Tag Archives: Steve Delia

Words and More Words at Ryerss

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Ray Garman and Kristina Moriconi gave a fantastic reading in the 2nd floor gallery of Ryerss Museum today. Guest host Mel Brake did an outstanding job as did the open mic readers, Miriam Torres, Wendy Schermer, Rodger Lowenthal Steve Delia, Maria Keane and John Ruppert.  More photographs at this link: http://www.flickr.com/photos/12065560@N04/sets/72157629096910438

Next up: Robert Hambling Davis and Russell Reece on November 24th.

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A Summer Afternoon on the Porch

Scenes from Poets on the Porch 2013 048It was a fantastic gathering of poets on the porch of Ryerss Museum and Library and lovers of poetry. Thanks to all the poets who shared their work, our hosts Rodger Lowenthal and Bruce Kramer, Sarge who manned the book table and the staff of Ryerss who always make us feel at home.  .

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.courtesy of Ryerss Museum

Some more photographs of the event are at this link: http://www.flickr.com/photos/12065560@N04/sets/72157624536350361/

and on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0g2-8-DVZGE

Poets on the Porch 2013

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Please join us on July 13th @ 1pm for Poets on the Porch 2013 at Ryerss Museum and Library. We have a fantastic line up of 17 poets reading this year that poetry lovers will enjoy! Bring a folding chair, porch chair and enjoy a great afternoon on the porch at Ryerss on the summit of Burholme Park in Northeast Philadelphia.  All information on Poets on the Porch can be viewed at this link: https://foxchasereview.wordpress.com/2013/06/05/poets-on-the-porch-july-13th-1-pm-to-430-pm/

Ryerss Museum and Library is convenient to the Ryers and Fox Chase train stations on the Fox Chase line and to the Septa 18 and 24 bus lines. There is plenty of on site parking.  

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Photographs from Poets on the Porch 2010 and 2011

Poets on the Porch 2011 Diane Sahms Guarneri reads

Poets on the Porch 2011 g emil reutter reads

Poets on the Porch 2011 Dan Magurie reads

Poets on the Porch 2011 Lynn Levin readsPoets on the Porch 2010- Rodger Lowenthal readsPoets on the Porch 2010 Catherine Staples readsPoets on the Porch 2010 - Patrick Lucy ReadsPoets on the Porch 2010 - Carlos Soto Roman reads.

Poets on the Porch – July 13th 1 pm to 4:30 pm

The Fox Chase Reading Series 

Presents

Poets on the Porch 

Ryerss Museum and Library

7370 Central Avenue, Philadelphia, Pa. 19111

ryerss

The Poets

Rodger Lowenthal – Your Host

Rodger Lowenthal 4Rodger Lowenthal  is a poet from Montgomery County. His poetry and book reviews have appeared in a number of small press and electronic publications. He hosts a quarterly reading series at his home featuring poets and musicians. Rodger is an occasional book reviewer and host for the Fox Chase Review and Reading Series. You can also read his poetry in The Fox Chase Review at this link: http://www.foxchasereview.org/09AW/23-RLowenthal.html

Bruce Kramer – Your Co-Host 

Telan and Okewole Reading Fox Chase Reading Series 6 30 13 022Bruce 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 and you can read his poetry in the Fox Chase Review at this link:http://www.foxchasereview.org/11June/BruceKramer.html

 Mel Brake

MelBrake (1)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: 2008 WS2008 AW2009 AW2012 SU 

Suzán Jiván

SuzánJivánSuzán Jiván’s poems have appeared in Frog Pond and the Poetry Ink Anthology. Her chapbook Looking in and Sipping was released in 2012. You can read the poetry of SuzánJiván in The Fox Chase Review at this link: http://www.foxchasereview.org/12AW/Suz%C3%A1nJiv%C3%A1n.html

Steve Delia

Steve Delia in Open MicPoet Steve Delia has been crumpling balls of paper into the trash can for 30 years now.  His chapbooks are Revisited, Revised, Retyped and 1622 Church Street, Zoo Poetry. You can read the poetry of Steve Delia in The Fox Chase Review at this link: http://www.foxchasereview.org/2008/01-SteveDelia.html

