Category Archives: fox chase review

A look back at our Winter 2008 Edition

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Our Lagrangian Point by justin.barret -http://www.foxchasereview.org/2008/09-justinbarret.html

Visual Perspective by Cicily Janus-  http://www.foxchasereview.org/2008/13-CicilyJanus.html

Johnson City by MacGregor Ruckerhttp://www.foxchasereview.org/2008/08-MacGregorRucker.html

Tethered by Sandy Lee - http://www.foxchasereview.org/2008/17-SandyLee.html

The Blood of Christ by Dee Rimbaudhttp://www.foxchasereview.org/2008/23-DeeRimbaud.html

Rosenbloom and Wunder in Fox Chase October 26th

billwunderrosenbloomThe Fox Chase Reading Series is pleased to present our Featured Poets/Writers Reading on October 26th with Bill Wunder and Robert Rosenbloom at Ryerss Museum and Library, 7370 Central Avenue, Philadelphia, Pa. 19111. .  The reading will begin @ 1 p.m. in the second floor gallery of the museum. The features will be followed by an open reading. More information on the poets here: https://foxchasereview.wordpress.com/2014/10/01/wunder-and-rosenbloom-in-fox-chase-october-26th/

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10 Questions for Vinita Agrawal

va 1Born in Bikaner, India, on August 18th 1965, Vinita Agrawal did her schooling in Kalimpong and Kolkata and college from Baroda. She was is a Gold Medallist in M.A. Political Science from the Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda and earned the UGC scholarship in College. She has worked freelance as a writer and researcher ever since but has remained a poet at heart. Her poetry has been published in print and online journals on countless different occasions so far, the prominent publications among them being Asiancha, Constellations, raedleafpoetry, The Fox Chase Review, Spark, The Taj Mahal Review, Open Road Review, CLRI, Kritya.org, Touch- The Journal of healing, Museindia, Everydaypoets.com, Mahmag World Literature, The Criterion, The Brown Critique, Twenty20journal.com, Sketchbook, Poetry 24, Mandala and others which include several international anthologies. Her poem was nominated for the Best of the Net Awards 2011 by CLRI. She received a prize from MuseIndia in 2010. Her poem Thoughts won a prize in the Wordweavers Contest 2013. Her debut collection of poems titled Words Not Spoken published by Sampark/Brown Critique was released in November 2013. http://www.vinitawords.com/

Interview with g emil reutter

The Interview 

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GER: You are a writer of poetry, fiction and non-fiction. What draws you to each of these forms?

VA: I am first and foremost a writer of poetry. I write so much of it that sometimes I think it’s a malaise with me. It’s my first love across all genres of writing. I write fiction occasionally – because some ideas simply cannot be expressed as a poem. They need a longer narrative and only prose will suffice to portray them adequately. Compared to fiction, I enjoy writing non-fiction more. I enjoy writing about spirituality, culture and travel, enjoy researching my subject and creating something that throws more light on it. That gives me great satisfaction.

GER: How did you come to being a poet?

VA: I’ve been writing poems since I was very young – as far back as five. I think my dad has some of my childhood verses saved up somewhere. I was good at English literature in school and received awards regularly in the subject. I contributed to school and college journals and other in house publications. But most of the poetry that I wrote till my early twenties was an outpouring of the angst of growing up and about teenage crushes. It had no literary worth at all. I made a bonfire of those diaries when I re read them at a later stage in life and realized how atrocious they were. 

Then there was a long phase of remaining a closet poet. I wrote regularly but what I considered as reasonably good poetry was rejected by editors as worthless. It was then I realized writing poetry was not merely the outpouring of emotions, rather it was a serious art of conveying the deepest meanings of life and portraying its most profound perspectives using the bare minimum of words. Because of this realization, I started reading poetry seriously. I concluded that if you didn’t know what the art was all about, how were you going to experiment with it? 

I read the classical poets like Byron, Keats, Wordsworth, Whitman and Eliot. I read works of the newer poets like Neruda, Paz and contemporary Indian poets like Jayanta Mahapatra, Nissim Ezekiel and Kamala Das. I have to confess that Neruda and Mahapatra blew me away! ” God!,” I told myself, “That is how I want to write!” I was officially bitten by the bug; writing poetry became a compulsion, an obsession…a desperate need. For me personally, it took the lid off the pressures of existence.

va 3GER: What poets have had an influence on your writing?

