Friday, October 30, 2009


Deborah Rey (1938) was born in Amsterdam. From an early age she has worked in radio, television, publicity and the theatre, as a broadcaster, entertainer, scriptwriter, translator, editor, and actress. Today, retired, she finally has the time to be a full-time writer and editor, and lives at the French Atlantic coast with her husband, two dogs and five cats. Rey is recognised by the Dutch Foundation 1940-1945 as a participant in the Resistance during the German occupation of The Netherlands during World War II. “Rachel Sarai’s Vineyard” is her first novel and, like most of her poetry and prose, deals with WWII, child abuse and the truth about a person’s roots.

Very short synopsis:

*When, during the Second World War, five-year-old Rachel Sarai must take over her father’s work in the Dutch Resistance, she distributes messages, smuggles people to safety during nightly curfew hours, lies, steals, and confronts the Gestapo. One child, two wars: Rachel must also survive the sick hatred, and mental, and physical abuse of the woman supposedly her mother. She does, thanks to the unadulterated love of Marie, a Jewish violinist in hiding,

‘Rachel Sarai’s Vineyard’ relates the life of a ‘baby courier’ during WWII. It tells of fear and lost morals, child abuse, of the death of the child within, and the cruel annihilation of her roots.*

Publisher: Merilang Press UK (launch in London on Sept. 19th, 2009)ISBN: 987-0955543098
More info at the publisher's website.

Review of Nine . . . Ten . . . and Out! The Two Worlds of Emile Griffith by Ron Ross

Certain lives, in the right hands, can make for tidy stories. While celebrity status is a useful ingredient for a financially successful biography, the better authors know that the important stories are not guided by the marketplace. It’s the story that matters; if the story—the life being presented—can also be placed within a greater context, then the biography is able to breathe even deeper. Author Ron Ross has accomplished such an artistic breakthrough with Nine . . . Ten . . . and Out! The Two Worlds of Emile Griffith.

The double entendre title of the book is a less-than-subtle clue that the biography is going to be more than a sports chronicle. Emile Griffith is a legitimate legend of the boxing ring and among the most notable sports celebrities of the twentieth century, and Ross’s bio gives full credence to these points, but the author perceptively realizes that the depth of the story is not the celebrated prizefighter’s career; history has already recorded the name of Emile Griffith the boxing champion. The story of Emile Griffith dwells beyond the encyclopedias and videos. It’s a complex story, and it’s a story that matters.

Perhaps concerned with the treatment such a subject might receive from an insensitive publisher, Ross accepted the imprint of DiBella Entertainment for his emotional study of Griffith. DiBella Entertainment is a world renowned promotional firm specializing in professional boxing but not a book publisher, facts which should be considered if one notices a few inconsistencies in the presentation. There are a few too many typos present, and the style guidelines used for printing appear to be those of journalism rather than book publishing, but these are minor points that will bother only the editorial-minded among us. Most readers will be too engrossed in the story itself to notice, and DiBella should otherwise be applauded for entering the difficult world of independent book publishing with such a worthy title.

With Nine . . . Ten . . . and Out! Ross seems to be making sure that he is recognized as a prose stylist beyond being a sports writer or biographer. To this end he is even a little too poetic in places—which is an unlikely criticism to be levied against a book thematically linked with the manly arts—but ultimately it all works and Ross successfully melds the public life of a sports champion with the struggles of a warm and sensitive kid from the Virgin Islands whose profound intimacies are at great odds with the professional life of a boxing champion.

Emile Griffith, who not only authorized the biography but personally encouraged its honesty, is a fine human being with a story worth preserving. Ron Ross’s Nine . . . Ten . . . and Out! eloquently provides that preservation.

More info at the book’s web site.

Review by Phil Rice, Canopic Publishing

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Designer, Mark Schwartz, on Shoes, Art and Knowing Andy Warhol ___Podcast

Mark Schwartz is an accomplished shoe designer and artist. He has been designing shoes for over 20 years for some of the biggest names in our industry.

Born in New York City, Mark has traveled the world gaining inspiration for his ideas from artist Andy Warhol, who Mark beneficially watched at work and knew for two years. Warhol encouraged and helped Schwartz cultivate his artistic renderings of shoes while Schwartz was working for Roger Vivier as an assistant designer and creative director. Mark Schwartz is now pioneering a new shade of talent within his work by exploring the grace and eclecticism of footwear as works of art.

See Mark's Blog : High Heeled Art

Hear our Podcast

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Griffin Veatch: This Ride Ain't Over

He was all but 'taken out' healthwise beginning in 1997. By 1999-2000 he was hospitalized repetitively and his life was all but taken-away from him.

