Review by Allen Jacobs, Wales, GB


Review of “SUNSET IN A CUP” by Lidia Chiarelli



Great Title

Great Cover

Great Review by Mary Gorgy

Great Idea – visual and verbal companionship

Great Poems and digital Creations.



Lidia Chiarelli has been inspired by twelve women authors.  She has created her own poems to accompany their lives and literary works.

There is a poem for each month of the year: January-Virginia Woolf,

February-Edith Sitwell, March-Emily Dickinson, April-Dorothy Parker, May-Edna St. Vincent Millay, June-Vita Sackville West,

July-Sylvia Plath, August-Aeronwy Thomas, September-Daphne Du Maurier, October-Christina Rossetti, November-Charlotte Bronte,

December-Katherine Mansfield.


‘The Call’ to Virginia Woolf is particularly powerful in the context of Virginia Woolf’s manner of dying.  The ‘Black Ravens’ are sinister as their secondary meaning signifies death.  They circle around the door as Virginia Woolf closes it and shuts out her past world.  There is a ‘call’ that implies an extra controller who beckons her to the river’s edge.  A strong image answers ‘The Call’ – Virginia Woolf is ‘docile’ as she wades into the river with heavy stones in her coat pocket.  Her end is ‘an icy embrace’, without struggle, without turning back, being ‘gently wrapped’ in a cold death.  To accompany this poem is a digital overlay of a portrait of a pensive Virginia Woolf with the river in the background – all expressed in a cold blue.


Lidia Chiarelli has chosen a wonderful short story writer in Katherine Mansfield.  For her, Lidia Chiarelli has chosen to write in rhyming couplets – a careful skill.  The poem refers to the society that interested Katherine Mansfield - garden parties, cups of tea and ‘sentimental weddings’.  The poem ends with an appeal that Katherine Mansfield be ‘our guide’ into her enchanted settings.  The digital over-lay with Lidia Chiarelli’s “Katherine’s World” is a portrait of Mansfield and ‘falling ashes’.


There are ten additional poems to enjoy the imagery and conceits contained in Chiarelli’s writing.


Be certain to unfold the front cover flat in order to enjoy the colourful ‘sunset’ colours that Emily Dickinson watches, at the top right hand corner and Virginia Woolf’s river that flows through the bottom left hand corner. This cover and the “Back to Britain” painting of the white cliffs of Dover and the graceful gliding birds at the end of the collection of poems are from the exciting work of Gianpiero Actis.





Allen Jacobs MA  University of London

 Rhydlewis, Llandysul, October 14, 2017

Comment by Patricia Holt, Big Sur - California

Patricia Holt and Lidia Chiarelli




I hardly know where to start, with all the layers of my being you have touched with your book! Your captivating poetry itself, your artistic and technical skill in the collages, your concept in how you created the book and honored some of my own favorite women poets and writers with your own precious words, your provocative photo on the back flap (how was that done?!), the design and production of the book …! Truly, I am entirely touched and inspired by your creation and salute you in all ways. You honor these women, not only in singling them out, but with your own poetic expression. Bravo! 


Patricia Holt

Big Sur, January 5 2018

Comment by Carolyn Mary Kleefeld, Big Sur -California

 ... wonderful choices of creative expression in such an aesthetic presentation ...


Carolyn Mary Kleefeld

Big Sur, January 10 2018

Commento critico di Anna Maria Bracale Ceruti, Italy

Ho letto con molta attenzione la raccolta di Lidia Chiarelli intitolata 'Tramonto in una tazza' e ho apprezzato , oltre all'eleganza, l'idea originale del controcanto con i versi chiave delle poetesse prescelte, a testimonianza delle sue predilezioni poetiche e delle sue affinità di pensiero con la loro scrittura. Controcanto in versi, un'idea originale e vincente che le ha permesso di cogliere e mettere in evidenza i particolari caratterizzanti del loro'essere' in poesia e del suo percepirne i loro pensieri chiave . La raffinatezza e delicatezza di scrittura è esaltata dagli splendidi collages: anche l'editore ha fatto la sua parte. Il risultato è di una raccolta bella e raffinata.


Anna Maria Bracale Ceruti, scrittrice

Torino 18 settembre 2017

Review by Neal Whitman, USA

There are two special times in the day: the time just before we fall asleep and

the time just before we wake up.

The words and images in this book feel to me as if these were found by Lidia Chiarelli in those moments.

The "portrait" of each writer in this book is rendered in that in-between world of being awake and being asleep when

impressions wash over us.

What makes this no ordinary book is Chiarelli's creativity in how she pairs a poem with a pictorial presentation

 so that the two do not repeat each other, but resonate with each other.


Neal Whitman, Poet

May 18 2017