Saturday, July 30, 2016

Ask Me a Question on Goodreads!


Summer Festival at Senate's End

    There will be 26 vendors for food, jewelry, crafts, books, and who know what else? Places and Times will be available for purchase and my signature.If you miss this one, there will be a Fall Festival in November. More on that as it happens.

    Anyone who reads this blog is feel to comment or to contact me on Facebook or aturfa@aol/com.
Lately I have had some steady hits from Mauritius, Nepal, and Portugal. I would love to hear from those readers especially!

    Early next week I am going to announce a new blog related to great poems from the POETS Google+ community, where I am an Owner! 

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Musgrove Mill Historic Site

   My high school mascot was not an animal, but a Colonial: a Continental soldier in the American Army. There were Revolutionary War campgrounds and skirmishes in our school district, about half-way between Philadelphia and Valley Forge. In US history we heard that at some point the war moved South and that was it.

   But the War was really won in the South. A lot of that happened in South Carolina. Today my wife and I went to Musgrove Mill, partially to see if it was suitable for a parish group to visit. (She determined that it was.) Being in the Upstate, it felt cooler than back home. 

   I will post a few appropriate links and think about a poem.


Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Belated Happy Birthday to Aldous Huxley

     Born 26 July 1894 in Godalming, UK, Huxley died in Los Angeles on 22 November 1963. That was also the day that CS Lewis passed away; of course their passings were lost in the international coverage of President John F. Kennedy's assassination.

     When I was in high school one could actually be assigned to read Brave New World  without parents complaining about their precious children being corrupted. I also read his essay Brave New World Revisited written in 1958 during that senior year when I was allowed to read int he library most of the time for English class.

    On my first trip to Europe I found a West German translation of The Doors of Perception (Die Pforten der Wahrnehmung). The book also gave Jim Morrison the name for his band. I found the book fascinating, but was not about to start using mescaline or anything like that.

    When I returned to the States I read Point Counter Point and was thoroughly taken by it. A few years later in Orange County, California, I met a young woman who had met Huxley a few times. She was a fascinating person who lost her husband to asthma and was raising a young daugt
her while attending graduate school (She was Comparative Literature, I was German but liked her discipline).
It was during that time at University of California-Irvine that I heard Christopher Isherwood, another friend of Huxley's who is best-known for writing the short story on which Caberet was based.

   I will add a link of some of Huxley;s quotes, and also a section of a poem I met about meeting that young woman. Since I want to submit the poem for publication, I cannot post the entire text, but a little bit should be all right. I hate mentioning that I wrote a poem without sharing any of it.

An informal gathering at someone’s house
Nestled on a Los Angeles canyon:
Over her walnut soup, Huxley’s
Razor-sharp Oxonian clarity
Impressed her and her late husband.

A kaleidoscope of images
Surged through my mind
As she talked of Huxley:
Reading the major novels
In high school library,
Finding others at university
Outside of classes and keg parties,
Wandering through Central Europe
With German translation of
The Doors of Perception
And its mescaline-fueled mysticism

At the World’s Biggest Drugstore.

Arthur Turfa ©2014

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Senate's End Summer Festival This Sunday!

    What better place to spend triple-digit weather than by the Broad River in Columbia, south Carolina! There will be lots of vendors, good food and music. I will be at the Open Mic at 2 pm. I hope to sell out of Places and Times.

    Jennifer David Gerdes of 302 Artisans has worked hard to draw people to her events. My hope is that this will be the first of many annual festivals!

Lovely time in Florida

   My wife and I had an enjoyable time in the Tampa area last week. We ate very well, spent some time on the Gulf at Clearwater Beach, visited my cousin and his wife, and visited many nice places. I even finished a poem and thought about some others.
  I will post a few pictures here, and provide some music to look at them by. Frederick Delius' family wanted him to go into business, and sent him to northern Florida to manage an orange grove. Instead he listened to American music, including African-American music, and wrote "Florida Suite" after his return to Europe. The work actually premiered in Leipzig, Germany in 1888.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Hello! Back from vacation to Tampa/Clearwater, Florida! And I have a fantastic event ahead of me!

