Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Poetry Context Deadline is Approching

Just a reminder! The guidelines are here:

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

He died alone

Kentucky writer Hunter Stockton Thompson

Hunter S. Thompson was born in Louisville, Kentucky on July 18, 1937. He committed suicide on February 20, 2005.
“We are all alone, born alone, die alone, and—in spite of True Romance magazines—we shall all someday look back on our lives and see that, in spite of our company, we were alone the whole way. I do not say lonely—at least, not all the time—but essentially, and finally, alone. This is what makes your self-respect so important, and I don't see how you can respect yourself if you must look in the hearts and minds of others for your happiness.” -- Hunter S. Thompson, The Proud Highway: Saga of a Desperate Southern Gentleman, 1955-1967

Hunter Thompson was a journalist and author, famous for his book Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. He is regarded as the creator of Gonzo journalism, a style of reporting where journalists involve themselves in the action to such a degree that they become the central figures of their stories. He is also known for his libertarian views, and his contempt for authority.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

2015 Random Word Poetry Contest

Readers are invited to submit a poem that uses all the following words. These sixteen words have been randomly selected. This list poses a challenge because some of the words can have more than one meaning. The word masks, for example, can serve as a noun or as a verb.


The poem must be at least 12 lines in length and must not exceed 30 lines. Some of the words may be used in the title.

The contest is for all ages. Students are especially encouraged to submit poems. This is an opportunity to built your publications list. Submit your entries by midnight November 30 to Editor:

The top 3 poems will appear at One on OneWrite and Publish! (formerly Students, Publish Here!) the first week of December.

Former contests:
2011 Spring Random Word Poetry Contest
2011 Fall Random Word Poetry Contest
2010 Random Word Poetry Contest
2009 Random Word Poetry Contest
2008 Random Word Poetry Contest

Saturday, September 19, 2015

The Lament of the Guitar

Picasso's Old Guitarist, 1903-04
Art Institute of Chicago

In “The Guitar” García Lorca evokes the experience in hearing the sound of the guitar as a wail (llanto). This is an allusion to the plaintive wailing heard in flamenco singing. The guitar’s lament is repetitious. Three times Lorca writes, “It is impossible to silence it.” The sound spirals, gaining force so that by dawn, the sound is sufficient to break the wine cups. The Flamenco guitarists and dancers that Lorca knew as friends often played, sang and danced until daybreak.

For what does the guitar wail? “It weeps for/ things far away,” for Andalusia and the “sand of the warm south/asking for white camellias.”

Lorca's plaintive tone suggests the guitar weeping for things lost and opportunities missed. “It weeps arrow without target/evening without morning.” 

Finally, the guitar wails and weeps out of grief for “The first dead bird/upon the branch...”

“Oh, guitar!/ Heart grievously wounded/ by five swords.” The body of a guitar has a heart shape which is wounded by the five fingers of the guitarist. The metaphor may draw on another image familiar to the Spanish and found on the wall of virtually every home in Andalusia: the Sacred Heart of Jesus, wounded by the grief of the world.

About twenty years ago I asked my advanced level Spanish students to read and discuss Lorca's poem. They noted the concrete nature and universality of his metaphors; everyone has seen and/or touched a guitar, heard Flamenco music, felt sorrow, and experienced the loss of childlike innocence that grief brings. This quality characterizes Lorca's work, and indeed, the work of all great poets. People must be able to identify with the experience and the poem must take them back to a time and place when they had a similar experience. Good poetry evokes emotions and recalls moments and impressions.

This week I began to read some of my dream journals. I keep a record of my dreams and have about 16 journals. I also often jot down a poem.  The poem that follows was written near the time when the class discussed Lorca's The Guitarra.

by Alice C. Linsley

The first to die
deserves a tribute:
the first bird dead on the branch
or in the garden
fallen on the shaded path.

My neighbor farms a field
where the crows come to eat his corn.
One was found dead,
his black feathers scattered
by the wind.

Where did the first bird die?
There must have been a first dead bird.
It is the way of life to die
and Life notes the dying sparrow
though blank eyes receive no tribute.

Though familiar with being alone,
I grieve dying alone.
A he and she bird pair
must once have died together.
A shared dying deserves a different tribute.

Other poems by Alice C. Linsley

Saturday, August 22, 2015

A Gift for Matthew

A lovely and meaningful book written by my friend Nick Muzekari.

A Gift for Matthew

Matthew is excited to visit a monastery. A monk there is teaching him to paint icons! Matthew learns about sketching images, mixing pigments, and painting all the layers of the sacred images. And when he gets home, he finds a surprise gift just for him.

About the author: Nick Muzekari is a writer who lives in Hatfield, Pennsylvania, with his wife and five children. He enjoys conveying truth, mystery, and beauty through story. One of his most recent writing projects was a literary/art magazine for Christian teens which he founded and published. This is his first picture book.

About the illustrator: Masha Lobastov is a classically educated figurative artist. She graduated from the Russian State University for Humanities of Moscow in 1996 and moved to the U.S. to continue her artistic goals. Mostly known for her portraiture, especially children’s portraits, Masha collaborated with Ancient Faith Publishing and the authors E.C. Johnson and Jane Meyer in bringing to life the books And Then Nicholas Sang, What Do You Hear, Angel? and The Hidden Garden. This is her fourth picture book.

Format: Hardcover
Dimensions: 8 X 10 inches
Page Length: 32 pages
Publisher: Ancient Faith Publishing

To purchase go here.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

High Summer

Lizette Woodworth Reese

No wind, no bird. The river flames like brass.
On either side, smitten as with a spell
Of silence, brood the fields. In the deep grass,
Edging the dusty roads, lie as they fell
Handfuls of shriveled leaves from tree and bush.
But ’long the orchard fence and at the gate,
Thrusting their saffron torches through the hush,
Wild lilies blaze, and bees hum soon and late.
Rust-colored the tall straggling briar, not one
Rose left. The spider sets its loom up there
Close to the roots, and spins out in the sun
A silken web from twig to twig. The air
Is full of hot rank scents. Upon the hill
Drifts the noon’s single cloud, white, glaring, still.

Friday, August 14, 2015

In Defense of Kate Breslin's For Such A Time

Kate Breslin

Political correctness does hinder creativity. Nothing authentic and original comes out of social conformity.

In this interview with Vampire author Anne Rice she claims that attempts to ‘take down’ Kate Breslin’s concentration camp romance For Such a Time with bad Amazon reviews amounts to censorship.

It appears that some people don't like the fact that a main character in Breslin's concentration camp romance leaves Judaism and becomes a Christian and a Nazi officer finds redemption. The argument is that Breslin is trying to reframe history. Some people are too easily offended! Breslin wrote a romance that speaks of personal transformation. That's a subject we all should consider and take to heart.

Alice C. Linsley