Archives for posts with tag: Books

Sam Silvas, author of the short story collection Stanton, California, will appear along with more than 100 authors at LitFest Pasadena, which will take place in Pasadena, California, on May 20 & 21, 2017. For a complete schedule of authors and events, visit litfestpasadena.org.
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Marginalia
by Courtney Watson

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It was the first estate sale of the year, an event of note in my sleepy corner of Virginia. The house was unremarkable except for the master bedroom, which had been converted into a library. The former owners, deceased, had been history buffs, and resting at eye level was a copy of Rise and Fall of the Third Reich — a book described as an account of the nightmare empire built by Hitler. When I opened the front cover, I discovered a Christmas tag taped over a map of Axis-occupied territories with yellowed Santa Claus stickers. Written in blue over the Atlantic Ocean, a sweep of ink brushing against the golden Reichsadler, was merrily inscribed “To Auddy With Love, Mabel 12-25-60.”

The 1200+ page book was well-read, with sentences underlined in green and purple. There was urgency in the arrows and questions and comments in the margins, with special attention paid to Karl Adolf Eichmann, architect of the Holocaust. Auddy commented on every mention of Eichmann, and such was his obsession that he left a bit of treasure for me to find 50 years later. Taped to the final page of the book was a fat yellowed envelope adhered with cracking brown tape labeled “Adolf Eichmann’s Death” in capital letters. In it was the end of the story, a folded page of newspaper detailing Eichmann’s capture in Argentina and subsequent execution on the gallows of Tel Aviv’s Ramleh prison, the first in Israeli history. I like to imagine that Mabel read the article before Auddy, and saved it for him.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I love stories that we tell ourselves about ourselves and learning about who people are—who they truly are—through their possessions. I’m deeply interested in marginalia and the story it tells, which is why I’m always on the lookout for books wherein the reader has visibly interacted with a piece of text; there is something fascinating, to me, about that conversation.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Courtney Watson is a writer and college professor in Roanoke, Virginia, where she directs the Humanities & Social Sciences program at Jefferson College of Health Sciences. Her writing has been published in Long Story, Short, The Virginia Quarterly Review, Boston Literary Magazine, 100 Word Story, and more. She is co-founder and co-editor of Rum Punch Press.

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The Story of When I Lost Ping
by Tricia Marcella Cimera

In the book, Ping the Chinese duck
gets lost on the Yangtze River.
In my life, I lost The Story About Ping book.
We were both scared of getting our
tail feathers spanked, Ping and I.
But Ping found his way back to his
boat eventually and I found the book,
dew-soaked in the wet garden grass.
We shook the water off our backs
and sailed on, me and Ping the duck.

IMAGE: Cover of The Story About Ping (1933),

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: When I was six, I lost The Story About Ping. It was the first book I ever lost but wouldn’t be the last. I felt terrible when I realized Ping was nowhere to be found because taking good care of my belongings was strongly impressed upon me by my parents. Thus was born my guilt complex. Even after finding the book, my complex lived on (and on).

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Tricia Marcella Cimera
is a Midwestern poet with a worldview. Look for her work in these diverse places (some forthcoming): Anti-Heroin Chic, Buddhist Poetry Review, The Ekphrastic Review, Failed Haiku, I Am Not A Silent Poet, Mad Swirl, Silver Birch Press, The Bees are Dead, Wild Plum and elsewhere. She has two micro collections, THE SEA AND A RIVER and BOXBOROUGH POEMS, on the Origami Poems Project website. Tricia believes there’s no place like her own backyard and has traveled the world (including Graceland). She lives with her husband and family of animals in Illinois / in a town called St. Charles / by a river named Fox and keeps a Poetry Box in her front yard.

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The Lost Bright-Yellow
by Marion Deutsche Cohen

She has fallen asleep reading. When she wakes up the book is no longer
there.
Has it dropped through the mattress? Did she leave it in her dream?
It’s bright yellow, as bright as a light bulb.
It literally can’t be missed.

It’s not in the washer
Not in the dryer
Not in the sink
Not in the bookcase.

She can order another copy.
But she can’t order another Intermediate Value Theorem
The one that says an object can’t get from one place to another
without going in between.

What did she do in her sleep? Take it outside the house? Leave it on
somebody’s doorstep? Throw it in a public trash can?
It’s too big for her purse.
Too big for her jewelry case.
Too big for the medicine cabinet.

She guesses she’ll have to get used to the new rules.
There just might be a god.
And there just might be no science.

Her husband remembers that she fell asleep reading.
And he’s getting worried, too.

SOURCE: “Lost Bright-Yellow”  appeared in the author’s chapbook, Sizes Only Slightly Distinct (Green Fuse Press).

