Category Archives: Uncategorized

A Road Well Traveled

Please visit our new book review site : North of Oxford

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FCR has enjoyed a great run, publishing 21 issues of The Fox Chase Review , an international review of poetry and fiction  over seven years. Presented hundreds of poets and writers at our featured reading series, open mic and outdoor poetry events. Thanks to our poetry editor and Broadside publisher, Diane Sahms-Guarnieri. Fiction editors Russell Reece, Robert Hambling Davis, Sandra Davidson, T.G. Davidson, O.L. Barnes. Creative non-fiction editor MM Wittle. Our  occasional reading series hosts, F. Omar Telan, Bruce Kramer, Rodger Lowenthal and Mel Brake.  Thanks to our web editors, Katie Reutter and Sandra Davidson who made the review possible on line.

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Our blog has been widely read, full of  book reviews, essays, poetry and literary news, interviews of poets and writers as well as area news. . We thank all those who contributed to the blog. The main focus of the review, reading series and blog has always been to promote poets and writers and we believe we have achieved this goal.

We now look forward to new challenges and goals, using more of our time to create and explore the craft.

To view past issues of The Fox Chase Review please click on the links under the Masthead.

Thanks to all the poets and writers who contributed, the great editorial staff, and occasional hosts of the readings series who kept FCR going.

The Fox Chase Review

The Fox Chase Reading Series Venues

Featured Reading Series @ 3 Sisters Corner Cafe

Featured Reading Series @ 3 Sisters Corner Cafe

 

Featured Reading Series @ Ryerss Museum and Library

Featured Reading Series @ Ryerss Museum and Library

2nd Tuesdays Open Mic @ The Blue Ox Bistro and Hop Angel Brauhaus

2nd Tuesdays Open Mic @ The Blue Ox Bistro and Hop Angel Brauhaus

2nd Tuesdays Open Mic @ The Red Rooster Inn

2nd Tuesdays Open Mic @ The Red Rooster Inn

Poets In The Park - Lions Park

Poets In The Park – Lions Park

Poets on the Porch @ Ryerss

Poets on the Porch @ Ryerss Museum and Library

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Poets @ Pennypack

Poets @ Pennypack Park

We leave you with these wise words for all poets and writers to follow:

“Be what you are. Give what is yours to give. Have style. Dare.” – Stanley Kunitz

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Poets on the Porch 2015 – July 11th @ 1 p.m.

THE FOX CHASE READING  SERIES

Presents

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POETS ON THE PORCH 2015 – July 11th @ 1 p.m.

Ryerss Museum and Library

7370 Central Avenue, Philadlephia, Pa. 19111

Hosted by: F Omar Telan and Bruce Kramer 

The Poets

??????????????????????????????? Diane Sahms-Guarnieri, a native Philadelphian, is the author of two full-length poetry collections: Images of Being (Stone Garden Publishing, 2011) and Night Sweat (Red Dashboard Press, forthcoming in January, 2016). She has been published in The Philadelphia Inquirer, Pennsylvania Literary Journal, Many Mountains Moving, Philadelphia Stories, Blue Collar Review, and Wilderness House Literary Review, among others. Awarded a grant in poetry from the AEV Foundation in 2013, she currently serves as Poet in Residence at Ryerss Museum and Library and as Poetry Editor of the Fox Chase Review. More about Diane can be found at http://www.dianesahms-guarnieri.com/  & https://dianesahmsguarnieri.wordpress.com/

Emari DiGiorgio makes a mean arugula quesadilla and has split-boarded the emariTasman Glacier. She teaches at The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey and is a Poet-in-the-Schools through the state arts council and the Dodge Poetry Foundation. Recent poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Arsenic Lobster, Mead, the Raleigh Review, Smartish Pace, and Verse. http://edigiorgio.wix.com/emaridigiorgio

KeaneMaria J. Keane is a visual artist, educator and published poet.  She received her B.A. from Hunter College, N.Y.C. and a Master in Art History from the University of Delaware (Phi Kappa Phi). She is an Arts and Letters member of the National League of American Pen Women and an artist member of the historic Howard Pyle Studio in Wilmington, Delaware. She served as an Adjunct Professor of Fine Arts and Art History at Wilmington University (New Castle Campus, from 1984 to 2009.) http://www.artsicle.com/Maria-Keane

