Reading GNOMON, by Cynthia Huntington

In the car rider line with a book of poetry, I find the world shifts into a slightly better frame for me. The beautiful Gnomon today, by Cynthia Huntington (Jacar Press, 2017).
A gnomon is “the projecting piece on a sundial that shows the time by the position of its shadow.”
From the title poem: “The apples are sour and hard./ The trees are dreaming/ the shape the teeth tore from the flesh./ Gnomon. The part taken away,/ shape of absence — mirror/ to the missing piece. You would know your beloved/ even turned away.”

 

The themes of love and longing appear over and again within the book; and this kind of love is next to the holy, and “there is no joy beyond this.”

 

“– we go on under stars, under the darkest/ clouds, we climb and descend, our feet heavy;/ we are tired — but everything is so astonishing,/ each moment so new. We go on; stepping forward,/ we ask: Are you here? The grass says yes./ We step into God every moment, stunned, dumb-/ founded, we meet him however we go, so how/ can we bear to rest, to cease discovering him/ over and over, in the next moment, opening …”

 

This whole chapbook works like this. “… climb and descend, climb and descend” … seeking and finding God at each unexpected turn, from a green star to a horse alone in a pasture. Love and sorrow, the sweetest loves, the sweetest joys — and every poem in this chapbook is a door.

Honestly, this is poetry I wish I’d written.

And just like the hike through the woods that you wish would last longer, this is a short read — only 20 pages — but what a lovely journey. And the poems, like trees, clear our heads, somehow remind us who we are.

The blurb on the back by David Rivard: “After experience is done teaching us just about everything it thinks it needs to teach us, we come back to desire, the one thing worth knowing. This time around desire shows up as a wild calm, dead center of whatever picture in which we find ourselves. These marvelous, subtle poems go deep, deep, deep into that wild calm. So subtle, so moving! I don’t believe anyone but Cynthia Huntington could have written them.” 

If you pick up this chapbook, let me know what you think.

Purchase information here.

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RED SKY | Poetry on the global epidemic of violence against women

I’m really honored to have had the opportunity to work on this project, and proud of the book. An important and timely issue — though not an easy one, to be certain — this is a beautiful book and I hope you’ll consider picking up a copy.

If you’d like a copy for review, please contact me.

Red Sky: Poetry on the Global Epidemic of Violence Against Women
ISBN: 978-0-9968036-6-3

For more information, including a full list of contributing poets and how to order, please go here.

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April at Tate Street Coffee House | Richard Krawiec & Crystal Simone Smith

Today’s the official book launch for Richard Krawiec’s Women Who Loved Me Despite (Press 53), and next Saturday April 11, Women Writers of the Triad is thrilled to host Richard‘s reading over at Tate Street Coffee House (7:00-9:00p.m.) along with Crystal Simone Smith.

Bios and poetry will be posted over on the event page– please make plans to join us for a wonderful reading.

WOMEN WHO LOVED ME DESPITEIf you’d like a copy of Richard’s book,  it’s available for online purchase at any Indy bookstore near you, and in North Carolina at Flyleaf BooksThe Regulator BookshopQuail Ridge Books & MusicCity Lights BookstoreScuppernong Books and Pomegranate Books.

Please support an Indy store!  Richard will be donating 100% of today‘s author proceeds to a local literacy council.


 

What have others said about the book?

Because this book is a dog song on the edge of the abyss, it’s naturally full of death—there are suicides, car crashes, lost children, and mercy killings (which, the poet realizes, are nevertheless killings). There is also some honest and eloquent self-talk. “I swim in the dense brine of old grievances” he says, and “I can’t stop the weeds from rising.” And yet, along the way, there is equally eloquent tenderness, especially about love. This, we understand, is a kind man, a man who nurtures, even when it’s hard. So we are glad when, in the end, from a stone and a branch, he finds joy. —Lola Haskins, author of The Grace to Leave

