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

October 31, 2018

Poem Acceptances Are the Best Candy


McCall's vintage pattern for a "Poet Shirt" costume
What's better than chocolate and candies? I used to think nothing, but things do change...this morning I received not one but two poem acceptances, one from an outstanding annual anthology, and the second from a well-read and much-respected literary journal, so I'm good if I go put on an old white nightgown, wrap a black leather belt around it and swashbuckle my way into throwing something in the skillet tonight for dinner. Eye patch, I need an eye patch. I can't help it; it looks more like a "pirate" than a "poet" shirt to me.

Bring two eye patches, please. Keep one for yourself.

October 23, 2018

October 2018 Poetry Book Exemplars, you say? 'Bout time you asked!

Ms. Grace Cavalieri

This is the lovely and gracious Poetry Book Reviewer, Grace Cavalieri. She has a monthly column with the above-bannered magazine called Poetry Book Exemplars, further indicated by pertinent year and month. This month's is called 2018 October Poetry Book Exemplars, and I have the amazing great fortune to have had my new collection, Horn Section All Day Every Dayselected as one of October 2018's outstanding books for review. It's a thing like delicious freezing ice cream mouth shock when I think of the magnificent company my book keeps among its fellow exemplars. Listen, and I don't go around prefacing sentences with single words like "Listen" or "Look" at all, ever, but this time, this time, let me tell you....
It's funny, because in Ms. Cavalieri's review you can see down below--I reprint the whole thing for you, that is the size of my overwhelmed state--she has a sentence that is more than precious. She says, "This girl's got game...." Girl. I love that. There's something about me that people sense doesn't get old. I can't deny it. It's not a deniable thing. I wear the lingerie. I dance the dance. Heck, I'm the one pulled over getting the speed ticket. And tomorrow's my birthday. I can't help it, it's my favorite day of the year. It's a very special day to me! Yours should be to you! Sixth decade and counting. Harry Winston, you can keep that flawless 15c. Burmese ruby. This is a birthday gift priceless to me. I'm overthrilled about this review because something like this has never come my way during my poetry career--my plus-forty-year poetry career.
So I'll sing a little while, and then I'll get back down to lacing up these word-boot Redwings, and climb on up those word-trees, have me some more looksee around.
Thank you for all time, Miss Grace. They named you exceedingly well.

Horn Section All Day Every Day by Cynthia Schwartzberg Edlow. Salmon Poetry. 80 pages.

“Super Dan,” a hero from outer space, comes to Edlow’s consciousness to observe our humanity. These thought shards are in the form of “Super Dan Comics Question Box Series,” and they number 88 poems. Super Dan poems are interspersed with others: riffs on music, animals, brothers, baton twirling, policemen, drummers, and even a love poem to bison. What I’m telling you is this is encyclopedic high holiday where Edlow romps with language, risks everything, uses dialogue as if she invented idiom, and writes with high-octane energy.

Edlow houses her imagination in couplets, haiku, narratives and all respectable versification, but the end result is the same. The words burst at the seams with insistence to be original and incorrigible and seem to say if poetry isn’t fun, who needs it. This poet is in her own lane, and manages structural success with unconventional methods. It’s intense reading because Cynthia Schwartzberg Edlow believes velocity is trajectory. The girl’s got game. She brings it, and her verbal connections are skill, not coincidence.

 Baton Twirler With Horns

Only the trumpeters and Sharon
drink the peppermint schnapps

under the bleachers.
Good thing half-time is over.

Two-inch white-heeled go-go boots
on a spongy grass field don’t jive

with a flying metal rod
above the head. Keeping the free hand

L-shaped, and pretty all the time,
the non-stop smile even as her head is

thrown back to gauge
shimmering rotation against the overcast

sky. Blue skies disorient the game out of her.
Through a soft chilly schnapps fog

her mind revives the crown of her routine—
the forward bending at the cinched, spangled waist,

her mom rising out of her seat. Dad, silent.
She catches the descending baton

with her right shoulder blade. The wand jumps high, still
in revolution and on the arsis

she grabs it from the air like an oriole. Then kicks on.
Which is when the tassels finally get their due.

[end of review]

August 20, 2018

Washington Independent Review of Books - August 2018 Exemplars: Poetry Reviews by Grace Cavalieri

August 2018 Exemplars: Poetry Reviews by Grace Cavalieri

A monthly feature that looks at books of and about poetry. Read the reviews here.
Kindest Regards: New and Selected Poems by Ted Kooser
Copper Canyon Press. 256 pages.
Esperanza and Hope by Esperanza Snyder. Sheep Meadow Press. 
120 pages.
If You Have to Go by Katie Ford. Graywolf Press. 72 pages.
Sing Silence by Le Hinton. Iris G. Press. 80 pages.
Blue Mistaken for Sky by Andrea Hollander.
 Autumn House Press. 96 pages.
Enter Water, Swimmer by Mary Morris
Texas Review Press. 100 pages.
The Carrying by Ada Limon. Milkweed Editions. 120 pages.
The Goldfish Window by Lisa Beech Hartz
Grayson Books. 100 pages.

