Carson poet publishes ‘lo-cal’ poem diet book
Darlene Amarie-Hahn, who writes using the name Rita Geil, says she’s tried just about every diet on the planet. When she was having trouble sleeping, she found a way to do something other than eat.
Instead of going into the kitchen, the Carson City resident wrote light-hearted poems about food, dieting and all sorts of things meant to help women “take the weight off.”
“Mary, Mary, culinary, how does your body grow? A bit too muchly, I’m afraid, with inches all in a row …” one poem starts.
The midnight food poet began sharing her ditties with friends, who would request their favorite ones. As a comedian, singer and songwriter, Amarie-Hahn performed the poems, but didn’t consider putting them into a book until she shared them with a group of 400 women at an International Writing Guild meeting in New York.
After being prodded by the crowd, Amarie-Hahn decided to publish the works herself.
“I decided to start a publishing company and publish myself because I had a vision of it to be a gift from one woman to another,” she said.
The writer moved to Carson City six months ago to live near her 89-year-old father. She is an engineering writer for Fluke Biomedical Corp. in Carson. She has worked as a CBS network executive sand as a CBS censor, an actress and a published lyrical poet.
“Laughing it Off – The Low-Calorie Poem Diet” is illustrated by Carson artist Athena Thomas and depicts women dancing, dreaming, and smiling among the verses.
Amarie-Hahn said her vision of the book included using bright, pink colors with a hardback cover with images of women of all sizes, ages and races. The publishing company that offered to produce the book didn’t agree with her vision, so she published it herself.
The poems are meant to lift readers’ spirits and remind them of the lighter side of life.
“All of our language, the way we talk about things, is all about food,” Amarie-Hahn said. “I think laughing works because you can’t avoid it.
“Women are finding it very helpful,” she said. “The idea is that you could take this whole issue more lightly, not that you don’t want to do something about your weight. It’s the very seriousness of the whole issue that makes you weigh more.”
A seminar speaker who lectures women in Canada uses one poem about losing weight for different men as an example to inspire young women not to feel like they have to change themselves for their men, she said.
The book received an award by Independent Publishers in 2001 for humor. Amarie-Hahn is working on a sequel called “Ali Baba and the 40 Pounds” that she hopes to also publish. The book is about a genie in a bottle who is “plump” and has to grant wishes to women who want to be thin, she said.
“The best thing I think is when I write something and it lifts up someone else,” she said. “It’s such a great feeling to make somebody laugh. That’s the best.”
The book is sold at Lofty Expressions in Telegraph Square in Carson, the Book Den in Gardnerville and La Bussola in Reno for $14.95.
Contact Jill Lufrano at 881-1217 or firstname.lastname@example.org.