The Cottage / Laurence W. Thomas

From Finishing Line Press
The Cottage – by Laurence W. Thomas

We all have a dream, an idea of heaven on earth.  For Laurence Thomas the dream is of a simple idyllic life in a cabin in the woods or on a lake.  In The Cottage Thomas lives out his dream through his poems and we get to live the dream with him.  The poems are written with sensitivity and a special devotion to detail. The tranquil mood is reminiscent of the prose of Walden or the poetry of Gary Snyder or Wendell Berry but with Thomas’ own individual style and ear and eye for the sublime.  These are poems for a rainy Saturday, poems to be read slowly and savored like perfectly aged wine, hopefully on the porch of your own cottage, real or imagined.

–David Jibson, Editor of Third Wednesday, a literary arts journal

Thomas, I think, isn’t totally honest in this chapbook.  Maybe even subversive, which is in his nature and part of his charm.  On the surface he takes you to a cabin by the lakeside, opening the door to nostalgia like Yeats does in “Innisfree,” walking the paths through mushrooms, listening to the sermons of maples and Virginia creeper, rowing in the moonlight, celebrating Halloween with the lake’s residents.  He claims that cabin life carries him “away to places in the mind not possible to find in reality,” a theme echoed in “A Morning Walk Shows Changes” when he writes, “[O]n the breeze is a hint / of excitement as if just around the bend / or at the water’s edge I’ll find / some treasure . . . .”  Look deeper though, with the artist’s eye, the poet’s eye, and you’ll find the treasures taking different forms.  Quietly, sneakily, Thomas seems to be writing about poetry in a grand and disguised metaphor.  He leaves footprints for you to follow in the soft lakeside landscapes that lead to valuable and hospitable moments: “Everyone is invited to visit me here and take a dip into these refreshing waters.” You can dip into the beauty that surrounds a fishing cabin, a lake, and its environs or a dip into the pleasures of word and image and craft.  Thomas invites to both.

–Mark Tappmeyer, Professor of  English (ret.) Southwestern Baptist University, Bolivar, Missouri

Cityscapes – Rebecca Ruth Gould

RGouldCover1Traversing the urban geographies of the Middle East, South Asia, and Europe, Cityscapes offers searing and intimate portraits of Damascus, Yerevan, Hyderabad, Delhi, Isfahan, and many other cities through the lens of war, peace, love, and despair. The collection opens with poems about the cosmos, before moving to earthly urban topographies, and concludes in a series of still lives chronicling urban spaces. Gould combines the insight of someone who has resided in the geographies she describes with a poetic gift for generalizing her personal experience. Includes original photography of Palestine (Gaza and the West Bank), India, and Armenia.

 

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Rebecca Ruth Gould is the author of the award-winning monograph Writers & Rebels (Yale University Press, 2016). She has translated many books from Persian and Georgian, including After Tomorrow the Days Disappear: Ghazals and Other Poems of Hasan Sijzi of Delhi (Northwestern University Press, 2016) and The Death of Bagrat Zakharych and other Stories by Vazha-Pshavela (Paper & Ink, 2019). A Pushcart Prize nominee, she was a finalist for the Luminaire Award for Best Poetry (2017) and for Lunch Ticket’s Gabo Prize (2017). This is her first poetry collection.

Published by Alien Buddha Press, Cityscapes is available at amazonlogo

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The Arrest of Mr. Kissy Face – Mitchell Grabois

MrKissyFaceCoverMitchell Krockmalnik Grabois has had over 1,500 of his poems and fictions appear in literary magazines in the U.S. and abroad. He has been nominated for numerous prizes, and was awarded the 2017 Booranga Writers’ Centre (Australia) Prize for Fiction.

Pski’s Porch Publishing prides itself on promoting passionate, weird, unfashionable poetry, and The Arrest of Mr. Kissy Face is a prime example—far, far away from the MFA poetry mill, and a breath of fresh air.

amazonlogoI kissed the woman who slices lunch meat
at King Sooper’s
She shoved smoked turkey at me
leaned away
and called: Next!

Midwest Medley: Places & People, Wild Things & Weather – Patricia Williams

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Patricia Williams planned to write about Chinese art after retiring from the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point, as a professor of Design History. Things took a different turn and in 2013 she began writing poetry – proof that it’s never too late to do something new. Life, like poetry, is always subject to revision.

Wisconsin Library Association Outstanding Poetry Book written in 2018.

I’ve read lots of poetry and appreciate a good poet’s careful and often spare use of words. Patricia Williams belongs to that group. In two of my favorites, “The Midwinter Night is Long” and “Magic in Collapsing Stars” much is expressed in a few words about the aspects of being human. I especially like the poignant lines from “Islands” and the great story, vast application and wonderful ending in “There Goes the Neighborhood.” Jerry Apps, Award-winning author of 35 books on rural history and country life, Professor Emeritus, University of Wisconsin

Williams’ intimacy with the Midwestern countryside, its souls and circumstances, tumble forth from these well-crafted poems. We sojourn through “the season’s bullying chill” as “gales sweep the lawn clean of needles” and sense the “mortuary stillness” before a twister. In lovely language, her Midwest Medley resonates elegant simplicity and truth. Nancy Austin, Author of Remnants of Warmth

Patricia Williams’ poems about “the middle of America” virtually glow with the beauty – and many of the irresistible quirks and foibles – that she finds there. Some gleaming freeze-frames of winter are particularly stunning, as in “The long-night moon / shimmers over a glacial setting / polished by winter’s breath”. We’re also treated to Williams’ fresh take on the area’s Great Indoors, where we feel right at home under the antlers and beer signs of the Northland Bar and Grill or crashing a sing-along with Aunt Mae at the player piano. Williams’ guided tour through a part of the country too often bypassed (or flown over) is a poetic experience not to be missed. Marilyn L. Taylor, Wisconsin Poet Laureate, Emerita

Midwest Medley: Places & People, Wild Things & Weather is available at:
KelsayAldrich  amazonlogo

Traveling

 

 

Books by John Stanizzi

headshot_Stanizzi2John L. Stanizzi is author of the collections – Ecstasy Among Ghosts, Sleepwalking, Dance Against the Wall, After the Bell, Hallelujah Time!, High Tide – Ebb Tide, Four Bits, and Chants. His newest collection, Sundowning, will be out this year with Main Street Rag. Besides Third Wednesday, John’s poems have appeared in Prairie Schooner, American Life in Poetry, The New York Quarterly, Paterson Literary Review, Blue Mountain Review, The Cortland Review, Rattle, and many others.

John is a teaching artist for the national recitation contest, Poetry Out Loud. A former New England Poet of the Year, John is the prose editor for the online journal Abstract Mag TV. He teaches literature at Manchester Community College in Manchester, CT and he lives with his wife, Carol, in Coventry.

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You can order John Stanizzi’s books at  these links:

Hallelujah Time! (Big Table Publishing, 2014), Dance Against the Wall (Antrim House Books, 2012), Four Bits (Grayson Books, 2018), Chants (Cervena Barva Press 2019).