Friday, October 20, 2017

 

Review of "dirty laundry: a memoir in poems" by Janet Buck



“dirty laundry: a memoir in poems”
by Janet Buck (Vine Leaves Press)

Writing is a personal act and poetry is even more so in that the poet either takes on another’s voice or speaks directly from one’s core. In dirty laundry: a memoir in poems Janet Buck does more than that in her latest book as she washes through her memories and hangs her thoughts and actions out to dry in the sultry sunlight for others to read and perhaps more so for a needed catharsis.

Reading Buck’s work is at times simultaneously warm and chilling, for she is speaking on a level that anyone can relate to if only we allow ourselves to shy away from our inner thoughts and denials and allow ourselves to lie stripped of our disguises and clutter. In the poem “The Firm Eclipse” she writes:

Every memory I have is siphoned
from a wishing well.
I’m guessing I was born with thirst.
I crack my knuckles just to corner certainty
about what carrots used to do
when they were fresh—
to get a sense that something
breaks the silences.

In an earlier section in the same poem, she foretells what the undercurrent is:

I begged for snapshots of a flower
just to fill a scrapbook with a sketch of lies,
where skeletons belonged instead.
My husband says, “Your face is pale.”
I know the shade, the color of a raw potato
ready for a boiling pot.

In this poem like many others, Buck allows us into her personal world to fathom the intricacies of normal life, which when examined carefully, reveals the onion skin layers of wants and needs, much like those we all long for but are too afraid to speak of privately, much less publicly.

Be warned, this is not an easy book to read but absorbing it creates the same catharsis Buck is laying out to air. In the poem “Tooth Decay,” she reminds us that we all are playing with the same deck of cards:

Can’t put everything that wrong
In crock pots just to stew for hours.
I’ll shake garlic from a jar—
all my dread will disappear.
In the end, we all play bridge
with tattered cards, aces fall
from baggy sleeves.

On more than one occasion, Buck lets us know she has hope, as in “Counterpointing Onyx Clouds”

I want to say “Hello” to spring,
yet I’m not certain it will stay.



I need those open irises, lemon poppies,
daisy wheels a child picked because she could.

While in “Goodbye to This & That & Him,” she writes about their late father:

Rays of light are fast sleep, but
suns of polished marigolds must lie ahead.
My dad will meet me at the plane—
the other end of incubus.

Where both will meet on that ethereal, celestial plane.


About Jane Buck

Buck is the author of four books of poetry, including Tickets for a Closing Play which won the Gival Press Poetry Award. Her poems, over 4,000, have appeared in print and online. She was honored by being included in the United Nation's Exhibit Hall in New York for her disability poetry.


Click here below for the link at Amazon:
dirlty laundry: a memoir in poems
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Friday, August 18, 2017

 

C.M. Mayo Wins the 2016 Gival Press Poetry Award

(Arlington, VA) Gival Press is pleased to announce that C.M. Mayo of Mexico City has won the 18th Gival Press Poetry Award for her manuscript titled Meteor. The ms was chosen anonymously by last year’s winner Linwood D. Rumney. As part of the prize of $1K, the ms Meteor will be published in fall 2018.



Photo by Teresa Castrane.

Advance Praise
Meteor pierces the psyche with a dazzling presence and otherworldly light. Mayo delights in the pleasures of language and the possibilities of imagination. By leveling a playfully skeptical voice that is wholly her own, she transforms the quotidian into the outlandish while making the bizarre seem familiar and inviting. Through her inexorable wit and endless inventiveness, Mayo crafts the most unusual work—a book that is both challenging and fun to read.”
—Linwood D. Rumney, judge and author of Abandoned Earth

About the Author:
C.M. Mayo is the author of several books of literary fiction and nonfiction, including The Last Prince of the Mexican Empire (a Library Journal Best Book of 2009) and Sky Over El Nido: Stories, winner of the Flannery O'Connor Award. Her short fiction, essays, and poetry have been widely published in numerous literary magazines and anthologies, among them, Beltway Quarterly, Creative Nonfiction, Gargoyle, Kenyon Review, Paris Review, Southwest Review, and the anthologies edited by Robert L. Giron, Poetic Voices Without Borders and Poetic Voices Without Borders 2. In 2017 Mayo was elected to the Texas Institute of Letters. A native of El Paso, Texas, raised in Palo Alto, California and educated at the University of Chicago, she lives in Mexico City. www.cmmayo.com

The finalists for the award include the following:
Kopy Kat by Ellen McNeal of Summerville, SC & Michael Sickler of Minoa, NY.
Divining Bones by Charles Bondhus of Bridgewater, New Jersey.
Man on Terrace with Wine by Miles David Moore of Alexandria, Virginia.
Hex by Jeff Walt of San Diego, California.
Concerto for the Left Hand by John Isbell of Edinburg, Texas.

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Monday, July 17, 2017

 

Dan Vera Wins the 2017 Gival Press Oscar Wilde Award



Gival Press is pleased to announce that Dan Vera of Washington, DC has won the 2017 Gival Press Oscar Wilde Award for his poem titled Lingering Fraction which was chosen by last year's winner Kevin McLellan.



Lingering Fraction

“Some homosexuals claim infallibility in identifying others of their kind ‘by the eyes -- there's a look that lingers a fraction of a second too long.’” “Growth of Overt Homosexuality in City Provokes Wide Concern” The New York Times, December 17, 1963

Hail the lingering fraction that secured us,
the inborn longing that led us to one another,
one by one on the street corners,
under the glowing lamps of the inviting city.

Praise the strength of a spirit that attempted to believe,
that ventured forth from body to body,
when the law and word was to condemn,
to revile, to electrocute a mind so wedded to love.

Holy the glimmer of recognition
in the eyes of those we sought,
who reflected back that fraction of belonging,
who spoke without words
what the heart would dare admit.


Copyright © 2017 by Dan Vera.

About the Author:
Dan Vera is a writer, editor, and literary historian. He's co-editor of Imaniman: Poets Writing In The Anzaldúan Borderlands (Aunt Lute); author of Speaking Wiri Wiri (Red Hen Press), the inaugural winner of the Letras Latinas/Red Hen Poetry Prize; and author of The Space Between Our Danger and Delight (Beothuk Books). His work is featured on the Poetry Foundation website; included in college and university curricula; published in various journals including Notre Dame Review, Poet Lore, and Beltway Poetry Quarterly; and appears in The Travelers Vade Mecum, Queer South, and other anthologies. The recipient of awards from the DC Commission of the Arts & Humanities, the Ragdale Foundation, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Vera publishes other poets through Poetry Mutual Press and Souvenir Spoon Books, co-curates DC Writers’ Homes, and chairs the board of Split This Rock Poetry. For more, visit www.danvera.com.


Honorable Mentions:

The History of My Kisses by Tom Daley of Cambridge, Massachusetts.

space between by Deb Jannerson of New Orleans, Louisiana.

Gender Identity in Time of Watergate by John Smelcer of Kirksville, Missouri.

A Teenage High School Locker Room Attendant Speaks to the Man He Ogled by Tom Daley of Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

 

"Dream of Another America" Coming This Fall


Tyler McMahon's Dream of Another America which won the 2016 Gival Press Novel Award will be released this fall.


“The ‘dream’ in Dream of Another America is both a noun and an imperative verb of hope: Tyler McMahon has written a Grapes of Wrath for contemporary America. Like Steinbeck’s classic, Dream of Another America urges readers to confront the costs and sacrifices of the American Dream. Beautifully written, emotionally gripping, narratively propulsive, and morally important, this book should be necessary reading for every American.” —Shawna Yang Ryan, author of Green Island and Water Ghosts


Photo by Dabney Gough.

Friday, January 27, 2017

 

"Guess and Check" by Thaddeus Rutkowski Is Released



Gival Press is pleased to announce that Thaddeus Rutkowski's latest book Guess and Check, creative nonfiction, has been released.

The book, a collection of stories, which is a Giron/Valdez Series for Unique Voices in Literature Book has work praised by John Barth as “ . . . tough and funny and touching and harrowing.” And most recently the review by Kirkus Reviews states: "A stark, engrossing, Hemingway-esque portrait of a life spent in the margins."


“Story by story, Thaddeus Rutkowski snaps into place the puzzle of a mixed-race kid playing dumb in Guess and Check’s Appalachia. Much more than the postmodern sum of its parts, Guess and Check is spare, subtle and deadpan, Charles Simic married to Joyce Carol Oates. A beautifully constructed delicate narrative, a near dream of a book, a place ‘vulnerable to anyone who wants to break through the glass.’”—Terese Svoboda, author of Bohemian Girl

About the Author:

Thaddeus Rutkowski grew up in central Pennsylvania. He is the author of the book Violent Outbursts (Spuyten Duyvil Publishing), Haywire (Starcherone Books / forthcoming from Blue Streak Press), Tetched (Behler Publications) and Roughhouse (Kaya Press). Haywire won the Members’ Choice Award, given by the Asian American Writers’ Workshop in New York. He teaches literature at Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn and fiction writing at the Writer’s Voice of the West Side YMCA in Manhattan, where he lives with his wife, Randi Hoffman, and their daughter, Shay. He received a fiction fellowship from the New York Foundation for the Arts. Visit him at www.thaddeusrutkowski.com.

Photo by Buck Ennis.

To purchase a copy, please visit:

Guess and Check

# posted by Robert L. Giron @ 10:45 AM 0 comments

Thursday, December 15, 2016

 

Elaine Ray Wins the 2016 Gival Press Short Story Award



Elaine Ray of Stanford, California has won the 2016 Gival Press Short Story Award. Her story titled Pidgin was chosen by Thomas H. McNeely. The award carries a prize of $1K and publication in the ejournal, ArLiJo.

Praise for Pidgin:
“In fewer than twenty pages, Pidgin sketches a world of its narrator of color’s post-colonial migration, political activism, and imprisonment within the choices offered him by history. At the same time, it’s a narrative that seems shaped by mysteries that transcend and yet throw into sharp relief its political moment, the chief one being the brilliant voice of its narrator, who is at once mercilessly exposed and utterly enigmatic. Elaine Ray is a writer who plays by her own rules, and is a writer to watch.”—Thomas H. McNeely, judge and author of Ghost Horse



(photo by Linda A. Cicero)
About the Author:
Elaine Ray, a journalist and fiction writer based in Stanford, California, grew up in Pittsburgh, where she had many imaginary friends, characters. She has spent most of her career as a journalist, working for many years as an editorial writer for the Boston Globe and as an editor and writer for Essence magazine. She is currently a communications director at Stanford University. Her blog: My Father’s Posts, is a collection of her own commentary and the writings of her father, who was a journalist in Harlem from the 1920-1940s. She recently completed the online novel-writing certificate program offered by Stanford Continuing Studies and is working on the final draft of a novel titled Wanted.






Finalists:
Primal Voice by Dariel Suarez of Brighton, MA.
Late Chrysalis, Early Summer by Kate Simonian of Lubbock, TX.
The Passing of Diamond Dave by Lones Seiber of Morristown, TN.
Kumander Tisoy by Victoria Smith of Des Moines, IA.

# posted by Robert L. Giron @ 2:00 PM 0 comments

Saturday, October 08, 2016

 

Fall Gival Press Releases


Barrow's Point by Robert Schirmer

Winner of the 2015 Gival Press Novel Award

“There’s a serial killer on the loose, and in the fishbowl setting of Robert Schirmer’s Barrow’s Point, ‘shadow selves’ of fear overtake the town’s residents. No one can be trusted. Schirmer peoples his remarkable book with characters conflicted by their own discordant passions and prejudices. The writing is sensuous, the plot unpredictable, and the upshot brilliantly captures the unease of our times.” —Ann Cummins, author of Red Ant House and Yellowcake
Photo by Joan Jastrebski.

About the Author
Robert Schirmer is the author of the collection of short stories titled Living With Strangers (NYU Press) and the winner of the Bobst Award for Emerging Writers. His stories have appeared in a wide range of literary journals such as Byliner, Glimmer Train, The Sewanee Review, Epoch, New England Review, Fiction, Confrontation and The Best of Witness. In addition, he has won an O. Henry Award, a Pushcart Prize, a Walter E. Dakin fellowship to the Sewanee Writers Conference, and a fellowship from the Chesterfield Film Company Writer’s Film project. His screenplays have been optioned by Amblin Entertainment and Warner Brothers. He has also been a Visiting Writer at the Southwest Writers Series and at Stetson University as part of the Tim Sullivan Endowment for Writing series.


Abandoned Earth by Linwood D. Rumney

Winner of the 2015 Gival Press Poetry Award

“In Abandoned Earth, Linwood Rumney creates a world both menacing and comforting at once. While wide-eyed with wonder at life’s sorrows, joys and mysteries, he maintains an understated tone that enables him to relate even the strangest events with a measured and convincing voice. This beautifully written collection contains what few books of poetry manage: high spirits, a keen eye and, above all, an embracing wisdom.” —John Skoyles, Ploughshares Poetry Editor and author of Suddenly Its Evening: Selected Poems

Author photo by Jessica Hahn.

About the Author
Linwood Rumney’s poems have appeared widely in journals, including The Southern Review, Hotel Amerika, Puerto de Sol, New Millennium Writings, Ploughshares, and North American Review, and they have appeared in the anthologies Intimacy (Jacar), Weatherings (FutureCycle), and To Unsnare Time’s Warp (Main Street Rag), among others. Translations of Aloysius Bertrand, an early practitioner of the modern prose poem in French, have appeared in Arts & Letters, Hayden’s Ferry Review, and elsewhere. An Associate Editor for Black Lawrence Press and a previous Poetry Editor for Redivider, he has received awards from the St. Botolph Club and the Writer’s Room of Boston, as well as a residency from the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center. Originally from central Maine, he currently lives in Cincinnati, where he completed a PhD as a Charles Phelps Taft Fellow.

Look for Gival Press books on Amazon and Barnes and Noble and other venues.

# posted by Robert L. Giron @ 9:28 AM 0 comments

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