Poetry by Yuyutsu Sharma, from A Blizzard in my Bones: New York Poems
Artwork by Phil Padwe
“Poetry Reading, 6 p.m.,” read the sign taped outside the doorway of the Bethune Street townhouse where Otis Kidwell Burger, 93, has lived for nearly 60 years.
Inside, from a rocker cushioned with red velvet, Ms. Kidwell Burger presided over the dozen or so poets gathered in her parlor, a cozy haven with Oriental rugs, a working fireplace and shelves of old books and general clutter.
Ms. Kidwell Burger, a writer and sculptor, lives with her two cats in the 1836 building that she and her then-husband, the late literary agent Knox Burger, bought in 1959. Its upper floors served as a rooming house, with rooms starting at $8 per week, she said.
“It was full of strange folks,” she said.
The room next to the magician was rented as a writing space by the author and activist Jane Jacobs, who worked on her seminal book “The Death and Life of Great American Cities” there, Ms. Kidwell Burger said.
“Jane lived around the corner on Hudson Street, but she had a house full of teenagers and it was quieter here,” said Ms. Kidwell Burger, who joined forces with Ms. Jacobs in the ’60s to resist projects threatening the small-town character of the neighborhod
“I said to her, ‘Is there any way we can stop this?’” Ms. Kidwell Burger recalled. “She leaped onto the stage and pulled the stenographer’s notes from the machine and was immediately arrested.”
“It hit the papers and brought attention to this stupid plan and people thought better of it,” she said.
Ms. Kidwell Burger long ago cleared out the rooming house operation upstairs but continued to rent out two upper floors. During the ’80s, the actress Jennifer Grey was a tenant, so Matthew Broderick was often around, and other young celebrities.
“I remember Madonna sitting on my stoop,” said Ms. Kidwell Burger, who lived as a child at the top of Todt Hill in Staten Island. She was a zoology major at Cornell University and settled afterward in Greenwich Village.
She and her husband hobnobbed with writers like Norman Mailer and Kurt Vonnegut, a family friend who set part of his novel, “Mother Night,” at the Bethune Street townhouse.
Ms. Kidwell Burger raised two daughters, made and sold her sculptures, and wrote several books, as well as poetry, science fiction and book reviews for numerous magazines.
Her latest book came out this year “Cats, Love & Other Surprises,” illustrated by her daughter Katherine Wilcox Burger. She has a docket of public readings lined up.
Ms. Kidwell Burger, who turns 94 on Nov. 9, writes on a Smith Corona Sterling typewriter at a foldout desk. Her assistant then reads the work and types it into a computer.
Ms. Kidwell Burger is still an outspoken activist. She does not care for President Donald J. Trump, and she has been known to walk the neighborhood holding a cardboard sign with the message, “Nasty Man, Lock Him Up.”
She is also territorial. After flowers were recently stolen from her sidewalk planter, she taped a warning note “to the creep who keeps stealing these plants.”
Her Sunday evening invitation-only salons have a Bohemian feel. Many of the poets date back to the Village in the ’50s, and Ms. Kidwell Burger can reminisce about longshoremen working the piers and seaman living in local rooming houses and frequenting salty bars. She can recall freight trains clattering by on the tracks that are now part of the High Line.
“Now it’s one of the more expensive places in the city to live,” she said. “The billionaires are pushing out the millionaires.”
On a recent Sunday night, part of the reading was devoted to a cache of 45 sonnets that Ms. Kidwell Burger wrote some 50 years ago and then left in a drawer until dusting them off recently.
“They’re going to start comparing you to Edna St. Vincent Millay,” said Michael Graves, a poet and salon guest that night.
Mr. Graves then read a poem of his about an undocumented immigrant living in New York. Erik La Prade read his poem about the poet W.H. Auden, who lived on St. Marks Place in the East Village.
Shelley Seccombe read her poem “Interlude,” which ruminated on the challenges and rewards of negotiating New York’s alternate-side parking regulations. Yuyutsu Sharma, a Nepalese poet who treks in the Himalayas, read his poem about earning the right to be called a New Yorker.
