Black and white photograph from the fall issue of Third Wednesday.
TW Volume XIII, No. 4 – Autumn 2020
The fall issue is in the mail to contributors and subscribers. Guest associate editor for this issue is Jude Dippold of Concrete Washington. Jude is a poet and his nature photos have graced several issues of 3W.
This issue features the winning stories from the 4th annual George Dila Memorial Flash Fiction Contest (thanks go out to this year’s judge Lisa Lenzo).Our 50/50 Poetry Contest winner is Notes from the Field by Alexandra Wade.
Other highlights: A flash piece by Ron Koertge (Yes, that Ron Koertge), poems by Marge Piercy, Jack Ridl, Claire Rubin, James Crews and many others, as well as student poetry from Inside/Out.
The print edition is available now at Amazon.com.
The sky over Santa Ynez, CA today (in an email from poet Dan Gerber).
Third Wednesday’s Poem of the Week:
California poet Claire Rubin, a favorite of ours, penned this poem for our upcoming fall issue, a wonderful example of a persona poem, one that conveys its message with wry humor. It’s also qualifies as an ekphrastic poem.
Joseph 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
Page 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
Our editors were captivated by the subject of this poem from poet Michael Steffen of Buffalo, New York. This poem of the week is a preview from the fall issue of 3rd Wednesday Magazine, due out at the end of September.
These winning stories are all so good, in different ways, and I can tell the writers put a lot of work, love, talent and craft into them. Judging is subjective but I wish it wasn’t. The difference between a winner and a non-winner was sometimes slight. I know that when the editors or judges of contests I’ve entered say “there were so many excellent entries, it was hard to choose,” that they aren’t just saying that to be nice. I feel very much the same.
Here are the winners:
Concession Girl byDiana Spechler
Handling This by Susan Rodgers
The Last Love Song of Johnny Mascerone by Gordon Brown
Four additional authors worthy of Honorable Mention: Damon Macias Moreno, Alan Sincic, Nancy Quinn & Julie Gard.
– Lisa Lenzo, Contest Judge.
The fall issue featuring:
- Winning stories from our annual George Dila Memorial Flash Fiction Contest.
- Student poetry from Inside/Out Literary Arts
- New work from:
Ron Koertge, Marge Piercy, Jack Ridl, Brian Kates, Claire Rubin, Buff Whitman-Bradley, James Crews, Richard Luftig, M.J. Iuppa, Caroline Maun, Rustin Larson and many others.
From the summer issue of 3rd Wednesday: Our poem of the week by John Grey. This issue is avialable free in PDF format from our website. The print edition is just $6 from Amazon.
3rd Wednesday’s poem of the week is by Leslie Schultz of Northfield, Minnesota. Leslie will be joining us as a guest editor for the Winter issue of 3W.
“Punting: Love it. Not a wasted word. Great answer to a lovelorn suitor.”
– Marilyn Taylor, Associate Poetry Editor.