Monday, February 18, 2019

your february annogram

The Hero Emerges

Woo-hoo!  Fresh box of books!
What a thrill to start off the year with the debut of The Hero (Chax Press)! By contemporary French poet Hélène Sanguinetti, The Hero is my translation of her book-length poem exploring the absurdities of war. Charles Alexander designed a volume that is as beautiful to hold as it is to read. And we are delighted that Small Press Distribution highlighted The Hero in its ALL NEW SPD RECOMMENDS.

Translation for Writers

Know a minimum of another language?  You can enrich your own writing and publishing credits through translation. Sarah Lawrence Professor Ann Lauinger, Art Historian Beth Gersh- Nešić, and I will discuss literary translation this Sunday, February 24, at 4pm, at Bronx River Books in Scarsdale. Learn about the many opportunities in this growing field. Come join us! Free and open to everyone.

Brine Salt and Vinegar Translation Contest

Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clézio

Rajiv Mohabir selected my translation from Vers les icebergs (Mercure de France, 2014) as a runner-up in the 2018 Brine Salt and Vinegar Translation Contest.  Vers les icebergs, by Nobel Prize winner Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clézio, is a stunning meditation on poetry and specifically the poem “Iniji” by Henri Michaux. Thanks to Mercure de France for permission to translate and publish this selection.

More poetry published

So excited to have my poem, “Kin”, appear in the Texas-themed Enchantment of the Ordinary (Mutabilis Press, 2018); “Blue Moon” in Celestial Musings: Poems Inspired by the Night Sky (Independent Publisher, 2018), “Haunted” and “Blue Moon” in Vitamin ZZZ’s 40 Winks issue and, just in time for Mardi Gras, “Matinée” in Gris-Gris. Look for more Sanguinetti translated in the upcoming AMP, the literary journal of Hofstra University.

Cubism at the Centre Pompidou  

Robert Delauney, City of Paris, 1912
Wish you could fly to Paris to see the blockbuster Le Cubisme S’Expose? No need—intrepid Art Historian, Beth Gersh-Nešić, did so in January. Her Bonjour Paris review, a breath-taking survey of Cubism, features images you’ve never seen, and provides historical context for what we now take as the iconic threshold to Modernism. Learn about the Cubists’ belief “in the fluid intersection of everyday life and art, what Apollinaire called the poetry of circumstance.Mais oui! Brava, Beth!

Andy Warhol – From A to B and Back Again

Shot Marilyns, 1964
What is it about Warhol (1928–1987) that is uniquely American? His work anticipated our obsessive celebrity culture, elevating and mocking it at once. This exhibition at the Whitney—the first US retrospective since 1989—reconsiders his work in the light of new research and scholarship. My husband Michael once saw him deeply considering a sofa at B. Altman’s—framing its image with his hands from different angles. Art was found everywhere. Through March 31st.

Poesía Recitada

Sylvia Plath (1932-1963)
You may have seen me reading Free Ferry (Upper Hand Press, 2017) in the Books Movie—an international vehicle for spoken poetry such as “Célébrations” by French poet and literary critic Jean-Luc Pouliquen. The free Poesía Recitada subscription also includes English speakers sharing poets such as such as Sylvia Plath and Oscar Wilde. Something about spoken poetry mesmerizes, and you can read the filmed text as you listen. Take a moment to treat yourself.

Creative Opportunities

Kevin Pilkington
Praise Poem Workshop for Brooklyn Poets starts in March – register here

Submit poems before March 10 to – see complete details

Poetry Workshop with Alan Shapiro, Katonah Library, May 4, 10-3: $125  email

Writers Retreat, Jimmy Santiago Baca, June 19-20, Albuquerque, register here

Kevin Pilkington teaches Poetry for Publication, Maine Media College, August 4-10. 

Private Poetry Workshops online with Arthur Vogelsang – see details here

C and R Press seeking editorial interns – email

New Releases

Rachel Cloud Adams, Space and Road (Semiperfect Press, 2019)

Michael Baldwin, The Quantum Uncertainty of Love (Shanti Arts Press, 2019)

Ann Cefola, trans., Hélène Sanguinetti, The Hero (Chax Press, 2018)

Suzanne Cleary, Crude Angel (BkMk Press, 2019)

Terry Dugan, I’m the Reason the Kids are Dead (The Moonstone Press, 2019)

Michael Heller, Constellations of Waking (Dos Madres Press, 2019)

Alex Poteet, Carnivores (L and S Press, 2018)

Nahid Rachlin, A Way Home (Ravenna Press, 2018)

Tina Rahimi, trans., Mehdi Navid, The Book of Sounds (The Operating System, 2019)

Linda’s Shrimp Fried Rice

Poet and artist Linda Simone sends the most delicious recipes my way, and this is one. Fast and delicious. Enjoy!

