Thursday, December 07, 2017

your holiday annogram

Free Ferry Half-Price

Free Ferry is half-price through December 12. This book-length poem makes a great gift for the scientists and mathematicians in your life, and anyone appreciating a walk back through baby boomerhood or early nuclear history. My publisher has nominated Free Ferry as one of the Best 21 Poetry Books of the 21st Century. You have to admire Ann Starr’s faith in her authors!

Review in the Woven Tale Press

Poet and artist Linda Simone
For insight into Free Ferry, see its latest book review by poet Linda Simone in The Woven Tale Press.  An award-winning poet, Linda vividly describes the dual narratives while expertly drilling down into the poetic craft.  If you enjoy the review, read Linda’s own work—the wonderful Archeology (Flutter Press, 2014), and see her outstanding watercolors December 9 at Art on Broadway in San Antonio.

Fordham Tribute to Dr. Michael Cefola

Michael A. Cefola recalls his dad
Thanks to Fordham Associate Dean Carla Romney for arranging the tribute to Dr. Michael Cefola, professor of radiochemistry, whose groundbreaking microchemical techniques are routinely used today. 

Dr. Carla Romney presents Dr. Cefola's
groundbreaking thesis to Michael and me
Assistant Chemistry Professor Robert Beer and I read from Free Ferry, and my husband, Fordham alum Michael Cefola, shared memories of Fordham and his father. Dean of the Fordham College Maura Mast, science faculty, and former students spoke, including American Chemical Society Fellow Anne O’Brien; and Chemistry Chair Jon Friedrich moderated the lively October 11th celebration with humor and grace.

Convergence of Humanities and Sciences at CCNY

Dean Liss and I read from Free Ferry
City College of New York also honored Dr. Cefola by hosting a roundtable on plutonium’s legacy at the Rifkind Center. Dean of Science Tony Liss and I first read from Free Ferry, before Philosophy Professors Elise Crull and Massimo Pigliucci, History Professor Danian Hu, and Dean Liss recalled plutonium’s origins, unethical uses, safer nuclear sources, and scientific narrative. My gratitude goes to Dean Liss, and to Dean of Humanities and Arts Erec Koch who ably hosted this memorable event.

Walter Lure at Bowery Electric

Lure (left) backs Thunders in London
circa 1978 - photo by Gus Stewart
Walter Lure, sole survivor of Johnny Thunders’ Heartbreakers, performed November 29th with an all-star lineup—Blondie’s drummer Clem Burke, Sex Pistols bassist Glen Matlock and Social Distortion’s guitarist Mike Ness.  

Lure (center) today
photo by Michael Cefola
Walter’s college bandmate, my husband Michael, said it was like “seeing the Beatles at the Cavern Club.” The SRO audience cheered iconic hits such as “Chinese Rocks”, “Born to Lose” and “All By Myself.” The band continued to sold-out performances in LA, San Diego, and San Francisco—part of a nationwide revival of the late 70s punk scene.

Poets in Conversation and at Gordon Fine Arts

Surounded by exceptional art
Norwalk Poet Laureate Laurel Peterson welcomed Robert Masterson and me to her Poets in Conversation Series in early November. Later that month, I had the pleasure of reading with Laurel at the Poets Stage at Gordon Fine Arts at the Stamford Town Center—thanks to Jerry T. Johnson who arranged the event. 

Howard Mandel on the Big Band Sound

Teddy Wilson, Lionel Hampton,
Benny Goodman and Gene Krupa on drums
Which instrument was the “electric guitar” of the Big Bands? Read my interview with jazz critic Howard Mandel to find out. Mandel explores how war, race, and radio both advanced and held back the Big Band sound. Scroll to the end for Mandel’s delicious deconstruction of Count Basie’s “April in Paris.”  This, most popular of my LinkedIn interviews, has more than 500 views.

Shiva Moon Book Launch

Maxine Silverman introduced Shiva Moon (Ben Yehuda Press) last month at the Sundays with George Poetry Series in Tarrytown. Following the author’s journey mourning her father, Shiva Moon combines compelling imagery from nature and astronomy within the context of ancient Jewish tradition. This shimmering poetry makes a thoughtful gift to anyone recently bereaved.

