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Archive for August 2014

Dear Darwish by Morani Kornberg-Weiss reviewed in The Iowa Review

In her finely crafted debut collection, Dear Darwish, Morani Kornberg-Weiss offers readers a graceful synthesis of domestic imagery and political life. By challenging the boundaries between public and private spaces, and between public and private types of address, the poems in this deftly rendered first book show us that a morning cup of coffee, a dish, and a darkened room can serve as a point of entry to questions that are global in scope. Presented as a series of letters to the iconic Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish, Kornberg-Weiss's poems suggest that the traditionally feminine realm of the home remains at the very center of much larger political and ethical conflicts, presenting us with a perfect matching of form and content all the while.

With that in mind, I find it fascinating that Kornberg-Weiss engages with the epistolary tradition, as letters are frequently categorized as part of the private, and hence domestic, realm of discourse. As the book unfolds, Kornberg-Weiss politicizes this seemingly feminine type of writing, revealing the myriad possibilities for activism within the epistolary tradition. Consider "Dear Mahmoud":

Many poems are
to other writers.
The indication: a 'for.'

I wonder about these offerings.
Do they begin with the addressee in mind
or does the gift-receiver appear midway?

Read the whole review here 

Read a Preview or buy the book here 

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Vow by Kristina Marie Darling reviewed in The The Poetry


Review: “Vow” by Kristina Marie Darling & “The Blue Rental” by Barbara Mor

by KARL WOLFF on AUGUST 18, 2014







-“Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection.  But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.”

 Timothy 11 -12, The Bible, King James Version

-“Naturam expellas furca, tamen usque revenit.”

(“You can drive nature out with a pitchfork, she will nevertheless come back”)”

 -Horace (65-8 BC), Epistles I.X.24

Kristina Marie Darling created a domestic drama that unfolds in white space, an emptiness surrounded by a commentary in the footnotes.  It is a text without text, a Beckett-ian “texts for nothing” literalized.  Barbara Mor created a panorama, a historico-politico-paleontological rant against collective and individual injustices.  It is written with chthonic excess, with Whitman-esque long poetic lines set amidst the painted landscapes of the American Southwest.  Both Mor and Darling represent visionary feminist poetics; one spare and skeletal; the other a surrealist logorrhea.

Vow is about a marriage.  Rendered in short lines and esoteric marginalia, the bride faces the slow reduction and negation of her identity.  Unlike Mor’s work, The Blue Rental, Kristina Marie Darling’s work isn’t a frontal assault on violent male idiocy and its institutional tentacles (the state, the military, the corporation, etc.).  Darling works through small meditations on relics and debris. 

READ the whole review here

Check out VOW by Kristina Marie Darling here

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Down Stranger Roads by Roger Craik Now Available!

 No one sounds like Roger Craik. His voice, a beguilingly cosmopolitan mix of British purebred and American mutt, is the well-stamped passport he shows at border crossings from Ashtabula to Auschwitz, from Kent State to Krakow, from Amsterdam to the far-flung outposts of the human heart. This poet is most at home when far from home, prowling the shrapneled boondocks and scrap yards of Cold War history. His poems are pungent as a supper of pork and tripe and boiled cabbage, washed down with a few dark pints of the local brew. A true sojourner, he is one of our finest singers of the quiet elations and solitary illuminations of travel.

—George B. Bilgere, author of The White Museum which was awarded the 2009 Autumn House Poetry Prize.
What sets Roger Craik’s body of work apart from that of so many contemporaries is the quality of its savoring, the sense that human experience in all its complexity is richly rewarding when we attend to it with a keen eye and an open heart.  Therein lies the unity behind these wide-ranging, varied lyrics.  Whether the poem looks to the past or lives in the immediate, whether its setting is local or takes us to a foreign space, whether its tone is celebratory or elegiac, whether it is intimate or broaches the broader, public world, in each case it conveys the impression of an abiding sustenance for the spirit in our everyday lives.  And that impression is subtly but unmistakably strengthened by the care with which Craik uses language and savors its possibilities.  All of which means that the final savoring is ours, the readers’, each time we take up and linger over this marvelous collection.
Steven Reese, author of American Dervish.
Roger Craik, Associate Professor of English at Kent State University Ashtabula, has written three full-length poetry books – I Simply Stared (2002), Rhinoceros in Clumber Park (2003) and The Darkening Green (2004), and the chapbook Those Years (2007),  (translated into Bulgarian in 2009), and, most recently, Of England Still (2009). His poetry has appeared in several national poetry journals, such as The Formalist, Fulcrum, The Literary Review andThe Atlanta Review.
English by birth and educated at the universities of Reading and Southampton, Craik has worked as a journalist, TV critic and chess columnist. Before coming to the USA in 1991, he worked in Turkish universities and was awarded a Beineke Fellowship to Yale in 1990. He is widely traveled, having visited North Yemen, Egypt, South Africa, Tibet, Nepal, Japan, Bulgaria (where he taught during spring 2007 on a Fulbright Scholarship to Sofia University), and, more recently, the United Arab Emirates, Austria, and Croatia. His poems have appeared in Romanian, and from 2013-14 he is a Fulbright Scholar at Oradea University in Romania.
Poetry is his passion: he writes for at least an hour, over coffee, each morning before breakfast, and he enjoys watching the birds during all the seasons.
Book Information:
· Paperback: 102 pages
· Binding: Perfect-Bound
· Publisher: BlazeVOX [books]
· ISBN: 978-1-60964-135-1