Kimmika Williams-Witherspoon, PhD  (Cultural Anthropology), M.A. kimmika(Anthropology), MFA (Theater), Graduate Certificate) Women’s Studies, B.A. (Journalism); is an Associate Professor of Urban Theater and Community Engagement in the Theater Department at Temple University. The author of Through Smiles and Tears: The History of African American Theater (From Kemet to the Americas) (Lambert Academic Publishing, 2011); The Secret Messages in African American Theater: Hidden Meaning Embedded in Public Discourse” (Edwin Mellen Publishing, 2006) She is a recipient of the 2013 Associate Provosts Arts Grant; 2008 Seed Grant, 2003 Provost’s Arts Grant; 2001 Independence Foundation Grant, the 2000 PEW fellowship, and1999,  DaimlerChrysler National Poetry Competition. Williams-Witherspoon is a contributing poet to 26 anthologies and recipient of a host of awards and citations. http://www.2deep2.com/

Gene HalusA native of the Lawndale neighborhood of Philadelphia, Pa., Gene Halus is an Associate Professor of Politics at Immaculata University. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from LaSalle University, he graduated with a double major from the department of History and Political Science, his Masters of Art and his Ph.D., from the Department of Politics of the Catholic University of America. Halus has been a community/social activist in the United States and Ireland. He has written several op-ed pieces for various newspapers including the Souderton Independent and the Lancaster Eagle Gazette. He has written articles on topics such as German-Americans of Northeast Philadelphia and Resurgent Ethnicity: Reconsidering Ethnicity, Whiteness, and Assimilation; At Frankford We Stand!: The Mobilization of Euro-American Ethnic Consciousness in Philadelphia Neighborhoods and Changes in City Government; and Fair Housing/Fair Lending. Halus is working on a new poetry collection titled Perkiomen using the Perkiomen Creek as the focus of the cycle of poems. His most recent book is Irish Americans: The History and Culture of a People, co-authored with William E. Watson released in November of 2014.

Russell Reece has had stories and essays published in Memoir (and), russCrimespree Magazine, The Fox Chase Review and many other print and on-line journals. His work has appeared several anthologies most recently Proud to Be: Writing by American Warriors, released in 2012. All That Glitters, released in 2013 and Someone Wicked released in 2013. He has received two Best of the Net nominations and was a finalist in the 2012 William Faulkner/ William Wisdom Creative Writing Contest.  He placed first in the Delaware Press Association Annual Communications award in poetry and a 2015 fellowship from The Delaware Division of the Arts. Russ is a University of Delaware alumnus and a co-host of 2nd Saturday Poets in Wilmington, Delaware. He lives in Bethel, Delaware in rural Sussex County along the beautiful Broad Creek. You can learn more about Russ by visiting his website at www.russellreece.com

benBen Heins is the author of two chapbooks of poetry: Cut Me Free (Crisis Chronicles Press, 2014) and Greatest Hits & B-Sides (Vagabondage Press, 2012). In addition to teaching first-year writing at the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey and Rowan University, he is an active member of the South Jersey Poets Collective. http://www.benheins.com

 

Alice Greenhowe Wootson grew up in a suburb of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. alice 3She 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/

Robert Milby 7Robert Milby, of Florida, NY has been reading his poetry in public since March, 1995.   He is the author of 6 chapbooks, most recently: Dickens’ Pet Raven (Fierce Grace Press, Wilmington, DE, 2014).  His first book of poetry is Ophelia’s Offspring (Foothills Publishing, Kanona, NY, 2007).  Second book: Victorian House:  Ghosts and Gothic Poems will be published by Black Bed Sheet Books, Antelope, CA in 2014.   Robert hosts 3 Hudson Valley, NY poetry readings and has read his work in NY, NYC, NJ, PA and New England.  He is a listed poet with Poets & Writers, Inc. of NYC.  He writes for the arts magazine, Heyday Magazine and the arts newspaper, The Delaware and Hudson CANVAS.    www.robertmilby.com

Mel Brake has won several awards for his poetry and musical talents. He was mel brakeborn 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 https://www.facebook.com/mel.brake

