Saturday, August 11, 2007

Wilderness House Literary Review Anthology

We anticipate that the Wilderness House Literary Review anthology will be out this Fall. Here is the order and list of contributors--courtesy of Gloria Mindock, the editor. Steve Glines will be designing the book. Our online magazine is at

* This will be hard copy and perfect bound.

WHLR Anthology (Order of appearence)

Autodidact by Lainie Senechal
Return from the Cove by Lainie Senechal
Fictions by Charles P. Ries
Ideas of Grace by Charles P. Ries
Irene Koronos painting 5th one that’s in art folder
Love by Robin Dancer
Reverence by Patrick Carrington
Butterflies by Julia Carlson
Fall, 2006 pix painting
Orange On Burnt Sienna by Richard Wilhelm
As We Lay Sleeping by Richard Wilhelm
Mend by Kelley J. White
reconfigured by Stevenallenmay
Eros—Post-Modern by Hugh Fox
Dog Dance by Gloria Mindock
Momentum by Matthew Silver Rosenthal
The Cat Painting image by Deborah Priestly
Four cool cats by Steve Glines
Ruins by Chris Crittenden
First Names by Carolyn Gregory
A Tree of Cats by Deborah Priestly
The Quiet Room by Doug Holder
Chinatown by Lo Galluccio
Our Meeting by Robert K. Johnson
Last Night by Robert K. Johnson
My Heart by Afaa Michael Weaver
Invitation by Doug Worth
Shopping by G Emil Reutter
His Darling by Miriam Gallagher
Partner Swing by Molly Lynn Watt
Pub Dance by Molly Lynn Watt
28th Century Milky Way Conference on Hieroglyph Philogy. Paper 27-09
by Edward Abrahamson
Red Sky at Night by Charles F. Campbell
Come Either Way by Varsha Kukafka
Chapter 3 by Anne Brudevold
Cockroach by Susan Tepper
The Language of Laundry by Pat Brodie
Mouse Trap by Gary Lehmann
Weather Report by Taylor Graham
The View From Coyoteville by Taylor Graham
Thunder Snow by Taylor Graham
October Trio by Clara Diebold
Denver Omlet, Sausage, Hash Browns by John Hildebidle
I Recognized Him As a Neighbor by John Hildebidle
Sermon on Sun Worship by Tomas O’Leary
Comment ca va by Joanne Vyce
Menopausal Philosophy by Ellaraine Lockie
One Streetlight by Bonnie Pignatiello Leer
middleair crosscry by Eytan Fichman
Twenty-One Hundred Hours by Denis Emorine (English Version only)Translation
by Phillip John Usher
French Impression by Kathy Horniak
You’ll Be a Collyer Brothers Hermit!1 by Doug Holder
Detroit For Sale, 1960’s by Barbara Bialick
Moving In by Chad Parenteau
Trees in December by Jennifer Matthews
(Poem has no title) by John Mercui Dooley/ line starts if though and ink with
this is my hand by Irene Koronos
Irene Koronos painting no. 2 in art folder
ellipse and parabola by Irene Koronos
Eddie and Nellie by Jim Woods
October Run in Danehy Park by Sarah Merrow
Scarecrow photo/painting Art
The Guilty One by Marc D. Goldfinger
Amorphophallus Rivieri by Stephen Morse
Frozen Poem, a Friday by Francis LeMoire
Trophy by Harris Gardner
Tractor in Field by Eric Greinke
Wild Strawberries by Eric Greinke
Options by Kevin McLellan
14 Stones, 76 Metaphysical Excursions, 6 Years by Alan Catlin
Bon Voyage by Sue Red
Cybermorphing Forsythias by Bill Costley
Pleiades Rising by Howard Lee Kilby
Strict Objectivity by John Hildebidle
Letter to Doug Holder from Jared Smith by Jared Smith
Whispers of Wrath by Emmanuel Giambi
Gesture by Diana Der-Hovanessian
Camels by Barbara Bialick
Panama Ten by A.D. Winans
pushpa’ poem by Pushpa Ratna Tuladhar
His Dresden Boots by Patrick Carrington
Colorless State of Existence by Coleen T. Houlihan
The Last View of Mortal Man by Steve Glines
Accusation by Beatriz Alba del Rio
A Cambridge Autumn Duo by Sarah Merrow
Four Poems after Xue Tao by Jamie Parsley
Nuclear Fishin’ by George Held
Veterans of the Boy Scout War by Gary Beck
The house at 17 Emile Dunois by Steve Glines
Over life (about my dead aunt) by Irene Koronos
Veer-Zara and Bombay’s Bollywood by Molly Lynn Watt
Rocket Scientist by Laurence McKinney
Meeting at the Pass by Afaa Michael Weaver
Painting of 4 shadow type people by Deborah Priestley/last one in art folder

Thursday, August 09, 2007

The Cleveland Indian: The Legend of King Saturday by Luke Salisbury

Book Review, Timothy Gager
The Cleveland Indian: The Legend of King Saturday by Luke Salisbury (Black Heron Press/The Smith)

“If you are not careful, you can research forever, but nirvana better not arrive until the book is written.”
--Luke Salisbury on writing historical fiction.

