News and Events: Week of July 18th

Events

Jack Ridl, Ox-Bow School of the Arts of The Art Institute of Chicago (Saugatuck, MI)
Monday, July 18-Thursday, July 21
Jack will be leading a workshop, “Poetry Is Everywhere”

Andrea Carter Brown, Occidental College (Los Angeles, CA)
Monday, July 18th at 10am
Andrea will be reading and discussing my poetry for Upward Bound students

 

 

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Shira Dentz’s “door of thin skins” in zoran rosko vacuum player

door of thin skinsPlunges into the visceral, the sensual, are indispensable anchors in Dentz’s text. Sight—and not just sight, but visual texture—engages you at a bodily level.

 

Read more at zoran rosko vacuum player

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News and Events: Week of July 11th

Events

Kevin Carey,  The Lilypad (1353 Cambridge St, Inman Square, Cambridge, MA)
Friday, July 15th at 7pm
Kevin will be reading in the Boston Poetry Marathon 2016 

News 

Cindy Veach has three poems in the current issue of Zone 3

Harriet Levin Millan’s latest novel, How Fast Can You Run, is out now

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East Hampton Star reviews “Orphans”

Orphans_cover

The second half of Orphans is most notable. It is at once laconic, conversational, and rambling, yet empathetic to generational decay. No one is exempt from the conflict. Absence affects us in ways we cannot comprehend. Accidents and injuries dictate our existence in the end. Most of us would like to forget, or at least move on from, the collective fear of death. But here we remember our mother and father.

Read the full review 

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Poets and Artists reviews “Eating Moors and Christians”


Castillo_chosen_cover_9_28_15Eating Moors and Christians
is an excavation of the past, one that captures a sense of loss experienced by many in the Cuban exile community. However, the collection speaks to anyone who has been separated from loved ones or who feels displaced.

Read the full review at Poets and Artists

 

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News and Events: Week of June 20th

Events

Richard Jeffrey Newman, Astoria Coffee (30-04 30th Street, Astoria NY)
Tuesday, June 21st at 7:30opm
Richard will be reading in the Risk of Discovery Reading Series (cost is $10, includes food)

News

Pam Bernard’s poems are forthcoming in MudlarkSpoon River Poetry Review; and War, Literature & Art 

Carole Stone’s poem “Plein Air” appeared on The Greenwood Gardens Facebook page in May and two of her poems appeared in the Adanna Women and Art issue, spring 2016.

 

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News and Events: Week of June 13th

Events

Richard Newman, Schoolhouse Green (across the street from 65 Foxhurst Street, Oceanside, NY)
Monday, June 13 at 7 PM

Richard Newman, Sunday Salon Series, Jimmy’s (43 East 7th Street, New York, NY)
Sunday, June 19 at 7 PM
Richard will be reading from For My Son, A Kind of Prayer on Father’s Day at the prestigious Sunday Salon reading series

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Book Press Release: Eating Moors and Christians

Castillo_chosen_cover_9_28_15

Eating Moors and Christians
poems by Sandra M. Castillo

Straddling two worlds—Cuba before and during its revolution and Miami among its post-flight diaspora—Sandra M. Castillo’s collection of poems, EATING MOORS AND CHRISTIANS (CavanKerry Press; April 2016; $16.00) probes the complicated convergence of memory and truth. Using the metaphor of photography to capture in words the visual power of historical witness, Castillo’s penetrating poems evoke the particularity and universality of the exile experience. Writing in both verse and prose-poem, often shifting into Spanish to capture elusive cultural subtleties, the poet draws on her own—and her extended family’s—life in Cuba, émigré experience, and return visit to a strange, but familiar homeland.

Here, in this landscape of hard edges, perfect sorrow, where I know
who I am, I measure distance with language and guilt as our ghosts,
the black and white faces of the past, spread out against a crocheted
bedspread, ancestors with our last name, people I never knew, relatives
no one recalls, though they have been passed down for generations, the
membrane severed, the connection lost between the future y los acres de
el olvido, marcando mi vida sin pedir permiso. 

