"This work is unlike any other, in its range of rich, conjuring imagery and its dexterity, its smart voice. Carroll-Hackett doesn’t spare us—but doesn’t save us—she draws a blueprint of power and class with her unflinching pivot: matter-of-fact and tender." —Jan Beatty

Archive for the ‘Books’ Category

Monday Must Read! Corn Exchange by Helen Vitoria

Helen Vitoria is an award winning poet and an artist living in Pennsylvania.  Her poems and photographs appear widely online and in print.  She is the author of nine poetry chapbooks, a poetry pamphlet, a full length poetry collection and a collaborative ekphrastic poetry/photography collection. Her poems have been nominated thrice for Best New Poets & several Pushcart Prizes.

Corn Exchange (Wild Chestnut Press. 2013), her first full length collection of poetry won the 2014 IPPY (Independent Publisher Book Award) SILVER MEDAL for Poetry, the 2014 Pinnacle Book Achievement Award for Poetry, an Honorable Mention for the 2014 Eric Hoffer Grand Prize Book Award, in addition to having placed as a finalist for the 2014 Eric Hoffer da Vinci Eye Award & the 2014 Eric Hoffer Montaigne Medal, and recently been nominated for the 2015 Tufts Discovery Award.

Buy this beautiful book here! 

corn exchange

Cover photo : The Cornfield by Kathy Harcom , http://www.kathyharcom.com

Visit Helen’s website here! 

Praise for Corn Exchange

“Invoking Anne Sexton’s brand of highly personal, confessional verse, Vitoria’s tragically intimate collection fearlessly attempts to reconcile ideas such as fear, suicide, family, commitment, pornography, memory, and experience through the binary elements of sight and touch. Vitoria shows a clear understanding of the safety existing in the eyes, in the act of seeing and observing, and in its inherent physical distance that the hands cannot and do not carry. Not until there exists a trust able to reconcile that physical distance and, as Vitoria explains, “spread the body, [using] thumb and palm and say: here, be happy.”– Hoffer Award judges had to say to the US Review of Books 

Corn Exchange has been taught in MFA courses in Umbria, Italy, and her poem, We Were Horses, taught in various Creative Writing MFA classes throughout the US.

She is the Founding Editor & Editor in Chief of  the award winning, Thrush Poetry Journal  & Thrush Press.  She also  served as a Poetry Editor for Poets & Artists Magazine.  She teaches a free monthly poetry  workshop in her community and will be teaching poetry to inmates in Pennsylvania Corrections  Facilities.  She is working on her second full length collection of poetry, NEBRASKA. Visit her listing on Poets & Writers here. 

Monday Must Read! Raised by Humans by Deborah Miranda

An enrolled member of the Ohlone-Costanoan Esselen Nation of California, poet Deborah Miranda was born in Los Angeles to an Esselen/Chumash father and a mother of French ancestry. She grew up in Washington State, earning a BS in teaching moderate special-needs children from Wheelock College in 1983 and an MA and PhD in English from the University of Washington. Miranda’s collections of poetry include Raised by Humans (2015); Indian Cartography: Poems (1999), winner of the Diane Decorah Memorial First Book Award from the Native Writers’ Circle of the Americas; and The Zen of La Llorona (2005), nominated for a Lambda Literary Award. Miranda also received the 2000 Writer of the Year Award for Poetry from the Wordcraft Circle of Native Writers and Storytellers. Her mixed-genre collection Bad Indians: A Tribal Memoir (2013) won a Gold Medal from the Independent Publisher’s Association and the PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Literary Award, and was shortlisted for the William Saroyan Award. She teaches at Washington & Lee.

Buy this beautiful book here!

miranda humans

“The poems in Raised by Humans are about surviving childhood and colonization. Childhood did not agree with Deborah Miran­da, mostly because the adult humans in charge of her life were not prepared to manage their own lives, let alone the life of a human-in-training. Humans raised Deborah, but it wasn’t a hu­mane childhood.

This poetry collection is also about how indigenous people survive civilization and become readers and writers of the same alphabet that colonized their culture. The complexity of being forced to find her way into relationship with the very people or cultures that have hurt/raised Miranda is a paradox at the heart of her poetry, which pushes language past what Miranda calls the “alphabet of walls.”

Monday Must Read! Blood Dazzler by Patricia Smith

In minute-by-minute detail, Patricia Smith tracks Hurricane Katrina as it transforms into a full-blown mistress of destruction. From August 23, 2005, the day Tropical Depression Twelve developed, through August 28 when it became a Category Five storm with its “scarlet glare fixed on the trembling crescent,” to the heartbreaking aftermath, these poems evoke the horror that unfolded in New Orleans as America watched it on television.

Buy this amazing book here! 

blood dazzler 1

Assuming the voices of flailing politicians, the dying, their survivors, and the voice of the hurricane itself, Smith follows the woefully inadequate relief effort and stands witness to families held captive on rooftops and in the Superdome. She gives voice to the thirty-four nursing home residents who drowned in St. Bernard Parish and recalls the day after their deaths when George W. Bush accompanied country singer Mark Willis on guitar:

The cowboy grins through the terrible din,
***
And in the Ninth, a choking woman wails
Look like this country done left us for dead.