The Cleveland Indian: The Legend of King Saturday is a remarkable book of astute detail and elegant prose. The main character King Saturday is based upon, Louis Sockalexis, a Penobscot Indian from Maine, who was one of the greatest college baseball stars of the 1890s. What Salisbury gives us with King Saturday is a remarkable presentation of a full-tilted, hard living character. Saturday’s dream is to one day own a baseball team and he will spare no ethics or morality to do so. An incredible admired athlete, as well as a drinker and ladies man, Saturday starts to throw games and bet against the Indians so that he may earn enough to achieve his goal.

As evil as King Saturday could be, author Luke Salisbury manages to create him as a sympathetic, likeable character. The narrator Henry Harrison (lawyer for the Cleveland Spiders) worships the King and is the only man Saturday trusts. Harrison, na├»ve in the same way Fitzgerald’s Nick Carraway is, gets a cruel lesson about life as everything he loves including women, baseball, and friends get taken from him in one way or another. Henry loves Saturday, questions him, uncovers information about him, and because of various events also loathes him. In the end Henry stays loyal to him and that is the essence and hook of the story.

As a fan of baseball I appreciated the novel, yet baseball is not the main focus of The Cleveland Indian. The main focus is the relationships between the characters woven within the historical era of the setting. One could know very little about the game of baseball and still get a lot out of this novel. I found it very interesting to be able to look up the old time player’s information and match the facts with the fiction, thus enhancing the background of the tale.

As a writer Luke Salisbury is remarkably efficient with the developing plot, which reads with ease and without labor. His attention to details about the various settings and locations of the novel is refreshing and exciting. The historical facts were informative but not shoved down the reader’s throat thus not interfering with the flow of the book. Teams, fields and players which no longer exist are brought to life.

Salisbury’s development of his characters is strength of the book. Each character is vibrant, real and the motivations of their actions are very real and believable. Writing in a first person point of view this isn’t always easy to achieve yet Salisbury manages to do it. This clarity allows the plot to advance in a very enjoyable way as I found myself charging through the novel to see how it would all unfold.

My only issues with the novel are that occasionally the author allows us background by breaking from the narrative to tell us background information. For example, when telling us about Marty Bergen, the Boston catcher, the narrator tells us he would later chops up his family with an ax. I googled it, and it was true, but impossible to be known by the Henry Harrison. From a writing perspective is this allowed? For me, I found the details fascinating and not intrusive with any major part of the story but for other readers it may be a distraction. The only distraction I found as a reader was that some of the descriptions of King Saturday, especially his hair, were repetitive yet, The Cleveland Indian: The Legend of King Saturday is still a great read and highly recommended.


Bear Crossing. Kell Robertson.

Bear Crossing. Kell Robertson. ( Pathwise Press. 2311 Broadway St. New Orleans, LA 70125

Well…I am a dyed-in-the wool creature of the asphalt, a denizen of the rarefied air of Boston, a stranger to the West, cowboys, and the charms and horrors of the hinterlands. So I am an unlikely reviewer for “Bear Crossing,” a collection of poetry from Kell Robertson republished by the Pathwise Press. Robertson is a wizened old cowboy poet, songwriter, vagabond, ner-do-well, drunk…if he is telling the truth. Of course he quotes Faulkner, which may bring some doubt:

“I don’t have much patience with the facts, and any writer is a congenital liar to begin with or he wouldn’t take up writing.”

I did find much to recommend in this chap. Robertson works well with the “white trash” vernacular, the tall tales, and the drunken fonts of wisdom he comes across during his sojourn through the backwaters. Here is a well-observed slice-of-life in a down-at-the-heels town, titled: “Taos Plaza”

“… A young girl
lifts her skirt
to scratch
the staph infection
on her plump thigh

the local Mexican lover boys
are disgusted, “Shit
I wouldn’t fuck her
with somebody else’s dick.

Sun Hawk
one of Geronimo’s grandsons
is pleased when
I say hello, says:

“I am glad someone
remembers Sun Hawk.”

then heads for
the infection ridden girl
in a very straight line.”