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Another excellent Soundcloud Recording from a Friend!

    Here is a link to my Google+ Spoken Poetry Collection. My friend, Shilpa Sandesh, has a new recording. Soundcloud is very easy to use and everyone gets 120 minutes free. That's room for a lot of poetry!

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Great Event in Columbia, SC on 31 July

   302 Artisans is a wonderful store in a scenic setting along the banks of the Broad River in Columbia, South Carolina! I am sure that this will be the first of many events like this that take place there! I will have copies of Places and Times and will be at the Open Mic at 2pm.

    Come and enjoy! If not this time, then later. If you are too far away, we can discuss how you can enjoy vicariously!

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Fellow Author Rachel McGrath Wins Award

     It has been only a few weeks since Rachel McGrath and I connected on Facebook. I can't say I have known her forever or anything like that, but I think it is wonderful that her book. Finding the Rainbow, won the People's Book Prize this week in London. Congratulations, Rachel!

     A link to her website:

     and to the book:


Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Wonderful Interview with Christina Hamlett and new 5-Star Review from Amazon

    What a wonderful day! An interview just now went live and a few hours earlier, another 5-Star review from Amazon!  Thanks! Christina Hamlett is awesome!

Scroll to Socrates' review, 12 July 2016.

Monday, July 11, 2016

New POETS videos----three parts

     I am really proud of these three videos introducing the POETS Google+ Community, where I am a moderator. My good friends and fellow poets Skylark Hatee and Martha Magenta painstakingly pieced with together; I helped with editing. Watch and join us! We have something for everybody!   pt.1  pt. 2  pt. 3

Sunday, July 10, 2016

New Soundcloud Recordings from a Friend

     Now I finally can live up to what I promised in this Google+ Collection of Spoken Poetry. I subtitled it  "usually mine", but here are the first exceptions, from my friend and fellow poet Shilpa Sandesh.

Thank for sharing these with me, Shilpa! 

Saturday, July 9, 2016

I added the author app to my Facebook Page

     A writers' group on mentioned this app, and it was as easy to install as they said.
     This app is located on the left-hand side of the page, if one scrolls down a little. IT is bright red and white. Not only does it talk about me, it talks about Places and Times  and how to buy it. There also is a way to showcase my next signing, complete with directions!

     Check it out:

My Response to My Prompt in POETS

     I have mentioned that I am a moderator at three Google+ communities, and am duly honored. The first community where that happened was Words on Fire. Then came Peppered Poets, and finally POETS.

    Last week I volunteered to do a prompt. Last night I finally got around to composing my own, and finished it this morning. POETS requires only original art/photography to be used. I had a picture of a lovely field near our house that became the "fields that go on forever" from "The Island" in Places on Times, my book of poetry (eLectio Publishing 2015).

    If you are not familiar with any of these fine communities, please drop in!

    Across the green field standing
as radiant as the sun,
splendor of beauty streaming
all around her gracious form.

She smiles, and it is as though
time stands still, earth stops turning.
Over the dewy grass run I,
its sweet fragrance in the air.

Towards me she glides gracefully
like a mare in full gallop,
her long hair flowing freely,

We embrace; our bodies meld
into one form. Gently we
move to the shade of the trees
surrounding the verdant field
to linger in ecstasy.

Arthur Turfa, ©2016

Friday, July 8, 2016

Percy Shelley died 8 July 1822

   Percy Bysshe Shelley is one of those British Romantic Poets who died young. In time their loss would be compared to various musical icons in the next century. Shelley ignored the warnings of Italian sailors not to go out that day.

