Every man I’ve ever known
talks about how he hated basic training
that was the worst experience
of his life —
the 35 mile march in the dark or
crawling under barbed wire with machine
gun fire above
or a drill sergeant that seemed to be the son of Satan
Whenever any of these men and I have an argument
and he says, “I can’t take this”
I say, “Remember Basic Training —
it could be worse”
And somehow he usually stops complaining about me.
by Laura Boss, from The Best Lover
Exemplars: Poetry Reviews by Grace Cavalieri is a monthly feature that looks at the best books of and about poetry. In the November 2017 edition, she has selected The Best Lover by Laura Boss.
“I want Laura boss to be poet laureate of the world so we can hear forever about her kindergarten lovers, her grown up husbands, their ex-wives, her snow-white doll, her angora hat. I want to live with her in an apartment musty with an old lover’s manuscripts that his family wants in the dumpster — an apartment where Gregory Corso might have left his self-portraits especially the black one. I want to go back in time where someone called her a dirty Jew and I want to polish her fingernails and tell her I am one too. But since none of this is possible in real time, I want to reread this book because social media was never this social, and Netflix isn’t half this outrageous. But the best thing of all is that the lady’s got craft — and meter. She’s got line lengths, phraseology, imagery, meaning, humor; and thankfully Boss is a poet who really lets us see who she is. She doesn’t hide in language. She bombasts it with felt life; and makes the world just as funny and weird and worth adoring as it really is. Thank you, Laura Boss, for turning on all the lights on this gray Sunday. Thanks for your self-deprecating Charlie Chaplinesque beauty. I was desperate to remember what makes poetry last. Now I remember — it’s letting the chips fall where they may, in carefully calculated and orchestrated delight.”
Exemplars is part of the Washington Independent Review of Books, a nonprofit website dedicated to book reviews and writing about the world of books.
On Thursday, November 2, the Montclair Monthly Poetry Series will feature Stanley Barkan and Joe Weil. The series is hosted by Laura Boss and Maria Gillan.
Stanley H. Barkan is the editor/publisher of Cross-Cultural Communications, a small literary-arts, non-commercial press, which started as in Institute at LIU’s Brooklyn Center in 1971. His own work has been translated into 28 different languages and published in 20 collections. He was the 1991 New York City’s Poetry Teacher of the Year (awarded by Poets House and the Board of Education) and the 1996 winner of the Poor Richard’s Award, “The Best of the Small Presses” for “25 years of high quality publishing.” In May 2006, he was invited by Peter Thabit Jones, editor of The Seventh Quarry, to be the first solo featured poet at the Dylan Thomas Centre in Swansea, Wales.
Joe Weil is the award-winning author of five full-length books of poetry, four chapbooks, and a CD of songs with Vic Ruggerio, leader of the Ska band, the Slackers. Weil has read on NPR and PBS. He is currently assistant professor at Binghamton University—SUNY. His most recent book of poems is The Great Grandmother Light, Poems new and selected (NYQ Books), and a collaborative book, West of Home (Blast Press) with his wife, the poet, Emily Vogel. Weil lives in Binghamton with his wife and two small children, Clare and Gabriel.
Readings are held at the Montclair Public Library Auditorium. All readings are free and open to the public and begin at 7 pm. Time allowing, an open reading will follow the featured poets’ readings.
For information, contact the library at 973-744- 0500
Poet Laura Boss reads from her new book, The Best Lover, on the bi-weekly poetry podcast Poetry Spoken here. The series features interviews with poets, reviews of poetry books, examinations of individual poems, and investigations of themes in poetry.
Laura Boss talks about her work and reads her title poem and her long, personal 9/11 poem.
In the second part of the program, host Charlie Rossiter looks at the prose poem with an examination of prose poems collected by poet Michael Benedikt. Coincidentally, Laura Boss, who was a companion to Michael for many years, co-edited Time is a Toy: The Selected Poems of Michael Benedikt.
The Warren County Community College’s Visiting Authors Series presents “A Celebration of the 30th Anniversary of the Dodge Poetry Festival.”
