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The April, 2022 Newsletter is here!



Read America Read

Here we go: The next Read America Read Project is April 30th.


Old Phone Booth Davis Square Somerville, Ma Bathroom Davis Square Somerville, Ma

Leave a book for someone to take anywhere you want. This time, ask two people you know to do this also. This way the project will grow each month. I would like a book marker to go in every book so people know where they are coming from. Please e-mail me at the following e-mail address and I will send you an e-mail back with the book marker for you to print out and cut. Thank you for being a part of this project. Lets make April 30th great! Send me photos too. I have a list of names of who participated and as this grows, keep letting me know you are doing this. Thanks a zillion. You all rock. Lets get America reading!!!!

Due to Coronavirus, if we are unable to leave books where we live, just continue to wait until it is safe.

e-mail: gloria@read-america-read.org

Thanks so much,
Gloria



Gobbo: A Solitaire's Opera by David Cappella
David Cappella, Professor Emeritus of English and the 2017/2018 Poet-in-Residence at Central Connecticut State University, has co-authored two widely used poetry textbooks, Teaching the Art of Poetry: The Moves and A Surge of Language: Teaching Poetry Day to Day. He won the Bright Hill Press Poetry Chapbook Competition in 2006. His poems and essays have appeared in various literary journals and anthologies in the US and Europe. His novel, Kindling, has been called "a powerful and devastating coming-of-age story." Visit his university web site: http://webcapp.ccsu.edu/?fsdMember=249
Note to the Reader
Gobbo: A Solitaire's Opera is a "natural opera." That is, it is the emotional arc of a poet's life rendered in poetry. The sonnet sequence is divided into three acts much like a formal opera, and it is loosely based on the life of the Italian poet, Giacomo Leopardi. His life, fraught with emotional and physical pain, did not stop him from writing some of the most exquisite lyrical poetry of his age, of all time. His view of human nature, of mankind in general was dark, but this was not necessarily because he was physically misshapen, though some think that is the case. Whatever his view of humanity or whatever his emotional and physical pain, Leopardi demonstrated great courage in the face of adversity while his poetry transcended his life.
Though the emotional life of Gobbo follows the life of Leopardi, his voice is, most assuredly, not Leopardi's. The voice of Gobbo is the consciousness of a poet living his life. He is the artist navigating the world. Gobbo: A Solitaire's Opera is not an historical or a biographical document.

"David Cappella's Gobbo is truly operatic as it makes us feel the heart and soul of a tortured yet remarkable poet. Through the deft use of form, Cappella maintains a constant window on a changeable man. Each aria-like poem articulates an aspect of Gobbo’s experience while creating, as in opera, a powerful emotional skein. This is a life of a poet in poems. As such, its relevance is timeless."
-Baron Wormser
"It is difficult for us who live in an anti-romantic age to grasp the consciousness of the romantic poet without the aura of the decorative, or the merely forlorn, obstructing our appreciation. We may sense a great reduction has come to pass regarding the ways of being available to a poet in today’s world. In these poems, from the first act of David Cappella’s Gobbo: A Solitaire’s Opera, we are given, again, what poets in western societies have lost, the exquisitely articulated desires and claims of the young poet who has “no loves, no friends, nothing, just [his] studies” and yet, through the exercise of an intense imagination, finds comfort and confirmation in nature, books, language itself, and encounters with the beautiful and the infinite. It is high, grand stuff, true art, when a poet can embody the dance that transpires between the imagination and life lived in response to perceptions and circumstances. This is what David Cappella has created with delicacy and balance."
-Gray Jacobik
Cover art: "One / Leopardi" by Britta Winkels
$18.00 | ISBN: 978-1-950063-15-4 | 106 Pages

Nomad Moon Stories by Doug Mathewson
Edited by Sally Reno (chapbook)
Doug Mathewson writes short, and even shorter fiction. His work has appeared here and there, now and then due to the kindness and forgiving nature of numerous editors to whom he is most sincerely grateful. He is the editor of Blink-Ink www.blink-ink.org Also he sweeps up and does odd chores for The Mambo Academy of Kitty Wang. More of his work can be found at Little 2 Say www.little2say.org
Nomad Moon is a collection of twenty four short stories by Doug Mathewson. They have been described as "True stories from imaginary lives." Every one is true except for the pretend and made up parts. Some stories are sad, and some humorous, but all showing the authors love of life and human kind.
$13.00 | ISBN: 978-1-950063-56-7 | 27 Pages
 

