The past haunts these highly allusive poems, rich with thoughtful, precise images that convey “numinous ambiguities,” as in the title poem. A Circle of Bones is a welcome addition to 21st-century American poetry. —- Clifton Snider
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Cover by Claudio Parentela
CONGRATULATIONS TO Georgia Santa-Maria – winner of the 2016 Lummox Poetry Prize And to Jane Lipman – Second Place!
Mike Adams, Jeff Alfier, Tobi Alfier, Sudeep ahikari, Ed Ahern, George Anderson, RD Armstrong, Christopher Barnes, Belinda Berry, Chris Bodor, Debbi Brody, Lynne Bronstein, Nadya Brown, Ronnie Browne, Christopher Buckley, Wayne Burke, Helmut Calabrese, Calokie, Don Kingfisher Campbell, Pris Campbell, R. S. Carlson, Alan Catlin, Grace Cavalieri, Neeli Cherkovski, Patricia Cherin, Jackie Chou, W. M. Clevenger, Ed Colleti, Sharyl Collin, Bill Craychee, Steve Dalachinsky, Cassandra Dallett, Sarah Daugherty, James Deahl, James Decay, Diane Dehler, Matt Dennison, Jen Dunford, Christian Elder, Gail Eisen, Michael Estabrook, Mark Evans, Hazem Fahmy, Alexis Rhone Fancher, Brian Fanelli, Josepf Farley, J. A. Farnia, Kate M.Flaherty, Mike Faran, Robert Foss, Dan Flore III, Alex Frankel, Jerry Garcia, J.W. Gardner, Jack Gebhardt, Loraine Gow, John Grey, Kenneth Gurney, Ryan Guth, Vijail Hamilton, David M. Harris, Clarinda Harriss, George Held, Lenore Hildebrandt, Debbie Okun Hill, G. Hagen Hill, Eryn Hiscock, Lawrence Hopperton, Susan Ioannou, Gary Jacobelly, Ed Jamieson, Jr., George Johnson, Jr., Ted Kane, Frank Kearns, Lalo Kikiriki, Diane Klammer, Doug Knott, Laurie Kolp, Ron Koertge, Donna Langevin, Kyle Laws, John B. Lee, Norma West Linder, Jane Lipman, Ellaraine Lockie, Alexander Long, Ron Lucas, Glenna Luschei, Sharon Mahany, John Macker, Ed Marcowski, Ellyn Maybe, Mary McGinnis, Michael D. Meloan, Basia Miller, Joseph Milosch, Richard Modiano, Tony Moffeit, Kyle Moreno, Deborah Morrison, Linda Neal, Robbi Nester, Ben Newell, normal, Norman J. Olson, Amanda Ortiz, Scott Thomas Outlar, Claudio Parentels, Lorine Parks, Tim Peeler, Richard King Perkins II, Dustin Pickering, Charles Plymell, Kennon B. Raines, Kevin Ridgeway, Denis Robillard, Judith Robinson, David Roskos, F. Albert Salinas, Georgia Santa-Maria, Eric Paul Shaffer, Nancy Shiffrin, Linda Singer, Jerry Smaldone, Graham Smith, Jared Smith, Rick Smith, Clifton Snider, Ken Stange, Winnie Lee Star, SB Stokes, Kevin and Patti Sullivan, John Sweet, Lynn Tait, Kelly Talbot, H. L. Thomas, Tim Tipton, Cynthia Toronto, Anna Totta, John Townsend, Grace Vermeer, Richard Vidan, Scott Wannberg, Eternity Wauls, Charles Webb, Scott Wozniak, Mark Wyatt, Chris Yeseta, Carrie Zhang, Kelsey Bryan-Zwick.
INTERVIEWS with John Sweet (George Anderson) and Ryan Guth (Dustin Pickering); ESSAYS by RD Armstrong; Christopher Buckley; James Deahl; Alex Frankel; Bear Jack Gebhardt; Richard Norman J. Olsen; Lorine Parks and Charles Plymell.
REVIEWS of Body and Soul by Ryan Guth (Dustin Pickering) and The Laundress of Time by Donna Langevin (Katherine Flaherty).
View a sampling of this issue by going here.
