Sparrows and Dust / Zilka Joseph

Sparrows and Dust, Poems by Zilka Joseph – The Ridgeway Press

SparrowsDustIs this the bird way? Where is home? What is the fate of wanderers? Have we all been “elsewhere”? Will truths be revealed to us in the end? In this finely tuned chapbook, the poet uses free verse and form to sing her stories, her history, her geography, her experience as an immigrant who finds rest after loss and upheaval with imagination and passion. With deft use of imagery, language and the senses, she travels and shape-shifts. She weaves in science, mysticism, imagination and myth. We fly from India to Michigan and back, from this world to other in-between states where memory, death, loss, the present, the search for home and the self all sing through several voices, and become a miniature symphony. As Attar tells us through his bird characters in his allegorical rendering of Sufism— “the way is long” so we must persevere to find the truth. We are but “water mixed with dust”. The bird-soul can only rest briefly, then it must move on.


ZilkaJZilka Joseph is an educator, editor and a widely published poet. Her chapbooks, Lands I Live In and What Dread, were nominated for a PEN America and a Pushcart award respectively. Her book Sharp Blue Search of Flame (WSUP) and was a finalist for the Foreword INDIES Book Award. http://www.zilkajoseph.com


The poems in Zilka Joseph’s Sparrows and Dust are separate skies—each a wrought song woven with a world of birds: mynah, grackle, swan, sparrow, hoopoe, heron, kingfisher, and dozens of others. From Mumbai and Kolkata in her native India to the yard outside her house in Michigan, this bird-crossed world is made smaller and more beautiful, as Joseph watches the skies and the breadth of her blue heart for the migration of the spirits of her parents and other ancestors. “Leave me a feather to dream on, a map to follow…” one poem sings. As I read and listened to these soaring, gorgeous poems, I felt the dust shake loose; I found myself more open, more buoyant, and more alive.”

—Robert Fanning, author of Severance, Our Sudden Museum, American Prophet and The Seed Thieves


Song and flight, which all poets aspire to achieve, are evident here, there, and everywhere, in this collection of Zilka Joseph’s poems. Her language sings. Between bird-beat and heart-beat, it’s an instrument exquisitely attuned to her love of depths and flitting surfaces. In poem after poem, we return with Zilka to who we are—a gift, a mystery, a wound seeking salve, light-bearers, dipping and swerving through passages of open air, sky and soul, in and out of memory and loss, anxiety and joy, arrival and parting, to settle and nest in the now.

—Ralph Nazareth is the author of Ferrying SecretsBetween Us the Long Road; & Dropping Death. He is the Managing Editor of Yuganta Press and the President of GraceWorks, Inc., an international nonprofit.


When I look up from these poems, I agree with Zilka Joseph that “I have been somewhere else,” perhaps in the mind of a bird. In these remarkable pieces, she explores the dust baths of sparrows–indeed, the behavior of many “life-birds”– as symbols for existence and wonder. Her words wing through family ancestry, migration, and the journey to a place called Michigan where the metaphors shift—hawks overhead, loss and death, but the dust still may, and finally does, shimmer. These are poems of memory and insight the color of saris and feathers, of meaning that rises from origins and resilience and high-flying beauty.

—Anne-Marie Oomen is author of Uncoded Woman, a tale in poems, and Love, Sex and 4-H, winner of the Next Generation Award for Memoir, among others. She teaches at Solstice MFA at Pine Manor College.


Zilka Josheph Poems published in Third Wednesday:
The Geese Who Came to Nest—Winter 2021
Once Upon a Snow Bunting

Purchase Sparrows and Dust from Small Press Distribution.

Infinity Standing Up / Drew Pisarra

Infinity Standing Up by Drew Pisarra

A DELIGHTFUL COLLECTION OF LOVE SONNETS

Infinity_Standing_Up_Final_Front“A stunning collection of unique and eclectic observations of modern love which I’m sure Shakespeare himself would be pleased to see is ‘holding a mirror up to life.’ If Wes Anderson and Miranda July had a Queer love-child, they’d write like this.”
– Anna Girvan, Creative Fellow with the Royal Shakespeare Company