John Richard SmithJohn Smith’s poetry has appeared NJ Audubon since the 1980s and in numerous literary magazines. His work has also been anthologized in Under a Gull’s Wing: Poems and Photographs of the Jersey Shore and Liberty’s Vigil: The Occupy Anthology. His poem, “Lived Like a Saint,” which appeared in The Journal of New Jersey Poets, was set to music by Philadelphian composer, Tina Davidson, as part of a choral work, Listening to the Earth, commissioned by the New Jersey Parks Commission. Another poem, “Birding,” was commissioned by New Jersey Audubon for their centennial and “Red Moon,” was nominated for a Pushcart Prize by US1. His book, Even That Indigo, was published was published by Hip Pocket Press in 2012. https://www.facebook.com/JohnSmithFrenchtownPoet?fref=nf

Dave Worrell studied literature and philosophy at Union College in beautiful Dave WorrellSchenectady, New York. His poems have appeared in The Fox Chase Review, US 1 Worksheets, Mad Poets Review and Wild River Review. He has performed poems at Chris’ Jazz Café in Philadelphia and Cafe Improv in Princeton.  His latest collection is We Who Were Bound. https://www.linkedin.com/in/daveworrell

Wendy Schermer was born in Detroit, grew up in Philadelphia, and is now a Schermer
resident of Arden, Delaware, where she has lived for the past eight years. Wendy shares her home with a dog and two cats who have been steadfast companions since her two sons became adults and made lives of their own in Philadelphia and Brooklyn, respectively. Although Wendy works full-time for the State of New Jersey’s Judiciary, her real love is writing.

rhdavis-1Robert Hambling Davis is a fiction editor of The Fox Chase Review. He has been published in The Sun, Antietam Review, Memoir (and), Philadelphia Stories, Santa Monica Review, and elsewhere. He’s been nominated for two Pushcart Prizes, and received three Delaware Division of the Arts grants, two for fiction and one for creative nonfiction. He was a fiction semifinalist in the William Faulkner Creative Writing Contest in 2002 and 2012, and a creative nonfiction winner in 2013. Robert helps direct the Delaware Literary Connection, a nonprofit serving writers in Delaware and surrounding areas. He is a member of the Delaware Artist Roster, and has given writing workshops and readings in the Mid-Atlantic.

Charles Carr is a native Philadelphian. Charles was educated at LaSalle and charlesBryn Mawr College, where he earned a Masters in American History.  Charles has worked in social and community development services for 40 years.  Charles has also been active in raising funds for various missions and organizations serving the poorest of the poor In Haiti.   In 2009 Cradle Press of St. Louis published Charles’s first book of poetry: paradise, pennsylvania. In January of this year, Haitian Mud Pies And Other Poems published by The Moonstone Arts Center was released.  Charles’ poems have been published in various print and on-line local and national poetry journals.   Charles also hosts the Moonstone Poetry series at Fergie’s Pub in Center City Philadelphia once per month.

Your Hosts

kramerBruce Kramer is a writer from Philadelphia. 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. He has poetry forthcoming from Barrelhouse Magazine

F Omar Telan shares a New York Innovative Theatre Award for Outstanding TelanbyCristinOKeefeAptowiczPerformance Art Production for Too Much Light Makes The Baby Go Blind with the New York Neo-Futurists. A selection of his plays are anthologized in 225 Plays from Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind.

His poetry has been published in “A Gathering Of The Tribes”, “Apiary Magazine”, “The Fox Chase Review”, “Our Own Voice”. He has read his poetry at the Poetry Project at St. Mark’s Church (NYC), the Kelly Writers House (Philadelphia), the National Asian American Poetry Festival (NYC), the Philippine Embassy (DC), and the Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival (Waterloo Village, NJ).

With Asians Misbehavin’ he has performed in the New York Fringe Festival, the Philadelphia Fringe Festival, and at Roundhouse Performance Centre (Vancouver). He directed “The Edge Of The World” which was performed at La Mama E.T.C. (NYC) as part of the Asian American Theater Festival.

He graduated from Emerson College and the Radcliffe Publishing Course. http://www.telan.org/

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-g emil reutter lives and writes in the Fox Chase neighborhood of Philadelphia, Pa. (USA). He can be found at https://gereutter.wordpress.com/about/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Make a Day of it at Ryerss Museum and Library and Burholme Park

"Cortez taking Prisoner Montezuma"  by R.H. Schnider, 1856, hangs over the doorway in the 2nd Floor Gallery at Ryerss.

