I did post about the beautiful review of Rooted and Winged by Elizabeth Gauffreau in the new issue of Anti-Heroin Chic. Now Liz has recorded a poem from the book–and it’s such a treat! She published it on her post with her link of the review.
Tag Archives: poetry book
Elizabeth Gauffreau Reads a Poem from Rooted and Winged
An Interview by Christine Butterworth-McDermott for Gingerbread House
This post is about something exciting to me at the same time that it is sad. Gingerbread House Editor Christine Butterworth-McDermott has interviewed me in the new issue up today. You can read it here:
Gingerbread House Lit Mag, with its emphasis on fairy tale-inspired literature, is one of my very favorite journals. Very sadly, I must say that this is the final issue of GH! Butterworth-McDermott will go on to do exciting things in the literary and artistic worlds (she’s an artist as well as a poet/writer), but this feels like the end of an era.
Please check out the whole gorgeous issue through the link above.
And here’s to a healthy and peaceful 2023.
Millicent Borges Accardi Interviews Me for CutBank Literary Magazine
What fun to be interviewed by poet Millicent Borges Accardi, author of the new Quarantine Highway, for the beautiful CutBank Literary Magazine. Her questions really made me think about my life, and in the process, I discovered things about myself. You might, too!
Let me know what you think!
Anti-Heroin Chic Publishes Review of Rooted and Winged by Elizabeth Gauffreau
So excited to see such a beautiful review of Rooted and Winged by Elizabeth Gauffreau in the new issue of Anti-Heroin Chic. A big thank you also to editor James Diaz.
You can find the review here: http://heroinchic.weebly.com/blog/luanne-castles-rooted-and-winged-reviewed-by-elizabeth-gauffreau
See below image for update on Perry.
Perry’s ultrasound showed that he definitely has either IBD or lymphoma. Our decision was narrowed down to starting steroids or having investigative surgery. A complication is that he has recently developed a heart murmur so nothing can be done (except food change nightmare) until after his echocardiogram which is after Christmas! If you are a praying person, please put us on your list. Or send healing vibes or demands to the universe that this is IBD and that the steroids will make him well!
An Update on My Dear Darling Perry Cat
A couple of months ago I wrote that I was thinking of changing my weekly posts from Mondays. After trying things out on other days, I have to say that I like my old pattern best which is to try for Mondays and if other days arise, then post then instead or additionally. So it’s Monday. And I’m posting.
I want to tell you about my darling Perry (in the photo he’s nestling up against Kana). It’s been years now since he first showed up in our backyard and we trapped him, got him neutered, took him to the shelter where he was all but kicked out. They thought he was feral because he was completely shut down emotionally. I ended up bringing him home and earning his trust over weeks and weeks. I read poetry and stories to him, sang to him, and held his food bowl while he ate. Then one day when I stuck my hand under the bed, he came toward me and started to touch my hand with his paw. That was the moment when I knew he wasn’t feral and was going to be a big sweetheart. Video of Perry Hiding Under the Bed Touching my Hand
Perry has been a member of our family for 5.5 years now, and he’s the King of the Castle. He’s been the babysitter of cats and kittens. He is in charge of it all. I have expected to have him around until I was really old. Imagine my shock to realize something is wrong with his health. He’s got weird poos that have gotten increasingly soft, light-colored, and smelly. He’s lost weight–down a couple of pounds in the last two years. He feels skinny. And yet he’s a picky eater which gives me anxiety as it reminds me of Felix and Tiger when they got sick. On top of the GI symptoms, he suddenly has a level 3 heart murmur. This isn’t a terrible one, but it’s significant and especially for a seven-year-old cat. So he needs medical tests. The GI troubles could be Irritable Bowel Disease–or they could be lymphoma. The vet want to start with an abdominal ultrasound. Perry’s going to get an echocardiogram to examine the heart murmur. Please send all your prayers, vibes, and general good wishes for my dear darling special boy. The ultrasound is Friday, and the echo is in a month (they are hard to schedule).
As you may realize, we took in my son’s two cats six months ago. Two older cats who have their own ingrained habits and don’t get along that well to begin with is a pretty big thing to bring into a household with three older cats (two seniors plus Perry). It has not been a smooth six months. Not. smooth. at. all.
The gardener and I are over our Covid (we hope). It wasn’t fun, but it sure wasn’t anything like Valley Fever (I’m only speaking for myself here).
If you haven’t picked up a copy of Rooted and Winged, please consider it as a way to support the poetry community :).
If you have one and haven’t posted a review at Amazon (and maybe Goodreads, too), I’d sure appreciate it.
If you would like to review it for your blog or a lit journal, please email me at luanne[dot]castle[at]gmail[dot]com and ask for an ARC.
And if you have already bought a copy and reviewed the book, a million thank yous!!!!
Review of Rooted and Winged by Marie A. Bailey
For some reason WordPress doesn’t allow me to reblog to Writer Site, so I am posting a link to Marie Bailey’s fun review of Rooted and Winged. Thank you so much, Marie, for giving me a fresh look at my poetry collection!!!
