Leslie Schultz has been a frequent contributor to the pages of 3rd Wednesday Magazine.
“Art sings a whole from a world in tatters,” writes poet Leslie Schultz in this remarkable collection. Schultz employs precise poetic forms to locate the “mineral music of our very bones.” The poems proclaim the material world – “the essential necessities… that make dreams real” – to celebrate poetry’s “ethereal alchemy.” Each poem creates a conversation between the poet and her many-layered audience. In “Open for Business,” the writer tells her father, “I’m still listening.” The poet’s voice here is accomplished, formal, witty, strange, and listening hard: to family stories, to nature’s notes, to the rooms of her house, to days “distinct with wonder.” In “Taproot,” a “crown” of 18 sonnets for and about Schultz’s great-great grandfather, each sonnet begins with the last line of the prior sonnet and transforms it to reshape the story. One sonnet turns an assertion to a question: “Can I build as lightly as birds/word shelters for the living and the dead?” This collection says yes. — Susan Jaret McKinstry
In Cloud Song, Leslie Schultz is a master gardener. The beauty and abundance of her poetry springs from both a generous nature and a cultivated sensibility. Like the couple in her delightful character study “Gilbert’s Hobby,” she tends the “rampant garden” of free verse and the carefully shaped bonsai of formal verse with equal attention and skill. Her poetic garden is filled with sunlight and color and changing weather. What she offers is not an untouched Eden, but a real world populated by deftly-drawn characters existing in various states of fallen grace, a place where the poet’s attention always wanders from ideas of order toward the real beauty of the ephemeral: “sun slipping/behind the western trees, fish/tumbling in sparkles over the dam,/this garden in riots of color and seed.” — Rob Hardy
Still Life with Poppies: Elegies
Still Life with Poppies: Elegies by Leslie Schultz is what the name implies: bright joy against a sorrowful landscape. Death is everywhere in the world Schultz writes about—its relentlessness, its creativity, its suicidal call. Yet life in all of its various forms continues—some beautiful, some not. Cruelty may show its aftereffects for generations; a harsh set of comments may freeze creativity, at least for a time. While many may become cynical or depressed as a result, Schultz perseveres. Her poems about myth, in particular, are standouts. Schultz also understands in a profound way that the most emotional personal moments are mythical: emblemized by something as simple as plastic fruit in a blue bowl, or as iconic as a childhood home. For the depth of this understanding alone, you should read this book. — Kim Bridgford
Leslie Schultz’s poetry has appeared in Able Muse, Blue Unicorn Journal, Light, Mezzo Cammin, Swamp Lily Review, Poetic Strokes Anthology, Third Wednesday, The Madison Review, The Midwest Quarterly, The Orchards Poetry Journal, and The Wayfarer; in the sidewalks of Northfield; and in a chapbook, Living Room (Midwestern Writers’ Publishing House). She received a Pushcart Prize nomination in 2017 and has twice had winning poems in the Maria W. Faust sonnet contest (2013, 2016). Schultz posts poems, photographs, and essays on her website: www.winonamedia.net.
Released by Glass Lyre Press on January 3, 2020.
These poems are of a seer – unwrapping time, being, the Change we are igniting. The considerations are hard won- who we are, what is coming upon us in this age, the passage we are entering and the exit -the seer knows it. There are no exhortations, no longings for forecasts, only the seeing and the forthcoming Being that envelopes us more and more “until all that is left of us” . We need this wisdom book, clear elixirs from the Source. True mind-beauty, caved with humanity – beam, everyone must touch this volume in order to traverse the present age, Bravissimo.
Juan Herrera: 21st Poet Laureate of the United States
In “Prime Meridian,” Connie Post’s daring new collection, she writes to “identify/the noises of departure”—those of land engulfed by natural disaster, of family dissolution by abuse, of retreats to safety in the face of suffering. More importantly, these poems teach us conservation: “we find graceful ways/to slides out of a room/step over a fractured equator/“—holding things dear in the face of such violation. Remedies come in language: the grammar of ritual, ceremony, and resistance. This is a poetry of incantation against the darkest and most secret types of human depredation and hymns of recovery—all spoken in assured and inventive measure. Connie Post’s strength is her unflinching and virtuous language to redeem a moment or a life.
Maxine Chernoff: Author of Under the Music: Collected Prose Poems, MadHat Press
“I have been on fire / since the moment I walked / through this door.” Thus begins one of the many burning poems in Connie Post’s Prime Meridian. In fact, the work in this book is so good it is as though Post herself has been on fire since she walked through the door of poetry. In poems both personal and political, Post manages to connect physical and geological ailments by way of her spare but unsparing lyrics. This is an important collection everyone should be reading.