RIOT WAKE by Nina Rubinstein Alonso (chapbook)
RIOT WAKE by Nina Rubinstein Alonso
Nina Rubinstein Alonso's poetry and stories have appeared in Ploughshares, The New Yorker, U. Mass. Review, Writing in a Woman's Voice, Nixes Mate, Ibbetson Street, Broadkill Review, Southern Women's Review, Peacock Journal, Sumac, Wilderness House, The New Boston Review, Pensive Journal, Taj Mahal Review, etc. Her book This Body was published by David Godine Press, her story collection A Dancer's Notebook and a novel Balancing on One Leg are in the works. She's the editor of Constellations: a Journal of Poetry and Fiction and has published the 11th issue. She taught at Boston Ballet for eleven years and continues as director and teacher of Fresh Pond Ballet.

"Do you ever feel a "wow moment" when reading a poet's work? It might be an idea, poetic lines or a usage of words that say this poet is unique. Nina R. Alonso's Riot Wake is full with such lines as: "seeing women in black veils/ wrapped like moths at night." Alonso's observations of people and places is like walking the Earth with a magnifying glass. Her poetry is intriguing, inspired and insightful. It is a book not soon forgotten."
-Zvi A. Sesling
Riot Wake is outstanding. The poems are intelligent, lyrical and so precisely observed. The collection as a whole is carefully organized to give us the arc of the story: beauty and repression. Nina Alonso speaks to us personally and frankly out of each one of these perfect poems. These poems will echo in your heart forever. The collection is timely and will be a classic for years to come.
-Kathleen Spivack, author of Unspeakable Things
"The word "unique" may be used till the devil take it, but here it applies appropriately to Nina Alonso's "Riot Wake" which portrays an inner journey through sites as disparate as El Camino in Spain and a Harvard Square reduced to rubble by rioters. There's psychic pain and suffering as these poems ride their course, while in greater measure there's delight in how they honor the eye and ear, line by line, with masterly performance. This is a goddam good chapbook."
-Tomas O'Leary
"Nina Alonso is a dancer. And in the case of her poetry there seems to be a slow motion, wandering sensibility to her work. And indeed as she traveled through Morocco and Spain with her late husband her wanderlust brings the reader to the face of intriguing and beautiful imagery. In Tangiers, she sees "women in black veils/ wrapped like moths at night." She resurrects an acid trip in a fluorescent diner that dances with light and distortion. There is a sense of mystery throughout this collection...of seeing the unseen...the past with all its pain and allure."
-Doug Holder
$13.00 | ISBN: 978-1-950063-34-5 | 50 Pages

How to Jump from a Moving Train by Oriana Ivy (chapbook)
Oriana Ivy was born and raised in Poland. She came to the United States when she was 17. Her poems, essays, book reviews, and translations have been published in Poetry, Ploughshares, Best American Poetry, Nimrod, Spoon River Review, The Iowa Review, Black Warrior Review, Los Angeles Review of Books and many others. She’s the prize winning author of the chapbooks April Snow (Finishing Line Press) and From a New World (Paper Nautilus). A former journalist and community college instructor, she leads an online Poetry Salon. Her poetry-and-culture blog, oriana-poetry.blogspot.com, has gained an international audience. She lives in Southern California.
How to Jump from a Moving Train offers an interweave of immigrant experience with a complex mother-daughter relationship, with a secondary interweave of history and myth. The speaker was born and raised in Poland, and came to this country when she was seventeen. Her poems often address the "doubleness" of being an immigrant, the deep cultural divide that the experience tends to produce.

