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What's New in 2008


Still life Without Pomegranate by Heather Banks
A Review by Sabine Pascarelli
— December, 2008

After having closed the chapbook (and first publication) of Heather Banks “Still Life Without Pomegranate”, I feel like after an excellent glass of wine: all senses awake, a round after-taste, and the wish of more of it.


Voices by Lucille Clifton — December, 2008

A Review by Anne Caston

Into the raging and sometimes ugly debate in literary circles today over just who has the right to make final artistic and editorial decisions about a book – poet or editor – comes this new collection by Lucille Clifton: a refreshingly collaborative effort between Clifton and her publisher/editor, Thom Ward. Perhaps it is because Ward is a poet also that he is so finely-tuned to what is going on in the poems and makes a book worthy


of them, a book which not only showcases the writing, but a book which, in itself, becomes a work of art.…

Lending Her Voice

Anna Nicole: Poems by Grace Cavalieri – December, 2008

A Review by Geoffrey Himes

In Grace Cavalieri's latest book of poems, Anna Nicole (CreateSpace), the poems are delivered from the imagined perspective of Anna Nicole Smith, the tabloid celebrity known for her Playboy spreads, her marriage to a millionaire 63 years her senior, and for her own TV reality show. So it's appropriate that the book's cover is a deliberately garish painting that gives the pin-up model magenta hair and green eyes.…


Rosemary DeSiervi "Dezi" Announces "Heart Full of Grace"
Featured in the San Jose Dance Company's latest work,
Genius at 100: Tribute to Jose Limon — October 16-18, 2008

Rosemary DeSiervi "Dezi" (a contributor to TMR under the name Dezi Thomas) announces the premiere of a new music composition, "Heart Full of Grace."

The composition is featured in San Jose Dance Company's latest work, "Genius at 100: Tribute to Jose Limon," October 16 through 18, 2008, at the San Jose State University Dance Theatre.

"Heart Full of Grace" is part of a larger composition and performance piece, a modern Requiem -- combining keyboard, spoken word and operatic voice. "You only need a heart full of grace, a soul motivated by love," is a quote from Martin Luther King. In this piece, the words are sung operatically, enunciating only the vowels to communicate feeling rather than literal meaning.

Dezi is a nontraditional musician, composer, who creates music improvisationally. Trained in classical piano from age seven, she studied and participated in competitions at Carnegie Hall in New York until she was nineteen. It wasn’t until she gave up music and her training for many years that she was able to just sit at the keyboard and create her own music from the heart. Pieces began to flow out in complete form.

In addition to being a composer, writer and poet who has collaborated on numerous performances with poet Calder Lowe, one of the founders of TMR, Dezi is an educator and practitioner in the holistic healing arts. She feels that music has the power to access and heal the soul. For further information, please see http://www.sjdanceco.org. …


The Way of the World by William Congreve
Directed by Michael Kahn Shakespeare Theatre Company
Through November 15th, 2008

A Review by Grace Cavalieri

In “The Way of the World” everything is coming up green. The first thing you see is a pristine set, a house on stage, a minimal house, circa late 1600’s, not quite a real house, more like we would see in picture books. And the trees also are cardboard cutouts of reality. So the game is on: …


Anna Nicole: Poems by Grace Cavalieri – October, 2008
A Review by Judith Harris, PhD.

Anna Nicole is a great, funny, absurdist view of a world that has flattened itself to a two dimensional snapshot--along with one of its noted oddities of celebrity--Anna Nicole--who becomes the object of others' desires expressed by constant media attention. In a postmodern realm of literary value or non-value, Cavalieri performs a tour de force by creating a needed subjectivity for Anna as she is construed by the complexity of others' projections onto her as if she were a neutral screen. …


A Darker, Sweeter String

by Lee Sharkey – September, 2008
Imagination and Responsibility
A Review by Sonja James

In her wise and humane collection, Lee Sharkey artfully disguises a poetics of witness as a poetics of transparency. As a matter of fact, the poems are so crystalline, clear, and pure that each subject of scrutiny attains a comprehensive relevance which does not fail to touch the heart of the reader. Sharkey’s deft and deliberate fusion of the global with the personal transforms mere confession into a searching examination of universal human rights and the suffering which is always present throughout the world.


The Tragedy of the Leaves

by Charles Bukowski – September, 2008

Charles Bukowski reads a selection from his own work. This exerpt is included here to whet your appetite.

It was aired originally 08/05/1962 on broadcast station "KPFK".

It is 44 minutes long, and its archive number is BB4966, available from Pacifica Radio Archives. See also Audio Clips.


A Quartet Sings From Finishing Line Press

by Anne Becker, Katharine Young, Jehanne Dubrow, Gretchen Primack
A Review by Judy Neri
– September, 2008

Among the chapbooks in Finishing Line's harvest for this year are four extraordinary collections. Their entry into publication says much for the value of a small press like Finishing Line, for their publication allows new, astonishing voices to be heard.

Three of the poets, Anne Becker, Katherine Young, and Gretchen Primack, work largely in free verse, with occasional excursions into form. Jehanne DuBrow uses form almost exclusively. ...


