Tuesday, June 24, 2014

News from the HTCC imprint

Today is the 9th anniversary of Hilary Tham's death.  The Word Works celebrates this poet who was the first writer published in the Capital Collection imprint with her book Bad Names for Women. The imprint was renamed the Hilary Tham Capital Collection in 2005.

Today we are pleased to announce that judge Michael Klein has selected manuscripts for publication in the HTCC imprint by Barbara Louise Ungar and Joseph Zealberg. We will have further information soon on our website. Congratulations to these fine poets.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Math & Physics with JoAnne Growney & Stephanie Strickland

Sometimes we, as a literary community, do not know the treasures that surround us.

Take for example the February 3, 2014, Café Muse readings by poet mathematician JoAnne Growney and poet interactive hypermedia "physicist"  Stephanie Strickland. They both brought to the lit table a wider reach of our world.

And not only did they offer up a different complexity shaped by the writer’s primary tool—words, but also they framed an energy that brought out some exciting participants to the Café Muse open mic, like Mary-Sherman Willis who recently presented in our forum from her new cross-genre book Graffiti Calculus.

Here is a poem from JoAnne Growney that is done in a syllabic square. About this form JoAnne says, “One of the poem-forms I use frequently is the square, a form going back at least to 1597, the date for a square poem by Henry Lok, honoring Elizabeth 1.  The square form (a single-stanza in which the number of lines is the same as the number of syllables per line) seems to help to shape a pithy statement.”

This square by JoAnne has six syllables per line and is  six-line poem:

More than the rapist, fear
the district attorney,
smiling for the camera,
saying that thirty-six
sex crimes per year is a
manageable number.

Copyright © 2013 by JoAnne Growney


Reading from her latest book Dragon Logic, Stephanie Strickland, serves as prophetic voice against the void created by the virtual reality of the Internet that detaches its users from each other. She shows how the past is not so different from the future and that we have always lived with human consuming dragons.

Burning Briar Scanning Tunnel

there is a zombie at the wheel
who finds acceptable all risk

( his flesh looks like mine )
a crinkle monkey in the swamp
mind tricky and brisk

( his moves feel like mine )
headless mannequin draped
white print snakeskin dress

 ( pale fakery filling me with dread )
a boneless man used up
by apparatchik juggernaut

( scrivener like me )
the one who hoped to poach
cockroach strategy adrift

( like me time-amnesic overreaching )
cord-cut all beyond the call
to heal or heel fold molt

( wormhole crush crash course )

Copyright © 2013 by Stephanie Strickland

Join us at Café Muse on March 3 for readings by poets Margaret Mackinnon and Dennis Kirschbaum.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

New Cafe Muse Season: Leslie Harrison & Rebekah Remington

On a blustery cold January 6, 2014, Cafe Muse hosts Laura Golberg and Gwenn Gebhard presented Leslie Harrison & Rebekah Remington reading from their prize-winning books. We were a cozy group of 22 listening first to Michael Davis play his classical guitar while eating apple pie and sipping cocoa and tea. 

Leslie read this poem of the supernatural:


It was all about objects, their objections
expressed through a certain solidity.

My house for example still moves
through me, moves me.
When I tried to reverse the process
I kept dropping things, kept finding myself
in the basement.

Windows became more than
usually problematic.
I wanted to break them
which didn’t work, though for awhile

I had more success with the lake.

The phone worked for a long time
though when I answered
often nobody was there.

Bats crashed into me at night,
but then didn’t anymore.

The rings vanished from my hand,
the pond.

I stopped feeling the wind.

One day the closets were empty.

Another day the mirrors were.

from Displacement Poems, winner of 2008 The Bakeless Prize

copyright (c) 2009 Leslie Harrison

Rebekah read this poem about the earthquake that damaged the National Cathedral:


I was there.

The fan trembled.

The plant trembled.

The rented room became one faint undulation.

Great Aunt Mary said, “I think we should we should go.”

Outside, the sun reigned.

The sand was as usual. Striped umbrellas.

Women in tankinis, their happy and unhappy bodies,

walking along, and the ocean liners far off, all unshaken.

Later we bought a six pack and a bag of groceries.

Did you feel it? a stranger in line asked.

The National Cathedral, a place I have visited only twice,

lost three pinnacles off its central tower.

What else? Nothing else, or this:

the bees come, the apples.

In September my son writes an essay called “Brave Boy,”

and the teacher calls his handwriting sloppy.

The vagabond stands on the green island,

and the light changes.

Why do the bees sound so happy this year?

Why are the houses all awake,

shining lights even in daylight?

The anti-confessional prodigal daughter

goes about her business, filing papers, buying groceries.

When I stand in the white glow of the refrigeration zone

in Paradise Liquors it’s the names I love:

Flying Dog, Resurrection, Woody Creek.

It’s not all about high alcohol content.

Shock Top, Raging Bitch, Blue Moon.

Something for the afternoon, when the children

mine for virtual diamonds.

How do I get a pickaxe?

Press B.

The bees come. The apples.

from Asphalt, winner of the 2013 Clarinda Harriss Poetry Prize
copyright (c) 2013 Rebekah Remington

The next Cafe Muse program on February 3 features JoAnne Growney & Stephanie Strickland.