 Alice Wootson

WootsonAAlice Wootson grew up in a suburb of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She attended Cheyney University which is located outside of Philadelphia. She remained in the area after graduating with a BS Degree in Elementary Education. She earned a Masters Degree in Education and a Principal’s Certification from Cheyney University as well. Alice earned a Reading Specialist Certification from the University of Pennsylvania. You can read the poetry and fiction of Alice Wootson in The Fox Chase Review at these links: 2008 WS2010 WS

Marty Esworthy

MEsworthyMarty Esworthy is a leading advocate for sound poetry and meta-verse. Esworthy is a Megaera-award-winning poet, editor emeritus, Steel Point Quarterly, and renowned poetry impresario, is director of the Almost Uptown Poetry Cartel. He’s been published in numerous regional and national publications, including Haggard & Halloo, text_TOWER, Literary Chaos, Fledging Rag, House Taken Over, logodaedalus, Syzygy, The International Digest of World poetry, and the Miserere Review. Recent Esworthy tomes include hard reality, Pacobooks, 2004, and The Object Stares Back, Uh-Oh!, T&T Press, 2009.Twenty-Six Javanese Proverbs was awarded the 2006 R.E.Foundation Award for Outstanding Poetry from Iris G. Press in 2006. You can read the poetry of Marty Esworthy in The Fox Chase Review at this link:  http://www.foxchasereview.org/11June/MartyEsworthy.html

Noah Cutler

CutlerNoahDNoah Cutler is a retired real estate lawyer living in St. Davids, Pennsylvania. He enjoys writing essays and novels, as well as writing and performing his poetry. You can read the fiction of Noah Cutler in The Fox Chase Review at these links: 2010 SU2011 SU

Lisa Sewell


Sewell_abrevLisa Sewell
 is the author of three books of poems: The Way Out (Alice James Books, 1998), Name Withheld (Four Way Books, 2006), Long Corridor (2009 Seven Kitchens Press). She is also co-editor, with Claudia Rankine, of American Poets in the 21st Century: The New Poetics (Wesleyan, 2007). She has received grants and awards from the Leeway Foundation, The National Endowment for the Arts and the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. Recent work has appeared in American Letters and Commentary, Denver Quarterly, New Letters, Tampa Review, Laurel Review, The Journal and Colorado Review. She lives in Philadelphia and teaches in the English department at Villanova University

Dave Worrell 

DWorrellDave Worrell studied literature and philosophy at Union College in beautiful Schenectady, New York. His poems have appeared in US 1 WorksheetsMad 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. You can read the poetry of Dave Worrell in The Fox Chase Review at this link: http://www.foxchasereview.org/09AW/07-DWorrell.html

 

Tamara Oakman 

OakmanTTamara Oakman, a graduate of Temple University, has completed her Master’s thesis in English—a book entitled, Snatched—at Arcadia University; won awards in poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction, and drama. She has been published by Many Mountains Moving, Philadelphia Stories, Mad Poets Review, and other journals. She is executive editor of Apiary Magazine. You can read the poetry of Tamara Oakman in The Fox Chase Review a this link: http://www.foxchasereview.org/10WS/OakmanT.html

 

Christine O’Leary Rockey

COLeary-RockeyChristine O’Leary-Rockey is a poet, philosopher and a professor and with a tendency to lose things and incur student loans for frivolous subjects. Greatly influenced by W.B. Yeats, e.e. cummings and mystics such as Julian of Norwich, St. Francis of Assisi and Shel Silverstein, she has failed to come to terms with any real religious identity and is open to suggestions…. She’s been published in a variety of state and local publications, including The Fledgling Rag, The Experimental Forest, Steel Pointe Quarterly, Harrisburg Magazine, and Megaera. Christine is a member of Harrisburg’s infamous (almost) Uptown Poetry Cartel and was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in November 2007 by Iris G. Press. You can read the poetry of Christine O’Leary Rockey in The Fox Chase Review at this link: http://www.foxchasereview.org/11June/ChristineOLeary-Rockey.html