Dean Rader: Author of Self-Portrait as Wikipedia Entry (Copper Canyon Press 2017) and editor of Bullets into Bells: Poets and Citizens Respond to Gun Violence
From 3rd Wednesday, Fall 2018:
The 2018 micro-chapbook All Her Jazz, which is free (and fun!) to download and fold at the Origami Poems Project (click on the cover):
The title poem first appeared in 3rd Wednesday’s December 2017 issue.
D. R. James has taught college writing, literature, and peace-making for 35 years and lives outside Saugatuck, Michigan. His latest of eight poetry collections are If god were gentle (Dos Madres) and Surreal Expulsion (Poetry Box), and a new chapbook, Flip Requiem, will be released in Spring 2020 (Dos Madres).
D.R. James’ Author Page at Amazon.com
Monsters in the Rain
Publisher: Kelsay Books
Publication date: November 27, 2019
Available for Purchase: Amazon.com
Terry Allen’s chapbook, Monsters in the Rain, begins and ends with two dream-like lyric poems that reach back in time to explore a particular family legacy through the stories passed down across generations and geographical locations. There are beautiful, heart-rending elegies here; and longer, multi-layered narratives that are deepened and expanded through the use of masterfully placed moments of lyric suspension and contemplation. There are characters and relatives whose humanity is fully revealed; there are ghosts and the interplay of the uncanny—an acknowledgment of the fact that, no matter how much time has passed, the dead step in and out of our lives at will. In several of these poems, there is a dark humor that is handled so well it serves to deepen the collection’s pathos. A moving collection that explores family, loss, memory, and history, and with love informing and guiding all these poems, what more can we ask, or hope, for?
—Jude Nutter, author of I Wish I Had a Heart Like Yours, Walt Whitman, and three other collections.
Terry Allen’s poems feature tightly-constructed narratives of family and rural life placed in an American landscape that has been nearly obscured by social media and technology. The settings are concrete and certain: small essential dramas that play out upon the ironing board, the stove, the sidewalk, the barn, in bushel baskets and body bags, with conclusions invariably unforeseen. The tone ranges from whimsical to poignant, occasionally chilling, juxtaposing the casual violence of rural life against the horror of murderous excess. Monsters in the Rain left me with awistful recognition of the ways people vanish from our lives, and what remains
—Bridget Bufford, author of Cemetery Bird and Minus One: A Twelve-Step Journey.
Monsters in the Rain is a collection that resists an easy footing. Allen offers us what initially seems to be fond memories of childhood, thoughtful reflections on family history, but the deeper we go in the poems, the clearer it is that Allen has worked for that thoughtful fondness. He well represents the darkness that shadows the family scenes he presents, but he isn’t ruled by it. Neither bitter nor sentimental, Allen gives us a book that, in its best moments, compassionately exposes the complicated reality of loving and losing.
—Marta Ferguson, author of Mustang Sally Pays Her Debt to Wilson Pickett
Terry Allen was born in Brisbane, Australia in 1946. He is emeritus professor at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, where he taught theatre arts. His poems have appeared in numerous journals, including Popshot Quarterly, Into the Void and Main Street Rag. He lives in Columbia, Missouri with his wife Nancy.
Terry’s Poem “Larry” was a winner in 3rd Wednesday’s One Sentenence Poetry Contest. It appears in Volume XIII, No 1.
In this collection, not only are all the dead holy, but all the living as well, including “the one-legged veteran, the toddler with doll and comb.” There are echoes of those who perished in the Holocaust and those still laboring to make a life in the modern American landscape. In Levy’s tightly crafted poems, we glimpse what is both familiar and human: teachers, immigrant brides, a lost father’s shirts and ties, the sidekick brother, the dying mother. The message is clear and powerful: “You must remember.”
— John Jeffire, author of Motown Burning and Shoveling Snow in a Snowstorm (Finishing Line, 2016)
Larry Levy is the best kind of writer. His poems–with their honesty and intimacy–invite you in, ask you to sit at the table of his life, and listen to his heart tell you the stories that you need to hear about the past that is never past, the wars that will not end, the people who loved him and who continue to touch him even though they are gone. Hearing his stories, you begin to wake to your own stories, your own losses and loves, and finally you want to take his hand and thank him for what he has given you.
— John Guzlowski, author of Echoes of Tattered Tongues (Aquina Polonica, 2016)
All The Dead Are Holy – it is, at once, a prayer, a history and a family album. Levy unlocks secret passages into the past and unearths the artifacts of not just an extended family but whole generations of people doing their best to be who they are in a world that often wishes they were otherwise. Delivered in skillfully wrapped packages of prosody, All the Dead Are Holy is a wide-awake walk down memory lane in the city of what it means to be fully human.
— JodiAnn Stevenson, author of The Procedure (March Street, 2006)
and Diving Headlong Into A Cliff Of Our Own Delusion (Saucebox Books, 2010)