After spending several years as a basic shut-in [2000-2004], he slowly re-started his songwriting efforts with acid-pro music-editing software; a desktop & laptop; a few new mics; a few new (and a few old) guitars; a few new (and a few old) friends and musicians; along with a few Music/sound library CDs; and with over 30 years worth of pent-up songwriting frustration as extra driving-force, he set out to pull a [Warren] "Zevon" and get some tunes out while he still could.

VEATCH "This Ride ain't Over"
[songs of Griffin "Ghost" Veatch]

is basically an "equivalent to 2 CDs on 1" deal.
1/2 electric-guitar rhythm-driven rock 'n' roll,
and 1/2 acoustic-based country-rock.

With song topics ranging from: partying too hard, to having bad days, to the sins men commit chasing after[and catching]the fairer sex, to vehicles leaving you stranded, to the artist's life and times when Bill Clinton's 'Willie' and 'spermgate' were ALL the news, to the end of the world[predicted 12/21/2012], to songs about lost love, to songs about past loved ones, about Railroads, about Waylon, and traveling the Highways...
There's a wide variety here.

The Griffin Veatch Web site

Hear Griffin's music and buy it on Amazon

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

IN THE NOTHINGNESS digital poetry collaboration

Photography by Aad de Gids, Soundscape by Dee Sunshine, Poetry by Aad de Gids, Helene Cardona, John Fitzgerald, Marilyn Kallet and Belinda Subraman. Edited and produced by Belinda Subraman. *A Vergin" Production*

Monday, October 19, 2009

Christian Usera: THE FOUR CORNERS

The Four Corners is a surrealist post-modern mythic wonder. It contains a series of illustrated stories, which prompt the reader to delve into their own psyche. Anthropomorphic characters roam these tales in search of dreams, the truth, ideals and wisdom.

Which came first, the paintings or the writing?

The first idea that came I suppose was the painting of “Mother Nothing.” That prompted a friend to remark that it appeared to closely resemble a character by Gerald McDermott, a beloved children’s book author. McDermott was known for his abstract style and creative folktale myths based on various cultures around the world. To that end, I decided I would create a folktale of my own. I began by thinking of who this character reminded me of and came up with the Hindu goddess “Kali” who is not the goddess of death as many in the west speculate, but rather is a representation of ‘oblivion’ (*in one myth even the god of destruction Shiva is fearful of her. After all if there’s nothing to destroy then destruction itself ceases to be… but I digress…)

The idea of ‘Nothingness’ came to mind and went into a whole surreal experience where I wished to impart this idea of creativity through the blankness of form. The subsequent stories came from different myths and different archetypes from my own mind. I accomplished this whole anthology over a three year period. Each was accomplished using different media- Spray paint- acrylics- watercolors- pastels- crayons. This was to evoke a different mood for each piece. After the first story however, I ended up writing the subsequent books first, then illustrated the piece by breaking it down scene by scene.

How much do you feel your religious background has influenced you?

I consider myself a spiritual person, but I hope merely to allow the reader to question, to seek answers. I’d like more individuals to have that drive and I feel that’s lacking in society. It is not a given that someone searches and examines their life. It is however a birthright to do so.

Does any mental disorder affect your writing?

The only disorder I’ve ever been officially diagnosed with was actually a generalized anxiety disorder. Undiagnosed disorders I can’t actually speculate on that being I’m not a licensed professional.

I’m sure it affected my artwork and writing to have dealt with various struggles within life and the anxiety that comes with that. I did have learning disabilities growing up, namely dyslexia. In addition I suffered various health problems in my youth. I also had a few near death experiences. I guess I’ll have to leave it to future critics to delve into the work and find their own theories about my quirks!

Christian's website

Friday, October 16, 2009

Will Consider Guest Essays & Reviews of Books, CDs and Art

Will Consider Guest Essays & Reviews of Books, CDs and Art

If you are interested, write to me at and tell me what you have in mind. The invitation is not to promote your own work but rather to promote others.

Thursday, October 15, 2009


The poems collected in Love Is A Ghost Thing are dreamlike. They are what live in the dark corners and alleyways of the mind. They are of the past, present, and infinite. They are attempts to come to an understanding of the human condition.

Casey Mensing was born in a town called, Breese. His family was the restless sort, so he's lived a few other places since then. Currently, he's residing in Honolulu, HI. Mr. Mensing started out as a compulsive liar but switched to writing after discovering the works of Frederico Garcia Lorca and Lightnin' Hopkins. Check out his book Love Is A Ghost Thing and it's companion CD The March of The Tongue Brigade. You can read selections of Casey's newest writings on his blog.


I watch the traffic
Cars and trucks

I watch the passenger side doors
become moving museums

single still

memory or dream?

Man on the corner,
broken teeth,
sings ballads of the good times
when there was hope in every home.

