Archives for category: New Authors

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BIRDS AGAIN
by Jim Harrison

A secret came a week ago though I already

knew it just beyond the bruised lips of consciousness.

The very alive souls of thirty-five hundred dead birds

are harbored in my body. It’s not uncomfortable.

I’m only temporary habitat for these not-quite —
weightless creatures. I offered a wordless invitation

and now they’re roosting within me, recalling

how I had watched them at night

in fall and spring passing across earth moons,

little clouds of black confetti, chattering and singing

on their way north or south. Now in my dreams 

I see from the air the rumpled green and beige,

the watery face of earth as if they’re carrying

me rather than me carrying them. Next winter

I’ll release them near the estuary west of Alvarado

and south of Veracruz. I can see them perching

on undiscovered Olmec heads. We’ll say goodbye

and I’ll return my dreams to earth.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jim Harrison is the author of thirty books, including Legends of the Fall, Dalva, and Shape of the Journey. His work has been translated into two dozen languages and produced as four feature-length films. In 2007, Mr. Harrison was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He divides his time between Montana and southern Arizona.

Painting: “L’Homme au Chapeau Melon” (1964) by René Magritte

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A PECAN TREE
by Juan Olivarez

The Pecan tree, he’s no one’s fool, 
My papi once told me.
As long as the weather still is cool, 
Not a single leaf, on him you’ll see.

Sometimes it’s May, or maybe June, 
Before his leaves appear.
He never sports new clothes too soon, 
Not until the weather’s clear.

But once in leaf, no tree around, 
Comes close to the Pecan.
With shade and fruit, he does abound, 
Standing in the Texas sun.
(4/3/11 Alton Texas)

Painting: “Texas Trilogy” (1998) — Texas Mockingbirds at their Pecan Tree nest in a landscape of Blue Bonnets (Texas state bird, tree, and flower) — by Jon Janosik, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Prints available at natureartists.com.

 

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Congratulations to Merrill Farnsworth, author of Jezebel’s Got the Blues…And Other Works of Imagination, on her play’s recent production in New York City. In June 2012, Silver Birch Press published the stage work in paperback. Find it here.

Photo: Bebe Inabinet

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Fans of Joan Jobe Smith are already contacting SIlver Birch Press to ask when they can get copies of her new book, Charles Bukowski Epic Glottis: His Art & His Women (& me). The highly anticipated book by Go-Go Girl turned critically acclaimed author and poet will be available before the end of summer 2012.

Photo: 1966 Sears catalog.

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Here’s what L.A. legend Charles Bukowski had to say about Joan Jobe Smith, author of the soon-to-be-released Silver Birch Press title Charles Bukowski Epic Glottis: His Art & His Women (& me): 

The poems of Joan Jobe Smith have the reality of force properly put down on paper…a game girl…she cuts herself loose into the stratosphere…a strange woman, a strange, good, basic woman.”

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Silver Birch Press author Joan Jobe Smith will perform at a celeb-filled Bukowski tribute in downtown Los Angeles sponsored by Tongue & Groove on June 30, 2012.  Readers will also include Dan Fante, Harry Dean Stanton, and Rebecca DeMornay. Best of all…it’s FREE. For location, time, and other details, visit: www.grandperformances.org.

Artwork: Origafoundation

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Joan Jobe Smith, author of the upcoming Silver Birch Press title Charles Bukowski Epic Glottis: His Art & His Women (& me), twisted, frug-ed, and mashed her some potatoes as a go-go dancer for seven years during the swinging ’60s and ’70s. Joan often regaled her friend Charles Bukowski with her go-go girl tales, as memorialized in her poem, “Bukowski Chugs Cheap Beer @ the No-No a Go-Go.” An excerpt appears below.

Excerpt from Bukowski Chugs Cheap Beer @ the No-No a Go-Go

© Joan Jobe Smith

…Bukowski never drank

at any of those go-go bars I worked those 7 years. Too

expensive, too uppity and all that rock ‘n’ roll too noisy.

