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Gloria Mindock, Editor   Issue No. 25   July, 2007




Welcome to the July, 2007 Cervena Barva Press Newsletter.

June has been a busy month. Two chapbooks were published titled Land of the Morning Calm by Susanne Morning and God of the Jellyfish by Lucille Lang Day. The next chapbook to be published is Sister Mary Butkus by Ed McManis.

As mentioned in the last newsletter, I have an intern working with me from Simmons College named Jennifer Riley. She is doing a remarkable job with layout/production of the chapbooks and full-lengths. I will have her help until the end of August. She has been such a big help to me and the press. It is because of all her hard work, things are moving so much faster. Thank you Jennifer!

I would like to welcome a new intern Diana Kole who will be starting with the press in a few weeks for one hour a week. She will be helping me with publicity, press releases, and many other press related things. Diana writes fiction and is going to start a print journal called Palindromes with other writers. She is a student in Lexington, MA.

Thank you Susan Tepper for interviewing David Ray, Eric Darton, and Ramesh Avadhani for this months newsletter.

The deadline for the September issue of the Istanbul Literature Review is July 1st. Miles Tepper and I will now be reading for the January issue with the deadline being November 1st.
Check out the current issue at:

I would like to thank the webmaster of ILR, Guluzar, for all her hard work.
Thank you to Etkin Getir for everything!

Červená Barva Press Contests

The Press is announcing an online poetry and fiction e-book contest for an e-book to be published on the Web. The press also announces a playwright competition for a play to be published as an e-book.

Online Poetry Chapbook Prize Guidelines:

Entry fee: $5.00. (Check, Money Order or International Money Order) Prize: $50.00
10-35 pages
Include blank title page, SASE, e-mail address, and contact information ONLY.
PLEASE send NO cover letter or acknowledgements. Winner will be asked for acknowledgements and other information.
No e-mail submissions.
Contest will be judged blindly. Gloria Mindock will judge.
Accepting submissions July 10th-August 31st, 2007.

Address to:
Červená Barva Press
Online Poetry Competition
P.O. Box 440357
W. Somerville, MA 02144-3222
Check the website for complete guidelines at:

Online Fiction Chapbook Prize Guidelines:

Entry fee: $5.00 (Check, Money Order, International Money Order) Prize: $50.00
10-48 double-spaced pages in Times New Roman Font, 11 point
Include: SASE, blank title page, contact information, e-mail address
No e-mail submissions. Contest will be judged blindly. Judge to be announced.
PLEASE send no cover letter or acknowledgements.
Accepting submissions July 10th-August 31st, 2007.

Address to:
Červená Barva Press
Online Fiction Competition
P.O. Box 440357
W. Somerville, MA 02144-3222
Check the website for complete guidelines at:

Online Playwright Competition Prize for a one-act play or full-length play

Entry fee: $5.00 (Check, Money Order, International Money order) Prize: $50.00
No e-mail submissions. Send SASE, blank cover page, e-mail address, contact information
Contest will be judged blindly. Gloria Mindock will judge.
Accepting submissions July 10th-August 31st, 2007.

Address to:
Červená Barva Press
Online Playwright Competition
P.O. Box 440357
W. Somerville, MA 02144-3222
Check the website for complete guidelines at:

September1st-November 10th, the press will be holding a poetry and fiction chapbook contest.
Ads will appear in the next Poets & Writers Magazine.

Check the Website for complete guidelines.

Poetry Chapbook Guidelines
Send up to 24 pages, SASE, blank title page, acknowledgements, e-mail address, contact information,
$11.00 entry fee (Check, Money Order or International Money Order)
Winner receives $100.00 and 25 copies.
Please send no cover letter. Submissions accepted Sept.1-Nov. 10th.
Anything postmarked after Nov. 10th will be returned.
Winner announced in January.

Fiction Chapbook Guidelines
Winner receives $100.00 and 25 copies
Send up to 30 pages double-spaced, one story unpublished, SASE, e-mail, contact information, blank title page,
entry fee: $11.00 (Check, Money Order or International Money Order)
Submissions accepted Sept.1st-November 10th.
Any submission postmarked after November 10th will be returned.
Winner announced in January.

Raves to the following authors

self portrait drawn from many by Irene Koronos
65 poems for 65 years

Irene Koronas has written both an anthem and a clear-eyed appraisal of our very human selves. When you are finished reading self portrait drawn from many, you will likely be drawn to read it again. It is that rare combination of immediacy and intimacy, coupled with the unraveling texture of a verbal fugue. Something new and provocative emerges upon each reading. Koronas understands our need for fantasies and the pain of giving them up as she considers a "list of reasons to live without lovers/ addiction rejection notices on/ refrigerator door all fantasy kissed/ goodbye this morning." and our desire for faith in something more, "...knowing/ cannot explain relationships with the/ unknown even though knowing Gods/ yes I am who I am is as close as warm hands building sandcastles."
-- William Kollock Professor Emeritus, School of Contemporary Arts, Ramapo College

ISBN: 978-1-4303-2294-8
Ibbetson Street Press
25 School Street
Somerville, MA 02143

To order Irene's book and browse other books by Ibbetson Street Press, visit:

November by John Minczeski

Under the chill and luminous sign of a November moon, a personal past, as it unfolds, awakens an ancientprototype of encounter with the man/beast, and of love's betrayals. Out of memory's labyrinth, in a rich mixture of metaphor and rue, these strong, sorrowing poems announce a resolve, and with it, a change of light: "when I decided to live, the moon waxed."
--Eleanor Wilner

Finishing Line Press
Post Office Box 1626
Georgetown, KY 40324
To order:

The Art of Writing and Others by George Held

Held's tenth and best collection of poems shows why he has received five nominations for a Pushcart Prize. In these new poems, says Suzanne Noguere, George Held meditates on mastery, demonstrating it at every turn. Bertha Rogers adds, The Art of Writing and Others is a collection to read and enjoy, again and again.

Finishing Line Press
Post Office Box 1626
Georgetown, KY 40324
To order:
By mail: Order before August 8 and get FREE shipping. (After August 8 please add $2 for shipping.)

The Writers Toolbox: Creative Games and Exercises for Inspiring the "Write" Side of your Brain. by Jamie Cat Callan

Chronicle Books
Who's Line is it Anyway? meets Julia Cameron's The Artist's Way
--Publisher's Marketplace

Price: $24.95
Order from Amazon: $16.47
To order at Amazon:




Ramesh Avadhani

Photo: Anita Buehrle


Bombay and its more than ten million people is a stimulating milieu for anyone young and ambitious. I was 21, married and a father to boot when I started working there. The city kept me on my toes 24/7. The crowded streets and jam-packed trains, the vibrant marketplaces and buzzing offices, even the pavement vendors and belligerent hawkers-they seemed to throw a silent question at me all the time-When are you going to make it? But by the time I crossed 35 and achieved some success in my career, everything started to get jaded. I found myself asking the uncomfortable questions I'd ignored all along-Why were my personal relationships not working? What was preventing my personal growth as a human being? Why wasn't I happy writing oh-so- clever advertising copy? I needed a calmer environment to answer those questions.


I don't know how it is in our more than twenty regional languages but in English the writing scene is pretty dismal. I guess it has got to do with market economics and tastes. India has the largest English speaking population in the world, but only a fraction of that population (less than 3%) actually buys books. Reading is not actively cultivated in our children. Parents are busy running the rat race. Teachers have to handle overcrowded classes. So children are left to amuse themselves with TV and video games. Most of the books that sell are non-fiction--self-development, philosophy, health etc. The Indian reader feels she gets her money's worth from those books. Also, most of the Indian fiction writers haven't come out with captivating themes. They write about the familiar and the gloomy, which doesn 't interest the Indian audience. In recent years, only Arundhati Roy's The God of Small Things flew off the bookshelves plus of course some novels by the established authors like Salman Rushdie, Vikram Seth, and Vikram Chandra. There are a few others like Anita Nair, Shashi Deshpande, Kiran Desai, Ruskin Bond, who sell modestly. I think Indian writers need to get better exposed to the writings in the US and UK to achieve their kind of ingenuity and craft in theme and presentation while retaining the oriental idiom of expression.


I gave up a lucrative business in advertising to devote full time to my first novel. It took me ten years to come up with a story that a New York agent thought compelling enough to represent. I had some savings to fall back upon but not enough: so I started to write non-fiction for various magazines. Merce Viader, the editor of Reptilia, the leading herpetological magazine in Europe, encouraged me a lot and it was enthralling to learn and write about snakes and crocodiles. I had to visit zoos, talk to officials there, and go up close to the deadly but beautiful animals. Stephanie Wilson, the managing editor of World and I Journal, which is an online magazine of the Washington Times subscribed by about ten thousand schools in the US, supported me handsomely. She asked me to write on a variety of subjects, from saris to chilis! The poet and fiction editor Henry Israeli of Dragonfire, the online magazine (now defunct) of Drexel University, was the first in the US to appreciate my fiction. I have recently started writing for Luke Martin of The Veterinarian in Australia. Veterinary Science is a fascinating subject but in India, one of the largest cattle owning nations, it is sadly much neglected. I hope my writings can contribute to correcting that situation! Writing for these magazines helped me gain confidence for writing the novel. I would go so far as to say that all aspiring fiction writers should periodically delve in nonfiction writing: acceptances are quicker, you get paid, and it buoys up your confidence levels. And what you learn while researching topics will come in very useful in fiction writing.