“Cortez taking Prisoner Montezuma” by R.H. Schnider, 1856, hangs over the doorway in the 2nd Floor Gallery at Ryerss.

Ryerss Museum and Library

Ryerss Museum and Library

Tours of the Ryerss Museum and Library are free and open to the public Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Museum galleries are located on the first and second floors. Also of interest is the family gallery on the first floor.  For book and history lovers you can make an appointment to visit the archives and view Robert Ryerss private collection of books dating back two centuries.

Library at Ryerss

Library at Ryerss

The library is located on the second floor and offers a eclectic collection of books for lending and has an outstanding children’s section.  There is ample parking and Ryerss and Burholme Park are only a few blocks from the Ryers Station on the Fox Chase Line and the SEPTA 24 bus stops nearby. To learn more about the Ryerss family and their impact on Philadelphia and the world please read: Robert W. Ryerss – The Legacy

POETS ON THE PORCH – 2015  Festival will be held on July 11th @ 1 p.m.

You can view more photographs of Ryerss Museum and Library at this link: https://www.flickr.com/photos/12065560@N04/sets/72157646510301296

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4444912469_2c5973ab2e_oMake a day of it at Burholme Park while visiting Ryerss Museum and Library with the kids at the playground, a lazy afternoon picnic or hiking the West Woodlands. In addition there is a great miniature golf course, batting cages and arcade at the foot of Burholme hill.

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You can view more photographs of Burholme Park, Ryerss Museum and the West Woodlands at these links:

Burholme Park: https://www.flickr.com/photos/12065560@N04/sets/72157602669224015 and https://www.flickr.com/photos/12065560@N04/sets/72157649581429746

West Woodlands of Burholme Park

West Woodlands: https://www.flickr.com/photos/12065560@N04/sets/72157646118096500

IMG_1360-g emil reutter lives and writes in the Fox Chase neighborhood of Philadelphia, Pa. You can find him at:

https://gereutter.wordpress.com/about/

Sahms-Guarnieri, DiGiorgio and Keane @ Poets on the Porch 2015

This is the seventh in a series highlighting poets reading at Poets on the Porch 2015 to be held on July 11th @ 1 p.m. at Ryerss Museum and Library, 7370 Central Avenue, Philadelphia, Pa. 19111. Ryerss sits atop the hill at Burholme Park.

???????????????????????????????Diane Sahms-Guarnieri, a native Philadelphian, is the author of two full-length poetry collections: Images of Being (Stone Garden Publishing, 2011) and Night Sweat (Red Dashboard Press, forthcoming in January, 2016). She has been published in The Philadelphia Inquirer, Pennsylvania Literary Journal, Many Mountains Moving, Philadelphia Stories, Blue Collar Review, and Wilderness House Literary Review, among others. Awarded a grant in poetry from the AEV Foundation in 2013, she currently serves as Poet in Residence at Ryerss Museum and Library and as Poetry Editor of the Fox Chase Review. More about Diane can be found at http://www.dianesahms-guarnieri.com/   & https://dianesahmsguarnieri.wordpress.com/

emariEmari DiGiorgio makes a mean arugula quesadilla and has split-boarded the emariTasman Glacier. She teaches at The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey and is a Poet-in-the-Schools through the state arts council and the Dodge Poetry Foundation. Recent poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Arsenic Lobster, Mead, the Raleigh Review, Smartish Pace, and Verse. You can read the poetry of Emari DiGiorgio in The Fox Chase Review at this link: http://www.thefoxchasereview.org/a14edigiorgio.html

keaneMaria J. Keane is a visual artist, educator and published poet.  She received her B.A. from Hunter College, N.Y.C. and a Master in Art History from the University of Delaware (Phi Kappa Phi). She is an Arts and Letters member of the National League of American Pen Women and an artist member of the historic Howard Pyle Studio in Wilmington, Delaware. She served as an Adjunct Professor of Fine Arts and Art History at Wilmington University (New Castle Campus, from 1984 to 2009.) You can read the poetry of Maria Keane in the Autumn 2012 and Autumn 2013 editions of The Fox Chase Review in our archives at this link: http://www.thefoxchasereview.org/archives.html

Williams and Halus @ Poets on the Porch 2015

This is the sixth in a series highlighting poets reading at Poets on the Porch 2015 to be held on July 11th @ 1 p.m. at Ryerss Museum and Library, 7370 Central Avenue, Philadelphia, Pa. 19111. Ryerss sits atop the hill at Burholme Park.