No, he preferred the bossa nova and cheap beer at the

No-No a Go-Go’s where barmaids wore overalls, not

fringed bikinis and could toss out any drunk, including

him, with one bare hand. Midnights Buk phoned me long

distance, drunk because his Woman had left him again,

he listened intently to my go-go girl tales about men like

him, broke, lonely who drank too much, said wild things,

talk of men not like him: astronauts, murderers, rich men

wearing diamond pinky rings while Bukowski chugged his

cheap beer in his cheap apartment in L.A., blew smoke

from cheap cigars into the telephone at me sipping cheap

white wine 40 miles away till one night Bukowski finally

said: You gotta write about all that madness, kid. So I did.

Photo: Courtesy of Joan Jobe Smith

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COMING SOON FROM SILVER BIRCH PRESS…

Charles Bukowski Epic Glottis:

His Art & His Women (& me)  by Joan Jobe Smith

Joan Jobe Smith was born in Paris, Texas, then moved to San Francisco and eventually to Southern California. A go-go girl for seven years, she boogaloo’d live with Jim Morrison, the Ike and Tina Turner Review, and Dick Dale. Founding editor of Pearl and Bukowski Review, she received a BA from California State University Long Beach and attended one year of law school before receiving an MFA in writing from University of California Irvine. In 1974, she founded Pearl Magazine.

Since 1973, her poetry, stories, reviews, essays, and memoirs have appeared internationally in more than 500 publications as well as 21 published books of poetry, notably Jehovah Jukebox (Event Horizon, 1993, USA) and Pow Wow Café (Poetry Business, UK, 1998) and anthologies The Outlaw Bible, Literature and Its Writers, New Geography of Poets, Blood to Remember: American Poets on the Holocaust and The Best of California Women Poets.

Her many honorariums include US and UK arts council grants and a finalist post for the 1999 UK Forward Prize. With her husband, poet Fred Voss, she did five-whistle-stop poetry reading tours (1991-2001) around the UK — debuting at the Aldeburgh Poetry Festival and ending at the Hull Literature Festival. In 2011, Fred Voss and she headlined the Pittsburgh University Writers Festival and performed at the Long Beach Poetry Festival.

UPCOMING SUMMER READING DATES: 

June 30, 2012: Joan will read at the Grand Perfomance Tongue & Groove Tribute to Charles Bukowski in Los Angeles with actors Rebecca DeMornay and Harry Dean Stanton and poet/writers Dan Fante, Gerald Locklin, Jack Grapes and more. For more information, visit: www.grandperformances.org

July 5, 2012: Joan will appear with Fred Voss at the 2012 Humber Mouth Literature/Arts Festival in Hull, England, at the Hull Truck Theatre. Info available at: www.thisisull.com

July 13: Joan and Fred will read in London at the Betsey Trotwood. Get additional info here: www.thebetsey.com

Photo: Courtesy of Joan Jobe Smith

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Merrill Farnsworth (second from left) during a performance of her full-length drama JEZEBEL’S GOT THE BLUES…AND OTHER WORKS OF IMAGINATION at Christ Church Cathedral, Nashville, Tennessee, on 9/17/11. 

Silver Birch Press is honored to publish the work of the multi-multi-multi-talented Merrill Farnsworth — Nashville-based poet, dramatist, fiction and nonfiction writer, lyricist, actress, therapist, and visual artist.

Born among the Texas tumbleweeds, Merrill came of age reveling in the sights and sounds of Puerto Rico’s Afro-Caribbean culture. The cadences of South Carolina left their mark on her, as did melodies reaching from Appalachia to the Mississippi Delta. She is a published poet and award-winning lyricist, and recently collaborated with Phil Madeira (pictured above, left) on the Americana release, Mercyland.

Silver Birch Press is pleased to announce the upcoming publication of DEBT, a novel by Rachel Carey. Welcome, Rachel!

The tone, style, setting, and subject matter of DEBT  bring to mind  THE BONFIRES OF THE VANITIES, Tom Wolfe’s exploration of the financial masters of the universe. More than twenty years later, it’s a very different financial picture – everybody has gone bust, or is on their way there. The extensive cast of characters – many of a comic bent – calls to mind the crime capers of Donald Westlake or the antics described in books by P.G. Wodehouse.  Bottom Line: Great story, engaging characters, funny, witty, clever, incisive, insightful, and original.