I knew I had a solid plot, about a naïve Brahmin boy who runs off with a sexy but older Catholic woman and the tribulations the mismatched couple faces, but I had a terrible time deciding on the narrator voice-whether the story needed two narrators or just one. The original story had three points of view-- the Brahmin's, the Catholic woman's, and the author's-with a lot of back and forth play in chronology. I was myself unhappy about how the story read. I decided to eliminate the woman's pov but kept the to and fro chronology. I sent the novel to an established author, Richard Lewis, whom I met on Francis Ford Coppola's online commune, Zoetrope. Richard emphatically suggested that I make the chronology linear. So another rewrite. This time I felt I had done it and started submitting to agents. But one of them read the first ten chapters of the novel in October last year and couldn't go further. The jolt of change of voices was too much, he said. It took me seve ral months to come around to seeing sense in his reaction and I had to again rewrite with just one narrator voice. This time I was absolutely certain the story worked. The agent agreed. He said that all his readers found the novel witty, entertaining, and charming. He signed me up last month. The novel is about 76000 words long. I believe that a majority of readers can't take in more than 80 or 90,000 words however well the novel is written. These are impatient and distraction filled times; it's foolhardy to pretend we don't have films, tv, and the internet.


I have material for two more novels involving the Brahmin protagonist. The stories see him tackling more challenges as he grows into middle age. I have talked about this with my agent and he has given me a tentative nod but both of us also know that a nod is necessary from whichever publisher buys the first novel. Let's see what happens.


I go for a long walk every morning on the road that curves past India's premier law school. The eucalyptus, tamarind, and neem trees on either side are like loyal friends who whisper tantalizing secrets to me. Then, after a breakfast of traditional south Indian snacks in any one of the four restaurants in the neighborhood, I sit down at my pc. My writing is spasmodic, in bursts of fifteen to twenty minutes, and lasts from ten to five. In between, I visit my aging mother for lunch and listen to her talk about the old days-it's so much free fuel for my fiction! In the evening I watch nature programs on TV, chat up friends and shopkeepers in the neighborhood and read something or the other. I look forward to writing assignments that take me out of Bangalore-I believe one should travel alone to soak in the flavors of a new place. I rarely go to parties or functions; I find them stressful. I need to be calm to manufacture the stress that I put in my stories. On the whole, you could say my life is pretty predictable. Maybe in the future, to write more novels, I'll need to upset this predictability.




Eric Darton

Photo: Gwendolyn Kehrig-Darton



Some of my earliest memories are aural impressions of naptimes. The old tenement I lived in was bookended by industrial buildings and I recall the rhythms of various machines as a kind of dreamscape. Also, across the back alley stood another tenement where women used to hang out washing on clotheslines, so through the window came the sound of pulleys and their conversations, audible, but not comprehensable. Construction sites nearby -- a boom-shish, boom-shish noise which I later learned was a pile driver. At a very basic level, before language, those sounds mapped out my world. So even though I'm a prose writer, my bedrock reality is the sound of whatever's happening.

Later, of course, one swam through a multitude of distinct voices and voicings. I grew up in an Italian-American -- really Sicilian-American -- neighborhood and the city was Puerto Ricanizing fast, so there was a mix of those tongues and a host of Englishes. Not to mention my Yiddish-speaking relatives. No one spoke the same as the next person! So I got the idea that language could be very ductile and symphonic and was, at bottom, a more or less interesting amalgam of sounds.


The heroic scale of the city then too, and the changes that were then taking place in it. The fifties! Vast clearances and ambitious constructions. The era of the great skyscrapers not long past and incredible modernizations still going strong. A glass bank branch through whose huge windows one could see an enormous safe -- right there in plain view on Fifth Avenue. A sculptor, Jean Tinguely, created a machine that destroyed itself to enthusiastic applause of the audience in the garden at the Museum of Modern Art. They broadcast the whole event on the radio, the arrival of the fire deparment and all. Later, I learned the sculpture was called "Homage to New York."

Museums of all sorts and parks, and dangerous streets. Some real squalor. The place was a bloody cornucopia. Anything generous in my writing has to derive from a combination of the wordplay in my family and the mixed messages in the surrounding blocks and boroughs. And then too, you could tune into WNYC radio and hear the United Nations General Assembly. All this domestic chatter and a world of babel out there too. Freighters docking not half a mile away, and ocean liners that went to all the places whose names one heard voting on this or that resolution. Street fairs down the block with dollars plastered to saints effigies hauled through the streets. Knife grinders, live poultry, clubs with strippers along Bleecker Street whose windows sometimes were low enough to peek through if you jumped high enough and grabbed onto the sills with your fingertips. If one didn't go mad with stimulations, one became a writer.


Oy, the sixty-four thousand dollar question. Well, you're right, they are quite different. Free City is a fantastical novel. After which came Divided We Stand, a cultural history of the World Trade Center. The second novel, Orogene, does not, at first glance, resemble the first novel. And the book I just finished, The Great Work, is a memoir that constantly shifts focal length from the narrator's self to the observed and witnessed city to the wider world and back again.

It's a monster -- eleven years of New York life beginning in late 1995, running through 9/11 and concluding early this year -- fourteen hundred odd pages worth wherein the narrative strata all resonate against one another in a way that's more associated with the novel than nonfiction. So the texts, taken individually, would seem to be a mixed litter: one a piglet, another a kitten, still another a puppy, maybe a porpoise in there too, or a composite beast.

But the common element is that the books work through, in varying forms, certain consistent themes. From my perspective, everything I write, at bottom, explores some aspect of the relationship among beauty, power and freedom. And, reciprocally, the obverse of these. One pretty clear analogue among them is that they all narrate these forces playing out in real or invented cities. I try to fuse beauty, power and freedom in the language too. Down to the sentence level. Which makes me a slow writer, at least in the revision and polishing phases. If I were looking at the work from completely outside it, I'd also say this guy has a definite preoccupation with eros and nihilism -- that he's interested in what happens when generative energies transmogrify into destructive ones. My thesis in the WTC book, for example, was that the building of the WTC constituted an abuse of power and a nihilistic act in and of itself.

Last but not least, the books all investigate the kinds of blindness -- personal, intrapersonal and social -- that are occasioned by fear. My fiction protagonists as well as my nonfiction narrators confront terrifying situations and struggle, with greater or lesser degrees of success to see things clearly. They're not classical heroes, but one can't say they fail for want of trying.


Yes, post-9/11 many personal chickens came home to roost. I'd always told my students that once their writing went out into the world, the world would make something out of it way beyond their scope of intent or control. I found myself practicing what I'd preached in spades.

And imagine the weirdness -- a writer suddenly being solicited by the media as though he possessed the philosopher's stone. And why? Because he'd paid attention to something unexamined -- tried to find meaning in a cultural icon that no one gave a rap about until it was obilterated. What made the situation incredibly difficult was that I knew right away that the destruction of the WTC would be used as a pretext for war, so I had the rare opportunity to, metaphorically, stand in front of the tank for fifteen minutes before the collective hysteria shifted to anthrax-phobia and bloodlust. In what universe does a pacifist anarchist get to talk live on Voice of America? Or get a chance to plead the case on Good Morning America for waiting a year before acting -- either to rebuild or to bomb -- so that we could absorb the magnitude of what had happened.

Such was the moment, before the actuality of the horror was shrink-wrapped and the media began the dunning repitition of the towers falling in slo-mo -- the true commencement of Shock and Awe.

Consequently, fighting this losing battle against the dogs of war, I got sick as a dog too -- with pneumonia. I may have breathed in some funky stuff too. Lots of folks did. Being that depleted, not sure my lungs were going to recover was my first real intimation of mortality. In the wake of all this, and particularly when we started bombing Afghanistan, I got very depressed. Somewhere, at bottom, most writers imagine they can change the world with words, and in my own mind I had failed. First, I'd failed to warn people with sufficient urgency that there was something desperately wrong with the WTC to start with, and second that our aggressive response would further deepen the trauma, not help heal it. It got to the point where I actually tortured myself with the idea that if I had written a better book, none of this would have happened. The towers would have been abandoned after the first bombing in '93 and turned into a gigantic curiosity that no one would dream of inhabiting, but which made a nice viewing platform and maybe a base for turbines.

But that was, I think, really a regression to a kind of weird omnipotent stage based on a real sense of helplessness. In a way I was lucky to find out in such an unsparing way that books both do and don't matter, because in some sense, this nightmarish experience freed me to write precisely what I want rather than idealizing the process or writing out of a sense of obligation to knit the ruptures of world and family back together.