    Of course this is sad on several levels. Artistically, it is interesting to see what he would have written, as well as his wife, Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley would have produced post-Frankenstein

     Below a few links about his life, death and poetry.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Another interview coming up

     I think this is my fourth, but I need to check my files. My plan is to respond to the questions over the next few days. What impresses me is that the for-now-unrevealed-interviewer is actually following my activities.

     Speaking of those activities, Places and Times is on the shelves at the Barnes & Noble Midtown at Forest Acre
s in Columbia, South Carolina. But not as many as there were prior to last night's event!
Thanks to all there who made it happen!

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Brisk Night at B & N

     Hmmm. Weeknight at Barnes & Nobel two days after the Fourth of July and storms alerts throughout the Midlands. Sounds bad.

     I stayed an hour longer, actually until closing, because near the end of the two hours, I started selling Places and Times or assuring people that the books would be on the shelves later.  handed out about 50 cards as well.

    Tomorrow will be the official thank you e-mail, but I want to here thank Madeleine for arranging things, and Cassie and Spenser who were in the store tonight. And everyone who stopped by my table!

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Orwell and Writing "1984"

    I have posted this before, and I missed his birthday (25 June). The Guardian article below details how important the novel was to him, and how writing it hastened his death. Some criticize the book for being too journalistic, but to me that is no issue. It is a riveting work that deserves to be read and re-read.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Wisdom from Elie Wiesel

     The time will come when the last Holocaust survivor passes away. Then there will be no one to refute the deniers and haters by saying, "I was there!" Elie Wiesel died on Saturday, 2 July. One can say that we have not progressed as much as we should, in spite of Wiesel and others reminding us about genocide and hatred. Anti-semitism has not ended, nor has genocide.

     I knew someone who had to flee his boyhood home in what is now Poland as World War II ended. This person firmly believed that no German soldier would ever commit an atrocity. He became an American citizen, but held on to his opinions. When Wiesel won the Nobel Peace Prize  (which
infuriated this person) , we had several conversations in which I tried to persuade him that there had been atrocities. In the long run, I was unsuccessful, but at least I said what he needed to hear. I hope that later on he came to accept that.    

     However, that does not mean that we stop confronting the hatred, the prejudice, and their evil fruits. If we stop, then evil wins. I firmly believe that evil has lost the big battle, and his fighting on to the bitter end. for my part, I want to deprive evil of its ebbing power.

     I hope that you do as well. Below some links to Wiesel's funeral service and some of his many quotes.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

A Good Book, not Merely for the 4th of July

     During junior and senior high school, I lived in the heart of many events from the American Revolution: Philadelphia, Valley Forge, Germantown, and Brandywine. I rode my bike and hiked in a state park that had been a camp for the Continental Army. My high school mascot was the Colonial: not an animal, but a person.

     Outside of the Swamp Fox, Francis Marion, we did not do much about the war in the Southern colonies, except for the grand finale at Yorktown. Walter Edgar's book fascinated me, because it filled in the gaps.

     Edgar is a retired history professor from the University of South Carolina, and is a major presence in the state's Public Broadcasting system. I have not heard him in public, but I hope to one day.

     The interesting thing about his book is that there were lots of Loyalists or Tories, not only in the South. In fact, there were likely more Americans on that side bearing arms than in Patriot ranks. In South Carolina's Upstate, land disputes between people often determined the allegiance, but it was not the only factor. For example, if your rival was a Patriot, you supported the Crown.

     A good book to read!

My proto-trailer for "Places and Times"

   At long last, I finally did something! Now I need to figure out how to record a voice over without having to
upgrade, i.e. pay money.

    Advice, ideas, and all that are welcome. Of course you can share it!

Friday, July 1, 2016

Published again in Whispers

A sonnet for you today! It's on Matthias Corvinus, born in the wrong place at the wrong time, or the world would have known him.

Reviews Are So Very Important to Writers, and So Hard to Get

      When my first poetry book was published seven years ago, I dutifully asked readers/friends to review it. That book, Places and Times, ...