Also, most innovative, plus best chapbooks, anthology, and illustrated:
Feeld by Jos Charles. Milkweed Editions. 80 pages.
The Wild Side of the Window by Irene Fick. Main Street Rag. 40 pages.
Ozark Crows by Carolyn Guinzio. Spuyten Duyvil Press. 86 pages.
Lovebirdman by Stephanie Pressman, illustrations by Lydia Rae Black. CreateSpace. 62 pages.

Plus, four books not reviewed but listed as AUGUST’S BEST BOOKS for summer reading:
Someone Is Breathing by J. Morris. Dos Madres Press. 100 pages.

I wanted to be nonchalant about having my new poetry collection listed as an August
"BEST BOOK" by Ms. Cavalieri for summer reading in her Washington Independent
Review of Books column, truly I did. But it's fruitless to be disentranced and lukewarm
when you're jumping for joy like you're half-trampoline -- and I assume all the other 
solid names on this lovely list feel quite the same. Well, except for, you know, 
Mr. Kooser, because don't we assume he's napping after all that tree-trimming 
he does?

Come this October, Horn Section All Day Every Day will receive a full, astute 
consideration from Grace Cavalieri in the Washington Independent Review 
of Books. I can think of very few things I've looked more forward to, and for.

May 20, 2018

Quasimodo's Bell part II

...continued book launch pictorial--audience, buffet tables, and "Satin Bondage" in all its phenomenal glory...

...and one real-life caped crusader...
So much, so much....

Leah LeMoine, in scarf, Managing Editor for PHOENIX Magazine, and one heck of a magnificent lady.

Jax. Man of few words.

Mom, I'm sorry about those black plastic tongs. I know, I know. No time to polish  three sets of burnished tongs.

Booksigning Table, oh!, we sold out Horn Section..., with a few copies for the shelves in the Tempe & the Phoenix stores.
Satin Bondage Cake.
"Snarfed" it, they did, I tell you.

Thank you to the entire sublime audience, and to my great friend Patte Lanus for taking all these photographs!

Overwhelmed by the explosive response. It was beautiful.
Signing books

A true and real SuperHero dropped by for a sip of the bubbly before dashing off to try to keep the planet spinning in the right direction, and stop it from hurting itself. The people saw, and they believed.

Thank you to Amy Schwab, and her daughter, and her daughter's friend, for this photo. Very much appreciated. 
Yes, Mom would say, "don't let the grass grow under your feet." Sure, you've heard that one.
So I won't. There's a new and third collection a' brewin' right now. Going to give it my all.
I've decided to call this period my National Poetry Summer: May 1-Sept 30.

Big Love to Everyone who came to the launch and made the celebration for Horn Section All Day Every Day so memorable and extraordinary. I never forget.

Oh, interested? I was waiting on you to ask!


Only a thinking girlfriend would get a fab pic of the best portion of my outfit. And those unpinching shoes.

Quasimodo's Bell part I

And so somewhere last month, April, that much-embraced month of poetry, just a short while after Friday the 13th, to me a rather blessed, lovely day, and better evening, I think somewhere between truth and fiction I ran full-steam into a concrete block wall and inside, my head rang like Quasimodo's bell. The taking of stock was at hand.
The aforementioned Friday had been the launch of my new, second poetry collection, of which I feel the kind of joy, satisfaction, pride, and relief a writer had been better feel, or as the great Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette had remarked upon another occasion, it would be for the writer "...time to lay aside the pen." 

