“Letters from Limbo” by Jeanne Marie Beaumont Debuts on Poetry Daily!

CavanKerry Presss author Jeanne Marie Beaumont’s “Letters from Limbo” makes an appearance on Poetry Daily!

Jeanne Marie Beaumont letters from limbo

In Jeanne Marie Beaumont’s book, Letters from Limbo, voices of the dead reach the living through various means, including the titular letters, revealing experiences harrowing and mysterious. Fluent in many modes, the poet commands varied poetic forms both illuminating and celebrating the haunting truth of our unpredictable earthly sojourn as we dwell in metaphorical limbo.

Poetry Daily is an anthology of contemporary poetry. Each day, the website brings new poems from books, magazines, and journals. Read “Letters from Limbo” by Jeanne Marie Beaumont which appeared on Poetry Daily below!

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Kevin Carey’s Poem Featured on The Writer’s Almanac!

“Reading to My Kids” by Kevin Carey from Jesus Was a Homeboy featured on Garrison Keillor’s Show!

Jesus Was A Homeboy cover Kevin Carey

CavanKerry Press author Kevin Carey’s “Reading to My Kids” was featured on the Garrison Keillor’s Show!

Read the poem “Reading to My Kids” by Kevin Carey below.

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Shira Dentz discusses “Flounders” with Ploughsares


“The visual space on a page is part of my medium; the visual is an intrinsic element of written language. It’s an element with which to equivocate, to ‘measure,’ in song and meaning. I like to become conscious of as many aspects of my medium as possible so that I can attend and work with them in concert in my pursuit as a poet.”  Read more here

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“Your Mother Wears a House Dress” by Joseph O. Legaspi in Poetry Magazine!

CavanKerry Press author Joseph O. Legaspi is featured in the December 2016 issue of Poetry Magazine!

Joseph O. Legaspi - Dodge

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“Visual Poetry” from CKP Author Shira Dentz Featured in Poetry Magazine!

CavanKerry Press author Shira Dentz is featured in the December 2016 issue of Poetry Magazine!

Poetry Magazine Dec 2016

Check out the visual poetry called “Scale” by Shira Dentz here.

Shira Dentz is also the author of “door of thin skins” release by CavanKerry Press. Door of Thin Skins, a hybrid collection of poetry and prose, deconstructs the nature of psychological power through the deconstruction of traditional narrative and language.

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Kevin Carey Interviewed in The Brooklyn Rail

carey-headshot“There is no doubt poetry is cathartic especially when it comes to dealing with loss or with regret or with aging. Thinking about a poem, writing a poem, can be a kind of self-examination, I think, a way to make sense of the loss, whether it be the kind of loss that manifest itself through mistakes I’ve made, or wishing I had done things differently, or just the natural passing of time.”

Read more of Kevin Carey’s interview about Jesus Was My Homeboy at The Brooklyn Rail

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News and Events: Week of November 28th


Wanda S. PraisnerThe Crafty Poet II: A Portable Workshop
West Caldwell Public Library
30 Clinton Road
West Caldwell, NJ
Saturday, December 3rd, 2 PM (Free)

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Sandra M. Castillo Discusses Her Life and Becoming a Writer!

Sandra M. Castillo is a poet and South Florida resident. She was born in Havana, Cuba and emigrated on one of the last Freedom Flights. In this exclusive interview with Nin Andrews, Sandra discusses her life and becoming a writer.

Read the full interview with Sandra M. Castillo below!

Nin Andrews (NA): I would love to start by asking you to post the poem, “Pizza,” here, and then say a little bit about your life story. When did you emigrate from Cuba? How old were you then?

Sandra M. Castillo poet writerSandra M. Castillo (SC): Pizza

I sit in East Hialeah,
a white, leather-top stool at Mr. Bee’s Pizza,
a left over, outdoor 50s soda shop
just off Palm Avenue.
These are out days with Father,
and this is his favorite spot.

Mabel and Mitzy shift their weight
to their feet, push into a spin.
Father lets them, so does Mr. Bee,
and we were drink 10-ounce bottles
of Coca Cola with our slices
while Father and Mr. Bee try
to understand each other’s language.

