CONGRATULATIONS TO GEORGIA SANTA MARIA – RECIPIENT of the 3rd LUMMOX POETRY PRIZE…This book is part of the prize.
I was introduced to dowsing by a neighbor in the 1970’s in Miami, New Mexico. It is the ancient art of finding water underground by using two sticks, either green twigs or pieces of wire. In the book, I introduce him in the poem “Dowser”. I watched him use both green elm and unbent coat-hangars. He held them out straight in front of him, and when he was over water, the sticks crossed and bent downward. A person with this skill is called a “water-witch”. My friend had “dowsed” most of the wells in our community over his seventy odd years of living there. He taught me to do it as well, and I can’t explain it, but the sticks turned in my hands spontaneously over the same places they did for him, and I could feel the tug.
Dowsing also works with electrical fields. The sticks will also cross under power lines or over underground water or power lines. Interestingly, my son, who was in Explosive Ordinance Detail in the Army, and was tasked with removing unexploded bombs, mines and other devices, often underground, said that he used dowsing to locate the devices in order to disable them. The dowsing rods were sensitive to the metal and electrical parts in the devices.
Using dowsing as a metaphor for how poetry comes to be written led me to the title of the book. Finding a poem is much like finding water underground: you never quite know where it will come from or where it may take you, but writing is an act of faith, much like turning your will over to a pair of green twigs.
Georgia Santa Maria
ABOUT THE BOOK
Georgia Santa Maria’s poems have a liveliness and earthiness one can only wish that more poems had. Her poems are inquisitive, curious about the world and its variety, and they express a mature but undiminished wonder for even human nature. Social critique is also one of her strengths— serious but never heavy handed. In her poem called “Women on the Money,” for example, Santa Maria asks
“And, while you might trust Rosa Parks,
to clean your house,
or raise your children,
why put her on the money, when
we didn’t even want to pay her, much—
why do you think she was
riding the bus, anyway?”
We need more poems like this one called “The Vegan Feminist Dilemma,” more poems that ask “Should I eat, or just become a vegan tart?” They make us laugh, and think, and feel a little more at home on the earth, which is something we need. Good poetry actually can make that happen. —Tony Hoagland
Read a sampling from Dowsing here.
44 PAGES – $12
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The poems in Ann Curran’s Knitting the Andy Warhol Bridge flash with a quiet brilliance. An adroit wordsmith, Curran turns clever on its head; her poems can become deadly at the least provocation, not to mention funny, dark, illuminating, and often, heartbreakingly sad. Her poems celebrate life in all its sullied glory. No subject escapes her critical gaze:
weddings, sports stadiums, parolees sharing a moment, adoption, racism, war, rumors, love, death. Even the penis is fair game for her wit. These poems sparkle with specifics; they dig deep, nudge the reader toward tolerance. “The New Pastor” “urges the faithful/ to open their hearts to different people: the food co-op kid with rings in his nose,/ lips and eyebrows, the Latino next door,/ college students with raucous beer parties,/ even the half-black U.S. president./ Put down the iPod, the Wi-Fi-fed notebook. / See the live people. …Deal with the real.” This timely, remarkable collection deals with the real in a profound and brand new way. It is a considerable achievement and a terrific read.
—Alexis Rhone Fancher, poetry editor of Cultural Weekly, is author of State of Grace: The Joshua Elegies, and How I Lost My Virginity to Michael Cohen and other Heart Stab Poems
A poet’s muse can take many forms. Ann Curran finds inspiration in the personal stories and incidents of daily life. A journalism background informs her craft, but her stories would be hard to tell in a newspaper. It is her poetry that offers her the way to make sense of her world and ours. A native Pittsburgher, she finds much material locally, but, whatever the locale, her poetry is infused with humanity, wisdom, wit and grace.
—Reg Henry is a nationally syndicated columnist for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
See a sample version of this book, here.
In Knitting the Andy Warhol Bridge, poet Ann Curran takes you into Downtown Pittsburgh, looks at life—raging, whimpering, chuckling— at the bus stop, at the PNC/Y, along the three rivers where local knitters and crocheters decorated the bridge that commemorates Pittsburgh native Andy Warhol. That bridge leads to the North Side of town where the nation’s largest museum dedicated to a single artist attracts international visitors to ooh and aah, tap and punch at a roomful of inflated silver balloons and see shows that depict the brutal end of a routine southern picnic in the olden days —families, children to ancient grandmas, gather to watch a black man lynched. She’ll take you up the incline to Mount Washington, where her Irish immigrant grandparents landed in what they thought was luxury, where she’s lived for a couple of decades, blocks away from “the best urban view in the world.” Five minutes from Downtown, you’ll find deer and turkeys meandering through her yard. She’ll recall the G-20 visit to town, the steps to becoming a white racist or not. Music and religion seep into how she’s come to love her hometown and all the children and grandchildren of immigrants who, like her, still wave their other flag—in voice, in music, in food, in their very souls. You don’t have to be from Pittsburgh to enjoy the sounds and insights of this book. You just have to belong to the human race, diverse as the knitwork that dressed the Andy Warhol Bridge for a brief month one summer.