 Kimmika Williams Witherspoon

KWillams-WitherspoonKimmika Williams-Witherspoon, PhD  (Cultural Anthropology), M.A. (Anthropology), MFA (Theater), Graduate Certificate)Women’s Studies, B.A. (Journalism); is an Associate Professor in the Theater Department at Temple. Along with Eugene Martin (Film), William Witherspoon is a recent recipient of the Provost’s Seed Grant for Interdisciplinary Work ($50, 000.);the 2003 Provost’s Arts Commission Grant recipient; a 2001 Independence Foundation Theater Communications Group Grant, the 2000 winner of the PEW Charitable Trust $50,000 fellowship in scriptwriting, and the 1999, winner of the DaimlerChrysler “Spirit of the Word” National Poetry Competition  (Seattle) at the Unity’99 Conference, Kimmika Williams has also been the recipient of a host of awards and honors, including: the DaimlerChrysler Regional Poetry Contest (Philadelphia), the 1996, Lila Wallace Creative Arts Fellowship with the American Antiquarian Society and a two-time returning playwright with the Minneapolis Playwrights’ Center and Pew Charitable Trusts Playwrights Exchange.

The author of The Secret Messages in African American Theater: Hidden Meaning Embedded in Public Discourse” (Edwin Mellen Publishing, 2006) Williams was, at one time, Arts Producer for public radio, WXPN-88.5, reporter and columnist with the Philadelphia Tribune and television editor for the Chicago-based “Maceba Affairs Media Review Magazine. You can read the poetry of Kimmika Williams-Witherspoon in The Fox Chase Review at this link: http://www.foxchasereview.org/11June/KimmikaWilliams-Witherspoon.html

 Paul Siegell

SiegellPPaul Siegell is the author of jambandbootleg (A-Head, 2009), Poemergency Room(Otoliths Books, 2008) and the forthcoming wild life rifle fire (Otoliths Books, 2009). He is a staff editor at Painted Bride Quarterly, and has contributed to The American Poetry ReviewBlazeVOXCoconutRattle and other fine journals. Paul has also been featured in the Philadelphia City Paper, Paste MagazineRelix Magazine and Bookslut. Kindly find more of Paul’s work at ReVeLeR @ eYeLeVeL. You can read the poetry of Paul Siegell in The Fox Chase Review at this link: http://www.foxchasereview.org/10WS/SiegellP.html

Jack Veasey

JVeaseyA 2010 nominee for a Pushcart Prize, Jack Veasey is a Philadelphia native who has been living in Hummelstown, PA for over 20 years. He is the author of ten published collections of poetry, most recently “The Sonnets” and “5-7-5” (both from Small Hours Press, 2007).  He is a member of Harrisburg’s Almost uptown Poetry Cartel. His poems have also appeared in many periodicals and a number of anthologies. You can read the poetry of Jack Veasey in The Fox Chase Review at this link: http://www.foxchasereview.org/11June/JackVeasey.html

 Ryan Eckes 

RyanEckesRyan Eckes lives in South Philadelphia. He’s the author of Old News (Furniture Press 2011) and when i come here (Plan B Press 2007). He works at Community College of Philadelphia and Temple University. You can read the poetry of Ryan Eckes in The Fox Chase Review at this link: http://www.foxchasereview.org/12AW/RyanEckes.html

 Diane Sahms-Guarnieri

DIANE4Diane Sahms-Guarnieri is a Philadelphia Poet. Her first release, Images of Being, received critical acclaim.  Her second collection, Night Sweat, is awaiting a release date. Her poetry has appeared in a number of small and electronic press magazines. In May of 2013 Diane was awarded a grant for poetry by the AE Ventures Foundation. She is the Poetry Editor of The Fox Chase Review. http://www.dianesahms-guarnieri.com/

g emil reutter

g emil reutterg emil reutter is the author of ten collections of poetry and prose. His work has been published widely in the small and electronic press. He founded the Fox Chase Review and Reading Series in 2007. http://gereutter.wordpress.com/

Frank Sherlock

FrankSherlock (1)Frank Sherlock is the author of Over Here, The City Real & Imagined collaboration with CA Conrad) and Ready-to-Eat Individual, (a collaboration with Brett Evans.) Sherlock is also the author of Neighbor Ballads, a public poetry installation project with Erik Ruin that celebrates South Philadelphia’s immigrant communities. You can read the poetry of Frank Sherlock in The Fox Chase Review at this link: http://www.foxchasereview.org/08AW/13-FrankSherlock.html

 

10 Questions for Diane Sahms-Guarnieri

Diane Sahms-Guarnieri reads at Bollingbroke (2)Diane Sahms-Guarnieri is a native Philadelphia poet and currently the poetry editor of The Fox Chase Review. She has served on the Editorial Board of Philadelphia Stories magazine (2006-2008); founded The Center City Poets Workshop (2006-2011); founded and runs The Tenth Muse Poetry Workshop (2012- ); and currently co-hosts The Fox Chase Reading Series at Ryerss Museum and Library. She is a graduate of East Stroudsburg State University and has performed post graduate work at Holy Family University.  Her poetry has been published widely in the small and electronic press.