Kimww1Kimmika Williams-Witherspoon, PhD  (Cultural Anthropology), M.A. kimmika(Anthropology), MFA (Theater), Graduate Certificate) Women’s Studies, B.A. (Journalism); is an Associate Professor of Urban Theater and Community Engagement in the Theater Department at Temple University. The author of Through Smiles and Tears: The History of African American Theater (From Kemet to the Americas) (Lambert Academic Publishing, 2011); The Secret Messages in African American Theater: Hidden Meaning Embedded in Public Discourse” (Edwin Mellen Publishing, 2006) She is a recipient of the 2013 Associate Provosts Arts Grant; 2008 Seed Grant, 2003 Provost’s Arts Grant; 2001 Independence Foundation Grant, the 2000 PEW fellowship, and1999, Daimler-Chrysler National Poetry Competition. Williams-Witherspoon is a contributing poet to 26 anthologies and recipient of a host of awards and citations. You can read the poetry of Kimmika Williams-Witherspoon in The Fox Chase Review at this link: http://www.thefoxchasereview.org/s14-kwilliamswitherspoon.html

Gene HalusGene Halus, A native of the Lawndale neighborhood of Philadelphia, Pa., He is an Associate Professor of Politics at Immaculata University. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from LaSalle University, he graduated with a double major from the department of History and Political Science, his Masters of Art and his Ph.D., from the Department of Politics of the Catholic University of America. Halus has been a community/social activist in the United States and Ireland. He has written several op-ed pieces for various newspapers including the Souderton Independent and the Lancaster Eagle Gazette. He has written articles on topics such as German-Americans of Northeast Philadelphia and Resurgent Ethnicity: Reconsidering Ethnicity, Whiteness, and Assimilation; At Frankford We Stand!: The Mobilization of Euro-American Ethnic Consciousness in Philadelphia Neighborhoods and Changes in City Government; and Fair Housing/Fair Lending. Halus is working on a new poetry collection titled Perkiomen using the Perkiomen Creek as the focus of the cycle of poems. His most recent book is Irish Americans: The History and Culture of a People, co-authored with William E. Watson released in November of 2014. You can read the poetry of Gene Halus in The Fox Chase Review at this link: http://www.thefoxchasereview.org/w15ghalus.html