As to the before/after part of the question, the book was respectfully reviewed when it came out in late 1999 and sank like a stone. It did make it into the Columbia University classics library, but very few people apart from some urbanists noticed it at all. It was a radical book, both formally and politically, and the left ignored it altogether. The best review came out of the Wall Street Journal. But fundamentally, until the morning of 9/11, the WTC was yawn city. Then, suddenly information about these buildings became interesting, vital even, to a wider readership. In October Divided… made the Times bestseller list.

It's indicative of something in our body politic too that the Divided's phoenix-like rise from remainder table to Airport Book lasted perhaps six weeks. Then the Divided… submerged again, but it has never entirely gone away. In retrospect, I'm glad someone took on the subject and lavished so much time and care on weaving the various threads of the tale into as robust and fundamentally useful a history as time has proven it. The buildings and the souls inside them are gone, so book is really what's left as far as an architecture and archive of ideas goes. All the primary source texts I used were blown away. Bits of those documents drifted down on Brooklyn and got plastered to the windscreens of fire trucks.


I've tried, so far as possible, to live outside the tyranny of the clock. My muse prefers it when I heed her urgings, but the work suffers when I'm crazy or exhausted, so lately she's been pretty tolerant of my attempts to conserve energy when I need to. After all, I'm 57, an age verging on old a generation or two ago. 57 still is old in many places and under cerrtain conditions.

What I do routinely is visit my local café as many mornings a week as I can. It's a regularity I can tolerate without feeling oppressed because there's so much variation built in. Been going there these past twelve years -- the Man at Table 4. The idea of being publicly findable and available appeals to me. For a number of years I wrote at the café back when I was pretty much anonymous there, but then a group of regulars developed and I would miss out on the conversations. So I trained myself to ignore the dust bunnies and work at home. The café is a kind of penny university, where diverse folks gather to sing a kind of collective aubade. Sometimes discordant. Indispensable.

One of the blessings and curses to being a writer is that one works all the time, even when not actively writing. The challenge is learning how to suspend narrating. In my case that's made difficult by the tendency of anxiety to rush into any gap in the work. The midlife practice is to try to engage what's happening and not turn it immediately into thought or story.

For people though, a writing routine is essential, so the trick is to make it less like school and more like a tryst with a lover.


Most definitely. I'd pretty much silenced myself by spring '01 -- my relationship with my writing was drained of energy -- and our trip to France that summer, the incredible sensuality of the environments we traveled through kicked the doors of resistence in. Suddenly I had the strength to go into the yucky stuff that meant becoming a deeper writer.

The second novel, Orogene, owes its existence to a trip to the Dordogne region of France the following year. My compañera suggested that I use the two weeks to give the book a much needed revision that I'd been simply too fragmented to do at home. Well, it wasn't a revision the book needed, but a rewrite -- not a sentence was left standing when I was done. It took a year. But I got a start anyway and found I could keep going stateside. And the geology and flora of the region, not to mention the neolithic caves, poured into the text as though the book had been waiting for them all the time in order to have permission to blossom. Which makes sense given that the book is about the discovery of a perfected world.

The Great Work, the New York journal, invariably leapt ahead on trips abroad. I'd never have had the distance to make big strategic decisions on the text had I been jammed up in the city with my everyday preoccupations and assumptions about what could and couldn't be done.

Recently we went to Costa Rica and on a solitary walk one evening, up and down a mountain, along a path improvised by cows, it came to me that I'd be cool with melting back into the earth whenever it was time. And, curiously, another result of the trip was that myths, Greek and otherwise, which I'd always loved, became much more physical to me. I "got" the relationship between natural forces and gods in a much more direct way. It's not abstract any more.


I sure hope so. Whenever I love a piece of prose, fiction or non, almost invariably there's a strong sense of poetics, often unconscious, that underpins the characters, plot, situations. Poetry and drums grew up together. They're the heartbeat.

If I'm lucky, one day my mind won't be so busy and I'll be able to feel my way toward pure form again.




David Ray

About David Ray

DAVID RAY's latest book is Music of Time: Selected and New Poems. Some of his previous volumes are: The Death of Sardanapalus and Other Poems of the Iraq Wars; One Thousand Years: Poems About the Holocaust; Demons In The Diner; Kangaroo Paws, Wool Highways, and Sam's Book. He is also author of The Endless Search: A Memoir which was praised by Robert Coles as "a story of childhood vulnerability become, in the hands of a gifted, knowing poet and essayist, the stirring reason for a lyrically expressive memoir."

David Ray has received awards for his writing, including the William Carlos Williams Award from the Poetry Society of America, the Maurice English Poetry Award, the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation Poetry Award, and many others. He has taught at universities in the U.S. and abroad, and was founding editor of New Letters magazine and New Letters on the Air radio program. He has also edited several anthologies and often presented readings and workshops. He lives in Tucson, and can be reached at

NEW: Music of Time: Selected & New Poems
(The Backwaters Press, 2006.)


I've thought about the Holocaust for years, partly to remedy my ignorance, which I was made aware of only after my University of Chicago classmates challenged those of us from the Midwest who were, in effect, judged guilty not only of ignorance but of callousness. I was recently reminded of that naiveté when the future King of England foolishly donned Nazi armbands and threw a Mel Brooks mock Heil Hitler salute. I'm sure he had no idea what he was doing other than cavorting, but to summon Holocaust images under any circumstances justifiably provokes outrage.

Another example of this kind of naiveté was the recent caper at Prospero's Books in Kansas City when the owners staged a sidewalk book burning to protest the lack of interest in books, the fact that they could not even give away the thousands volumes of overstock, yet some passersby were plucking books out of the flames. They foolishly if unwittingly summoned up, as if cursed by Prospero's storm-making, ship-wrecking magic, a Holocaust image. Not smart!

But my main reason for writing the One Thousand Years: Poems About the Holocaust was my own suffering, childhood trauma so extensive that it was a sentence to suicidal attempts and a lifetime of therapy. To dwarf such pain with attention diverted to those who suffered far greater horrors helped put my pain in perspective. (Yes, writing is therapeutic, let's settle that question, at least for me, not Sylvia Plath or Virginia Woolf.)

To some extent such catharsis is life-supporting, though it has the downside of dredging up pain as well as seeking solace. The same is true of most of my work, certainly "A Hill in Oklahoma," a poem about my parents during their hardscrabble days in the Great Depression (and it was a Great one). It is true of Sam's Book, which expresses the tip of the iceberg of my grief experience. As those who have lost children can tell you, there is no greater pain, short of a Holocaust like Hitler's.

Someone commented that all my poetry seems to be about victims, and that's true, whether in a poem from Dragging the Main about the waitress denied dialysis for lack of money or in those about Vietnamese peasants, homeless people, children of Baghdad or Bhopal -- or Berlin, the children Hitler took on his knee in "A Song for Herr Hitler," then sent them to die for his follies. A list of the various kinds of victims in my work would be very long. It is presently lengthened by concern with those who, in the ritual called capital punishment, are killed by the state, and by 'illegal immigrants' dying in the desert for lack of a compassionate immigration policy in tune with our ideals.

As for abandoning our ideals by giving way to corporate and government betrayals as well as our own acquisitive habits, Juliet B. Schor, in The Overspent American, has much to say about this betrayal of Communitas. The book's cover is inspired by Grant Wood's American Gothic: the farmer's pitchfork is now a golf club and his wife stands beside him in dark glasses, scarlet lipstick, low-cut blouse and three strings of pearls, a cup of Starbuck java in her hand. Both she and her husband hold cell phones to their ears and behind them their gothic-windowed no doubt refurbished house sports a satellite antenna.

Schor, following Thoreau's advice to simplify, attributes downshifting to "millions of Americans recognizing that in fact their lives are no longer in synch with their values… Downshifting involves soul-searching and a coming to consciousness about a life that may well have been on automatic pilot." I would add that poetry is soul-searching. We write from grief, grief never ending because holocausts keep happening on all continents. From One Thousand Years:


Europe bleeds again.
I am old enough to know
it promised not to.

The betrayal of ideals destroys our bliss, and each day is suffered as if we are forbidden ever to see rainbows again. A book about the Holocaust should remind us that we should hold to our ideals at any cost, honoring Kant's categorical imperative. There is unremitting sadness in knowing that the world is endangered by every weapon on earth and by our own toxicity. When we lived on a farm in Calabria my daughter Wesley picked up a reminder that old evil burns on like the radiation from Hiroshima and thousands of bomb "tests," preparation for future holocausts.


The Rock That Doesn't Break, she calls
it that, picks it up in a field of clover,
brushes off the mud, asks me what it is,
but who am I to explain war to a five-
year-old, who myself see something which
even to touch is dangerous, it is so sharp
and unshiny. I can feel it wanting
to hurt, to whizz through the air, land
in a tangle, be sold and resold. I can feel
how restless it is, not having found after
all this search a grave, where it can rest
and not be picked up, once more estranged,
plowing again through hands and delicate
faces. It is like a small, tired heart
begging not to be stolen still again from
this grave, which is in a field of clover.
        Gathering Firewood and Music of Time

Thinking of such matters, I made another observation:

all journeys seem longer
images sharp, as you meant them to be
in heaven.
        Gathering Firewood

That poem's another of my shorties. I've loved the term since May Sarton wrote me that she loved my shorties. I'll give her credit, and thanks, for the neologism.