Ann Curran, president and CEO of Curran Ink, is author of Placement Test (Editor’s Choice, Main Street Rag) and Me First (Lummox Press). She has worked as a backroom bakery slave washing dirty pans and snitching icing, and as a conscientious journalist at the Pittsburgh Catholic and Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. A film reviewer of the love-to-hate school, she reported on new films and Pittsburgh Public Theater plays for the Market Square tabloid and covered the International Poetry Forum for the Pittsburgh Press, providing advance features and reviews of performances. She wrote features for half a dozen Pittsburgh Magazine editors. She also taught English at Duquesne University, her alma, as a graduate assistant, which placed her well below an adjunct professor. She learned grammar teaching remedial English at the Community College of Allegheny County, where she found her favorite, obscene example of passive voice written on a wall on her way to class to teach that chicken way of talking. For a couple of decades, she edited the prize-winning quarterly Carnegie Mellon Magazine at Carnegie Mellon University, while her boss, Don Hale, argued with assorted presidents about why they should not fire her. Otherwise, she plays tennis in four seasons, Shanghai Rum and 500 with cocoa bean fanatics, works out at the Y, does the laundry, sort of cooks, cleans the toilets and performs other poetic chores. Some how she managed to marry a kind, loving man—Ed Wintermantel. They raised the most thoughtful, sweetest daughter imaginable—Cristin Francis Curran Wintermantel. Ann sings at St. Mary of the Mount Church when the choir is in active voice and serves on the Parish Pastoral Council.
See a sample of Knitting the Andy Warhol Bridge here.
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WINNER OF THE SECOND LUMMOX POETRY PRIZE
H. Marie Aragon of Santa Fe, New Mexico has won the 2015 Lummox Poetry Prize with her poem The Dark and Light Side of the Moon. The prize consists of a cash award of $250 and forty copies of a chapbook created by Lummox Press for the author. When Desert Willows Speak is the chapbook. It’s 46 pages long and can be ordered from Lummox Press (see the ordering information below). Read a sample from the chapbook here. We hope you will enjoy it.
If you are curious about this contest go here
When Desert Willows Speak by H. Marie Aragon
46 pages, 6 X 9 paperback, $12 retail
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Lummox 3 is out and ready to be shipped to interested buyers. This issue contains poetry by some 180 poets, plus interviews with Grace Cavalieri, Doug Holder, Daniel McGinn, John Macker and Rick Smith; plus essays by James Deahl (Canadian Poetry in 2014), Daniel McGinn (A Bouquet dropped on Laura Nelson’s Grave), Linda Lerner (Just Another word for Plagiarism), Ellaraine Lockie (The Poem in Public), Bill Mohr (the First No School Anthology of L.A. Poets – a book excerpt), Lucille Shulklapper (My Life in a Book), Judith Skillman (the Fine Art of Revision), Norman Olson (Failure – Musing on Art) and finally RD Armstrong (the View From Down Here).
There are also reviews by Nancy Shiffrin (the Unexpurgated Dairy of Anais Nin), RD Armstrong (A Shot Across the Bow), Bill Gainer (Relics of Lust), Joseph Gardner (Songs of the Glue Machines) and Angela C. Mankiewicz (What the Wind Says).
And of course, the poetic musings of this year’s first Poetry Contest winner and runners up… John Sweet (winner); William Taylor, Jr. (first runner up) and Christina Foskey (second runner-up)! Their poetry was really quite good…some of the best I’ve seen to be honest (in my opinion). The poetry in this issue is really something special!!! There’s so much to be explored in this big-assed book!
Check it out on ISSUU. com where you’ll find the “sampler” edition…
Readings are being scheduled all over the country and even beyond! Check this link to see if there’s one near you!
In the ‘IT’S ALWAYS SOMETHING’ DEPT.
A little about the two covers controversy: originally I was going to use a drawing by Amelia Raymond (that’s her holding up her copy of the original cover design) but it was deemed too racy for general consumption, which really surprised me (but I came to realize that what I thought was “normal” was way too liberal, even for the poetry crowd). So, the artful layout designer, Yazoota, created the cover you see at the top of the page. But I was saddened by the loss of the more radical cover, so I decided to print a second book with the original cover and to make it really special, I made it a Ltd. Edition (only 125 copies would be printed). So make sure you are ordering the right book (the contents are the same in either book, only the covers are different).
