Much-awaited Eternal Snow: A Worldwide Anthology of One Hundred Twenty-Five Poetic Intersections with Himalayan Poet Yuyutsu Sharma ready for release in August

Eternal Snow: A Worldwide Anthology of  One Hundred Twenty Five Poetic Intersections with Himalayan Poet Yuyutsu RD Sharma

 Edited by David Austell & Kathleen D Gallagher

ISBN : 81-8250-0915 2017 Paperback pp 309 plus  24 Photo pages

Eternal Snow is a testament to the power of words to inspire, encourage, and heal across vastly disparate cultures and distant places. Over one hundred and twenty-five poets from around the world come together in this anthology to explore their interactions, collisions, and intersections with Yuyutsu Sharma, renowned Himalayan poet, journalist, translator, and editor from Kathmandu, Nepal.The book is a clear example of the new world itinerancy of the modern poet, and the global efficacy of poetry, in that Yuyu’s world travels have touched the hearts and minds of thousands of people who have heard his readings around the world and read his words in print and on-line.

Not all the contributors are professional poets. Eternal Snow also captures the poetic voices of a hairstylist, a photographer, a Yoga teacher, a priest, a nurse, and a social scientist. In these pages, a young poet in Kathmandu sees her late father in Yuyu’s face; a social worker conjures the Goddess of the Children while serving the Bhutanese refugees in California; a New York University professor ponders an Asian challenge: setting her house on fire to become a real poet. The results captured in these poems attest to the literary collisions which occur when global poets meet.

Eternal Snow is a singular, remarkable, and moving work of art.

When you first meet Himalayan poet Yuyutsu RD Sharma, you are taken immediately by his quiet passion and reverence for the art and purpose of poetry, which, when taking the stage, he transforms into a voice that crosses continents and soars like the snow in wind that permeates “the solemn silence of sacred sounds” in his beloved Nepal. Through his intercession, poems become chants of eternality.  He has sought the same in the poets represented in his anthology “Eternal Snow,” a hundred voices who, like him, give reverence to the power of words in translating truth through passion into a universal poetic of sacred sounds.”

–James Ragan, Distinguished American Poet  & Author of Too Long a Solitude & The Hunger Wall among others

Yuyu has touched the hearts and minds of a multitude of people and writers around the world, as evidenced in this wonderful book, Eternal Snow…The poetry included in this volume speaks to the constant intersections with Yuyu Sharma, collisions of persons, spirits, literary visions, affect and effect, all of which have at their center this remarkable person and precious talent. It is my delight and honor to be among such a cloud of witnesses.–David Austell in Preface to Eternal Snow

No matter where the poets live, from a small city to large, to countryside or village, Yuyutsu’s poetry and teachings transform writers from across the world, allowing them to reach into their own writing dreams and visions. Indeed, each poet no matter his or her walk in life, whether professional poet, performer, professor, minister, or word-loving hairstylist who scribbles down thoughts about her love for her dying mother, all have discovered his or her own creative awakenings when encountering Yuyutsu Sharma’s work. Yuyutsu’s work has far-reaching effects in personal transformation.–Kathleen Gallagher in Introduction to Eternal Snow

David B. Austell, Ph.D. is Associate Provost and Director of the International Students and Scholars Office at Columbia University in New York City where he is also an Associate Professor of International Education in Teachers CollegeColumbia University (adjunct). David has over thirty years of executive leadership experience in International Education, and is a frequent writer and presenter in his professional field. David has undergraduate and graduate degrees in English Literature from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he also completed his Ph.D. in Higher Education, focusing on International Education; his doctoral dissertation, The Birds in the Rich Forest, concerned Chinese students in the United States during the Student Democracy Movement. David was a Fulbright Fellow in Japan and Korea in 1992. He is also a poet, and his third book of poetry, The Tin Man (regarding the life of St. Joseph of Arimathea), is forthcoming from Nirala Press in 2017.

 Kathleen D. Gallagher is a poet, writer, editor, graphic artist, and distinguished senior lecturer of English at the University of Akron/Wayne College.  She is an award-winning writer (Honorable Mention for the feature article, “Cutting Storm” (2007), and Honorable Mention for the essay, “Flying Objects” (2011) in Writer’s Digest competitions). Kathleen’s poetry has appeared in journals including the South Coast Poetry Journal: Issue #15 (Honorable Mention for the poem, “Focal Point,” judged by writer/poet James Dickey). In the graphic arts, her collage, “One Woman,” was chosen for the cover of Pushcart nominee Michelle Reale’s book, If All They Had Were Their Bodies (Burning River Press, 2011).  Kathleen was a finalist in the Writing Knights Press First Grand Tournament which resulted in her first poetry chapbook, I See Things are Falling. She was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in December 2012. In addition to her writing, poetry, and artwork, Kathleen has edited several books including Footpaths to Ancient Campsites in Copley Township, Ohio, by Robert Haag (2006); and Dialogue with a Christian Proselytizer, by Todd Allan Gates (2006).