What would it take to have hope for heaven as well as hell? Robert Frost seemed to think there's even hope for the past. Imagine, finding hope despite such horrors as the Holocaust, a presumably noble quest of questionable morality even to think of it. Mr. Frost, we can forgive our own crimes, but not those of others.


Do you have hope for the future?
someone asked Robert Frost, toward the end.
Yes, and even for the past, he replied,
that it will turn out to have been all right
for what it was, something we can accept,
mistakes made by the selves we had to be,
not able to be, perhaps, what we wished,
or what looking back half the time it seems
we could so easily have been, or ought…
The future, yes, and even for the past,
that it will become something we can bear.
And I too, and my children, so I hope,
will recall as not too heavy the tug
of those albatrosses I sadly placed
upon their tender necks. Hope for the past,
yes, old Frost, your words provide that courage,
and it brings strange peace that itself passes
into past, easier to bear because
you said it, rather casually, as snow
went on falling in Vermont years ago.
        Sam's Book and Music of Time

No matter how regrettably our "creative" intentions misfire, taking action is more honorable than evasion and paralysis. I stray from your question, but that's precisely what my writings do, whatever scattered work you mention. I hope my leadings of conscience, especially One Thousand Years and The Death of Sardanapalus, will not be remembered merely as propaganda. I hope I will not, like Cervantes, wind up burning my manuscripts. I hope I will not, like Flaubert and Tolstoy, curse my work as contemptible. I hope I will not, like Edna St. Vincent Millay, depressed and addicted to alcohol and morphine, denounce as "propaganda" her work of humanitarian passion such as The Murder of Lidice and her activism protesting the execution of Sacco and Vanzetti. Did she really want to be remembered only for her sonnets and that splendid poem of enthusiasm for nature, "Renascence," which made her famous while she was still in her teens? Instead, I would rather witness, in all senses of the word, to the unbearable lightness of being, not the unbearable burden of darkness.

When one's work finds a single reader who really grasps that work, regardless of its rasa (Sanskrit for the various aesthetic modes) all the struggle seems worth it. Perhaps, Mr. Frost, that's hope for the past. Occasionally a single reader finds you, saying he found your book on a dusty lower shelf. (I think of E.A. Robinson's poem, "Crabb") A woman writes that one of your poems made her weep every time she turns to it. Another writes for permission to read one of your elegies at a funeral or other service. Another wants to reprint "Thanks, Robert Frost." Yet another, a composer who ran across Sam's Book, asked permission to set my poems to music. He wound up composing music for my transcreation of a poem nearly every Korean can recite from memory,"Azaleas." Such contact creates an instant I-Thou relationship.

One of my I-Thou relationships was with David Ignatow, who in a jacket statement for Gathering Firewood contributed the truest insight that could be said of me and my work: "David Ray writes poems that are like a man with an injured child in his arms walking from street to street in search of a doctor or a hospital. He finds none and keeps walking doggedly, and we may tell him, David, such a cure you are looking for for your injured faith in the world is in the truth of your poems. They will survive, they will survive."

Robert Hass writes that "the first impulse of any art is, no doubt, to make something, to act on the world." He quotes Denise Levertov: "We are the humans… whose language imagines mercy,/ lovingkindness…" For all the faults and flaws of my work, mercy and lovingkindness is all I've aspired to share. If only we could press those values into action with the same enthusiasm others give to war!


First of all, I think that a position against war, though you have no more been there than Stephen Crane when he penned The Red Badge of Courage, can be as valid as the opinion of one who has waded through the blood of battle. A stance against war may derive from greater, not less, moral clarity, more knowledge of the lessons of history, and compassion for the world. A warrior, understandably, for tons of propaganda will have been aimed at him, may become indoctrinated with the conviction that the sacrifices demanded are worth it even if, in fact, the lives of his comrades were simply thrown away by the arrogance and hubris of their leaders.

When Robert Bly and I started American Writers Against the War and stimulated efforts of poets to stop the Vietnam war we sometimes had our lives threatened, at least I did. For years after that war, blame was assigned as much or more to those who tried to stop the carnage than to those who carried it out. "Through the Vietnam War, American poets divided the country," the Poetry Consultant of the Library of Congress said in a Washington Post interview a full decade after the war. I called the distinguished poet and shared my opinion that the politicians, not poets, divided the country. In The Death of Sardanaplus and Other Poems of the Iraq Wars I satirized that exchange:


I still find it easy to recall how we poets cleft
our nation in twain, broke the hearts of mothers,
almost brought down the government by flinging
sonnets through the air, launching sestinas from far
out at sea. Poets torched cities with flamethrower
ghazals and machine gun gathas…

In A Poetry Reading Against the Vietnam War, Robert and I rounded up choisis morceaux of anti-war poems, Nazi propaganda, news clippings, satires, etc. Here's a typical quote from a U.S. pilot interviewed in The New York Times a month after my son Samuel's birthday: "I don't like to hit a village. You know you are hitting women and children, too. But you've got to decide your work is noble and that the work has to be done." Prithee, Sir, tell me why you've got to decide the work is noble.

Soldiers in Iraq are making similar statements today, and there is a great deal of propaganda voluntarily offered by the media to make them continue to think their war is noble, lost lives worth any price. Curiously, one of the strongest anti-war statements we chose for our book, "I Sing of Olaf," by e.e. cummings, was censored by his publisher, who would not let us use it. In the copies that had not yet gone out we had to black out the entire page.

In our little book we included a passage from Freud, who wrote about how "the community no longer raises objections when men perpetrate deeds of cruelty, fraud, treachery and barbarity so incompatible with their level of civilization that one would have thought them impossible."

And our good gay gray poet Walt posthumously contributed a shortie:


What deepening twilight - scum floating atop of the waters,
Who are they as bats and night-dogs askant in the capitol?
What a filthy Presidentiad…
Then I will sleep awhile yet, for I see that these States sleep…"
        Walt Whitman

Did our little book help raise consciousness? Some of its selections such as Goering's speech at his Nuremberg Trials crop up in protests against the present wars. The propaganda of all wars sound like boilerplates with only minor variations fed to unwary audiences. All tyrants are, in the words of General Sadao Araki on the eve of the Japanese seizure of Manchuria in 1931, "exceedingly sorry that our enemies do not yet understand our sincerity. It is our mission to struggle against all acts incompatible with freedom and self-determination…We have no other intention than to realize, with all its power, the fundamental ideal - the preservation of peace." Haven't we heard this a few times, including lately. I understand that the "decider" of the present war is extremely vexed with the Iraqis for not being sufficiently grateful for what we've done for them.

Can poems help heal wounds of such horrors, such violations of common sense?

Whether yes or no, we must go on writing, for as Neale Donald Walsch writes in Conversations With God: "You are always in the process of creating. Every moment. Every minute. Every day…you are a big creation machine, and you are turning out a new manifestation literally as fast as you can…" You are meant to be "a light against the darkness." As Quakers sing, "Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine!"

But here's a satire on how it often comes out.


She came up to buy a book and get it
inscribed, one of the most welcome duties
of writers, but my pleasure was short lived.
"I just love your wit," she said, "your poems
are so entertaining." She loved the one
about the child of Baghdad killed
by a smart bomb, and the others about
corporate mass murder at Bhopal,
and she loved the Holocaust, or rather,
my poems on the subject, especially
"A Song for Herr Hitler,"although
she wondered if I really admired him.
On and on she babbled, for she found
all my work enchanting. Christ,
I thought, how have I gone wrong?
She had misread me big time. The poems
were my bleeding heart, delivered by hand.
They were confessions of my sins
and crimes, and some were so ironic
that to miss the message was to commit
slander and libel. These poems
she had misread were my guts, spilled
like those of a gored horse in the Seville
corrida, so beloved by Hemingway.
This little lady had reversed the polarities
of life and traded Goya's horrors of war
for Norman Rockwell's Saturday Evening
paintings of freckled boys in chairs
of dentists or barbers Yet, after reflection,
I felt a surge of gratitude for her mentoring,
for should I not give up and rest on my laurels?

Despite such encounters, my feeling toward readers is still what it was as expressed by one of my shorties:


Rounding up the family one chick
and kitten at a time, I see that even
the fly on the barn wall becomes
someone for whom I was searching.
        Gathering Firewood


Writing autobiography is a near automatic experience once you take off from an incident or reflection on your past. The Endless Search was merely the tip of an iceberg, about a third of the story, for a sequel languishes in manuscript. I believe that writing is therapeutic, though as James Dickey said, "The trick is to climb in with the alligators but make sure you can get out." There are a lot of alligators in any pool you leap into.