VA: As I mentioned in my previous reply, I’ve been majorly influenced by most great poets. There’s something to learn from each one of them. I learnt extravagance of imagery and emotions from Neruda, learnt pinpointed poignant succinctness from Mahapatra and the art of making guileless womanly confessions from Kamala Das.  I’ve also been very inspired by the works of RUMI, Vikram Seth, Jane Hirshfield and Seamus Heaney. 

I must also acknowledge the vast and varied influence that every good poet has on me. Sometimes I read a great piece of contemporary poetry and I don’t even know who’s written it but I want to treasure the experience of reading it.

Rather than a poet in totality, a poem per se has a greater impact on me. In that sense I get influenced by all good work. Reading a well written poem makes me write something worthwhile too. You could say that epiphany is my taskmaster!.

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GER: Tell us about Words Not Spoken and how the collection came about?

VA:  Words Not Spoken is my first collection of poems. It is published by Brown Critique/Sampark  India and was released in November 2013. 

The book is a potpourri of poems written over a considerable stretch of time. Some poems go back as far as 1997. I decided to include them in this collection because I could still relate to them emotionally. Besides, this being my first published collection, I did not want to miss any step of my poetic journey. 

The poems represent my perceptions of life with all its highs and lows, troughs and crests… They trace experiences of loss and grief, pride and joy, betrayal and pain from a very personal perspective. Some poems express my awareness of the injustices I see around me but mostly they centre around the intensely peculiar dimensions of womanhood –  its sentimental treasures and curious travails.  

Over the years I have discovered that pain has a penumbra of numbness attached to it. And that sooner or later, we choose this numbness to the acuteness. It is this invisible fine shift towards a state of stillness that inspires me to write. Endurance, in any form, is at the core of my writing.

GER: Please tell us about your work as a freelance writer and researcher?

vinita01VA:  Yes…I’ve changed many cities in the course of my life and therefore was unable to take up a regular job. So I decided to work freelance and work from home. Writing is a profession that allows you that freedom. I relish being able spend time at home and yet be fruitfully engaged with writing. It has its limitations of course but if you’re seeking to balance your personal and professional life than it really is the best option.

As freelance writer I’ve written development based articles, features on gender issues, penned middles for newspapers, written passionately about the Tibet issue, done interviews with prominent personalities in the spiritual/academic field like Robert Thurman, the Official Oracle of the Dalai Lama and even top Defence personnel! God knows how that happened! 

As a researcher, I presented two papers on Buddhism at international conferences in Sri Lanka and Vaishali under the Sakyadhita Banner. I have karmic leanings towards the Buddha and his teachings and have taken up researching his life and thoughts independently but with expert guidance from Geshes and scholars. I have to confess though, that I’m very slow with all this work that I’m doing. It’s born out of passion and an academic thirst. It has no deadlines or consolidate demands for being in the market so I take things easy with this aspect of my work.

The good thing that I see in doing it at all, apart from the fact them I read voraciously because of it, is that it puts me in touch with wonderful people and brilliant scholars. I enjoy interacting with them a lot. Sometimes I get to visit awesome ancient places in the course of my self-sponsored research. Anuradhapura, Vaishali and Sarnath are two places that come to my mind in particular.

va 4GER: What are the benefits of meditation to managing stress?

VA: Scientific case studies carried out at the Emory University, USA, indicate that compassionate meditation enhances our mental and physical well-being. It creates greater connectedness amongst members of the society and thereby reduces the stress levels. I had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Lobsang Tenzin Negi, director of the Emory-Tibet Partnership at the university when he was on a visit to Delhi. He pointed out that meditation is an antidote to stress. It does the exact opposite of what stress does to your body. Stress aggravates your adrenalin levels, meditation brings it down, stress shoots up your blood pressure, meditation controls it, stress stretches your nerves and meditation calms them. 

Meditating on compassion that is, love for all, is enormously beneficial in fighting stress.

Indeed compassion is a basic human value and need not be practiced in the context of any particular religion. Meditation helps us to develop this positive emotion within ourselves

All these positive emotions, reared through regular meditation, have great beneficial impact on our health. Becoming kind from within changes our behavior towards others and this in turn makes others around us kinder in return.

GER: You wrote a piece, Women on the Path: The Transnational Sangha’, Awakening Buddhist Women, share with us your thoughts on the awakening? VA: 

“Free am I, oh so free am I
Being freed
By means of the three crooked things:
The mortar, pestle, and my crooked husband! “
                                                Therigatha 11
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This is one of the verses written by a female disciple of the Buddha more than 2500 years ago. The lines epitomize the sense of freedom which spiritual awakening brings into women’s lives who otherwise find themselves in the suffocating grind of domestic life 24×7. The message is as relevant today as it was all those years ago because basically, nothing has changed.
 
