Saturday, August 13, 2005

I ran into Louisa Solano, the owner of the "Grolier Poetry Book Shop,"in Harvard Square. She is recovering from her physical problems and will be at the Grolier on a limited basis and by appointment. She plans to continue running the shop, and will hold her afternoon teas on Saturday afternoon at 5PM at the shop. Please patronize her store and support a valuable institution!

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Lyrical Somerville
Edited by Doug Holder

Do you remember your first kiss? No? Robert K. Johnson, retired professor of English/ Suffolk University (Boston), will remind you of that seminal press of lips, the sweet sensory overload, the amorous taste of a new relationship. To find out more about Robert K. Johnson go to: To have your work considered for the Lyrical send it to: Doug Holder 25 School St. Somerville, Mass.

In A Long Moment

We kiss and discover
how much we love each other,
because everything around us
pauses, and everything makes sense--
but, most of all,
because we feel like guests
at what had been a dull party
now alive with bright laughter.

Robert K. Johnson

Monday, August 08, 2005

Ibbetson Street enjoying those hazy, lazy days of summer.

Right to Left: Ibbetson editor Dianne Robitaille with husband Doug Holder, Arts/Editor Richard Wilhelm with his wife Elissa, at friends barbecue.

Another report about "Breaking Bagels With the Bards." from Irene Koronas.

O wondrous joy of being with poets, poets, those worddecoders, recorders of the hopeful, the futurists;bringing together our experiences and strengths. OKAY.some of us don't agree the future is all that great orhopeful. not that we have to agree. during oursaturday underground table talk the dark flat wallstake on a creamy hue which causes, (like vanilla icecream in rootbeer,) me to float off the ground.grounded by the bagel and tea i"m able to check outour surroundings. a homeless man sits watching us. hismuttering almost seems like our own. he's a bulky manwho blends into the walls. his clothing takes on thenondescript generic setting of this place, that isuntil he stands up. he walks toward the men's roombehind us. his size intimidates me. quietly he getsthe key and helps a customer open the female symbolrestroom door. if he didn't mumble, we might mistakehim for an eccentric tourist or even a bank teller onhis day off, or a poet looking for spare change tofeed a poet's insatiable appetite for something tosay. since i'd seen him before i knew his situationwas none of the above.after we are all seated with our bread, markgoldfinger talked about his journey, his income earnedfrom the homeless newspaper 'spare change.' startingas a vender in march 1993, now he has become theeditor of poetry. i feel proud to be here with thiskind gentleman. in fact, all the men around me aregentle men. O such a wonder. such grace. served likelox on cream cheese it fills me and i am grateful.lo galluccio shared her love of writing, explainingher interest in open verse, and her tendency for postmodern poetry. our table connections this week includesteve glines, phillip burnham, doug holder, markgoldfinger, jim toritano, elizabeth dornan, logalluccio and me, irene koronas. i brought three smallhandmade artist poetry books, little tidbits of seaglass formations to show off. i loved the attentionthe books brought: "wow, hey, alright, your're thegreatest, wish i could do that, wish i could make artthe way you do, how much are they, i'll buy all three,the price is right, only one thousand dollars, that'sa steal." (OKAY. i'm lying through my teeth.) thereactions were much more refined and i wrapped themback up and took those books home.doug told us stories about a cranky cantankerous oldsemi-famous poet. how his attitude did not endear himto the young women he pursued in public. phillippassed out his two reviews for his forthcomingpublication of his third volume of poetry, 'housekeeping.'stragglers like myself remain after the lights havedimmed, after others have departed, after otherstraverse the great square. we remain to talk, converseabout our past, our appreciation of the bizarre, ourneed to find meaning, our need to deconstruct meaning,our need to transform our own ordinariness, our needto question authority. after which jim, lo and myselfread some of elizabeth's poems. her poems have astrong sense of the moment expressed in short powerfulverse. we read lo's journey to self value, enrapturedsurroundings, her expressive images. jim tells usabout his travel from murky instructions at the hands(or from the mouth) of nuns and priestly dogma.satiated, we finally set off, climb the stairs, hitthe fresh summer heat and go on our way. "until wemeet again."words caught:pigeon turdi don't care what anyone calls mepre-colonial mussel shell hillsyou can't say memorable words when your askedto speak memorable words, it just can't be doneover the edge"like electrons, souls touch all their potential spaceat the same time." john freemani'm grateful but i'd like more moneyon my walk home i pass a throw away alter nailed to amaple tree; it's green wire shaped like a pine tree,with three snow people jutting out from the front. iwant to kneel and laugh at this visual gift on thishot day. instead, i keep walking, grinning at thecreative perfection of the out of the ordinary.irene koronas

I just talked to Maria McCarthy, an editor of the Ibbetson Street Press book division, and also co-founder of the well-regarded Heat City Review , about the Hugh Fox memoir she has been working on "Our Gang." It has been a slow and painstaking process edting this book, but Maria tells me she will have it ready for the printers by the first week in September. Steve Glines, the founder of The Wilderness House Retreat is going to get a print-on-demand presence for the book, and we hope to have it listed in the Ingram database. We will be also doing a hard copy run as well. Hugh Fox, is a founding editor of the Pushcart Prize, and a founding member of COSMEP, Committee of Small Press Magazine Editors and Publishers. This memoir, will deal with the personalities that Fox encountered in the world of the small press like: Richard Morris, Len Fulton, and Harry Smith, to name a few. We feel this will provide a valuable personal history of The Small Press of the past 40 years. Thanks--Doug Holder

The Ibbetson Street Press is a releasing a poetry book by Philip E. Burnham, Jr. "Housekeeping" It basically concerns his life after his wife dies, and how after a time his world opens up, and ordinary moments are transformed.

Douglas Worth, author of "Catch The Light," says of this book " Philip Burnham has crafted a powerful sequence of poems that moves us from the deep ache of grieving over a beloved's death, through the tension between time's "recessional velocities" and love holding against "an undertow of loss."

Harris Gardner, author of "Lest They Become," and founder of "Tapestry of Voices, " writes: "Throughout these pages, Burnham tends his verses like a well-planted, well-organized garden with vivid living colors and scents."

We expect to release the book at the end of Aug 2005, along with a first book of poetry by Cambridge poet Ann Cahart.