Thursday, August 30, 2018

A Must-Read Column from Paul Krugman

    I sensed something was wrong a few years back, and Krugman confirms my hunch. Hungary is the homeland for my father's side of the family, and I enjoyed my visit there in 2004.

    Krugman is also correct about such things happening here. May we work to prevent that!

Sunday, August 26, 2018

ATLANTIC article on Poetry- from the Spetember 2018 Issue

   Regular reads of this blog know I love the Atlantic.When I saw this article, i made sure to read it. The issue came as high school classes began, so I was busy.

    On the whole it is an excellent article, and I like it very much. Whenever I teach poetry (sadly my class at the local two-year school where I adjunct did not make) I look for good poems from poets who come from various backgrounds. While that is hard to do sometimes, I may look for some who were neglected; these are whites from a Western background,

    As everything in America appears to be polarized these days, poetry is also. I do not see anything that is pro-Trump, for instance, but there may be some. In poetry the fault line seems to be between slam poetry and the rest of us.

   I have been called a "page poet". It was not meant as an insult, but there is a competition. I am not necessarily against slam. After all, I like to read in public and think I am rather good at it. In my educational and ecclesiastical careers, I know about poise, etc. But a lot of slam is just for show, and the poems are not always......poetic.

   Putting a poem, even a not very good one, one a meme, or with music and/or a picture, is not something that I like. Those things are forbidden in the one Google poetry group where I am a moderator, and for god reason.

   All in all it is good that people are interested more these days in poetry, especially youth. Let's hope they are interested in learning more, and not having it be all about them....

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Book Tavern- Author's Alley at Arts in the Heart of Augusta 14-16 September

Scroll down to details. It will expand and you can see that I am there on Saturday, September 15, from 5-8pm. I will have all four poetry books available.  Come and see the other writers and me! Thanks!

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Return to the Rosewood Art & Music Festival

     A few years back I had a wonderful time at this event, and a poem resulted from the experience. One year we had a horrible flood in South Carolina, which we are only recently recovered from with respect to repairing roads and bridges.

     Looking at the bottom of the Participant's Badge, some might wonder what I am doing there. "Southern Arts and Culture? But you're from Pennsylvania!"

     That's true. but I spent three years in Virginia, and have lived (and paid taxes) in South Carolina for thirteen years. I am not interested in discussing ethnicity, place of birth, talking about the Civil War, or anything of the sort. I am married to a Southerner.

     But this is what I will talk about. My poems have been for the most part written in the South. Here there is a strong sense of place, and while that is not unique to these parts, I resonate to it. A few years back I asked in a Facebook group if one can be considered a Southern writer without having been born here. The overwhelming answer was "no", usually but not always politely stated. One reply said it all depended on marketing.

     I am comfortable here, and quite frankly would not want to face another winter in the North or Midwest. So in the South I live, write, and enjoy life. Saluda Reflections, my latest book of poetry, from Finishing Line Press, is named after the beautiful county where we live.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

My Quartet of Poetry Books

Video with all four poetry books

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Accents now has a on Amzazon Kindle Direct Publishing in both paperback and e-books!

Friday, August 10, 2018

Back at the Rosewood Art & Music Festival, Columbia, SC!

   Here is a link to my first video. The rosewood Art & Music Festival 2018 is on September 29th from 11 am-7 pm in Columbia, SC at
2719 Rosewood Drive
Columbia, SC 29205

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Inger Simonsen's Books on Amazon

    Earlier I posted about her books, and I want to do so again. Stars in the Lobby has ben revised, and I want to post again about her.

     What impresses me about her is that she went to great lengths to care for her son. That shows that there is more to the stereotype of people from the 60s/Hippie Period did not care for family or take such things seriously.

Monday, August 6, 2018

A Track from "Gemini"

    I've been reading Inger Simonsen's memoir of her time in Los Angeles, and it got me thinking about my time in the Southland:

Inger's Facebook page:

Her books:

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Stunning Poem about Contemporary Issues

    Poetry, along with music, has impacts the public forum in ways no other art form can. A poem is mobile, either in memorized or printed/handwritten form. Music requires instrumentation or a singer, and requisite talent.

    To me a lot of the politically-fueled poetry these days is shrill, strident, and too often slides into prose written in poetic form.Oftentimes I am in complete sympathy with the cause or issue. But I shake my head and wish that someone would simply write a better poem.

    Christian Campbell did. If you do not get a poem-a-day in your e-mail, sign up now. It's free.

    I want to read more of him. Here, he gives the reader a good sense of place, includes references to other poets and persons, and gets his point across poetically.

Friday, August 3, 2018

     There they are! I took inventory because I have two events coming up in September. There will be more details later, but I thought I would take a picture of all four books for promotional purposes. I have a new phone, and for whatever reason needed to start a new Instagram account.
     All of the books are available from the usual vendors, and two in electronic formats. the sites should be self-explanatory, and you know how to navigate them. Earlier this week I was thrilled, or chuffed as I have learned to say, to see Saluda Reflections crop up on Barnes & Noble Internet ads. I saw one today, even!

    The books and their publishers, in order of their release:

     Places and Times, eLectio Publishing, © 2015. They will include a free e-book upon purchase of     a paperback.This is my first book of poetry.

     Accents, Amazon KDP, ©2017/2018. I regained my rights to the book. This is my most                   thematically-structured work, and contains what I consider some of my best poetry. It has
 been available on Amazon KDP in Kindle since February of this year, and last month now
 can be had in paperback format.

    Gemini, Broad River Books, © 2018, was rushed out in time for Deckle Edge, South Carolina's Literary Festival, in Columbia, SC. Broad River Books is a subsidiary of Muddy Ford Press. For reasons beyond my comprehension, the book is not listed on their site (I am being diplomatic and accurate), but let me assure you that it does exist and that people have purchased it. For international readers, through Amazon there is a click-and-print scheme, whereby a hard copy will be made available at a bookstore close to where the reader lives. If anyone avails his.herself of this option, I would absolutely love to know how it went!

   Saluda Reflections, Finishing Line Press © 2018. this was to have been my third book, and it became my fourth. FLP wanted Accents, and I should have told someone "Sorry!" since at that time there was no signed contract. The book has been out for just under one month; it is more about what is happening around the nation and world, and less about me.

   I would be totally remiss if I did not say anything about the friend and artist who has created these stunning covers. Carol Worthington-Levy and I became friends in the 8th grade, and have maintained the friendship for decades. Here is a link to her website:  you can fined out about the recent successes of this San Jose, CA-based artist.

   Creativelly speaking, I do not forsee another book for at least one or two years. I am writing more, reading more, and honing my craft. Follow me at,, (I have other pages there also), LinkedIn- or e-mail me at aturfa@aol.

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, ...