In the quest for enlightenment, men and women are equal. Emancipation is a matter of the heartso why should it matter whether the individual who seeks it is a man or a woman? In reality however, women face many obstacles in their endeavors towards self-realizationmore, perhaps, than in any other area of their lives.
 
 
My paper on Awakening Buddhist Women took an in-depth view of the worldwide efforts being made by women to seek a quality space for themselves. It included case studies of women on the spiritual path from different socio-economic, cultural and geographical backgrounds.
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GER: Tell us about the poetry scene in your home town and in India at this point in time?

VA: Oh it’s rife with creativity and inspired writing! Of course you have the section of bad poets who write mediocre stuff and pass it off as art! But India does have its share of brilliant poets who’ve been published internationally, whose work has been evaluated by editors of world class journals accepted, published and occasionally even glorified.

That is very heartening to all aspiring and upcoming poets! It sets a benchmark of good writing standards and chisels ambitions to a fine tip. 

Most cities organize poetry readings and literary festivals that provide a good platform for poetic interactions and also a good exposure for one’s writing. So many literary journals have mushroomed in the country! I just wish that the better ones amongst them continue to maintain a good standard of writing. 

I must also mention here the amazing strength and depth of regional literature in India. My country has over 700 languages! So you can imagine the range of literature that sprouts from different corners of the country. It’s quite fascinating.

GER: Do you perform your poetry and if so what are the benefits to reading in front of a live audience?

SAARC Literature Festival at DelhiVA: Yes I do. In fact I love doing live readings. It gives you an opportunity to connect with the pulse of your readers. Gives you instant feedback about your work and the joy of seeing your words settle in people’s hearts. The experience is quite matchless!

I’ve had youngsters approach me with endearing trepidation after my readings asking if they could keep in touch with me…I’ve had older, established poets come forth and comment on what they see as strengths in my poetry. These are all the delightful fall outs of live readings!

Also, when you read live, you portray not just your work but the entire ethos to which you belong. The way you dress, the way you carry yourself and the way you interact with fellow poets also helps to convey your sensibilities as a poet. It’s a wholesome experience that goes beyond the scope of mere words.

GER: What projects are you currently working on?

VA: As a poet, I have two manuscripts ready for publication. A couple of publishers have approached me but I am yet to make up my mind about how to go about it. I also want to bring out my collection of very short poems. You will probably see a lot of me in 2015 – I hope that’s a good thing! 

I’m also helping one of my very dear colleagues to organize a top quality literary fest in the spring of 2015. Hopefully it will turn out to be one of its kind! 

On the research front, I’m in the process of writing a book about Buddha’s journey from Bodh Gaya to Sarnath i.e. from his place of enlightenment to the place where he gave his very first sermon. The book is titled Two Full Moons. But it’s in its nascent stages as of now because it requires immense and intense research and my avenues are limited. 

In general, poetry keeps me in its grip all the time. Like I said earlier, it’s a malaise…but with a sweet, dervish-like sting to it.

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You can read the poetry of Vinita Agrawal in The Fox Chase Review at these links: http://www.foxchasereview.org/12AW/VinitaAgrawal.html http://www.thefoxchasereview.org/s14vagrawal.html

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2nd-saturday-poets-1-21-12-guarnieri-reutter-readiing-017-g emil reutter lives and writes in the Fox Chase neighborhood of Philadelphia, Pa. (USA) https://gereutter.wordpress.com/

Gift Basket for Cara’s Sweethearts – Beats From the Heart Fundraiser 10-18

Cara's Sweethearts GiftWe are pleased that through donations of books by poets and writers we were able to donate a gift basket to Cara’s Sweethearts for the October 18th fundraiser. We also added a bottle Old Grand-Dad, E&J Brandy and Clan MacGregor Scotch to the basket for the winner to enjoy while reading these outstanding books. Cara’s Sweethearts is an organization that does the right thing by children and their families during their stay at Children’s Hospital in Philadelphia. There is a link to their website at the bottom of this post under the flyer for the fundraiser. We wish them the best.