1 lb. Trader Joe’s Red Argentinian frozen shrimp
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 Tablespoons sesame oil, divided
3 cups cooked rice (best made a day ahead)
1 small organic white onion, chopped
1 cup organic mushrooms, sliced
1 organic red pepper, seeded and sliced
2-3 Tablespoons tamari sauce (more or less to taste)
3 eggs, lightly beaten
2 Tbsp chopped green onions

Preheat large skillet to medium heat. Add vegetable oil, 1 tablespoon sesame oil and shrimp to skillet, and salt and pepper. Cook shrimp 2-3 minutes. Remove with slotted spoon and set aside. Add white onion, red pepper, and mushrooms; sauté until tender. Slide veggies to side, and pour beaten eggs on other side. Using spatula, scramble eggs. Once cooked, mix eggs with veggies. Add rice and shrimp. Pour tamari sauce and 1 tablespoon sesame oil on top. Stir and heat rice and veggie mixture. Add chopped green onions.

Poetry Readings / Literary Events

Laurel Peterson
Norwalk Open Mic, Rene Soto Gallery - March 1, 7pm

Norwalk poets, including Laurel Petersen, in Oysterville: Poems read at Norwalk Library – March 2, 2pm 

HVWC Open Mic - March 15, 7pm, $5

Abrons Arts Center, March 28-April 7, TILT premiere swirls movement, wood, live music, tap dance, pinball, and the story of Don Quixote featuring music by Lynn Wright and tap dancer Heather Cornell, early tickets $25

Zinc Bar, Saturdays at 4:30pm, $5; February 23, Eileen Myles, Korakrit Arunanondcahi; March 2, Erica Hunt, Sean D. Henry-Smith; March 9, Constantina Zavitsanos; March 16, Ser Serpas, Park McArthur; March 23, Quinn HarrelsonMarch 30, Diamond Stingily, TBA

ʼRound the Net

Julia P. Howard
Chax publisher and poet Charles Alexander on his invitation to the 7th Annual Chinese/American Association for Poetry & Poetics in Wuhan, China

Poet Llyn Clague for his poem “Tough” published in Avalon Literary Review

Translator Chen Du for poems in Dead Mule and Lunch Ticket

Poet Terry Dugan for this article on the poetry of black women by Patricia Spears Jones

Poet Gary Glauber for work in Our Poetry Archive, Cirrus Poetry Review, Blognostics, and Event Horizon

Poet Julia P. Howard for her feature interview in Small Orange Poetry Journal
Cindy Hochman

Independent bookstore owners Mark Fowler and Jessica Kaplan for this article on Bronx River Books

First Literary Review – East Editor Cindy Hochman on her Duotrope interview

Yorktown Poet Laureate John McMullenfor two stories on Wattpad, a poem on Raven’s Perch, article on why you need to join a writing group and 100 best sites for writers – thanks, John! 

Melville House for this article on Wattpad and its new publishing division

William Carlos Williams
New York Public Library for their top picks

Poets and Writers for this video of Rafael Campo on William Carlos Williams

Novelist Nahid Rachlin on her new book, A Way Home(Ravenna Press, 2018), and LinkedIn interview

Believe in Tidal Forces

Memoirist Sarah Bracey White says, “When the tide comes in, the boats all rise.” And it feels that way for friends with new books—I rejoice in their talent and perseverance: Terry Dugan (I’m the Reason the Kids are Dead), Linda Simone (The River Will Save Us), Mary McCray (Cowboy Meditation Primer), Suzanne Cleary (Crude Angel), Rachel Cloud Adams (Space and Road), Natasha Nesic (The Miracle on 98th Street), Susana Case (Erasure, Syria), John McMullen (Live at the Freight House), Nahid Rachlin (A Way Home), Pamela Hart (Mothers Over Nangarhar), Sally Bliumis-Dunn (Echolocation) and Michael Baldwin (The Quantum Uncertainty of Love). And to come: Maureen Pilkington (This Side of Water), Cindy Hochman and Bob Heman (The Number 5 is Always Suspect), Beth Gersh-Nesic (Pablo Picasso and Andre Salmon: The Painter, The Poet, and The Portraits), Janet Kaplan (Ecotones), Margo Stever (Cracked Piano and Ghost Moose), and Ruby Silvious (Reclaimed Canvas).  