“Rhyming and skipping his way through jaggedly sexualized and playful, formal sonnets with serendipity and style (“Devour me! Think me not some crazy nut.”), Drew Pisarra has written a rousing and unusual collection of poems that respond with see-saw emotion to a lover who comes and goes, with difficulty and love. Puns abound; titles tease. These sonnets will knock you out, and you’ll return to them again.”
– Diane Mehta,
 How to Write Poetry (2005)

“These poems navigate the rapids of desire in a form that was made for twists and turns of feeling, from the derangement of lust to rueful self-reflection. Drew Pisarra honors the Shakespearean sonnet’s tradition of wit and economy, while simultaneously delivering the pleasurable shock of 21st-century idiom.”
Joan Larkin, Cold River (Lambda Literary Award)

About Drew Pisarra: The author once toured his monologues around the country and even had a ventriloquist act but has since retired from the world of dummies. His short story collection Publick Spanking was published by Future Tense some time ago. More recently as part of the installation art duo Saint Flashlight (with Molly Gross), he’s been finding inventive ways to get poetry into public spaces.

About Capturing Fire Press: This independent publishing house was founded by Regie Cabico and seeks to promote politically charged performance and experimental poetry of the highest quality by diverse queer poets from around the globe.

For more information, contact capfirepress@gmail.com or email the author directly at mistermysterio@hotmail.com

When You Get Here / Shutta Crum

0a92fa35-586f-4ba9-a087-405af0575a11Here’s everything you want in poetry. Understandable language—check. Interesting, inventive use of words—check. Topics that reference matters of common interest—check. Insights way beyond the usual—check. Don’t skim this collection. You’d miss way too much that makes our lives meaningful. Enter and walk “unafraid in this new topography.”

—Sharon Scholl, Professor emerita of humanities. Author of Music and Culture, Death and the Humanities, and three chapbooks of poetry

WHEN YOU GET HERE is a celebration of the small, precise details that accumulate, like snowflakes, into a life. It’s a map, guiding us though a landscape of grief, wonder and sensuality, touching all the delicate connections in between. We peek in cupboards, wrestle with lovers, walk on thin ice, followed by a wolf. Every poem reminds the reader to breathe, sense, and feel what it is to be alive.

—Joyce Sweeney, author of Impermanence and Wake up, Finishing Line Press

Here Shutta Crum’s love of language takes us on a fascinating journey, gives us Driving Directions, promises the road knows the way. She opens Father’s Cupboard, lets us see what held his world. She studies A Philosophy of Luminescence in a confining marriage and offers new light. In You Can Have It Back she wants to return the rib taken from Adam and given to woman, for it no longer holds her aright after the death of a poet friend. In What I Bequeath, Shutta says one day her bones will speak a language we will understand. We are fortunate—in this beautiful collection, she speaks clearly to us and we understand.

—Chris Lord, author of Field Guide to Luck and What We Leave, founder of Word’n Woman Press

SCrumShutta Crum’s poems are in Typehouse, Stoneboat, Southern Poetry Review, Beyond Words and 3rd Wednesday. Forthcoming: Main Street Rag. She was nominated for a Pushcart Prize by Typehouse. When You Get Here (2020) won a gold Royal Palm Literary Award. For more info or to book as a speaker: www.shutta.com

Purchase From:
Kelsay Books / Indybound / Amazon

Wrinkles In Time and in Love / Nancy Jo Allen

allen_frontNancy Jo Allen proudly announces the release (March 20, 2021) of her first collection of poetry through her publisher Kelsay Books and Amazon. The book is entitled Wrinkles in Time and in Love, and includes the poem “Art” first published in Third Wednesday’s Vol.XI, No. 4 edition.

“Allen’s poems take us on a journey through the difficulties of relationship and identity: daughter, wife, mother, ex-wife, friend, and wife again. At each stage, we’re asked to reconsider our preconceptions and ideals in favor of the lived experience of those realities—a thoughtful and polished collection.”
—Marta Ferguson, former poetry editor for The Missouri Review, and author of Mustang Sally Pays Her Debt to Wilson Pickett

 

“Nancy Jo Allen’s poems are deeply felt and well crafted. She has an excellent ear and eye.”
—Bruce Taylor is the former Poet Laureate of Eau Claire and host of Off the Page a reading series at the Local Store Gallery.