The Poets of Eternal Snow:

John Clarke

Tracie Morell

Lori Ann Kusterbeck

David Ray

James Ragan

Ravi Shankar

Eileen O’Connor

Gorka Lasa

Pascale Petit

Elena Karina Byrne

Chuck Joy

Lorraine Conlin

Paul Nash &

Denise La Neve

Andrew Taylor

Amarendra Khatua

Meera Ekkanath Klein

Eskimo Pie

Christi Shannon Kline

Revigya Joshi

Kathleen D Gallagher

David Austell

Maria Heath Beckett

Renay Sanders

Shawn Aveningo

Juan Carlos Abril

Tim Kahl

Dom Kafley

Judy Ray

Tera Vale Regan

Diane Frank

Lady K (Kathy Smith)

Karen Corinne Herceg

Kate Lamberg

Penny Kline

Sharon Metzler-Dow

M. L. Williams

Robert Scotto

Nicole Barriere

Anne Fritz

Ruth Danon

Tim Tomlinson

Mary E. Weems

Roopa Ramamoorthi

Dan Szczesny

Nancy Aidé Gonzalez

Nancy R Lange

Michael Graves

Eugene Hyon

Marcus Bales

Peter V. Dugan

Aixia de Villanova

Leah Taylor

Cristina Querrer

Bari Falese

Agnes Marton

Patricia Carragon

Dd. Spungin

Verónica Aranda

Samantha Bear

Darlene Costello

Mindy Kronenberg

David Axlerod

Tony Barnstone

Russ Green

Alessandra Francesca

Nabina Das

Ronnie Norpel

Eddie Woods

Kim Nuzzo

Chiff Fyman

Barun Bajracharya

Shreejana Bhandari

Charles Peter Watson

Christopher Wheeling

Merik van der Torren

Art Good Times

Robin Mets

Erica Mapp

Bill Wolak

Roxanne Hoffman

Civa Bhusal

James Romano

D. B. Meltzer 

Cee Williams

Bidur Prasad Chaulagain

Vicki Iorio

Barbara Novack

\Mary Ryan Garcia

Theresa Göttl Brightman

Steve Brightman

Jack Tar

Kymberly Avinasha Brown

Catherine Gigante-Brown

Marion Palm

Hélène Cardona

André Baum

Phillip Giambri

Devin Wayne Davis

Alex Symington

Rajesh Siddharth

Marisa Moks-Unger

Lorraine  Bouchard

Don Carroll

Anthony Murphy

Timothy Gager

John J. Trause

Jack Locke
Anuj Ghimire

Elaine Karas-Shadle

Irene O’ Garden

Allegra Jostad Silberstein

Gaurav Bhattarai

Su Polo

Ernie Burns

Roger McClain

Ken Ruan

Jen Pezzo

Marcus Calvert

Thomas Jenney

Judi Chabola

Bishwa  Sigdel

Carolyn Wells

Arun Budhathoki

Carol Hebald

Melissa Hobbs

Jan Garden Castro

Swati Sharma



 

Yuyutsu Sharma Reading from Quaking Cantos: Nepal Earthquake Poems at LA Times Festival of Books

Los Angeles Times Festival of Books

APRIL 22 – 23, 2017 | USC CAMPUs

Sunday, April 23 • 4:40pm – 5:00pm
 Yuyutsu Sharma, Reading from ‘Quaking Cantos: Nepal Earthquake Poems’

Speakers

avatar for Yuyutsu Sharma

Yuyutsu Sharma

recipient of fellowships and grants from The Rockefeller Foundation, Ireland Literature Exchange & The Institute for the | Translation of Hebrew Literature, is a distinguished Himalayan poet. Currently Visiting Poet at Columbia University, Sharma has published ten poetry collections and just finished a memoir on Nepal earthquakes, “Quaking Cantos: Nepal Earthquake Poems.” Half the year, he travels and reads all over the world but… Read More →

Sunday April 23, 2017 4:40pm – 5:00pm
Poetry Stage, Signing Area 5

Yuyutsu Sharma’s Blue Light Press San Francisco Reading and Workshop

Blue Light Press proudly presents…
Yuyutsu Sharma, beloved Poet from Nepal
for an intimate evening of poetry and storiesSaturday, April 29, 2017 – 7:00 p.m.
Think Round Fine Arts
2140 Bush Street, Suite 1B, San Francisco CA 94115
(It’s between Fillmore and Webster. Gallery entrance is on the driveway.
Street parking, or park in the garage at Japantown, which is close to the gallery.)Sweet and savory potluck after the reading.
Yuyutsu’s books include A Blizzard in My Bones: New York Poems,
Quaking Cantos: Nepal Earthquake Poems, Space Cake Amsterdam & Other poems from Europe and America.

