Thursday, January 11, 2018

your new year's annogram

Happy new year, happy news

So much to share! For starters, my poem “Trackside Commissary” appears in the new anthology, Of Burgers and Barrooms (Main Street Rag Press). Then, Wendy Galgan, editor of Assisi, wrote a lovely review of Free Ferry—alongside reviews of two other books I want to read and you may too. Many thanks to Wendy and M. Scott Douglass, publisher of Main Street Rag.

Chax Press to publish The Hero

Hélène Sanguinetti
I’m thrilled to announce that this year Chax Press will publish The Hero, my translation of Hélène Sanguinetti’s Le Héros (Flammarion, 2008). Publisher Charles Alexander, a dedicated poet, translator, and book artist, admires the work’s “spareness” and “what happens across gaps—a kind of fireworks between thoughts.” Yes, it’s all that and more. Stay tuned!

Presence at St. Mary’s

Equally glad to have my translation of Sanguinetti’s “From Treatise of the Robin (Reverie)” appears in the upcoming Presence. The journal will host a reading January 20 at 6pm at St. Mary’s Church featuring readers from last and this year’s issues. Editor Mary Ann Miller publishes high quality poets and I encourage you to attend. Come for Mass first at 5pm if you like!

Modernism, Media and the Middle Class

John Lennon (1940-1980)
Thanks to Dr. Beth Gersh-Nesic for inviting me to read Free Ferry last semester at her Purchase College seminar, Modernism, Media and the Middle Class. Following a poetry exercise, students finger-snapped approval after hearing one another’s work. The element of surprise in each poem amazed me. “Did you expect John Lennon to show up?” I asked one student, and his answer was no. Delightful. Keep writing!

You Say You Want a Revolution
The New York Public Library opens its exhibit of influential cultural elements from 1960–74, You Say You Want a Revolution, on January 19. A counterculture-themed Library After Hours takes place that evening. Additionally, the Schomburg Center's Power in Print showcases Black Power art, with key collection items on display at the Library for the Performing Arts starting January 19.

Leonard Bernstein at 100

Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990)
Leonard Bernstein at 100 celebrates the centennial of America’s greatest classical composer and conductor. Drawing from more than 150 photographs, personal items, papers, scores, letters, costumes, furniture, and films, Leonard Bernstein at 100 and associated celebratory events are at the Library for the Performing Arts through March 23.

Sarah Bracey White
Sarah Bracey White on Writing Memoir

In celebration of African American History Month, Sarah Bracey White will be giving a talk, “Memoir: Where Past and Present Collide” at the JCC of Mid-Westchester on February 6 at 10:30am, and the Harrison Public Library on February 17 at 2pm. Sarah is the author of the wildly popular memoir Primary Lessons (Cavan Kerry Press, 2013), now in its fourth printing.

More accomplished than you imagine…

If you reached yearend and felt you did not accomplish as much as you wanted, listen up. My friend and colleague Barbara Dickinson is hosting a 90-minute free webinar which will explore last year’s accomplishments as the stage for realizing your 2018 dreams. Choose between January 19, 6pm (register here) or January 20, 2pm (register here). You’ll receive more info after registering.

Easy Pear Cobbler

When my wonderful cousin Katherine in Texas sent us a box of pears, this recipe helped us eat them as dessert and often breakfast. We also enjoyed them raw over the sink—as they are aptly called “kitchen sink pears” for their juiciness!  

2   cups sliced fresh pears
½ cup sugar
4  Tablespoons butter
34  cup flour
2  teaspoons baking powder
1   teaspoon cinnamon
14  teaspoon salt
34  cup milk
1   egg

Preheat oven to 325°F. Slice pears. Put butter in 2-quart casserole and place in oven until melted. Combine dry ingredients. Mix well. Beat egg and add to milk. Slowly combine with dry ingredients. Pour over melted butter. Do not stir. Spoon pears on top. Do not stir. Bake for 1 hour. Serve hot or cold.

Creative opportunities

Donna Zucker
One-on-One Poetry Workshop with Arthur Vogelsang, apply by January 23

Weekly Poetry Workshops in Upper Westchester County

Poetry Workshop, John C Hart Library, January 24/every fourth Wednesday, 6pm; limit 12; email

How to Write a Family History Book Workshop with Donna Zucker, February 10, 10-3pm, $200

Spring courses at the Hudson Valley Writers Center

Poetry / literary readings

Zinc Bar, January 18, 6pm, James Sherry

Emily Wilson
92nd Street Y, January 18, 7:30pm, Derek Walcott tribute

HVWC, January 19, 7pm, open mic night, $5

St. Mary’s Church, January 20, 6pm, Presence 2017 and 2018 poets

Valley Cottage Library, January 28, 2pm, Maxine Silverman, Alison Stone

Upper Westchester County poetry readings and venues

HVWC, February 2, 7:30pm, Emily Wilson, translator of The Odyssey, $10

ʼRound the Net

Buddy Guy
Publisher John Amen on the 17th anniversary issue of the Pedestal Magazine

Poets Jacqueline Lapidus and Meredith Trede on poems in Persimmon Tree

Poet David Orr in the New York Times picks the best poetry books of 2017

Poet Gary Glauber on his Pushcart nomination and work in Stoneboat Literary Journal and Zeros

New York Public Library for its staff picks

Poet and artist Linda Simone for this list of websites and blogs for writers

Bassist Larry Schwartzman for this clip of Buddy Guy at the 1994 Newport Jazz Festival

So many of you are looking for a good book in this igloo-cold weather. Thanks to my friend Elyse Faltz, I got my hands on The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen (Grove Press, 2016), winner of the 2016 Pulitzer in Fiction. What a complex, layered, and disturbing masterpiece!  It’s nearly impossible to keep the quality consistent across a long novel but the author achieves this feat effortlessly. If you know a knock-your-socks-off book, e-mail me and maybe I’ll make a list here. In the meantime, stay warm, read a lot, and be sure to persevere in your craft or art.

Until next time,