When I sailed to Europe on the S.S. Rhyndam in 1966 I wrote a poem, later published in Dragging the Main, that anticipated my present life. The poem was inspired by a white jacketed steward I saw leaning over the rail at the stern. He leaned forward, gazing at the sea and the ship's moonlit wake. Watching him I thought of Melville's Redburn, the young sailor, and the older Ishmael, and Melville himself. Somehow the vision was of a long and a serene life, a vision has survived as counterpart to my despairs.


The sixtieth gull.
It begins to rain.
He turns too, in his
White coat, throws
His cigarette into
The sea.
It is time to return
To those who do not
Love him, to babble
Their children
To sleep, to be
Part of the hum
Of the ship's engines.
The nights sail
Away, on the oil
Of manners and charm.
But once
They stuffed with wicks
Those white gulls
Of the English Channel
And burned them for
Lamps, when Stuka
Provided the birds
And shore-watchers went
Dizzy. It takes
(This sea where we
Rock) the fieriest
Gulls, and it makes
The Stukas and
Messerschmitts fall
In a mist so thick
Few remember. And it
Gives for a bonus
The calm of white-
Jacketed years.
        Dragging The Main

But, to return to your question: With my poet wife Judy, who saves my life two thousand and three times a day, and our love for three grown daughters, lost son, and three grandchildren, not to leave out our loyal mutt, Levi, I have found some serenity in my life, and am beginning to assign the past to deep time. The Quakers too have been important. Of them I say "I don't have any faith, but I like to sit among people who do."

When I retired from my professorship at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, I had already been thinking a lot about simplifying and downshifting, as reflected in some poems.


Space becomes sacred.
Don't wait for the grave.
A small shack will do.
Or perhaps none.
One cart for possessions,
none spilling over.
Just walking - an end
to that car crap, big house
and big chair crap,
stocked pantry,
bars on window,
gold coins, stocks
stashed, plastic cards
the poor don't have,
basement bomb shelter
and one in your head,
all secrets kept.
More cactus, more sun,
less bought and more thought.
        New Letters, 1996

"My life is not perfect, nor is it close to being perfect," Neale Donald Walsch wrote in Conversations With God. In my own way I have followed my bliss, but rarely did I realize it was bliss and that despite myself I have followed a spiritual path all along, even when I was struggling for mere survival as top priority.

Literature has been a big part of my life, spiritual and practical. I could list a thousand writers who have done their share in propping me up in my bed of woe and pointing out the light. And God bless Donald Bond, one of my professors at the University of Chicago. In his class on Eighteenth Century Literature he asked us to write about what we would like to be and do. Without hesitation (or pride) I wrote that I would like to be a writer (I already was), an editor, and scholar. Strangely, I have managed to cover all three bases. Soon I became editor of Chicago Review, then went on to help edit Epoch, found New Letters and New Letters On the Air radio program, and edit several anthologies and the books of several writers.

One of the three ambitions in this triad, my "creative" writing, we have already discussed. As for scholarship, I have researched many articles, including several in the St. James Contemporary Poets encyclopedia and one in the Autobiographical Series of the standard reference series, Dictionary of Literary Biography. My research for both published and unpublished books, such as my manuscript novel based on the lives of the Lindberghs and my collection of poems about Hemingway - and many individual poems and stories for that matter - has been extensive, requiring work in archives such as those at the Library of Congress and the National Archives.

My fat book of collected essays, still in manuscript, is about as scholarly as a poet can manage without becoming a bore. When I retired from the University of Missouri-Kansas City (let me boast, as one does in interviews), I was listed among the one hundred most distinguished individuals "whose efforts created a significant impact for this university," and more specifically among the top seventeen "Scholar-Teachers" of the first seventy years of the university. What a surprise! (See Perspectives, the News Magazine of the University of Missouri-Kansas City, Winter/Spring, 2000.)

Day by day I am becoming aware of the bliss we are born to, and my luck of having survived to write each word you read. And I am glad it was not bloody battlefields that I've survived. I am grateful that most of my crimes were misdemeanors.


I am deep into a story that feels like it will turn out to be a novel. It is not the first novel I have written, though none are published. You say "at the moment," so I'll also tell you that at high noon on my 75th birthday, I worked on a letter to our Arizona governor trying to stop the state's first execution in six years. It was also the day the New York Times Magazine published my letter to the editor criticizing superficial journalism they had published about clinical depression. I am tempted to include as a legitimate genre the thousands of Letters to Editors and Opinion columns, both published and unpublished, I have written over the years, hoping to weigh in on crucial issues. Needless to say, there are often vested interests that block these efforts, but some of these mini-essays get through.

I also write new poems nearly every day. When I run into another poet who is not ashamed of turning out more work than is fashionable, I feel relieved to have found honorable company. One morning before 7 a.m. at the Banff artist colony in Canada, I encountered Bill Stafford. "Have you written a poem yet today?" I jibed. "Three," he said with a grin. Now there's a dangerous example!


Yes, and perhaps something of the serenity of "The Steward." Perhaps that's what I was aiming for all along, but didn't know it.

        For Gloria Mindock & Susan Tepper

Leave out the negative.
Stress the positive.
You dare not brag
though Mark Twain
said "Blow your own
horn lest it be not blown."
And do not rant or admit
you weep each day
for all that's wrong
and because you can-
not stop the war
or what fools do
in Washington. Above
it all, remember
that readers glean
the gossip, so serve
a bite but not too big.
And if there's time
consult your list
of words never ever
to use in poems,
the list that begins
with never and ever.




Legendary Boston Jack Powers Poet Celebrates 70th

(Allston, Mass.) On Sept 15, 2007 at 5 P.M. at the International Community Church in Allston (30 Gordon St.) celebrated poet Jack Powers will celebrate his 70th birthday with a potluck dinner and reading.

Jack Powers is the founder of Boston's legendary "Stone Soup Poets." Founded in 1971 at the Charles Meeting House on Beacon Hill in Boston, Powers has lead this venue of readings, activism and publishing for well over thirty years. Powers was also influential in establishing the Beacon Hill Free School in the 1970's, which encouraged people to teach and participate in educational courses for no charge.

Stone Soup Poets is almost as well known for its publishing history. Powers has published over 80 titles , including Powers' personal favorite "Jack of Hearts," by Lawrence Ferlinghetti. Powers has also published such poets under the Stone Soup imprint as the award-winning Franny Lindsay, and the late Black Mountain School poet John Wieners.

Powers has jumpstarted the careers of many well-known poets including the small press doyenne Lyn Lifshin. Folks like Beat bad boy Gregory Corso, Allen Ginsberg and Robert Bly have passed through Stone Soup's poetic portal.

Stone Soup Poets has been housed for the last several years at the Out of the Blue Art Gallery in Cambridge, Mass. It meets every Monday at 8PM, and carries on the proud tradition with the help of poet Chad Parenteau.

The well-known Boston street artist and activist Sidewalk Sam, as well as Doug Holder of the Ibbetson Street Press, Rev. Lorraine Cleaves Anderson of the International Community Church, and Margaret Nairn president of Collaborative Artworks Inc, are organizing the celebration. The reading and potluck dinner will have music provided by Boston -area poet and singer/songwriter Jennifer Matthews, as well as Powers' sons.

All friends and acquaintances, and anyone who has been touched by Jack in his long literary outreach are invited to come.
Bring a poem, a dish for the potluck, and a friend!

* For more information contact: Doug Holder 617-628-2313

Doug Holder


The Concord Poetry Center Workshops


Instructor: Reginald Shepherd, Award-Winning Poet and Editor

Instructor: Joan Houlihan, Poet & Editor

Hope you can join us!
Best wishes,
Joan Houlihan, Director
Concord Poetry Center

Poetry and Memory: Creating Poetry from Your Life Experience

an eight-week online workshop
led by Tom Daley

at the Online School of Poetry
July 8-August 26, 2007

Craft poems based on your own personal history through an engagement with the work of
Robert Lowell
Yusef Komunyakaa
Judy Jordan
Eugenio Montale
Sylvia Plath
and Thomas McGrath

Weekly assignments will involve writing a poem grounded in a close reading and analysis of the techniques and forms used by one of these authors. Critiques by the instructor and other participants in the workshop will assist you in improving your poetry writing skills. At least two thoroughgoing revisions will be required of each participant. For those interested, advice on publishing your poems will be given by the instructor.

To register or for more information, go to

In addition to his post at the Online School of Poetry, Tom Daley has been a guest instructor in poetry writing at Brown University, Stonehill College and SUNY Cobleskill. Tom has led poetry writing workshops and classes at the Writers In the Round annual retreat for songwriters and poets on Star Island (Rye, New Hampshire)

His poetry has been published in numerous journals, including Harvard Review, Prairie Schooner, Diagram, 32 Poems, Poetry Ireland Review, and Hacks: The Grub Street Anthology. His manuscript, Shim was a finalist for the 2005 Emily Dickinson First Book Prize. He graduated with highest honors in Creative Writing from the University of North Carolina, where he won the Charles and Fanny Fay Wood Academy of American Poets Prize.