I love these poems. Each one is astounding, a whole treasured world unto itself, rendered in language that's been honed and polished until it shines. There's an intimacy in this work that keeps opening out - from the deeply personal into something enormous, not grandiose but so human that it hurts, it blesses, it heals.
-Cecilia Woloch, author of Tzigan, Sacrifice, Carpathia, Earth and Late
Amongst the tens of thousands of poets at work in the United States in the twenty-first century, there are still a handful who began writing well before the Berlin Wall came down. How long ago that seems! Though Oriana Ivy's poems are embedded in the playing out of European history after World War II, they speak to the crisis that is at the heart of the "ghetto of time." With a poet as reticent as Oriana Ivy to be visible within the horde of contemporary working poets, it's hard to know exactly how many poems she has written that are as fine as the ones in this collection. Several dozen more? Two hundred more? No matter. These poems alone would serve to preserve any poet's name on the reading list of every astute lover of poetry.
-William Mohr, author of The Headwaters of Nirvana: Reassembled Poems and Holdouts: The Los Angeles Poetry Renaissance 1948-1992
$13.00 | ISBN: 978-1-950063-65-9 | 30 Pages

Cervena Barva Press Announces the publication of:
THE VIEW FROM SOMERVILLE An anthology of student poetry
Edited by Lloyd Schwartz Poet Laureate Somerville, MA
This collection of poems from the Somerville High School's poetry club, edited by Lloyd Schwartz, the poet laureate of Somerville, is a book worth digging into. 47 students wrote poetry for this anthology. The poetry club is run by teachers Theresa Dietrich and Amanda Doughty.
It was an honor to publish this anthology and write a blurb for it along with Simon Perchik, who is 98 years old. He still writes daily!
When Lloyd Schwartz approached me about publishing this anthology, I was so excited about it. I loved this project, and it is an honor to be a part of bringing it into publication. Thank you Lloyd!

Gloria Mindock, editor of Červená Barva Press, Somerville Poet Laureate 2017 and 2018

Lloyd Schwartz is Somerville's third poet laureate, serving from 2019-2022, following Nicole Terez Dutton and Gloria Mindock. He was one of twenty-three poets to be awarded the 2021 Academy of American Poets Poets Laureate Fellowships, which helped fund this anthology. His poetry has also been honored by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation and has been selected for the Pushcart Prize, The Best American Poetry, and The Best of the Best American Poetry. His poems and articles have appeared in The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, The Atlantic, The New Republic, The Paris Review, Poetry, Salmagundi, Ploughshares, and Plume, among numerous other journals. He has published five books of poetry, most recently Who's on First?-New and Selected Poems (University of Chicago Press, 2021).
For thirty-seven years, he taught English and creative writing at the University of Massachusetts Boston, where for much of that time he was the director of the undergraduate creative writing program. He is now Frederick S. Troy Professor of English Emeritus. His scholarly work has centered on the American poet Elizabeth Bishop, his close friend, about whom he wrote his Ph.D. thesis and edited three major books of, or about, her work, including the Library of America's Elizabeth Bishop: Poems, Prose, and Letters and the centennial edition of her complete Prose (FSG). He writes and speaks about music and the arts for NPR's Fresh Air and WBUR's the ARTery, and for his reviews in the Boston Phoenix he was awarded the 1994 Pulitzer Prize for Criticism. He has lived in East Somerville since 1984.

"As one student-poet wrote, "Home is everything." Blue houses, white ones, large and small, full of cooking smells, siblings, and beloved pets, warm beds, parents, windows to look out at the leaves changing. Somerville is the heartbeat here, embraced within these pages of wildly eclectic writing. The Somerville for all seasons."
-Gloria Mindock, editor of Červená Barva Press, Somerville Poet Laureate 2017 and 2018.
"THE VIEW FROM SOMERVILLE is a much needed book. It is often said that the difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and the lightning bug. This book is important because it makes the reader revisit that old adage."
-Simon Perchik, author of The Family Of Man
Cover Photo: "Winter Hill Post Office Mural, by Elizabeth Carter, 1982" by Melissa Glenn Haber
$14.00 | ISBN: 978-1-950063-70-3 | 54 Pages
https://www.bostonglobe.com/2022/04/14/arts/writers-celebrating-worcester-art-museums-collection-young-poets-taking-somerville-new-england-recipients-guggenheim-fellowships/
http://dougholder.blogspot.com/2022/04/lloyd-schwartz-talks-about-view-from.html


New Release: Our Best Defense by David O'Connell
Our Best Defense by David O'Connell
David O'Connell's chapbook, A Better Way to Fall, was awarded the Philbrick Poetry Award from the Providence Athenaeum. His poetry has appeared in New Ohio Review, The Cincinnati Review, Poet Lore, Copper Nickel, and North American Review, among other journals. He has received fellowships in poetry from the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts and earned his MFA at Ohio State University. David lives in Providence, Rhode Island with his wife, the poet Julie Danho, and their daughter. More of his work is available at davidoconnellpoet.com.

