This year’s 3rd Wednesday Poetry Contest judge, Joy Gaines-Friedler’s poem, Detroit, is up at Vox Populi along with some of her photographs.
Photo by Leslie Schultz / Northfield, Minnesota
from the winter issue of 3rd Wednesday Magazine
“Paul Bluestein opens this fresh and vibrant collection of poems with a brief set of seasonal poems sectioned into Autumn, Winter, Spring and Summer. He then slides eloquently into the heart and soul of time passages where his deep love for his dogs, his wife and nature are painted in gentle tapestries and spoken with sincerity, warmth and spirit.”
Paul Bluestein is an obstetrician and blues guitar player and writer who lives in Connecticut with his wife and Tucker, an unreasonably demanding rescue dog. His work has appeared in The Broken Plate, The Linden Avenue Literary Review, Third Wednesday, El Portal and Penumbra among other publications. His first full-length collection, Time Passages, was published by Silver Bow Publishing. Avialable at Amazon.com.
Bright Soil, Dark Sun : Finishing Line Press, 2019
How does before become after? What happens to our dreams? Our disappointments? These stunning poems in Bright Soil, Dark Sun interrogate time and present moments of excavation, of tracing—and sometimes slipping into—the echoes and scars into which we wake each day, “the world and what haunts / beneath it blending in / bitter harmony.” How much of the past—our own or that of others—can we truly understand? And what is the cost of that understanding? Samuel Franklin explores these corporeal labyrinths and lets each poem reveal its own distinct thread. To quote one of his speakers, I am glad “I was there to see its glint.” –Matthew Woodman, editor of Rabid Oak
Franklin writes with the delicate grace of a contemporary Orpheus. In a world not so much post-modern but post-mythology, staring down the failure of Gods, this collection follows those ordinary people caught halfway between cynicism and hope wondering what happens now. Dexterous and touching, every moment of these poems is a delight or a heartbreak or both. –Amy Kinsman, author of & and editor of Riggwelter
Samuel Franklin is the author of two books of poetry: Bright Soil, Dark Sun (2019) and The God of Happiness (2016). He resides in Bloomington, Indiana, where he enjoys making useful things out of wood scraps and losing staring contests to his cats. He can be found at samueltfranklin.com.
Includes three poems first published in Third Wednesday, Vol. X, No. 1 (Winter 2017): Driving on an August Evening, On a Ferry for Beaver Island, MI, and As Things Are.
Driving on an August Evening
Hacksaw jabber of cicadas
like trees singing on Highway 46,
hurtling through Brown County,
our faces full of wind, eyes reflecting
clouds like mists of fire
or smoking barges steaming westward,
twilight pines melting against a Rothko sky—
blood-gold, bonfires, red mouth around ripened corn.
The meadowlark, belting his song from a post on this book’s cover, is recognized across the country as a harbinger of spring. Enlivening the ambiance of this poetry collection, familiar birds represent the character and mood of its four sections: noisy jays, melodious wrens, steadfast robins, tranquil swans. While birds populate many of the poems, hardly more than a handful have birds as their subjects. The poems’ subjects derive from wide ranging personal experiences often narrated as dramatic situations, usually with something emotionally important at stake. Settings are urban and rural, delineated in finely tuned sensuous detail. Some poems are sonorously lyrical, others ironic or assertive.
“Publication of Edward Morin’s The Bold News of Birdcalls is good news not just for birders and other celebrants of the natural world, but for all poetry lovers. I love Ed Morin’s sense of place; he is a real Michigan bard, and his evocation of many familiar Michigan places amounts to a North American version of what the Irish call Dinnṡeanċas, “place lore,” the recitation of which is one of poetry’s most ancient and revered obligations. All this is accomplished with human warmth and a rare sense of empathy.”
— Richard Tillinghast, author of twelve books of poetry and five of creative nonfiction, most recently Journeys into the Mind of the World: A Book of Places.
“Birds flutter, feed, and swoop through these poems: motifs that knit together subjects as closely-observed as a decaying Hallowe’en pumpkin, armed robbery at a paint store where the speaker holds short-lived employment—a narrative that had my heart in my throat!—and elegies for early-passing friends, colleagues and poet-pals from the speaker’s younger years as a university instructor. Academic politics of the corporate university also grip our attention, as does some professorial ogling! The unforgiving contrasts of northern Midwest weather serve both to warm and cool the tonalities of poems filled with self-questioning, forgiveness of others, and compelling human stories.”
— Carolyne Wright, author of This Dream the World: New & Selected Poems, and lead editor of Raising Lilly Ledbetter: Women Poets Occupy the Workspace
Paperback: 102 pages
Publisher: Kelsay Books (January 7, 2021)
Available from Kelsay Books and at Amazon.com.
3rd Wednesday’s poem of the week from the winter issue – now on sale at Amazon.com.