Thursday, February 21, 2008

The Graves Grow Bigger Between Generations by Jared Smith

The Graves Grow Bigger Between Generations. Poems by Jared Smith. (Higganum Hill Books PO BOX 666 Higganum Hill CT 06441 $12.95

Like Eliot, Stevens, and others, Jared Smith has been a businessman as well as a poet. In fact for years Smith was a highly sought after energy consultant. But Smith’s, (who graduated with an MFA in Writing from New York University), real calling is poetry. He was part of the literary scene in Greenwich Village in the 70’s writing for such journals as the “Home Planet News,” and the “New York Quarterly;” publishing his work regularly, downing shots with Gregory Corso, the whole ball of wax. But “real” life reared its ugly head, and Smith had to make a living—and as you well know you ain’t going to make it writing poetry. Poetry has never been a magnet for the greenbacks. After years in the hallowed halls of government and the boardroom Smith is back to his eternally young muse Poetry. In his new collection of poetry from Higganum Hill Books: “The Grave Grows Bigger Between Generations,” Smith not only writes about the hardscrabble life of the workingman, but his own rebirth as a poet. In his brilliant poem “Having Never Wanted To Own The Business” he writes to the ephemeral, dust to dust nature of the corporate milieu, and indeed of all of life, no matter how exalted:

“ I can tell you that having come back from countless halls.
I am a name on better than a thousand roll-o-dex from NY to Washington,
each one retired to rooms with shoeboxes of data cards and dust.
My eyes are the marble of office complexes and monuments.
Rodents scurry through my corridors with wireless whiskers
intent on gnawing their way to eternity on cockroach eggs.”

And here with bright flashes of evocative imagery the middle-aged businessman comes back to the trappings and truths of the poet’s life:

“ I have come back to the page-torn poetry books I read and wrote
and to the fiery shriek of invisible angels celebrating
my return and the echoes of my now never empty room
and to the shared nights of readings, cryings, lovings,
amid the shingles of material poverty where soup bones boiled
all day and a can of beans was what we ate on a good day
and we drank each evening on what we could borrow
amid cigarettes and marijuana and loud music espresso machines
and made love in that until the sun rose and we had to hand in
our time machine cards that marked down our uselessness,
making ourselves a mockery of the machinery of diatribe.”

And in the poem “Poets” he defines the poet as an enemy of the leaders, the establishment, and the status quo. Smith reminds us of the vital role of the poet, the absolute necessity for a weaver of words, a visionary, someone who can see beyond the quotidian.

“The enemies of our leaders are poets
who listen to winds at night as they walk dark alleys,

who stop at lonely diners for a cup of coffee
before jotting down a few notes and going off
into the shuffle of their tired footsteps;
who come together again in the workplace
speaking in tongues marketers do not understand,
and seducing women with eyes that do not waver.

The leaders cannot lead without the words
a culture creates within itself
within its needs,

Highly Recommended.

Doug Holder/ Ibbetson Update

The Dangerous Corner by Richard Moore

The Dangerous Corner by Richard Moore, David Roberts Books, 2007, $17.00, paper, ISBN 9781933456836.

Review by Bert Stern, PhD.

The publication of this, Richard Moore’s thirteenth book of poetry, deepens the mystery of his relative obscurity. His mock epic cum Bildungsroman, The Mouse – Whole, which Moore calls “the main poem in my life” didn’t find a publisher until some 40 years after it was completed, though it’s a comic masterpiece. His work has been praised by such poets as May Swenson, Robert Lowell, Richard Wilbur, and Mona Van Duyn. Yet Moore remains, as he has always been, something of a castaway.

It’s possible to say, on his own testimony, that he was born such. His father wanted him aborted, and Moore matured to a kind of sympathy with his father’s position. Father, implicitly, and son, explicitly, agree that this world isn’t fit to live in. Not all his ironies or volumes of light verse do anything to change that view. And this new volume, in which Moore explicitly sees this world as hell, confirms it.

It also confirms that Moore can write free verse of amazing power and beauty, proof on nearly every page: In a Christmas poem, he says:

. . . All color has left the land,
been squeezed out, as from a sponge,
and let the land a thing of ashes.
And the great sponge has squeezed all
its soaked-up fire and color into

that shopping center, where sex-tools, soul helps,
screwdrivers and philosophies
are for sale. . . .