If you’ve been writing for a month, a year, or all your life, keep writing, and keep believing.

Until next time,

Monday, December 10, 2018

your year-end annogram

Bronx River Books

Mark Fowler and Ann
Great to meet Mark and Jessica Kaplan of Bronx River Books! Scarsdale’s only independent bookshop is a bright and welcoming space full of easy-to-find classic and contemporary work. I love the reading nooks where you can road-test a volume. I also enjoyed meeting and hearing Sally Bliumis-Dunn read last month from her new book, Echolocation (Plume Editions, 2018).

Holiday Writing Festival

On December 16, Bronx River Books will host two readings of writers from the Scarsdale Library Writers Center: 6:30 -7:45pm, and 8-9:15pm. The Center, led by novelists Barbara Solomon Josselsohn and Jimin Han, features writers such as my personal favorite, Mary Wasacz, whom you can hear in the second session. Break a line everyone, as my friend Meredith Trede says.

The Hero to Debut This Month

Excited that my second book of translation will appear this month from Chax Press! The Hero, by contemporary French poet Hélène Sanguinetti, addresses absurdities of war. Although written more than a decade ago, it anticipates the divisions of our time. See also my three poems celebrating the Bette Davis film “Now, Voyager” in Rabid Oak, and next month look for the Texas-inspired anthology, The Enchantment of the Ordinary (Mutabilis Press), which includes my poem, “Kin.” 

Award-winning Upper Hand Press

Congratulations to Upper Hand on being a finalist in the American Book Fest Awards in the travel category for She Can Find Her Way: Women Travelers at Their Best (2017). Jump on this or any Upper Hand book, including Free Ferry, half price through January 15. Optional holiday wrap and hand-written note mailed directly to your gift-list recipients. Need writerly inspiration? Herta Feely, author of the award-winning Saving Phoebe Murrow (2016), shares in this video how she pursued her dream.

Dickens Christmas and Vintage Holiday Postcards

Charles Dickens gave his first reading of A Christmas Carol in 1853 and brought his reading tour here in 1867-68. The New York Public Library celebrates the US tour’s 150th anniversary with a special installation of Dickens’s annotated prompt-copies of A Christmas Carol and other books with original photographs, first editions, and ephemera. Don’t miss the library’s heartwarming holiday postcard collection on exhibit too.

Linda Simone Poetry and Art at the Twig

Linda Simone by her
illustrated Tricentennial poem
In or near San Antonio? Don’t miss Linda Simone reading from her debut poetry collection, The River Will Save Us (Kelsay Books) at the Twig, December 12, 5:30-7pm.  During a wine and cheese reception, peruse the poet’s gorgeous exhibited watercolors. Linda’s poetry, recently selected for San Antonio’s Thirty Poems for the Tricentennial: A Poetic Legacywas in Poet Laureate Laurie Ann Guerrero’s Love Poems to San Antonio exhibit (2016), Bearing the Mask: Southwest Persona Poems (Dos Gatos Press, 2016), and on public buses in San Antonio and Norwalk, CT. Congratulations, Linda!

Sarah Bracey White on Race in America

Sarah Bracey White with
James Baldwin's family at film
debut of If Beale Street Could Talk
I am honored to call author Sarah Bracey White one of my dearest and long-term friends. An outstanding woman—no exaggeration if you know Sarah—and superb writer, she describes her compelling childhood story in Primary Lessons (Cavan Kerry Press, 2013). Sarah loved her early life in Philly but returned to the Jim Crow South only to be utterly mind-blown by segregation. Come hear her discuss her amazing story and perspective on race at St. James the Less Church on January 13 at 11:15am.

Upstream Gallery in Hastings

Copyright Cecily Spitzer
What a pleasure to meet Cecily Spitzer, abstract impressionist, and founding member of the Upstream Gallery in Hastings! Upstream, in Hastings-on-Hudson, is a well-lit, intimate space with two galleries where you can see an exhibit of small works, and in March, Cecily’s light-inspired paintings alongside the bold graphic-like work of Paul Greco. Congratulations to Meg Lindsay, who has also shown there, on work in the juried Greenwich-Westchester International ArtFair at SUNY Purchase, March 1-3.

Amal and the Amazing Falafel Wrap

Our morning on the riverside included a visit to Irvington Delight, a deli that creates homemade Mediterranean falafel, baba ganouj, and hummus. Thanks to informal Arabic instruction from Herb Hadad, I was able to say, Shukran when the proprietor Amal offered Michael and me samples of her airy falafel. The hummus was equally awesome, creamy without a bean aftertaste. Highly recommended!