Down Stranger Roads by Roger Craik Book Preview

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The Color Symphonies by Wade Stevenson Now Available!

 “This is a visionary work. It’s a torrent, a whirlwind, a symphony of colors. It’s a blazing apocalypse of rainbows, a dazzling setting sun of the material world. Surely it was written in some god-inspired, intoxicated state reflected through the rational mind of a star-struck color scientist. Gulp it, inhale it, or let it whiz by you, like a comet about to be devoured by the sun! Either way you’ll come away dazzled, blinded by the light, perhaps redeemed by the orgasmic beauty of a shared vision.”

—Aloysius Werner

“Your book flows like a wonderful ballet using the colors as movements toward a higher goal. It feels like music all the way through. I thought of Elgar’s Nimrod Variations or Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6. You have all the best parts of poetry mixed into a world that is almost the scope of a novel. I felt a great sense of warmth towards Blue. Symphony is the word for this book.”

—Geoffrey Gatza, Author of Apollo and House of Forgetting

Wade Stevenson was born in New York City in 1945. He is the author of several books of poetry, a memoir “One Time in Paris” and a novel, “The Electric Affinities.”

Book Information:

· Paperback: 290 pages

· Binding: Perfect-Bound

· Publisher: BlazeVOX [books] 

· ISBN: 978-1-60964-175-7



The Color Symphonies by Wade Stevenson Book Preview

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Geoffrey's Health Update


Hello, I wanted to take a few minutes of your day and explain why I have been a bit behind in my work for the past few months and thank everyone for their kind support during a very difficult time. I have been extremely sick for most of the summer but do know that after a lot of treatment I am recovering nicely and should be back to good health in September.

I have done my very best to keep this a personal event in my life, but as I move further and further into my recovery, I have been overwhelmed by work that might be completed during my recovery. It is true that I almost died in mid July from a lung abscess and that I spent ten days in our local Veterans Hospital. I was suffering from a bout of pneumonia that began being treated on May 20th. After eight weeks things did not get better, but rather my pneumonia developed into a lung abscess, which is really rare. This had my doctors rather worried when I went back to the hospital on the 16th of July. I had expected to return home again that night with a new prescription of antibiotics, but rather, I was admitted to a quarantine room for fear I had contracted TB. This was done under an abundance of caution, as my team of doctors was certain that my lung abscess had arisen from my pneumonia. After seven days in an isolation room and several tests they determined I was not contagious nor had TB, they began treatment for the abscess in my lung. I underwent a procedure that removed the abscess that was as successful as uncomfortable. I am still working on clearing the pneumonia from my lungs with very strong antibiotics, which I will be taking for another thirty days. After that I will return to the hospital for more tests to be sure that all is well and that I am a healthy Geoffrey once again Hurray.

The good news in all of this is that I am no longer a smoker. As of tomorrow, it will be four weeks tobacco free. After ten days in the hospital it was an easy thing to quit cigarettes. Now I am just adjusting to self-identifying as a non-smoker. But that will take care of itself in no time at all. Plus, I lost twenty pounds and I look quite good. My strength is returning slowly but surely, but this summer is shot for activities.

My time in the VA hospital was great, I was well cared for by a caring nursing staff and the doctors on my team made me feel comfortable and confident that they had my condition well in hand. Considering the severity of my condition, they all were caring in the right ways. And the hospital food was pleasant as well. So hurray on that, I am glad to be back at home with my cats and Donna.

I am not now ready to return to a full work schedule, but I am able to work for an hour or two a day so as to not let things go to far afield. So if you have something pressing, I can work on it, but do know that I will be working very slowly. I would greatly prefer it if we waited in

Rockets, Geoffrey 

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Extra Pages

Photos on flickr