Calliope: Poetry for Community
Calliope ("Beautiful Voice") -- Muse of Poetry and Eloquence
"I am your own way of looking at things," she said.
"When you allow me to live with you, every
glance at the world around you will be a sort of salvation."
-- William Stafford, When I Met My Muse
Available Now: Bourne Bridge
By Alice Kociemba
Heirloom dishes that travel oceans, a favorite flannel shirt with a torn elbow, a mackerel sky foretelling change...Through such simple but telling details, these poems celebrate the ordinary moments of life that hold so much meaning. With a mixture of humor, poignancy, and keen insight, this collection pays tribute to the power of family, the influence of place, and the importance of relationships that, like the bridge in the title poem, provide the connections that sustain us.
"'Late August light is chiffon and shimmer,' Alice Kociemba writes in this book's exhilarating final section. The first two sections offer, in lean,uncompromising vignettes, a portrait of a hardscrabble Catholic upbringing in battered Boston, and show us why the speaker here might struggle to find faith in others or in herself, or in the possibility of shelter. But home, of course, is something both found and made. This poet's honest joy in the present's fleeting brightness—how we come, if we're lucky, into our own 'late August light'—makes it possible to perceive, in her concise and elegant poems, something like the shape of home."—Mark Doty
"Alice Kociemba's Bourne Bridge reckons with evanescence. These poems never forget that everything we cherish is always already fleeting, that childhood and seasons do end, that love departs, that lives are lost in myriad ways. At the same time, and in their sculpted syntax, honed images, and lyric grace, these poems reveal an abiding buoyancy of spirit."—Fred Marchant
Paperback: 96 pages
Published by Turning Point (WordTech Communications)
Click Here to Order
Available Now: All the Windows Lit
By Rich Youmans
What makes prose poetic? The quotidian. From its telling first line, "My father wears the plaid shirt he never threw away, his face all teeth and dark eyes," every word and image in All the Windows Lit stitch together memory and meaning. The reader is left feeling more attentive, awake, and alive. It is as if Rich Youmans' poetry is a divining rod in the parched landscape of the mundane. His poetry finds the hidden wellspring of vitality in the often-unglamorous aspects of daily life. A skiffbuilder's thumb, an inner-city basketball player's snuffed out dream, an early morning ritual of feeding birds: Each haibun is a realization of how precious and fleeting life is. In "Alignments," the reader too becomes "ever so amazed at how such small adjustments could set things so right." Youmans' gift of laser-like precision allows us to join him in the haiku's ah ha moment, "sundown.../reading to the blind woman/I enter her shadow." We come out the other side enhanced by sharing his experience.
Released in July 2017, All the Windows Lit, a Snapshot Press award-winning echapbook is available at:
http://www.snapshotpress.co.uk/ebooks.htm. Click on the cover of All the Windows Lit to download a free PDF.
"Each haibun in All the WIndows Lit is like a small stone tossed into a pond: One hears the ker-plunk and experiences its ever-widening ripples of emotional tone. Take "Hale-Bopp," the title poem, in which the poet and his wife are waiting for the appearance of the comet 'seen for the first time in 4,000 years.' At the 'soft sound of a jazz sax' the poet becomes 'one of those notes floating up—and then the house drops away, and I am diminished: lost among the measureless black, the stars beyond stars.' Through these haibun, we, too, expand from the sensuousness of the here and now into the oneness of infinity."—Frank Finale
"Rich Youmans' language is plain and direct, but each simple image has resonance beyond the word as if the reader can experience each one exactly as it happens. Like a musical note, the image has undertones and overtones. All the Windows Lit is worth reading and re-reading."—Karen Klein
"Homes for Poems" -- Submitting Poems to Journals
This YouTube video is a recording of Alice Kociemba's presentation to the Cape Cod Branch of the American PEN Women at the Falmouth Art Center: "Homes for Poems" -- guidance an d ideas about sending poems to journals for publication.
The video, which originally aired on Falmouth Community TV and was produced by Marilyn Rowland.
Interview with Alice Kociemba
In August 2012, the Falmouth Art Center featured the exhibit "Artist's Choice, Poet's Choice." A blog post from Notes on the Arts contains an embedded video interview with Alice Kociemba and Suzy Bergman, Executive Director of the Falmouth Artists Guild. Click here to see the article.
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