THIS BLOG IS NO LONGER OPERATIONAL. PLEASE ENJOY WHAT IS HERE, AND DO LEAVE A COMMENT IF YOU WISH. NORTH CAROLINA'S NEW POET LAUREATE IS CATHY SMITH BOWERS. SHE WILL SOON HAVE HER OWN WEBSITE THROUGH THE NORTH CAROLINA ARTS COUNCIL SITE. I WILL BE SHIFTING MY ATTENTION TO HERE, WHERE I AM, (SEE SIDEBAR)USING IT TO DRAW ATTENTION TO WRITERS WHOSE WORK DESERVES ATTENTION. I INVITE YOU TO VISIT ME THERE. For a video of the installation ceremony, please go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0xAk6fOzaNE.
Go to http://www.yourdailypoem.com/, managed with finesse by Jayne Jaudon Ferrer, who says, "Our intent is to make visitors to Your Daily Poem aware of the joy and diversity of poetry."
Monday, December 1, 2008
The Asheville Poetry Review
The 2008 Asheville Poetry Review is here! And it begins with an essay by its editor, Keith Flynn:
"The Imagination As A Redemptive Force"
FIFTEEN YEARS OF LISTENING
“The poem I want to write is impossible: a stone that floats.” —Charles Simic
When the first issue of Asheville Poetry Review was released in June 1994, the price of a gallon of gas was 1.05. The #1 song in America was Whitney Houston’s cover of the Dolly Parton ballad, “I Will Always Love You.” Kurt Cobain had shoved a shotgun in his mouth and joined the immortals in April, the same month that 800,000 people were massacred in Rwanda. In late June, O. J. Simpson was arrested for the murders of his estranged wife and her friend. Richard Nixon and Jackie O left their mortal coils mere months apart. For the first time in history, chain bookstores would outsell independent stores. “Pulp Fiction” and “Forrest Gump” were all the rage at the cinema, and the word “spam” was coined to recognize the glut of promotional ads that would flood the fledgling internet. In the 15 years that we have been publishing the Review, the American population has grown by 50 million people. Our own distribution has gone from three local stores to more than 600 in 35 states and six foreign countries. We have published more than 1300 writers from 22 different nationalities, and receive over 8000 submissions a year. In this issue alone, there are eleven differ- ent languages represented and poets hailing from nineteen states. The world has grow considerably smaller, and faster, and as the rest of the world catches up to American convenience, those cul- tures too fall prey to our addictions. (to be continued...)
(Keith Flynn in Wales)
If you want to finish reading this introduction, which is well worth doing, go to your local bookstore to find a copy of the Asheville Poetry Review --and if they don't carry it, then ask them to do so---or buy yourself a subscription. Better yet, also buy some of your friends Christmas gift subscriptions!
If you are still undecided, then here are some poems from the new issue.
------- Michael Boccardo
Edward Hopper’s “Room in New York”
Early evening, a man and a woman sit inside a room the size of a heartbeat, the walls lit like honey. He is leaning
into his own shadow, elbows balanced on knees, thumbing through the classifieds. Smudges of ink bruise his palms,
petals of purple hibiscus. Moments ago a slipper of glass held a clutch of flowers on the small table between them—pinwheels of hydrangea,
daffodil, snapdragon—but the woman grew frightened of them, their thirsty faces tilted upward, always huddled together
on the brittle stalks of their necks like children, imploring and expectant. She tossed them over the window ledge where they landed like crayons
along the sooty pavement nine stories below. Afterwards, she drifted to the piano, her dress blazing down her legs like the stain left
from a ripe plum. Another hour will pass this way: heads bowed, bodies rocking in place, his tie a loosened cord, sleeves unrolled; her hair
cradled in a stiff knot at the nape of her neck, fingers dragging the keys. Around them, notes stroke the silence, a lullaby of regret
tucking them in for the night, their gaze flat, hollowed, lingering in opposite corners of the room like ruined blossoms.
(Michael recently won the Greensboro Writers Guild poetry competition. He's a new voice in NC poetry, so keep your eye out for his work.)
And here is the 4th section of my own "Searcher," based on an entry from the Forgotten English Calender of a few years back.