These wonderful poems combine intellect and feeling, family life and history and are the "best defense" against the sleep of contemporary life in which people live vicariously through the famous, refuse to acknowledge the lessons of history, and persist in denying our finitude. They enact the scrutiny and self-awareness that Robert Lowell called for, that "agonizing reappraisal," and do so with great tenderness and with a wry sense of how our lives are interwoven with myth and history and with work memos and The Weather Channel. Our Best Defense arms us with humor, fearlessness, and wonder.
-Robert Cording
David O'Connell leads readers through a modern family life with tenderness, skepticism, and wonder. It's a life he knows-though that life is not everyone's. How much is lost when he passes on time with his wife to deliver a promised memo to Legal instead? When his toddler daughter sobs to a Christmas tune? These poems know better than to feel at ease with the timbre of Bing Crosby or the rhyme scheme of Edwin Arlington Robinson. These poems expose the mirage of perfect life outside day spas and inside sheltered schoolrooms. "Why do we learn / what we learn in this order?" is a persistent question-of this book and of the times. "What are you doing with your life?" O'Connell asks. The weather's unseasonably off. And there's no way to ignore the historical record skipping.
-Yona Harvey
Every poem in David O'Connell's fine debut embodies Robert Frost's definition of poetry: "A momentary stay against confusion." Poems celebrating work well done, the blues of Robert Johnson, and the deep nourishment of domesticity keep company with poems lamenting heroism's blindness and the wasteland homo sapiens seem determined to make of our planet. Formally various, the poems share a deceptively calm, patient voice, the sound of a writer who knows how ineffably fragile and sublime existence is. "Marriage," a three-line lyric that arrives late in the book, puts the matter best: "Evening, winter, fresh/from the bath, she leaves a trail./I take off my socks."
-John Repp
$18.00 | ISBN: 978-1-950063-48-2 | 92 Pages

New Release: Nothing Resplendent Lives Here Stories by Renuka Raghavan
A Pushcart Prize and Best Small Fictions nominee, Renuka Raghavan, is an Indian-American author who writes short-form prose and poetry. She is the author of Out of the Blue (Big Table Publishing, 2017) and The Face I Desire (Nixes Mate, 2019). Her work has been featured in The American Journal of Poetry, Boston Literary Magazine, Bending Genres, and the South Florida Poetry Journal, among others. For a complete list of all her previous publications visit her at www.renukaraghavan.com. She writes and lives with her family and two Chihuahuas in Massachusetts.

"With the precision of a scalpel in the hands of a skilled surgeon, Raghavan cuts to the heart of the human experience, revealing characters at their most vulnerable. Raw and edgy, these stories bleed with emotional resonance. A powerful collection."
-Jayne Martin, author of Tender Cuts and The Daddy Chronicles-Memoir of a Fatherless Daughter
"In this literary braid of tragedy, irony, and humor, Renuka Raghavan delivers masterfully crafted stories that make you smile or break your heart. All of life’s messiest, saddest, weirdest, and most chaotic scenarios are here: from a soul deadening one night stand with a disc jockey and a calm stegosaurus skeleton who's not bothered by much, to the devastating consequences of a mother's criticism, no emotion is left unturned. Nothing Resplendent Lives Here is our choice for best short story collection of the year."
-Robin Stratton, editor Boston Literary Magazine
"Nothing Resplendent Lives Here is a beautiful swirl of tight, inventive stories that introduce us to invisible mothers who show up at a poetry reading, lovers who have died but continue to live in every corner of the house, and so many others. A mix of returning library books, fishing toys out of claw machines, and giant flowers that smell of decay, acts of ordinary life turned upside down. The stories are set in varying locales from Las Vegas to New Orleans to Delhi and, of course, the happiest place on earth. Skillfully crafted with charged language, poignancy, and unforgettable characterization, these stories will delight you and weave themselves into your heart."
-Francine Witte, author of Dressed All Wrong for This and The Cake, The Smoke, The Moon
$18.00 | ISBN: 978-1-950063-71-0 | 60 Pages