(“Into the Light”)

In “On High”:

Over the constant irritation of the avenue,
the irregular shrill quarreling of the tires
that keep whipping the pavement, as with dry wind
in gusts, in fits, and the library’s portico fitted

with pillars, caught in floodlight, where a flag
flops lazily that someone didn’t take down –
over all this tawdry nonsense of the town
and much more that I shan’t trouble to describe,

Venus rides in the blue night, a gem, a pulse
pillowed in richness like a queen.

Typically, in “On High” Queen Venus will collapse into a lover in bed, a woman Moore doesn’t “even much like,” but who offers him such

. . .lush variety,
each touch and squeeze, sure, exact, imaginative,
and all mingled with such a symphony of groans,
writhings, desperate pantings, tossings of the head

as Moore, having taken a mistress after his wife’s death, would never have dreamed possible in marriage.

The death of his wife, and the aftermath, is ostensibly the subject of Moore’s new book. His starting point is anguished grief, and, by design, the book’s four sections “somewhat resemble” the four movements of a musical sonata, moving toward what Moore calls “the final resolution.” But I don’t mean to suggest that Moore’s purpose is to take us through the stages of loss and grief and recovery. This powerfully non-formulaic book ranges ferociously and astonishingly beyond such bounds.

Moore’s poems are all energy and clash of opposing states. His poems are hard to nail because they are events and never, in fact, resolutions. Each goes through conflicting emotions, conflicting perceptions, and we come away shocked by combinations of anger and reconciliation, beauty and ugliness, and even flashes of spiritual tranquility.

Certain particulars remain more or less constant. The attitude, though placated by beauty, is often anguished, bitter, or plain curmudgeonly. The place is an upper middle class suburb, in which Moore lives in grim opposition. Near his house is a pond, in which Moore repeatedly finds a mirror of his mind. It can be “a thing of mournful shadows, / endlessly undulating into darkness” (“The Mirror”), an “image of the mind at peace” in “pure geometry,” or a place where “Girls in a giggling band” who go by, crying taunts at Moore, can be reflected in the pond as goddesses.

But in the poem that is a kind of signature for the volume,

The deep cold comes, and even the great
pond is frozen, dusted with snow,
luminous under Venus the moon,
suburban lights on the dark hills.

The cold wind has blown over and over
it, and not it is still, my mind,
frozen, determined, and still the wind
shrieks. Let there be no end of it.

Thus it is with Moore. He can pronounce, like Marlowe’s Mephistopheles, that this world is hell, “nor was I ever out of it,” and that, if anything, is the book’s “resolution. But Moore rancor and passions and meticulous craft leave us preferring his hell to many poets’ heavens.

Bert Stern/ Ibbetson Update/Somerville, Mass/ Feb. 2008

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

How About A Poet Laureate in Somerville?

( Sam Cornish- Boston Poet Laureate)

How About A Poet Laureate in Somerville?

Recently I was invited to a reception for the Boston Poet Laureate Sam Cornish at the Parkman House in Boston. It was a nice affair with many of the poets and players from the Boston area poetry scene in attendance. I got to eat a lot of fancy hors d’oeurves, drink a slightly diluted pomegranate punch, and admired the genteel trappings of this celebrated house. If I remember correctly Mayor Curley’s desk was stolen from the premises some years back. During the reception I spoke with Dan Tobin, the head of Creative Writing at Emerson College in Boston, Tino Villanueva, a professor of Romance Languages at Boston University, Elizabeth McKim, a poet and lecturer at Lesley University, Louisa Solano, former owner of the Grolier Poetry Bookshop, and many of my pals from the literary group the “Bagel Bards.’ Mayor Menino was there, and in his unaffected speech he mumbled;” I am not used to being around these literary types,” but he recognized the importance of the Poet Laureate. As my friend poet Jared Smith wrote in his poem: “Poets”: “The leaders cannot lead without the words, a culture creates within itself, within its needs, poets.”