Thanks to the following poets/writers who contributed books to our gift basket for Cara’s Sweethearts

The Book of Small Treasures by Christine Klocek-Lim

Disintegrate by Christine Klocek-Lim

Mud Lake Trilogy by Russell Reece

Images of Being by Diane Sahms-Guarnieri

Six Weeks To Yehidah by Melissa Studdard

My Yehidah – by Melissa Studdard

What Space This Body by J.C. Todd

Carvings by g emil reutter

Stirring Within Poems and Tales From Mount Carmel by g emil reutter

My South by Southwest by Elizabeth Akin Stelling

Nota Bene Eiswein by Eileen R. Tabios

Reproductions of the Empty Flagpole by Eileen R. Tabios

We Who Were Bound by David Worrell

Sessions  by Peter Baroth

In the Shooting Gallery of the Heart by Jeff Rath

Film Noir by Jeff Rath

The Language of Moisture and Light by Le Hinton

Traces by Daina Savage

Colors of the Universe by Elizabeth Rivers

Border Love by Alice Wootson

Loopholes by David P. Kozinski

Words Not Spoken by Vinita Agrawal

Contemporary Haibun Edited by Jim Kacian, Bruce Ross and Ken Jones

Recording Loss by Ellen Peckham

Allen M. Hart in Retrospect 1965-1969

Food, Wine, and Other Essential Considerations – an Alphabet by Bernadette McBride

The Event 

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You can learn more about Cara’s Sweethearts at this link: http://www.carasweethearts.org/home.html

FCR Broadsides 14-13 and 14-14 Available on October 26th

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Our Broadside Series continues with 14-13 and 14-14 printed in a limited edition of 30 copies.  Broadside 14-13, Creche by Robert Rosenbloom and 14-14, Moons by Bill Wunder. These broadsides will be available on October 26th at our Featured Poet/Writer Reading with Bill Wunder and Robert Rosenbloom at Ryerss Museum and Library. More information at this link: https://foxchasereview.wordpress.com/2014/10/01/wunder-and-rosenbloom-in-fox-chase-october-26th/

10 Questions for Alice Wootson

alice 3Alice Greenhowe Wootson grew up in a suburb of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She attended Cheyney University and earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education. After graduating, she married and remained in the Philadelphia area. She earned a Masters Degree in Education and Reading Specialist Certification and taught in the public schools. Alice is the award-winning author of ten romance novels and an award-winning poet; she has taught writing workshops for numerous groups. She is also a board member of the Philadelphia Writers Conference. Alice Wootson is an active member of Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church of Philadelphia. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband, Isaiah. http://www.alicewootson.net/

Interview with g emil reutter

The Interview 

alice 2GER: You have published a large body of work in the genre of Romance Novels. What drew you to this genre?

AW: I write romance novels because I like happpy endings.

GER: Some have described your novels as realistic romance full of suspense with out of the ordinary plot twists. How does this set you apart from others in the genre?

AW: I add twists to my novels because I don’t want the story to ‘unfold in a straight line’ and I don’t want the reader to reach the end and say ”I knew that’s what was going to happen.”  

BorderLove-2GER: You latest release is Border Love. Please tell us about the book?

AW:  ‘Border Love’ features Border Patrol Agents assigned to Brownsville, Texas located on the Texas/Mexican Border. My husband and I spent several winters in Brownsville and I found many interesting things about it. A highway just outside town has a tall chainlink fence running parallel to the road for miles and miles. Just on the other side of the fence is the Rio Grande River. If your arms  were long enough, you could dip your hand into the water. The river is also shallow along here so the most that would get wet would be your pants legs. No buildings are visible on the Mexican side and ranches are along the road on the US side with no buildings in sight. It would be easy to wade across the river, use the spaces in the fence to climb and be in this country. The fence follows the contours of the river so many areas are out of sight. Also many Mexican students commute to Texas Southernmost University which is within walking distance of the bridge they walk across. You can pay a small toll and walk across into Mexico. With all of this in mind, I let my imagination run wild and thought of various problems that could arise from the close proximity and easy access to and from Mexico. I did extensive research which I do for all of my books. Then I decided what problems to give my agents. Drugs are a bigger problem in Mexico than they are here. Some towns are subjected to nightly battles between rival gangs over turf. A lot of the problems are caused by people from countries to the south of Mexico. I also had to consider that the drug smuggling trade wouldn’t get a foothold here if not for the involvement of US citizens. Unfortunately all of the situations I use in the book are possible.

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GER: You have conducted a number of writing workshops. What are the benefits of workshops to those attending and to you?

AW: I do several writing workshops for groups of interested people. The basic one deals with the three elements necessary to write a story: character, setting and plot. I go into detail about the three and explore various options. If time permits, I have those attending develop the beginning of a story that includes all three elements. I pose questions along the way. (I’m a retired teacher so I can’t help it.  What’s in it for me? I enjoy helping people follow their dreams.)

GER: What advice would you give to emerging writers and poets?

