Tag Archives: fox chase review

Poets on the Porch – July 13th @ 1 p.m.

scenes-from-poets-on-the-porch-2013-045 Poets and lovers of poetry will gather on the Victorian porch of Ryerss Museum and Library for the 4th installment of The Fox Chase Reading Series – Poets on the Porch. 14 Poets will read their original work on July 13 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. The museum is located at 7370 Central Ave. in Philadelphia, Pa. 19111 atop the hill at Burholme Park. The event will be hosted by Rodger Lowenthal and Bruce Kramer. For the lineup please click: https://foxchasereview.wordpress.com/2014/06/10/poets-on-the-porch-2014/

10 Questions for Stephen Page

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Stephen Page is from Detroit, Michigan. He is the author of The Timbre of Sand and Still Dandelions. He holds two AA’s from Palomar College, a BA from Columbia University and an MFA from Bennington College. His critical essays have appeared regularly in the Buenos Aires Herald and the Fox Chase Review. He is the recipient of The Jess Cloud Memorial Prize, a Writer-in-Residence from the Montana Artists Refuge, a Full Fellowship from the Vermont Studio Center, an Imagination Grant from Cleveland State University, and an Arvon Foundation Ltd. Grant. . You can find him at: http://stephenmpage.wordpress.com/.  His poetry appears in The Fox Chase Review at these links: http://www.foxchasereview.org/12SU/StephenPage.html  and http://www.foxchasereview.org/11WS/StephenPage.html

Interview with g emil reutter

The Interview 

stephen-page-ii

GER: So how does a guy from Detroit end up becoming a cattle rancher in Argentina?

SP: Well, I’m not ranching anymore. I was. Loved it. That part of my life is temporarily over.  I will tell you, however, how I came to Argentina.  The story started when I was a child. Some of my earliest happy memories are of my family vacations. Several times, all summer long, my family would pile in the station wagon and head out on the road.  We would take about twenty short vacations a year.  Sometimes just for the weekend.  We would head up north in Michigan, or down to Florida, or Ohio, West Virginia, Kentucky, North Carolina.  Mostly visiting family.  I loved the feeling of being on the road.  Nothing behind you, only that which is ahead of you—Kerouac said something like that.  I loved looking at the scenery as it passed by.  Most of my extended family lived in rural or sparsely populated nature-filled areas. I remember farmland, lakes, rivers, large patches of woodlands. I loved walking for miles on dirt roads, along animal trails, trudging through swamps, crossing rivers, swimming across lakes. My parents were good caretakers, and I feel lucky that they gave me such an adventurous childhood. I also had two good-natured sisters who were easy-going travelling companions.

            When I was fifteen or so, I ran away from home (not to escape anything in particular, at least nothing I could conceive at that age).  I was walking home after visiting a friend’s house and I got this idea in my head to go somewhere, anywhere . . . no definite destination in mind, just go.  As the sun was setting I was standing on the side of I-75, watching the smokestacks of factories turn yellow then orange then red, and I stuck out my thumb.  I didn’t get very far, only down to Cincinnati, when I realized I was hungry.  I crossed the highway divider and hitchhiked back home.  I slipped the key into the lock on the front door of my home as the sun was rising.

StephenOnHarley4

As a young man, with my driver’s license, every Friday when I had my weekly cash pay stuffed in my pocket, I would jump in my car and drive, sometimes to visit family, sometime just to be “out there.” Away.  Gone.  Free.  Traveling is like having wings, even in a car. I really found my wings when I bought my Harley. Riding a Harley has no other feeling like it in this world. It has a distinct vibration and rumble. On an open road, with no traffic, there is just you, the bike, the wind, and the scenery around you. You have a panoramic view of your surroundings—especially if you ride without a helmet (kids, please don’t do that!). 

Once, I had a union job, cutting steel, and after I worked there for one year, the foreman came up to me on a Friday afternoon, and said, “You,” he paused, looking me in the eye, then pointing at me with a greasy finger, “are on vacation.” “What?” I asked, thinking I was fired. “You get a week’s paid vacation for your first year on this job. We need you to take the time now while the work is slow.”  “Thanks,” I muttered, thinking ‘where will I go, what will I do?’  That night I fell asleep watching a movie called Easy Rider. I woke up early the next morning and packed a sleeping bag and some clothes in a sea bag my cousin J had given me, threw the bag over my shoulder, and headed out the door. As I was stepping off the front porch, my cousin T (who was sharing rent with me in an old farm house on the edges of Detroit) asked, “where are you going?”  “To New Orleans.” “How will you get there?” “I don’t know, I guess I’ll hitchhike (I was in-between owning vehicles at the time) . . . Or maybe I’ll go downtown to the bus terminal and take a bus.” She looked at me and smiled, then said, “At least let me drive you to the station.”  So, I ended up hanging out on Bourbon Street for a couple of nights, seeing the Rolling Stones play live, taking a train up to Jackson, Mississippi, then hitchhiking though Arkansas, Texas, north to Colorado, onto North Dakota, then turning east to back towards Detroit.  I arrived home Sunday evening, eight and a half days later, just in time to eat dinner, sleep a bit, wake up early the next morning and go back to work.  I took a lot of trips like that, either hitchhiking, in my car, or on my bike—I was always travelling, going somewhere, anywhere, just away, on my way to “There. There. Somewhere. Anywhere but here.”