Digital Poetry Collaboration Experiment

Photograph by Aad de Gids

Okay let's have some fun. I will attempt to put together another digital poetry film based on some of the submissions sent to me at
Send 3-5 very short poems (no more than 16 lines) loosely based on the mystery of being alive or some mystery in life. Of course, nothing trite or sentimental. It could be rather "mysterious" writing but must sound good read aloud.

Do we have a composer in the house who would like to submit an mp3 of original ambient music?

Would consider a few more mysterious photographs if you would like to send those along.

DEADLINE is sooner the better.

Here is an example of a digital poetry film.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Nancy Somerville's WAITING FOR ZEBRAS

Nancy Somerville is a Scottish-based poet and editor whose first collection is Waiting for Zebras (Red Squirrel Press, Scotland, 2008).
Her work has been published widely in magazines and anthologies and her poem, ‘The Big Hooley’ appeared in 100 Favourite Scottish Poems, (Luath Press, 2006).
She is a member of Edinburgh’s Shore Poets

About the book:
The landscape and wildlife of Scotland and beyond form the backdrop to these poems of life, love and longing. "She has a keen eye and a dry wit...". Andrew Martin, National Library of Scotland.


The apple is in my hand
as the siren's distant sound
closes in,
responding to another
preventable tragedy.

I hold the fruit
under running water,
(which only seems pure),
and wash from its green skin
the poisons we use to kill
the poisons we perceive.

And as I bite,
chalk outlines appear
in the dust.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Paul Siegell's new book, " jambandbootleg"

Wait till you see what some of these poems look like! A widespread, high-spirited head rush. What was the last concert you went to? If you are looking for exhilaration in new writing, if you’re looking for all out life-leaping, for your eyes to widen, for a book of poetry that channels the excitement of scoring tickets to your favorite band, and then follows that sensation by nailing down the all-senses experience of actually going to the show, then Paul Siegell’s second collection, jambandbootleg, is yours for the raging. With sound, shape and sophistication, check it out over at A-Head Publishing.

Paul Siegell is the author of jambandbootleg (A-Head, 2009) and Poemergency Room (Otoliths Books, 2008). He is a staff editor at Painted Bride Quarterly and has contributed to 5AM, The American Poetry Review, Coconut, No Tell Motel, RATTLE and many other fine journals. Kindly find more of Paul's work at his “ReVeLeR @ eYeLeVeL”.


what are these words, friends,
shuffling their letters, about? what star
ry-eyed sport could spell and cast them
into asterism, the unheard of listenables?
my notebook’s blanks are becoming few
er. let the nude let the bottle even milk,
let it all hours pour. let the pen drain die
scratch. the draft in the bathroom is flutter
ing the toilet paper dangling from the win
dowsill. waverly. ledge. the habits of the
horizon have my mind on a milk carton.
planet is greek for wanderer. is this wit
ness relocation? athletic letters ceaseles
sly switching teams? perhaps olympiads
eapfrogging on and off the podium of
use? and from where will the next note
book come? it’s friends not facilities,
words not worries.

Larissa Shmailo's new book, IN PARAN, and Podcast

Larissa Shmailo's new collection of poetry is In Paran (BlazeVOX [books] 2009). Larissa is the winner of the 2009 New Century Music Awards for spoken word with jazz, electronica, and rock; her poetry CDs are Exorcism (SongCrew 2008) and The No-Net World (SongCrew 2006). Larissa's translation of the Russian transrational opera Victory over the Sun is part of the collections of the New York Museum of Modern Art (MOMA), the Hirsshorn Museum of the Smithsonian Institute, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Modern Art. She has been published in numerous journals and anthologies, including Barrow Street, Rattapallax, and Fulcrum.

My First Hurricane

Like a dead leaf
Lifted from the scorched summer earth
Now wet and almost green
Like a dead leaf
Carried by a thundercloud
And brought to water by wind:

I am here in the eye of the storm
Dizzy, motionless,
Suspended in the humid air

Trees tremble.
I breathe slowly.
I have known tempests, squalls, and gentle rain;
You are my first hurricane.

Listen to our interview about her new book and hear her perform some of her work. (Click the PLAY button when you arrive at the page.)

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Lyn Lifshin's book, BARBARO, and podcast

Barbaro’s birthdate, April 29, 2003 at Springmint Farm near Nicholasville, Kentucky and his death at New Bolton Center in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, January 29, 2007 are already part of myth. The sixth undefeated horse to win the Kentucky Derby’s Run for the Roses, Barbaro crossed the wire with a convincing 6 ½ length win, the 5th largest win in racing history. During the gallop-out after the wire, Barbaro’s lead extended to 20 lengths, rare during post-race gallop-outs. A superb athlete, Barbaro’s courage and personality after his tragic breakdown at the Preakness, moments after he broke through the gate and was re-loaded, his courage and intelligence in the following months in the intensive care hospital, the roller coaster ride we took with him and with his connections will always braid him to us.