Červená Barva Press Contests

The Press is announcing an online poetry and fiction e-book contest for an e-book to be published on the Červená Barva Press Website. The press also announces a playwright competition for a play to be published as an e-book. More>>>

Fresh! Literary Magazine 2007 Contest Guidelines

Short Stories: Submit two of your best writing, two thousand to four-thousand words, free of profanities, prejudice and religious tones. Contest deadline is September 30, 2007. Please include a bio with your submissions. Poetry: Submit two of you best poems, along with a bio, thirty to forty lines and free of profanities, prejudice and religious tones.

Contest deadline is September 30. 2007.
Please include your $10.00 entry fee with your submissions.

Contest Prizes

First Prize: $100.
Second: $60.00
Third Prize: Honorable Mention

First Prize: $75:00
Second Prize: $50.00
Third Prize: Honorable Mention

Mail To
Fresh! Literary Magazine

C/O S. G. Ware
47 Pearson Ave.
Somerville, MA 02144


Ibbetson Street Press Poetry Award for Massachusetts Residents

The Ibbetson Street Press Poetry Award is presented at the annual Somerville News Writers Festival ( held every year at the Jimmy Tingle Off-Broadway Theatre in Davis Square.

The festival will be held November 11th this year. In past years poets and writers such as Pulitzer Prize winner Franz Wright, Robert Olen Butler, Oscar-nominated novelist Tom Perotta, Iowa Writer’s Workshop head Lan Samantha Chang, Sue Miller ( author of “The Good Mother”) , Steve Almond, Boston Globe Columnist Alex Beam, poet Nick Flynn, and many others have read in this event. This year former poet/laureate Robert Pinsky will be receiving the Lifetime Achievement award.

The winner of the award (must be a Massachusetts resident) will receive a $100 cash award, a framed certificate, publication in the literary journal “Ibbetson Street and a poetry feature in the “Lyrical Somerville,” in The Somerville News.

To enter send 3 to 5 poems, any genre, length, to
Doug Holder
25 School St.
Somerville, Mass. 02143
Entry fee is $10.
Cash or check only.
Make payable to “Ibbetson Street Press” or “Doug Holder.
Deadline: Sept 15, 2007

The contest will be judged by Richard Wilhelm
poet and arts/editor of the Ibbetson Street Press.

The winner will be announced at the festival, and will receive his award. A runner up will be announced as well.



(These readings current as of July 1st, 2007- go to the Readings page to see updated listings!)


Boston Skyline


Out Of The Blue Gallery

Stone Soup Poetry (Host: Chad Parenteau), a 35 year old venue, $4, sign up to be a feature - call Bill Perrault at 978-454-7423.
Starts at 7:30PM and don't forget to sign up!
Recorded on local t.v. station.

DIRE LITERARY SERIES /Out of the Blue Gallery/
1st Friday- Cambridge, MA


July 13th DIRE BQ ^PM Food/7PM Music by Jonny Swagger 8PM Readers from GUD Magazine and Kenneth Clark

Aug. 3rd Readers: Nathan Graziano and Nina Shore

Sept. 7th Readers: K.C. Frederick and John Amen

USUALLY the 3rd FRIDAY of the MONTH!
NOLA’s TIGH FILI POETRY & OPEN MIC, $5, 8PM, Host: Nola, poems/prose.


Murry Denofsky

Saturday, June 23rd, 07

OPEN MIC STARTS @ 8:30pm, FEATURE @ 9:00pm
SIGN-UP AT 8:00pm
Come and perform or listen!
Coming Up:

Open Bark Features @ the Out of the Blue Art Gallery:

July 21: Lisa Locke
(Talented singer/songwriter of host of Somerville News'
Poetry & music Series @ Porter Square books)

July 28: Jared Smith
(The author of six critically acclaimed books makes a Cambridge appearance!)

August 4: Bryan Croad
(Virtuoso acoustic guitarist and 8-string bass player, self taught)

August 18: Edward Carvalho & Lo Galluccio
(Sharing duel residencies in Indiana, Pennsylvania,and Boston Edward makes his return
to the Cambridge/ Boston scene, with special guest, Lo Galluccio)

Sept 15: Burt Stern
(Somerville's own Bert Stern, Writer, Teacher, Poet)

Oct 6: Lolita Paiewonsky
(Great Poetess, dramatic reader!)

Oct 2: Sean Theall
(The host of the Main Street Cafe Poetry reading Series in Easton, Mass)

Feb 16 2008: Christine Korfhage
(From Sanbornton New Hampshire, Christine celebrates the release of her first book, We Aren't Who We Are and this World isn't either from CavanKerry Press)

Feature info: Mike Amado,

1st SUNDAY of the MONTH!
DEMOLICIOUS POETRY, $5, 2PM, Host: John, experimental poetry.

Out Of The Blue Art Gallery
106 Prospect Street
Cambridge, MA 02139
phone: 617-354-5287


WORD ON THE STREET @ Sweet Finnish Bakery
Jamaica Plain (centre)

WHEN: THURSDAY, JULY 5TH from 6:30 - 8:00 pm
WHERE: Sweet Finnish Bakery, 761 Centre Street

MIKE AMADO (from Plymouth, host of Saturday night Open Bark poetry @ Out of the Blue Gallery, Cambridge)
+ CHAD PARENTEAU (long time organizer for Stone Soup Monday night poetry @ Out of the Blue Gallery, Cambridge and widely published poet)

Come enjoy a little bit of Greenwich Village in the middle of JP with terrific poetry,
lots of open mic time, baked goods & coffee. . .
Guaranteed: You will NOT be disappointed. . .
Both these poets ROCK and so does the bakery!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


At Longfellow National Historic Site 105 Brattle Street
free and open to the public
Sponsored with the Friends of Longffellow

Sunday, July 8, 4 pm
East Lawn
AMERICAN POETRY TODAY and GETTING IT PUBLISHED with editor and poet X J KENNEDY, the foremost writer of light verse 'and THOM WARD, poet and editor of Boa Editions.

Sunday, July 22, 4 pm
East Lawn
American Icons: Longfellow, Dickinson and Frost read by Poets OLGA BROUMAS, DAVID FERRY and F.D. REEVE comment on the legacys of the early American icons who will also new work of their own.

Sunday, August 5, 4 pm
East Lawn
GALWAY KINNEL a reading by and celebration of his 80th birthday
Galway Kinnell, called "America's preeminent visionary" . Book signing.

Sunday, August 19, 4 pm
East Lawn
ATLANTIC MONTLY's 150th Anniversary gala reading
Poetry Editor DAVID BARBER presents many guest readers to celebrate.

2007 -- Henry W. Longfellow's 200th Anniversary Year!

Longfellow National Historic Site
105 Brattle Street
Cambridge MA 02138


A Tapestry of Voices
Hosted by Harris Gardner

July 12, 2007 6:30 PM
Join us the second Thursday of each month as Tapestry of Voices welcomes the best & brightest poets in the region.

Borders Boston- Downtown Crossing
Corner of Washington and School Streets

Harris Gardner
Director of Tapestry of Voices


Jabberwocky Bookshop

Jabberwocky Bookshop
at the Tannery
50 Water Street
Newburyport, MA


July 2007

Friday, July 13, 2007 7:00 PM
Lama Surya Das

Description: Join us for a special event with Lama Surya Das
More info on this event

Readings featuring Timothy Gager

Timothy Gager Timothy Gager

Photos by Gloria Mindock May 6th, 2007 at SOS Trolley Readings in Somerville, MA.

July 13, 2007, Cambridge, Massachusetts

The Annual Dire BBQ
Out of the Blue Art Gallery

106 Prospect Street, Cambridge, Massachusetts
Food at 6 PM
Music by Jonny Swagger at 7 PM

Regular Dire Literary Series at 8 PM
Featuring: GUD Magazine release Party

with readers David Lenson, Rusty Barnes and William Doreski and poet Laura Cherry
$7 donation

July 28, 2007, New York, New York

Reading for Further Fenway Fiction, 5 PM
The Hairy Monk Pub (A Red Sox Bar)

337 Third Ave. (24th St.)
New York, NY

August 3, 2007, Cambridge, Massachusetts

Hosting and reading at The Dire Series, 8 PM
Out of the Blue Art Gallery

106 Prospect Street, Cambridge, Massachusetts
Featuring: Ted Pelton and Nina Shope
plus Nathan Graziano

September 7, 2007, Cambridge, Massachusetts

Hosting and reading at The Dire Series, 8 PM
Out of the Blue Art Gallery

106 Prospect Street, Cambridge, Massachusetts
Featuring: KC Frederick and Leah Hager Cohen
plus John Amen

September 23, 2007, New York, New York

Reading for Mad Poets Steel City Coffee House Series, 1 PM
with Jennifer McPherson
203 Bridge Street
Phoenixville, PA


Boston Fiction Festival

July 14, 21 and August 11
at Sweet Christopher's in Jamaica Plain.