New Release: On Earth As It Is by Michael Todd Steffen
Of his first book Partner, Orchard, Day Moon published in 2014 David Ferry wrote, Michael Steffen is so alive in his writing, keen with observation, both of what things actually look like, what the wind feels like, how things grow and rot, and also of character, his own, his uncles', anybody's he sees. Steffen is the recipient of a 2021 Massachusetts Cultural Council Literary Fellowship, and his poetry has appeared in journals, including The Boston Globe, The Concord Saunterer, Ibbetson Street, The Lyric and Synchronized Chaos.

From beginning to end, through great and small, the stirrings of a hurricane, the agility of a housefly, the majesty of a Pacific Northwest Sequoia, On Earth As It Is upholds the wonders of life on our lonely blue planet, bringing new inflections to the voice of eco-poetry, while formal and topical surprise from poem to poem defies genre. Steffen's restless curiosity ranges from silent alarm to staggering resignation, formal irony for the popular and political language of "global warming" to out and out observance for the iconic heroes and defenders of the earth and its elements from Rachel Carson to Ansel Adams. Still, barber, dentist, the memory of a dog, a Botticelli Madonna and Infant, Mae West, a tortoise wavering between its natural appearance and its resonance in fable, also appear as subjects in the poems to evoke the human and mythical entanglements at stake in the survival of our world. Shy of the overwhelming challenges we are facing in this realm today, the simple challenge of this selection to the reader is how to stop turning its pages.

It is so present, the speaker in this collection observes, and every poem in some way proves this: Steffen's close observations, intimate portraits, sense of history, surprising wit and the play of dark and light, all bring the reader into the now, a world where the sheer physicality of abstractions (the vice of innocence, immensity I sleep on, a narrow salvation and many more) renews and refreshes their meaning. The pleasures of the poems in On Earth As It Is are many, but foremost among them is the striking combination of the clear-eyed and the complicated, the everyday and the transcendent. This is accomplished and important work.
-Joan Houlihan, author of It Isn't a Ghost if It Lives in Your Chest
Cover art: Bridget Galway
$16.00 | ISBN: 978-1-950063-17-8 | 53 Pages

New Release: NO TIME FOR DEATH by Harris Gardner
Welcome to a world where there is no time for death. It is a place and a state of mind, both for the temporal and the spiritual with space for the mundane and the extraordinary. "No Time for Death' is Harris Gardner's fourth published collection; it is his first in fifteen years. This poetry collection is divided into three sections: An Argument with Time; Contemplating Mortality Instead of My Navel; and Negotiating for An Afterlife. These are serious poems with an undercurrent of humor pervading many of them. The subject matter spans the spectrum of the human condition imbued with faith, hope, and the occasional flicker of regret. It is engaged with the busy-ness of living. "No Time for Death" offers an overarching theme: Take a breath, a revitalizing pause; as for Mortality, slow down; enjoy the most of each day-to-day. What's the rush? Death can wait, can't it?