After a few years of factory jobs, 7-11 midnight shifts, gas-station jobs, bowling-alley jobs, landscaping jobs, restaurant jobs—I decided I had to leave the Detroit scene.  Get away. Far, far away.  I landed a job that allowed me globe-circling travel. Out of seven years in this occupation, I spent fifty-two months overseas. Man, I saw a lot of the world. I ended up one day in Kenya, on a photo safari, and inside the same tour bus I was in was this exotic green-eyed goddess of a women. I noticed that every time I looked at her, she was looking at me, and every time she looked at me, I was looking at her.  We fell in love. She was, and is, Argentine.  Here I am.

GER: You have said that teaching is a passion of yours. Tell us why and how the interaction with students contributes to your own development as a writer?

SP:  I love teaching because it is a way of sharing, sharing knowledge, a way of helping others.  The best way teaching literature helped my development as a writer was that I was able to restudy the masters, analyze good writing and show others how to read well. To read carefully. To “read,” not just read. To understand the techniques of literature the masters use and/or used well—i.e. foreshadowing, metaphor, symbolism . . . saying something without saying something. 

stephen-out-reading-on-ranchGER: Many have said writing is a lonely art. You have said you have experienced bouts of isolation.  How do you break out from these bouts?

SP:  Most writers write in a room with the door closed, the phone turned off. I do. If a writer has to write in a room with family around, the writer usually has a spouse, family member, friend, or an employee take care of the family while he or she writes. Some writers write in a café. I also do that often. I know a few cafés that have vibrant creative energy and when I sit down at a table and lean over my journal or computer to write, the conversations of the other patrons just become white noise. In a sense, all writing is done in isolation. A writer has to know this, be ready for it, and, in some cases, have a disposition that does not mind being alone with itself for a while. I break out of my bouts of isolation by having an understanding wife, a circle of friends, and an extended family who understand my need to be alone a while and are always there for me when I open my (metaphorical and literal) door to socialize.  

stilldandelionsbookcoverphotosmall-copytimbreGER: You have published two collections, Timbre of Sand and Still Dandelions. Share with us the development of the collections?

SP:  My first collection of poems, The Timbre of Sand, was inspired by the exotic green-eyed woman, and started with my first love letters to her, after the safari was over.  I wrote those letters while I was still traveling around for my employers and she was living in Argentina.  About a year after the safari, I resigned from my travel-required occupation, moved to Argentina, and started to attend college. At university, I realized I loved literature and writing so much I made that my major, and I started to write short stories and poems.  Then, one day, I was skimming over some of the early letters I wrote my wife (by then we were living together and shared rings) and I realized the epistolaries had poetic potential. I started a collection of poems dedicated to her, and as I began it I thought, ‘what better love poem is there than a sonnet.’  So I started a collection of sonnets. But being a bit of an originally minded rebellious person, I decided to contemporize the sonnet. I kept the line relations, the stanzas, the meter, the assonance, alliteration, and internal rhyme that Shakespearian and Petrarchan sonnets have, but I eliminated the end rhyme (or at least freed my self of having to end rhyme).  I had a few of them published separately in small presses, and then a small publisher in NY picked them up and printed them as a book.