Tickets Now Available
We're happy to announce that tickets for the second Boston Fiction Festival
are now available via our website (here: ).

Tickets are a mere $7.00 per night for any of our three nights which are July 14, July 21 and August 11. Each night features three wonderful authors. The price is right, and tickets are limited, so don't delay. You can use Paypal to purchase tickets directly from our website or, if you would prefer to pay by check, please contact us via email at:

I hope you will be able to join us.


Writers and Programs:
The following authors will be featured at this year's Boston Fiction Festival:
Sat July 14 - Michael Reitema, William Orem and Jaimee Wriston Colbert
Sat July 21 - Emma Wunsch, Thaddeus Rutkowski and CB Bernard.
Sat Aug 11 - Perry Glasser, Jeff Dougherty, and Susanna Sturgis

you can find out a heck of a lot more about our writers here:

-and even sample their stories here:


Armand Inezian
Project Administrator
Boston Fiction Festival

The Festival will run from 6 pm to about 8:30 pm each night at Sweet Christopher's Dessert Cafe.
We expect be able to provide more specific program information soon.

Sweet Christopher's Dessert Cafe
601 Centre St.
Jamaica Plain MA 02130

Sweet Christopher's is located in the neighborhood of Jamaica Plain in South-West Boston. It is accessible by the MBTA 39 bus route that runs from Boston's Back Bay to Forest Hills Station. There are also a couple of large public parking lots within three city blocks of Sweet Christopher's.

Thomas Rain Crowe
author of
Zoro's Field: My LIfe in the Appalachian Woods
"a Walden for today"

will be appearing at
the Shop at Walden Pond
Walden Pond State Park

915 Walden Street
Concord, MA 01742

on July 15 at 11:00am.

Crowe's book Zoro's Field is the recent winner of both the Ragan Old North State Award and the Philip D. Reed Award from the Southern Environmental LawCenter.

For further information about this reading at the Shop at Walden Pond,
contact Jim Hayden at
or at 978-369-5310.

Brockton Library Poetry Series

Upcoming Features:

July 21st Tom Chandler, Walter Howard
August 18th an Afternoon with painter, philosopher Arnie Danielson
September 15th Maxine Kumin, Carole Oles
October 20th Dr Jeffrey Thomson
November 17th Joanna Nealon, Robyn Su Miller
December 15th TBA

Gypsypashn's Poetry Caravan at Bestseller's Cafe

Bestsellers Cafe Logo

Gypsypashn's Poetry Caravan at
Bestseller's Cafe

24 High Street
Medford, MA. 02155
(In the heart of downtown historic Medford, MA. where Jingle Bells was written; right off Rte 93)

Our venue meets the third Thursday of each month at 6:30 PM.

Free refreshments Open Mic.

Readings commence at 6:30 PM. Readings conclude 8:00 PM.

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July 19th to be announced

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August 16th- Third Annual Biker Poetry Month Celebration and BBQ afterwards!

Don your leathers, lace up your boots, hop on your scoot, on jump in the car, and head on over to Bestsellers for this Celebration! Biker poets from near and far, and far and wide will be present to read their craft, and take you on the ride of a lifetime. Poet Laureates, K. Peddlar Bridges, Colorado T. Sky, Betsy "Gypsypashn" Lister, Marc "Moshe" Goldfinger, JoeGo Gouveia, J. Barrett "Bear" Wolf, will keep you holding on tight. If you didn't arrive on two wheels, when you leave you'll feel like you just spent the evening with the wind in your hair! After the reading, there'll be a continuation of the celebration of Biker Poetry Month at a BBQ Gypsy's house. This is the third year we've done this, and it becomes bigger and better each year! Don't miss this treat!

= = = =

September 20th OPEN - Stone Soup Poets of Cambridge will be featured at Bestsellers!

Line up to follow, and this is yet another first of what I hope to be an annual event. There's loads of talent at Stone Soup, and we're honored to have those poets feature at Bestsellers.... stay tuned for more info.....

= = = =

October 18th First ever SENIORS Reading.

I suppose at this point most of us are Seniors, and if you know of anyone who is over 65, please have them contact me to arrange becoming a feature this evening!

= = = =

November 15th David R. Surrette

David returns to Bestsellers. David R. Surette's first book of poetry is Young Gentlemen's School (Koenisha, 2004). Koenisha will publish a second volume of his poetry Easy to Keep, Hard to Keep In in 2007. David has three poems in a new anthology French Connections: A Gathering of Franco-American Poets. (Louisiana Literature Press 2007) and a poem in Look! Up in the Sky! An Antholgy of Comic Book Poetry (Sacred Fools Press 2007). He co-hosts Poetribe, a poetry series in southeastern Massachusetts.

= = = =

December 20th OPEN - planning something festive, but not sure what yet! :*)

Anyone wishing to feature here, let me know! :*)

That will wrap it up thus far Bestseller's... and anyone who hasn't yet featured, who'd like to, kindly write me and let me know! As always there's OPEN MIC, and REFRESHMENTS courtesy of me.... so as they say on the Price is Right...."C'mon Down!"

The months of April and August are already spoken for, but all other months remain open. If you'd like to be a feature at Bestsellers this coming year, let me know. A reminder that we meet the third Thursday of each month at 6:30 PM.

Want to feature one of the open months? Email me at: Gypsypashn@aolcom

Write on!

New Hampshire Poet Laureate 2005
New Hampshire Poet Laureate 2006, Massachusetts Poet Laureate 2006
Founder of Gypsypashn's Poetry Caravan


Contact information:
Betsy Lister
P.O. Box 496
Medford, MA 02155

Cambridge Cohousing Presents
Fall 2007 – Spring 2008

Tuesday September 25 7:30 PM
Denise Bergman and Charles Coe

Tuesday October 30 7:30 PM
Ruth Henderson and Dan Sklar

Tuesday November 27 7:30 PM
Luke Salisbury and Tim Gager

Tuesday January 29 7:30 PM
Harris Gardner and Gloria Mindock

Tuesday February 26 7:30 PM
Readers To Be Announced

Tuesday March 25 7:30 PM
Gail Mazur and Danielle Legros George

Tuesday April 29 7:30 PM
Tom Daley and Julie Rochlin

Tuesday May 27 7:30 PM
The Jamaica Plain Carpenter Poets

Refreshments are served before and after each reading, starting at 7 PM

Note: The Walden St. bridge is under construction. Cambridge Cohousing is located just north of Porter Square at 175 Richdale Ave. From Massachusetts Ave., turn onto Upland Rd. Take the first right onto Richdale. Cross Walden St. and proceed to 175 Richdale Ave. Cambridge Cohousing is a complex of yellow buildings. Walk through the main gate to the Common House. For further information or instructions, please contact Molly Lynn Watt, 617-354-8242,, or Jenise Aminoff, 617-576-2004, or go to

The Boston Poetry Slam Downstairs at the Cantab Lounge

738 Massachusetts Ave,
Central Square, Cambridge, Mass
(617) 354-2685

Wednesday, 8 pm open mike; 9:30 pm feature; 10:30 pm slam
Hosted by: Slammaster Simone Beaubien
Co-hosts: Dawn Gabriel, Ryk McIntyre, J*me, Adam Stone.
$3 at the door
Please Note:
*****18+ everyone must have a photo ID*****

Lizard Lounge Poetry Jam Sunday Night!

Cambridge Common
1667 Mass. Ave., Cambridge
$5 Cover
Every Sunday Poetry Slam: 8:00 pm
Feature: 9:30 pm
Open Mike: 10:30 pm


Hosted by MIKE AMADO

Part workshop, part reading - all poetry & songs
@ BOOKS AND MORE, in Plymouth, MA
EX. 5, off RT. 3



Hosted by Tony Brown
Every Tuesday starting at 7:30 PM

Reflections Cafe
8 Govenor St, corner of Wickenden St
Providence, RI 02903-4429
(401) 273-7278


Manhattan Skyline



The Academy of American Poets Presents:
June Poetry Readings in Bryant Park

The Academy of American Poets presents the third annual Word for Word Poetry series in Manhattan's Bryant Park. The series runs from May through September under the shade of the trees bordering the rush of 42nd Street.
All readings are free and open to the public.
Location: Bryant Park Reading Room, at 42nd Street between 5th and 6th Avenues.

Rain Venue: Barnes & Noble, 5th Avenue at 46th Street

Sponsored by the Academy of American Poets and the Bryant Park Restoration Project.



Asbestos Arts Group/The Vault—90-21 Springfield Blvd, Queens Village.
[F] to 179 Street, then Q43 to Hillside Ave & Springfield Blvd. Walk past 90th Ave.
Robert Dunn, emcee. $5 adm, no min.
Thursday, July 12th, 2007 @ 8 pm. Richard Fein + Open.