Sum and Substance by K Pankajam

sumAuthorspress, New Delhi, 2014

ISBN 978-81-7273-962-1

Review by Shernaz Wadia 

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This is a collection of poems written in forthright, simple language. The poems have an undercurrent of morality but Pankajam does not write like a preacher or someone who believes her destiny is to change the world. It remains for the reader to glean the pearls from between her words and lines. She writes quietly, reflectively, spraying quotidian subjects – Bus Journey, A Surprise Visit, Signboards, My City Seldom Sleeps, Rain Skills, Before The Ink Dries – with freshness and vibrancy.
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Resolutions will immediately resonate with the habitual resolution makers. Many will ‘rewind’ with the poet and ‘think of the debt I could not pay, the promises I could not fulfill’  She takes us relentlessly through each month of the year to finally wind up where we started, with “a fresh list for yet another year”.
She finds Faith everywhere from a plain sheet of paper to everything in nature. It is ‘in our expectation of a daybreak after pitch-dark nights, while our existence next moment/seems beyond prediction.’  
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She writes lucidly about the Indian customs, rituals and ethos she is a part of. (The Pipal Tree, Vishukkani, Hopefully…, Gruhapravesham) Nor does she shy away from what might be termed ‘superstition’. In Stains (Pg. 33) she visits childhood memories of her grandfather’s quirks.  Language of Childhood bemoans the loss of innocence and voices the universal desire for a return to it while Second Childhood compassionately revives the memory of an uncle who had slipped into dementia.
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 When the world is tooting gender equality and women of substance are feted, her women-centric poems stop us in our tracks and compel us to take a look at a different reality. ‘Morning Blues, Yielding… ‘You Are (Not) a Working Woman’, is the dismal tale of every homemaker, whose relentless toil is taken for granted even though she works herself to the bones. 
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Inching slowly, she saunters towards the bed
And slithers into the waiting arms. He murmurs:
“Thank God you are not a working woman!”
Her day continues…
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‘Solitude’s Whimper’ is one poem that shatters our complacency. It shames us out of our apathy as we stare with a dumb ache and with “the walls bleed silently”
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If a philosophical vein peeps through poems like The Journey, A Little Secret, The Ultimatum…, the poet’s humour drips from poems like ‘A Surprise Visit to a Bachelor’s House’.  I couldn’t help but smile at ‘A Momentary Impulse’ a poem most will be able to relate to
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No sindhoor on the parting line/a milky path to the kingdom of love/that kindles his passion to leap a bit.
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In ‘An Orchestra’ she becomes ‘a song in the concert’. In Muse-Inspired she says,
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Salty breeze from Bay of Bengal….give rebirth to my sunken moods/ raises my spirit to its meridian splendour/and soaks my soul in the pavilion of passions.
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Some subjects have been written about endlessly, but they don’t lose their poignancy. Life Is a Circle is a heart-wrenching letter from a parent in an old age home which concludes with the lines
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I taught you all about life
maybe not about relationships
and I write to say:
Don’t tell your son I am here.
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Another evergreen subject for poets is Mother. Pankajam’s ode to her’s is ‘You Visit Me in My Sleep’.
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In my sugared memories of the past,
your face blooms like a lotus that meditates
unfolds at sunrise, upright,
with flawless beauty and virgin purity.
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In Sum and Substance Pankajam serves us a varied fare which is appetising, appealing and satiating. There is a sprinkling of nature poems, love poems, poems that throw a search light not only on society but on her inner realm. We are carried along on her words as she questions, wonders, dreams, empathises, hopes and muses.

 

 

Shernaz-Wadia3– Shernaz Wadia, a retired teacher, lives in Pune, India. A free-lance writer, her articles, short stories and poems have been published in many online journals and literary magazines like Muse India, Boloji, Kritya and The Enchanting Verses etc. Her poems have been anthologised in Poets International, Roots and Wings and Caring Moments. Shernaz is in the process of publishing her poems in a book titled Whispers of the Soul.. She has also co-authored a book of poems titled “Tapestry”, with Israeli poetess Avril Meallem. It is an innovative form of collaborative poetry writing developed by the two of them.

Brake and Smith @ Poets on the Porch 2015

This is the third in a series highlighting poets reading at Poets on the Porch 2015 to be held on July 11th @ 1 p.m. at Ryerss Museum and Library, 7370 Central Avenue, Philadelphia, Pa. 19111. Ryerss sits atop the hill at Burholme Park.

Mel BrakeMel Brake has won several awards for his poetry and musical talents. He was mel brake 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 2008 Winter, 2008 Autumn, 2009 Autumn and 2012 Summer Editions in our archives at this link: http://www.thefoxchasereview.org/archives.html

John Richard SmithJohn Richard Smith John Smith’s poetry has appeared NJ Audubon since the 1980s and in numerous literary magazines. His work has also been anthologized in Under a Gull’s Wing: Poems and Photographs of the Jersey Shore and Liberty’s Vigil: The Occupy Anthology. His poem, “Lived Like a Saint,” which appeared in The Journal of New Jersey Poets, was set to music by Philadelphian composer, Tina Davidson, as part of a choral work, Listening to the Earth, commissioned by the New Jersey Parks Commission. Another poem, “Birding,” was commissioned by New Jersey Audubon for their centennial and “Red Moon,” was nominated for a Pushcart Prize by US1. His book, Even That Indigo, was published was published by Hip Pocket Press in 2012. You can read the poetry of John Richard Smith in The Fox Chase Review at this link: http://www.thefoxchasereview.org/a14jsmith.html

Mundane, My Muse by Sunil Sharma

mundanemymusePublisher:            Authorspress

Binding:                Paperback

ISBN-13:               9788172738457

ISBN-10:               8172738455

Publisher Date: 2014

 

