...In-between sets from poet Cynthia Schwartzberg Edlow

May 25, 2015

Quiet, everybody; Susan said something!

Ah, yes, as promised, the  Fourteen Hills literary journal cover. It's wild and spectacular. The cover art is by Stephen Albair. I am very excited to have a poem appearing in this wonderful journal. I've loved Fourteen Hills for years, and I'll say probably once a year for at least oh, the past eight years, I've sent a manuscript to them for consideration. Perseverance means so much in this poetry business. You've got to have the right work at the right time, right there at the right place, and even in the right hands under the right circumstances. Everything matters in terms of timing because this art, like other arts, is brutally subjective. 
There's a backstory to this poem appearing in Fourteen Hills. Of all places, the genesis for the piece came from Facebook. Someone had written a post, and a new friend of mine, Susan Klein, whom I didn't know except virtually, but liked immensely, made a remark which I riffed on. I gave an offhand series of staccato responses to a subject matter I find basically gross and finished off my cluster with a responsive kicker. Left it at that. Moved on. Ten minutes later, I heard a "ping" at the computer, saw there was a comment, clicked to read it, and Susan had left a remark for me -- "That's a Zen poem!" 
A little polishing here, snipping there and cementing altogether, and most especially, knowing when to back away and leave a little one alone, and there the compact poem stood. And now it is proud to have a home under this striking cover:

Susan Klein
Which just goes to show you, you never know. So if this intricate, dazzling woman makes a comment your way about something of value to you, you might want to listen extra hard for your own good. Word to the wise.

May 17, 2015


Smack dab in the middle of May, so I think I can say with some certainty that although I did not win a Pushcart Prize this year, again, for which I was nominated back in February, it was a heady ride getting to this month~significantly, because this time was different. The last time, I had been nominated by a wonderful journal that had published one of my poems that was included in my first poetry collection.
This time I have been nominated by a member, or members, of the Board of Contributing Editors for The Pushcart Prize Fellowships Inc. Along with my congratulatory nomination letter from Bill Henderson, publisher of the Pushcart Prize Anthology for the past 39 years, came a 4-column list of heralded, outstanding poets' names, none of whom I personally knew (at that time), and even more surprising, none of whom was an editor or publisher of one of my poems published in a journal in the last year. These were complete strangers to me. So, right now, while there yet may be a candle's flicker of bright hope left in these next two weeks, I write to say to these anonymous poets who have been this moved by my own poetry, to have selected me for nomination for this superb prize, thank you so very much, I thank you dearly.

And the world does keep turning~
I am fortunate. As of this writing I have poetry forthcoming in five extraordinary literary journals this year. The first journal debuting a new poem this year is Fourteen Hills. I am overjoyed, as it has taken me over eight years to break into this journal. The new issue will be debuting next week in San Francisco and just as soon as I can figure out how to post the magazine's wild cover art for the new edition, I will! It is a knockout.