Some Electric Hum / Janice Northerns

(Lamar University Literary Press, 2020) Release date: Aug. 1, 2020. $15, paperback

CoverThe poems in Some Electric Hum are set in Kansas and Texas and interrogate gender and social norms against the backdrop of a stark rural landscape. These brave and carefully crafted poems explore topics of coming of age, womanhood, immigration and human rights. With beautiful imagery and a clear voice, Some Electric Hum will appeal not only to lovers of poetry, but to all lovers of the written word.

Available from all major online book sellers
https://bookshop.org/books/some-electric-hum/9781942956792
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Janice Northerns’ debut collection, Some Electric Hum, disentangles the gnarled branches of a family tree into poems of complicated love and endurance. Deeply engaged with place, these poems range across Texas to Kansas to hold up the objects and people that created a personal history and “grapple with words just west of the tongue.” Intimate and invested in the lives of others, Northerns crafts narratives of tenderness and survival, reminding us all it’s always possible to move forward and carry our stories with us.” Traci Brimhall, author of Come the Slumberless to the Land of Nod

It’s not often you see a whole life that’s gone into a book, but here we have just that. Janice Northerns lives this life intensely, and lives intensely in language. At the core of this book are the raw elements of birth, love, and death; while surrounding them are sophisticated yet impassioned readings of the violence of history, class, and social codes.  These are poems to be read both largely and closely, for the stories they tell, and for their turns of poetic craft.”  William Wenthe, author of Words Before Dawn

“Poetry is the thinking mind bodied forth, and in Janice Northerns’ poems here that comprise a kind of extended meditation on the strange and difficult country of her youth, West Texas, the bodying forth–the impossibly precise, sharply honed imagery; flawless narrative flow; and dramatic landscape description–is breathtaking, a sure sign of poetic talent on a very deep level.” B. H. Fairchild, author of Usher: Poems


northernsheadshotA native Texan now living in Kansas, Janice Northerns holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Texas Tech University. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in many journals, including Ploughshares, Third Wednesday, and Southwestern American Literature. Awards include a Brush Creek Foundation residency and a Sewanee Writers’ Conference scholarship.

Stage to Page / James B. Nicola

All the world’s a page, and originates on the stage? That is the provacative question posed by James B. Nicola’s Stage to Page.

s2pCOVERimageBravo! The marvel of James B. Nicola’s substantial collection is how his superb craftsmanship never once muffles the voice of his exuberant stage-struck heart. A warm-hearted, cold-eyed ode to the business known as show. —John Guare

Stage to Page is an exhilarating tour of show business, informed with the poet’s deep and lively involvement in theater. A master of meter and rhyme, James B. Nicola has the power boldly to experiment besides. All of us who care for staged comedy and drama, movies, music, and dance (and who doesn’t?) will cherish this unique and fascinating collection. —X. J. Kennedy

James Nicola’s Stage to Page…is a book for anyone who has waited in the dark, either backstage or out in the house, for the magic to begin, and Nicola’s spells, like Prospero’s, are powerfully transporting. This book is a delight! —David Yezzi

This collection is, like its author, a Shakespearean clown.Thanks for allowing me the pleasure. The book is great. —Rob Corddry

Sprightly, graceful, often wise, these poems both study and inform. James B. Nicola is a light-spirited teacher with much to impart about the stage that is the world. —Rachel Hadas

James Nicola reminds us over and over that live theater is ephemeral… and I think all stage actors live with a quiet terror that, after we strut and fret our hour upon the stage…no one will remember. I think it’s something all human beings wonder. Stage to Page sure made me wonder. —John Cariani

James B. Nicola…entices the goddess of our subconscious lives to “emerge from the sea foam” and holds us spellbound about what goes on behind the scenes and in front of the curtain as he teaches us what it means to be both an actor and an audience. —Christina Zawadiwsky

Stage to Page is the kind of book you will want to relish a few pages at a time. —Philip Fisher

An incredibly insightful, truthful and entertaining series of poems that feels new and familiar at the same time. —Larry Pine

Stage to Page…is irreplaceable. There isn’t anything remotely like it. It’s beautiful. —Austin Pendleton