Also that day…
Poetry Workshop with Yuyutsu Sharma
Celebrating the Himalayas, Touching the Soul of God in Your Own Sacred Place with ideas about writing, poems, stories and writing prompts.

Saturday, April 29, 201711 a.m. to 3 p.m.
For information, send an email to GeishaPoet@aol.com
The workshop is in San Francisco, in the Outer Sunset.

Yuyutsu Sharma’s upcoming April/ May 2017 readings: New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco

Thursday, April 6, at 7 pm to 9 pm The  Red Room Reading Series: Yuyutsu Sharma with Ailish Hopper, Philip McLaren and Sheila Kohler, Hosted by The New York Writers Workshop,  85 E 4th St 3rd Floor, New York, New York 10003 The NYWW Red Room Reading Series takes place on the first Thursday of every month, Host : Tim Tomlinson  http://www.newyorkwritersworkshop.com/

April 19, 2017 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM The Global Poets Series: Yuyutsu Sharma reading with Sholeh Wolpe, Lewisohn Hall GS Student Lounge, Third Floor, 2970 Broadway, Columbia University,  New York, NY 10027The Global Poets Series is a celebration through poetry of our diverse global community at Columbia, and is co-sponsored by the School of General Studies, the International Students and Scholars Office, the School of the Arts, and Columbia College. Hosted by David Austell https://isso.columbia.edu/events/

Sunday, April 23 • 4:40pm Yuyutsu Sharma, Reading from ‘Quaking Cantos: Nepal Earthquake Poems’ at LA Times Festival of Books University of Southern California, University Park Campus, Los Angeles, CA 90089 http://events.latimes.com/festivalofbooks/

Saturday, April 29, 7 pm:  Blue Light at Think Round Series.  Yuyutsu Sharma reads poetry at Think Round Fine Arts, 2140 Bush Street, Suite 1B, San Francisco CA 94115 (between Fillmore and Webster. Gallery entrance is on the driveway. (Street parking, or you can park in the garage at Japantown, which is close to the gallery.)

 Saturday, April 29, 7 pm:  10 am to 4 pm: Workshop with Yuyutsu Sharma at “The Pink Palace” — home to Diane Frank & Erik Levins People interested from your list can send me an email:  GeishaPoet@aol.com.

Sunday, May 7 at 3 pm at Molloy College presents Yuyutsu Sharma and Contributors to Nassau County Poet Laureate Review, Vol. IV in the Reception Room, Hosted by  Barbara Novack Writer-in-Residence, Molloy College 1000 Hempstead Avenue P.O. Box 5002 Rockville Centre, NY 11571-5002 516.323.3273 bnovack@molloy.edu

Monday, May 8 at 8 pm: Yuyutsu R.D. Sharma reading in Saturn Poetry Series with Su Polo, Jay Chollick and the Taurus Poets Party at Shades of Green Pub & Restaurant 125 East 15 Street, NYC Between 3rd Ave. & Irving Place… Train: 6NRQL to 14th Street Union Square, walk one block north Host: Su Polo www.supolo.com

 

Upcoming Nirala Release — Path to Excellence : A Memoir by India’s Distinguished Academician by Pritam B. Sharma

Path to Excellence: A Memoir by India’s Distinguished Academician
ISBN : 81-8250-0907 2017 Hard Cover pp 358 plus  24 Photo pages  Rs 895

Renowned academician, Pritam B. Sharma’s illuminating Memoir, Path to Excellence is a celebration of thrill, excitement, joy and bliss of infinite reservoir of wisdom that shines the adventurous life of the author.

Born in a small obscure village in central India, Sharma’s destiny to become an academician in shaping the educational avenues of modern India began with a brief encounter with a Yogi in his birthplace.

Sharma begins the book with his childhood anecdotes and moves on to discuss how his relentless curiosity coupled with unclenching commitment to innovate and excel led him to success and glory.  During the course of the narrative, one learns how the path of excellence is full of struggle and suffering.  But then the satisfaction attained after building institution comes as a divine bliss in the end. The narration, though largely India specific has a universal appeal and a purpose as it prepares the reader to pursue education as a service to self and society.

The author who played an instrumental role in shaping the fate and future of engineering education in India brushed shoulders with several eminent figures including leading scientists, academicians and statesman in India and abroad.