These are the poems of a life lived, their imagery taken primarily from the natural world but also from streets and vacant lots, back seats and back alleys. Women Who Loved Me Despite deals with fatherhood and loyalty, love realized and love betrayed, the lessons and misadventures of a man coming into his prime. I admire their small triumphs and celebrations, their refusal to look away from life’s pain, and their hard-won occasional humor. —Joseph Millar, author of Overtime and Blue Rust


bkRichard Krawiec is the author of two previous poetry collections, including She Hands Me the Razor (Press 53, 2011). His work has appeared in dozens of literary magazines, including New Orleans Review, Drunken Boat, Shenandoah, sou’wester, Dublin Review, Chautauqua Literary Journal, Spillway, North Dakota Quarterly, and Blue Fifth Review. In addition to poetry, he has published two novels, Time Sharing and Faith in What?, a story collection, And Fools of God, and four plays. He has been awarded fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the North Carolina Arts Council (twice), and the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. He teaches Beginning, Intermediate, and Advanced Fiction Writing for the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill Courses Online, for which he won their Excellence in Teaching Award. He has facilitated writing workshops with children and adults in homeless shelters, women’s shelters, prisons, literacy classes, and community sites. He is founder of Jacar Press, a community-active publishing company.

Three Beautiful Anthologies for under $10 from Jacar Press

A wonderful way to support a local, independent press this holiday season.

Three beautiful anthologies, featuring hundreds of celebrated poets- from Pulitzer Prize winner Claudia Emerson, to Macarthur Foundation Genius Awardee Thylias Moss, to National Book Award finalists Alan Shaprio, Sarah Lindsay and others.  (Plus recipes!)

GET ALL THREE for under $10

When you order The Sound of Poets Cooking and What Matters for your Kindle or Kobo reader ($4.95 each), you receive a print copy of … and love … for FREE.

The Sound of Poets CookingTHE SOUND OF POETS COOKING 

SOLD OUT IN PRINT  | Sometimes poetry, sometimes recipes- and sometimes the recipes are poetry.  Featuring work by five dozen poets, including NC Poet Laureates Fred Chappell and Kathryn Stripling Byer, and dozens of other nationally celebrated writers. The poems alternate with recipes written by the poets, their family members, lovers and friends. The writing is at turns sensuous, hilarious, elegant, and playful. The recipes range from Asian, through European, to Middle Eastern dishes, as well as regional favorites from across the U.S. There is something here for every palate, literary and culinary.

KINDLE | KOBO

what-matters-thumbWHAT MATTERS 

A beautiful and moving collection of poetry about that which matters most. Poems by Pulitzer Prize winner Claudia Emerson, MacArthur Foundation Genius grantee Thylias Moss, National Book Award finalist Alan Shapiro, Yale Series of Younger Poets awardee Fady Joudah, and 90+ other writers.  Questions, answers, meditations,and explorations on the why and how of living.

KINDLE | KOBO

... and love ...

After your order, e-mail us to receive your FREE print copy of …and love…. 

Poems by Marge Piercy, Sam Hamill, Dorianne Laux, Ron Rash, Lola Haskins, Stuart Dischell, doris davenport, Fred Chappell, Kathryn Stripling Byer, Alan Michael Parker, Michael Chitwood, Betty Adcock, Joe Millar, Nancy Simpson, David Huddle, Holly Iglesias, Dannye Romine Powell and 100+ other poets.

Lovers and spouses. Sons and daughters. Parents, friends, strangers, pets. First love, last love, dying love, passionate love, sad love, wasted love, devoted love; love of body, love of spirit, love of self, love of place, love of time, love of moments, love of love.

Love that shivers, fizzles, shimmers, love that fades, dissolves, grows bitter. Love that races ahead, love that lingers. Comfortable love. Edgy love. Hungry love. Discarded love. Love that can no longer be called love. Love too great to be contained in one word.

Love as sacrifice or companionship. Love as passion, lust, or fetish. Love as angry or kind, controlling or tender. Love that lasts, in spite of itself. Love won hard. Love lost. Twists,turns, calamities, salvation. The sweet, delicious falling in…

We’ve been lucky in love. Love has come to us in abundance. Or love has been withheld, denied, stolen, broken. We’ve stumbled on love, we’ve chased after love, we’ve driven into the storm of it. We’ve courted love. We’ve been stalked. We’ve fallen. We’ve soared. We’ve despaired. We’ve shared love, been lonely in love and been, well, awake–in all the ways that make the breath come quick–all for the sake of three words. Whatever it brings, love is the only thing that makes everything else ring true.

ALL ABOUT BOOK COVER DESIGN with master designer Danny Krawiec

The one job your book cover has — the only job it has — is to sell your book, and in just a few seconds. There are careful considerations to be made in choosing your book’s cover design. Join us this Thursday evening to learn all you can during this FREE and informative workshop and conversation.