“Like the haiku, Allen’s poetry captures small moments of life with images from nature. And like a haiku, the collection is perfect in word, rhythm, and line. Through her poems, we travel through the landscape of memory and vicariously touch grief and let it go. We recognize defeat and replace it with contentment. We love again.”
—Lori Younker, author of Mongolian Interior: An Expatriate Experience and Sioux Beside Me, former Columbia Chapter Missouri Writers Guild president, and author and founder of World So Bright.org, a collection of cultural essays.

Nancy Jo Allen was born and raised in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and now lives in Columbia, Missouri, with her husband Terry and their pup Jayden. 

Her poem, Art, is from the Autumn 2018 issue of 3rd Wednesday.

 

An Honest Hunger / Robert Lowes

Lowes.AnHonestHunger“Robert Lowes addresses with wit and compassion topics we recognize: the body’s betrayals, unfulfilled desires, nostalgia, loss. Lowes’s love of words is apparent in his masterful soundwork and the equal skill with which he depicts the delicate beauty of a butterfly or slams home a devastating judgment on our human failings. A wide-ranging cast of characters wanders through these poems: a woman who keeps chickens, a Neanderthal buying an ax, a man with a fresh haircut, God. An Honest Hunger opens to us a world that is humorous and deeply serious, filled with signs and wonders, mischief and memories, unanswerable questions and unexpected redemptions–our world, the whole, sweet ‘slapstick ballet.'”

–Marjorie Stelmach, author of Walking the Mist and Falter

“If more poets wrote like Robert Lowes, more people would read poetry. In An Honest Hunger, his debut collection, Lowes never holds the reader at a distance. Here, the poet speaks with straightforward intelligence and acumen–and a pitch-perfect natural friendliness–without a scintilla of sentimentality. And his imagery is sublime. . . . An Honest Hunger appeals to humanity’s better self and reminds us that we are united not so much by our strengths as by our woundedness.”

–Robert Nazarene, Editor-in-Chief, The American Journal of Poetry, author of Empire de la Mort

In poems that range from elegiac to exuberant, Robert Lowes’s An Honest Hunger is a joyful dance with everyday life. It is a book full of faith and doubt, anger and suffering, but one still laugh-out-loud funny. Lowes’s hunger for God, for meaning in life, makes this book the one to read now, when this hunger is more universal and pressing than ever.”

–Jesse Lee Kercheval, author of America that island off the coast of France, professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

BNLogoamazonlogoAn Honest Hunger by Robert Lowes was published by Resource Publications, an imprint of Wipf & Stock Publishers, in April 2020. It’s avialable now from Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

White Storm / Gary Metras

1_white_storm_front_cover

White Storm by Gary Metras, (Rockford, MI: Presa Press, Feb. 2018)

ISBN 978-0-9965026-9-6; 88 pp. $15.95

Two poems included in White Storm were first published in the Summer 2010 issue of Third Wednesday:


Short Listed for the Massachusetts Poetry Book of the Year, Mass. Center for the Book, 2019

There is always something enthralling about Gary Metras’s poetry. Perhaps it is the optimism within the pessimism. Perhaps vice versa. Maybe it it the accessibility to his work. Whatever it is, White Storm is readable and enjoyable, worth a place on your bookshelf.”

Zvi A. Sesling, Boston Area Small Press and Poetry Scene

The 48 poems in White Storm are written in an accessible, descriptive style; sometimes foreboding, sometimes a bit rueful, as though the narrator is chuckling to himself….Metras finds meaning in the natural world and offers a thoughtful meditation on life’s mysteries.”

Steve Pfarrer, The Daily Hampshire Gazette

In White Storm, Gary Metras has given us a poetry of reflections….His poems often have a classic, lyric and almost mythological bearing as if he sometimes channels ancients, but without losing direct contemporaneity of language….but how words travel off the page to carry us beyond ourselves for others, a legacy of sounds we may savor and hold close in our lives. I highly recommend this collection by a poet young in his upper years.”

David Giannini, Wilderness House Literary Review

The poems in White Storm create perfectly crafted worlds from carefully chosen details. Like a wise and patient teacher, Gary Metras takes us from wherever we are at the moment and drops us into the world of these poems, guiding us through a place full of love and light that is still never quite what it seems.”

