Archives for posts with tag: writing 2013

In the above photo, author Ernest Hemingway (left) dines with director Frank Capra at the Paramount Studio commissary in 1941. Capra holds a copy of Hemingway’s then-latest novel — FOR WHOM THE BELL TOLLS (1940). Set during the Spanish Civil War (1933-1939), the book became the basis for the 1943 film of the same name starring Gary Cooper and Ingrid Bergman — actors that Hemingway selected for the roles.

Whether or not Capra was pitching his services during this lunch with Hemingway, he did not end up with the director’s slot — instead, Sam Wood assumed the role because shortly after this photo was taken, the United States entered WWII. Frank Capra served as a Colonel in the U.S. Army Signal Corps, where he remained during the war years (1941-1945) making a variety of military films, including many shot during combat. Hemingway spend much of WWII as a war correspondent in various parts of the world.

After the war, Capra’s first Hollywood assignment was to direct James Stewart in the now-classic IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE (1946). Hemingway did not release another major novel until 1952, when he published THE OLD MAN AND THE SEA. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1954 and was cited for “his mastery of the art of narrative, most recently demonstrated in The Old Man and the Sea, and for the influence that he has exerted on contemporary style.”


He lay flat on the brown, pine-needled floor of the forest, his chin on his folded arms, and high overhead the wind blew in the tops of the pine trees. The mountainside sloped gently where he lay; but below it was steep and he could see the dark of the oiled road winding through the pass. There was a stream alongside the road and far down the pass he saw a mill beside the stream and the falling water of the dam, white in the summer sunlight.”

Congratulations to Barbara Eknoian — author of poetry that appeared in the Silver Birch Press SILVER ANTHOLOGY and the Silver Birch Press GREEN ANTHOLOGY — on the May 2013 release of her novel CHANCES ARE.

BOOK DESCRIPTION: It’s the l950’s. Thirteen-year-old Susie Di Pietro lives near the projects in New Jersey. Bookies stand on the corner by the candy store and sound like characters from Guys and Dolls. Everyone plays the numbers, even young Susie. Throughout her high school years, she’s painfully aware that her pal, Ginger, and she are wallflowers. Susie shares her romantic tribulations, her trials with her teachers, and funny incidents that happen to her while she is growing up. Chances Are is a charming coming-of-age novel that will take you on a nostalgic trip: dancing to Johnny Mathis, Elvis, and The Platters. It will trigger fond memories for some readers of their teen years, and give younger readers a picture of that special era, “The Fifties.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Barbara Eknoian lives in La Mirada, California, with her extended family. Originally from New Jersey, she was forever homesick until she joined Donna Hilbert’s poetry workshop in Long Beach. Barbara was the first recipient of the Jane Buel Bradley Chapbook Award for her collection Jerkumstances (Pearl Editions). A two-time Pushcart Prize nominee for poetry, her story “Crazy Mom” was featured in the 2009 6th Annual Emerging Voices Group Show produced by Sally Shore‘s New Short Fiction Series.

CHANCES ARE is available in paperback and Kindle editions at


“The coffee shop smell was strong enough to build a garage on.”

RAYMOND CHANDLER, Farewell My Lovely

May is “Get Caught Reading” month, and during the past few weeks we’ve posted a range of familiar faces reading a variety of books. In the photo above, Michael Caine — in the role of Jack Carter in the 1971 movie Get Carter — reads Raymond Chandler‘s 1940 novel Farewell My Lovely. And, as the excerpt at the top of his post proves, Chandler was a master of the original metaphor.

by Larry D. Thomas

in late
so red

they hurt.
These blooms
of the hibiscus.

These wide-
open mouths
of sopranos

from singing
the brilliant,

high C’s
of these full

yet day-

“These Blooms” appears in Larry D. Thomas‘s collection Amazing Grace, Texas Review Press, 2001

Illustration: “Hibiscus,” watercolor by Carol Carter, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Larry D. Thomas, a member of the Texas Institute of Letters, was privileged to serve as the 2008 Texas Poet Laureate.  He has published twenty collections of poems, the most recent of which is Uncle Ernest (Virtual Artists Collective, Chicago, 2013).  His Larry D. Thomas: New and Selected Poems (TCU Press, 2008) was long-listed for the National Book Award.


Since we’re honoring THE GREAT GATSBY these days, let’s revisit the post that started it all — our first post from June 24, 2012…

To me, The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald is the quintessential summer book. It chronicles the hot months of 1922, when the Great War was over and the Great Depression was yet to come. The 1920s were a blissful time when possibilities seemed limitless — and everyone seemed to be having fun (despite, or perhaps because of, Prohibition). These were the years when the cocktail was borne (to make the booze go farther), when women bobbed their hair and danced with abandon. It was The Jazz Age, as Fitzgerald called it — a name that stuck.

