Here we go: The next Read America Read Project is April 30th.
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.
Thanks so much,
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."
"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."
$13.00 | ISBN: 978-1-950063-34-5 | 50 Pages
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
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
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.
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.
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."
$18.00 | ISBN: 978-1-950063-48-2 | 92 Pages
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
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
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.