A sample of hybrid creative non-fiction comprising a highly exalted voice reminiscent of Vivekanand and Aurbindo and formal informative treatise of an engineering scholar,  Sharma’s memoir is a must-read for students, scholars, scientists, philosophers, institution builders and all the lovers of humanity in the world.

Distinguished academician, Pritam B. Sharma is a visionary, an institution builder, and a breakthrough leader with speed leadership qualities. Sharma is known worldwide for his relentless pursuit of excellence and for the promotion of World Quality Education, Research, Innovations and Entrepreneurship.
Currently, Vice Chancellor of Amity University Gurgaon, Professor Sharma has been the founder Vice-Chancellor of Delhi Technological University, a former Director of Delhi College of Engineering, a former Professor of IIT Delhi, founder Vice-Chancellor of Rajiv Gandhi Technology University, former President of Engineering Science Division of Indian Science Congress, former Chairman of Indian Society of Mechanical Engineers and Vice-Chairman of World Confederation of Productivity Sciences, India Section.
Born in a small village with no schooling facility in Madhya Pradesh, Sharma graduated with a Gold Medal in Mechanical Engineering in 1969 from Samrat Ashok Technological Institute in the historic town of Vidisha in central India. He received his doctorate from the University of Birmingham, UK, in 1978.
During his professional career spanning over 46 years, Sharma has made notable contribution to the advancement of frontiers of knowledge in the areas of Aero Engineering Technology, Power Plant Engineering, New and Renewable Energy Resources and Knowledge and Innovation Management.
Recipient of many awards and recognition Sharma has been conferred with the Honorary Degree of “Doctor of Engineering” by his alma-mater University of Birmingham UK in 2013.
A fellow of World Academy of Productivity Sciences, Fellow of Institution of Engineers (India), Fellow of Aeronautical Society of India and a Fellow of Indian Society of Technical University, ISTE, he has been the Chairman of Central Counseling Board of MHRD and also an expert member of the apex body Central Advisory Board of Education, CABE of the Government of India.

The Launch of Drunken Boat ‘s Himalayan Arts and Yuyutsu Sharma’s Quaking Cantos at Nepal Tourism Board

 

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White Lotus Book Shop in collaboration with Nepal Tourism Board today organized the Kathmandu launch of “Drunken Boat”, America’s oldest online magazine along with the launch of renowned Nepali poet Yuyutsu RD Sharma’s new book, “Quaking Cantos: Nepal Earthquake Poems published by Nirala Publications, New Delhi.

Speaking at the occasion senior poet Shailendra Sakar appreciated Yuyutsu Sharma’s contribution in making Nepalese literature visible on the world map. “

The soul of the Nepal lies in Nepali poetry,” Yuyutsu said, explaining how from the beginning poets like Rimal, Devkota, Bhupi and Sakar have played vital role in ushering democracy in Nepal.”

launch

Several poets included in Drunken Boat Special Nepal issue read poems included in the prestigious American magazine. Nepali Poets Hari Adhikary, Shailendra Sakar,  Promod Snehi, Purna Viram, Punya Guatam, Bishwa Sigdel and Shreejana Bhandari read the Nepali version of the poems selected by the magazine. Yuyutsu read the same poems in English.

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Yuyutsu Sharma new book, Quaking Cantos was launched by the poets included in the Drunken Boat Nepal Issue. Yuyutsu read his poems like “I see my world shaking” and “Family Deity” from his Quaking Cantos focused on Nepal earthquake, 2015. He is also working on a Nepal Earthquake memoir and will be published next year. Nepali poet and novelist, Hari Adhikary appreciated role of White Lotus in organizing weekly White Lotus poetry series for more than 20 years and appreciated Yuyutsu’s role in making Nepali literature known to the outside world.

Artist including s Hari Khadka, Naresh Sainju and Prasant Shrestha also expressed their views and shared memories of their past collaborations with poets and writers.

 

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Nirala to release distinguished American photographer Fran Antmann’s book, Maya Healers: A Thousand Dreams in January, 2017

Maya Healers: A Thousand DreamsPhotographs and text by Fran Antmann

ISBN 9-788182-500631  pp.200 2017 Hardcover 

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A book of photographs and writing that explores the power and mystery of ancient indigenous healing practices among the Maya people of Guatemala.

“Fran Antmann grew to know a culture, lived in it, merged with it, translated it,and loved it. She photographed the dreams that guide us to wisdom and healing, then wrapped those images in quetzal feathers. Today, she returns her vision of the world to the men and women she met through this encounter between cultures. It is a privilege to have been invited to write the preface to this book which is more than a book—it is a revelation.