Here are some satisfied customers.
Lummox 3 – Poetry Anthology
$25 Retail Special to Lummox Customers, $20 + S&H (USA)
8 X 10 inches; Paperback
Lummox 3 Special Ltd. Edition
216 pages; $30 Retail (collectors edition – only 125 printed) includes S&H (USA)
8 X 10 inches, Paperback
If you have questions or would like to order books using a check, please contact Lummox here.
Bipolar Disorder is a homegrown tornado, a swarm of insects buzzing in your ear, a picture of an eye that winks back at you. Discover it in a way you never have before. Discover prosthesis. Discover in prosthesis mental illness, the human mind, human hope and fear, love and hate, dream and defeat. It is a place of struggle, planning and realization, willing and creating. Walk a journey unlike any other, meeting fellow travelers, obstacles and unexpected turns, a labyrinth of recovery that seems to suspend time and invite you to embody the experience of mental illness in completely new way.
“Throughout prosthesis, the wisdom within this small community is remarkable and generously given. Den Bleyker has a beautiful way with words and the book is made strong through the use of metaphor….This is a book that people with bipolar disorder, and those who love them, can both learn from and take solace in. No one, not even a person in a place of darkest suffering, is utterly alone.” —Leslie McGrath, author of By The Windpipe and Out From the Pleiadas
Ariana D. Den Bleyker is a Pittsburgh native currently residing in Upstate New York, a wife and mother of two. When she’s not writing, she’s spending time with her family and every once in
a while sleeps. She is the author of several poetry chapbooks and collections and the novelette Finger : Knuckle : Palm (LucidPlay Publishing, 2014). Ariana is the founder of ELJ Publications, a small press featuring a number of serials, series and contests, including Emerge Literary Journal and scissors & spackle. Ariana believes in words, what they have to say to the world, to the reader, to you. She hopes her words touch you and thanks you for your interest in prosthesis.
Read from a sample of Prosthesis
132 Pages, 7.5 X 9.25 inches, Trade Paper
Even a quick glance at YouTube will provide a number of videos demonstrating crows’ ability to solve problems, as well as crows’ ability to play. My favorite shows a crow sliding down a snowy roof, flying to the top again, and repeating the slide. The crow is clearly having a great time, clearly playing. There is no other purpose apparent in the activity. It is simply play.
Recently wildlife biologists have begun to understand the inter-species cooperation that seems to exist between wolves and ravens. Ravens, it seems, will find a carcass and then lead wolves to it. The birds know that they cannot get through the tough skin of an elk, but that once the wolves have gotten through the skin, and eaten their fill, they will leave enough meat for the ravens. Biologists have seen ravens fly down into the middle of a litter of wolf pups playing outside their den. The raven will begin to play with the pups, throwing sticks for them or letting the pups chase him. This interaction demonstrates an intelligence and curiosity that extends well beyond instinctive, rote behavior for finding food and shelter.
Beyond these specific examples, the Corvids, whether crows, ravens, or magpies, have all played significant roles in world folklore and myth. They are, by turns, bringers of wisdom, harbingers of both good and bad news, or tricksters who can aid a hero or unmask a villain. The rhyme at the beginning of this introduction is an Old English chant recited when seeing a flock of crows. The Norse god Odin had a raven as his companion, and the Haida of the American Pacific Northwest used ravens on their totem poles and created elaborate raven masks.
B. J. Buckley’s poems in Corvidae allude to all these attributes and mythologies and more. These poems pay tribute to many of the ways the Corvids have interacted with humans. She uses chants, rhymes, poetic forms, and free verse to create mythology that is both old and familiar and, at the same time, stunningly original. Her poems speak to a reverence for not only the birds themselves but that which is numinous in human experience. Reading these poems changes how we see these beautiful birds, and changes how we see the mystical and spiritual in our lives. These poems should be savored. They should be read aloud to appreciate Buckley’s use of sound, and they could easily be part of personal spiritual practice, read by candlelight or read outdoors where our Corvid relatives may hear them, too, and both laugh in their mocking way and participate in the mystical as they fly across an open sky.
An excerpt from the introduction by Jane Elkington Wohl, PhD.
Look at a sample copy of Corvidae here
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CORVIDAE by B. J. Buckley
100 pages; 6 X 9 inches; Trade Paperback
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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32 PAGES; TRADE PAPER
$10 RETAIL + $3 S&H