256 pages; 8 X 10 inch format
$25 Retail; Soft back
The ghost town of Henry River is located in the southeast corner of Burke County in the Foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in western North Carolina. Built at the turn of the 20th Century, the village, as it is often called now, has been mostly deserted since the 1970’s when, soon after a change in ownership, the mill burned. The brick company store still stands along with twenty or so haggard rent houses that line State Road 1002 as it meanders uphill toward Interstate 40, a little over a mile away.
In 2011, a film company chose Henry River as the location for the protagonist’s childhood home in the first Hunger Games movie. Interest in the site sky rocketed. Individuals and tour groups made the location a destination. What had been a popular spot for photographers and those with an interest in local and regional history now became a part of pop culture.
The poems in this volume reflect on the historical Henry River with some reference to the intrusive forces of the film industry. Some are responses to photographs; others are based on stories that Henry River natives have shared with me, while some are sheer flights of fancy. All of them, however, share an empathy and reverence for those who lived and worked in Henry River.
It’s always been difficult for me to wade through the subjective haze, which has become contemporary American poetry. At first glance that might seem to be a rather bland statement. Yet, since Whitman and Dickinson introduced the world to the concept of “organic verse,” American poets have taken the genre in multiple directions that continue to expand. To list the exponentially growing movements would be little more than a rudimentary exercise in “who knows what.”
However, when the smoke clears the method of overwhelming choice has become the free verse narrative. That which seems easy while being anything but. Think about writing a song. Consider the relationship between Brian Wilson and Mike Love when Love focuses upon “the hook.” A poet has that luxury only in the context of the more primitive levels on the rung. The present day narrative wordsmiths are often torn between their concepts of what is or is not profound. Dr. Williams showed us that profundity has a natural existence in the simple recording of reality and the concept of “things.”
I met Tim Peeler in 1999. Oddly, it was a simple complimentary note related to a piece of fiction I’d read in a small press journal. He immediately directed me to his recently published book of poems, “Touching All the Bases,” a collection of baseball poetry. I knew immediately that I had to meet him. After that we began a correspondence that hasn’t lost its strength over these past 15 years. I’ve had not only the pleasure of publishing several of his books, but the privilege of watching him hone his craft on a daily basis. I can’t recall the exact moment when I realized he had found “it,” but I remember vividly realizing at some point that he’d reached a very significant plateau and that all the tools were in order to allow his visions and perceptions to take hold.
In America, we’ve long since passed a point in which “culture” can be an all inclusive concept. We are a potpourri of cultures. Some so tiny as to be almost less than obscure. Tim Peeler looks at the amalgam of community, breaks down the cultures, and assesses them poetically with the keenest of visions. He sees the things that the rest of us have viewed for so long that we no longer notice. There is a value in such perceptions as well as a beauty that only the weakest among us can ignore.
April 21, 2015
A past winner of the Jim Harrison Award for contributions to baseball literature, Tim Peeler has also been a Casey Award Finalist (baseball book of the year) and a finalist for the SIBA Award. He lives with his wife, Penny in Hickory, North Carolina, where he directs the academic assistance programs at Catawba Valley Community College. He has written thirteen books and this is his third chapbook.
Henry River – An American Ruin
Perfect Bound 5.5 X 8.5
Henry River USA
Henry River WORLD
Pittsburgh Poetry Exchange was founded in 1974 by five of us—Dieter Weslowski,
Lloyd Johnson, Vic Coccimiglio, J. W. Jansen, and myself—as a voluntary association
of local poets. Its purpose was to provide services to local poets, especially those
outside the “university loop.” We offered workshops, produced readings and events,
and created a network for information.
The core component of PPE has probably always been the open poetry workshop
held the first Monday of each month. Initially, it was conducted at Lion Walk
Performing Arts Center. Over the years, as circumstances changed, we occupied a number of venues, including The Famous Rider Cultural Center, a conference room in the Joyce Building, and City Books. Since 2011, we have been comfortably ensconced at the Brentwood Public Library.
Despite the fact that workshop members represent varying degrees of poetic expertise, we operate as equals. It’s a great place for poets from novice to master to get helpful comments and feedback on their work. In the last 40 years, dozens (hundreds?) of poets have passed through the workshop. Among those who became nationally known would be Joan E. Bauer, Mike James, Joseph Karasek, Joy Katz, and Arlene Weiner.
An open workshop necessarily produces poems ranging from great to awful, but there has developed an agreement that the general level of poems has never been higher than now. This was acknowledged by Gene Hirsch a few months ago when he suggested we should publish an anthology.