It is our first year in Miami.
Mother work days, Father nights,
and in that small, one bedroom apartment
Tía Estela rented for us a year before we arrived,
we watch American cartoons:
Bugs Bunny, Tom and Jerry,
run around the orange trees in the backyard,
think the world is 310 East 10th Street,
walks to and from El Caibarien,
Coca Cola, a slice
of pizza.

I think I was born knowing that we would be leave Cuba. Household conversations, particularly hush-toned ones, were always about our departure. It was always a question of the when. My mother’s oldest sister, who had left the island prior to the triumph of the Cuban Revolution, had arrived in Key West in 1958. If you can believe it, she actually traded homes with an American who was traveling through Pinar del Rio and fell in love with an idea of himself in the Caribbean. He offered her his home in Miami in exchange for hers. Sight unseen, she accepted the offer and came on the ferry (Havana-Key West) with her husband, her children and all their possessions. By the time I was born, she was sending my parents Gerber baby food and all things American, including the Sears catalogue.

By 1962, the year I was born, my parents and I had US entry visas. My father’s brother, who had come left Cuba before the United States broke off diplomatic relations with the island, had sent us US entry visas in the hope that we would follow, but my mother refused to leave her parents behind and the visas expired.

Then, in September of 1965, Fidel Castro stood at La Plaza de la Revolucion and made an unexpected announcement. Beginning in October of 1965, the Port of Camarioca would be open to Cubans wishing to leave the island. Castro also said the port would be open to anyone wishing to go pick up their relatives. Cubans who opted to leave the island, however, were effectively forfeiting their property and possessions to the Castro government. This exodus did not last. It did, however, lead to conversations between the United States and Cuba, which ultimately negotiated what became known as The Freedom Flights. These twice-a-day-flights were made possible via diplomatic talks as the Johnson administration wanted an orderly exodus. As such, specific criteria was set in place. In order for a family to leave the island via these flights, that family had to be claimed from the United States by a US citizen who agreed to be financially responsible for those family members. Once that paperwork was completed, that given family (in Cuba) was assigned an exit number. By the time our number (160,633) came up, my grandparents had passed away. We arrived in the United States in the summer of 1970: my parents, my twin sisters, who were four and me. I was eight years old.

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Kevin Carey featured in The Writer’s Almanac

carey_homeboy_cvr_frontHear Garrison Keillor read Kevin Carey’s poem, “Reading to My Kids,” from Jesus Was a Homeboy

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Nin Andrews Interviews Kevin Carey


I loved your first book, and now I love this one even more (Jesus Was My Homeboy). It’s so accessible, so immediate, for lack of a better term. In your poems, you capture beautifully the midlife angst of time passing you by. I was wondering if you could say a few words about that, and then maybe post the poem, “Not Much to It.”

I’ll be 60 in March so it’s heavy on my mind lately. That used to seem ancient to me as a young man. I like to think I’m in the second half, but it’s probably more like the last quarter. It gets you thinking about the journey.

Not much to it.

You draw with chalk
on your sidewalk.
You ride your bike.
You go for ice cream
with your friends.
You party in college.
You get to figuring
by the fire
on a cold night
in the mountains.
You listen to jazz
on the ocean.
You catch a ball game
now and then.
You cradle with
different folks till you
find one that fits.
Then you
wake up one day
sitting on a
creaky porch
missing your kids
patting your dog
drinking a can of cold beer,
the summer night
like a blanket on your shoulders
and something you knew
floats by in the night sky
just out of reach.

I also love how you write about your family, about what I, the reader, imagine is often happening right now. Do you ever feel a need for distance between yourself and your subject matter?

I feel like I have to maintain a certain distance to be able to write the poems at all. The initial memory is the prompt to the poem but once I get into it I want to write it honestly, so standing back (and trying to remove the emotion) helps to get it right in my mind.

What does your family think of your books?

