Search This Blog for Authors, Publishers, Reviewers and Books

Add Your Logo or Avatar to This New Book Review Reader List:

Saturday, November 13, 2010

A Holiday Card Idea: Real Poetry

Little Known Poetry History: Chapbooks, a tradition in the poetry world since Elizabethan times, are named after the itinerant chapmen who travelled from village to village selling their goods.

My poetry partner Magdalena Ball and I figure there is no holiday greeting more meaningful than a poem—a real poem, not sing-songy impersonal verse from the shelves of card shops. With that in mind, we have created the Celebration Series of chapbooks and have released TaDa! Just in time for the holiday season! a chapbook titled Blooming Red: Christmas Poetry for the Rational.

Now, here’s the exciting part. Literature lovers everywhere can order these chapbooks with full-color covers by prize-winning water colorist Vicki Thomas for only $3. each. That’s only $75 for 25 of the most memorable holiday greetings you’ve ever sent to your friends and relatives. Each booklet is a card and gift in one.

Blooming Red includes Maggie’s science-inspired and Carolyn’s nostalgic poetry. It also includes some humorous poems for fair measure.

Here is one of the lighter-spirited ones from me:

Cruising Santa Clause©

After the season of pinescent
and candlewax, here is Santa
of the Seas, a ringer for the real guy.
Jolly round bearded face, sans a pipe

clenched tight in his teeth, wearing
his off-duty uniform, candy-cane-colored
running shoes, green gabardines, cranberry
worsted blazer, rhinestone-studded

lapel pin, and always with the Mrs, she as gray
as a Midwest winter day, beside his hollyberry

splendor. I peek discreetly. There walking

among Etruscan tombs, perched on remnants

of a Corinthian capitol at Ephesus
as if it were a stool, bright red and green

against the sand at Giza, wandering
through the ship’s casino, poking a placard

high to bid on a Kincaid canvas replica
(Ahhhh! The colored lights illuminating

the snow embellished by the master
himself). Best of all, night of nights! Santa

seated front row in the Stardust
Theater, other upfront guests volunteer

him to saw the gammy woman in red fringe
and sequins in half. He hesitates not a moment,

but went straight to his work.

The chapbooks in the Celebration Series include Cherished Pulse (for anyone you love), also with artwork from California artist Vicki Thomas ( ); She Wore Emerald Then (for mothers on your gift list) with photographs by May Lattanzio ( ); Imagining the Future: For Fathers and Other Masculine Apparitions (for the men in your life) ( ).

And now Blooming Red for the special folks on your holiday list! ( ). All are available individually at only $6.95 on Amazon but are only $3. each when ordered in quantities of 25 or more directly from the poets. Put HOLIDAY ORDER in the subject line and send an e-mail to me at I will make payment arrangements with you and give you the small shipping cost for the number you order.

Magdalena Ball runs the highly respected review site. She is the author of the poetry book Repulsion Thrust, which was published to unanimous five-star reviews. Her novel Sleep Before Evening, was a Next Generation Indie Book Awards Finalist.
Carolyn Howard-Johnson's poetry appears frequently in review journals. She is listed in Poets & Writers and her chapbook of poetry, Tracings ( ), was given the Award of Excellence by the Military Writers Society of America and She Wore Emerald Then won its highest honor of gold. One of her poems recently won the Franklin Christoph Poetry Prize. She is also an award-winning novelist and short story writer and instructor for UCLA Extension Writers' Program.

For more information on any of the chapbooks in this poetry series, contact either of the authors or visit media rooms at  or . To learn more about artist Vicki Thomas and to see her work, go to

Wishing you a lovely autumn and winter season,


The New Book Review is blogged by Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of the multi award-winning HowToDoItFrugally series of books for writers. It is a free service offered to those who want to encourage the reading of books they love. That includes authors who want to share their favorite reviews, reviewers who'd like to see their reviews get more exposure, and readers who want to shout out praise of books they've read. Please see submission guidelines on the left of this page. Reviews and essays are indexed by genre, reviewer names, and review sites. Writers will find the search engine handy for gleaning the names of small publishers. Find other writer-related blogs at Sharing with Writers and The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor. As a courtesy to the author, please tweet and retweet this post using this little green retweet widget :

No comments: