Nirala News– American poet David Austell’s The Tin Man to be the first of five Poetry-Book Releases to celebrate the Poetry Month, 2018

Nirala to celebrate Poetry Month by launching 5 new books by 5 American Poets in April, The first one, American poet David Austell’s The Tin Man now out and available on Amazon
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07CJTDLLK

The Tin Man, by distinguished American poet and educationist, David B. Austell, is a moving homage to a little known but charismatic figure in the Christian biblical narratives, Saint Joseph of Arimathea.  Completed after six years of research and writing, The Tin Man is based on a myriad of primary and secondary source materials including canonical texts, apocrypha, religious traditions, church history, medieval literature, and folklore. The Tin Man is a grand narrative poem in epic style regarding the key intersections of Joseph of Arimathea’s life both with Pontius Pilate, Roman Governor of Palestine, and with the strange and charismatic Jesus of Nazareth. The poem explores the experiences of a dramatically flawed man, and the transmutation of his inner being in the presence of the Numinous.

Joseph of Arimathea appears as a key figure in the “passion narratives,” those sections of the four Christian Gospels that focus on the trial and death of Jesus in Jerusalem immediately prior to the celebration of the Jewish Passover in 33 A.D. It is here that we learn of Joseph’s status in the community as a wealthy man, a secret follower of Jesus, and a member of the high council of Jerusalem. It is also here that we read of Joseph’s unenviable task in the interment of the maverick rabbi who many believed to be the Messiah, the Son of the Living God.  In the apocryphal gospels and later writings, Joseph’s influential role in the early years of the Christian Church is brought to light.  For the first time, we are introduced to Joseph of Arimathea as a member of the Davidian royal family, the uncle of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and the great-uncle of Jesus.  Later in the Vulgate, Joseph is referred to as NobilisDecurio (Noble Decurion). Thereafter he becomes the Roman citizen, the provincial Senator, and the legendary Roman superintendent of tin mining operations in the southwestern shires of England.  In the final analysis, The Tin Man explores the life-changes that transform an arrogant and troubled expatriate into a Christian saint, missionary, evangelist, and church leader.

The Tin Man is the epic song of Joseph of Arimathea.

“The figure of Joseph of Arimathea has always been dear to English hearts because of the age-old tradition, linked not only with Cornwall but also with Glastonbury, that he travelled here himself…Anyone reading this work will feel a great debt of gratitude to David Austell…The writing is full of music and it is music that leads us to the amazing figure of ‘The Tin Man’ so that we journey with him through history as pilgrims.”

-from the Introduction by the Very Reverend Dr. Robert A. Willis,  Dean of Canterbury Cathedral, England

Very compelling…an immense work…the poems are lit with primary passion, which is everything, of course.

Christian Wiman, Poet and Senior Lecturer in Religion and Literature, Yale Divinity School
The Tin Man is an elegant wrestle with history and meaning.” 

Eliza Griswold, Journalist, author, and poet, The Tenth Parallel, Wide Awake Field, I am the Beggar of the World

The Tin Man is a meticulously researched and masterfully written account of Joseph of Arimathea. David Austell weaves prose and poetry, history and imagination, humor and gravity into an exquisite, seamless story that is both fascinating and a pleasure to read.  David’s craft of poetry and prose here is exquisite. “

Sholeh Wolpe, Poet, Dramatist, and Performance Artist

The Tin Man is a fascinating collage of poetry, theology, history, epic, meditation, and engagement with large ideas. It’s a wonderful book and unlike any other I’ve ever read.

Kevin Prufer, Poet and Professor of Creative Writing, University of Houston

Enlightening and engaging…this marvelous read introduces you to the saint evolved from a lifetime of adventures as a soldier, senator and merchant.   David Austell’s tantalizing tale, pulled from the mists of time, places flesh-and-blood on one of the central, but little-known characters in the chronicles of Jesus Christ.  These incomparable, extraordinary narrative-poems shed a light on the heretofore unexplored Joseph of Arimathea as a man who sought an ordinary existence but came to believe and live the missionary life of The Way.

The Reverend Canon Matthew T. L. Corkern,, Rector, Calvary Church, Summit, New Jersey

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 College-Columbia 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 The Tin Man is his third book.

American poet, Otis Kidwell Burger’s fabulous book, Cats, Love & Other Surprises in Nirala Series

 Cats, Love & Other Surprises by Otis Kidwell Burger

Illustrations by Katherine Burger

ISBN : 978-8182500891 2017 Hardback pp 65

Cats, Love & Other Surprises is an astonishing book of poems by 93-year old Otis Kidwell Burger, of New York City. Both a poet and a sculptor, Otis delights in the company of her cats in verse both whimsical and lyrical. Other poems reflect on a long life divided between New York City and a country cabin in the New England woods; these explore family memories, the vagaries of love, and the natural world, to which she is connected by both scientific curiosity (she was a zoology major at Cornell College) and philosophical questioning. The poems traverse territories from the quotidian to the metaphysical; from rejoicing in the return of a lost cat “sitting on my lap purring/and stitching us together again/with her tiny, needle-sharp claws” to imagining a prehistoric woman artist sitting on the floor of her cave, “whittling a bit of mammoth bone. /I don’t know yet if it will be/A horse or a bison. Prey. Food. Perhaps a charm for the hunter./Or perhaps a cave bear, immense, terrible./Death itself, but made small and manageable. A protection.” Solemn, yet also witty and accessible, these are American poems of great strength and a quirky animistic sensibility. They are also poignant. Musing on her unmatched “bachelor” socks, the poet imagines their lost, significant others and why they stepped out, never to return. In another poem, she mourns that “the darkness falls/And tucks us in our homes/No more telephones/No more visiting/No more conversations/No more sleepwalking, or I/Would be five miles away soon/And in bed with you.” Delightfully illustrated by her own daughter, Katherine Burger, this is a majestic little gift from a marvellous mother/daughter team.

American writer and artist Otis Kidwell Burger was born in 1923 in Staten Island, NY, and has lived in Greenwich Village since 1932. She graduated from Cornell University and married Knox Breckenridge Burger in 1946; they had two daughters, Neall and Katherine.

Her published work includes: An Interesting Condition, a novel; The String That Went Up, a children’s book; poetry in The New Yorker, Good Housekeeping, and Gourmet Magazine; science fiction in Galaxy and Astounding magazines. She’s written book reviews for The New York Times, Book of the Month Club; The Village Voice, and Kirkus Services, as well as articles in the Villager. All of the poems included in the book, except The Stag, were written in the last two years

Katherine Burger, Otis’ second daughter, is a playwright and artist. She and her husband Randy live in the Hudson Valley.

March Release: Word Has It: Poems by distinguished American poet, Ruth Danon

 


 

 

 

ISBN 81-8250-097-4 2018 Paperback pp 85

Word Has It, by American poet, Ruth Danon takes on the unease that has accompanied the troubling politics that have created so much disturbance in the last few years. The book launches the reader into a journey marked by foreboding and innuendo. In the first section the speaker proceeds on an uneasy path while a character named “Word,” referring to herself in the third person, offers acerbic commentary along the way. In the second section the speaker retreats first into the domestic, then to a deeper interiority in which a journey through the rooms of a house embodies a study of various states of consciousness that lead her to the recognition of her role as a poet. By the end of the second section the speaker in ready to leave the interior space and venture into the third section, where she takes on the daunting poetic task of augury. The foreboding of the first section culminates in the violence that has been hinted at all along.


. . .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Danon evokes language as backdrop, as foundation, as scaffolding – a quiet though inexorable landscape in which we witness our most cherished and frightening transformations.. . .
Kristina Marie Darling, editor in chief, Tupelo Press

Ruth Danon gives us one of her most darkly oracular works. . . . .” The poems are acid,ingenious, and unsentimental.
Andrew Levy, editor, Resist Much, Obey Little

. . . Deep and skeptical, natural and magical, melancholic and beautiful, Danon’s oracle makes a truly compelling statement – one to be heeded, one to be savored.                   – Stephen  Massimilla,, author, The Plague Doctor in His Hull Shaped Hat and Cooking with the Muse

Ruth Danon’s extraordinary poems take us directly into states of feeling and perception that are subtle and profound. . . These are necessary poems.                                         –Chase Twichell, author, Horses Where the Answers Should Have Been (winner of Kingsley Tufts Award)

Poetry Reading at Montauk Club, Brooklyn

Saturday, Dec 9, at 6: 00 — 8:00 pm

Eternal Snow Readings in New York

 followed by Yuyutsu Sharma  & David Austell reading their fresh work at

Montauk Club, Brooklyn The Montauk Club 25 Eighth Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11217 Phone: 646 591 9951, 917 293 9334

Himalayan Poet Yuyutsu Sharma will share his recent work. After years of travelling 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 and read new poems written during his recent stay in Brooklyn.