Harris Gardner has been the Poetry Editor of Ibbetson Street since 2010. He has authored four poetry collections: Chalice of Eros, co-authored with Lainie Senechal (Stone Soup Press) 1998; Lest They Become (Ibbetson Street Press) 2003; Among Us (Cervena Barva Press) 2007; No Time for Death (Cervena Barva Press) 2021. His numerous publication credits include The Harvard Review, A Poet's Siddur, Midstream, Cool Plums, Rosebud, Fulcrum, Chest, The Aurorean, Ibbetson street, Constellations (#6 and #7), Main Street Rag, Vallum (Canada), Levure Litteraire (France), Green Door (Belgium), Muddy River Poetry Review, Wilderness House Literary, Review.com, The Jewish Advocate, The New Renaissance, Endicott Review, Concrete Wolf, I Refused to Die (A Holocaust Anthology of stories of Boston Area Holocaust Survivors and Soldiers Who Liberated the Concentration Camps of World War II), Bagels with the Bards Anthology, Merrimac Mic Anthology, and others.
He co-founded, with Lainie Senechal, Tapestry of Voices, 1999 to the present); Co-founded, with Lainie Senechal, The Boston National Poetry Month Festival, 2001 to the present; Co-founded, with Doug Holder (his brainchild) Breaking Bagels with the Bards, 2005 to the present. Gardner was Poet-in-Residence at Endicott College, 2002-April, 2005. He founded and hosted many poetry venues over the past twenty-two years, a few which ran simultaneously for up to eight years including Boston Borders, Poetry in The Chapel Series (Forest Hills Cemetery), Mad Poets Café (Pawtucket, R.I.); others included The Parker House Hotel, The Laureate Series at Boston City Hall, and, currently, The First and Last Word Poetry Series, Co-founded and co-hosted with Gloria Mindock, 2010 to the present. He has been featured at many venues in New England.
He has been a member of six blue ribbon Poet Laureate selection committees: three for Boston and three for Somerville. His poetry has been nominated for two Pushcart Prizes and he received honorable mention for the New England Poetry Club's Boyle-Farber Prize. In 2015, he received a Life Time Achievement Award From Ibbetson Street Press and a Citation from the Massachusetts House of Representatives. He is currently a member of the Academy of American Poets.

No Time for Death is just the right title for this lovely collection that uses poignant wit and deep feeling to fend off mortality in the only way that poems know how: by keeping time alive in breathing lines. I admire the combination of playful, ebullient imagination and steady, formal restraint in these ranging meditations on transience. There are also some extremely moving poems about Gardner's Jewish heritage. And then there's Gardner's intuitive grasp of the instructive way that language, by its punctuated structure, keeps reminding us of our human predicament, even as it continues beyond the end-stopped lines.
-George Kalogeris, Author of Dialogos (Antilever Press) and Camus: Carnets (Pressed Wafer Press)
Harris Gardner's collection, No Time for Death, is sharply aware of mortality. How do we understand the passing of time, and our place in it? How do we come to terms with the certain knowledge that our lives will end? Although these are questions without answers, Gardner, in a poem like "Entreaty to the Trees" finds a way forward through the recognition of the world's healing beauty. The trees exhale "that we may breathe," and they nourish us with their "full blown fruit." They, and we, are sacred parts of the whole.
-Jennifer Barber, Founding Editor, Salamander, author of Works on Paper (Word Works)
Harris Gardner's new collection of poems is a contemporary memento mori, a sustained reflection on our mortality. These poems show us many surprising ways the awareness of death insinuates itself into our daily thoughts and most private feelings. With wry and humane wit, Gardner presents us with poetic spells or rituals that do not deny death as much as they put it in its place. Like Dylan Thomas and John Donne before him, Gardner is fully intent on showing us how death shall have in the end no dominion, and that it too will die. When one is committed to life, these poems say, there really is no time for death.
-Fred Marchant, Author of Said Not Said (Graywolf Press)
$18.00 | ISBN: 978-1-950063-59-8 | 82 Pages

Ash by Gloria Mindock from Glass Lyre Press
Gloria Mindock is the author of I Wish Francisco Franco Would Love Me (Nixes Mate Books), Whiteness of Bone (Glass Lyre Press), La Portile Raiului (Ars Longa Press, Romania) translated into the Romanian by Flavia Cosma, Nothing Divine Here, (U Šoku Štampa), and Blood Soaked Dresses (Ibbetson). Widely published in the USA and abroad, her poetry has been translated and published into the Romanian, Croatian, Serbian, Montenegrin, Spanish, Estonian, Albanian, bulgarian, Turkish, and French. Gloria has been published in numerous literary journals including Gargoyle, Web Del Sol, spoKe, Constellations: A Journal of Poetry and Fiction, Ibbetson, The Rye Whiskey Review, Muddy River Poetry Review, Unlikely Stories, Pratik: A Magazine of Contemporary Writing and Nixes Mate Review and anthology. Gloria has been awarded the Ibbetson Street Press Lifetime Achievement Award and was the recipient of the Allen Ginsberg Award for Community Service by the Newton Writing and Publishing Center. She received the fifth and fortieth Moon Prize from Writing in a Woman's Voice. Gloria was the Poet Laureate in Somerville, MA in 2017 & 2018.