My second collection of poems, Still Dandelions, was inspired by my love for nature. Even as a child, on my vacations and short trips with my family, I felt a oneness with nature, a connection to it all, a passageway through nature to the beyond, the Universe, the Everything, the One.  I lived in New York for a while and was lucky enough to live near a park that was spread out over hundreds of square acres. It had trails leading through the trees, up and down hills, down to the Hudson.  There was a garden in the center of the park that was tended year-round by city employees, so if there was a mild winter, some plant or another was in bloom all year round. If there was a harsh winter, something was in bloom at least ten months of the year. The garden attracted bees, other insects, birds.  And the woodland always had some miracle of life happening, even in winter—lichen growing, moss, early tree buds, cardinals and sparrows gathering in groups on the snow, a squirrel leaping about to dig where it hid a nut last autumn, a hawk or eagle gliding around then swooping low, looking for a meal.  There was the bite of the cold, the rush of a snow flurry, the pelting of hail on my face. There was also the singing of birds in spring, the green-skied vortex of an approaching storm, the stinging rain, the wilting heat of summer, the sawing of the cicada, the myriad-color leaves of autumn. I started a collection of poems about nature, the oneness I felt with it, and I thought, ‘what better way to share this oneness I feel than to honor Bash­o and write a collection of haiku.’ I took some liberties with the form to make it my own, but in doing so, as I did with the sonnets, I realized that writing in form is an act of discipline that all writers should learn in order to become original later. A good haiku is not an easy thing to master and takes a bit of practice.  A great haiku is even harder to master.  “A haiku is, or a haiku isn’t,” I think Kerouac or Snyder said.  A haiku is not just a 5-7-5 syllabic poem (the English version of a haiku).  If anyone would like to acquire a better understanding of haiku, I recommend reading Haiku Moment, edited by Bruce Ross.  A haiku captures the Oneness, the feeling of connection to the natural world . . . it could happen while hearing a flap of a birdwing, a bee buzzing by.  A haiku captures this moment of oneness with the world, the loss of the self—and this usually happens in a second, or even less.  The epiphany comes immediately afterwards—and if the experiencer of the Oneness is a writer, he or she writes the experience down in a concise form (to coincide with the briefness of the “moment”) in order to remember it and share it with readers. There again, like my first book, I had many of the poems published separately in lit mags, then another small publisher in NY printed the collection as a book.

GER: Your literary criticisms have appeared in many publications, including here at FCR. What inspired you on this course and what are the benefits to you as a writer?

SP:  That goes back to when I was child again. Another one of my earliest memories is that of reading. I read a lot while I was growing up. I would often share books, Dr. Seuss and such, with friends and family. We would discuss the passages and rhymes and meaning (I didn’t realize this was analysis at the time).  As a teenager I was always deciphering Rock-and-Roll lyrics with friends—what does that object in that song signify, what is the double meaning in this word, how does the title coincide with the content, how many symbols are in that that stanza and why are they there? Then as a literature/writing student at Palomar College, Columbia University, and Bennington College, I was able to employ my love of analysis and set my thoughts on paper. This love of analysis benefited me as a writer because I was again, like in teaching later, able to understand how the great writers used, and use, techniques of literature. 

GER: You have read your poetry at various venues in Argentina. How important is it for you to read your work in public and what affect does it have on your writing?

SP:  I stared a writing group almost as soon as I arrived in Argentina. I thought it would be a good way to help writers help each other. We read our stuff aloud to each other.  Later I started a poetry reading group, as a means of sharing literature with others.  Once I was invited to read my poems aloud at an annual Buenos Aires International Book Fair.  Reading a book alone is a solitary pleasure, a gift from the writer to the reader one book at a time.  Reading aloud to an audience is a public event, a gift shared with more than one person in linear time.  I discovered by reading my own stuff aloud, especially while I practiced reading aloud to myself, I caught the glitches in the lines, the skips in the meter, the loss of the music I thought was there.  Thus, by reading aloud, or preparing to read aloud, I was better able to edit my work.

Stephen Page reading at the Ernesto Sabato Foundation  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3b-5YrHXe-U

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GER: Your fiction and poetry have appeared widely in the small and electronic press. How do you deal with the submission process and how important is to you as a writer to be published?

SP:  Writing and submitting are two completely different processes. They use different halves of the brain, different sections of the cortex. Synapses fire differently.  In one process you are a creator—in the other you are a publicist, a promoter, a hand shaker, a delver, a researcher. Every writer should be able to have a secretary edit, another to submit, a publisher, and a promoter to get the work known.  That way the writer could spend all of his or her time on his or her writing.  Use the cerebrum only for creating.  Anyone in any one of the arts may draw parallels with this. Currently, with the revolution of eBooks, many writers need not only to be a creator, they need to be their own editor, their own publicist, and in many cases, their own publisher.  In any event, I handle the submission process by dividing part of my “writing” time each day into parts—part for creating, part for editing, and part for submitting.

Writing is immensely more important to me than publishing. Writing is the part I love, the fun part, the part I want to do—the part I need to do.  Publishing, however, is a pat on my back, and it is one way I can share with others.  I do love sharing.

StephenPage (1)GER: You have said you turn to Gary Snyder for inspiration. Tell us why and what other writers inspire your work?

