Friday, June 29, 2018

Elinor Wylie

     Sometimes people are born ahead of her time. Elinor Wylie is one of those. I discovered her on aoem-a-aay, and did some quick research. A little more freedom and respect as a poet and as a woman might have kept her from pushing the boundaries of her day.

     She seems like someone I would liked to have known.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Presses Should be Running Now

Saluda Reflections should be in the mail to those who pre-ordered it by this time next month. If you did not pre-order, you still can. Eventually, it will be available all over the place!

Find out more about the enormously-talented Carol Worthington-Levy, who created this cover (and my other three, also!)  :

Monday, June 25, 2018

Bob Dylan Referenced TS Eliot in A Song

     Actually, Eliot is referenced with Pound in "Desolation Row", but that's another post. In "Too Much of Nothing" Eliot's two wives are mentioned. Peter, Paul and Mary changed Vivian to Marion for no good reason. Dylan was not pleased and let it be known. For that reason I am not including a link to the song, which also wss covered by Fotheringay, Sandy Denny's post-Fairport Convention group.   Dylan usually does not include videos of his songs, but the words are here.

    Few people were aware about how much reading Dylan did, and how what he read influenced his lyrics. Not copying, but using allusion and showing his influences, it was.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

About one more month, and then "Saluda Reflections" comes out!

Important Announcement! Those who pre-ordered "Saluda Reflections" during the February-April period should receive their copies near the end of July! Thanks for your support and patience! The book is going to the printers. My copies should come the middle of July. No word on when it will be officially released/available, but it will be soon!
Finishing Line Press publishes about 100 titles a year, and does an amazing job of it. Delays are sometimes unavoidable, but understandable.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Looking at the Final Galleys for "Saluda Reflections"

     Finishing Line Press has done an outstanding job so far. They produce over 100 titles a year, which is very impressive. Tomorrow I will send back the final galleys with a very few corrections, tie up some loose ends, and await release. Saluda Reflections is close to being on deck, but it rather looks like a July, not late June, release. Stay posted!

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

"Saluda Reflections" Coming Soon!

Very proud of this book!

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Where's your Liverpool?

   I still kick myself from time to time that I never went to Liverpool. In 1979 I had a BritRail Pass (First Class since I was 26), and using my brother and sister-in-law's flat in Manchester as a place to leave a bag. One day I was going to Liverpool, but overslept. I could have gone later, but I headed to Scotland instead.

   What I love about Ringo's song is the sense of a place that stays with you your whole life. for me that is the Monongahela Valley south of Pittsburgh to a lesser extent, Plymouth Meeting near Philadelphia. If you read my poetry, you sense how important place is to me; I cannot explain it.

   Hopefully, you have your sense of place, no matter where you are now.

And for my poetry:

Thursday, June 14, 2018

On my 37th Anniversary of Ordination

     In a very humid gymnasium at Augustana College in Illinois, fifteen seminarians and I were ordained as pastors of the Lutheran Church in America o this date.Most of them started their parish ministries int he Midwest. I was the only one going south, to Virginia.

     Of that group one I know was removed from the roster of clergy, but likely is still involved in the Church, another was the first in our denomination to die for AIDS. Since I never served in the Midwest, I have lost track of most of them, but stay in touch with one or two.

    Since then my denomination merged with two others, there was a change in hymnals and
so much more, I became an US Army chaplain (today is also the 243rd birthday of the US Army! ), and I became bi-vocational, now in my 24th year of teaching.

    When I started my writing (mainly poetry) career, people asked if I were a Christian writer. I hear that once in a while these days. My answer was that I was a Christian who writes. Usually that is not what people want to hear, or they become disappointed.  If the person knows literature well, I add that I humbly place myself in line with TS Eliot, WH Auden, John Donne, George Herbert, and Robert Herrick.

   What has appeared in my poetry are some of the places where I have served, and also some of the people. My pastoral ministry has given me unique opportunities and insights, and I am thankful to God for that and so much more!

    If you have some time and are interested, please click on the link and see what I mean! Thanks!

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

I Should Write a 12-Step Manual for Phone Addiction

     As an educator, I can safely say that this article is accurate. Students miss so much from not paying attention. 

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Mary Wilson, RIP- PM's wife and accomplished poet

   She had an interesting style. Too bad she could not become Poet Laureate. See the obit below:

Thursday, June 7, 2018

My first attempt at translating: it is not necessarily finished, but it is in good enough form. Bobrowski deserves more recognition. I have posted about him before here and on Facebook. 

Birke, kühl
von Säften, Baum, der Atem
in meinen Händen, gespannt
Rinde, ein weiches Glas,
Aber zu spüren tiefer
Regung, die Dehnung hinauf
Im Stamm,
Den Verzweigerung zu.

In den Nacken hinab,
Laß fallen dein Haar, ich hör
Durch die Kühle, ich hör ein Wehen,
Hör anheben die Strömung,
Steigende Flut,
Den Taumel
Singen im Ohr.

Johannes Bobrowski, Schattenland Ströme

Birch, cool
With sap, tree, the breath
in my hands,
the bark straining,
a soft crystal.
But sensing deeper
impulse, distending upwards
in the trunk
towards the branches

Let it fall down,
on your neck
Let your hair fall down. I hear
through the coolness  a rush,
I hear a rising flood,
a frenzied singing in the ear.

-translated  by Arthur Turfa, @2018

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

RFK Assassination 50 Years On

     If I had the time, I would write about the pivotal year of 1968. It was a watershed year for several nations, but especially for the United States. Among other events, in April was Martin Luther King's assassination, and barely two months later, that of Robert F. Kennedy.

     Truthfully speaking, I have come to respect and mourn him. My parents were rock-ribbed Republicans, and no fans of the Kennedys. In 1968 I worked for Nixon, and even heard him speak.

     Whether or not Sen. Kennedy would have captured the Democratic presidential nomination is something that can never be known. Even if he had not, he would have been the front-runner in 1972. Regardless of the year, he could have made a positive impact on the nation and world.

     About 11 years later I read Arthur Schlesinger's Robert Kennedy and His Times, and was impressed at how he grew into the person he became. He immersed himself and his family with good literature, journalism, and encouraged them to question and think.   The optimism is needed!


Monday, June 4, 2018

"Gemini" Sold Well Yesterday

  One couple said their priest told them during a sermon to be more poetical in life. Gemini  drew their attention as I described my books.

    Want to be more poetical?


Friday, June 1, 2018

Spring Festival Two Days Away

All of my books will be available- one pre-publication order, actually!

Many great vendors are coming! Join us!

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, ...