Interview by: g emil reutter

The Interview: 

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GER: You are the poetry editor of The Fox Chase Review and served on the editorial board of Philadelphia Stories Magazine. Tell us of the experience and what does a poetry editor look for in a submission? DSG:

As Poetry Editor of The Fox Chase Review (2009 – present), and one of several Poetry Editors at Philadelphia Stories Magazine (2006 – 08), I have learned through explication how to detect well-crafted poems.

Crafting is an important factor when a poet submits his/her poem(s) to a magazine for consideration.  Basically, the appearance of the poem on the page is important – Does content match form?   Equally important (or maybe, a notch higher on the review level) – What is the poet writing to the reader, that is, what is the poem doing? Or not doing? Why is it relevant?  Is it informing the reader of something the reader doesn’t know or needs to be reminded of (philosophical); Is it entertaining (comedic); Is it sharing an experience about love, death, hate, misunderstandings, relationships, nature, etc.; Is it using words (language) in a modernistic or post modernistic way; etcetera.

A poem is written to be read.  As an editor of a magazine, I want people to read the poems that are published, so I am looking for any form of poetry that is well crafted and offers the reader something that they will continue to think about after they have read a poet’s poem.

Diane Sahms-Guarnieri where the Lehigh meets the Delaware River

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GER: Your first collection of poetry, Images of Being, was released in 2011. Share with us the development of the collection and your journey from inception to publication.

DSG:I could write a novel about my ten-year- journey from the inception of Images of Being  to its publication, because to me poetry has been the purest art form that has allowed the inner me to express myself through images that have defined my existence as a human being.  It is my “Truth”: the truth that has set me free to be me.  As I grow as a person, I grow as a poet and vice versa.

GER: Although you are a Philadelphia Poet your poems not only reflect the city but extend their reach into the realism and imagery of life. How important is it for a poet not to be geographic centric?

DSG: Hmmm… hard question, because I can write about the human condition, in fact, I have written poems about injustice in North Korea and Afghanistan and poems about being human and the shared experiences that make us human – love and the absence of love; sufferings and the result of sufferings; death and the pain of losing someone; relationships with family, friends, co-workers, strangers, etc.  Life has no limits; and therefore a poet must have no limits and should write about the human condition, which spans the globe, the heavens, and even enters into hell.

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I am not geographic centric; however I write about my city because I know my city and I love my city.  It runs through my veins, is the essence of my existence.  I have an immense respect for the people I have known whom lived, worked, and died in my city, including many of my own family members.   On my paternal side, my father and several of his brothers devoted their entire lives to working in the textile mills of Roxborough and Manayunk, and they died from emphysema.  {One-third of the poems in Images of Being are devoted to my childhood.  It is written  “In Memory” of my father and several poems were written about him, as follows:  “Still Life”; “Another Shirley Temple”;” Snowman”; “Rest Stops”;” Easter”; and “Machine Machines Monstrous Machines.”}   My maternal grandmother (“Madeline”) worked at Freedom Felt, a company that manufactured brake linings using asbestos.  She died from asbestosis.  Lastly, my mother worked as a cleaning lady (“Daisy”) at my elementary school, James Dobson, located in Manayunk.  This is not a trivial matter!  My family has given themselves to my city and that means a lot to me, and I write about them because I respect them and their sacrifices.  They are my connection to my city, the sweat and blood of my family.

Currently, and thinking more globally, Chinese textile workers, unfortunately, are being exposed to the same deadly diseases that caused sufferings and deaths to my family members.  So writing locally about Philadelphia’s Industrial maladies may enlighten the Chinese of potential sufferings, and maybe, the mill owners will protect their workers.  Somehow I doubt it, ‘cause money rules, but there is always hope that others will learn from our mistakes and misfortunes.  (Can anyone translate English into Chinese?)