This, dear reader, is what you hold in your hands. Pittsburgh Poetry Exchange Brentwood is not a historical anthology, but a collection of poems from the workshop now, its current members. We hope you enjoy it as much as Judy Robinson and I enjoyed putting it together.
—Michael Wurster (from the forward)
The roster of poets: Michael Albright, Joan E. Bauer, Jennifer Jackson Berry, Ziggy Edwards, Timons Esaias, Mark Goldman, Barry G. Govenor, Johnny Hartner, Gene Hirsch, Joe Kaldon, Sheila Kelly, Kathy McGregor, Jolanta Konewka Minor, Edward Murray, Stephen Pusateri, Judith R. Robinson, Nick Romero, Lucille T. Seibert, John Stokes, Christine Telfer, Arlene Weiner and Michael Wurster.
We are grateful to our wonderful city, a lively home for art and artists. Pittsburgh has long been a hub of happenings. With its beautiful topography of hills and rivers, its interesting history as well as its unique ethnic mix of people, Pittsburgh itself continues to offer so much that nurtures us.
A thank you goes to the Brentwood Library, our gracious hosts, and to Barry Govenor who serves on the Library’s board of directors and is one of our group. The library furnishes us with comfortable space, tables, chairs and coffee; every comfort to support our insatiable habit of meeting each month to workshop poetry.
We of the Pittsburgh Poetry Exchange are grateful to our founder, Michael Wurster, for his many years of mentoring every one of us. We have benefited more than can ever be expressed from his expertise, his guidance and his loyalty to poetry and to us.
Finally, I personally wish to thank my fellow workshoppers for their unending humor, friendship and always fine-tuned opinions. We have all enjoyed many years of listening, sharpening skills and advising one another on the countless aspects of our shared passion, poetry. Thanks, Guys!
—Judith R. Robinson (from the afterword)
Read some samples from this book
The Brentwood Anthology
by the Pittsburgh Poet’s Collective
– Edited by Judith Robinson and Michael Wurster
$15; 8.25 X 8.25; Perfect Bound
These poems inhabit place—beginning on the Jersey shore; moving to southern Colorado, northern New Mexico, and the wild spaces between; returning to the fringes of seaside resorts by way of New Orleans—telling all the details; using words like paint; layering sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and finally touch; uniting ideas with lyricism to yield connections between past and present, ocean and desert, mountain and river, men and women; unafraid of the trouble and tangle to grow and thrive.
“I too have memories of “the shore,” so Wildwood brings a rush—like looking into someone else’s old photo album— of vivid images, scents, and O, the sounds of voices. Watching the grownups, hearing the histories, and almost too quickly making one’s own life story, Kyle Laws’ poems move from the shore to other storied places: New Orleans, Taos, Pueblo, St. Augustine, and return full circle to the Cape May milieu she knows so well. They are a guided tour, not only of one family’s personal struggle, but the universal quest for understanding how we grow and survive, with the grace to be alive to the world.”
Ruth Moon Kempher, Kings Estate Press
View a sampler of poems on ISSUU.COM
Read an Interview with Kyle here.
106 pages; Perfect Bound; 6 X 9 inches
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Linda Lerner, a small press veteran of numerous years, has put together a volume of “nursery rhymes” with a distinctly modern interpretation. Along with the drawings of her friend and artist, Donna Kerness, Lerner takes on such classics as London Bridge is Falling Down, Ring Around the Rosy, Jack Sprat, Rip Van Winkle and Humpty Dumpty.
“Poet Linda Lerner pens modern day nursery rhymes, playful but with well-placed poetic barbs, thrown at our everyday insular lives, and the injustices that are ignored by us or experienced by us. Lerner gives us rhyme for our time.”
Doug Holder/ Lecturer in Creative Writing/Endicott College/Beverly, MA
What Just happened
Catch Me If You can
The Sound of London Bridges Falling in NYC
Ring Around the Rosy: A Danse Macabre
The Mother Who Gives Birth to a Poem
Remember, remember the Fifth of November
Stumbling on Jack’s Road
An Old Wives Tale or a Rip Van Winkle Story
When Every Color Became Red
Linda Lerner’s Takes Guts & Years Sometimes was published by NYQ Books, June, 2011; she’s previously published thirteen collections of poetry and been nominated twice for a pushcart prize. Her poems have recently been in New Verse News, Gutter Eloquence, The Brooklyn Voice, Danse Macabre, Two Bridges, Presa, Fall, 2011 (featured poet) Lummox, Home Planet News, Big Hammer, and The Mom Egg; her essay “Land Grab: Putting Down Stakes” appeared in The Brooklyn Voice, March, 2013. Her next collection, Yes, the Ducks Were Real, will be published by NYQ Books.