Erica Goss, Sticks & Stones #19, Posted October 1, 2018

Orders:

http://presapress.com/books/white-storm

https://www.amazon.com/White-Storm/dp/0996502696/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=White+Storm+by+Gary+Metras&qid=1616183726&s=books&sr=1-1

GaryMGary Metras’s new book of poetry is River Voice II (Adastra Press 2020). The Author of twenty books and chapbooks of poetry, his poems have appeared in America, The Common, Poetry, Poetry East, and Poetry Salzburg Review. He lives in Easthampton, Massachusetts, where, in April 2018, he was appointed as the city’s inaugural Poet Laureate.

Red Stilts / Ted Kooser

RedStilts_Red Stilts finds Pulitzer Prize-winner and former U. S. Poet Laureate Ted Kooser at the top of his imaginative and storytelling powers. Here are the richly metaphorical, imagistically masterful, clear and accessible poems for which he has become widely known. Kooser writes for an audience of everyday readers and believes poets “need to write poetry that doesn’t make people feel stupid.” Each poem in Red Stilts strives to reveal the complex beauties of the ordinary, of the world that’s right under our noses. Right under Kooser’s nose is rural America, most specifically the Great Plains, with its isolated villages, struggling economy, hard-working people and multiple beauties that surpass everything wrecked, wrong, or in error.

Mr. Kooser’s poems have graced the pages of 3rd Wednesday six times and two of those poems appear in Red Stilts. Here is “Ohio Bluetip” from our Winter 2019 Issue. In this poem Mr. Kooser demonstrates that much can be accomplished with a single sentence.

Unmapped Worlds / David Chorlton

Unmapped Worlds by  David Chorlton

Unmapped_WorldsThe Unmapped Worlds in this book extend from history to a way of life centered on European villages to the marginally surreal experience of our own times. The poems are previously uncollected ones enjoying their rediscovery. Whether through the visions of a medieval mystic or the routines that defined existence in a small town on the free world’s edge, David Chorlton reaches for what brought the mind to life in the course of living from day to day. The desert emerges as it appeared to early missionaries and conquerors in the Southwest and comes to bear multiple cultures today. Writing is a journey to the poet, and the work here follows some occasionally surprising side roads for Chorlton. 

Available from the author, $20.00 includes postage and packaging. Checks to David Chorlton. Send address to DavidChorlton@centurylink.net

Books and Videos / Mark J. Mitchell

Roshi_2Roshi San Francisco, cornered between sea and sky, is Mount Olympus. It is where he talks to the Gods. They are all here, along the geography of the town, hiding within the wind and fog, sliding down the hills and huddled up across the bridges. He is a master of his town, crossing the cobbles and the alleys, guiding acolytes between Edwardian bays and windowed walls. A Roshi is a master: Mitchell has mastered the city’s moods, its mountains, and its weather, its overlooked gems and foibles. “San Francisco itself is Art”, said William Saroyan. The year is 2020a nd like most metropolitan cities San Francisco is being reborn. Will the streets depicted hold their luster? Why don’t you come along for the ride, and find out! (Click the cover photo)

Link to Mark’s Youtube channel (He reads poems around San Francisco, with some tour guide information as well):


MarkMitchell

GreenAppleAll of Mark J. Mitchell’s books (fiction and Poetry) can be purchased through Green Apple Books in San Francisco (Let’s support independent booksellers!) https://www.greenapplebooks.com/

Spindrift / Laurence W. Thomas

SpindriftCoverSpindrift suggests stuff blown onto beaches, beaches of discovery in one’s mind. When these poems show a squirrel, a fish, birds, a beggar, an Irish pub, or a dish we see these as metaphors which conjure up ideas or feelings from our own familiarity with them. A poem that begins as an abstraction, like an enemy or peace or patience, becomes objectified. Spindrift is comprised of whatever little gems might be found along the shore, examined closely to become part of the reader’s experience. These jottings of spindrift take off from that experience like going to an airport when you want to be someplace else – or like poems which say one thing when they mean another.

Published by Atmosphere Press, 2021. 124 Pages, ISBN 163649532X
or purchase from Barnes and Noble or Amazon.

aaLarryThomasLaurence W. Thomas is the founding editor of Third Wednesday Magazine. He has been around long enough to know the sting of rejection and the salve of acceptance. His shelves are lined with his own publications as well as the works of many other poets. He Chancelor Emertus of the Poetry Society of Michigan.