Anyone interested in publishing or self-publishing is invited to come and explore the rules of book cover design — and when to break those rules — with master book designer Danny Krawiec, including casual discussion of his designs for Jacar Press and Sable Books, which include three of the four 2014 North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame Inductees.  We’ll have lots of ideas, books, and covers to discuss, and if you have questions or have previously published a book of your own, please bring them!  Feel welcome and encouraged to participate in the discussion to talk about design elements, themes, and choices.

Danny’s cover designs include:

Feeding-the-Light-thumb Steal-Away_Shelby-Stephenson widow-poems_betty-adcock  Music-from-small-towns_Al-Maginnes
and-so-she-told-me_barbara-kenyon american-courtesan_ester-amy-fischer how-far-light-will-travel_steve-roberts BDL front cover

JOIN US
This Thursday evening, December 4th,
from 7:00pm-8:30pm 

at the Kathleen Clay Edwards Branch
of the Greensboro Public Library

in the study room

danny_krawiecDaniel Krawiec grew up in Raleigh, NC before attending UNC Asheville for a BA in Interactive Design. Subsequently, he received his Master of Arts in Interactive Media from Elon University. His design work includes logos, identity packages, book covers & interiors, album covers, and websites. He is also a web developer, and has done occasional work in the area of application & interactive systems development. His non-professional creative pursuits include music composition, photography, and illustration.

Letters for my Little Sister | A collection of letters

“Her little sister is so lucky,” says my 10-year-old daughter, earlier this evening, as I was explaining one of Sable Books’ latest releases to our beloved piano teacher.  As I got home, I realized I hadn’t shared it with all of you.

letters_for_my_little_sisterLetters for my Little Sister began as a real letter — one that Cecilia Gunther had begun to write to her younger sister as a way to help with navigating the journey of aging and menopause. Their mother had died when they were young, you see, and there had been no one to really turn to to ask questions about this stage of their lives, and while Cecilia had been old enough to have observed their mother some, the memories were scarce.  And there was really no one else around to give them this very personal advice.

She realized the taboo and silence around the subject of menopause, (“even typing the word makes me cringe,” she once wrote to me) and she was struck with inspiration midway through: What if she could open up this subject, ask other women to contribute their stories and experiences, and bring light and warmth to a subject many fear talking or asking about.

And as it happened, Celi had been blogging on WordPress for some time about life on her sustainable farm, and a community of women and men had gathered round her stories and photographs, and they’d all gotten to know each other and formed a wonderful virtual gathering of souls that Celi collectively called The Fellowship. And the idea struck her.

What if she asked them for their advice, their letters?  And put it all together?  

And so a book was born.

cecilia_guntherShe quickly contacted me with her idea, and I knew it was a project I had to work on — I am forty-four years old, on the threshold and in the midst of so many changes myself, personally and professionally, and this project just reached deeply into me in so many ways.  

What a rich experience it was to be a part of.  Women from around the world sent their letters, poems, and journal entries.  Celi and I worked day and night compiling, tracking, and ordering, figuring out how to include every voice while taking care not to duplicate as well as not to leave anyone out.  (I have the 300-some e-mails to prove it.)

I asked Celi if she wouldn’t mind if I invited women from my women’s writers’ group to contribute, and she generously and delightedly included us as well.  So you’ll find the work of North Carolina writers Debra Kaufman, Sheryl Rider, and Leigh Olsen  included as well.

If you’d like to order a copy of Letters, here’s where you can find the book on Amazon.  Connect with her Facebook page and join the community of mothers, daughters, sisters and friends, and the conversation.  The gorgeous cover design is by Danny Krawiec, my business partner at Sable Books, from a photograph taken by the very talented Kathryn Sparks.

Just off the wire:  the books are here, and shipping, and selling fast, and there is already the question about how quickly we can get a second run. (!!!) Congratulations, Celi, on this beautiful book that started out as a dream.

And, yes. You really do have a very lucky little sister, indeed. — xoxo M.

 

Love. In time for Valentine’s Day

... and love ...
Celebrate love and poetry on February 9th for a reading of the … and love … anthology from Jacar Pressand its second printing — just in time for Valentine’s Day. Fred Chappell, Sarah Lindsey,  Stuart Dischell, and Debra Kaufman are scheduled to read.

And! a creative writing opportunity to follow — in the form of a workshop offered by enormously gifted writer and teacher, Richard Kriewac.

Barnes & Noble at Friendly Shopping Center in Greensboro, NC.  Starts at 2:00pm, goes until about 3:30pm or 4:00pm.  Join us!

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