Sam Cornish seemed to be a perfect fit for the position. A respected African-American poet, a longtime professor at Emerson College, he is not only an accomplished bard but he seems like a man who is genuinely comfortable walking the streets of the city, (I remember seeing him pounding the pavement of Commonwealth Ave when I lived in Brighton in the 80’s), and chewing the fat with the eclectic swath of people Boston is known for. He is a poet who knows how to navigate the back alleys of the Back Bay as well as the dusty corners of a classroom. As Cornish said in a Boston Globe article he was surprised to be selected because he wasn’t “connected.” And Cornish wants to be available to everyone: to denizens of nursing homes, homeless shelters, corporate board rooms, to the university classroom. He is a man who can bring the gift of poetry to the city, and articulate the city’s unique voice in a way that only poetry can do it.

Now it seems that Cambridge has a Poet/Populist. And I am thinking to myself “Damn! Why doesn’t Somerville have something like this?” In Somerville, according to a study in Granta Magazine, we have more writers per capita that the isle of Manhattan. Just think of the world class writers we have just a stone’s throw from Davis Square: Claire Messud, James Woods, Pagan Kennedy, Lloyd Schwartz, Afaa Michael Weaver, to name just a few. And so many have lived and passed through here like Denise Levertov, Lan Samantha Chang, Steve Almond, just a few names I can remember from the top of my barren, bald head. Somerville, referred to as the “Paris of New England,” is a city of many things, but is also a city of the arts. And anyone will tell you the arts are good for business. So why not create a committee to select a poet laureate? Someone like Cornish who is as good at outreach as he is at writing poetry? Money is an issue you say? I think the laureate in Boston has a budget of $3,000 and in Cambridge even less.

I have approached Alderman Trane about this and he said he would bring it up if I emailed him with some details. I did. He is a busy man but perhaps if more citizens expressed an interest it might speed the process. Send me an email if you think it is a good idea and I will forward it. You will never know unless you try.

---Doug Holder

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The This and That of Balances in a "Roomful of Sparrows," poems by Mary Buchinger

The This and That of Balances in a "Roomful of Sparrows," poems by Mary Buchinger

( Finishing Line Press POBOX 1626 Georgetown, Kentucky 40324 $12)

A poet is her or his language and poems, like people, as T. S. Eliot said, communicate before they are reduced to understanding. The poems in Mary Buchinger’s Roomful of Sparrows beset us again and again with surprising juxtapositions of terms (great and small, present and past, nature and technology) that jar and intrigue us to an unpredictable, lively sensibility. They are poems deft rather than copious in observation of the natural world around us, as we find in the final poem “White Cairn Trail, Mid-October”:

…we breathe in esters of pine
as we hike a path lit by ferns
until all is granite undulations with dark

pearl basins and we, alongside blue jays,
look down on the shiny backs of ravens.

We sense, breathe and see the wooded area of the description, but the next line,

The world is made of gold

—as though the lens were suddenly filtered, turns the landscape suggestively to allegory.
We can not take for granted or literal only the meanings of “esters” or “pine,” and see more closely that the poet’s observation has de-materialized the landscape already into “undulations,” its physical essence. We wonder what “pearl basins,” “blue jays” and “ravens” betoken, perhaps the way the Ant and the Cicada in Jean de la Fontaine’s fable are masks in a dialogue between frugality and prodigality.
Yet when Buchinger announces that she is going to speak about object and its meaning, in “The Higher Purpose of Bees,” she gives us simple intransitive statements that hint at a flirtish—or is it serious?—stubbornness and reticence:

The bee is a bee
—in all cases, a bee…

can be holy, can be desired,
studied, can hurt, can be all
but without meaning…

She so nearly says that language is subjective and the point of the poem is that bees, “unknowable alone,” take on meaning “in relation” to whom they may concern,

to the beekeeper,
to the gardener, to the poet,

to the artist with the gold-
dipped brush. The bee to the
botanist. The bee to the boy

with the swollen lip.