In the poem “Sue” Robertson uses grotesquely dried apples as a silent Greek chorus to the lives of quiet desperation in some dusty tourist stop along the road:

“Her husband makes faces
out of dried apples
which wrinkle up
into a line
of grotesques
which she sells here
over the cash register.
Since his back went out
it’s about all that he can do
except well, sometimes
he drinks too much.
The tourist couple
in the corner booth
look again at their
Triple A map
as she walks into the kitchen
the husband’s eyes
follow her very fine ass
as if it was
the sun going down
for the very last time.”


A response to the review from the publisher:

Hello Doug,
I hope this finds you well. I wanted to thank you for your review of Kell
Robertson's Bear Crossing. As you know, any review for a small press
publication is a triumph...especially as more and more review sources dry
up. I appreciate the time you took to read and evaluate the book. This is
a book that saw many delays but now that it is out, folks are excited about

However, I do take issue with a couple turns of phrase you use in your
review, and quite frankly, find them extremely prejudiced. I have reviewed
many books over the years and have always made it a principle to give honest
reviews, even if negative ones. However, I have never given descriptions of
the poet, simply the work being reviewed. While Kell will be the first to
proudly state that his biography can be found in the lines of his work, we
both know that most writers use hyperbole and imagination. Even when
reviewing the most blantantly Bukowski-worshipping tripe, I've never called
a poet a "drunk"...I've said the poet's work was awash in shallow drunken
metaphor, but that's it. There is a line in descibing the author and the
author's work, especially when one does not know the author personally. Of
course, you do elude to the question of truthfullness in Kell's work, which
mitigates your choice of description somewhat.

To be honest, perhaps the part that stuck me the most was the description of
Kell's writing as a "white trash" vernacular of the "backwaters". To be
honest, Doug, this bites of east coast elitism. I hate to sound jingoist
and the rust-belt, bible-belt, prairie-lands rally type, but when I read
something like that I'm willing to suggest that you rent a car, find the
first highway that takes you west and go discover a bit of America, my
friend. Perhaps it is my Midwestern background raising hackles, but there
is more to this country and its poetry than what is found in Harvard Square.
Kell has been around for many years and I've corresponded with him enough
to know that his knowledge, understanding and depth of history, politics,
literature and the reality of day-to-day living is one born of real
understanding and experience combined with a healthy dose of daily reading.

There is more to lands west of New England than mere backwaters (although
there are plenty of those here and in your locale). I don't take exception
to your background of asphalt and rareifed air (that would be hypocritical
given what I've said above), but personally, when I've encountered a book
that speaks to a life different from my own, I've either taken that as a
sign to expand my knowledge and plunged deeply within or I've politely
declined to read and review. This is a large country and its literature
stretches from Hawthorne's New England to Anderson's Ohio to Faulkner's
South to the pueblos of Leslie Marmon Silko.

Again, Doug, as the publisher, I appreciate the time you took with the book.
And by all means, ignore this message, keep the review on your blog as it
is...that's your perogative...or add this message as a form of debate in the
best Socratic tradition. Above all else, as Kell would say..."Ride Easy"...

Christopher Harter
Pathwise Press/Bathtub Gin

FORTHCOMING BOOK: from Scarecrow Press: "An Author Index to Little
The 1960s/70s Mimeograph Revolution" -- contact
for information.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Linda Larson: washing the stones

New Poetry Collection From The Ibbetson Street Press.

washing the stones. By Linda Larson.

Designed by Lynne Sticklor

photos by Karen C. Davis and Rob Rusk

ISBN: 978-0-979531316


The Ibbetson Street Press has released a new poetry collection by Cambridge, Mass. poet and former Spare Change News editor Linda Larson. Larsen was born in the Midwest. She spent a decade of her adult life in Madison County, Mississippi. She worked as a feature writer for The Capitol Reporter and The Jackson Advocate. Larson relocated to the Boston/Cambridge area where she has lived and worked for the past twenty years. For five years she served as editor and contributor to Spare Change News, a homeless newspaper based in Cambridge. Over the years Larsen has struggled with mental illness and addiction. She has been recognized by both houses of the Massachusetts Legislature for her advocacy work on behalf of people with mental illness. This book goes a long way towards recapturing her promise as a graduate of the John Hopkins Writing Seminars in the 1970’s and as teaching fellow in the creative writing doctoral program at the University of Southern Mississippi.

Howard Zinn (noted historian and activist) “ I am very moved by Linda Larson’s poems. They are about…all the stuff of life--straight from the heart.”

Joseph P. Kahn: (Boston Globe) “In her poetry we see glimpses of the enormous talent that’s always been there-- and the courageous battle she’s fought to keep that talent alive.”

Marc Goldfinger (Poetry Editor-Spare Change News): “Jack Spicer, a unique and wonderful poet in his own right said “ Poets are the dictation machines of the Gods.” Linda Larson’s work proves this statement.”

Ibbetson Street Press
25 School St.
Somerville, Mass.