Carolina Escobar Sarti, Guatemalan poet

“Fran Antmann’s work in Maya Healers, years in the making, is imbued with the depth and texture only great photography can achieve; where the images transcend being mere documents but reach great art. Many of the images, especially of the people in their daily lives, are transcendent and absolutely gorgeous, revealing an empathy and visual perception that is timeless.”

— Ed Kashi, international prize-winning photojournalist

fantmann_guate-marta

“…With clear-eyed reporting and her starkly moving images of Mayan life along the shores of Lake Atitlan, Guatemala, and the healers who live and work there, Fran Antmann has shed light on a story known to few outside the Mayan world….”

 —Joyce Maynard, novelist and journalist

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Maya healers derive their powers from connection to the supernatural. Drawing on dreams, intuition and ancient traditions, they heal the sick surrounded by friends and family. I was privileged to be included in these intense, intimate healings and to listen to the stories and dreams of these healers, shamans and bonesetters. Thirty years ago such ceremonies could have triggered a brutal crackdown. Now they are now part of a proud resurgent Maya identity.

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Fran Antmann is a documentary photographer, writer and teacher living in Brooklyn, New York. For thirty years, she has been documenting the lives and cultures of the Maya, Andean, Inuit and Dene indigenous people—in the villages surrounding Lake Atitlán in Guatemala, in the villages and mining towns of the Peruvian highlands, in the tundra of the Canadian Arctic and in Baffin Island, Canada.

Her work has been exhibited and published in New York, Texas, Peru, Mexico, France, England and Denmark.  Her photographs are in the collections of the International Center of Photography, the Brooklyn Museum, the Haverford College Collection, The Museum of Photographic Arts, Denmark, and various private collections.

Antmann received a doctorate in Fine Arts from New York University and teaches at Baruch College, City University of New York.  She has received grants from the Fulbright Commission, the Ford Foundation, the Ludwig Vogelstein Foundation, Agfa Corporation, the Social Science Research Council, the Puffin Foundation and the J. Paul Getty Foundation. She was also awarded numerous New York State Foundation for the Arts fellowships.

 

 

Nirala to release distinguished American poet and playwright Irene O’ Garden’s “Fulcrum: Selected Poems in December 2016

fulcrum-for-print

 

Fulcrum: Selected Poems

by Irene O’ Garden

ISBN 9-788182-500860  pp.90 2017 Hardcover Demy

 

Praise for Irene O’Garden’s Work

Sparkling musicality, deep emotion and discerning reflection distinguish O’ Garden’s poems. Here is a fine intelligence at work—and at play—revealing a tonic perspective in a range of poetic expression, including lyric, narrative and her own innovative “fulcrum” forms. Her close observation and sensual delight in language make “Fulcrum” an experience both grounding and uplifting.

“Bewitching…astounding…heartbreaking” — New York Times

“For many years now, the poet, playwright, and memoirist Irene O’Garden has been a hero to me. I think of her as a walking, writing, beam of light… numberless others will come to know her gifts and, most of all, her captivating talent for wonder and marvel.”

Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love

“Lush imagery…poetry set to the life cycle of nature.”

–Kirkus Reviews

 

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Distinguished American poet and playwright, Irene O’ Garden’s poetry has found its way to stage, e-screen, hardcover, literary magazines, anthologies and now, her first collection. Her critically acclaimed play Women On Fire, (Samuel French) played sold-out houses at Off-Broadway at the Cherry Lane Theatre and was nominated for a Lucille Lortel Award. O’Garden won a Pushcart Prize for her lyric essay “Glad To Be Human,” (Untreed Reads) Harper published her memoir Fat Girl (Untreed Reads, e-form) and her poems and essays have been featured in dozens of literary journals and anthologies. O’ Garden founded The Art Garden, a performing literary magazine which she produced and hosted for twenty-five years. She now contributes to the spoken word event 650-Where Writers Read, in New York City and Sarah Lawrence College. Irene is also a Poetry Educator with the Hudson Highlands chapter of the national River Of Words program, connecting children to nature via poetry and art.

Praise for Irene O’Garden’s Fulcrum.

Fulcrum is a stunning assessment of human life on the planet, a requiem of the mutant seasons when ‘wind steals/the juices from our eyes/our land cracks open / with an unrequited love ‘and ‘our mountains are on fire.’

Experimental, theatrical and engaging, these poems are like molten lava of our minds, ‘a single stinging tear,’ a howl of every heart, a garland of ‘offered images’ on the altar of life,  ‘funeral of funerals themselves,’ and a song of  ‘American shame (that) brings us to our knees.’

This is a newer version of The Waste Land, a metaphoric pyramid of natural elements whose admirations ‘blooms like fruit,’ a casebook of the wounds of life and the wisdom you draw out of them. Like splinter of a stone that the poet once stepped on never came out, the poems once read will become part of you and help you ‘know the knowing that we know.’

