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Gloria Mindock, Editor   Issue No. 94   March, 2017




It has been awhile since a newsletter reached your way! Some catch up news.

In 2016, we have released the following books:


Fire Tongue
by Zvi A. Sesling
(March, 2016)

Secret Letters
by Erika Burkart,
translated from the German by Marc Vincenz
(June, 2016)

A Peaceful Color From The Silence
by Gulnar Ali Balata
(September, 2016)

by Roberto Carlos Garcia
(October, 2016)

Geography of Love and Exile
by Susannah Simpson
(December, 2016)

Twenty-one Ghazals
by Alisher Navoiy/Translated from the Uzbek by Dennis Daly
(December, 2016)


by Martin Burke
(June, 2016)

No More Happy Endings
by Milan Djurasovic
(July, 2016)

by T. M. Devos
(March, 2016)

The Last Gun
by Anne Harding Woodworth
(March, 2016)

Housing for Wrens
by Edward Morin
(September, 2016)

Benign Protection
by Anne Elezabeth Pluto /Anya Vladimirovna Pluta
(September, 2016)

More news from 2016 that you missed.

Some very exciting news about the Cervena Barva Press staff.

Our international editor, Flavia Cosma, has a new book out called "The Latin Quarter" (MadHat Press)

Tim Suermondt has a new book published called, "Election Night and the Five Satins"( Glass Lyre Press)

Pui Ying Wong has a new book out called,"An Emigrant's Winter" (Glass Lyre Press)

My new book, "Whiteness of Bone" is published by Glass Lyre Press

It is a good year for all of us at Cervena Barva Press. How wonderful it is for all of us to have new books out all in the same year around the same time. Wow! It was very exciting!

Tim and I want to thank all of you who attended our book launch and thanks to everyone who bought our books. We can't thank you enough. Here are a few pictures from our launch. The rest you can see on our FB pages. Pui Ying Wong, and Cervena Barva Press authors Annie Pluto and Gulnar Ali Balata celebrated their book launches at Sherrill Library at Lesley University. Gulnar was unable to attend so I read some of her poetry and represented her.

Now we can move into 2017 news.

Cervena Barva Press announces the release of "Slow Transit" by Michael C. Keith
and a chapbook, "The Path of Thunder" by Susan Donnelly.

I would like to welcome two new interns, Jamie Magrid and Tyler Wright, from Lesley University, who will be helping me until May. I am so very happy to have them. They both are wonderful and a big help!

AWP was absolutely wonderful. It was great to see so many of my authors and future authors, friends, publishers, and so many writers. I would like to give a special thank you to Annie Pluto, Heath Brougher, Steve Ostrowski, Hope Jordan, Lucy Lang Day, and Joani Reese for helping out at the Cervena Barva Press booktable. You are the best! I loved reading for Hot Pillow and hearing so many wonderful writers. Wow! Thank you to Joani Reese for asking me to be a part of it. Also a very big thank you to Jonathan Penton of Unlikely Stories. We had a reading of our authors which was great. A lively place in Washington DC. I would like to thank my authors for reading. They were: Bill Yarrow, Joani Reese, Annie Pluto, and Mark Vincenz. Also other presses that were part of the reading were River Writers, Delete Press and Tenderloin. Thank you!!!

Thank you to Glass Lyre Press. I had a book signing of my book, "Whiteness of Bone" at their table. It was so great to see Royce and Steve. I missed Ami Kaye and hope she will attend next year. All of you are the best!

Garland Press was the table next to them. I got to see Laurel Dire King who I know from when I spoke to Gian Lombardo's publishing class at Emerson College. I was so excited she has her own press! I bought a wonderful book by one of her authors. They had their table decorated so cool to go along with their authors book. I loved it! It was the best. I was thrilled that she bought my book. I returned to Boston in the middle of a snow storm. I missed 2 while away. A busy week for snow but in Washington DC, the weather was great except one windy day.

Some pictures from AWP 2017 in Washington D.C.

Now for the biggest news!

Mark your calendar for Thursday, April 27th, 7:00PM. Cervena Barva Press will be celebrating 12 years!!!! OMG 12 years!!!! Please come help us celebrate. Everyone is invited. I would like my authors to pick a poem from their book to read. It will be so much fun and I will have tons of goodies to eat. I need my authors to RSVP so I can plan. Exciting!!!! Come party with me!!!! There will be a few friends of Cervena Barva Press sharing a poem too!

Also to all authors and friends of Cervena Barva Press: October is Cervena Barva Press Reads Around the World. I need you to set up a reading in your city/country. It takes time to find a place so do this right away. Send me info of who is reading so I can publicize it. Authors can pick who they want to read with. This was a big success last time so please get ready to do this. It must have the heading of Cervena Barva Press Reads Around the World. This happens every other year. So get busy and plan. It will be so much fun and good exposure for everyone and the press.

