Traveling With the Ghosts by Stella Vinitchi Radulescu. Asheville, North Carolina: Orison Books, 2021. 107 pages. $16.00, paperback.


by Stella Vinitchi Radulescu

those eyes you love

the violet eyes

of Spring     the girl


the hill     or Spring

itself in violent


let me clean the air

with a vowel

or two & start 

the healing     can you be 

more human 


as we are flying now on our



Traveling With the Ghosts, Stella Vinitchi Radulescu’s latest collection of poetry, demonstrates how immense language can become when distilled. Between these pages, the sounds of leaves and shade spell out names, poems take as tangible a shape as mountains, and rivers become what cleans “the void / between your soul & your / tongue.” Yet despite the physical power of words to call down old gods and scrub the air clean, Radulescu’s work in this collection occupies the tenuous spaces that wisdom and keen observation uncover in the world. In poems as musical as they are meditative, images grow inside the speaker, language weighs upon the body, and exterior surroundings impose themselves, like “hills darkening on your tongue.” There is psychological and spiritual power in the reciprocal exchanges between the body and what it bears witness to, and this is Radulescu’s currency: “I don’t have wings / but I can fly with all the leaves / the birds the clouds / I speak your language god / & you speak mine.” 

These are vivid, singular poems that refuse easy truths and settle best in hands open to the challenges that visit when they attempt to hold onto nothing, or everything. “stay by your night stay by your / emptiness // it will call you,” Radulescu affirms: “this is how shadow by shadow / & void by void I put together / a new sentence.” Just as the speaker remains open to the world and to the voids we pull language from, readers must open themselves to these poems. And as vivid images and profound realizations spill into one another throughout Radulescu’s sparsely punctuated, heavily lineated work, any demands that the reader entered with for absolute, binary certainty on matters of presence/void or language/silence will begin to slip away. This is the gift of Radulescu’s Traveling With the Ghosts: providing a space outside of the definite, or the confines of the sure, in which readers may discover and rediscover the divine scope of language.

-Samuel Burt, MAR

dusk dusk

by Stella Vinitchi Radulescu


a rhyme ask

our gods to light

a candle

the page lies


too far the stars

too deep the grave 

speak     your


a word can burn