JBNicola_photo_w_cherrybloomsJames B. Nicola’s full-length collections include Manhattan Plaza (2014), Stage to Page: Poems from the Theater (2016), Wind in the Cave (2017), Out of Nothing: Poems of Art and Artists (2018), and Quickening: Poems from Before and Beyond (2019). His nonfiction book Playing the Audience won a Choice award./ 

Stage to Page: Poems from the Theater
published: Word Poetry/WordTech Communications, 2016 (Cincinnati)
https://www.wordpoetrybooks.com/nicola_stage.html

Quickening: Poems from Before and Beyond / James B. Nicloa

fdce27aa-e208-46e5-8787-d491176a8568Over the course of the 20th Century, T. S. Eliot’s “Hollow Man” finally learned to Howl with Ginsberg, but has since evolved into the 21st Century’s Empty Man—and Woman. Quickening: Poems from Before and Beyond is about a certain hope to answer the existential quagmire of daily life we find ourselves surrounded by: a poetic reminder that the same miracle that made Something to begin with, recurs every moment of our lives. These poems attempt to illuminate, investigate, and celebrate the mysterious place-that-is-no-place where the Center does hold: the moment that brings us from Chaos to Cosmos, from Void to Creation, from Nothing to Everything. . . . Hence the subtitle, for Quickening is a collection of Poems from Before and Beyond –plus what lies between.

James B. Nicola’s full-length cJBNicola_photo_w_cherrybloomsollections include Manhattan Plaza (2014), Stage to Page: Poems from the Theater (2016), Wind in the Cave (2017), Out of Nothing: Poems of Art and Artists (2018), and Quickening: Poems from Before and Beyond (2019). His nonfiction book Playing the Audience won a Choice award.

published by Cyberwit.net, 2019
Order at https://www.cyberwit.net/publications/1217

The Only Light Coming In / Joseph Hardy

Joseph_HardyJoseph Hardy is the author of the poem “Trial and Error” published in Third Wednesday’s Summer 2020 issue, and that appears in his new book of poetry, The Only Light Coming In. He is one of a handful of writers that live in Nashville, Tennessee, sho does not play a musical instrument; although a friend once asked him to bring his harmonica on a camping trip so they could throw it in the fire. His wife says he cannot leave a room without finding out something about everyone in it, and telling her their stories later. 

This, his first book of poetry, and can be found on Amazon at:

 Amazon.com : joseph hardy the only light coming in or at josephhardypoetry.com

The_Only_Light_Coming_In_coverPage turner, The Only Light Coming In, will make you both smile and reflect. This collection of poems has some unforgettable lines. The last line of “Two Stop Lights, One Diner” reads “Her feet must be killing her,” came as an unexpected twist and shows a great empathy by the author. The opening line of “Once Love, In An Italian Restaurant,” reads “At a table for two, Love threw hot escargot at me,” and so makes it an impossibility not to be immediately drawn in. While “I’m thinking of going bland” may be a poetic device, it is not easily forgotten. A seamlessly flowing and intriguing debut collection by Joseph Hardy. Kay Thompson Fields, journalist

Entangled with the ghosts of his past, Mr. Hardy works to make sense of his past. He moves toward understanding his failures, and the self-destructive decisions of those he has loved. His memories are fluid, unsparing. The universality of relationships, an irony of daily life, is what grips the reader as events of their own lives come to pass. This is no simple despair. Each day raises specific, a struggle with his inner life, sometimes troubling, always trustworthy.  Stellasue Lee, Ph.D., author of Queen of Jacks, New & Selected Poems

It may sometimes be too early, but it’s never too late, to come of age. In wise lyrics and compelling narratives, Joe Hardy’s The Only Light Coming In gives us hypnotic eloquence mixed with intricate truth. Logic isn’t good enough—“beating a drum with no hand / as logic tries to do”—but the art of waiting, of honesty’s eventuality, is praised. Hardy’s poems remind us constantly that we’re “full of waiting;” they are quirkily meditative, populated with dreams both real and imagined. The poet tells us “I should go to bed and dream, / catch whatever comes into me, / up from me, // acknowledge / I am a stranger to myself / in this place.” In poems accessible but rich in music and implication, Hardy desires to capture what can be held of what’s most slippery. Hardy’s is an expansive, profound debut full of one man’s quest to be both broken and fiercely alive. Gary McDowell, author of Aflame (White Pine Press, 2020)