–Yuyutsu Sharma, Himalayan Poet, author of Quaking Cantos; Nepal Earthquake Poems and A Blizzard in my Bones: New York Poems

The poems in Irene O’Garden’s new book, Fulcrum, illustrate the importance and vitality of poetry in our daily lives.  Beautiful imagery, powerful emotions, simplicity, complexity and thought provoking subjects – all drawn from relatable life experiences – make reading her work a journey of discovery and reflection by focusing on what it means to live a life of passion and wonderment.   Like the author herself, the poems in these pages inspire and draw one in. This is a beautiful collection.  

Professor Jane Kinney-Denning of Pace University, President of Women’s National Book Association

Somewhere between Wordsworth and Dylan Thomas but soaring on her own wings, Irene O’Garden flies high, taking language to new strata with effortless-appearing dips and ascents which made me gasp. Every line could be a poem in itself. I often thought of the “green fuse of life” as nature and color combine in indescribable but absolutely recognizable ways.”

—Laura Shaine Cunningham, best-selling memoirist (Sleeping Arrangements and A Place in the Country) and frequent NY Times contributor.

An immersion into what we relish, how we live, a kind of shining beacon that doesn’t shy away from the tough stuff…Highly recommended.

Janet Pierson, Producer SXSW Film Conference and Festival

In a far-ranging and elegant suite of poems, Irene O’Garden balances a galaxy of incommensurates on the fulcrum of a disciplined intelligence. “I am a blueprint of Herbert-like sacred meditation, the latter in a narrative about being chased by a bull. Her technique suggests influences ranging from Donne to Bishop, from Frost to Moore. Soulful and rewarding, these poems remind us that “We’re not made of matter but of mattering.”

—T.R. Hummer, whose poems appear in The New Yorker, Best of American Poetry, Harper’s, Atlantic Monthly, Paris Review, and twelve volumes of his own.

Having delighted in and been enlightened by Irene’s eloquent human poetics for over two decades, I was kind of shocked when she told me this was her first published poetry collection. I couldn’t quite believe it. Then I checked all her warmly gifted and gratefully shared titles on my bookshelf and yes, indeed, this was her first poetry collection.

And thus, Fulcrum, where we all balance and “blossom like a love-mussed bed.” Like “a wound in the noon of a life.” Language hinging on voice. Voice on the cyclone currents of our aches and pains. Our joy and promise. The realization that “I sing a thanking song.” And “caress creation’s verbs.”

– – Mike Jurkovic, curmudgeon poet, VP, Calling All Poets

“At the Inkwell Magazine Review of “A Blizzard in my Bones”” and “Quaking Cantos” by Benjamin Schmitt

The Inner and Outer Journeys of Yuyutsu Sharma

http://attheinkwell.com/the-inner-and-outer-journeys-of-yuyutsu-sharma/

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“In the cracks/of debased glaciers shine/the beguiled stars/of our twisted galaxies.”

I must confess that I read these books out of order, or at least not in the order that I recommend for other readers. Both of these books were released in the last year and one is actually quite long for a book of poems, at 173 pages. This is an enormous output for a contemporary poet, a cursory polling of my bookshelf reveals most of my poetry collections to be in the 70-page range, and some poets can spend up to a decade polishing a collection. I see these two books by Yuyutsu Sharma, A Blizzard in my Bones and Quaking Cantos, as a depiction of a journey more akin to sagas in lengthier tomes such as Dante’s descent into the Infernoor Milton’s description of a Paradise Lost than as typical volumes of modern lyric verse. Strangely, it is the poet’s journey to a foreign land that initiates inner searching and the poet’s return home that prompts outer travels to seek healing with brethren.

My recommendation for readers is to begin with A Blizzard in my Bones. It is the longer of the pair, but it is a good entry point as I believe this to be the beginning of the journey. In the initial cycle of the book, “Asleep Like…”, a black shape pours forth from the narrator’s grandmother “its flame/burning the walls/of her throat.” It is the search for this black shape that prompts the narrator’s journey to New York City. Soon he is entering “a Babylon/of wandering winter spirits/and wavering speeches” in which he experiences “the Subway’s odor/tingling the lonely/walks to Washington Square.”

While there are many discoveries inside New York City that take place in the book, the narrator’s self-discoveries are the most compelling. He once again sees the black shape, this time “a black bird like Anne Sexton” in “Luna, Fish on Long Island Sound”, a poem about discovering oneself in love. In “The Aging Translator of Mallarme” he explores how others see him. Through the Ginsbergian howl “The Scream, Subway Avatars” the poet begins to find himself in the city, particularly in the grimy dark. A process completed in “Your Name” as the narrator describes a tongue that “licks sadness/out of my life’s numbered streets” thus melding himself with the cityscape. The book does not end with this immersion though, eventually the poet leaves New York to return home with the strength of the city.