Further below in this post are a bunch of photos taken of the launch. But here are my favorite parts:
  • The audience laughed just where the poems wanted them to, and the audience applauded madly, spontaneously, after four of the seven poems I read.
  • No one left early. No one wanted an open mic after. No one fell asleep; well, Johnnie's husband, dear Tom, feel asleep, but he falls asleep at everything, and I'm crazy about him anyway. NO ONE looked at their CELL PHONE EVEN ONCE! Not one single person.
  • Standing room only, and so many people were sitting in the aisles beside bookshelves, and then began thronging to the stage area, the staff had to put out more chairs.
  • I didn't say too much, finally, after all these years, and I didn't screw up even one word in any poem -- which I've always done at every reading I've ever given. 
  • My shoes didn't pinch.
  • The owner of the famous independent bookstore made it a point of attending my reading. Yes, I was overjoyed by that. You'd be, too. She leaned forward in her chair during the whole reading, smiling, her blue eyes sparkling and wide with listening.
  • I didn't read any of the sadder, more intense, longer poems. Seems people (honestly) want a happy time when they go out. They'll tolerate "bleak" but I've also learned you can tell bleak truths just as powerfully with a dose of sly humor on the underbelly. Took a long time to get that one down pat.
  • Five of my students were in the audience. Everyone's tired of hearing about my work in law, I know -- and last year I began teaching poetry workshops and craft classes (for money, and a pittance) at Phoenix Center for the Arts, and wouldn't you know it?, five of my wonderful students came. I got misty-eyed at the lectern when I told the audience they were there that night. Photos to prove. One of them, Daniel Pereyra, has just had his own collection, How I Learned to Learn New Things, accepted for publication at Finishing Line Press, and I was honored to provide a blurb for his book. It is a very good book of poems.  
  • My mother's serving trays, cake tray, and serving ware graced the buffet table and the dessert table. Nobody knows how much this meant to me. In fact, four days up to the reading I was more concerned about the food, the arrangement, the specialty cake, and the presentation than having my set list down. This is a true statement. I changed that set list over six times the four days up to the day of the reading.
  • The booksigning line was serpentine - I say, serpentine, to the degree that the store closes at 9PM, and cash registers were still ringing and I was still inscribing up to near 10PM. Serpentine! J. K. Rowling-serpentine, well, not quite....
  • I felt like the most fortunate person to have this embracing, thoughtful, engaged, spirited, appreciative audience. 
  • The specialty cake was actually called "Satin Bondage." I am not fabricating this. I've never used this word before in print, but it applies like no other: they "snarfed" it. I was beyond happy.
Pre-Reading, with Pinna Joseph, Marketing and Events Director for Changing Hands Bookstore

Book Display Table, Lectern, Mic - The Changing Hands Bookstore Stage

I'm thinking I'm in the "warm golden oil" line from "Why All The Ladies Like Ray"

Rachel and Danny, two great students in this pic, including Gayle, owner of CH, but you can't see her because she's directly behind the applauding man in the black T-shirt. Oh joy! Jeredith! Wilson! Everyone else is beautifully new.

 And so there has to be a part II since this blog won't let me load but so many photos per each post. And I haven't even shown off the buffet!

February 18, 2018

Horn Section All Day Every Day

Welcome to the world, my new poetry collection! Best wishes, and cheers~


February 6, 2018

Emdashes Can Kiss My Desert A**

Multiple sets of proofs later, I can say at least I know where every darn emdash is in this book, not to be confused with endashes, hyphens, hiccups, or myriad sniffles of sundry sort. My right eye has developed a more than annoying on-again, off-again, semi-twitch, which, when I ignore it, utterly disappears. When I think about it, it behaves like a bedeviled railroad crossing light.  Every orange or lime slip of paper sticking out from those sheets signifies something amiss, discovered, corrected, checked, double-checked, quadruple-checked, let go, gone on faith....

Meanwhile, Australia, lord love ya, Australia everybody!, let's hear it for koala bears, and Booktopia!, is first up promoting my sweet poetry book and I just found out and yes, I could weep~

+612 9045 4394

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Horn Section All Day Every Day
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·         Product Details
Horn Section All Day Every Day - Cynthia Schwartzberg Edlow
ISBN: 9781910669501
ISBN-10: 1910669504
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 80
Available: 29th April 2018

 ~but I won't weep, because why?  Because someone's got to go get the ladder.

January 15, 2018

Wilser's Backstory Forthcoming....

Trying to work my way into the first paragraph of any composition has always been the most difficult. I turn the thing over like I'm churning butter.
"Timing is Everything" -- a statement zapped at me when I worked one summer during college at a bank, spoken by the personal assistant to the president and owner of the bank. She was my mother's age. As soon as she said it, I knew I'd be chasing those words to make up missed or lazy steps my entire life, and I have. So every opportunity offered me I generally take, unless other factors have intervened. 
Christal Rice Cooper asked me to participate in her blog series, initiated December, 2014, called "Backstory Of The Poem.It may not be Motionpoems, or Kaveh Akbar's fabulous interview web series either, but it was one thing: it was offered and it came to me without me hunting it down. Don't we all know what that means? 
So I'm deciding not only will I participate, wholeheartedly, and happily, (in addition to taking on yet a second poetry-related essay request by another online source) but I am going to do the best job I can. First, by signing on to my own blog reportage-style. Second, by stating point-of-fact which poem I will drawing backstory from: to wit, "Wilser Lopez Would Like You," originally published in PLUME, April, 2016. 
Third, by offering never-before-seen illustrations drawn by the gifted illustrator Mike Edholm. I love to show drawing process, if I can and if given allowance, so, proceeding below~
Illustration 1: Mike Edholm

Illustration 2: Mike Edholm
Illustration 3: Mike Edholm

Stay tuned here for when the backstory is published on Cristal's blog. I'll let you all know!