Finally, I have not done a fund-raiser in the last few years so I am doing one this year. The press really needs to raise money. I am asking everyone to send in $12.00 to represent the 12 years we have been around. I really hope you can help us out with this amount. I am not asking for much. Just this amount because it is affordable and if many do this, it will all add up. Of course we will accept more but I am asking only for a modest contribution to the press. So this is my begging paragraph and I will be sending out emails and posting it all over. Instead of fund-raising in October, November, I am doing this now and will continue for awhile. So many of you, have been great to the press so thank you. No amount is too small. We appreciate anything you can do. Thank you!

In January, I was selected as Somerville's Poet Laureate for 2017 and 2018. I am so excited about this. I follow in the footsteps of Nicole Terez Dutton who did a wonderful job and was Somerville's first Poet Laureate. I recently had a Poetry Roundtable. Thank you to everyone who joined me. Here is a picture. It was a blast! The next Poetry Roundtable will be Saturday May 20th from 1:30PM-3:30PM. As Poet Laureate, I also have office hours once a month. It is the last Tuesday of every month from 6:30PM-7:30PM. No office hours in December. Come by and say hi and find out what I am up to as Poet Laureate. I will be doing many projects and will publicize when they are happening. I want to thank the panel for selecting me to represent the city of Somerville, MA.


Poetry by Martha Collins
University of Pittsburgh Press, Pitt Poetry Series, 2016
Reviewed by Tim Suermondt

We Americans have never come to a satisfactory grip on race. Even now in the year 2017 racial matters seem to bedevil us as much as ever, and Martha Collins in her new book of poems shows exactly why this is so. From the brilliant opening poems set in The World's Fair in 1904 St. Louis-where the new, modern age is proclaimed-to the ending poem, Collins gives us the sad history of racism and it's scientific theories, focusing mainly on early 20th century America yet showing how far, even now, we haven't come.

In these poems we are reminded that people of different races were actually put on display, like animals at the zoo-making it clear as to the ones who were deemed inferior. The African "Pygmy" Ota Benga is one of the main characters, and his story is not only a tale of great injustice and humiliation, but is made even worse by the knowledge that this was seen by many as being normal-part of a whole package of laws-anti-immigrant, sterilization and more-that men like the eugenicist Madison Grant believed were acts a Christian society had a right to foist on "others," often necessary actions to keep civilization "pure." I like the way Collins uses her scrapbook approach by including much of the news sources of the day. It reminds me of John Dos Passos' great novel U.S.A., and also of the novels of James T. Farrell.

A powerful testament, but how does the book stack up as poetry? There are parts that are stronger than others, but the sheer thrust and conviction that Collins employs in her narrative gives the poetry its justice. I mentioned the strong ending poem-but here's one of the poems I liked best:


Zoo-      logical      garden      plant
      an antelope elephant tree
zoo- logical park as in
enclosure meant for game
      for us we parked
      the car could leave

Poems by Jennifer Barber
Reviewed by Pui Ying Wong

Working in spare and precise language, Jennifer Barber captures passing moments in everyday life in poems filled with resonance and nuance. These moments are easy to miss and Barber draws us to them with visual details: a pear riddled with wasps, a drifting soul in the snow, a woman framed by the doorway in the early morning, a man whispering to himself in the library...quiet moments rich in their suggestiveness. Whether writing about nature, family, faith, or love and dying, poems in Works on Paper, Barber's latest collection radiates intensity. It is a composite of life quietly observed, seasons changing, children growing up, the life cycle. Barber is inspired by the everyday natural world, birds, flowers, breezes, farm animals and a falcon picking apart a pigeon.

In "Rooms", a poem about the mother and her children opens with, "I held my son, my daughter/ I set them down." The poem describes taking care and watching the children going through the teenage period. Barber uses unadorned language and lets the moments speak for themselves. With just selective details and deliberate straight- forwardness, the poem avoids sentimentality, the moments stay fresh and vivid, and it ends with:

   My daughter took the blue notebook
   of the hours she kept to herself.
   My son left behind
   a sweater, a pair of jeans,
a crumpled page of sheet music.
   She took a swollen suitcase.
   He left a keychain that lights in the dark."

Barber's meditation in these poems brings on lovely images such as "the moon a doorknob to a dark/ so large no one can see it..", or in another one "the dusty wideness of the streets/ like the contagion's aftermath.." We, too, slow down as we read these poems in their desolation and beauty. One of my favorite poems, Trope, quoted here in its entirety is wonderful in its strangeness. The turn comes in the lines " I take my glasses off..". To me, it is at once an allusion to the wolf dressing up as grandmother in the Little Red Riding Hood story, and seeing the many sides of things.


Morning emerges
like a long egg from a hen.
A gazelle is wearing
antelope pants.
The clouds are baby goats.
The clouds have hooves.
I take my glasses off
the better to see you with
and the leaves
in front of the sun.

Barber also writes about God, faith and prayers, as well as the comfort found in literature and art. She writes, "who could stop/ from burnishing the lines/ that arrive like birds..." In the poem, Galway, Fireplace, she shows the painstaking effort art demands and the protectiveness the artist suggests about the creative flame.

Galway, Fireplace

The way the peat burns
with a low, slow flame
could break your heart
if you wanted
the sound of wood crackling.
You're still cold.
You put on a new briquette
carefully, so as
not to bury the flame,
small and blue as a child's thumb.


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