Tag Archives: stephen page

Winter 2015 Edition of The Fox Chase Review is Now Live

Pennypack Creek - Winter

Pennypack Creek – Winter

The winter 2015 edition of The Fox Chase Review is now live.

www.thefoxchasereview.org

This edition  features:

Poetry by:

M.P. Carver, Colin Dardis, Marty Esworthy, Melanie Eyth,  Gene Halus, Phil Linz, Gloria Monaghan, Stephen Page,  Chad Parenteau,  Prabha Nayak Prabhu,  Felino A. Soriano, Jack Veasey,  Lee Varon

Fiction by:

Ramona Long, Mary Pauer, Jeffrey Voccola

www.thefoxchasereview.org

In the Words of Poets- Why Poetry Readings?

Why poetry readings? We gleaned some answers from poets we interviewed for our, 10 Questions Interview Series .

472“After a year of touring, I actually started to feel more confident reading my poems to an audience.  With confidence, I believe my “reading” performance has been enhanced.  I have come to the conclusion that there are poems that are “page” poems and “audience” poems.  To elaborate, “page” poems are more complicated and/or heady poems and are meant for a reader to read and re-read slowly, calmly, and in the confines of solitude.  “Audience” poems are those poems that are more musical and/or narrative in nature, which make it easier for the listener to follow, as you read with rhythm, feeling, proper breathing, and annunciation.  By reading and re-reading poems aloud, you learn how to accent the poem where you want the listener to really hear and feel what you are reading. “– Diane Sahms-Guarnieri – Philadelphia, Pa.

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Jack Veasey“Largely that they enable you to finish the act of communication. If you write because you have things to say, that’s essential. Otherwise, you’re just talking to yourself. As far as getting reactions and feedback go – that really isn’t the reason you do it. And you have to be happy with it by your own standards regardless of whatever reaction it gets, or doesn’t get. You don’t do it for the reaction, but you do create the work, most of the time, in order to be able to share it. Then it’s out of your hands.”- Jack Veasey, Hummelstown, Pa.

kimmika“I perform because I have to! The poetry keeps me alive. It demands to be written and it demands to be heard…I’m just the vehicle. I’ve always said, if I couldn’t be a poet, I would probably be a preacher. I don’t know. I see the world this way…as poetry, and songs and stories. My first language is poetry. I write because if I didn’t I don’t know if I would be able to breathe. And I guess I perform for the same reason I still pray…everybody has got to have something to believe in!”- Kimmika Williams Witherspoon, Philadelphia

jane“I’m glad to speak the poems and hear how they sound in a larger auditory space rather than mumbled in front of the computer screen, but I’m always nervous. Some of my poems have visual quirks that can’t be relayed.” – Jane Lewty, Amsterdam, Netherlands

stephen-page-in-front-of-wheat-photo“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- Buenos Aires, Argentina

va 1“In fact I love doing live readings. It gives you an opportunity to connect with the pulse of your readers. Gives you instant feedback about your work and the joy of seeing your words settle in people’s hearts. The experience is quite matchless! I’ve had youngsters approach me with endearing trepidation after my readings asking if they could keep in touch with me…I’ve had older, established poets come forth and comment on what they see as strengths in my poetry. These are all the delightful fall outs of live readings! Also, when you read live, you portray not just your work but the entire ethos to which you belong. The way you dress, the way you carry yourself and the way you interact with fellow poets also helps to convey your sensibilities as a poet. It’s a wholesome experience that goes beyond the scope of mere words”. – Vinita Agrawl, Mumbai India

john dorsey“I travel constantly. As far as how important it is, that really depends on why you’re out there. Do you want to sell books? Are you attempting to build lifelong friendships? Unless you have really bad social anxiety, I think everyone should try to get out there. I myself need the book sales to eat more often than not, but the friendships that I’ve made outweigh $10 here, $20 there  or some silly idea of fame, when 99 percent of people could care less about poetry anyway.” – John Dorsey, Cleveland, Ohio

linda-nemec-foster-2“Let’s be honest:  being a poet can be a lonely profession.  The creating, crafting, and revising of poems demand concentration, time, energy, and discipline.  For me, it is very important to “get out into the world” and share my work with audiences on a regular basis.  Some poets don’t like to give readings and/or are not very good at public presentations.  I’ve heard some famous poets give awkward, poor readings and some relatively unknown poets give wonderful readings.  The bottom line is that a poem should be strong on the page and in the voice.  After all, poetry started as a purely oral tradition long before the invention of paper, the letterpress, or the laptop.” Linda Nemec Foster, Michigan

thad 4“I’m usually able to make a connection. I remember reciting a piece on the top deck of a boat on the way from Hong Kong to Lama Island. Two people were listening, one from Australia and one from England. We were just lying there in the warm air. I was interrupted by our cruise host, but after the host left, the Englishwoman said to me, “Do the rest of it. I want to hear how it ends.” – Thaddeus Rutkowski, New York

Kristina 124 (1)“I have been writing since I was a young girl. Reading my work aloud, however, is something I have only done in the last eight to ten years. At first, I was very reluctant to stand up in front of an audience and read. I prefer the quiet, solitary process of writing. But, at some point, I realized that my poems needed to be heard. I had something to say and, even if it only reached one person, I needed to say it.” –Kristina Moriconi- Montgomery County, Pa.