Review by P C K PREM

               Mundane life has charm and massive ennui too; and a man ought to find meaning even in tedium, and it is precisely what the poet confirms. Sunil’s lyrics speak emotively of routine incidents he gathers. He notices everything, collects tiny facets, deliberates in lonely hours and thereafter, gives expression. Mundane, My Muse carries a different pattern if one compares it to his earlier poetic endeavours.
                Life, a disturbed collection of experience and impressions, survives in fragmented times without cohesive objective. A City Collage offers glances of bigness in horrible globalized urban living, torments.
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In these breaking globalised urban realties,
Turning the glittering cities into ghettoes of mind
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A stressful knowledge appearing soothing visits in A February Afternoon. It is difficult to quantify tenderly multipart joys and sufferings, for human nature and humdrums permit not to understand life’s zeitgeist though man moves in radiant perceptible treats, market-psyche suggests.
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I cruise through this shadowy
Horizontal painting…
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Ugly display of urbanity and insensitive contempt in bargaining comforts signal cacophony, and give glimpses in A Supermarket in Mumbai Suburb.  Without obvious gratitude, a man realizes in dazzle of modernity a tragic irony, lives in illusory love that remains unfulfilled, and forgets anguish in vicarious joys with intrinsic guilt.  In highly mechanized system, he seeks joys in superficial gratification and absent present.
                Strangely, he is conscious of the agonies of not only city but also looks beyond and therefore, wants the rulers (like other poets) to look beyond metropolis, and asks to abandon political acrobats, and thinks of despair of the poor living in hunger and scarcity. Somewhere, he halts, looks around and finds desolation man has brought in nature, nature that constructs aesthetic prototypes of continuity. A question perturbs why man strips nature of its divine adornment. Human nature wants joys, looks at poverty and scarcity, feels anguished, watches a miserable being and expresses pity but finds no reasonable passage, and therefore, it turns into aching encumbrances. A disheartening passivity haunts certain poems and the bard juxtaposes nature and man’s tiny caustic acts to evaluate empathies absent.
                Humanism wakes up and the awful wordy supremacy is noticeable as the lyricist issues a subtle warning in Bring your Words. If he speaks of bristly tribulations of metro life, he touches human relationship gently and wants lasting proximity and warmth and perhaps, the poet tells man of life-giving human bonds even in grudging truths life offers. Relations provide flashes of enduring joys and memories warm. Relations if separated make life barren and animalize it. He pays tribute to daughters, when he says, ‘Little Goddesses /Need to be fiercely /Protected and guarded /By all of us!’
Elsewhere, he observes –
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Fathers are the guys, who impart real lessons of life,
They look tough but often cry, hiding hot tears…
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                Perhaps, the poet talks of a perennial truth despite apparent dichotomy in feelings, thoughts and the spirit of age, an age grappling for a solid fulcrum. Insensitivity in relations stays on as even mothers fall victims to false and rudimentary contemporary value system where man loses warmth. Even mothers suffer, and inhuman treatment reveals hypocritical approach.
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And thus cleverly enslaved Mother
An old rheumatic woman,
To the small smelly kitchen
For the remaining of her sad lonely life.
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Plight of workers and apathetic cities haunt lyrics frequently. He cannot escape comparison between a life of affluence and scarceness, and invokes sympathies of ostensibly powerful people. Women from the elite strata live a highly rich life (?) while a poor woman is archetype of sufferings.
              He talks of miseries of workers at construction sites as hopes linger on for filling bellies with the residue of what they earn. Growth and democracy are irrelevant when sufferings assault. (Excluded Ones). Living away from homeland, goads to ventilate woes saturating mindset of people, who stay away and settle down elsewhere to earn living. Immigrants fail in locating solid relations even though they sell perspiration and time.
              Tormenting loneliness amidst crowd makes life complex.   He laments at the scornful attitude of artists towards art and life, a naked semblance Lonely. Life is destined to trouble man in visible delight but sickening effects of metros distort and rip apart bonds, and drive man to Silky shadows
              A young couple keeps searching love and  understanding in ‘surging crowds’ and pays a long agonized tribute to Love/Living in Indian Metro for man fails to recognize, ‘The contemporary idiom/Of urban/Love and romance’ because rainbow-like dreams of emerging middle class become history unrealized. A middle class life in undefined feelings of miserly and rich life with giggles and groans, is a fact as it hugs and kisses love coldly in an abandoned but swarming metro. Freshness in life of a modern man is a mirage, and a contemptuous scenario scares.
           Even in freshness of experiences, one confronts monotony and witnesses end of a dream life in metros.  One notices festive life but feels aghast at the miseries workers and women face in deplorable living conditions. He feels for the downtrodden and laments that freedom did not bring happy change in the life of fellow Indians, notwithstanding awesome growth and material progress. Gaps in living appear glaring and defeat claims of happiness and here ‘stark contrast’ delineates a depressing picture.
           Man is responsible for many miseries on earth, for not for a while he restrains greed and exploitation and often invites fury of nature bringing horrific cataclysm. If natural upheavals make life appalling and frightening, man is the offender, for he fails to contain nature’s ferocity despite solemn assertions.
          Sunil analyzes insightfully daily experiences about animate and inanimate objects he observes, finds logic and faint unanimity in personal and social regions without philosophizing, and still demonstrates genuine anxiety about life and existence.
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You can find the book here: http://www.uread.com/book/mundane-my-muse-poems-sunil/9788172738457