SP:  Yes, I turn to Gary Snyder because of his love of travel and his love of nature, (which I can relate to). I also admire his ability to write well. Snyder spent years meditating in Asia and studying Oriental forms of poetry. Judging by his writing, I think he felt the Oneness, the losing of the self that I feel. I often turn to Mary Oliver and Louise Glück for that same reason—for their apparent awareness of the Oneness (and for their quality of writing). I also turn to other writers and reread their books once in a while because they write well and capture the drama of human interaction, the strife of life, the struggles of relations and love—like Neruda, Cross, Hemingway, Machado, Vallejo, Borges, Plath.

GER: You have quoted Matthew Arnold, “Life is not having or getting, but of being and becoming”. Why this quote and can you expand upon it?

SP:  It is easy to become a materialist.  Materialism is something innate in all of us and is developed one way or the other depending on our socialization. Historically, we humans—modern Homo sapiens and early humanoids—especially in societies or groups, have almost always measured success by what we own, be it property, possessions, exchange (or even worse, other human beings). What we have or what we are getting—even when we were hunter-gatherers and vying over territory (not just for survival but to feel that a section of land is ours).

Today, we are brought up in a consumeristic world. We are driven, from the time we are children, to want to have things, to get more, to buy a new football, a new jump rope, a new car every year, a superfluous piece of jewelry . . . to be rich, to live in a big house, to own land, to wear new clothes styled in the latest fashion. More often than not we are striving to own more than what we need to survive healthily.  I think Sixto Rodriguez said it best when he sang, “You measure your wealth by the things that you hold . . .”

Very few people are taught to seek spirituality, and not just religion, which is societally subjectivized (and there is nothing wrong with religion)—I mean pureness of the soul (if that is what you want to call it, a “soul”—this experience we all have of existence). Not the egotistical sense of existence—the I—but the Oneness. Not many people are taught too meditate, to walk alone in the woods—or participate in any other method that allows zoning into the Oneness.  We, as adults, should work harder at teaching children how to be One with the Universe (the universe as we currently imagine it).  We need to teach our children respect for land and nature, not only for their spiritual health, but also for their physical health.  We also need to teach the kids how to be better people, how to share, how to be good to others, how to be calm in stressful situations.  We need teach them to be rich in spirit, generosity, and kindness.

As for each of ourselves, we need to make conscious efforts every day to become a better person than we were the day before, a better human being, a more humane entity that functions well in society and becomes one with the One.

StephenPage

GER: What projects are you currently working on?

SP: Oh, I have at least 10 projects I am working on.  Some are stories and some are poems I am compiling or fitting together into meaningful, coherent collections. Some are separate pieces of writing I am editing. Also, I am writing a new book

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April 12, 2014 007-g emil reutter lives and writes in the Fox Chase neighborhood of Philadelphia, Pa. (USA)

http://gereutter.wordpress.com/

 

 

 

 

Poets on the Porch – 2014

Photo from Poets on the Porch 2013

Photo from Poets on the Porch 2013

Poets and lovers of poetry will gather on the Victorian porch of Ryerss Museum and Library for the 4th installment of The Fox Chase Reading Series – Poets on the Porch. 14 Poets will read their original work on July 13 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. The museum is located at 7370 Central Ave. in Philadelphia, Pa. 19111 atop the hill at Burholme Park. The event will be hosted by Rodger Lowenthal and Bruce Kramer.

 Your Hosts

rodger lowenthal

Rodger Lowenthal is a poet from Eastern Montgomery County Pennsylvania who is known to frequent Ryerss Museum and Library  in Fox Chase. He is a regular contributor of book reviews to FCR and an occasional host at the reading series. He also hosts “Under the Stars”, a poetry and musical quarterly event. His poetic reviews of books have appeared on line in various literary blogs. He is known to pick up pieces of cigars and Hollywood whenever he can. You can read the poetry of Rodger Lowenthal in The Fox Chase Review at these links: http://www.thefoxchasereview.org/w14rlowenthal.html http://www.foxchasereview.org/09AW/23-RLowenthal.html

kramer

Bruce Kramer is a writer from New Jersey. Most of his work has appeared in boring technical documents, medical publications, and marketing propaganda, but he has also been published in the occasional magazine and literary publication. He believes in cold beer, rock and roll, and baseball. He sometimes acts like he is named after Bruce Springsteen, but he knows he is named after somebody much cooler. You can read the poetry of Bruce Kramer in The Fox Chase Review at this link: http://www.foxchasereview.org/11June/BruceKramer.html