Among Lyn Lifshin’s recent books: THE LICORICE DAUGHTER: MYYEAR WITH RUFFIAN,Texas Review Press and THE DAUGHTER I DON’T HAVE. Forthcoming from Black Sparrow at Godine: ANOTHER WOMAN WHO LOOKS LIKE ME. She has over 100 books & edited 4 anthologies. Her website:


Even the straw
glowed. The
moon was red,
turned the stall
walls rose petals.
The shadows were
the color of a
Derby wreathe, a
prediction. Don’t
imagine she was
half asleep or
drinking sherry,
was a witch. In
the paddock,
vines quivered.
She wondered if
Barbaro had baby
teeth. She said it
was more than a
dream, it was as
if she was inhaling
the jade landscape,
the aura of horse

An earlier interview with Lyn Lifshin which touches on amusing literary connections. (Click the PLAY button when you get there.)

Monday, October 5, 2009

Philip Fried's New Book, COHORT

Cohort, with its three-poem introduction and book-length sonnet sequence, draws inspiration from the sonnet’s origins to update it for the Digital Age. Linked from its earliest days with legal proceedings and a modern psychology of conflicted love, the sonnet held together what wanted to fly apart. Petrarch miniaturized the standoff of forces in the oxymorons he used to characterize his divided emotions—sick health and freezing fire. Acknowledging this tradition of warring but tightly bound forces, Fried re-conceives the contemporary sonnet as an arena where fragments of self and samples of lingo play off against one another. And coloring these contests is a love intrigue that implicates the reader.

Philip Fried, a New York-based poet and little-magazine editor, has published three previous books of poetry: Mutual Trespasses (1988); Quantum Genesis (1997), which A.R. Ammons called “a major new testament”; and Big Men Speaking to Little Men (Salmon, 2006), which—said Marilyn Hacker—“represents much of what I admire in contemporary American poetry. . . .” Fried also collaborated with his wife, the fine-art photographer Lynn Saville, on a volume combining her nocturnal photographs with poetry from around the world. And he is the founder of The Manhattan Review, an international journal that for three decades has published the best in Anglophone poetry and translations.

Reversible Swirl

The grill cloth on our Zenith Tombstone
displayed the reversible swirl pattern.
Clay-color, it emitted heat
like a potter’s kiln that was baking vibrations.

The swirls leaped like dolphins sporting
in fabled seas, like the voices themselves:
Jamaica, Maui, Tasmania . . .
meanings faint, accents abounding.

Evenings I knelt at that hearth and altar,
grandpa, grandma, mom, dad, arrayed
behind me, the ceramic family
whose chatter cooled to the overglaze.

The pulsing grill cloth was the screen
I bowed to, intent, my shadow-self leaning
right through to the tabernacle of tubes,
into the filaments’ holy of holies,

appraising ionic disturbances,
my face the glowing dial, tuning
the globe as solar flares allowed.
The late war had defeated history,

now we lived in the pleroma
of voices, signals, it was all radio.
At night the bedsprings picked up transmissions
that were bending around the edge of the future.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Changes and additions to this blog

CHANGES AND ADDITIONS to this blog. In addition to an occasional podcast or video interview of an impressive creator I'd like to open up the blog to help promote great new books, especially poetry, by presenting an excerpt from the book along high quality jpg of book as well as jpg of author plus info such as ISBN, number of pages and press name. Contact me first through Be sure and send live links to all pages promoting book.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

RICH LITTLE: Comedian and Master Impresionist

Presidents: John F. Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, both George Bushes...Rich Little has an impression of each of them.

Visit Rich Little for more info.

Also visit Belinda Subraman's podcast page.

David Moolton: Prize Winning Poet and M.D.

David N. Moolten is the author of three books of poetry, Plums & Ashes (Northeastern University, 1994), which won the Samuel French Morse Poetry Prize, and Especially Then (David Robert Books, 2005). The manuscript for a third book, Primitive Mood recently won the T.S. Eliot Prize from Truman State University Press, with publication anticipated in the fall of 2009.

Poems by David Moolten have appeared in Poetry, The Georgia Review, The Kenyon Review, The Southwest Review, and Epoch, among other journals and reviews. His work has been widely anthologized and his honors include a Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Fellowship and a Pushcart Prize.

Moolten, a physician specializing in transfusion medicine, was educated at Harvard College and the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. He lives, writes, and practices in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Dr. Moolten can be contacted by email at

The podcast page or listen from the player in the right side bar
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