Donna Kerness has been producing Art of various mediums over the years. Her inspirations have emerged from her past… She was a Dancer at the Henry Street Playhouse with Alwin Nikolais, and Murray Louis, a casual fellow poet and friend of Linda Lerner, and an Underground Cinema Super Star, in the movies of the Kuchar Brothers, during the Sixties in New York.
After relocating to San Antonio and raising a family, now is working with Sketching, Drawing, Painting and Multimedia Art which has been exhibited at the Highwire Gallery, in San Antonio, Texas.
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In 2012, for LUMMOX #1, groups of poets who came from the same regions held readings from this issue to promote sales. A series of events held in Santa Fe, New Mexico; Denver, Colorado and Los Angeles County, California (Venice, Downey and Santa Ana) were either co-sponsored or curated by Lummox.
Then in 2013 for LUMMOX #2, similar readings were held the SoCal towns of Venice, Downey, Long Beach, Canoga Park and Orange. A reading also took place in Sacramento, CA. Other readings happened in Pittsburgh, PA and Boulder and Denver, CO.
(Left) The late Mike Adams reading from Lummox #1 in 2012 in Colorado.
2014 – 2015 READING SCHEDULE for LUMMOX #3
NOV. 9 – SANTA FE NM
Jane Lipman HOSTS a reading at Teatro Paraguas, (3205 Calle Marie Suite B Santa Fe, New Mexico 87505) on Sunday, November 9, 2014 at 5 pm. Featuring Blair Cooper, Mary McGinnis, Jane Lipman, Mitch Rayes, Judith Toler, Linda Whittenberg and John Macker.
NOV. 13 – DOWNEY CA
RD Armstrong HOSTS a reading at the Stay Gallery (11140 Downey Ave, Downey, CA 90241) on Thursday night at 7:30 pm. Featured are Trista Dominqu, Lorine and Jeff Parks, Nancy Shiffrin, Daniel McGinn, Radomir Luza, Linda Singer, Frank Kearns, Murray Thomas, Rick Smith and RD Armstrong. This event is sponsored by the Downey Arts Coalition.
There will be copies of both LUMMOX #3 and LUMMOX #3 LTD. Edition on sale as well as other Lummox Press merchandise.
JAN. 24 – WHITTIER CA
Eric Morago HOSTS the Lummox gang at Half-Off Books in Whittier (6708 Greenleaf Ave. Whittier CA 90601) on Saturday night at 7 pm. Featured to read are RD Armstrong, Heather Browne, Kevin Ridgeway and Linda Singer. Others TBA.
FEB. 12 – LONG BEACH CA
Join us at Viento y Agua (4007 E 4th St, Long Beach, CA 90814 (562) 434-1182) for some of the local flavors that Long Beach is known for. The reading starts at 7 pm. Featured readers are RD Armstrong, Heather Browne, Tom Thomas, RD Armstrong and Linda Singer. Others TBA.
FEB. 19 – VENTURA CA
This reading features poets from the Camarillo to Santa Barbara. Come down to the E.P. FOSTER LIBRARY in old town Ventura (651 Main St. Ventura, CA 93001 805-648-2716). Starts at 7 pm and features Ron Alexander, Tim Tipton, Dane Baylis, Katherine Hamilton, Jackson Wheeler and RD Armstrong. Others TBA.
MARCH 21 – VENICE CA
RD Armstrong hosts the Lummox gang at Beyond Baroque (681 Venice Blvd. Venice CA) on Saturday night at 8 pm. Featured readers are Jeanette Clough, Michael Meloan, Julia Stein, Lynne Bronstein, Nancy Shiffrin and RD Armstrong. Others TBA.
PENDING READINGS TBA
SARNIA, ONTARIO, CANADA; TORONTO, ONT. CANADA; ANNAPOLIS, MARYLAND; and others TBA.
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APRIL 1st READING PERIOD FOR LUMMOX 4 BEGINS