Nepal in the aftermath of horrific earthquakes is the setting of Quaking Cantos. Just like the black shape fleeing his grandmother prompted the journey inward, it is this tragedy that moves the poet towards the suffering Nepali people. Quaking Cantos is my favorite of the two books because it allows the poet to display the kind of compassionate craftsmanship such a subject demands. The most stunning accomplishment of this book is the poet’s ability to use short lines to convey the physical and emotional devastation in the wake of a natural disaster. Here is an example of this from the poem “Nipple”:

“a baby crawls

on the cold

chest

of earth

looking for

his dead

mother’s

nipple.”

The short lines slow down the tempo of the poem so much that the reader almost feels as if they are crawling with the baby through the rubble. In poems like “Bhaktupar” and “Sunya” the abrupt lines create the very effect of the debris they describe, an accumulation of unexpected objects lying on top of one another and sometimes mixing together. Sharma is gifted at an enjambment that reflects the destruction of the scene, evident in the poem “Course of Courage” which describes “buildings about to tumble/into the grand jaw of Time.”

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In his outward journey, the narrator often fixes his gaze on the NGOs that have descended onto his country in the wake of this crisis. Throughout the book, he amusingly calls such organizations “Compassion Inc.” In “Quake Relief” a lamb starves under a sign in which an NGO is seeking blood from donors. The stark imagery of an animal suffering under such an appeal raises legitimate questions about the abilities and methods of these organizations, particularly their blindness to the everyday life of the Nepali people. InQuaking Cantos, Sharma brings this life to the epicenter of his collection, creating “a song/of human lives/crackling.”

In A Blizzard in my Bones the narrator begins picking up the inner wreckage of his life. It is only through this process that he is able to confront the outer wreckage ofQuaking Cantos and raise up the lives of the Nepali people. This is not a perfect journey, there were some sections in both books that could have been truncated and others that could have gone deeper. If you only have the time or budget for one of these books, I recommend Quaking Cantos, though both of them stand on their own. Regardless, Yuyutsu Sharma is an essential voice whose inner and outer struggles are worth chronicling. I am glad to have spent some time traveling with him, and I think you will be as well.


Benjamin SchmittBenjamin Schmitt is the Best Book Award and Pushcart nominated author of two books,Dinner Table Refuge (PunksWritePoemsPress, 2015) andThe global conspiracy to get you in bed (Kelsay Books, 2013). His poetry has appeared in Sakura Review, Hobart, Grist, Wisconsin Review, Two Thirds North and elsewhere. He lives with his wife and daughter in Seattle where he also reviews books, curates At The Inkwell’s Seattle reading series, and teaches workshops to people of all ages. Learn more at http://bens25.tumblr.com/

Nirala to launch American poet Karen Corinne Herceg’s Out From Calaboose: New Poems in November

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Out of Calaboose :New Poems

Karen Corinne Herceg

ISBN 9-788182-500853  pp.91 2017 Paper Demy

American poet Karen Corinne Herceg graduated magna cum laude from Columbia University with a B.A. in Literature & Writing and has graduate credits in editing, revision and psychology.  A recipient of N.Y. State grants, she has featured at major venues such as The N.Y. Public Library, The Queens Museum, The Province town Playhouse, St. John’s University, Binghamton University and many others with such renowned poets as Pulitzer Prize winners John Ashbery and Philip Schultz and poet William Packard, founder of The New York Quarterly. She has studied with David Ignatow, Philip Schultz and writer/novelist Glenda Adams. Karen was co-founder and editor of The First East Coast Theatre & Publishing Company which published poetry by Anna Adams, Stuart Kaufman, Roger Steigmeier and a novel by Charles Powers.

Her first volume of poems is Inner Sanctions. She publishes poetry, prose and essays in a variety of magazines and literary journals. Karen’s most recent publications include Antioch University’s Lunch Ticket Journal, The Avalon Literary Review, MockingHeart Review, Badlands, The Furious Gazelle, Reminisce—a publication of Readers Digest– and several publications in the U.K. Her work is read on various radio broadcasts, and she has been interviewed by The Epoch Times. Karen is currently working with Khalilah Ali, writing her memoirs as the former wife of the legendary Muhammad Ali.