Every time I pick up The Great Gatsby –– and I’ve read the book perhaps a dozen times — I am drawn in and enraptured by the book’s poetry and romance. To quote the song Kiplinger plays: In the morning, In the evening, ain’t we got fun. Yes, Gatsby is great fun — even with its sad ending. The story seems fresh and real, even though it took place 90 years ago…

We all have a Gatsby in us — a hopeless romantic, an impossible dreamer who tries to hang onto the inner spark that makes life worth living. So pour yourself a lemonade (or something stronger), plop yourself in a lawn chaise, and dive into the greatest novel of all time. Happy Summer!

by james (w) moore

I was
a house on fire
the peninsula blazing with
thin glints Turning
it was lit
it was wild
all the sound
blew the wires and made the lights go
he winked
toward me
like the World’s Fair,
eyes absent.
to some,
too late.
we take a plunge
I said
“I don’t want to put you to
any trouble.”
“I don’t want
to put you to any trouble, you see.”
the day     to-morrow         a moment
with reluctance:
We both looked
ragged ended and darker

Copyright james (w) moore, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Visit james (w) moore, the self-described writer/director/actor/designer guy at his blog ( His note on the above erasure poem reads, “if Baz Luhrmann can remix The Great Gatsby, then so can we.”

james (w) moore was one of 85 official remixers in Pulitzer Remix, a 2013 National Poetry Month initiative to create found poetry from the 85 Pulitzer Prize-winning works of fiction. Each poet posted one poem per day on the Pulitzer Remix website during the month of April, resulting in the creation of more than 2,500 poems by the project’s conclusion.

According to the Pulitzer Remix website:
Pulitzer Remix is sponsored by the Found Poetry Review, a literary journal dedicated exclusively to publishing found poetry. Found poems are the literary equivalents of collages, where words, phrases and lines from existing texts are refashioned into new poems. The genre includes centos*, erasure poetry, cut-up poetry, and other textual combinations.

Pulitzer Remix poets are challenged to create new works of poetry that vary in topic and theme from the original text, rather than merely regurgitating the novels in poetic form.

*Cento: A work of poetry  composed of verses or passages taken from other authors, placed  in a new form or order.


Silver Birch Press is pleased to announce the May 16, 2013 release of THE WOLF YEARLING, a collection of poetry by Jeffrey C. Alfier.

Jeffrey C. Alfier acquired a keen poetic vision from years of living and traveling throughout the Southwest. Composed mainly in syllabic verse, The Wolf Yearling exhibits strict attention to tightly controlled language that renders, in rich imagism, American deserts and mountains, the plains of the Trans-Pecos, border towns, and the sandy soils of east Texas.


by Jeffrey C. Alfier

If you can dismiss the moon’s pale ascent
you might hear wingbeats in the fading light,
dusk calling hawks to perch in cottonwoods
and toll a deadpan vigilance eastward
toward sierras that ruddle to shadows.
These hawks are connoisseurs of what it takes
to die when small prey barters noonday sun
for nightfall’s cooling of dry riverbeds,
waiting out the heat under my trailer.
Canted on one wheel, it tilts back to earth.


“Alfier’s sharp lyrics come upon you like a door slammed by a hot desert wind might wake a lonely man into a new life. They are demotic, lived, and, without being sentimental, hopeful that our little span of being human matters after all.” DOUG ANDERSON, Poet-in-Residence at Ft. Juniper, Amherst, Massachusetts, instructor in poetry at Emerson and Smith Colleges

“If the forbidding and starkly beautiful American Southwest were condensed to the nuances of language, Alfier would be its quintessential oracle...I know of no poet writing today who handles the demanding form of syllabics (while consistently maintaining line integrity) with the consummate artistry of Alfier. Without any hesitation whatsoever, I give this fine collection of poems my highest recommendation.” LARRY D. THOMAS, Member, Texas Institute of Letters, 2008 Texas Poet Laureate

“Each poem is a testament to Alfier’s unflinching observations and hard-fought love of the Southwest. This is a rich portrait of a stunning landscape…The Wolf Yearling is a gift.” KEITH EKISS, author of Puma Road Notebook

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jeffrey C. Alfier is a three-time Pushcart Prize nominee, and a 2010 nominee for the UK’s Forward Prize for Poetry. In 2012, he was nominated for a Breadloaf scholarship. In 2006, he received honorable mention for the Rachel Sherwood Poetry Prize, and in 2005 won first place awards from the Redrock Writer’s Guild of Utah and the Arizona State Poetry Society. He holds an MA in Humanities from California State University at Dominguez Hills. Having served twenty-seven years in the U.S. Air Force, he is a member of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA). Alfier’s poetry has appeared in many literary journals and his chapbooks include Offloading the Wounded (2009), Before the Troubadour Exits (2010), The Gathering Light at San Cataldo (2012), and The City Without Her (2012). He serves as co-editor of San Pedro River Review