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

December 2, 2019

Live Encounters Marks a Milestone

After editor Mark Ulyseas contacted me for new poetry to include in celebration of the milestone 10th anniversary edition for Live Encounters Poetry & Writing, I was just entering the first crossroads of a new collection-in-progress where I knew it was appropriate and essentially crucial to "shed a skin." The two poems that emerged, as Mark joyfully expressed, came "freshly baked!" for his journal, emphasizing the nature of a turning, and here they are for you~
Contributors include really fantastic poets: Jeanine Hall Gailey, Sandy Yannone, Richard Jarette, David Rigsbee, Eileen Casey, and many, many more, and that's some of the roster in the second volume, alone. The first volume, too, is chock full of glorious reading! This is a beautiful journal in all respects. Hats off to Mark Ulyseas for his dedication and stewardship over a decade showcasing international poetry in his splendid journal. The entire LE Volume Two, December, 2019, 10th Anniversary Edition, at your fingertips!

August 9, 2019

No Egg, No Soy, Lots of Fiber

Someone I know talks on the phone to me, sometimes an hour goes past, and afterward I think to myself, "People in NYC actually get upwards of 250 bucks an hour for this very thing," but I listen, and am truly interested for a bunch of reasons. He's a very kind person. He knows a lot about a few pristine areas and freely shares everything he knows with me. I always have one ear courtroom-tuned where I've caught him in info that tells me he's considered "x" prior to just this once, or an approach to something set him off in the wrong direction, which is why "x" is now the situation. I miss working in law. It took me years to find great, totally ethical attorneys to work with, and really remarkable that they were the most monetarily generous. I remember that bird's-eye maple conference table that took up the entire size of the conference room. That wood was the prettiest I ever saw. All this time later, now, I know whomever did the lacquer job on that table was a master.
It looked very much like this--

A really long time ago, something like 28 years, maybe 27, someone sat me down in front of a computer. A tiny Apple computer I'm pretty sure, with a screen that was maybe 10"x 6" and that's if you measure the length before the height first. I revolted like a sprayed-on wasp's nest and kept saying all I wanted was a sheet of paper to write on, a sheet of paper and a typewriter! And this man kept patiently showing me what one key did, and another key, and all I wanted was a sheet of paper because every time I hit a key myself the thing talked back to me. It spoke. It said, "I'm tryin' to think but nothin' happened!" And I looked at the man, and I said the words I've been repeating about technology these past 3 decades, just about: We're going to hell in a handbasket now, boy! 
Because I knew, I knew it, just like Dr. Einstein knew about his bomb, they wouldn't be able to corral that thing back. Oh, to live in Mayberry with Andy. 

March 26, 2019

AWP book signing notice

There'll be some poetry book signing going on at AWP this Saturday. Come on by and say hello!

March 2, 2019

PLUME POETRY 7 is in publication and order-able--one click away!

Publisher: Canisy Press
An author roster like this is a poet's dream come true. I am thrilled to have my poetry in this anthology with these splendid, exemplary poets. You don't have to look too hard for the "needle" of my name in this haystack line-up, I'll say. I swoon just having Stephen Dunn's name above mine.

You can order your copy of the anthology today at Plume Poetry 7. I am confident this anthology will excite and satiate your literary spirit.

February 6, 2019

Old and New

The Nortown Theater, on Western Avenue, just south of Devon Avenue,
west side of the street
Gene Siskel and I both, but not together, watched the movies of our youth in this great movie theater. Stars in the blue night sky actually did twinkle above our heads. The walls were lined in jewel-toned frescoes. There were large spiral columns holding up the sky, at least as all we children thought, but the spiral columns encircling the audience seating were real.
There was a second story to the building, where a marble staircase led you to the marble ladies' restroom. Once inside, it was magical to an 11-year-old. I will never forget the metal machine affixed to the restroom wall at which you could purchase, for two quarters, ladies' private needs, bobby pins, soft thick wrapped kleenexes, and most fantastically, a rich, red miniature lipstick. Ah, Debbie and Geralyn and me, we were swept away. 

It was at the Nortown Theater we saw Zeffirelli's Romeo and Juliet over a dozen times, Buster and Billie, still a film dear to my heart on so many emotional levels, on top of which with that gorgeous Hoyt Axton theme song, oh! The Exorcist, once and once only. I believe it scared me so much I did sleep with the light on in my closet for a week. So many, many movies. You know the phrase--it holds truer here about theaters than almost anyplace: they really don't make them like they used to. I think I bought that lipstick once. I think also I was too timid to try it on.

Meanwhile, front and center, I've been teaching poetry workshops quite often and having a grand time. I have a student who has published a new chapbook with a fine press for which I have provided a blurb and the book is sublime. I'll write more on that on a future post. Gads of other students are sending their brand-new shopped poems out all over the place! I'm thrilled for them and their best cheerleader. Here's a photo of one of my classes at Changing Hands Bookstore in Tempe--these folks are great people, and very good poets.
Poetry Ms. Workshop Students
They've inspired me to light a fire, finally, under my own self. No less than eight poems for my next full collection are in progress as I write this blog post. I'm very happy that my muse has returned and unpacked his bags. Always a good sign.