.”
     Cristina’s words also pay tribute to nature, dreams, and life as  sources of freshness and inspiration. Her original musings please the ear and warm the soul. “…I memorize this sacred place,/like a photograph,/where I once did dwell….”
     THE RED DRUM’S sensual images and dreamlike qualities take the reader to a dreamland…a wonderful space to spend an afternoon."

~ Maureen Hand is an author, a poet, and a writing teacher.


This review is an invitation to the reader to enjoy and be captivated by the intriguing weave of words from Cristina Norcross’s new volume of poetry, The Red Drum.

The Red Drum resonates with fine texture of delicate sounds and moments captured in time- woven with the intricate and delicate workmanship of a Spiders-web that glistens with dew. Like an orb, her words reflect life and light under our glorious sun, moon and stars.

Share time with Cristina and sip the magic of her amazing mindscapes that bring gentle enchantment through every captured moment.

~ Brenda V Northeast: Author / illustrator/artist of five Children’s picture books. (Four sold internationally)
And author of poetry on


What people are saying about Land & Sea...

"The book is beautiful!"

~Nancy Aronie (NPR commentator, Harvard lecturer and author of Writing from the Heart)


"... poems and pictures beautifully melded."

~Ken Browne, Ken Browne Productions (NYC documentary filmmaker of Mondays at Skim Milk Farm: 30 Years of Writers at Work)


"... I think that Cristina Norcross has done an admirable job of taking inspiration from Ms. Ruddock's agreeable images ...."

~Gregory Maguire (Bestselling author of the novel Wicked, now a hit Broadway musical)