Circular Stairs, Distress in the Mirrors

by Peter Klappert
A Review by Mary Morris
– September, 2008

It's not just the superb wit and eloquent writing embodied in this collection, but the constant stirring of surprises, of some great soul searching, if you will. The images are breathtaking. What is most ingenious about this writer is how he tackles difficult subjects, such as war and race, producing poetry with the social message he intends but with startling grace. …


Discount Fireworks

by Wendy Taylor Carlisle
A Review by Kathie Isaac-Luke
– August, 2008

I first had the pleasure of hearing the poetry of Wendy Taylor Carlisle when she came to San Jose for a reading following the publication of her first book Reading Berryman to the Dog. Carlisle’s first collection was deservedly praised for its elegance and originality. Since that time, she has been widely anthologized, has further honed and perfected her craft and has received the Bernice Blackgrove Award of Excellence. Wendy Taylor Carlisle’s second collection, Discount Fireworks, just out from Jacaranda Press, is a work of remarkable range and depth. …


Helen Takes the Stage: The Helen Keller Poems

by Kathi Wolfe
A Review by Mary Morris
– May, 2008

It was two years ago that I met Kathi Wolfe in Washington, DC. At the time, this vibrant woman revealed she was working on a series of poems about and in the voice of Helen Keller. I remember her great enthusiasm, that intensity when a writer is in the middle of discovery and work, astonished. Much like a scientist who is on to something extensive and revealing. So when asked to review this book it was with great curiosity and immense pleasure in reading its beauty and originality. …


Lady of the Snakes by Rachel Pastan
Best Novel of 2008: Best Reading for Summer
A Review by Grace Cavalieri
– May, 2008

Your reading life will be complete this summer with Rachel Pastan’s second novel, Lady of the Snakes. This is an action adventure novel where the action is psychological and the mission is filled with suspense. The book demonstrates integrity and love, with new depths of awareness. Lady of the Snakes is a detective story with an emotional life.


When I Said Goodbye
By: Didi Menendez
A Review by Mary Morris
– April, 2008

These poems are like being at the kitchen table of your best friend, a great poet, who is telling you everything exactly as it is. Arroz con pollo (chicken and rice) simmering, as you listen to the well crafted worlds unfolding with an intimacy uncensored. You will want to come back. Again and again. One immediately trusts this voice and all its personal and public no-nonsense, sensory-stimulating verbal track. …


Gargoyle 52
Gargoyle Magazine (www.gargolemagazine.com)
Produced by Richard Peabody © 2007 Richard Peabody
– March, 2008

Gargoyle 52 is an audio collection of performance poetry and music. It offers a large selection (29) of studio-recorded pieces, in an attractive, professional-looking package complete with hip and funky cover art.…


Susan Kelly-DeWitt's The Fortunate Island and
Bruce MacKinnon's Mystery School
Two Reviews by Ernie Wormwood
– February, 2008

Reading the poems in Susan Kelly-DeWitt’s The Fortunate Islands is a trip into the interior child, woman, man, and human for the truth, and reading Mystery Schools by Bruce MacKinnon is the winner of the Washington Writers’ Publishing House Poetry Prize and reveals the power of a mighty pen poised to tell it like it is.…


A Memoir by Reed Whittemore,
Against the Grain: The Literary Life of a Poet
– February, 2008

Edward Reed Whittemore was born in New Haven Connecticut in 1919 and educated at Phillips Academy, Andover and Yale. During college he and James Angleton founded the literary magazine Furioso — this was to mark the beginning of a life-long interest, if not preoccupation, in America’s small magazines and literary journals. After graduation from Yale, 1941, he served in the armed forces in World War ll. After graduate study in history at Princeton, Reed took a teaching post at Carleton College in Minnesota where he reinstated Furioso, and established The Carleton Miscellany. (1947-66.) His first book of poems was published in 1946, and there have been more than fourteen books since. Most notable among his prose writings is a major biography of William Carlos Williams, Poet from Jersey (1975.) …


A Review by Grace Cavalieri of Argonautika,
written and directed by Mary Zimmerman
– January, 2008

Mary Zimmerman is my icon for 21st Century Theater. Let me preface this review by saying that I saw her magnificent Ovid adaptations  in “Metamorphoses,” three times in NYC; and then the Shakespeare Theatre Company’s brilliant offering of “Pericles” twice. …


An Interview with Author Karren LaLonde Alenier – January, 2008

We thought those who read this book would like to know more about its author, so here’s an undercover look at the woman behind the book, the woman behind the opera: Poet Karren LaLonde Alenier. …


A Slender Grace – January, 2008

What dominates the poems in Rod Jellema’s A Slender Grace is the regular interplay of dark and light and the way “thinking narrow” intervenes to make the world accessible to imperfect man and allow the reader the glimpses of grace that bless himself and the poet. The stanza that titles the book starts a theme that echoes in many poems about that slender grace. …


OCHO 15—A Composite Review – January, 2008

Eight Poets respond in writing to the magazine OCHO # 15, presenting a rich composite review. Anne Caston, Merrill Leffler, Grace Cavalieri, Mary F. Morris, Ed Zahnizer, Whitney Smith, Laura Orem, Hope Maxwell-Synder. ...


The Steiney Road to Operadom: The Making of American Operas
by Karren LaLonde Alenier

Review by Constance MacDonald and William Scott
– January, 2008

The newly released book by Karren LaLonde Alenier, The Steiney Road to Operadom:  The Making of American Operas, is an interesting personal memoir of the author’s experience writing an opera in collaboration with composer William Banfield.  The opera, entitled  Gertrude Stein Invents a Jump Early On, was performed at the Encompass New Opera Theater in New York City in 2005.…


And you won't want to miss these exciting new audio clips!

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