The event will be on Saturday, October 21, 2017 at Warren County Community College (475 Route 57 West, Washington, NJ 07882)
This day of celebration will feature these poets:
Charles H. Johnson
Peter E. Murphy
12 to 12:45 Panel Discussions
1:00 to 2:15 Poetry Sampler: The Dodge Festival Poets
2:30 to 3:00 Poems by Martin Farawell
3:00 to 3:45 Favorite Poems by Others, as read by Dodge Poets
4:00 to 4:30 Favorite Poems from the First 30 Years of the Dodge Main Stage, as read by Martin Farawell
For directions to the college: warren.edu
For information, please contact BJ Ward: email@example.com
|St. Marguerite’s Retreat House (Photo by Mark Hillringhouse)|
St Marguerite’s Retreat House, located in Mendham, NJ, is situated on 93 acres of wooded land with pathways for exploring the property. This serene, beautiful setting is perfect for contemplating nature and nurturing the creative spirit.
This poetry weekend intensive is open to all writers over the age of 18. It begins at 5 p.m. Friday, December 8 and ends at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, December 10.
The purpose of this retreat is to give poets the space and time to focus on their writing away from the pressures and distractions of everyday life. Participants will draft poems in the workshops and should bring paper or a notebook, pens, and the willingness to take risks. Please also bring previously-written work for one-on-one critiquing sessions and for group readings.
At this retreat, poets will find:
• support and encouragement;
• stimulating writing exercises/prompts leading to the creation of new work;
• workshop leaders who are actively engaged in the writing life;
• opportunities to read their work aloud to the group;
• a community of writers and networking opportunities.
Fifteen professional development credits granted.
Poetry Weekend Intensive Schedule:
Friday, December 8: Please arrive by 5 PM and settle into your rooms. Both Friday and Saturday wine will be served with dinner. After dinner, we will break into two groups (about 12 to 15 in each), where we will have the opportunity to write poetry and share the work we have just written.
Saturday, December 9: After breakfast, we will break into two groups for morning workshops. Lunch will be served, followed by one afternoon workshop and either free time or a critiquing session with the poet faculty. Interested participants can sign up in advance (at the retreat house) and may bring previously written, typed work for feedback. After dinner, there will be an additional workshop.
Sunday, December 10: Breakfast followed by a workshop. A final reading by participants will serve as the “closing ceremony” to what we hope will be an inspiring and productive weekend. Lunch will offer another opportunity for socializing and networking.
Maria and Laura envision this intensive as a journey, allowing us to look at things differently, listen to our own inner voice, and create in stillness and community. This is an opportunity to retreat from the noise and busyness everyday life and invite the muse to inspire us. In the workshops, we will capture our stories and memories on paper, and discover how poetry can, so often, save our lives.
About the Poets
Founder and editor of Lips literary magazine, Laura is the recipient of three NJSCA Poetry Fellowships, and received the first International Poetry Award at the International Poetry Festival in Swansea, Wales. Her newest collection is The Best Lover (NYQ, 2017).
Her other books include: Reports from the Front (CCC), Arms: New and Selected Poems (Guernica) and Flashlight (Guernica). She co-edited with John Gallaher, Time Is a Toy: Selected Poems of Michael Benedikt (University of Akron, 2014). Her poems have appeared in The New York Times.
Her website is www.laurabosspoet.wordpress.com
Maria Mazziotti Gillan is winner of the 2014 George Garrett Award for Outstanding Community Service in Literature from AWP, the 2011 Barnes & Noble Writers for Writers Award from Poets & Writers, and the 2008 American Book Award for her book, All That Lies Between Us.
She is the Founder/Executive Director of the Poetry Center at Passaic County Community College, editor of the Paterson Literary Review, and director of the creative writing program/professor of English at Binghamton University-SUNY.
She has published 22 books, including What Blooms in Winter (NYQ Books, 2016) and Girls in the Chartreuse Jackets (Cat in the Sun Books, 2014) and, most recently, Paterson Light and Shadow (Serving House Books, 2017). Visit Maria’s website at www.mariagillan.com
|Laura Boss and Maria Gillan|
Deposit by October 5, 2017 $300 with the balance of $125 due by November 20, 2017
*Total fee includes room, meals, and workshops.
*Early Bird Discount: deduct $25 if paid in full by October 25, 2017.
*Full refund will be given prior to November 20, 2017.
*Late registration will be accepted on a first come, first served basis.
Enrollment is limited. We already have a list of people signed up for this workshop, so if you are interested, please sign up early.
Make check payable to Maria Mazziotti Gillan to 40 Post Ave., Hawthorne, NJ 07506
Other questions? Call (973) 684-6555 or (973) 423-2921 or email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
of Saint John the Baptist at 82 West Main Street, Mendham, NJ