Of course, as the old Village’s radical and political roots give way to the forces of soaring real estate, Ms. Kidwell Burger’s townhouse, which she bought for $30,000, is now appraised at $12 million, she said.
“People are constantly calling and leaving me notes asking if I want to sell,” said Ms. Kidwell Burger. She’s not interested. “The good lord isn’t making any more Village townhouses.”
Saturday, Oct 21, at 6 pm to 9 pm Brooklyn Launch of Yuyutsu Sharma’s Eternal Snow and A Workshop with the Himalayan Poet, Hosted by Yoga Sole, Windsor Terrace Brooklyn – 254 Windsor Place – Brooklyn, NY 11215 Tel: 718.541.1382 , Reading$ 10pp Workshop $25pp Reading included) www.yogasole.com Host : Evalena Leedy email@example.com
Monday, Oct 23, at 7:00 pm: Yuyutsu Sharma Reading at Boston Launch of Eternal Snow with Timothy Gager at Out of the Blue Gallery, in the Stone Soup Poetry Series, at 541 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge. Host: Chad Parenteau https://outoftheblueartgallery.com/
Saturday, November 11, Noon to 2.30 pm: Yuyutsu Sharma Reading and workshop Berkeley Public Library, Hosted by Berkeley Public Library, 2090 Kittredge St, Berkeley, CA 94704, USA Host: Isobel Schneider, firstname.lastname@example.org, https://www.berkeleypubliclibrary.org/ (Details to be confirmed soon)
Monday, November 13, at 7 pm until 9 pm: Yuyutsu Sharma Reading as Feature Poet at Poetry Express Berkeley. Hosted by Poetry Express Berkeley, at Himalayan Flavors, 1585 University Avenue, Nearest Cross St. California, Host: Jim Barnard, email@example.com, www.poetryexpressed.com
Tuesday, November 14, at 6:30 pm, Yuyutsu Sharma reading at The Long Island Launch of Eternal Snow, Port Jefferson Free Library, 631 473-0022 100 Thompson Street Port Jefferson, NY, 11777, 631-473-0022 Fax: 631-473-2903 firstname.lastname@example.org Hosted by Kat Lamberg
Saturday, November 18, at 2 pm until 4 pm: Yuyutsu Sharma Reading with David Austell & Barbara Novack at Oceanside Library 30 Davison Ave, Oceanside, NY 11572, USA. Hosted Peter V. Dugan, 516-287-5239 http://www.oceansidelibrary.com/
Brooklyn Launch of
Yuyutsu Sharma’s Eternal Snow
& A Workshop with the Himalayan Poet
Saturday, Oct 21st
Workshop will be 6:00pm – 7:00pm $25pp
Reading will be 7:30pm – 9:00pm $10pp
In the workshop
Yuyu will share his experiences and recite mantras and prayers to evoke the Himalayan world, especially, Devataatma, a Sanskrit word for the Himalayas, meaning the place where Soul of the God lives. After years of traveling the globe as an itinerant poet, Yuyutsu Sharma has earned the respect and admiration of thousands of people all over the world. Yuyu will unravel the secrets of Himalayan spirituality, inducing the participants to write fresh poetry likely to be published in the second volume of Eternal Snow.
The Reading will be the
The Brooklyn launch of
“Eternal Snow: A Worldwide Anthology of One Hundred Twenty-Five Poetic Intersections with Himalayan Poet Yuyutsu RD Sharma”
will take place.
Editors will share their experiences of editing this mammon anthology.
Select Poets include:
David Austell, Ruth Danon, Carolyn Wells, Catherine Gigante-Brown, Jack Tar, Nancy R Lange, Bill Wolak, Mindy Kronenberg, Su Polo, Robert Scotto, Michael Graves, Bari Falise, Christi Shannon Kline, Dan Szczesny, Kymberly Brown, James Romano, Jack Tar, Marion Palm, Eugene Hyon, Patricia Carragon,
Jan Garden Castro & others will read from the book.
