Friday, December 29, 2017

Soundcloud recording of a new poem

And it has even been translated into Spanish. Now if the friend who translated it would also record it.......

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Marlene Dietrich's 116th Birthday

     Google honored her today with a doodle. She did not have to leave Nazi Germany, but she chose to do so. Her tireless work selling war bonds showed her love for her new country. But her continued aversion to Germany after the war alienated her from the land of her birth. Belated recognition in her home town of Berlin was not without controversy, as the second link shows/

     The song she was best know for:

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

ArcaMax Poem Of the Day 26 December 2017

Poem Of The Day by ArcaMax
I post this today not only because it is nice to have a poem every day e-mailed to me, but because this one connects a poet with a place. The concept of place is important to me and permeates what I write. Amy Newman in her remarks connects pets' lives with their work, and that is a connection we often fail to make. When we do not make that connection, we miss out on a lot, in my opinion. Enjoy! 

Sylvia Plath is in Paris with a Balloon on a Long String

Amy Newman
its tricolor streamers floating and trailing.
It takes up the air like a determined child.
Plath was riding her horses of need,
and then breaking them, one by one.
The horse of loneliness, the horse of panic.
The horse of the Sacre Coeur's calcite-and-rainwater white
piped on Montmartre like a wedding cake.
The horse of the wallpaper powdered with rosebuds.
The horse of weeping in the charming vestibule.
The horse of the park's green geometry,
of the mushroom's black underpleats.
The horse of the lily-of-the-valley's chaste bell.
The horse of the prickly thin storm about to be,
of the cool cottons of the hotel bed
and his beautiful body, golden, lean,
and the horse of having been so close,
and then changing his mind.
The horse of her will like a planet, irrefutable,
distantly tethered to the bestial earth, and Paris
splayed and blazing around them, as if illustrated.

About this poem
"If we studied the lives of the poets closely, could we begin to see American poetry coming into being? In my book 'On this Day in Poetry History,' forthcoming from Persea Books in 2015, I imagine the history of American poetry as a kind of Google Map or kinetic diorama, the poets moving toward or away from epiphanies, navigating among odd, compelling moments and unexpected correspondences. In this case, it's March 29, 1956, and Plath is in Paris with a balloon."
-Amy Newman

About Amy Newman
Amy Newman is the author of "Dear Editor" (Persea Books, 2011). She teaches at Northern Illinois University and lives in DeKalb, Ill.

The Academy of American Poets is a nonprofit, mission-driven organization, whose aim is to make poetry available to a wider audience. Email The Academy at poem-a-day[at]

(c) 2014 Amy Newman. Originally published by the Academy of American Poets, Distributed by King Features Syndicate 

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Nearing the End of a Year

     This is one of those years when the Fourth Sunday of Advent and Christmas Eve occur on the same day. While I realize not everyone observes these days, I do and for that reason, I see a deeper meaning than the religious one.

     In the middle of 2018, Saluda Reflections,  my third book of poetry, will come out from Finishing Line Press. As I prepare for that event, I am now looking for a new publisher for Accents. my second book of poetry. No need to dredge up that story. If nothing else happens, I have a plan that is not self-publishing, My main purpose is to keep a good book available.

     So I have two things going on at once also. And then what? There are a few irons in the fire. No matter what happens next, I want to sharpen my poetic skills. I intend to experiment a little more (likely not tanka), and read a little more as I promote my books.

     Already I have about half of a chapbook's worth of poems, but I want to see what else I can do before I look at another book. Certainly I will keep submitting to journals and anthologies.  Thanks for reading! I also appreciate how some of you dig into the archives.

     Below is the picture by Carol Worthington Levy that became the cover for Places and Times. It got me thinking about writing poetyr again.


Tuesday, December 19, 2017

     Bright Star's title comes from a sonnet Keats wrote during the time he knew Brawn. This is a well-done portrayal of their romance, doomed as it was. Keats' poetic career had only begun to earn him some money, but his tuberculosis worsened. I include a link about Fanny later in her life.

And a link to the sonnet:

     On my first trip to Europe, I went to Rome. While walking down the Spanish Steps, I passed by the house where Keats died. Little did I realize how he, an others, would come to influence me.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

And the Search for a New Publisher Goes On

     Accents is at a few places, and hopefully will find a new home. There is no bitterness about its previous home, only a sense of wistfulness. I remain proud of my artistic accomplishment, and know it will be readily-available to the public again. Right now I have about 50 copies; if you have reliable mail delivery and we can work out a means of payment, contact me! I would not be surprised if it were still to be had from one source, but I would not see royalties. But it is all right if people enjoy the book.