The Poets

Diane Sahms-Guarnieri

Diane Sahms Guarnieri is a Philadelphia Poet and Poetry Editor of The Fox Chase Review and co-curates The Fox Chase Reading Series. Her first collection Images of Being was released in October of 2011. She was awarded a grant in poetry from the AEV Foundation in May of 2013 and currently serves as Poet in Residence at Ryerss Museum and Library in Philadelphia. . Diane’s poetry has been published widely in the small and electronic press. You can visit her at http://dianesahmsguarnieri.wordpress.com/   and http://www.dianesahms-guarnieri.com/

g-emil-reutter

g emil reutter lives and writes in the Fox Chase neighborhood of Philadelphia where he founded The Fox Chase Review and The Fox Chase Reading Series.  Eight collections of his poetry and prose have been published by Stonegarden.net, Blazevox Books and Persistenica Press. Most recently Carvings in November 2010. His newest fiction collection, Thugs, Con Men, Pigs and More will be released in November by Red Dashboard Press.  You can visit him at   http://gereutter.wordpress.com/

noah

Noah D. Cutler is a retired commercial real estate lawyer living in St. Davids, PA. He writes poetry largely because it’s cheaper than psychotherapy. With very few exceptions, he has not previously permitted any of his poetry to be published, as he generally prefers to perform it. You can read the fiction and poetry of Noah Cutler in The Fox Chase Review at these links: http://www.foxchasereview.org/11June/NoahCutler.html http://www.foxchasereview.org/10SU/NoahDCutler.html

Frank Wilson

Frank Wilson has been reviewing books professionally since October 1964. For most of the past decade he was Books Editor at the Philadelphia Inquirer. He currently blogs at Books Inq. It is one of the most successful blogs in the literary blogosphere. You can read the poetry of Frank Wilson in The Fox Chase Review at these links: http://www.thefoxchasereview.org/w14fwilson.html http://www.foxchasereview.org/12SU/FrankWilson.html

George Wylesol

George Wylesol is a janitor and TV repairman from Northeast Philly who writes and draws in his free time. He graduated from the University of the Arts in 2012 with a BFA in Illustration and a minor in Creative Writing. His work is simple, dark, and clean and can be viewed at www.wylesol.com . You can read the fiction of George Wylesol in The Fox Chase Review at this link: http://www.thefoxchasereview.org/w14gwyelsol.html

Mel Brake

Mel Brake has won several awards for his poetry and musical talents. He was born and raised in Philadelphia, and proud of it. He lives in Springfield, PA because the water is fresh, clear and tasty. Many publications and journals have published his poems including Fox Chase Review, Philadelphia Poets, Mad Poets Review, E Pluribus Unum:An Anthology of Diverse Voices, Apiary Magazine, Word Riot Magazine, Poetry Ink, The New Verse News and many others You can read the poetry of Mel Brake in The Fox Chase Review at these links:  http://www.foxchasereview.org/12SU/MelBrake.html http://www.foxchasereview.org/09AW/24-MBrake.html http://www.foxchasereview.org/08AW/17-MelBrake.html http://www.foxchasereview.org/2008/12-MelBrake.html

EAS2

Born in Fort Worth and raised in Carrollton, Texas, on Stockyard Rodeos and Pioneer Days during the 60-70s— Elizabeth Akin Stelling is a wife, mother, chef, an editor/writer, activist for CHD and grief counselling after losing her daughter to heart disease in 2000. Elizabeth is also managing editor of Red Dashboard LLC—Z-composition, Annapurna and Cowboy Poetry. She has works published in vox poetica, Referential Magazine, Linden Avenue Literary Journal, Curio Poetry, Wordgathering, River Review, Tuck Magazine, CrazyLitMag, Texas Observer Magazine, and culinary trade magazines. And known as Chef E, her food poetry has been heard on CroptoCuisine Radio, out of Boulder, CO. Her most recent poetry collection: My South by Southwest- A Cast Iron Tempo Recollection.  http://foxchasereview.wordpress.com/2014/06/27/my-south-by-southwest-a-cast-iron-tempo-recollection-by-elizabeth-stelling/

TelanbyCristinOKeefeAptowicz

F. Omar Telan was born in Industrial Philadelphia during the 1876 centennial. With his decidedly halo halo background, Omar adds a singular perspective to Asian American expression. Neo-Futuristic, omgsototallygoth, and absolutely suburban fabulous, Omar appeals to his fellow artist who understands how satire sometimes involves eating children. Boom-bastic and introverted, he fascinates the casual audience with his ability to plumb the underbelly of his own psyche while simultaneously appreciating delicious, chilled plums. You can read the poetry of F. Omar Telan in The Fox Chase Review at this link: http://www.foxchasereview.org/13AW/Telan.html