Like herbs, lemon and wine in a sauce, these lines need to be held in one’s mouth to be tasted and analyzed. How many different ways to see an intricate creature! For its resources and guardianship, for its natural function of pollination, for its symbolic or phonetic meaning or aesthetic beauty, for the threat it poses. Basil, thyme, oregano…
The passage with its subtlety reminds us why reading poetry is like reading no other form of writing.
If Buchinger can be so simple—so difficult?—as to craft the line, “The bee is a bee,” she has a dazzling knack to undermine expectations between noun and verb. In the book’s first poem, “Grizzly Bear on Pratt Museum’s Alaskan Webcam,” we read among much else that

…fish prance…

I comment: !
The poem begins remarkably with a mountain stream, in which the bear fishes, suddenly compared in the stroke of a conceit to a modern convenience:

—dip that paw one more time
dig around in the back of the refrigerator
must be something there…

The potential for allegory again is striking. Is the poet talking about a bear fishing in a river or about me watching a Patriot’s game? (I only watch figure skating, steeple chase, and Doug Holder’s Author to Author, really…)
Buchinger herself is not spared subversions or surprises in the life with the oddly matched. In “Mosquito Lesson,” the minute insect sends her into a frenzy,

I beat the air
slap my neck
chase her neediness…

What are mosquitoes these days with the repellants we have? Who am I to act this way?—the poet is perhaps asking. Human is human. Buchinger is vulnerable. She can also be tongue-in-cheek spoiled the way we find her in “Flying to Vancouver,” a passenger in Business Class, being served “chicken risotto and tapenade”—with a sense of humility remembering her childhood,

how on the farm I used to hoe
sugar beets and soybeans, knowing
nothing about tapenade or Chardonnay.

My jean cuffs holding straw,
I knew kernels of red wheat
could be chewed to gum…

I appreciate the proportions in registers of sentiment Buchinger has kept to. The common resounds more commonly throughout the book. She observes sparrows, beetles, reads Tolstoy, goes skating (on a pond with a frog frozen in it), companionably in a day to day world that is familiar to us. As she trumps the exceptional experience of flying in Business Class, she elevates mundane occurrences into exceptionally perceptive moments. In “Reading A Wrinkle in Time ” moths gathered at a porch screen door by the light in the house are seen as an intense illustration of the poet’s deepest endearment:

—their ache for the light
primitive as my love of my mother’s voice
reading L’Engle’s book to me.

This deepest spring of her feelings is mediated through books, seen in a marvelous conceit of the nocturnal insects:

How the moths beat
their own white pages
against our porch screens

thin spines rippling as they
opened and closed against
the fine mesh holes…

In “Redeem/The unread vision in the higher dream” Buchinger probes further to that which is behind the mother’s voice and intimates,

We all want…that finest shot of ourselves, but what we need is someone with the eyes to look for it, to show us what it is.

In her muse, in her memory and with her fellow poets she has found the elements of this “someone” who gives us an excellent “shot” of her. The medium forms a circle to us. When I read these poems my faculties put on different lenses that help me find something truer and better within myself. That is the benefit of reading good writing.
Mary Buchinger’s Roomful of Sparrows is available online at as well as at

---Michael Todd Steffen is the winner of the Ibbetson Street Poetry Award 2007. He is a regular reviewer for the Boston Area Small Press and Poetry Scene.

Wild Strawberries by Eric Greinke

Wild Strawberries
Eric Greinke
Presa Press 2008
ISBN 978-0-9800081-1-1

Eric Greinke’s poems, like messages in a bottle, found
after so many years of being afloat, his poems are the
experiences of being within, the experiences of being
in nature. each poem is a cathedral of actuality, of
thought, of inspiration. we can take this walk with
these poems or we can stay in our homes, inside, never
venturing out of doors; we can listen to the telling
after the fact. he has the rare talent to walk with
our environment then to bring us a profound lesson
that nature often has if we listen to the ice crystals
or growing green. he takes our hand and shows us what
we have forgotten to look at,

the rain is the key
the dolls are asleep

there are books in the field

Irene Koronas
poetry editor
wilderness house literary review
poetry reviewer

Somerville poet/publishers for the senior set.

( Bert Stern and Tam Lin Neville)

Somerville poet/publishers for the senior set.