     Hopefully I will be able to announce something before much longer. Meanwhile Saluda Reflections will be available for pre-orders from Finishing Lien Press in February 2018, and I am excited about that! This book reflects contemporary American issues in a more pronounced way than my earlier books.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Searching for a New Publisher

     Accents will attract a new publisher. I am confident that something will happen early in 2018, if not sooner. Until then, I have hard copies available. please contact me. If anyone finds some on the Internet, or electronic copies, please let me know.

    Thanks for your patience. I am very proud of this book, and as a writer friend told me yesterday, "Your art is evolving".

    My e-mail is aturfa@aol,com 

     My Facebook page is at

     Or comment here!

     Thanks again

Monday, December 4, 2017

A Little Late- 150th Anniversary of Baudelaure;s Death

    Although I likely heard of him somewhere or the others, when Mountain's album Flowers of Evil came out in 1971,  the references to Les Fleurs du Mal captivated me. I was en route to becoming a German major, but I still pushed myself to get enough French to look at bi-lingual editions.

     Before long I was emulating Baudelair by drinking lots of coffee and smoking a lot of tobacco, just as he did. And I wrote some  poetry. Eventually I decreased my caffeine and nicotine intake, Eventually the poetry stop
ped for some time.

     I will put Baudelaire on my lengthening list of poets to read again. This article below captures him perfectly.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Interesting Take on Writing a Poem

Dana Gioa, California Poet Laureate on the BBC. 

Monday, November 27, 2017

A Few Irons in the Fire

     That is usually the case with me, and has been for years!What I will say now is that I sent off the final ms. for the Saluda Reflections and regained the rights to Accents.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Last Week for an Awesome Poetry Class

     Here's a confession. I should be paying the college for the chance to teach poetry, not the other way around. It has been an excellent semester in a small class. I have learned a lot from the students, and for the first time, one of my books is on the syllabus (Places and Times).

     Since we are approaching the final week, I am feeling a little wistful. Here is a video of an excellent poem read by one of my favorite poets. I use it also in my high school Mythology class.

     My hope is that you have at least one thing in your life that gives you joy, as this class ( and other things) have done for me.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Graca Costa's Book Arrived!

A wonderful day! First book by my dear friend and fellow poet arrived today!

Tagged by a friend and fellow poet!

Great to read a poem by Alicia Salabert, but to be tagged by her!   Priceless! Gracias!

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Jumping on that Holiday Gift Bandwagon

     And why not? If you live in the USA or Canada, I can easy send you signed copies of either or both books! If you live elsewhere, let me know if you have difficulty obtaining a hard copy. E-versions are always an option. If you would like a signed card, let me know and I can send one to you! All you ave to do is post a picture of you and your book (you can hide if you want to- I understand). Let me know where to send the card!

     Accents is $15 US, Places and Times $12 US.
   Blue Deco Pubishign      eLectio Publishing

Monday, November 13, 2017

I might have won on Jeopardy tonight!

      At least on this question. The Final Jeopardy was tricky!   Have to love Rilke!

Saturday, November 11, 2017

"Saluda Reflections" sometime in 2018

   I have a contract to sign with Finishing Line Press and will have it back to them in a few days. It is exciting to have my third book in the works. Much more to come of course, but I better continue the final edits.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Book-give-away from a friend and fellow author

Thanks to H.A. Callum, you mgiht win a copy of Accents! 

Submitted Another Poem

 The online journal has published me before, and I do feel good about this one! Wish me luck!

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Woman Warrior- Jenna Lé

     I have admired Jenna Lé's poetry for a few years, and have read both of her books. In this short interview i like how she tries to write 20 good liens of poetry a week. But I can't write during my commute, since I drive!

      Well-earned honor!

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Blog Rejuvenation: The Life of a Poet

     A few months ago I was thrilled to see that the blog reached 100,000 hits!  Since then action has slowed down. That caused me to wonder what I was doing, or not doing, to hold people's interest.
I looked over some statistics, and saw that My music-related posts do well, and that while the majority of my audience is from the USA, there is a healthy world-wide readership, which pleases me no end. Take a look here:

Oct 30, 2016, 
Oct 31, 2016, 
United States
South Korea
United Kingdom

     I have had a busy few months, and have not been as disciplined about posting. Maybe that is part of the reason. Nothing bad has happened: quite the contrary! In May I became a grandfather, and spent a lot of the Summer with Holden Allen Turfa.  Accents came the same day that he did, and I have spent some time promoting the book. This semester has been busy, but it getting better. There are a few other things, but they can wait for later. 