AW: I always tell writers and poets, if you have an idea, write it because it will continue to bug you until you do. You don’t have to worry about forgetting it. It’s not going anywhere until you write it. Remember, the hardest part is starting. 

alice 5GER: Your poetry and short stories range from realism to the surreal. Do you approach these genres differently than your romance novels and does it reflect another side of Alice Wootson?

AW:  I don’t know why my short stories and my poetry are not only different from my novels, but they are different from each other. I think my personality is split three ways. I might read something or see something and an idea pops into my head and I have to get it down.

GER: You are firmly grounded in family and faith. How does this stability assist you in your writing?

AW:   I am blessed in many ways and I am aware of it. I have choices. I do not have drama in my life and I am thankful for it. I live comfortably in a nice house on a quiet street in a quiet, safe neighborhood and I have everything I need. I am aware that too many people aren’t as blessed as I am. I write because I want to, not because I have to. (Although, if I have an idea it will make me write it so it will leave me alone.)

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GER: Some poets shy away from public readings of their work. You have performed your poetry at many venues. Tell us how the interaction with an audience has assisted you in the development of your poetry?

AW: I am still a little uncomfortable reading in public, but I like to think people enjoy hearing my poetry and find much of it thought-provoking. I get positive feedback from those who hear it and I am grateful for that.

GER: Who are your favorite writers and poets?

AW:  A few of my favorite poets are old: Langston Hughes, Paul Lawrence Dunbar, Gwendolyn Brooks, but I read whoever I have access to. I’m only going to name two authors: Beverly Jenkins and Catherine Coulter although I read many, many others. I’m on a romantic suspense kick right now and there’s a lot of authors out there.

GER: What is next for Alice Wootson?

AW: My next book released will probably be “Border Danger” because my editor already has it. “Border Danger” also features Border Partol agents stationed in Brownsville, but they are different agents facing different dangers. The two books aren’t part of a series, just wiith the same setting. I also have to get back to Nate, a secondary character from ‘Aloha Love” who tried to take over every scene he was in. He finally backed off when I promised him his own story. I started it and have to get back to it soon, but I’ve been working on submitting 4 other finished novels. I have to get back to Nate, though. I have a feeling he’s losing patience with me. I’m serious about this..

Alice Wootson at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Alice-Wootson/e/B001JRUHYM

You can read the poetry and fiction of Alice Wootson in The Fox Chase Review: http://www.foxchasereview.org/2008/22-AliceWootson.html http://www.foxchasereview.org/10WS/WootsonA.html http://www.foxchasereview.org/13WS/Wootson.html

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2nd-saturday-poets-1-21-12-guarnieri-reutter-readiing-017-g emil reutter lives and writes in the Fox Chase neighborhood of Philadelphia, Pa. (USA) https://gereutter.wordpress.com/

Wunder and Rosenbloom in Fox Chase – October 26th

The Fox Chase Reading Series is pleased to present our Featured Poets/Writers Reading on October 26th with Bill Wunder and Robert Rosenbloom at Ryerss Museum and Library, 7370 Central Avenue, Philadelphia, Pa. 19111. .  The reading will begin @ 1 p.m. in the second floor gallery of the museum. The features will be followed by an open reading.

BillWunderBill Wunder is the author of Pointing at the Moon (WordTech Editions, 2008), Hands Turning the Earth (Wordtech Communications 2014), and a chapbook, A Season of Storms (Via Dolorosa Press, 2002.) In 2004, he was named Poet Laureate of Bucks County, Pennsylvania. His poems have been widely published, and he has twice been nominated for the Pushcart Prize in poetry. Bill has been a finalist numerous times in The T. S. Eliot Prize, and the Allen Ginsberg Poetry Awards. In 2010, he was nominated for a Pew Fellowship in the Arts. He has read and lectured in local schools, colleges, festivals, book stores, libraries, and on public television. Bill serves as Poetry Editor of The Schuylkill Valley Journal. You can read the poetry of Bill Wunder in The Fox Chase Review at this link: http://www.foxchasereview.org/11WS/BillWunder.html

RosenbloomRobert Rosenbloom hosts a monthly poetry reading at the Bridgewater Public Library for the Somerset Poetry Group. His poetry has appeared in the Paterson Literary Review and Lips. He’s the author of a chapbook, Reunion, published by Finishing Line Press. His day job is lawyer. He lives with his wife in Bound Brook. You can read the poetry of Robert Rosenbloom in The Fox Chase Review at this link: http://www.foxchasereview.org/13AW/Rosenbloom.html