Black Irish by Dennis Doherty
Often in narrative mode and spilled in blank verse, these poems examine both personal history and shifting parameters of social codes of conduct, the tension between the public and private life. They yearn to love and celebrate human connection, but remain aware of the sometimes tenuous, even dangerous, vagaries of perception, understanding, and motive.
Red, White and Red by Charley Rosen
With his big red-and-white-striped top hat, and his forefinger cocked and aimed right between my eyes, Uncle Sam wanted me. And he’d have me too, the old jingo-jangled cutthroat. I expected there’d be stenographers and maybe even TV cameras to immortalize whatever game plan I’d devise—paltry lies, phony repentance, or meek defiance.
Schmuncle’s plan was for me to ride several aeroplanes across the country to Washington, D.C., with all my expenses on the House. But I scrounged up enough dignity to insist on traveling by rail. That’s because trains never crashed into mountaintops or made unscheduled stops in the middle of Lake Huron. And on a long train ride I could, in comfort and safety, do the things I did best—tend to my bodily functions, manipulate numbers, read, and remember.
Mark Maire of Duluth, Minnesota won the 2015 Codhill Poetry Award for his manuscript Meridian. He received $1,000 plus 25 copies. Winner of the 2015 Emergence Chapbook Series Prize for Clear Day in January (Red Dragonfly Press) and a Pushcart Prize nominee, his poems have appeared widely in journals, including Talking River, Minnesota Review, Blueline, Midwestern Gothic, Aqueous Magazine, PROOF Magazine, Thunderbird Review, and elsewhere. Other work has appeared in the anthologies Migrations: Poetry and Prose for Life’s Transitions, Good Company: Poets from Grinnell College, Between Stone and Flesh, Response, Shared Visions, and Trail Guide to the Northland Experience in Prints and Poetry. Mark Maire holds a BA from Grinnell College and a MA from the University of Iowa.
Great news for Boy with a Halo at the Farmer’s Market by Sonia Greenfield
“Boy with a Halo at the Farmer’s Market” broadcast by Garrison Keillor on The Writer’s Almanac September 13, 2015.
“Caught” reprinted in Poetry Daily, June 20, 2015.
“In Discovery Park” reprinted in Verse Daily, June 23, 2015.
Poetry Foundation Staff Pick 2015. Selected by Henry Bienen, President of the Poetry Foundation, January 2016.
Codhill Press is pleased to present four wonderful new books for 2015:
Jo Salas’s Dancing with Diana
The 2014 Codhill Poetry Award winner
Sonia Greenfield’s most recent book Boy with a Halo at the Farmer’s Market.
Take This by Steven Lewis
And H.R. Stoneback’s most recent poetic work The Stones of Strasbourg and Other Poems.
Sonia Greenfield of Los Angeles, California won the 2014 Codhill Poetry Award for her manuscript Boy with a Halo at the Farmer’s Market. She received $1,000 plus 25 copies. Author of poetry chapbook Circus Gravitas (2014) and two-time Pushcart Prize nominee (2011, 2014), her poems have appeared in 2010 Best American Poetry, The Antioch Review, The Bellevue Literary Review, Cimarron Review, Cream City Review, The Massachusetts Review, Meridian, Rattle, and elsewhere. Sonia Greenfield holds an MFA from University of Washington as well as an MPW from the University of Southern California, where she teaches writing.
Visiting a school for disabled boys, the future Princess Diana singles out wheelchair-bound Alex to dance with—a five-minute encounter that colors the rest of his life, though quickly forgotten by her. Alex, a survivor of severe school bullying, thinks constantly of the tall girl with blue eyes—until one day he sees her on television, the new fiancée of Prince Charles. Alex’s story interweaves with Diana’s final day before her fatal accident in the late summer of 1997. In the unsatisfying company of her billionaire boyfriend she careens from one luxurious, alien Paris location to another, tormented by paparazzi. All day she tries to reach a friend in London, hoping to hear news that will bring a new direction to her life.
The Crazy Thing tries to respond to this endless question. It is a love story entwined with a philosophic quest. Beginning from the question about dying it goes on to explore some ways in which it might be possible to begin over again, and perhaps still learn how to live ‘somewhere near the end.’ The Crazy Thing is a memoir with three themes: the story of the author’s long love affair with the poet Celestine Frost; the drama of his enigmatic calling as an artist, writer, and thinker; and his lifelong search for the incalculable limits of the self.
The Crazy Thing is a work in progress, whose outcome is yet to be known. This first small volume will be followed by several more. It contains an invitation to the reader to post their questions, comments, and refutations regarding the book’s conclusions on a website — thecrazything.net. The author will take into account the most pertinent of those challenges to his understanding as he composes the subsequent installments. In the end, the book will be a work of collaboration between the author and the community it creates.
The Crazy Thing is an artist’s book, composed of drawings, photographs, and fragments of text. The fragments describe events from the author’s past, which alternate with journal entries from the present, in which the old man confronts the younger man he once was. The book is made up of many pieces, but all of them point to one conclusion — the picture of a man in search of his full stature.
As for the Crazy Thing itself no one can tell what it is. It is the X-factor that can’t be named because it is not a thing among the things of the world. Nor is it a power. Anyone may feel its inexplicable influence, but they will search in vain for the cause. The Crazy Thing is present only in its absence.
Listen carefully and you may hear it sweeping the top of the sky clean.
Carl Lehmann-Haupt is a writer, artist, and designer.
A new work of poetry by Frederick Bauman
A sample stanza from the poem Snowy Owl:
And the snowy owl calls forth within us
The questioning that can keep us on edge
Which is the only place where we are
Alive to the present which is the dance
Of past and future through each fiber of
Our bodies which are—temporarily—
Repositories of eternity