In the 60’s the saying was: “Don’t trust anyone over thirty.” To Union Square residents and publishers Tam Lin Neville and Bert Stern it might be said: “Don’t trust anyone under sixty.” No, Stern and Neville don’t have anything against us younger folks; in fact some of their best friends are under sixty. But it just so happens they have a three year old press “Off the Grid” that caters to the sixty-plus literary crowd. I asked Stern why he chose this graying demographic. He replied: “We’re old. Why not stick with your own.” And it seems to this publishing duo that the “older crowd” is overlooked to a great degree in the publishing world. Stern reflected: “The kids coming out of the Iowa Writers Workshop” just don’t have the experience and experiences we have. The writing is vastly different.”

Stern and Neville are both accomplished poets and writers. Stern was a professor of English at Wabash College in Indiana for many years, and has published scholarly articles and poetry. His first poetry publication was in a sort of mini-book or chap titled:
“Glass Hill” Gene Magner, the late curator of the University of Buffalo Poetry and Rare Books Archive published it. The poet Robert Creeley read it and wrote Stern and praised his work

Neville has also taught on the college level, and has a host of publication credits in prestigious journals. She has a collection of poetry out “Journey Cake” that deals with her experiences in China some years ago.

Both Stern and Neville moved to Somerville eight years ago after Stern retired from teaching. Stern said: “It is hard to be a retired academic in a small college town. You shrink. You sit around in a coffee shop and wait for someone to talk to you. I wanted to be in a different place.”

The couple looked in several locations like Brooklyn, N.Y. and the Republic of Cambridge, but settled in Somerville. They are happily living in a large house on Quincy Street in Union Square. They frequent Sherman’s CafĂ© and Bloc 11.

Stern and Neville started Off the Grid Press with Stern’s childhood friend Henry Braun (they met as cub scouts) In fact the Press’s first poetry collection was penned by Braun titled “Loyalty.” The next book out is Lee Sharkey’s: “A Darker, Sweeter String.” The book was recently featured by Poetry Daily and Verse Daily online.

Stern said the Press looks for poetry that goes beyond the personal, that goes beyond the “poet’s nose.” So in these days of navel-gazing Off the Grid is a welcome addition to our literary scene. To find out more about the press go to:

Monday, February 18, 2008

A darker, sweeter string by Lee Sharkey

A darker, sweeter string

Lee Sharkey
Off The Grid Press
2008, $15.00
ISBN: 978-0-9778429-1-9

Lee Sharkey lures the reader, catches us, shows us the
webs of deception; as a captured audience we face the
reality of what was, what is,

soon enough the dead return and cross the threshold
may slouches her belly good as gold

and from her poem ‘by moon light’

one will lie beside the unsound of not breathing
eating out the night

and from ‘the suicides’

we’re circling the hole where the ones who abandoned
us lie
absent electric

Her sparse emphatic look at the past/present frees the
reader like, "sudden pure white," to pursue our own
responsibility to understand how frail existence is,

this is how the brain relearns to speak
up stairs
left hand right foot
right hand left foot

Lee Sharkey’s language is exquisite, self referential
and we are able to devour every thought provoked by
the larger reality, history. Sharkey uses repetition,
sequence and timing in a struggle to release,

what do you do with an eye in the cup of your hand?

This is not an easy book of poetry, (for me, at least)
each poem compels me to read more, to put the book
aside, take it up again.

it is thought that cows’ unhurried lowing
the rise and fall in the evening of toad ululation,
the dense sweet penetration of grasses
in air drawn through the nostrils and deep into lungs
will offer our minds a place to return to
from the caves where they cower

if you buy no other book for the next five years, this
is a must, must read, must possess, must repeat,

there came the time we were moved to move into the


the one who has been silent is the one who sends a
message to the future.

Irene Koronas
poetry editor
wilderness house literary review
poetry reviewer
ibbetson street press

Somerville Poet Richard Wilhelm: An Artist Who Paints Poems.

Somerville Poet Richard Wilhelm: An Artist Who Paints Poems.

Walk into Richard Wilhelm’s studio on Highland Street in Somerville and you will see canvasses covering the waterfront of his artist’s digs. Wilhelm, 60, has been painting and writing for as long as he can remember. His poetry and art cover the landscapes of Somerville, the roads of his childhood, and the dreamscapes of his inquiring mind. Wilhelm’s poetry, like his paintings, exhibit evocative hues and that sensibility of the painter always seems to be present in his work.