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Robert Milby 7 “I enjoy reading in states outside of my home state, New York. Performance is vital.  To paraphrase the great Harry Chapin:  “You must seduce the audience over and over.” It is important to keep the crowds’ interest.  A poet can connect with his or her audience in many ways. It is up to the novice and/or younger poet to go to readings and study the poet onstage.  Take notes if need be.” Robet Milby, Hudson Valley New York

 

Coming Soon….The Winter 2015 Edition of The Fox Chase Review

The Banks of the Pennypack Creek in Philadelphia

The Banks of the Pennypack Creek in Philadelphia

The winter 2015 edition of The Fox Chase Review is now in production. This edition will feature:

Poetry by:

M.P. Carver, Colin Dardis, Marty Esworthy, Melanie Eyth,  Gene Halus, Phil Linz, Gloria Monaghan, Stephen Page,  Chad Parenteau,  Prabha Nayak Prabhu,  Felino A. Soriano, Jack Veasey,  Lee Varon

Fiction by:

Ramona Long, Mary Pauer, Jeffrey Voccola

 

Readers Choice – Top Ten Interviews for 2014

Our list of the top ten interviews at The Fox Chase Review Blog for 2014 based on readership.

thad-2

10 Questions for Thaddeus Rutkowski

kimmika

10 Questions for Kimmika Williams-Witherspoon

jane

10 Questions for Jane Lewty

stephen-page-in-front-of-wheat-photo

10 Questions for Stephen Page

Kristina 124 (1)

10 Questions for Kristina Moriconi

louise-halvardsson

10 Questions for Louise Halvardsson

va-1

10 Questions for Vinita Agrawal

philip_dacey_at_ssu

10 Questions for Philip Dacey

Diane Sahms-Guarnieri

10 Questions for Diane Sahms-Guarnieri

rebecca-schumejda-2

10 Questions for Rebecca Schumejda

 

Thugs, Con-Men, Pigs and More by g emil reutter

thugfinish

g emil reutter’s first fiction release since 2008, Thugs, Con-Men, Pigs and More, has been released by Red Dashboard Press and is now available for purchase at Amazon.

Thaddeus Rutkowski, author of Haywire said of this collection:

“Reading these short, muscular stories by g emil reutter is like walking into the lives of good people who experience bad things. When trouble comes, these people do the best they can, but often it isn’t enough. Violence and heartbreak are just around the corner, and most of the stories end with a twist—perhaps the twist of a knife. As you keep reading, though, you find the humanity, community and even love in each difficult situation.”

Poet and critic Stephen Page said:

“These are stories that knock you back with short powerful jabs of empathy.”

To check out the book simply click this link: http://www.amazon.com/Thugs-Con-Men–Pigs-More-Reutter/dp/1502434873/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1414853825&sr=8-1&keywords=thugs%2C+con+men%2C+pigs+and+more

The Woman on the Bridge over the Chicago River by Allen Grossman

theWomanOntheBridgeOverTheChicagoRiverByAllenGrossmanHardcover: 90 pages

Publisher: W W Norton & Co Inc; First Edition edition (June 1979)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0811207145

ISBN-13: 978-0811207140

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Reviewed by Stephen Page

When I picked up Allen Grossman’s The Woman on the Bridge over the Chicago River and began to read, I felt like Grossman had turned out the lights and I was going through a series of dreams and nightmares.  I tried several times to come out of the dream-nightmare-state but the poetry was too riveting, too compelling, even when the scenes became dark—so I remained lucid with them until culmination.  I was happy I did.  It’s a superb book even if a demanding read.  Grossman’s philosophy of poetry seems different from anyone I have ever read.  The narrative thread is not easy to follow, like your own dreams or nightmares where scenes change rapidly without reason.  Not that this disqualifies the poetry from accessibility, for it doesn’t.  The poems are works of a genius yet generous mind.  The reader just has to put him or herself in a different reality—one where details move emotion and the whole is synthesized only through contemplation, like the process of interpreting a dream upon wakening.  “The Department” is one of the nightmare poems where the narrator is driving a motor vehicle with the reader in the passenger seat through the land of the dead.  The scenery changes rapidly with each non-living person met.  In the end of the poem, Boime, the All-seer and self-appointed head philosopher character, demands the narrator to get off the road—meaning it is not time for the narrator to die yet.  But this is also meant to criticize the writer as narrator—in other words, Grossman’s method and thought of how poetry should be arrived at—the vehicle the metaphorical technique, the road the metaphorical path to result.  That is a Grossman self-effacing, or self-doubting, statement well said.  There are numerous poems of outstanding quality in this collection, too many to mention, but I particularly liked “Pat’s Poem,” a love poem, and “Alcestis,” a sonnet sequence written as a hymn.