In Gloria Mindock's powerful new book, the flames of love die out and the ashes linger until they dissolve into air. The body is hostage, in charred relics of failed intimacies—The burnt-out ends of smoky days (T.S. Eliot). There's beauty in the truth of Mindock's words and images: Things got smokier, battling the embers with//false waters. And there's hope: Not everyone believes in destruction.// All the heart wants is to beat. Above all, these poems radiate feeling, compassionately aware, attuned to a world of broken love that is burned beyond recognition, the ashes drifting and settling: how much sorrow can this heart take?// There is never an answer. Ash sears and sings.
—Dzvinia Orlowsky, author of Bad Harvest
In Ash, Gloria Mindock writes a gritty, beautifully haunting collection of poetry. Ash is what remains behind after destruction, ruin, death, and burning. Similarly, the poems in this collection are what will remain. Fight the shadows and wade through the darkness on a path paved by Mindock's vivid imagery, stark language, and dynamic voice, all of which, make for a most memorable experience. Now more than ever, we need these poems. With the utmost economy of words, skillful syntax, and emotional connections, each poem reverberates into the depths of your consciousness. Dark, intense, and wholly unique, Ash, by Gloria Mindock is what you've been waiting for—a collection of poetry that consumes and smolders. Are you ready?
—Renuka Raghavan, author of Out of the Blue and The Face I Desire
Gloria Mindock is a poet with singular vision: in Ash, a human heart is rolled out, then baked, then thrown to the birds; broken crucifixes are shoved into junk drawers and gather dust; a spurned/murdered woman turns into a beautiful plant that gives her ex-lover a rash. With mordant, Pinter-esque wit, Mindock explores just how far love, and even human decency, can unravel—to the point of arson, to the point of war.
Ash begin with a series of poems about lethal house fires that may be literal or metaphorical ("my skin was burned by your compulsion to be famous"), then expands to pinpoint the similar essence of human cruelty that enables soldiers to kill. As the narrator of "Doomed by the Numbers" explains: "the fact is people will still go on brutally/killing each other./Who will take my place and write about it?"
Ash concludes with an engaging, Rabelaisian roundelay of voices—mini-plays, summed up in just two stanzas, about complicated relationships between two people.
Once again, with Ash, Mindock proves herself to be unafraid of the dark. She is truly a leading, contemporary master of the edgy.
—Karen Friedland, author of Places That Are Gone and Tales from the Teacup Palace
Passionate and observant, Gloria Mindock is a tragic poet. Her books are wounds revisited. She knows that nothing, never heals.
"With a rolling pin in my hand, I roll your heart out flat... stop it from beating. The redness of blood turns to wax, sticky while wet." (Baked)
She senses the pain of the world in her being.
"The void looms deep, scorched like the desert blowing aimlessly." (Exit)
As her latest book Ash attests without doubt, Gloria is both a warrior and a martyr. Her words are swords that slowly transform into tears.
Her anger at life's injustice is mighty, but mighty is her generosity and her openness towards repair, harmony and universal peace. A must-read Ash conducts the reader through thorny labyrinths of pain and despair, allowing now and then a glimpse of ultimate resolve and liberation in verses of a rare beauty:
"...but gravity is about to free me into space... People will look at me day and night and ask, "what is it?" There is no control over what happens. The cathedral is high and my freckles fell on the floor as I left. Paleness now, that no one sees, but in the universe, I will be a prism." (Gravity)
"...A hunger surrounds us, dust gathers, and is wiped off, space evading all this as songs of the wind come through the window and we all hum." (Room)
—Flavia Cosma, author of In the Arms of the Father, Val-David, QC
$16.00 | ISBN: 978-1-941783-75-7 | 71 Pages


ABOUT THE PRESS

ČERVENÁ BARVA PRESS was founded in April of 2005. The press solicits poetry, fiction, and plays from various writers around the world, and holds open contests regularly for its chapbooks, postcards, broadsides and full-length books. I look for work that has a strong voice, is unique, and that takes risks with language. Please see submission guidelines for current information. I encourage queries from Central and Eastern Europe.



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