     I will post more frequently, I promise. Let me close for today talking about mentoring. There are a few poets out there who have been kind enough to let me advise them. They are literally from around the world, have fascinating backgrounds, and are at different stages in their poetic lives. I learn from them as well, and the results are wonderful!

  If you want me to write about something specific, please do! Contact me here, or at:

Friday, November 3, 2017

"Saluda Reflections" from Finishing Line Press

    Sometime in 2018 my third book of poetry, Saluda Reflections, will be released by Finishing Line Press. I am thrilled to announce this, even before the contract is signed. Pre-orders will be taken; keep checking here or on my other accounts (Facebook/Twitter) for updates!

Sunday, October 29, 2017

what a Blast at the Fall Festival

     It seemed like Winter, as least as far as South Carolina goes. The temperature barely reach 50 degrees Fahrenheit. I was inside but the door was open to the large room. but I sold well, made some new friends, some of whom shared friends with me!

    It was a fantastic time. If anyone wants a signed copy of either book, let me know! 

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Interesting reactions to a poem from class tonight

    Some of the best things in a classroom are unplanned. We had some time at the end of poetry class, and I added Yeats' "An Irish Airman Foresees His Death". As I read, I paused now and then to point out the poignancy and despair of the situation. The speaker has nothing to live or to die for. He is trapped between forces that he cannot control and is in a war that does not matter to him. After class a student and I spoke about how the poem touched u as we left the building. In class the discussion equally as moving.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Fall Festival 2017----29 October

   This will be a fantastic event! I have been at a few events with Jennifer David Gerdes in her old location. This summer I had a signing at the new one and it was superb! I will have many copies of both books and am looking forward to meeting people. If you cannot come, contact me to see how you can obtain a signed copy of either book!  Or even both! 

Friday, October 20, 2017

This promises to be a great festival I will be there with both books!

Monday, October 16, 2017

Richard Wilbur, RIP

    America's second Poet Laureate, Richard Wilbur, has died. He twice won the Pulitzer Prize. The obit below shows his interesting background and gives a glimpse of his fine poetry. Although I have read some of it, now I want to read more. I had not known that he was a combat veteran of World War II.

     And a link to some of his poems:

Friday, October 13, 2017

Review of "Accents" in Jasper

Perceptive review (again) from Jonathan Butler in the Jasper magazine of Accents. It is extremely nice to see that he gets what I was trying to say.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Indie Author Day in Aiken, Sat, 14 October

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Sunday, October 8, 2017

Tom Petty, RIP- Belated Remarks

     Among the many excellent things about the late Tom Petty was how good songs were matched with equally good videos. He breathed new life into rock and roll, while putting his own personal stamp on the genre.

    He always seemed to have fun. The Travelling Wilburys showed that, and his Buried Treasure show on Sirius X
M's Deep Tracks was a place where he shared the music he enjoyed. Never one to be vain, Tom played all sorts of music by other artists. It was a peek into his mind, and the show was fun.

     A colleague and friend of mine came to tom's house in Malibu for several months to teach high school English to Tom's stepson  (I believe he was recuperating from an injury). My friend said that Tom and the entire family was very gracious to her and treated her as one of their own. They did not have to do that, but it shows the kind of person he was.

    For the song below, I chose "The Last DJ". Long gone are the radio stations where you could call the DJ, and where the DJ could play what he or she wanted. There might be some of the latter left, but they are a rarity. We are better off playing the music ourselves.

    Tom, we will miss you. Give our best to Roy and George. Thanks for everything!

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Back in Aiken Saturday, 14 October

     I have been invited back to this event, and am very excited! I will have both Accents and Places and Times available. This time I will also debit my two

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Time to Learn Tanka

    The best thing about being a poet is writing poetry. A close second would be having friends who are good poets, who inspire, persuade, even cajole you. One of them asked me to write some tanka. So I will do my best. I had been thinking about some of these forms already. Now is the time.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

A Poem from Alicia Salabert

     I admire a poet/writer who writes in a language other than the language he or she originally learned. At times I write in German, but usually not.

    My good friend Alicia Salabert excels in her poetry. Whether she also writes in Spanish, I do not know. She has my admiration for her poetry and for so much more. With her permission, I psot this one: 

A powerful light breaks
You understand.
Without struggle.
Full of gratitude,
you breathe.
And you sing.
You sing.
(Reworked poem)

Thanks so much, Alice! And write some more! 