An unforgettable reminder that poetry can still be “news that stays news,” Blood Dazzler is a necessary step toward national healing.

Patricia Smith is the author of four previous collections of poetry, including Teahouse of the Almighty, winner of the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award and the Paterson Poetry Prize. A record-setting, national poetry slam champion, she was featured in the film Slamnation, on the HBO series Def Poetry Jam, and is a frequent contributor to Harriet, the Poetry Foundation’s blog. Visit her website at http://www.wordwoman.ws.

Special Call for Submissions! Activism Anthology

Activism Anthology Call for Submissions

Deadline: October 15, 2019

Something happened and made you want to get involved in transforming your organization, neighborhood, community, state, or country. You decided to speak up for something you care about, and did so through words, images, or actions. Or, maybe this is the first time you are speaking out. MuseWrite Press seeks short stories, poems, essays, and creative nonfiction that capture your journey, work, and/or goals regarding your activism. Considering unpublished submissions of no more than 2,500 words.

Email submissions to musewritecommunity@yahoo.com by October 15, 2019. Include a 50-word bio.

Visit www.MuseWrite.com for info on press and editors.

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Pond Water & Mud <3 Sharing a poem from my latest book (Un)Hinged

Thanks to Sammy Greenspan and all the good folks at Kattywompus Press ❤ Here’s a peek into this odd, little book ❤

Woman Made of Pond Water and Mud

mouth o’ing like fish, fighting for breath in the run-off, in the sludge, in what’s left
of the autumn light gold-slicking the green green surface. She fights to recall what it means to keep breathing.

Meaning is, she knows, manufactured, manufacturing, making, made. What will
we construct today, this day where cold rain pools all across the yard, and where
the gathering dark makes it hard for even the slightest steps of dreaming?

As a child she learned early to clean fish, buckets of struggle she and her brothers carried
home from the creek, the pond, the river, home to the scrape, the knife, the filet,
the tweezer pull of pin bones, careful delicate extractions, lessons in vigilance,
before her mama’s sure hands transformed their catch into sustenance.

She never could look in there, in the pail, couldn’t watch as those fish–
bass, stripe, crappie, cats–fought so hard, banged in circles against the smooth
unending plastic, ramming and gasping, drowning in air. She didn’t have to, look,
or ask, when even now her own small amphibious heart thudded
within the curve of her ribs, this breath, then that, the only meaning
even vaguely in reach of her grasp.

-Mary Carroll-Hackett, (Un)Hinged, Kattywompus Press, 2019

Purchase (Un)Hinged Here! 

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If We Could Know Our Bones <3 Throwing Back to a Older Poem

Feeling the need to share the title poem from my 2013 book, If We Could Know Our Bones–if we saw how much we’re alike, could we be kinder?

If We Could Know Our Bones

But if you do not know yourselves, then you live in poverty.~Gospel of Thomas

If we could know our bones the way we know our skin, perhaps we’d not dig graves, but build rooms, havens, shrines, for even our enemies, their bodies rescued from the ditch and battlefield, no longer pitched into holes, safe and out of sight, but standing, eloquent and equal in their lines: tines of rib, cradle of skull, clavicle like a little key, memories of movement in femur and fluted tibia, their jaws, hinged and singing, angel light pouring through the basin of each pelvis. Free of water, fat and muscle, perhaps they’d claim us, tell us of sharing even what can’t be known–Os innominatum– those nameless bones.

-Mary Carroll-Hackett, 2013

cell division

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Monday Must Read! Before Language by Susan Deer Cloud

Love this book! 

Buy Before Language Here! 

before language deer cloud

Susan Deer Cloud, a mixed lineage Catskill Indian, is an alumna of Goddard College (MFA) and Binghamton University (B.A. and M.A.). She has taught Creative Writing, Rhetoric and Literature at Binghamton University and Broome Community College. A few years ago she returned to her “heart country” Catskills to dwell once more with foxes, deer, black bears, bald eagles, and the ghosts of panthers and ancestors. She now lives as a full-time mountain woman, dreamer and writer. Deer Cloud is the recipient of various awards and fellowships, including an Elizabeth George Foundation Grant, a National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship, two New York State Foundation for the Arts Fellowships, and a Chenango County Council for the Arts Individual Artist’s Grant. Some of her books are Hunger Moon (Shabda Press); Fox Mountain, The Last Ceremony and Car Stealer (FootHills Publishing); and Braiding Starlight (Split Oak Press). Her poems, stories and essays have been published in anthologies and journals too numerous to name. In order to get out “the voices of the voiceless,” the poet has edited three published anthologies: multicultural Confluence and Native American anthologies I Was Indian (Before Being Indian Was Cool), Volumes I & II; the 2008 Spring Issue of Yellow Medicine Review, a Journal of Indigenous Literature, Art & Thought; and the Re-Matriation Chapbook Series of Indigenous Poetry. She is a member of the international peace organization SERVAS; Poets & Writers; Associated Writing Programs (AWP); and indigenous Wordcraft Circle. She has served on panels at writers’ conferences and given myriad poetry readings at colleges, cultural centers, coffee houses, and other venues. In between her sojourns in the Catskills, Deer Cloud has spent the past few years roving with her life’s companion, John Gunther, around Turtle Island (North America) as well as on the Isles (Iceland, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and England) and Europe

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