January 9, 2018

I Have Joined the Poet Bloggers Revival Tour, Happy to Say

Heck, yeah, I'm excited! I know and love so many of these poets in this list. Hi Lee Ann, Hi Mary, Hi January, Hi Diane, Hi Susan, Hi Sandra, Hi Martha, Hi Amy, Hi Charles, Hi Jeannine, Jeannine, Jeannine!...what? didja think I'd stop? What a cool joy to participate in and have the ladies, and huh, look at that, fellas,  reinvigorate this tradition! Oh yeah, I'll carry the amps all y'all. You can't play without the amps, you know. I have to follow the caravan though; I drive like a bandit cop but I'm compass-wise challenged. 

I'll start my blog year off with a slice of po news that wowed even me. I was in Tucson over the weekend giving a poetry reading, and stayed overnight. Sunday morning, lounging in the hotel bed, I receive a Submittable message -- and as most of us know, weekends are when these master editors sneak in their "thanks, yawn, but check you later" rejects---

and I'm geared up anyway for the release of my second collection, Horn Section All Day Every Day from my publisher Salmon Poetry, with its national launch at AWP in Tampa, sooo--

I am working on my 3rd poetry collection, slowly. Two poems written. I sent them out to a small, select group of magazines, thinking, well, they'll get some fresh air in the process. So, I'm looking at this email with one eye closed, giant comforter all cattywampus, coffee brewing, curtains drawn and it's 9:00AM, ha, and this wildly fabulous magazine has accepted one of the poems for publication! Essentially just written. The book itself probably four, maybe five years away from publication. FIRST poem acceptance for the 3rd collection! (Magazine to be named later after contract signed~) Darned right with the Happy New Year! 

Don't stop 'til you get there!

Ringleaders of This New Year’s Resolution:
Kelli Russell Agodon- http://ofkells.blogspot.com/   
Donna Vorreyer – https://djvorreyer.wordpress.com  
Bloggers to Follow in ABC Order
Neil Aitken – http://www.neil-aitken.com
Teresa Hichens Ballard – http://teballard.blogspot.com/
Sandra Beasley – http://sbeasley.blogspot.com
Carolee Bennett – https://gooduniversenextdoor.com/
Mary Biddinger – wordcage.blogspot.com/ 
Andrea Blythe – http://www.andreablythe.com
Dave Bonta –  http://vianegativa.us
Patricia Caspers  http://www.patriciacaspers.com/
Grant Clauser http://www.uniambic.com
Jared Conti –  http://www.theoracularbeard.com 
Josephine Corcoran – http://www.josephinecorcoran.org
Jenelle D’Alessandro – http://www.borderandgreetme.com
Heather Derr-Smith – ferhext.com/   
Cynthia Schwartzberg Edlow  http://cschwartzbergedlow.blogspot.com
Lou Faber – https://anoldwriter.com
John Foggin – http//:johnfoggin.wordpress.com/
Jeannine Hall Gailey  – webbish6.com 
Gail Goepfert – gailgoepfert.com
Sarah Kain Gutowski – mimsyandoutgrabe.blogspot.com
Charlotte Hamrick – zouxzoux.wordpress.com
Erin Hollowell – 
Trish Hopkinson  https://trishhopkinson.com/
Crystal Ignatowski – http://somehiatus.tumblr.com/
Anita Olivia Koester – https://www.forkandpage.com/
Courtney LeBlanc – wordperv.com   
Lorena P Matejowsky   https://nothingbutblueskies.wordpress.com/   
James Moore –   
LouAnn Sheperd Muhm  https://louannmuhm.com/
January Gill O’Neill   http://poetmom.blogspot.com .  

Shawnte Orion  http://batteredhive.blogspot.com/
Sarah Russell – https://sarahrussellpoetry.net
Sandra Sarr – macsarr2000.wordpress.com
Jennifer Saunders  http://www.magpiedays.com
Surazeus Seamount – http://surazeus.blogspot.com
Carl Setzer – https://questionsall.net
Kim Bailey Spradlin – www.kimbaileydeal.net
Bonnie Staiger –https://bonniestaiger.com/
Bekah Steimel – https://bekahsteimel.com/blog/
Hannah Stephenson – http://thestorialist.com
Stephanie Lane Sutton athenasleepsin.wordpress.com
Christine Swint –  https://balancedonedge.blog/   
Carey Taylor –https://careyleetaylor.com.
Dylan Tweney – http://dylan20.tumblr.com/
Eric M.R. Webb – https://ericmrwebb.com
Lesley Wheeler  Lesleywheeler.org
Allyson Whipple  http://allysonmwhipple.com