 

Buy the book here: http://www.amazon.com/Woman-Bridge-Chicago-River-Poems/dp/0811207145

 

stephen-page-in-front-of-wheat-photoStephen Page is from Detroit, Michigan.  There he worked in factories, gasoline stations, and steel-cutting shops.  He always longed for a vocation associated with nature.  He now lives in Argentina, teaches literature, ranches, and spends time with his family. http://stephenmpage.wordpress.com/

 

She Had Some Horses by Jay Harjo

SheHadSomeHorsesPbkbig

  • Paperback: 80 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company (December 17, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 039333421X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393334210
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Reviewed by Stephen Page 
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Friday afternoon.  I take a taxi to the Buenos Aires Airpark.  On my flight to Uruguay I read She Had Some Horses, by Jay Harjo. The poems seem somehow familiar, something . . . I am trying to put my finger on it . . . yes . . . they remind me of poems I have read in workshops at university—there is nothing technically wrong with them, but there is nothing outstanding about them either.  They evoke some imagery, but little emotion.   My friend meets me at the airport and drives me to his home.  That evening, after eating grilled lamb on a patio in back of his house, I gaze over what he calls a “backyard”, which is a hundred acres of rolling land surrounded by barbwire fence with a small herd of horses that graze on the grass.  Once in a while one of the horses will take off running, and two or three will follow its lead, running, jumping in the air, kicking their hooves about, neighing like they are laughing, manes and tails flowing.  Running about, it seems, just to run about—to have fun—to be happy to be alive.  I note how gracefully horses move. How proud they stand when they stick their heads up from grazing to look about.  That night, I read the book again.  I begin to notice a subtle tugging from the poems, an evasive yet imperative beckoning.  The next morning, I read the book a third time.  The poems stun me. Each one dazzles me, has my full attention—like the way I notice a woman is beautiful and interesting in a way I did not on a first meeting with her, but upon a second and third encounter, moves me, enters me, will not leave me.  One of the better poems in the book is ‘The Woman Hanging From the Thirteenth Floor Window’:
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She is the woman hanging from the 13th floor
 window. Her hands are pressed white against the
 concrete molding of the tenement building. She
 hangs from the 13th floor window in east Chicago.
 with a swirl of birds over her head. They could
 be a halo, or a storm of glass waiting to crush her . . .
 .
The woman hanging from the 13th floor window
 on the east side of Chicago is not alone.
 She is a woman of children, of the baby, Carlos,
 and of Margaret, and of Jimmy who is the oldest.
 She is her mother’s daughter and her father’s son.
 She is several pieces between the two husbands
 she has had. She is all the women of the apartment
 building who stand watching her, watching themselves. . .
 .
She is the woman hanging from the 13th floor window
 on the Indian side of town. Her belly is soft from
 her children’s births, her worn Levi’s swing down below
 her waist, and then her feet, and then her heart.
 She is dangling.
 .
The woman hanging from the 13th floor hears voices.
 They come to her in the night when the lights have gone
 dim. Sometimes they are little cats mewing and scratching
 at the door, sometimes they are her grandmother’s voice,
 and sometimes they are gigantic men of light whispering
 to her to get up, to get up, to get up. That’s when she wants
 to have another child to hold onto in the night, to be able to fall back into dreams.
 .
And the woman hanging from the 13th floor window
 hears other voices. Some of them scream out from below
 for her to jump, they would push her over. Others cry softly
 from the sidewalks, pull their children up like flowers and gather
 them into their arms. They would help her, like themselves.
 .
But she is the woman hanging from the 13th floor window,
 and she knows she is hanging by her own fingers, her
 own skin, her own thread of indecision . . .
 .
The woman hangs from the thirteenth floor window crying for
 the lost beauty of her own life. She sees the
 sun falling west over the gray plane of Chicago.
 She think she remembers listening to her own life
 break loose, as she falls from the 13th floor
 window on the east side of Chicago, or as she
 climbs back up to claim herself again.
 .
The image of the woman hanging by her fingertips on the window ledge is vivid.  She is depicted metaphorically as EveryIndianWoman, but she could just as easily be EveryWoman, the poem is written that well. Every reader feels empathy with The Women, as do the spectators on the street below.  Thusly, EveryOne is up on the ledge with The Woman, right beside her, or as her.  The poem begins tragically but ends victoriously.  There is hope to escape the fall from the ledge in the sense of self-reclamation.  After all, hasn’t everyone been hanging from a ledge at least once in his or her life—at least some sort of a metaphoric ledge?
The rest of the poems are just as vivid as they are emotional.
.
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stephen-in-the-countryStephen Page is from Detroit, Michigan.  There he worked in factories, gasoline stations, and steel-cutting shops.  He always longed for a vocation associated with nature.  He now lives in Argentina, teaches literature, ranches, and spends time with his family. http://stephenmpage.wordpress.com/