American poet and Editor of Eternal Snow, David Austell will read his new work and discuss the anthology

The Readings from the contributors to the anthology, Eternal Snow:  A Worldwide Anthology of One Hundred Twenty-Five Poetic Intersections with Himalayan Poet Yuyutsu RD Sharma will take place.

Free to Public

RSVP :Phone: 646 591 9951, 917 293 9334

 

 

 

 

Yuyutsu Sharma’s Current Eternal Snow Tour!

Saturday, Dec 9, at 6: 00 — 8:00 pm, Eternal Snow Readings in New York followed by Yuyutsu Sharma  & David Austell Reading their fresh work at Montauk Club, Brooklyn The Montauk Club 25 Eighth Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11217 Phone: 646 591 9951, 917 293 9334

Friday, Dec 8, at 7: 00 pm-9:00, Yuyutsu Sharma reading at Poets Aloud, BJ Spoke Gallery, 299 Main Street, Huntington, New York 11743 Host: Kelly J. Powell Seating always available, limited parking, so arrive early. Admission is free; $3 donation preferred. Refreshments available.

Tuesday, Dec 5, at 6: 30 pm, Erie Launch of Eternal Snow; Yuyutsu Sharma visits Poetry Night on his international tour with the anthology Eternal Snow! Book Signing. Plus poetry open mic. Upstairs for this event. Chuck Joy, poet host. Calamari’s Squid, 1317 State St. Erie, Pennsylvania 16501 Phone: 8144594276 http://www.calamaris-squidrow.com/

Sunday, Dec 3, at 7:00 pm: Ohio Launch Of Eternal Snow. The Anthology contributors read from the book followed by Yuyutsu Sharma reading his new work. Coffee and pastries served. Saint Pio Fine Arts Institute And Conservatory. 33 3rd St SE, Barberton, Ohio 44203 Hosted by Thomas Jenney Phone: Call (330) 328-7619

Saturday, Dec 2, at 4:30 – 7:00 pm: Yuyutsu Sharma reading at Exchange House, Akron, 760 Elms St. Akron Ohio 44310 Hosted by Noor Hindi (234) 312-9709

Thursday, Nov 30, at 7: 00 pm, Yuyutsu Sharma  Poet Gold & Judith Tulloch. Reading to be followed by Q&A. Organized by Calling All Poets, program host Mike Jurkovic Town Crier 378 Main St. Beacon, New York, 12508 Phone: 845 855 1300

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

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 info@portjefflibrary.org Hosted by Kat Lamberg

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,  poetryexpress@gmail.com, www.poetryexpressed.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, ischneider@cityofberkeley.info,  https://www.berkeleypubliclibrary.org/

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, 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 evalena@yogasole.com

Yuyutsu Sharma’s Upcoming Reading Tour 2017 : New York, Massachusetts & California

 

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 evalena@yogasole.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, ischneider@cityofberkeley.info,  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,  poetryexpress@gmail.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 info@portjefflibrary.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/

Upcoming Brooklyn Launch of Eternal Snow and Poetry Workshop with Yuyutsu Sharma at Yoga Sole, New York

Upcoming Brooklyn Launch of Eternal Snow and Poetry Workshop with Yuyutsu Sharma at Yoga Sole, New York
http://yogasole.com/eventskarma/yuyupoetry.html

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

(includes reading)

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.

Distinguished American poet and playwright Irene O’ Garden’s “Fulcrum: Selected Poems released

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

 

irene-photo

Distinguished American poet Irene O’Garden has won or been nominated for prizes in nearly every writing category from stage to e-screen, hardcovers, as well as literary magazines and anthologies. Her critically-acclaimed play, Women on Fire, (Samuel French) played sold-out houses at Off-Broadway’s 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 first memoir Fat Girl, her second, Risking the Rapids: How My Wilderness Journey Healed My Childhood is forthcoming from Mango (November 2018) O’Garden’s poems and essays have been featured in dozens of literary journals and award-winning anthologies. Fulcrumpublished last year by Nirala, is her first poetry collection. 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.

http://niralapublications.com/nirala-authors/irene-o-garden/

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

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

karen-cover-nirala

 

 

 

 

 

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.

karenherceg1

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