Wednesday, June 24, 2020

From the Los Altos Pubic Library- Art and Poetry

Carol Worthington-Levy is expanding our All in the Family. She has a show at the Los Altos Library!

Congrats, Carol!

Five Stars on Goodreadsfor "The Weight of Lkiving" by Michael Stephen Daigle

 The author avoids sensationalism here. As dark as the plot gets, what stands out, as usual, are the characters and dialogue. There is never a lack of scandal in Ironton, New Jersey, a city whose glory days are in the past, but where a few good people hope to make real and lasting improvements.<br /> Police detective Frank Nagle is one of them. One of the best things about this series is that readers can start anywhere and not feel like they are missing out on so much. The author is very adept at giving enough of the backstory to whet readers; interest in going back to earlier novels.<br /> Characters who have appeared in earlier novels of the series reveal some surprising things about themselves in this book. The author makes it all fit together in a fast-paced riveting story.
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Wednesday, June 17, 2020

A Poem by Bert Brecht on the 17 June 1953 Uprising

    Brecht could criticize the German Democratic Republic because of his fame, Austrian citizenship, and his moving to East Berlin voluntarily. A few years back I participated in a fascinating Goethe-Institut seminar Literarisches Berlin/Literary Berlin. We toured his house and attended a reading there. In addition, we saw his grave in the adjacent Dorotheenst├Ądtischer Cemetery, which has the graves of numerous leading figures from all walks of German life.
    When I was studying German as both an undergraduate and a graduate student in the 1970s, Brecht was rather grudgingly in the course of study. German departments then were conservative in both the curriculum and politics.  That Brecht maintained Austrian citizenship and had a Swiss bank account proved to some that he was a hypocrite. The Communists offered to build a theater for him, so he went East. After that, he wrote little but mentored future playwrights and actors. 

     I prefer to let this work speak for itself. While I do not consider myself a Brecht expert, I am comfortable with that. A link to his life:

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Story is in German, But My Poem is in English!


  You will have to copy and paste the link to see the story, which except for a poem of mine, is in German. My good friend and colleague Pastor Miriam Gro├č interviewed me recently for the Sonntagsblatt. a weekly publication of the ELKB/ Bavarian Evangelical Lutheran Church

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Schola Cantorum Concert Viritual Elijah

     Stunning poem by Sophia Smith (which I posted earlier), with Eric Tuan's beautiful musical setting, photographs by Lloyd Levy and Carol Worthington-Levy, and Mendelssohn!

Saturday, June 6, 2020

"Working with Demons" Hifsa Ashraf Chapbook   

     This is a quick but important read, which I see as serving as a springboard for further discussion not only on Islamophobia (the subtitle is workplace Islamophobia, but on any other phobia used to divide people into groups.

    There are seven brief poems in Asian forms, with headings on top of each page. While I do not consider myself proficient enough to critique the forms )I am a poet who writes in other forms), I certainly want to say something about hatred and discrimination.

    The world is far from a perfect place. I look at that from a religious point of view (Christian in my case, and more specifically, Lutheran). Even if one wants to examine the world from a spiritual and/or an ethical point of view, the world is still not a perfect place.

     In the first poem, that imperfection is captured in these lines:

     job orientation… 
     the lingering cold 
     after handshakes 

        The facade of politeness and business-like behavior is very thin and cannot mask the coldness that will always be there.

       A later one gives the reader much to ponder. roots could mean hair but more likely origins, background, and not for a good reason. As such the poem sets up an anxious tension/ Is the interview even going to be fair, or is it perfunctory, conducted with a foregone conclusion? Here is the poem:

            digging out
            my roots 
            job promotion

     This chapbook would be useful to you at the workplace or classroom to stimulate discussion on the topic of discrimination.  There is also more to the issue, and I would hope that the poet will revisit it in the future.


Wednesday, June 3, 2020

I Finished "Catfish Stew" from the SC Writers Association

    In the morning coolness, I sat on the screened porch with a mug of tea and finished this anthology. I am honored to have a poem in here.  There are many other excellent poems and works of prose here.

    The South Carolina Writers Association produces this anthology. I am a member and want to let everyone know that submissions may come from anyone, anywhere!

    You can order a copy using this link:

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, ...