Wilhelm holds a B.A. in Journalism, and for over twenty years has been a counselor at McLean Hospital in Belmont, Mass. Wilhelm is the arts/editor for the Ibbetson Street Press, and has had his own artwork exhibited at such venues as the Piano Factory in Boston, Cambridge Adult Education Center, etc…His poetry has been published in such print and online journals as “Ibbetson Street,” “Lyrical Somerville,” “Istanbul Literary Review,” “Poet’s Market,” “Spare Change News,” “Wilderness House Literary Review,” and others. Wilhelm is also a regular reviewer for the “Boston Area Small Press and Poetry Scene,” an online literary blog.

Wilhelm released his first collection of poetry through the Ibbetson Street Press: “Awakenings.” It has been described by award-winning poet Doug Worth as: “powerful free verse, sonorous—image tapestries… the mature poet takes us through a remarkable series of awakenings, most of them to profound interconnections between him and primordial riches of the material world.”

Doug Holder: You have had your first poetry collection published “Awakenings.” You just turned 60. What have you awakened to?

Richard Wilhelm: The title of this book is taken from one of the poems “Awakenings” That poem really talks to my friends and myself as kids. It’s about the awakening of boys becoming young men. A lot of the poems deal with the spiritual aspects of nature. An “Awakening” to the spiritual aspects of nature. I guess you can say a lot of the poems have an Emersonian quality to them.

Doug Holder: How does your other life as a visual artist inform your work?

Richard Wilhelm: There are some elements of crossover to be sure. It goes both ways. It doesn’t happen all the time. One aesthetic idea can cross over to the other.

Doug Holder: You were an active member in the “Students for a Democratic Society” (SDS) in the 60’s. Does your political sensibility crossover to your poetry?

Richard Wilhelm: I have some political poems in the collection. There was a poem that appeared in the anthology “City of Poets: 18 Boston Voices”: “And, So.” That has a real environmental message. I don’t write a whole bunch of political poems. It’s hard for me and for a lot of people to write political poems. I know sometimes when I try they become rants.

Doug Holder: You are a good student and observer of nature.

Richard Wilhelm: Emerson talked about seeing things in nature as signs of inner states. I think this has a big influence on my work. In “Awakenings” there are a lot of poems that deal with the Moon. The Moon has always been a mysterious thing for me. It is the spiritual aspect of the “other” that we look up to the sky for. We try to figure out how that relates to us, and what connection we have to it. I have been reading a lot. I am still trying to make sense out of the world.

Doug Holder: Do you think we look to nature for spirituality because religion has failed us?

Richard Wilhelm: Organized religion has failed us. Certainly since the mid 19th century. Religion has failed as an interpretation of reality.

Doug Holder: Would you describe yourself as a Pagan?

Richard Wilhelm: No. My world view is a science-based, empiricism. But at the time I was writing these poems I was reading about Paganism. I am trying to find the language to express things I want to express. I want to give voice to spiritual expression. What language do we use? We wind up too often falling back on religious expression.

Doug Holder: Can you talk about your role as the arts/editor for the Ibbetson Street Press?

Richard Wilhelm: Initially a lot of the covers for the journal were drawings or photos by me. More and more I am interested in doing other peoples’. We had Jennifer Matthews’ photos on the front and back cover recently. Robin Weiss, our boss at McLean Hospital will be on a cover in an upcoming issue. The magazine has gotten good critical reviews, so it’s a good place to display work.

Doug Holder. You have worked at McLean Hospital, a famed psychiatric hospital that is now a national literary landmark, for over twenty years. Plath, Sexton, Lowell and others were all here. Has this influenced your work?

Richard Wilhelm. I think it has influenced you more than me. Not really.