A woman employed to inspect the dress of a corpse, to ascertain whether the law for the protection of the woolen trade had been violated by robing the body in any other material. —Anne Baker’s Glossar y of Nor thhamptonshire Words and Phrases, 1854
The sequence is spoken in the voice of such a woman.
I wander the land when I need something more than the scriptures give, words I cannot understand.
Here I read what the hawthorne portends, what the flight of a dragonfly signifies, what wind withholds in its bellows.
Clouds clot and tangle like wool before carding. I watch them stirred into the indigo dye pot
of sky where they bubble and swirl while I lift up my face to the sun just a little while longer,
for I understand how the earth waits, so patiently, under my good Sunday boots. **********************************************
p.1 9 0 from Sebastian Matthews's review of Glenis Redmond's "Under the Sun."
And thus Under the Sun presents Redmond’s mature work. These poems get the audience on their feet, sure, but they also bring this reader in. She has lowered her voice a little; she has dug deep. Here are the openings lines to “Burying the Dead”:
Through Kenilworth runs an Indian trail, a forested hill I could call my own, I don’t. Not too far from downtown living beneath the tangled brush a cemetery of slaves merge with the Cherokee and their trail unmarked lines carrying both streams of blood that courses unceasingly through my veins. Both trails have found my heart intersecting where spirit meets bone and I have taken to walking the block putting down feet and prayer on both foreign and familiar ground.
Redmond is at her passionate, clear-eyed best in poems like this, where she addresses a loved one and speaks her truth both as a daughter and as a wise woman.
Well, still not persuaded? Then, here's a partial table of contents! The rest of it you will have to find for yourself.
William Matthews-- Living By The Long River: Interviews • 81 Lauren Lawrence --The Climbers Of Mount Everest • 107 For The Schoolgirls Who Died In The Chinese Earthquake • 108 Janice Lierz --Training Camp • 109 Ray McManus --The Gospel As Acid Reflux • 110 Ana Minga --Dogs of Tobacco V • 111 Lorentzos Mavilis --Lethe • 112 Connie Jordan Green --Varied Philosophies: A Review of New Books by Bill Brown, David Lawrence and Richard Chess • 113 Darren Morris --Tractor-Jacking • 120 Harry Newman --Crystal Lake • 121 Simon Perchik * • 122 Carol Peters --The First Rabbit • 123 Carl Phillips --Lighting The Lamps • 124 Luke Hankins --Riding Westward: An Interview with Carl Phillips • 125 Umberto Piersanti-- Red Thistle • 134 Water Lily • 135 Jonathan Rice== Apocrita • 136 Patrick Bizzaro --Poetry and Healing: A Review of Four First Collections • 138 David Rigsbee-- Late Night • 147 Ron Paul Salutsky-- Dear Buck Fever • 148 Michael Shewmaker--- Flashcards • 149 Sally Buckner Voices From Two Generations: A Review of Lenard Moore and Gary Lilley • 150 Patricia Smith --The Reemergence of the Noose • 159 The Blood Sonnets • 160 Mark Smith-Soto --Word Weary • 162 Phebe Davidson --The Thing About Second Books: A Review of Georgia Popoff, Janice Moore Fuller, Lynnell Edwards, Linda Parsons Marion and Becky Gould Gibson • 163 Therese Halscheid ---The Poem As Blessing: A Review of Jennifer MacPherson’s Rosary of Bones • 174
As for myself, any journal with poetry by Mark Smith-Soto, Reviews of Becky Gibson's, Linda Marion's, Richard Chess', and Bill Brown's excellent collections right away gets my attention. And, oh yes, there's also William Matthews, A.E. Stallings, Dede Wilson, and a host of others.
I've lived in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina since 1968, though I'm a native of SW Georgia. My paternal grandmother was born in the Blue Ridge, and I grew up wanting to live here. Where I am.
I've published five collections of poetry, the most recent 4 being with LSU Press, and have published poetry in magazines ranging from The Atlantic Monthly to Appalachian Heritage. But I also hike, bang pots and pans around in my kitchen, and love several dogs who leave fur all over my carpets. I write poetry because it's my way of singing back to the world both within and without.