A Timely Poem

Normally I avoid current events in my poetry. Anyhting I mention is well after the fact, and usually indirect. But several things converged today, and while I was working out at the gym, saw somehting on CNN that put this on my heart.

I was fortunate to have seen Clemente play at Forbes Field in Pittsburgh, and then at Connie Mack after he moved near Philadelphia. Off field he was also tremendous, and I mourn him each New Year's Day.

When the earth shook in Nicaragua
Roberto Clemente cancelled his plans
and intended to assure that aid would
not be denied to destitute people.
With cargo incorrectly-loaded, his
plane crashed off the coast of his beloved
island, becoming his watery grave.

What millionaire athlete flies to San Juan
or elsewhere on that shattered, sad island?
A barrage of tweets from private gold club
belittles the island and her people.

Arthur Turfa, ©2017

Friday, September 29, 2017

In Upcoming "Military Experience & the Arts"

     There was a time when I thought the two were incompatible. How that has changed over the years.  As a Retired (Army) Reservist with Veteran Status, I find myself culling poetry out of those nearly 23 years I spend as a National Guardsman, Reservist, and when mobilized, Active Duty Soldier.

     This publication was kind enough to accept a poem I wrote for their February-March online publication, which will feature only poetry. More when it comes out! 

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Impressive Poet

     Istvanne Juranyi is an artist whom I met on Google. She is from Budapest, where I have family. Through her I learned about Miklos Radnoti and his tragic life. He is one of Hungary's greatest 20th century poets, but died during the Holocaust. I have below a link tow a short bio and two poems. I really want to read more of him. Sadly,  do not know Hungarian aside from some basic phrases.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

I have two poems in this anthology. It's a worthy cause. Thanks.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Market Tea Room Fall Festival

I will be there with both books. This promises to be a splendid event and is well worth attending!

Sunday, September 17, 2017

HA Callum Interview

One fellow Blue Deconian interviewing another! Learn more about the fine authors at Blue Deco Publishing!

Saturday, September 16, 2017

    An exciting day, and I hope to return to Augusta to this venue, perhaps finding new ones! the best part was to see how people connected to my poetry. Whether it was a place we had in common, or ethnic connections, or the appreciation of was awesome! Thanks to all who made this possible!

Friday, September 15, 2017

At Augusta, GA tomorrow!

    Tomorrow is the day! I see it as a regional debut for me!  

Monday, September 11, 2017

At the Book Tavern for Arts in the Heart of Augusta

This is my first out-of-state event; it's only across the Savannah River, but it still is in Georgia, not South Carolina!

Both Accents and Places and Times available!  

Featured on New Site!

Thanks, Heather Hall Cassaday! This is an impressive site and it is wonderful that you have started it! I am honored to be it is debut!

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Don Williams RIP

    When my future wife and I were dating, I learned to appreciate Don Williams. She had an eight track (all right, laugh if you want to) or two of him, and we would play them as we talked and got to know each other.

     I liked his easy style, the stories he told in a song, and liked his kind of country. I already liked what we would called Outlaw, but I did not like the slick, orchestrated kind of what some called Country & Western.

     About two years ago we saw Don at the Newberry Opera House in Newberry, South Carolina (a neat venue). He sat down for the concert but still gave an impressive show. At the end of the concert, he and his band bowed to the audience, which was giving him a well-deserved ovation. We were even more impressed by his action.

    Don belongs to a long tradition of story-telling songwriters. I use the present tense because what he did will endure. Thanks, Don!

From Pete Townsehnd and Ronnie Lane:
heck out the entire album!)

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

John Ashbery, RIP

     New York Times obituary, I will do so. I like the connections he made between poetry, art, and music. And he certainly counted among his friends and associates some poets I admire.
While I have read a few poems of his, I confess that I do know know much about them or him. But after reading the

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Three poems Appear in This Journal

And this is the first time I have been translated into another language.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Friday, September 1, 2017

Maybe We Forget Why We Have Labor Day

    Labor unions have a bad reputation in some quarters these days.  belong to a teacher association, since South Carolina prohibits unions. In Pennsylvania it was a union.

     Labor Day holiday started to honor the dignity of workers, and to celebrate such things as the 40-hour week, compensation insurance, the eight hour day, etc.  ow ti is the end of summer, but we can remember... listen to John Denver's version of the song that reminds us there is more to life than work.

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, ...