McBride

Bernadette McBride, A former Poet Laureate of Bucks County, Pennsylvania, has been honored as a Pushcart Prize nominee, second-place winner of the international Ray Bradbury writing award, and both a finalist and runner-up for the Robert Fraser poetry prize. She has taught Creative Writing at Temple University, and conducts poetry and fiction writing workshops in the Bucks County region. Her work has been published in numerous journals and anthologies nationally and is forthcoming in the UK. She directs the monthly Poets Reading Series at Farley’s Bookshop in New Hope, PA and has read her own work for Public Television in New York City and PhillyCAM in Philadelphia. She is the author of Waiting for the Light to Change (WordTech Editions, 2013). You can read the poetry of Bernadette McBride in The Fox Chase Review at this link: http://www.foxchasereview.org/13AW/McBride.html

maria

Maria Masington is a writer from Wilmington, Delaware.  Her poetry has been published in The News Journal, The Red River Review, Damozel Literary Journal, The Survivor’s Review, Wanderings (co-editor), and by the University of Colorado’s Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Science.  Her poem HIT & RUN will be featured in The Fox Chase Review later this year. Masington’s first short story “Impresario” was published in  Someone Wicked, an anthology by Smart Rhino Publications. Maria is a member of the Written Remains Writer’s Guild, the Wright Touch critique group, and participated in the 2012 Cape Henlopen Poets and Writers Retreat.  The first Tuesday of every month, you can find her at the Newark Arts Alliance, where she emcees their open mic night, for writers of all genres to share their work.

MCohen

Mike Cohen has authored two collections of poetry, Poet’s Pilgrimage and For Reading Out Loud, both awaiting discovery and broad dissemination (perhaps posthumously). Mike’s work has appeared in the Schuylkill Valley Journal, Philadelphia Daily News, Mad Poets Review, and Poetry Forum Anthology. He has presented public readings in various bookstores, coffee shops, and libraries. Mike’s current project is Poetry Aloud And Alive program at the Big Blue Marble Book Store in West Mt. Airy, Philadelphia. You can read the poetry of Mike Cohen in The Fox Chase Review at these links: http://www.foxchasereview.org/08AW/01-MikeCohen.html http://www.foxchasereview.org/09AW/13-MCohen.html

HaydenSaunier

Hayden Saunier won the 2011 Pablo Neruda Prize for Poetry form Nimrod International Journal. Her work has appeared widely in journals such as 5 A.M., Beloit Poetry Journal, Bellevue Literary Review, Drunken Boat, Margie, Nimrod, Rattle, and on the poetry site Verse Daily.  Her first book, Tips for Domestic Travel, was the finalist for the St. Lawrence Award and was published in 2009 by Black Lawrence Press. She won the Robert Fraser Poetry Prize in 2005 and her work has been nominated twice for a Pushcart Prize. Her latest release is Say Luck, Poems by Hayden Saunier. You can read the poetry of Hayden Saunier in The Fox Chase Review at this link: http://www.foxchasereview.org/12WS/HaydenSaunier.html

 

 

MM Wittle appointed Creative Non-Fiction Editor of FCR

mmwittleinlondon[1]

The Fox Chase Review is pleased to announce the appointment of MM Wittle as Creative Non-Fiction Editor for the review. Ms. Wittle will begin her duties commencing with the Winter 2015 edition of the review.

MM Wittle is a professor of writing with an MFA from Rosemont College in Creative Writing. The play, “Family Guidance” had a reading at the Walnut Street Theatre in Philadelphia, PA and was honorable mention at the 5th Annual Philadelphia Theatre Workshop’s Playwriting Competition. “The Education of Allie Rose” was a finalist in the Philadelphia Ethical Society Playwriting competition and was shortlisted in the Windsor Fringe Kenneth Branagh Award for New Drama in England. The ten-minute play, “Done Deal” was part of Learning Stages’ Play in a Day. MM’s work has appeared in Nailpolish Stories, Transient, The Bond Street Review, Free Flash Fiction, The Fox Chase Review, The Lit Garden, Philly Flash Inferno, The Four Quarters, Decades Review, *82 Review, Thin Air Literary Magazine, and Emerging Literary Journal. Her Artist’s Book, Lessons Not Worth Repeating has been published with Lucia Press. Follow MM Wittle on facebook at http://www.facebook.com/MMWittle.

Is Paxman right? Or Should Poetry Just Follow its Natural Course

-g emil reutter 

IMG_9264

Jerry Paxman, a judge for Britain’s Forward Prize for poetry said in a recent article at the Guardian “I think poetry has really rather connived at its own irrelevance and that shouldn’t happen, because it’s the most delightful thing,”  Paxman continued, “It seems to me very often that poets now seem to be talking to other poets and that is not talking to people as a whole.”  The full article appears here: http://www.theguardian.com/media/2014/jun/01/jeremy-paxman-poets-engage-ordinary-people-forward-prize

There has been much said and much written over the last two centuries about the relevance of poetry, yet it remains. Poets are the great observers of the world around us and while many don’t read poetry or attend poetry readings on a regular basis, most folks like to know there are poets around. While the Guardian article is Britain specific I believe it could apply to any nation. It seems to me that poets are the only one’s concerned about this for in the end poets write, it is what they do, relevant or not, sales or none, poetry is written. So we asked a few poets to let us know their thoughts on the matter..

