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.
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
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
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 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 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 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 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 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
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. https://foxchasereview.wordpress.com/2014/06/27/my-south-by-southwest-a-cast-iron-tempo-recollection-by-elizabeth-stelling/
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
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 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.
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
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
Is Paxman right? Or Should Poetry Just Follow its Natural Course
-g emil reutter
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 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..
Poet 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.”
Poet 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 lives and writes in the Fox Chase neighborhood of Philadelphia, Pa. (USA) http://gereutter.wordpress.com/
Posted in delaware poetry news, fox chase review, literary magazine, literary news, Philadelphia Poetry Scene, poetry magazine, poetry news, Uncategorized
Tagged Books Inq., boston small press and poetry scene, diane sahms-guarnieri, Doug Holder, fox chase review, Frank Wilson, g emil reutter, j c todd, Jeremy Paxman says poets must start engaging with ordinary people, jerry paxman, poems, poetry, poetry commentary, poetry criticism, relevance of poetry, the guardian