Read why Marie felt anxiety and exhilaration . . . .
Review of a Treasure: Millicent Borges Accardi’s Through a Grainy Landscape
The title of Millicent Borges Accardi’s new poetry collection Through a Grainy Landscape is from a quote by Tiago Araújo about driving at night where the view has been altered by the “dim and orangey lights” and from the final poem of the book, which explores the journey of living in a world where “walls / built across artificial boundaries” harms even children.
The poems of this book spring from strong influences on Accardi and her writing: Portuguese culture and the Portuguese diaspora; her childhood as the daughter of immigrants, and her mother, a lively figure in party dresses and good times. Accardi says that the poems were inspired by writing by “Portuguese-American writers and Portuguese writers in translation.” I have not read these muses and mentors, but appreciate the wellspring and focus they give the collection.
“It was my Mother who Taught me to Fear,” gives you an idea of what to expect from Through a Grainy Landscape:
The irregular verbs of culture that brought the family away from The Azores, to the promised land of California, was, were been. Shocking like a past to push away And start over born, born/borne. As if invisibility could be Run away from, a new start in the garage of an uncle, after a cross-country railroad trip like pioneers, Los Angeles was away from beat, and was beaten down, the promised land was to become became, begin, a location that pushed away and helped folks to start over, pretending you were someone else to fight, fought, fought. To flee, fled. To approach a way to make-over, redo, make-believe. To start again. As if half-life never happened. Not the Great Depression of your grandmothers, or the Great War, with its aircraft carriers and new breed of how to be and what to do. California was a gifted promise for the melting pot generation, goodbye to bend (bent, bent) into shape. As the train car runs through every state in the union, interwoven, interwoven in a pattern called starting over, in a safe place with a brand new method of keeping, kept, kept. Where no one genuflected on Sundays, kneel (knelt/kneeled, knelt/kneeled). to recreate yourself from nothing is a wonderful thing. Time were, you almost believed it was possible.
Accardi’s collection is a treasure, both for its specific context within Portuguese-American literature and because it responds to the perspective that the United States is a country of immigrants and the descendants of immigrants. I even learned a favorite new word: saudade, which means “a feeling of longing, melancholy, or nostalgia that is supposedly characteristic of the Portuguese or Brazilian temperament” (Oxford Languages). This poetry collection left me with something akin to that feeling.
Through a Grainy Landscape is available HERE.
I remind those of you who preordered Rooted and Winged that the writing contest ends on Wednesday, July 27. That’s the last day you can submit a flash fiction, flash nonfiction, or poem that addresses the prompt in the guidelines. See HERE.
Before too long I will write about the two new cats living at my house. For now I will say that integrating them is a work in progress! Perry is helping me, of course.
Filed under #amreading, #poetrycommunity, #writingcommunity, Book Review, Poetry, Poetry book, Poetry Collection
A Review of Poetic Expressions in Nursing
Although I won’t be reviewing most of the poetry books I read in August for #thesealeychallenge, I have a review to share of a book that I read at the end of July. I know the poet from our experience as the mothers of children through international adoption, as well as being the mothers of musical theatre daughters.
Poetic Expressions in Nursing: Sharing the Caring, by Susan J. Farese MSN, RN, is from the perspective of a nurse who writes poetry to express her feelings and as a stress-reliever.
After her careers in military and civilian nursing, Susan is self-employed in the communications field. Susan has taught seminars encouraging nurses to use poetry as another form of communication. I relish this stanza for how it exemplifies the encouragement:
Brave and famous poets we need not be
but writing from the heart, that sets us free
Through poems we tell our stories
Share pain, grief, caring, glories
Regardless of our nursing specialty.
Susan’s poetry collection tells the family history stories of where her desire to be a nurse originated. In particular, the decline and death from Alzheimer’s of Grandma Ann, described in “Ann’s Zest Ends,” was very poignant. Another poem tells the tragic story of Grandpa Joe who died of an asthma attack in his own kitchen. These family reminiscences really spoke to me.
In many of her poems, Susan gives nurses a voice. Very often nurses are relegated to background status (to the doctors and the system), so Susan allows the reader to appreciate nurses and what they do for us. She also gives a voice to some patients who died too young. One of the themes that runs through some of the poems is that of intuition. She wants nurses to use their intuition and to value the intuition of patients or the family of patients.
The book has a bonus section of haikus paired with Susan’s beautiful photography. Susan has made haiku her own poetic specialty, but most of the book is in various forms of free verse. Susan creates forms that work best for each individual poem.
This collection, with its very accessible poems, would make a lovely gift for nurse or patient in your life.
Because I started #thesealeychallenge yesterday and am still going to vet visits and sorting things out for my sick kitties, Susan Farese will be acting as host for this blog post. Here’s your chance to ask her any questions about her book or the “marriage” of nursing and writing.
Here are links to get in touch with Susan:
Blog link: https://sjfcommunications.com/buzz-worthy-blog/
Author page: https://sjfcommunications.com/shop/
Linktree link (more links, current interviews etc.): https://linktree.com/Sjfcommo
I will be posting my daily readings from #thesealeychallenge on Instagram at CATPOEMS and Twitter at WRITERSITETWEET.