DOUG HOLDERDoug Holder, Lecturer in Creative Writing at Endicott College and publisher of the Boston Small Press and Poetry Scene said: “Just because we are poets doesn’t mean we are not ordinary people. I for one am an everyday person who happens to write poetry. I write poems about life–the everyday stuff–love, loss, death the whole gamut. All poetry addresses this I think. That being said sometimes poetry that is being written today maybe too conceptual.

Holder believes in solid grounding, “You need to have some concrete detail. As William Carlos William said, and I paraphrase “Not in ideas, but things.” A poem must be grounded first–solid ground- and then you can float off after this point. Perhaps this would be a way to engage with more readers.”.

Holder may be right. Conceptual poetry may hurt poetry as a whole, grounded may be the way to go..

JC-Necklace2jpgPoet J.C. Todd viewed the article a bit differently. She takes issue with Paxman and his premise.  “Jeremy Paxman has the noun wrong. If there is a problem, it is not with poetry but with poets or, more likely, with publishers of poetry or, could the problem be with his taste as a reader. Blaming an art form? That’s a bit of fuzzy thinking since art is made by humans. Blame the humans–poets, publishers, readers? They are responding to culture. Blame the culture? You can see this is leading down a weedy garden path.”.

Todd also takes issue with Paxman as a judge and celebrity. “Paxman was reading poems as a judge, his primary motive to assign selective value instead of appreciating them or grappling with them. Could the process of choosing “the best” have tainted his engagement with the art? He was paid to judge and now he’s double-dipping making a celebrity or pundit of himself by blaming poetry. Oh, dear. And poetry, having no legal standing, can’t sue for defamation or libel or slander. The perfect victim and cause célèbre.”

So is Paxman the guy to take this position? Is Todd correct in her premise,” the problem lies with poets or more likely publishers of poetry, or, could the problem be with Paxman’s taste as a reader?”

 ???????????????????????????????Poet and Editor of The Fox Chase Review, Diane Sahms-Guarnieri agrees with Paxman on some points. “Poetry can appeal to all levels of life and should be read as widely as bestselling novels; and therefore poets writing poetry should not discount people, who are not poets, yet enjoy reading poetry.    Although poetry takes on numerous forms and voices (including but not limited to language, surrealism, experimental, and realism) there has always been a need for poetry that speaks directly to the masses, the everyday reader, and the “non-poets.”

Sahms-Guarnieri continues, “The problem is they’re so many cliques, factions, and élite groups of poets that demand that other poets (not in their group) write the way that they write.  These groups of poets truly believe that they hold the “truth” and poetry has to be written their way, as if the world of poetry exists just for them and those who drink with them from their “limited” well of water.”

She is concerned about the impact of this institutionalized exclusion and agrees with Paxman that poetry should relate to the people as a whole.  “ My friends, exclusion is  not what freedom of expression is all about, that is, you cannot and will not harness the muse into one little holding cell.  Poetry is by nature for everyone, from every walk of life, and the muse will always allow for variation and freedom.  Poems will always be written by and performed by many different poetic voices.   Poets should echo the human experience with poetry that relates to “all” people, touching and re-touching lives.”

Sahms-Guarnieri agrees  with Paxman that poetry should reach out beyond poets. Poetry written and read for the people as opposed to a select group of poets would seem to make sense. As she states, “poets write to “echo the human experience”, to touch all people.”

Frank WilsonPoet and publisher of Book Inq. , Frank Wilson believes Paxman’s premise is more applicable in the U.K. than in the U.S. “… where poetry seems to be flourishing at readings in bars, galleries and parks.” Wilson stated he was just finishing off reviews of three poetry collections, “They have much in common, but are still quite distinct.”

He points to the internet, “The internet abounds with poetry, and most of it is not at all academic. Some, I have no doubt, will have quite a long life.” 

Poets write poetry often without recognition or profit. Paraphrasing Stanley Kunitz, “poetry is the last uncorrupted art… there is no profit in it.” Commercialization as Paxman calls for is not the answer, it may be a very simple answer indeed, writing poetry people will read. Poetry rises and falls with the changing cultural ocean. It is as natural as the rising and setting of the sun. Let nature take its course, reach out to people, go out and write a poem.

