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

 

Yuyutsu Sharma to read as Special Guest at Molloy College, Long Island, New York

 

Recipient of fellowships and grants from The Rockefeller Foundation, Ireland Literature Exchange, Trubar Foundation, Slovenia, The Institute for the Translation of Hebrew Literature and The Foundation for the Production and Translation of Dutch Literature, Yuyutsu RD Sharma is a distinguished poet and translator.

He has published nine poetry collections including, A Blizzard in my Bones: New York Poems (Nirala, 2016), Quaking Cantos: Nepal Earthquake Poems, (Nirala, 2016), Milarepa’s Bones, 33 New Poems, (Nirala, 2012), Nepal Trilogy, Photographs and Poetry on Annapurna, Everest, Helambu & Langtang (www.Nepal-Trilogy.de, Epsilonmedia, Karlsruhe, 2010), a 900-page book with renowned German photographer, Andreas Stimm, Space Cake, Amsterdam, & Other Poems from Europe and America, (2009, Indian reprint 2014) and Annapurna Poems, 2008, Reprint, 2012, 2017). He has translated and edited several anthologies of contemporary Nepali poetry in English and launched a literary movement, Kathya Kayakalpa (Content Metamorphosis) in Nepali poetry.

Two books of his poetry, Poemes de l’ Himalayas (L’Harmattan, Paris) and Poemas de Los Himalayas (Cosmopoeticia, Cordoba, Spain) have appeared in French and Spanish respectively.

Widely traveled author, he has read his works at several prestigious places including Poetry Café, London, Seamus Heaney Center for Poetry, Belfast, New York University, New York, The Kring, Amsterdam, P.E.N, Paris, Knox College, Illinois, Whittier College, California, Baruch College, New York, WB Yeats’ Center, Sligo, Gustav Stressemann Institute, Bonn, Rubin Museum, New York, Cosmopoetica, Cordoba, Spain, Irish Writers’ Centre, Dublin, Columbia University, New York, The Guardian Newsroom, London, Trois Rivieres Poetry Festival, Quebec, Arnofini, Bristol, Borders, London, Slovenian Book Days, Ljubljana, Royal Society of Dramatic Arts, London, Gunter Grass House, Bremen, GTZ, Kathmandu, International Poetry Festival, Granada, Nicaragua, Nehru Center, London, March Hare, Newfoundland, Canada, Gannon University, Erie, Frankfurt Book Fair, Frankfurt, Indian International Center, New Delhi, and Villa Serbelloni, Italy.

He has held workshop in creative writing and translation at Queen’s University, Belfast, University of Ottawa and South Asian Institute, Heidelberg University, Germany, University of California, Davis, Sacramento State University, California and New York University, New York.

His works have appeared in Poetry Review, Chanrdrabhaga, Sodobnost, Amsterdam Weekly, Indian Literature, Irish Pages, Delo, Modern Poetry in Translation, Exiled Ink, Iton77, Little Magazine, The Telegraph, Indian Express and Asiaweek.

The Library of Congress has nominated his book of Nepali translations entitled Roaring Recitals; Five Nepali Poets as Best Book of the Year 2001 from Asia under the Program, A World of Books International Perspectives.

Yuyutsu’s own work has been translated into German, French, Italian, Slovenian, Hebrew, Spanish and Dutch.  He edits Pratik, A Magazine of Contemporary Writing and contributes literary columns to Nepal’s leading daily, The Himalayan Times.

He was at the Poetry Parnassus Festival organized to celebrate London Olympics 2012 where he represented Nepal and India. Yuyutsu is the Visiting Poet at Columbia University, New York and has just returned from Argentina where had had gone to participate in International Poetry Festival, Buenos Aires.

Half the year, he travels and reads all over the world to read from his works and conducts creative writing workshop at various universities in North America and Europe but goes trekking in the Himalayas when back home.

 

Sharma conferred Honorary Professorship-RSS

2017-02-14 09:42 Kathmandu, Feb 14:

The Amity University in Haryana, India has conferred the title of Honorary Professorship on Nepali litterateur Yuyutsu RD Sharma during the varsity’s third Convocation Ceremony.

Founding President and Chancellor Ashok K Chauhan, incumbent Chancellor Aseem K Chauhan and Vice Chancellor PB Sharma jointly bestowed the honour on Sharma for ‘unwavering commitment to the pursuit of excellence in the field of English poetry and extraordinary qualities of creativity’.

The Amity University stated that he conferred the honour on litterateur Sharma for his extraordinary achievements and contribution to the field of English literature and creative writing.

Sharma, who is known as the Himalayan Poet, has penned numerous poems in Nepali and English languages, essay collections, translation and other write-ups. \

–RSS ( National News Agency, Nepal)

Amity University Confers an Honorary Professorship on World Renowned Himalayan Poet, Yuyutsu Sharma

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Amity University Conferred an Honorary Professorship on World Renowned Himalayan Poet, Yuyutsu Sharma during the third Convocation Ceremony of the University  held for the students who have successfully completed their Academic Programs in 2016 at University Campus, Panchgaon, Manesar.

Founding President & Chancellor Ashok K. Chauhan, Current Chancellor Aseem K. Chauhan and Vice-Chancellor, P.B. Sharma  jointly bestowed the honor at Amity University, Gugaon during its annual Convocation for Sharma’s “unwavering commitment to the pursuit of excellence in the field of English poetry and extraordinary qualities of creativity … epitomized in one of India’s most distinguished poets.”

