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.
Publication Date: March 1, 2021
Paperback, 104 pages
Nancy 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.
Click to see a video recording of Nancy reading from Wrinkles in Time and in Love.
Third Wednesday contributor Buff Whitman-Bradley’s new book, At the Driveway Guitar Sale: Poems on Aging, Memory, Mortality, is available from Main Street Rag Publishing Company. A few of the poems in the book were originally published in Third Wednesday. He podcasts at thirdactpoems.podbean.com
Click the YouTube link for a video of Buff reading from his book.
At the Driveway Guitar Sale can be puchased from Main Street Rag.
I’ve read this author in many publications over the years, and listened to his own gently cadenced readings on his podcast, and I love his poetry. Wit, imagination, a perfect ear, and an effortless touch (not to mention knee-slapping punchlines) mark all of Whitman-Bradley’s work, and the poems in this book are no different. The poet is forgivingly and unforgivingly self-aware, somehow finding all the poetry in life’s least poetic moments. ~Roger Stoll, essayist and poet
For all of us, even though we may continue to climb stairs and eat our vegetables, the ever-expanding past continues to nip at our heels. Buff Whitman-Bradley reminds us in these poems that we are not alone, that we participate in a common project with its pitfalls and distractions. He calls attention to the gifts and graces that accompany a seasoned perspective, and that there is a special liveliness and wise humor that comes with age that is both balm and elixir. ~Gary Crounse
With his signature grace and economy, Buff Whitman-Bradley tackles the unimaginable; the body’s elemental breakdown and the proverbial leap into the unknown which awaits us all. Never settling for abstraction or platitude, these poems are as rugged and beautiful as the California landscapes humming in the background. And though he may have given up on his plan ‘to be an ancient Chinese poet’, something of their wild humor and gem-like clarity shines on every page. ~Seth Jani, Publisher and Editor of Seven CirclePress, Author of Night Fable
A Zen master of my acquaintance
Once said that when he died
He wished to leave no trace.
All the backpackers I know
Say the same
About their sojourns in the wild.
No messes, no unfinished business.
It’s a good idea to tidy up
Before all of our little departures
And our impending Big One –
Douse the coals, strew the ashes,
Bag any food scraps,
Bits of paper, foil and cardboard,
Erase all footprints,
Be forthright, apologize, forgive –
So that what remains of us in memory
Is not a squalid little campsite
Full of trash and debris
And tangled disputes
That will cause great consternation
To those left behind,
But is instead
An expanse of mountain grasses
Beside a high cold tarn
Where ones who loved us
Might like to pass a little time,
Pitch a tent,
Build a fire.
Paperback: 58 pages
Publisher: Kelsay Books (August 5, 2019)
Available from Kelsay Books
Barnes and Noble
Paul Bernstein is a self-taught poet who began writing seriously after a varied career as a library worker/weekend hippie, anti-war activist, radical journalist, medical editor, and managing editor. His work now appears regularly in journals and anthologies. He is also a prizewinning amateur country music lyricist and a published photographer. Recent work has appeared or is forthcoming in Front Porch Review, Muddy River Poetry Review, New Plains Review, Third Wednesday, and U.S. 1 Worksheets. Paul currently lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He suffers from an addiction to Michigan sports contracted as an undergraduate but is otherwise functional.
Spindrift 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.
Laurence 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.
Home and Away by Ruth Holzer is a collection of short prose poems combined with haiku in the Japanese form of haibun, originated by Basho in the 17th century, and now becoming more widely written in the English-speaking world. These poems, reflecting a range of emotions, trace a personal journey and hopefully will also resonate with a reader’s experiences.
The 36 page chapbook is available for $7.00 from dancing girl press at:
or directly from email@example.com
Bio: Ruth Holzer is the author of five previous chapbooks, most recently, A Face in the Crowd (Kelsay Books, 2019) and Why We’re Here (Press Press, 2019). Her poems have appeared in Third Wednesday, Poet Lore, Faultline, Connecticut River Review, Southern Poetry Review, Journal of New Jersey Poets, The South Carolina Review, Blue Unicorn and other journals and anthologies. She has served as a co-editor of Haibun Today and as an associate editor of tinywords. A multiple Pushcart nominee, among her awards are the Edgar Allan Poe Memorial Prize from the Poetry Society of Virginia and the Tanka Splendor Award.
Room by room and roof by roof, the poems of Lynn Pattison’s Matryoshka Houses open up those dwellings in which the speaker has lived, and lost, and loved, where the soup contains everything from hard knocks and thorns to the divorce decree, and rooms are “flooded pink with sun through the crabapple.” These are poems that have emerged from a life not only fully lived, but fully seen. The world, here, comes in through the eyes and is sifted through the imagination: “Wide white wings / bloom from either side” of a plow blade, she writes, “as if some/commanding angel sweeps across / the prairie in moonlight delirium.” Pattison’s is a worthy voice to guide us through these disorderly, “illogical days,” this “understory world,” where still the houses of memory sing, in “Calls that reached to the pasture / if they had to”—Here I am.
—Diane Seuss, author of Four-Legged Girl and Still Life with Two Dead Peacocks and a Girl
Lynn Pattison writes, “Here,” the house sings, “Here I am.” In Matryoshka Houses, she deftly explores how her homes have served not only as vessels for loved ones and the tangle of objects a family accumulates—like records playing on a Victrola and jewelry boxes decorated with dancers—but are also containers for deep emotions and memories. In these graceful poems, she blends her many houses together seamlessly, until, distilled, they become the essence of home, which stands, “steadfast / no matter the weather,” and to which she returns, again and again.
—Kathleen McGookey, author of Instructions for My Impster
Time collapses in this wistful and shimmering collection by Lynn Pattison, in which all the rooms and houses her speaker has lived in become layered like double exposures, a palimpsest, nested Matryoshka dolls. Whether lived in for days, like a hotel room in Cancun that becomes home to a seasick tourist; or decades, like the family homestead where “my father / remembers his father setting logs at dawn,” these lost homes and their furnishings take on mythic significance, resonating with the reader’s own memories. Easily read in one sitting, this chapbook is an ideal introduction to Pattison’s fine work.
—Julie Kane, former Louisiana Poet Laureate and author of Mothers of Ireland
Lynn Pattison’s work appeared, most recently, at Ruminate and Moon City Review. It has also appeared in Smartish Pace, Pinyon, The Notre Dame Review, Mom Egg Review and elsewhere. Previous collections include : tesla’s daughter (March St. Press); Walking Back the Cat (Bright Hill Press) and Light That Sounds Like Breaking (Mayapple Press).
Lynn Pattison’s chapbook, Matryoshka Houses, debuted June, 2020 from Kelsay Press. It can be ordered from the Press or purchased from Amazon or Kelsay Books.