IMAGE : “Woman Reading,” sculpture by Pablo Picasso (1953).

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: The “she” is actually me. I altered it because I wanted to include it in the chapbook, “Sizes Only Slightly Distinct”, which consisted of what I call “poetic parables without morals”. Other than that, that poem is totally true. (I found the book two days later, fallen to the foot of the bed.)

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Marion Deutsche Cohen
’s latest poetry books are Truth and Beauty (WordTech Editions – about the interaction among students and teacher in her course, Mathematics in Literature, which she developed at Arcadia University) and  Closer to Dying (WordTech Editions).  and What I’m Wearing Today (dancing girl press – about thrift-shopping!). Her books total 27, including two memoirs about spousal chronic illness and including Crossing the Equal Sign (Plain View Press – about the experience of mathematics). She teaches math and writing at Arcadia University.  She was recently featured in an interview at renpowell.com, and at svjlit.com. Her website is marioncohen.net.

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Cash
by Danni Matthews

For tortuous hours I raged methodically,
plucking with hope at edges and seams,
dashing both in fruitless swoops,
my eyes wild and raving.

I knew it was nestled in somewhere,
cosy against worthless items,
its value hiding in shadows
of a suddenly-vast hoard of Things.

Doubt crept in as hopes were dashed;
my mind rattled with paranoia
and imagined hands plucked my prize
from its unrecalled stowaway home.

I raged less methodically now,
tearing around the room rapidly
and cursing unseen thieves,
dreams of big-spending ashes.

The search is abruptly abandoned,
and hand and heart reach for book,
that familiar comfort
to lessen the loss.

A book removed petulantly from shelf,
and all imagined thieves vanish
as my birthday money reappears,
and the room breathes, relieved.

AUTHOR’S PHOTO CAPTION: Apparently no images of me exist at the time of the Birthday Money Scandal of 2003, but this was taken about a year afterwards.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I was given the princely sum of £60 total for my sixteenth birthday, and nominated a “safe place” in which to keep it. The safe place proved too safe, and I tore up my bedroom looking for it for quite some time before good old books prevented me from an irate breakdown. Afterwards I could laugh, but I do remember being especially incensed because my bedroom was so small it seemed impossible to lose anything!

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Danni Matthews is a published writer from Manchester, UK. She has received awards, television opportunities, and recently attended a poetry residency in Portugal, courtesy of the Bread Matters Foundation. Danni is a self-confessed Word Nerd with a love of literature, and is currently working on her first solo poetry collection. She lives with her vast collection of books, and they’re all very happy together. You can find out more at Facebook.

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Find more information here or on Facebook.

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Author Sam Silvas will read from his short story collection Stanton, California (Silver Birch Press, 2016) in a series of California appearances — date, times, and locations below.

Thursday, March 2, 7 p.m. — Orinda Books, 276 Village Square, Orinda, CA, 94563

Friday, March 3, 6:30 p.m. — Face in a Book, 4359 Town Center Blvd, Suite. 113, El Dorado Hills, CA, 95762

Saturday, March 4, 7:30 p.m. — The Avid Reader, 617 2nd St., Davis, CA, 95616

PRAISE FOR STANTON, CALIFORNIA: 
“Stanton, California is the best collection of short stories I’ve read in a very long time. Sam Silvas writes with enormous skill, deep empathy, and a ferocious commitment to the truth.” LOU BERNEY, Edgar Award winning author of The Long and Faraway Gone.

“Stanton, California, Sam Silvas’ short story collection about working-class families in the Sacramento area, evokes the feel of Hemingway’s short stories in that they are poetic and vital in their representation of hope and brutality.”
JERVEY TERVALON, best-selling author of Dead Above Ground andMonster’s Chef.

ABOUT THE BOOK:
In this inspired debut 174-page collection, Sam Silvas examines the claustrophobia that comes from growing up in a small town and the enigmatic search for happiness inside and outside of it. Whether a man settles for life in Stanton or attempts to escape it, the choice is fraught with unforeseen consequences as the outside world butts up against the ways of his hometown.

In “Buck Stew,” a raffle prize of a Glock handgun suddenly offers heartbroken, long-time Stanton resident Jack Dixon new means to solve old problems. In “The Pottery,” the town’s clay pipe and tile plant physically towers over the town and looms large emotionally for the main character Danny Padilla, who has come to believe his significance can be measured in inches, be it a bullet from his beloved Weatherby .270 or the placement of a tile. In “Eat the Worm,” Todd Randle has been gone from Stanton for ten years when he returns home with his outsider bride. Within days of moving back, Todd finds his past glories may very well threaten his future happiness. He sets out to find answers in a sad and bizarrely touching encounter with his father over a Monday Night Football game. The signature piece of the collection is the novella, The Unluckiest Man in the World. Set near Stanton on the Sacramento Delta, it is inhabited by a family of glaziers, as fragile as the glass they install. The unnamed narrator has aspirations to move beyond the history that every male in his family appears destined to repeat. When he meets and falls in love with Katie McPherson, a fellow denizen of the Delta, all his bad luck seems to be behind him, but the past is as dangerous and powerful as the current of the river that he lives on, threatening to pull him under.