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pckP C K Prem (p c katoch of Malkher-Garh Palampur, a former civil servant and Member PSC, Himachal), an author of more than forty-five books in English and Hindi, post-graduated in English literature from Punjab University, Chandigarh, has  nine volumes of poetry besides books on criticism.  Katoch Prem is a poet, novelist, short story writer and critic in English from Himachal Pradesh, India.

Councilman O’Neil to Host Shredding Event

shredWith sponsorship from the American Heritage Federal Credit Union, on Saturday June 6th from 9 a.m. to 12 noon Councilman Brian O’Neil will host a free shredding event. The event will be held in the parking lot of his new Fox Chase Office at 432 Rhawn Street.

The Longest Pleasure by Vinita Agrawal

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Review by g emil reutter 

Vinita Agrawal is a poet of honest observation who is an imagist at heart. The poem, Wrought By The   Storm is about having tea with her father, the death of her mother is central as in this excerpt:.

The storm struck our prayer bell

Shook the Gods at the altar

Caused the fan to whir anti-clockwise

Jerked wildly in our pulse beats

Skewed our outer expressions of calm

Flickered like fear in our eyes.

She captures in stark images those left behind in economic prosperity and social reform in the poem, Pedder Road Flyover:

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Here they lived – under the canopy of opulence

on a road named after Mr. W.G. Pedder,

a British Municipal Commissioner of 1879 Bombay.

Politicians changed the name to Dr. G. Deshmukh Marg after a social reformer.

But somehow the families here still picked garbage,

waded around in stench, did death’s work,

stayed alive only because cholera was dead.

If you ventured out at the devil’s hour,

you’d have heard them groan into the darkness

as at last, traffic dimmed around three in the morning.

A few hours of oblivion must have felt good

with loyal street dogs curled up warmly by their sides.

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In the poem, Jovan Musk and Tiananmen Square, Agrawal writes of being there during the uprising. Of

…The screams of raw blood flooding a public street

Unaware, that on its silver jubilee, I’d be reminded with deadly hurt

Of what it was like to live in oppressions long shadow

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Azadirachta Indica is a poem about the shade of a Magosa. How they populate most courtyards in India of her walk with a doctor and the dangers of the Magosa and then:

Watch, he said, and picked up a golden yellow seed

popped it between his thumb and forefinger until oil oozed out.

He poured it on a worm down below, stunning it.

It retreated hastily. Didn’t stand a chance.

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Later, I dipped my sins in it,

hoping it would cauterize tissues of guilt

sterilize thorny voices in my head

that accused me of being unclean.

 

From the poem, Time Lag

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Despite loess caressing the roots

and the damp, earthy aroma of trees,

a brokenness clings to the winds;

fresh as a pistil that has just lost its flower.

Despite the wet tissues made of air and rain,

the tree branches look fractured

their leaves pale like pinched skin.

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Vinita Agrawal is a well-traveled poet who takes in all that she observes. Her honest and passionate images cause a stirring of thought and a desire of action. She is an urban poet who writes of the stark realities of the world and of her own pulse beats and broken drift wood of the heart.

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You can pre order the book here: https://finishinglinepress.com/product_info.php?cPath=4&products_id=2423

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IMG_1360-g emil reutter lives and writes in the Fox Chase neighborhood of Philadelphia, Pa. You can find him here: https://gereutter.wordpress.com/about/