Related post at FCR:  Poetry in Decline- Is a Revolution Needed?

g emil reutter 2-g emil reutter lives and writes in the Fox Chase neighborhood of Philadelphia, Pa. (USA) http://gereutter.wordpress.com/

 

Our Web Editor is Running to benefit St. Jude’s

Katie M Reutter

Our Web Editor, Katie Reutter is running in the Pretty Fly for a 5K to benefit St. Jude’s Hospital. The run will take place on July 12th @ 8 am. Her goal is to raise $500 for the kids at St. Jude’s. The run begins at Eakins Oval on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. pretty fly

Every little bit counts and you can donate here: http://fundraising.stjude.org/site/TR/Heroes/Heroes?px=2644752&pg=personal&fr_id=20190

And visit the event website here: http://prettyflyfora5k.com/home/

Rutkowski and Smith in Fox Chase – June 29th

The Fox Chase Reading Series is pleased to present our Featured Poets/Writers Reading on June 29th with Thaddeus Rutkowski and Curtis Smith at Ryerss Museum and Library, 7370 Central Avenue, Philadelphia, Pa. 19111. .  The reading will begin @ 2pm in the second floor gallery of the museum. The features will be followed by an open reading.

ThadRutkowski (1)Thaddeus Rutkowski is the author of the innovative novels Haywire, Tetched and Roughhouse. He teaches literature as an adjunct at Medgar Evers College of the City University of New York and fiction writing at the Writer’s Voice of the West Side YMCA in Manhattan. You can read his fiction and poetry in The Fox Chase Review at these links; http://www.foxchasereview.org/12AW/ThaddeusRutkowski.html http://www.foxchasereview.org/09AW/11-TRutkowski.html http://www.foxchasereview.org/09WS/09-ThaddeusRutkowski.html and visit him at: http://www.thaddeusrutkowski.com/

SmithCurtis Smith’s stories and essays have appeared in over seventy literary journals. His work has been named to the Best American Short Stories Distinguished Stories List, The Best American Mystery Stories Distinguished Stories List, and the Notable Writing list of The Best American Spiritual Writing. He is the author of the novels An Unadorned Life, Sound and Noise, and Truth or Something Like It on Casperian Books. March Street Press has released two collections of his flash fiction, Placing Ourselves Among the Living and In the Jukebox Light. Press 53 has published his last two story collections, The Species Crown and Bad Monkey . His latest book is Witness, an essay collection from Sunnyoutside Press. http://www.curtisjsmith.com/

Nemec Foster and Levin Up the Bar at Ryerss

IMG_9222Linda Nemec Foster and Lynn Levin took to the mic in the 2nd floor gallery of Ryerss following the annual Petapalooza Festival at the museum. The two poets presented an exemplary reading followed by an outstanding open mic with Rodger Lowenthal and Alice Wootson

You can view photographs of the reading at this link:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/12065560@N04/sets/72157629096910438

Report from Poets @ Pennypack II

Come Rain Come Shine

Featured Poets Nathalie Anderson, g emil reutter, Michele Belloumini, Dennis Daly,  Chad Parenteau  and Lester Mobley presented an outstanding poetry reading at the Pennypack Environmental Center in Northeast Philadelphia. The reading was moved from the amphitheater to the auditorium due to weather. The event was hosted by Poet Diane Sahms-Guarnieri. The featured poets were followed in the open reading by Poets A. Amos, Ethyl Treatman Burns and Vern Rose.

Featured Poet g emil reutter

Featured Poet g emil reutter

Featured Poet Nathalie Anderson

Featured Poet Nathalie Anderson

Featured Poet Michele Belloumini

Featured Poet Michele Belloumini

 

 

 

 

 

Featured Poet Dennis Daly

Featured Poet Dennis Daly

 

 

 

 

Featured Poet Lester Mobley

Featured Poet Lester Mobley

Featured Poet Chad Parenteau

Featured Poet Chad Parenteau

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More photographs of this event at:https://www.flickr.com/photos/12065560@N04/sets/72157643749179114/

 

Coming this Summer…

Pennypack Creek between Veree Road and Pine Road- Philadlephia, Pa

The Summer 2014 Edition of The Fox Chase Review is in production and will be released on line June/July 2014.

Poetry by: Vinita Agrawal, Andrea Applebee, Jose Angel Araguz, Peter Baroth, Mike Cohen, Erin Dorney, Zach Fishel, Kristina Moriconi, Ariana Nadia Nash, Salvwi Prasad, Zvi A. Sesling, Kimmika Williams Witherspoon

Fiction by: Katie Cortese, Beverly Romain and J. Erin Sweeney

Until then visit our Winter 2014 Edition at: 

www.thefoxchasereview.org