Filed under #poetrycommunity, Book Review, Poetry book, Poetry Collection
Join Me for #thesealeychallenge!!!
Are you ready for the challenge of your life? How about reading a poetry book a day for this entire month (August)? Before you get too overwhelmed, let me explain. Chapbooks count. If you read a Collected Works book, you can count it as as many books as are collected within. You can read the old guys, the classics of the 20th century, or contemporary poetry–or any combination. You can reread books that you really want to read again. Then, if you want to, share somewhere: image, title, whatever you want to share. On your blog, your social media, or keep a log for yourself.
This is the first year I am participating in #thesealeychallenge. Here is a little info about it and an interview of founder Nicole Sealey: The Rumpus on #thesealeychallenge
The way I chose my books was to grab a lot of poetry books from my shelf that I have not yet read! But I could do it through the library on my Kindle, if I chose.
Are you up to joining me? I’d love to follow your progress!!! And come follow mine: Luanne’s #thesealeychallenge on Instagram at CATPOEMS and Twitter at WRITERSITETWEET.
Filed under #amrevising, #poetrycommunity, #writerlife, #writerslife, Books, Poetry, Poetry book, Poetry Collection, Poetry reading
Characters, Real and Imagined
Yesterday, the gardener, our daughter, and I were sitting on the patio of the front yard. Suddenly I saw a bobcat walking the top of the wall. It kept walking the wall until it dropped down onto the grass of our lawn !!!! and scratched on the tree as if it were a cat scratcher. Then he/she climbed the tree back up to the wall and kept going. Our jaws had dropped to our chests. Something seemed a bit off, so we pulled out my daughter’s video from last week. Keep in mind that the pix of the bobcat I’ve shared have been the backyard. Sure enough, that bobcat in the backyard is an adult with long legs and dominant black stripes. This bobcat was an adolescent, much like the one I saw by the bbq before. I don’t think there were any family jewels on the adult, so maybe it’s the mother and her baby or babies still hanging around our neighborhood. None of us had our phones outside with us so we couldn’t get a pic, but that baby was definitely not concerned with us at all.
I’m not sure where the week went! A lot of work, house repairs, and then add in the three physical therapy visits. I have two weeks left of my six weeks, but I am sort of hoping that we can add a once a week or something for awhile after that because my shoulder won’t be completely better by then. I am doing the exercises every single day that I don’t have PT, but it also needs the manipulation by the therapist.
Main Street Rag published another one of my poetry book reviews. This one was for Speaking Parts by Beth Ruscio. Here is the beginning of it to give you an idea. You need to purchase a copy of the magazine to read the whole thing :). Here’s the link: CLICK HERE. There are some amazing writers featured in this issue, so if you are looking to buy a lit mag issue this month, make it this one!
Speaking of character actors, think of all the regular characters you’ve known in your life. My mother used to say “what a character” whenever she encountered someone eccentric or a little different, particularly someone with a big personality. Here’s a Mr. Big Personality I remember from my youth. The only title this poem could have is “Walter.”
Walter stopped by my father’s store
on the first day of shore leave every year.
While he waited for my father to finish up,
Walter picked a wallet from a wooden tray
and handed me some cash to start the process
of spending banknotes stuffed in his pockets.
Walter was a sixteen-ton giant, his enormous chest
encased in a turtleneck, his skipper cap snug
on a head like a stone Colossus. I’d ask him
what happened to last year’s wallet, and he’d
guffaw with a joy that at twelve or sixteen
I could not imagine. All these decades
after Walter, I barely understand its origins.
Dad said Walter joined the merchant marines
after leaving the orphanage: what could he do?
His head twitched as if his inside and outside
were at odds. A woman I knew saw him out
one night; after buying drinks for everyone
and every drink for himself, he slammed the face
of a man into the sticky counter. She suggested
he looked confused, maybe he didn’t realize
his fingers were thicker than the broken nose.
I disregarded her story because my Walter
carried the luggage boxes up from storage
for which I earned a paycheck; he bought us
all lunch to eat in the back room, us peeking
out for customers and trying not to choke
when he had us giggling at his silly sailor jokes.
I’ve been very slowly working on the memoir, my current WIP. And I try to work on my art journals every day, even if only for a few minutes. It’s more relaxing than naps, reading, or TV. That said I am watching the Vera series and wishing we got the Shetland series here. I saw one episode when I was in California, but there aren’t any stations airing it in Phoenix.
Here’s a little conversation between the gardener and me this week:
G: There’s a dead squirrel on the road!
Me: Oh no! Why do you tell me something like that?!
G: So you don’t trip on it.
Me: What? Did you make sure he’s not still alive?
G: [Laughing] Perry’s squirrel.
Then I see it: one of Perry’s stuffie squirrels is in the middle of the hallway, right before you get to the bathroom (one place I am always running to).
Make it a great week!
Filed under #AmWriting, Book Review, Cats and Other Animals, Poetry, Poetry book, Poetry Collection, Publishing, Writing