The town of Stanton is a character in all these stories, one that proves to be both a sanctuary and a prison to its inhabitants. This distinctive collection rightfully takes its place among great regional fiction.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Sam Silvas received his MFA from St. Mary’s College, and lives in Claremont, California, with his family. In life and in writing, he strives to be deceptively honest. This is his first book.

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We are honored and pleased that Porter Square Books in Cambridge, Massachusetts, will host a reading for the Nancy Drew Anthology (Silver Birch Press, October 2016). East Coast authors featured in the 212-page collection of writing & art — Kathleen Aguero, Jessica Purdy, Ellen Cohen, Kristina England, and Sarah Nichols — will read their work included in the anthology. Details below.

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WHERE: Porter Square Books, 25 White Street, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 02140, 617-491-2220, portersquarebooks.com.

WHEN: Friday, 2/24/17, at 7 p.m.

WHO:  Kathleen Aguero, Jessica Purdy, Ellen Cohen, Kristina England, and Sarah Nichols will read selections from the Nancy Drew Anthology.

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The 97 contributors to the Nancy Drew Anthology (Silver Birch Press, October 2016) are sending photos featuring the book in their home environments for a series we’re calling “Nancy Drew Around the World.”  Author Kathleen A. Lawrence provided this photo of herself standing in a snow drift in Central New York at the junction of NY Route 81 and Cortland Route 13 in front of the welcome sign to Cortland, New York. Kathleen contributed the poem “Detecting Nancy Drew,” featured below, to the collection.

detecting ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Kathleen A. Lawrence is an emerging poet who especially likes the challenge of the abecedarian. She grew up in Upstate New York and is from Rochester, the home of the Garbage Plate, Kodachrome, and Cab Calloway. She has been an educator for 30 years, remaining in Central New York in the shadow of the seven hills as a communications professor at SUNY Cortland. Five of her abecedarians recently appeared in the HIV Here & Now poem-a-day countdown.

AUTHOR’S PHOTO CAPTION: I live in Homer/Cortland, New York — a couple of hours by car to just about anywhere else in the state! SUNY Cortland, the college where I teach, is just about five minutes from where I’m standing.

Find the Nancy Drew Anthology at Amazon.com.

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The 97 contributors to the Nancy Drew Anthology (Silver Birch Press, October 2016) are sending photos featuring the book in their home environments for a series we’re calling “Nancy Drew Around the World.”  Author Vijaya Gowrisankar provided this photo taken ouside the Sanskruti Building in the Thakur Complex, Kandivili (East), Mumbai, India.  Vijaya contributed the poem “Darkness now intrigues,” featured below, to the collection.

Darkness now intrigues

Glow of light a constant companion
For darkness was a frightening feeling
From streetlights to night lamps to stars
Or a torch that I always carried as armor
Or tightly clasped hands of elders as support
This defined me for the first ten years of life

Nancy Drew then crept in, to replace Enid Blyton books
Fingernails chewed as each page unraveled her strength
Sleepless nights where darkness was forgotten
As mind grappled with the plot of each mystery
Each book left me yearning for more, filled with awe
She became an inseparable part of my life and thoughts

An invisible friend, not an imaginary fictional character
She brought about subtle changes in my personality
My walk was more confident, fear fled to find another victim
I was more alert of my surroundings, no longer a shrinking violet
Looking at life and people with a different perspective
My parents smiled secretly at this transformation by Nancy Drew

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Vijaya Gowrisankar released her third book of poems, Explore, in December 2016. Her first two published books Reflect and Inspire, are bestsellers. She was announced as one of the winners of Inspire by Gandhi competition, organized by Sampad, a UK organization. She has been announced as the Winner of AZsacra International Poetry Award (Dec. 2015). Her submissions have been published in Forwardian, Triadae Magazine, iWrite India, Dystenium Online, Taj Mahal Review, and Silver Birch Press. A participant in the Poetry Marathon 2016  (24 poems in 24 hours, 1 poem per hour), she has also reviewed and edited poetry and fiction books. She participated in NaNoWriMo 2016 and completed her first novel in November 2016.

Find the Nancy Drew Anthology at Amazon.com.