‘A 320-page poetry anthology, entitled, Eternal Snow, dedicated to the internationally renowned poet Yuyutsu Sharma has just been published. Subtitled as ‘A Worldwide Anthology of One Hundred Twenty-Five Poetic Intersections with Himalayan Poet Yuyutsu RD Sharma’ the book explores the interactions, collisions, and intersections of over 125 poets from four Continents with the Himalayan poet.
Edited by distinguished American litterateurs, David Austell of Columbia University, New York, and Kathleen D Gallagher, of University of Akron, Ohio, the mammoth anthology is “a testament to the power of words to inspire, encourage, and heal across vastly disparate cultures and distant places.”
Yuyutsu Sharma is a Himalayan poet whose works have gained a global recognition. This anthology, in particular, is a homage by poets who’ve interacted with Sharma during his legendary world tours. The poems reflect praise, appreciation, and gratitude to the mountain poet, Yuyutsu Sharma.
Not only poets, the book contains poems written after meeting or listening to Sharma’s Himalayan recitals by people from various walks of life including teachers, scientists, social workers, photographers, priests and Yoga teachers.
“When you first meet Himalayan poet Yuyutsu RD Sharma,” says, James Ragan, Professor Emeritus of English from the University of Southern California, “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.”
Ragan adds, “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.”
In the Preface to the Anthology, Professor David Austell, opines, “Yuyu has touched the hearts and minds of a multitude of people and writers around the world, as evidenced in this wonderful book… It is my delight and honor to be among such a cloud of witnesses.”
“No matter where the poets live, from a small city to large, to countryside or village,” points out Kathleen Gallagher, editor of the Anthology, “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,” Gallagher discerns, ”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.”
In addition to scores of literary luminaries like David Ray, James Ragan, Ravi Shankar, Eileen O’Connor, Gorka Lasa, Pascale Petit, Elena Karina Byrne, Chuck Joy, Amarendra Khatua, Ruth Danon, Tim Tomlinson, Verónica Aranda, John Clarke, David Axelrod, Tony Barnstone, Art Good Times, Robin Metz, Barbara Novack, Hélène Cardona, Irene O’ Garden, Carolyn Wells, Diane Frank, Bill Wolak, ‘Eternal Snow’ is also special as it contains nearly a dozen Nepali poets including Bishwa Sigdel, Arun Budhathoki, Revegya Joshi, Shreejana Bhandari, Barun Bajracharya and Civa Bhusal.
At a local poetry gathering in Kathmandu when Nepali poet Arun Budhathoki last met Yuyutsu, he said, “With the publication of this book, I can finally pause and take a deep breath.” He added, “It’s humbling to know I have been able to speak to the world’s most sanguine voices during my decade long ramblings across the far flung continents. Not all poets have the fortune to get touched so meaningfully in their life time as I have. Now I finally can rest in peace.”
The book will be launched in New York at Yoga Sole, Brooklyn on Oct 21, 7:30 pm.
Nirala News in association with News Agencies
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 : 81-8250-088-5 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:
Lori Ann Kusterbeck
Elena Karina Byrne
Paul Nash &
Denise La Neve
Meera Ekkanath Klein
Christi Shannon Kline
Kathleen D Gallagher
Maria Heath Beckett
Juan Carlos Abril
Tera Vale Regan
Lady K (Kathy Smith)
Karen Corinne Herceg
M. L. Williams
Mary E. Weems
Nancy Aidé Gonzalez
Nancy R Lange
Peter V. Dugan
Aixia de Villanova
Charles Peter Watson
Merik van der Torren
Art Good Times
D. B. Meltzer
Bidur Prasad Chaulagain
\Mary Ryan Garcia
Theresa Göttl Brightman
Kymberly Avinasha Brown
Devin Wayne Davis
John J. Trause
Irene O’ Garden
Allegra Jostad Silberstein
Jan Garden Castro
APRIL 22 – 23, 2017 | USC CAMPUs
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.
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/
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 email@example.com
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