The motorcade rounded the corner
Jackie so sharp in pink
and pillbox
The President smiled and waved

We headed up the hillside
the day after--the grass
was yellow and dry
leaves off the shrubs

The killer raised his rifle slowly
aimed long I carried
my shotgun in front
of me, safety on

He waited for the perfect shot
I instinctively leaned
forward, bringing shotgun
to shoulder My aunt and uncle fired

but missed the rabbit that sprang
across my range, kept bounding
after the blast
my uncle’s beagle in pursuit

The President lurched, jerked again
secret service men hopped aboard
the motorcade sped off
the dog dropped the rabbit at my feet

identifying me as the killer, blood ran
out of its ear; Jackie smeared
with her husband’s blood
I never went hunting again

--Richard Wilhelm

Boston, Fall and Other Poems. B.Z. Niditch

Boston, Fall and Other Poems. B.Z. Niditch (POBOX 187 Farmington, ME 04938) $12.

B.Z. Niditch is one of the most prolific poets in the small press, joined by the likes of A.D. Winans, Lyn Lifshin, Hugh Fox and Ed Galing. The poems in “Boston, Fall and Other Poems,” deal with the environs of Harvard Square, Boston, and the interiors of the poet’s mindscape. Niditch paints a pretty picture of June in his poem about Boston’s famed “Public Gardens.”

“To rest
in front of the sun
planting your steps
by sacks of rose petals
in public gardens,
noon day seems endless
and a friend waits up.

Breathing in
punctuated silence,
a butterfly brushes
against the June wind,
for a deafened half-hour
your arms are sealed
by wheel barrels
of rose tattoos.”

This is a collection that should be of interest to those who have followed Niditch over the years.

Doug Holder/Ibbetson Update/ Feb. 2008/Somerville, Mass.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Dan Tobin and Marty Beckerman sign on for Somerville News Writers Festival--Nov. 15 2008

Poet Dan Tobin ( above) and cutting-edge journalist Marty Beckerman have agreed to read at The Somerville News Writers Festival Nov 15, 2008. Also included: Junot Diaz, Meg Kearney, Tino Villanueva, Afaa Michael Weaver, Bert Stern, and others to be announced.

Daniel Tobin

Chair and Professor (2002) Emerson College--Boston
B.A., Iona College; M.T.S., Harvard University; M.F.A., Warren Wilson College; Ph.D., University of Virginia
On Leave
Daniel Tobin is the author of three books of poems, Where the World is Made (University Press of New England 1999), Double Life (Louisiana State University Press, 2004) and The Narrows (Four Way Books, 2005). Among his awards are the "The Discovery/The Nation Award," The Robert Penn Warren Award, The Greensboro Review Prize, the Robert Frost Fellowship, the Katherine Bakeless Nason Prize, and a creative writing fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. Most recently, The Narrows was a featured book on Poetry Daily, as well as a finalist for the Foreword Magazine Poetry Book Award. Four Way Books will publish his fourth book of poems, Second Things, in 2009.

His poems have appeared nationally and internationally in such journals as The Nation, The New Republic, The Harvard Review, Poetry, The American Scholar, The Paris Review, The Southern Review, The Sewanee Review, The Hudson Review, DoubleTake, The Kenyon Review, Image, The Times Literary Supplement (England), Stand (England), Agenda (England), Descant (Canada) and Poetry Ireland Review. His critical study, Passage to the Center: Imagination and the Sacred in the Poetry of Seamus Heaney, came out to wide praise from the University of Kentucky Press in 1999. Tobin has also edited The Book of Irish American Poetry from the Eighteenth Century to the Present (University of Notre Dame Press, 2007), Light in the Hand: The Selected Poems Lola Ridge (Quale Press, 2007), and (with Pimone Triplett) Poet's Work, Poet's Play: Essays on the Practice and the Art (University of Michigan Press, 2007). His work has been anthologized in Hammer and Blaze, The Bread Loaf Anthology of New American Poets, Poetry Daily Essentials 2007, Broken Land: Poems of Brooklyn, Third Rail: The Poetry of Rock and Roll, The Norton Introduction to Poetry, and elsewhere. He has also published numerous essays on modern and contemporary poetry in the United States and abroad.

Marty Beckerman, is the author of Dumbocracy, Generation S.L.U.T. and Death to All Cheerleaders.

He has written for Playboy, Reason, Discover, Radar, Huffington Post, Jewcy and New York Press. He has been featured by the New York Times, the New York Post,, MSNBC,, Fox News Channel and National Public Radio.

Originally from Anchorage, Alaska, Beckerman lives in New York City.