I come to poetry for arresting imagery and for phrases that make me grin or that stop me in my tracks. I come to poetry to sit with a familiar feeling like an old friend, and to leave with a fresh thought like a new companion.  I come to poetry wanting stories I can follow and that transport me back to stories of my own.  I come to poetry hoping to feel the wonder of “Hmmm, I hadn’t thought of it like that before,” and to feel the envy of “Damn, I wish I had thought of that!”  This collection of poems by Joseph Hardy possesses an abundance of all these elements. And as happens to me when I enjoy the gifts offered in generous poetry, I left this book feeling blessed and grateful.   Ramon Presson, author of When Will My Life Not Suck?, The Roles of a Lifetime, I’m Not (Totally) Making This Up, and Voice Lessons

After Before / Jane Blanchard

AfterBeforeJane Blanchard’s newest poetry collection After Before has a steady rhythm page to page, moving from short to long form and back again, signaling a fearless passing of time and seasons. A youngster is roused to “soar into the sky” without fear of death in “Take Flight, My Child.” A mother breastfeeds fearlessly in “Sustenance” as an aging beachgoer frolics shamelessly in his Speedo in “Out and About at Dawn.” Blanchard’s words illuminate the journey of anyone panning life’s moments for gold while courageously facing down “fools and facts and fears and such.”
     —Lori Cameron, editor, The Penwood Review

Where to begin? Nearly every poem has at least one passage that deserves quoting. Even the short, untitled verses between poems offer food for thought or bring a smile. This is a large and delightful collection, technically skillful, varied in subject, sharp in observation, and fun to read. After Before is the best collection I have read in a long time.
     —Jack Hart, editor, Ship of Fools

The comforting metaphors and well-modulated rhythms in Jane Blanchard’s After Before are like eavesdropping on the secrets best friends whisper to one another—or the confessions of a long marriage where terseness and gentle humor are always appreciated. You’ll be glad you listened in. 
     —Jerry Bradley, poetry editor, Concho River Review

 

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Protective Coloration / David Jibson

ProtectiveColorationCoverIn this splendid collection of engaging and unmistakably American poems, David Jibson manages to find beauty in utterly unexpected places: piled up on a back shelf at the Salvation Army Store, for example, or strung along the bedraggled length of the Ohio Turnpike—or perhaps in the lovely, tentative dance of a blind woman learning to walk with a white cane. Along with a faint echo of Ted Kooser or Billy Collins at their conversational best, you’ll be captivated by Jibson’s own irresistible voice: that of a witty, insightful observer of the astonishments that surround us.

Marilyn L. Taylor / Wisconsin Poet Laureate, Emerita

To read David Jibson’s poems is like leafing through a pile of photos of your life and suddenly rediscovering feelings and events you had forgotten or never knew. Each snapshot is replete with carefully selected images organized to create unity and fulfillment. His poems range from trivia to exotic, from people we recognize to those we would like to meet. Topics include science, religion, philosophy, history, music, art, and (the requisite for all good poetry) basic old-fashioned entertainment.

Lawrence W. Thomas / Founding Editor of Third Wednesday Magazine,
Honorary Chancellor, Poetry Society of Michigan








Protective Coloration

The Walking Stick is indistinguishable from his habitat,
as is the Dead Leaf Butterfly, the Pygmy Seahorse,
the Tawny Frog-mouth of Tasmania and the Giant Kelp-fish.

So it is with the poet of a certain age hidden in a corner booth
at the back of the cafe as quiet as any snowshoe hare,
as still as a heron among the reeds.

To Have and Have Not

In the balcony rows where the lovers sit
it’s not so far from heaven
where the beam from a projector
slices the darkness and we,
playing at Bogie and Bacall,
splash ourselves up on the screen,
an etching of a former world,
where we wish we could
live out our lives in two dimensions
in the deep shadows of a darkened theater,
the objects of every envy.

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