This is where I come from, a place that exists in photographs I never owned.

                                                                        (from “Artemisa, Pinar del Rio, Cuba”)

Castillo’s poetry is tropical in its colors and rhythms, yet the story it tells is often shadowed in the despair and uncertainty of turbulent times. It can be a world of decay and forgetting: “I push open the Caribbean windows/to this landscape of sorrows and shadows,/empty storefronts, mildewed tenements/where elderly men bathe on balconies/con cubos of rain water” (“Hotel Ambos Mundos”). But, equally it is about remembering, albeit a memory tinged in sorrow and loss: “I can swim through the oil-black thickness/and come up for air/in Cuba, the country of memory,/but only if I can hold my breath/longer than two minutes, the depth of night (“The Dream”).

The personal history about which Castillo writes—one which she shares with so many exiles and refugees, Cuban and other—is rife with inner conflict, driven by a search of identity. And, yet, in the hands of a powerful, perceptive poet, the individual voice emerges, forging its own place in the world:

Separated by the Caribbean, secret underwater mines,
a revolution, ninety miles of nostalgia, a new language,
I no longer remembered myself.
I had become someone else, the Other,
a stranger, a skeleton of whom I might have been

                                                       (from “Unearthing the Remains”)

“[T]he landscape of loss and gain we call exile, seen through the poet’s sharp eye and described in a voice that never wavers from the truth,” said Pablo Medina of Castillo’s award-winning earlier collection, My Father Sings to My Embarrassment. “I felt I was re-encountering Cuba in the light of new imagining, freed of ideology and therefore resplendent and complete.” With EATING MOORS AND CHRISTIANS, a welcome addition to CavanKerry’s Emerging Voices series, Sandra M. Castillo strengthens the elusive bond between past and present, between memory and art.

~~~

About Sandra M. Castillo

Sandra M. Castillo was born in Havana, Cuba, and came to the United States on the Johnson administration’s Freedom Flights. She received her MA from Florida State University. Her poems have appeared in a wealth of publications and anthologies, including: The North American Review, The Connecticut Review, The Florida Review, Cimarron Review, Little Havana Blues, and Paper Dance: 52 Latino Poets. In 2002 she received the White Pine Press award for her collection, My Father Sings to My Embarrassment, selected by poet Cornelius Eady who described Castillo as “a poet who can make Cuban and Cuban-American history link arms and dance.”

~~~

EATING MOORS AND CHRISTIANS by Sandra M. Castillo
Publication Date: April 2016
Price: $16.00; ISBN: 978-1-933880-50-1
Distributed by: University Press of New England (UPNE), 800.421.1561 or 603.448.1533, Ext. 255
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The best from “Something New (Jersey)”

From our event in April, co-presented with the Hoboken Historical Museum.

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News and Events: Week of June 6th

Events

Joan Seliger Sidney and Victoria Muñoz, The Studio @ Billings Forge (563 Broad Street, Hartford, CT)
Monday June 6th at 7pm
Joan will be reading in the WordForge Reading Series 

Joan Cusack Handler, American Irish Historical Society (991 5th Ave, New York, NY)
Wednesday, June 8th at 6:30pm
Joan will be doing a Q & A about her latest book, Orphans

Wanda S. Praisner, Montclair Library (50 South Fullerton Ave., Montclair, NJ)
Thursday, June 9th  at 7PM
Wanda will be part of the publication reading for Lips #44/45

Shira Dentz, Evelyn’s Cafe (110 8th St, Troy, NY)
Thursday, June 9th at 9pm
Shira will be part of Fence’s Living Poets Theatre

Wanda S. Praisner, Sussex County Community College Art Gallery Building C (One College Hill Road, Newton, NJ)
Saturday, June 11 from 2-4 PM
Wanda will be part of the Stillwater Review 6 Reading

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