“In order to facilitate the blooming of creative impulses hidden within each individual,”  the Amity reading citation states, ( Read Full Citation below ) “he has devoted himself towards training people in creative writing…For his extraordinary achievements and his contribution to the field of English literature and creative writing, Amity University confers the title of Honorary Professor upon Shri Yuyutsu Sharma”

Amity 1Prof: Anil D Sahasrabudhe- Chairman, AICTE, Dr. Trilochan Mohapatra- Secretary (DARE) & Director General (ICAR) and Prof. Govindarajan Padmanaban -Former Director, IISc, Bangalore were conferred with Honorary Doctorate Degrees by Dr. Ashok K Chauhan- Founder President, Amity Group, Dr. Aseem Chauhan and Dr. (Mrs.) Amita Chauhan- Chairperson, Amity International Schools in Science during the Convocation.

Prof. (Dr.) Raj K Tiwari, Professor of Microbiology and Immunology and Program Director, NYMC, New York, USA; Dr. Yuyutsu- Globally Renowned Poet and Creative Writer; Prof. Bal Ram Singh- President, Institute of Advanced Sciences, Dartmouth, US and Dr . B.L. Dubey, Renowned Clinical Psychologists Adjunct Faculty, University of Alaska, US were conferred Honorary Professorships.

The Convocation ceremony was declared closed by Chancellor, AUH followed by National Anthem.


(Nirala News in collaboration with Agencies)

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Amity Citation 

Shri Yuyutsu R.D. Sharma

An unwavering commitment to the pursuit of excellence in the field of English poetry and extraordinary qualities of creativity are epitomized in one of India’s most distinguished poets, Shri Yuyutsu R.D. Sharma.

Shri Sharma has been the recipient of several fellowships and grants from The Rockefeller Foundation, Ireland Literature Exchange, Trubar Foundation, Slovenia, The Institute for the Translation of Hebrew Literature and The Foundation for the Production and Translation of Dutch Literature. He has also been a visiting Poet at University of Columbia, New York University, University of California, Davis, Heidelberg University, Germany and Queen’s University, Belfast.

Widely traveled author, he has read his works at several prestigious places across the world. Shri Sharma has a colossal body of published work, including many poetry compilations and books. He has also translated innumerable works of poetry into English. In order to facilitate the blooming of creative impulses hidden within each individual, he has devoted himself towards training people in creative writing.

An avid admirer of the Himalayas, Shri Sharma has spent a considerable amount of time writing about the bounties of nature. Two books of his poetry, Poemes de l’ Himalayas (L’Harmattan, Paris) and Poemas de Los Himalayas (Cosmopoeticia, Cordoba, Spain) recently appeared in French and Spanish respectively. He is a person of immense intellectual ability and ingenious creativity. . He has translated and edited several anthologies of contemporary Nepali poetry in English and launched a literary movement, Kathya Kayakalpa (Content Metamorphosis) in Nepali poetry. The Library of Congress has nominated his book of Nepali translations entitled, Roaring Recitals; Five Nepali Poets as Best Book of the Year 2001 from Asia under the Program, A World of Books International Perspectives.

For his extraordinary achievements and his contribution to the field of English literature and creative writing, Amity University confers the title of Honorary Professor upon Shri Yuyutsu Sharma

 

 

 

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.”

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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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Leading American Magazine Drunken Boat’s 24th Issue with Special Himalayan Arts Folio edited by Yuyutsu Sharma released

http://www.drunkenboat.com/db24

Annapurna Note News

America’s leading online magazine, Drunken Boat launches Folio feature on Nepalese poetry and arts

http://www.annapurnapost.com/annanote/news/1563/America%E2%80%99s-leading-online-magazine,-Drunken-Boat-launches-Folio-feature-on-Nepalese-poetry-and-arts

KATHMANDU – Drunken Boat, America’s oldest online magazine is going to publish its 24th issue with a special focus on Nepal and Himalayan Arts. The poems are edited and translated by world renowned Himalayan poet Yuyutsu R.D. Sharma. The issue will include 35 poets and select artists from Nepal.

village-women-by-hari-thapa

Evoking the spirit of New Nepal and themes of love, war and hunger, the folio ranges from older generations poet Gopal Prasad Rimal, Krishan Bhakta Shrestha Bhupi Sherchan, Bimal Nibha, Shailendra Sakar, Purna Viram, Shyamal, Hari Adhikary, Yuyutsu Sharma along with younger generation poets like Buddhi Sagar Chepain, Chunky Shrestha, Padma Gautam, Keshab Silwal, Arun Budhathoki and Promod Snehi. Also, works of Shashi Shah, Hari Khadka, Ragni Upadhyaya, Kiran Manansdhar and Niresh Sainju and others have been featured.

The issue also includes Yuyutsu Sharma’s exhaustive introduction “A Quiet Space for Poetry in Nepal.” outlining the Nepali poetry’s history and its current scenario.

The literary giant is also planning to bring the issue in a book format with some additional translations from Yuyutsu Sharma later along with a Special section on Nepalese woman poets.

It is the first time ever in the history of Nepali literature that a foreign publisher is publishing the works from the Himalayan nation. Most importantly, the issue also focuses on Himalayan arts.

In words of Drunken Boat Editor, Erica Mena, “It’s a gorgeous issue, full of some of the best work I’ve seen in our pages.”

http://www.annapurnapost.com/annanote/news/1563/America%E2%80%99s-leading-online-magazine,-Drunken-Boat-launches-Folio-feature-on-Nepalese-poetry-and-arts

 

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

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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