Third Thursdays Poetry Night Doylestown Bookshop Pennsylvania (2)

GER: Over the last two years you have toured the poetry circuit in support of your work. Share with us your travels and experiences at the various venues you have read at.

DSG: Travels: Touring has given me an unique opportunity to not only share my work with poets and people in the Philadelphia region, but it also has allowed me to share my work with poets and people in New York, New York; Cambridge, MA; Woodbury & Millville, NJ; Wilmington, De; and in the following places in Pennsylvania: Lancaster, Harrisburg, Wyncote, Radnor, Bryn Mawr, Norristown, New Hope, & Easton.  I have been extremely fortunate to have met so many interesting and inspiring people.

Experiences:  I have actually learned that one will not make money from touring.  Yes, you will sell a few books here, many more there, none there, but you will never make money.  On longer trips (Massachusetts), you most definitely will come out- of- pocket, but you can justify this by telling yourself it coupled as a vacation.  Trips to Harrisburg and New York, well, you may break even depending on the audience.   After reading at “Second Saturday Poets” in Delaware, I was invited to host a well- attended all day workshop.  Thanks Delaware! Lancaster give me a magnet and T-shirt and despite the fact that I had to read in the children’s section of Barnes and Noble with Winnie the Pooh as a backdrop, their sound system allowed me to attract a few non-poet shoppers to listen for a while. For me, the best part of touring was meeting other poets from other places and non-poets who actually appreciated poetry!   

Benefits:   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.  Three poems which have never failed me and fit nicely into this definition of “audience” poems, are “Laundry”;” Machines, Machines, Monstrous Machines”; and “My Lover.” 

Diane Sahms-Guarnieri (2)GER: What poets have influenced you as a poet and how important is it for a poet to be well read in the art?

DSG: The poets who influence me are usually the poets that I am reading at the time I am working on a poem(s), not always the case, but many times it works out that way for me.  In my early days of writing, I read Joel Conarroes, Six American Poets and then his Eight American Poets Anthologies and fell in love with all 14 poets: Whitman, Dickinson, Stevens, Williams, Frost, Hughes, and then Bishop, Merrill, Plath, Ginsberg, Roethke, Berryman, Sexton, and Lowell, respectively.   Although, I had a B.S. from East Stroudsburg University, as an adult and mother of three, I enrolled at Community College of Philadelphia (CCP) & Holy Family University (HFU) to earn a Secondary Education Teaching Degree in English, coupled with the fact that I wanted desperately to improve my literary skills. I studied American, English and World Literatures (I and II) and an array of literature and poetry  related topics (Creative Writing, Theatre, Public Speaking…), but gravitated toward Sexton, Plath, Frost, Browning, Roethke, Owens, Keats, Blake, and Whitman; and therefore wrote a lot of confessional, narrative, and character-type poems using metaphor (some floral), images, similes, listing, and internal rhyme.  At this time, I felt very connected to my childhood, marriage-gone- wrong, and ultimately love, which literally makes up the three sections of Images of Being, a poetic memoir of my life written from 1998 -2008.

Then I read Lorca, Neruda, & Rilke, and Merwin, Oliver, Olds, Ryan, Kooser, Gluck, and every poet under the sun in the translations set forth in Poems for the Millennium (Volume One) edited by J. Rothenberg and P. Joris.  This anthology contained a plethora of poets/poems from every imaginable school of poetry from all over the globe.  This overwhelming collection opened my mind and broadened my views on the construction of poems.  (Note:  Poems for the Millennium comes in a three volume set.)  Night Sweat, written from 2008-2012, my forthcoming collection, resonates the influence of some of these readings.

poet diane sahms-guarnieri reads (3)

My advice to any poet is to Read. Read. Read. poetry from the defined and undefined schools of poetry to translations of poems from all over the world.

GER: You have written poetry in free verse and a number of forms. How important is it for a poet to be diverse in the presentation of their poems?

DSG: I believe it is important for a poet to be diverse, but also believe that diversity in a poet’s poems comes with the growth of the poet, i.e., a poet must constantly challenge him/herself in various styles and forms, as the familiarity of various styles and forms will allow the poet an opportunity to place his/her words and/or poem(s) into a finished product, where form and content marry.