New releases

Jim Daniels, Street Calligraphy (Steel Toe Books)

Elke Erb, The Up and Down of Feet: Poems 1994-2010 (Burning Deck), trans. Rosmarie Waldrop

Paol Keineg, Triste Tristan and Other Poems (Burning Deck), trans. Laura Marris and Rosmarie Waldrop

Jonathan Lewis, Babel On 
(L+S Press)

Laurel Peterson, Do You Expect Your Art to Answer? (FutureCycle Press)

Ivy Pochoda, Wonder Valley (Ecco)

Hélène Sanguinetti, Domaine des Englués (La Lettre Volée)

Maxine Silverman, Shiva Moon (Ben Yehuda Press)

Moosewood No-Fault Pumpkin Pies

You’ve seen this before —  but this year I discovered canned organic pumpkin, and gone are my pioneer-woman days of gutting and baking a whole pumpkin! My gratitude to Mollie Katzen of Moosewood fame for this truly no-fault pie. Get your Vitamin A on with this delicious seasonal recipe — makes two pies.

3 cups canned organic pumpkin puree
3/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons molasses
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
3 teaspoons cinnamon
1 ½ teaspoons ginger
1 teaspoon salt
4 eggs, slightly beaten
1 12-oz can evaporated milk
2 frozen organic pie shells

Mix in order given. Pour into pie shell and bake 10 minutes at 450°F, then 40 minutes at 350°F, or till set. For a delicious pumpkin pudding, omit pie shell. Bake filling in buttered baking dish and serve with vanilla ice cream or heavy cream.

Poetry readings

Norwalk Public Library, December 7, 7pm, Duane Esposito and Ralph Nazareth

HVWC, December 8, 7:30pm, Melissa Febos and Nick Flynn, $10

Poet Patricia Smith
PoetsHouse, December 8, Celebrating Patricia Smith, Mahogany Browne, Cornelius Eady, Rachel Eliza Griffiths, Ellen Hagan, Terrance Hayes, Randall Horton, Tyehimba Jess, Rachel McKibbens, Nicole Sealey, Leslie Shipman, Parneshia Jones, $10

92nd Street Y, December 13, 7:30pm, Memorial for John Ashbery, Elizabeth Hazan, Ann Lauterbach, Dara Wier, Trevor Winkfield

Metropolitan Pavilion, January 13, 7pm, Edward Hirsch, James Davis May

ʼRound the net

Translator Martha Collins on her article on many translations of one poem in Literary Hub

Artist Kathy Gregory
Poet Gary Glauber for his poems in In Between Hangovers and The Paragon Journal

Artist Kathe Gregory for participating in last month’s Joy Street Open Studios

J Journal for its new website

Poet J. Chester Johnson for this wonderful video précis of his new book on translating the psalms

Hip Hop artist Nas
NYPL President Tony Marx for sharing renovations plans to the iconic midtown library

Poet John McMullen on becoming the Poet Laureate of Yorktown Heights and for reading at the Veterans Gala of Putnam County last month

Outdoor Retailer Orvis for this much-needed Moment of Chill during the holidays

Poets and Writers for posting this interview of Hip Hop Artist Nas by Harvard Poetry Prof Elisa New

Poet Christina M. Rau on poems in Queen Mob’s TeaHouse

The Scottish Book Trust for making an audiobook of selected stories available to readers who are blind

Derek Jeter
Poet Linda Simone for letting us know about a Texas town called Poetry and on having her poem, “Things Closer Than They Appear,” read on It Matters Radio

Photographer Joe Vericker for sharing this great shot of young Derek Jeter

Photographer Elaine Whitman on her work in the Italian journal Immagine + Poesia

Poet Neal Whitman on poems in First Literary Review-East, Red Lights, and Immagine + Poesia, and on winning the Ina Coolbrith Circle Contest  3rd Prize and Tokutomi Haiku Contest 2nd Prize

At year-end, I want to thank you for your incredible support of Free Ferry – five-star Amazon ratings, expert book reviews; everyone who came to the June launch, purchased or gifted Free Ferry; and all the scientists who dared read the bottom narrative with me in public – I am deeply moved by your generosity. May you find the courage and confidence to fulfill your own creative destiny — and to take time to celebrate loved ones and traditions in the holidays fast approaching.

See you, dear annogrammers, in the new year!

Until next time,