I have not heard too many complaints. My wife and kids are very supportive. They’re okay knowing there’s a good chance they’ll end up in a poem or two. My brothers and sisters are proud of their little brother I suppose. I think I get them weepy once in a while. The other day I went to my mother’s grave and read a few of the poems she was in. I did the same for my father when the last book came out. They didn’t offer any criticism. (ha ha). I miss them.

You have a talent for offering a sense of place in your poetry. Reading, I feel as if I am in the car with you, or I am in the coffee shop or the park or the sauna at the Y or . . . Is this something you are conscious of doing?

I do often think about painting that picture, how the right detail or two can focus the place for you. My fiction class and I were reading a story by Richard Ford the other day and the subject looks out to the mountains and sees a “red bar sign.” We talked about how that one small detail cemented the scene in our minds. I’m always searching for that right detail. I hope some of the time I can find it.

carey_homeboy_cvr_frontNIN ANDREWS
This book has such a natural flow. Reading it, I imagined that the words glided onto the page without effort. (Of course, we all hope to sound that way.) But I am thinking, it wasn’t too long ago that your first book was published by CavanKerry. How was the writing of this different from the writing of the first? Was it just a natural continuation?

In many ways it does feel like a continuation of the same subjects – family, place, death, grief, regret. It sounds so somber when I list the topics like that but these people and these memories have had a profound effect on me. I can’t get away from them. I put the pen to the page and they keep showing up.

As a poet you have this funny, whimsical side, but you also have a profound seriousness mixed in, as in the poem, “Death Wish,” which ends, “I want it to be special, magical/worth the wait,/ after being afraid for so long.” I just wanted to applaud when I read that line. Do you think of yourself as a funny poet? Is wit, in your opinion, an essential ingredient of your poetry?

I do sometimes make myself laugh when I’m writing. You always hope what you find funny or whimsical will translate. There’s nothing worse than pulling out the funny poem at a reading and staring back at the tight-lipped crowd. The subjects I deal with need some humor from time to time or the weight might kill me.

What is the most challenging part of writing a collection of poetry?

I feel like the collection piece can sometimes come after the poetry. In both these books I started by publishing a bunch of poems until I had a stack to weed through, pulling out the ones that didn’t make sense together, then writing some more to fill in the thematic gaps. I’ve yet to set out with a totally thematic intent, as far as a collection goes, but I always end up there. I have talked about tackling a specific subject with the next book. We’ll see how that goes.

Are there any writers who helped or inspired you in the writing of this book?

Many. Phil Levine was my first inspiration and remains so today. But there are many others, Jerry Stern, Ruth Stone, Maria Mazziotti Gillan, Charles Simic. I also get inspiration from songwriters like Johnny Cash and Lucinda Williams. I am fortunate to be close to two great groups of poets as well, one in Salem, Mass and the other in New Jersey. I owe these folks a lot.

I am always interested in titles. When did you know that this was your title?

I imagined it not long after I published the title poem. It felt like (to me) it contained a lot of the bittersweet-ness of some of the other poems.

Is there anything else you’d like to say about this book?

I’m happy it’s here. The response has been humbling.

I would love to close the poem, “Reading to My Kids,” about your daughter reading Of Mice and Men.

I was so happy to hear Garrison Keillor reading this poem on The Writer’s Almanac. But now I have to follow him when I read it in public!

Reading To My Kids

When they were little I read
to them at night until my tongue
got tired. They would poke me
when I started to nod off after twenty
pages of Harry Potter or one of
the Lemony Snickett novels. I read to
them to get them to love reading
but I was never sure if it was working
or if it just looked like the right thing to do.
But one day, my daughter ( fifteen then)
was finishing Of Mice and Men in the car
on our way to basketball. She was at
the end when I heard her say, No
in a familiar frightened voice and I
knew right away where she was,
“Let’s do it now,” Lennie begged,
“Let’s get that place now.”
“Sure, right now. I gotta. We gotta.”
And she stared crying, then I started
crying, and I think I saw Steinbeck
in the backseat nodding his head,
and it felt right to me,
like I’d done something right,
and I told her keep going,
read it to me, please, please, I can take it.

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