Karen is a member of Poets & Writers, Writers Digest, the Academy of American Poets, PEN America, The Poetry Society of America and C.A.P.S. and is a featured poet on the New York poetry scene. Her website is: www.karencorinneherceg.com and you can also follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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Clutching her vision firmly in hand, Karen Corinne Herceg paints her inner world in such a vivid fashion that I was compelled to submerge myself in Out From Calaboose completely, and then not surface at all until I put down the last poem. What I wove through during the course of that reading was a feast: imagery fine enough that it startled; rhythms that wove from poem to poem, joining all their music together; and language so sleek that not one word had been left standing if it ought not to be. In this collection, Herceg brings us her life and all its many emotional truths, some ugly, some beautiful, but all revealed with restraint–so that by book’s end, we are left in wonder. 

–Linda Gray Sexton, author of Searching for Mercy Street: My Journey Back To My Mother, Anne Sexton and Half in Love: Surviving the Legacy of Suicide

In Out from Calaboose, Karen Corinne Herceg traces what one might call a karmic trajectory from oppressive relationships in adult life back to a controlling or absent parent whose chiseled stone dates leave “impressions in her flesh.” And, after that, to a freeing.

Roberta Gould in the Foreword

Herceg is a grand ‘maker’ in our Eastern tradition, an emergence of a fresh American voice that pulls out of her past a dark abyss of time, ‘herding children, objects and desires’ and brings along her story with a ‘feline intensity,’ very much like her cats, never looking hurt, ‘just indignant.’ Here are poems racing against the chill of time and treacherous tides that have washed away years of a young woman who stands now at the threshold of life with ‘her grocery bags’ and sings songs of the new, her new hope in ‘greens and fruits’ tethered to ‘a grassy firmament,’ birthing through ‘a placenta of debts’, cutting umbilical cords, dragging herself throughthe mire of inherited sins in a ‘maternal bloodbath,’ a place where her parents rest in sullen ‘drawers of steel.’ This is a remarkable work, a Virginia Woolf moment stretched into a book of poems, or a Whitman rumination that refuses to come to an end, enamored as it is by life’s ongoing rush. Out from Calaboose affirms Herceg’s faith in a poet’s visionary status as she imagines her hand reaching toward, snapping through ‘embryonic clay’ and sculpting lives that could become whole…

–Yuyutsu Sharma, Himalayan Poet & author of Quaking Cantos: Nepal Earthquake Poems and A Blizzard in my Bones: New York Poems

Often it is a pronounced sense of wonder that makes poets like Karen Corinne Herceg.  In her volume, she is Alice in her Wonderland, a curious child asking Why? Why? Why?  Why are “our impatient lives [spent] in fluorescent lit aisles”?  Why can a mother only offer “left over hippie love before the dusk of empty bottles”?  Why is it that “time chimes clocks as if we were a gift”?  And why do we [keep] “kicking [ourselves] back onto the cross, always just shy of redemption”?  When a child asks Why, she expects a truthful answer.  So does Herceg.  She wants to get to the bottom of just why we break out of our birth shells so passionately, with biting egg teeth, only to construct invisible shields, brick and mortar walls and personal calabooses that separate us from each other.  What drives us?  What forces impose themselves on us?  The poems in Out From Calaboose compile a quest for truthful answers, one of which Herceg instinctively knows when she quotes  Carl Sagan at the beginning of her poem “Alternatives” – for small creatures such as we the vastness is bearable only through love.

Janet Hamill, American poet, author of Body of Water

In her powerful new volume, Out from Calaboose, Karen Herceg clearly demonstrates the loneliness and wonder of a “world scaled for living”(from “Tableau”). Herceg’s is a world fueled by travel, whether it is global wanderings or the travelings of a troubled spirit seeking rest or resolution: “Will anything stave off this thing/called salvation–/how if we pine and ponder enough/somehow we will deserve explanations” (from “After Me, The Poem”). Her verse can often be troubling, as when she describes the transparent boundaries separating creatures from nature (the immolation of birds as they hit pane glass, a sacrifice to hubris); culture from culture; people from each other; and humans from nature: “tree bark flakes/plants wither/glaciers melt and slide/and we watch it on monitors” (from “Corporate Menu”). Once she has her reader thus in thrall, the poet ups the ante in positing a world fueled by despairing travail and the imminence of death: “Can we only be saved in loss?” (from “Epithalamium”). But then it becomes evident that the poet has a different world-view in mind when she juxtaposes such darkness with the idealism of her elegant and touchingHudson History:Honoring Pete Seeger” in which she infers the redemptive power of hopefulness, of what the world might be, stemming from a new vision. Out from Calaboose is a marvelous, skillful, and evocative work.

Dr. David B. Austell, Columbia University

 Herceg’s poetry has honesty and a sane, healing quality.  As a poet she fulfills one of the most crucial needs of our troubled age: Truth-seeking.  There’s no pretense in Herceg’s approach.”

Robert Milby, Poet & Hudson Valley, NY Poetry Series Host