With that being said, I have personally challenged myself to convert a poem entitled “Hunger” into a ballad (because the poem wanted to be a ballad).   “Hunger” was written about a time that no longer exists in history, a time of a door- to- door salesman taking advantage of an illiterate mother and her improvised children, a home with no books.  A ballad seemed to sing it best.  I wrote a villanelle, because the form lent itself to my poem, “Narcissus,” about an egoist.  The repetitive lines of a French villanelle fed the subject matter of the egoist.  These poems appear in Images of Being.

In my second/forthcoming collection, Night Sweat, I didn’t use forms; however, I experimented with spacing and in some cases longer lines, concerning myself with how each poem appeared to the eye on the page.  For example, “Labyrinth of Dreams” is designed on the page to look like a labyrinth with dead ends and connective passage ways, so that the speaker’s journey through the poem emulates a labyrinth.  I also experimented with sound.  In “Drum Fire” I have long lines and repetition, as the poem is fantasy and fact; narrative and historical (Native American); and repetitive: “Drumming, drum drum drumming” echoes as a beating drum throughout the four pages of this poem.

Most recently, I wrote a poem a little bit in Spanish, but mostly in English, because the character Señor Rodriguez speaks fluent English, but also reverts in conversation into his native language.  “Unos Zapatos para el Señor Rodriguez,” honors not only Señor Rodriguez, but his father too, who spoke mostly in Spanish.

Diane Sahms-Guarnieri with Poet Jack Veasey at Almost Uptown 2 9 12 014

GER: Your poems have been published in the small and electronic press. Share with us the importance of a poet publishing their work and going through the submission process with magazines.

DSG: I do not enjoy sending my poems out, but enjoy it immensely when they get published.  Every so often I put myself through the agony of sending them out.   Two reasons to torture yourself with sending poems out:

  1.  You need to get “Acknowledgments” for your books.
  2. You hope that you will have a broader audience reading your work, other than the usual suspects, whom tolerate and humor you.

I have discovered that many of the more prestigious magazines (and everyone knows who they are) seem to have “Guest Editors” that invite their own sorority sisters and/or fraternity brothers to be published in these magazines.  I really think (in some cases) that Submishmash is merely a tool to weed out the “unknown” poets from the “known” poets, and that submissions are read (if they are read at all), at best, by graduate students with strict instructions about what not to consider.  And let’s face it, if you’re not one of the “in” crowd members then you are either “deleted,” so not to contaminate their system or thrown into the recycle bin before the letter opener has had a chance to bite the envelope.   It appears that it’s always the same poets being published in these so called erudite magazines.  I believe many times it is who you know, rather than your work that is your ticket into the big-name magazines.

Thank God for Small Press, but Beware, because sometimes fly-by- night small press magazines only publish their school of poetry and are not eclectic.

Poet Diane Sahms-Guarnieri readsGER: There are few poets who make a living at the art of poetry. Stanley Kunitz once said poetry is the last uncorrupted art because there is no money in it. As a poet who works full time how do you strike a balance between working and your creative process?

DSG: I don’t!  It’s a constant internal battle.  The work week takes so much time out of your poetic life: 40+ hours (workweek), the added time getting to and fro, and preparing for it both mentally and physically. However, you have to devise workarounds and manage your time the best way that you can.  You never want to choke out your artistic spirit/creativity/ or the Muse by the bombardment of “work.”  Funny you ask because recently I wrote an “Untitled” poem about this dilemma, as I am constantly faced with the dissatisfaction of not having enough time to write, teetering at cliff’s edge.
Diane Sahms-Guarnieri1GER: You began reading your poetry in the 1990’s at the Summer Breeze Series of the Old Philadelphia Poetry Forum.  How did this initial experience help you as a poet and propel you to read at other venues?

DSG: Summer Breeze 1998? A little background might help here.

I started writing poems in 1997/8, after the overwhelming death of my father from emphysema.  My “brand new” poems were about my childhood; the “truth” about my father’s drinking problem and his suffocating death from emphysema.   For me, at that time, it was a huge risk to read not only the first poems that I had ever written, but to share sensitive subject matter.  You see, when I grew up in Roxborough, everyone knew my dad had a drinking problem, but it was accepted and never discussed, a denial-type and enabling environment.  So, it was an extremely difficult decision for me to share not only my poems, but to expose his alcoholism through my poetry, a taboo topic, which was never discussed openly in my extended family.