Asbestos Arts Group/Back Fence Bar—155 Bleecker St, Manhattan.
(btwn Broadway & 6th Ave)
[A] [C] [E] [B] [D] [F] [V] to W 4th St.
Robert Dunn, emcee. All Back Fence Opens $5 adm, $3 min.
Sunday, July 1st, 2007 @ 3 pm Peter Chelnik + Open.
Sunday, July 8th, 2007 @ 3 pm Michael Fiorito + Open.
Sunday, July 15th, @ 3 pm Andrew Sapia + Open.
Sunday, July 22th, 2007 @ 3 pm Bob Hart + Open
Sunday, July 29th, @ 3 pm Ellen Lytle + Open.

Asbestos Arts Group/Senona’s—102-37 Jamaica Ave, Richmond Hill, Queens
[J] to 102nd-104th Streets.
Robert Dunn, Leigh Harrison, emcees. $5 adm, $3 min.
Tuesday, July 10th, 2007 @ 7:30 pm Hassanal Abdullah, Sour Grapes + Open Mic.

Asbestos Arts Group c/o Robert Dunn,
75-05 210th Street
#6N Bayside NY 11364.
718 776-8853

Submit to Asbestos Poetry Journal at
Submit to Soul Fountain (Literary Journal) at
Include submission in body of e-mail.


Readings featuring Thad Rutkowski


July 8, Sunday, 3 p.m.
Hosting open reading at ABC No Rio gallery,
156 Rivington Street (between Suffolk and Clinton; F train to Delancey),
Manhattan. $3.

July 16, Monday, 8 p.m.
Reading with Janice Eidus, Paolo Javier and Lee Slonimsky
Hosted by Dorothy F. August
Living Theatre
21 Clinton Street (below Houston), Manhattan.

July 21, Saturday, 6-8:30 p.m.
Boston Fiction Festival

Sweet Christopher's, 601 Centre Street, Jamaica Plain, Mass.
Reservation required

August 7, Tuesday, 5 p.m.
Reading, Happy Gnome restaurant
498 Selby Ave., St. Paul, Minn.

August 11, Sunday.
Hudson Valley Poets Festival
Beacon, N.Y.

Sept. 25, Tuesday, 7:30 p.m.
Barnes & Noble
1542 Northern Blvd., Manhasset, L.I.

November 9, Friday, 7 p.m.
Memoir Reading
Callanwolde Fine Arts Center, 980 Briarcliff Road N.E., Atlanta
$10. Good refreshments
Hosted by June Akers Seese

November 16-18, Friday-Sunday
Berlin Poetry Hearings

January 4, 2008, Friday, 9:30-11:30 p.m.
Panel discussion: "Polish American Writing: From Polish Tradition to the American Identity."
Polish American Historical Association, Washington, D.C.

Hope to see you! --Thad Rutkowski

Boog City's Renegade Press Series at Vox Pop Fest, July 7-8

Vox Pop¹s Declaration of Independence: A Festival of Poetry and Music
Featuring Boog City's
d.a. levy lives: celebrating the renegade press series in exile

Featuring seven of the area's finest publishers, with readings from their authors

Vox Pop
1022 Cortelyou Rd.
Flatbush, Brooklyn

For more info go to:

Curated and with an introduction by Boog City editor David Kirschenbaum

Featured Presses
(with hosts/curators and authors):
(complete festival information is at the end of this email)

Sat. July 7
1:00 p.m.-2:00 p.m.

Futurepoem Books (editor Dan Machlin)
Merry Fortune
Serena Jost
Rachel Levitsky Machlin

and special guests.

3:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m.

Portable Press at Yo-Yo Labs (editor Brenda Iijima)
John Coletti
Jennifer Firestone
Martha Oatis
Marianne Shaneen

5:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m.

Belladonna* Books (co-editor Rachel Levitsky)
Corina Copp
Joanna Fuhrman
Nada Gordon
Tim Peterson or Trace

Litmus Press/Aufgabe (poetry editor Paul Foster Johnson)
Brenda Iijima
Idra Novey

9:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m.

Ugly Duckling Presse (collective member TBA)
Steve Dalachinsky
Edwin Frank
Elizabeth Reddin
Laura Solomon

Sun. July 8
1:00 p.m.-2:00 p.m.

Kitchen Press (editor Justin Marks)
Ana Bozicevic-Bowling
Chris Tonelli

3:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m.

Wilderside Media (co-editors Ian and Kimberly Wilder)
Ellen Pober Rittberg
Lois Walker
Ian Wilder
Kimberly Wilder

5:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m.

Bowery Books (Bowery Women: Poems co-editor Marjorie Tesser)
Tsaurah Litzky
Amy Ouzoonian
Mary Reilly
Gabriella Santoro Tesser

Celebrate American Revolution: Independence Day Week at Vox Pop!

1022 Cortelyou Road
Brooklyn NY 11218

Vox Pop is celebrating America's independence the only way we know how: with community-empowering events, live music, an art opening, and lots of BBQ, all week long.

Spend your Independence Day with Vox Pop as we discuss Brooklyn's role in the American Revolution with ³Meet the Cortelyous,² a presentation on the namesake for our street: Jaques Cortelyou. Borough of Brooklyn historian Ron Schweiger will give a talk from 2-3 PM. For lunch, grill master ³Tío Tim² serves up dry-rubbed lamb, ribs, chicken, and rabbit (as well as veggie kebabs and veggie burgers) grilled with ³Tío Tim¹s Top Secret Sauce.² From 7 PM to 8:30 PM, vaudevillian performer/magician/escape artist Jared Rydelek and others will perform the Vox Pop Variety Show. Bring friends and family for a truly unique Fourth of July picnic at Vox Pop!

July 5th puts the spotlight on local independent artists with ³An American Response,² an art opening with live music, delicious food, and original art beginning at 7 PM. Protests and pamphlets aren¹t the only way to speak your mind, and we¹re giving Brooklyn¹s established and up-and-coming artists a chance to promote their message as well as their work in the largest group art show in Vox Pop¹s history. Artists will include photographer George Hirose and painter Andrew Lenaghan, alongside the work of their students and contemporaries. The BBQ starts at 1 PM, so get there early to grab your plate before the festivities start!

July 6th kicks off Vox Pop's ³Declaration of Independence: A Festival of Poetry and Music² at 1 PM and continuing all weekend with the Buffalo Poets and Boog City¹s d.a. levy lives: celebrating the renegade press series in exile. There will also be a reading from the late Reverend Pedro Pietri¹s If You Can Sleep, You are Heartless by his son, Speedo Pietri, and BBQ will be served from 1-9 PM amid live music and poetry readings all weekend.

On July 7th, editor Michael Tyrell will present selections from Broken Land: Poems of Brooklyn, followed by readings from authors published by Futurepoem Books, Portable Press at Yo-Yo Labs, Belladonna Books, Litmus Press/Aufgabe, and Ugly Duckling Presse.

July 8th brings writers from Kitchen Press, Wilderside Media, and Bowery Books to the stage to wrap up a weekend of words, music, and irresistible food.

Sander Hicks
Chief Instigator
Vox Pop

718 940 2084
718 940 0346 (f)
347 446 4461 (c)
1022 Cortelyou Road
Flatbush, Brooklyn, NY 11218

Directions: Q to Cortelyou, F to Ditmas
Venue is at Stratford Road

David A. Kirschenbaum, editor and publisher
Boog City

330 W.28th St., Suite 6H
NY, NY 10001-4754
For event and publication information:
T: (212) 842-BOOG (2664)
F: (212) 842-2429

Readings featuring Timothy Gager

Timothy Gager Timothy Gager

Photos by Gloria Mindock May 6th, 2007 at SOS Trolley Readings in Somerville, MA.

September 23, 2007, New York, New York

Reading for Mad Poets Steel City Coffee House Series, 1 PM
with Jennifer McPherson
203 Bridge Street
Phoenixville, PA




Lalita Java
210 East 3rd St.
(Btwn. B & C)

92nd Street Y Reading Series

92nd Street Y Reading Series

Lexington Avenue at 92nd Street
New York, NY


Philadelphia, Pennsylvania:

Old Town Philadelphia


"Poetry & Prose & Anything Goes with Dr. Ni"
(radio show; internet radio)

Address: (Dr. Ni's local address) P.O. Box 15095
City and State: Philadelphia, PA 19130-9998
Contact person and or URL/information: Dr. Niama L. Williams; www.internetvoicesradio
Date, time, price: Every Tuesday, 8-9 p.m. EST
$35/guest/appearance on show
Readers: International internet radio listeners
Other appropriate info: (station owner's address):
Ms. Lillian Cauldwell
P.O. Box 2344 Ann Arbor, MI 48106-2344;

Dr. Niama L. Williams
P. O. Box 15095
Philadelphia, PA 19130-9998

Hosted by Aziza Kintehg

Every First Friday of the Month

Be part of an Art Extravaganza * Spoken Word * Music Freestyle * Open Mike

Jose Sebourne Graphic Design
1213-15 Vine Street Philadelphia PA 19107
7-10pm $5.00 Cover

Contact info:
The Gallery - (215)564-2554
Aziza Kintehg(215)668-4500
Email: azizalockdiva@...

or check out the website:


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