What Did I Accomplish This Year?

Have you reached year-end and feel desperate that you didn’t accomplish what you wanted? Barbara Dickinson and Sandy Jahmi Burg, gifted workshop leaders, are once again offering their enormously popular free webinar, January 26, 2019, 12-1:30pm Eastern Time (US and Canada). Register her to participate:

New Releases

Joseph Barrett, Blue Planet Memoirs (Dos Madres)

Suzanne Cleary, Crude Angel (BkMk Press)

Greg Rappleye, Tropical Landscape with Ten Hummingbirds (Dos Madres)

Nahid Rachlin, A Way Home (Ravenna Press)

Spicy Brussels Sprouts

This is my vegetarian version of a recipe from Pati’s Mexican Table. Everyone seems to be eating Brussels sprouts these days, and this is a delicious Mexi-Asian fusion.

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cloves garlic finely minced
1/3 cup organic tamari sauce
4 tablespoons sherry vinegar
4 tablespoons agave or maple syrup
1/3 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1 habañero chile (optional)

Brussels sprouts:
1 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 pounds Brussels sprouts trimmed and halved
Kosher or coarse sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Add butter to saucepan over medium-low heat. Once melted and bubbling, add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add soy sauce, sherry vinegar, agave syrup and orange juice; mix well. Poke holes in habañero with paring knife and add it to sauce whole. Bring to simmer and cook 8-10 minutes until sauce thickens and coats back of a spoon.

In large cast iron pan over medium-high heat, heat the oils. Add Brussels sprouts, salt and pepper to taste, and cook for 12-15 minutes until crispy and browned on outside and tender inside. Plate Brussels sprouts on a large platter and drizzle with the sauce.

Poetry Readings / Literary Events

Linda Simone
The Twig, December 12, 5:30pm, Linda Simone poetry reading, art exhibit and wine and cheese reception

HVWC, December 14, 7:30pm, Kerry LeVielle, Sundance Ignite Fellow; film showing and discussion with Sean Weiner, director of Creative Culture at Jacob Burns Film Center

St. James the Less Church, January 13, 11:15am, Sarah Bracey White on Race in America

HVWC, January into 2019, Every Third Friday Open Mic, January 8, February 16, March 15, April 19, May 17, and June 21; Open Write Saturdays, January 12, February 9, March 9, April 13, May 11 and June 8

HVWC, January 27, 4-5pm, Young Adult Children’s Book Agent Panel, Penny Moore, Rebecca Sherman, Susan Hawk, $15

Round the Net

Pamela Hart
Dos Madres Press for a 25 percent discount on orders through December 31

Poet Gary Glauber on work in Breadcrumb, Piker Press, Sheila-Na-Gig, and Vita Brevis

Artist Kathe Gregory on having work appear in the Joy Street Open Studios last month

Poet and NEA recipient Pamela Hart for her great work with military families as profiled in O Magazine

Laurel Peterson
Poet and artist Meg Lindsay on work in Intima, Light, Month to Years, and Tiferet; in January, Pulse and the poetry anthology benefiting the Fort Worth Symphony

Yorktown Heights Poet Laureate John McMullen for four rules for poetry readings

Guitarist John Moses for the poetry one poet was grateful for in 2018

NEA ArtMatters on Joan Mitchell’s “How to Be an Artist

Norwalk Poet Laureate Laurel Peterson for a superb job, and announcing the search for a new laureate—email if interested

The New York Public Library on Fifth
The New York Public Library for Best Books of 2018 and Kafka’s Metamorphosis on Instagram Stories

Poet and artist Linda Simone for her Poetry Spoken Here podcast, interview on the JohnMac Radio Show, and for sharing with us publishing markets that pay

Poet Arthur Russell on his poem, “Burning Garbage,” appearing in Copper Nickel last month

As we end the year, I celebrate our wonderful communities of poets in New York’s backyard. Thanks to George Kraus of Sundays with George, the Shames JCC monthly reading series; Bill Buschel of the Hudson Valley Writers Center; Yorktown Heights Poet Laureate John McMullen; Norwalk Poet Laureate Laurel Peterson; and Fairfield County’s poetry impresario Jerry T. Johnson, for creating opportunities for poets to develop and read their work.

Wishing everyone holiday joy and, for the new year, fierce creativity!

Until next time,