This leads me to Summer Breeze!  If you start out reading your sensitive poetry to an audience then you need to do it in an environment where you feel safe and accepted.   The following people encouraged me, gave me tips on reading, supported me in my grieving, and more importantly believed in me.  I cannot adequately thank them enough:  Facilitator: Martha Collins, Mike Cohen, Steve Delia, the late Mariam Fine Brown, Frances Faraker, Don Suplee, Richard Gingrinch, the late Dr. Bill Hetznecker, the late Bill Schackner, Barb and Sy Pearlmutter,  and the late Arthur Krasnow, … during summer of 1998.

Their encouragement helped to propel me to learn even more about literature, and was influential in my decision to enroll in Spring 1999, as an adult and mother of three, in post graduate work, as discussed above.  Other students and I screened poems as part of a Student Staff for Limited Editions magazine at CCP (under Dr. Jeffrey Lee) and Folio at HFU (under Dr. Thomas Lombardi).  I was published in these magazines, read at their yearly readings, and won several Judith Stark Poetry Prizes, including first prize, at CCP.  

After earning my teaching certification in 2003, I taught high school English for two years (Council Rock High School and Cheltenham High School) and had very little time to write, so I enrolled in Suppose an Eyes poetry workshop at Kelly Writers House, under the leadership of Pat Green and continued to grow as a poet. We read at Kelly Writers House once a year.  I also enrolled in workshops sponsored by Manayunk Art Center (MAC) with various workshop leaders (J.C. Todd, Paul Martin, and Marj Hahn) and a Mad Poets Society Workshop under the late Len Roberts.  I read at Mad Poets’ venues and events.

The Tenth Muse Poetry Workshop 4-21-12 002

In 2006, I set out on my own and hosted the Center City Poets’ Workshop for five years: its first location was at Voices and Vision Bookstore (the Bourse) and then at Borders, Center City.   For two years (2009 -11),  I hosted an Open Mic at the former Blue Ox, now renamed as the Hop Angel  in N.E. Philly.  Presently, I conduct the Tenth Muse Workshop, upon request, and have hosted two workshops this past year in Delaware and Northeast Philadelphia. I also co-host the Fox Chase Reading Series at the historic Ryerss Museum and Library in Fox Chase.

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GER: What current projects are you working on and what can we expect to see from Diane Sahms-Guarnieri in the near future? DSG:

I have submitted for publication my second manuscript, Night Sweat, which is written in four sections: Faces of the Moon over Philadelphia; Drum Fire; Under the Night Forever Falling; & Sunset.

My third manuscript is underway with an array of new focuses.

So far I have readings scheduled for Feb- July 2013.

Finally, I will continue to be the Poetry Editor of the eclectic and international Fox Chase Review; continue to co-host the Fox Chase Reading Series at Ryerss Museum and Library; and host an occasional Tenth Muse Workshop.

You can visit Diane Sahms-Guarnieri on the web at http://www.dianesahms-guarnieri.com/ or http://dianesahmsguarnieri.wordpress.com/

*photographs by g emil reutter

Poets on the Porch returns in 2013

Poets on the Porch 2011We  are pleased to announce Poets on the Porch returns in 2013 with 17 poets reading on the porch of Ryerss Museum and Library. This event wil be held on July 13th.  Our flyer can be viewed at this link: http://www.foxchasereview.org/13WS/docs/2013PoetsOnThePorch.pdf

Additional information will follow as the date gets near.

The Calm Before The Storm- Belloumini and Kozinski close out 2012 Season

Just before Hurricane Sandy meets up with two cold fronts and travels up the Delaware Bay the calming poetic voices of David Kozinski and Michele Belloumini stirred the crowd in the 2nd floor gallery of Ryerss Museum and Library. 

Thanks to open mic poets Joe Roarty, Steve Delia and Diane Sahms-Guranieri.

We thank everyone who has supported the reading series this year and look forward to our first reading of 2013 with Lester Mobley and Bruce Kramer on the last Sunday of January 2013.

Our next event: November 10th-  The Tenth Muse Workshop with Diane Sahms-Guarnieri

Visit The Fox Chase Review at http://www.foxchasereview.org