Showing posts with label Shanti Arts LLC. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Shanti Arts LLC. Show all posts

Saturday, August 29, 2020

CAROL SMALLWOOD INTERVIEWS POETS SERIES


CAROL SMALLWOOD INTEVIEWS POET JUDITH SKILLMAN


Poet: Judith Skillman
Publisher: Shanti Arts; April 2020
ISBN: 978-1-951651-26-8 (print; softcover; perfect bound)
94 pages; $12.95

Interview by Carol Smallwood

Judith Skillman is author of around twenty collections of poetry. She is the recipient of an award from the Academy of American Poets for her book Storm (Blue Begonia Press). Her work has been nominated for Pushcart Prizes, the UK Kit Award, Best of the Web, and is included in Best Indie Verse of New England. A faculty member at the Richard Hugo House in Seattle, Washington, Skillman also paints.

Smallwood: You hold a Masters in English Literature from the University of Maryland and have done graduate work in comparative literature at the University of Washington. When did you begin writing and was it poetry?

Skillman: I began writing poetry as an undergraduate student and then, when I went back to get a master’s in English Literature, I got it with an emphasis in creative writing. The MFA degree didn’t yet exist. It was quite a privilege, as I got to hear the excellent poets who came to read at University of Maryland’s reading series: Galway Kinnell, Tess Gallagher, Stanley Kunitz, and others. Actually, looking farther back, I wrote my first poem in fourth grade as an assignment, after Kennedy was assassinated.

Smallwood: your poem, “Blue Note” notes:


those holocaust stories told

and later taken back,

as the most difficult facts

come to be handled by time

and distance.

The Truth about Our American Births asks questions about a German Jewish heritage and of generations. Do you think it takes a certain time in one’s life to really delve into family history?


Skillman: Yes, I think the family history has to be somewhat removed by time in order for it to stand out as a subject matter. It wasn’t until my children were in school— two of them even in college—that I began to have the detachment necessary to ask questions about how I’d been raised. I knew I’d felt like an exile in Prince George’s County Maryland, where we lived when I was age six until twenty eight. I felt “different” than my peers, who had Christmas and other things I envied. The feelings were there, but I had no way to articulate any coherent questions about the past.

Smallwood: reviewers have noted your figurative language and imagery in the 47 poems in the book. I particularly enjoyed these lines from “Rift:’


Hardened is the name of woman.

All hands and arms.

Hangnails come to tell.

Chores for the charwoman.

See her bend into soap.

Lean away from leisure.

In her stained rag a map of the world.

Countries never seen.


Why did you use a period at the end of each line?


Skillman: I suppose end-stopping these lines seemed appropriate when I wrote it because the persona is angry.  She is enraged at the misogyny that exists in society and culture and religion throughout history. And so the poem became deliberately choppy.

Smallwood: what have you noted about the generational role of women?

This is a big question. Women give birth, nurture infants and children, and hold families together. I would say that from my own experience, women create in many ways, and provide a “generative” force as well as one that spans the generations. In addition, because we are trained to be verbal from an early age, we women often end up as the “storytellers” of the family. This is important role in that creating family certified “tall tales and legends” may enable those who are young to better understand their own origins.

But because ours is a patriarchal society, more often than not the work of women isn’t recognized financially. My views are admittedly 20th century, but in fields where women abound, such as teaching, they are under compensated. In arenas where women compete, including the arts and sciences, still females often are the ones who take it upon themselves to provide for basic needs of family and offspring. There are so many strong women I admire, including my mother and sister. All have had substantial obstacles to overcome.

Smallwood: what are you working on now?

Skillman: I am working on a manuscript that pulls work from six books and contains poems written over the past couple of years. Also I’m co-editing an anthology on domestic violence http://www.persephonesdaughters.tk/submit/

Smallwood: readers can learn more about Judith Skillman on: www.judithskillman.com

MORE ABOUT THE INTERVIEWER


Carol Smallwood, MLS, MA, Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, is a literary reader, judge, interviewer; her 13th poetry collection is Thread, Form, and Other Enclosures (Main Street Rag, 2020)

CAROL SMALLWOOD INTERVIEWS POETS SERIES



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 The New Book Review is blogged by Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of the multi award-winning HowToDoItFrugally series of books for writers. Authors, readers, publishers, and reviewers may republish their favorite reviews of books they want to share with others. 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 and love. Please see submission guidelines on the left of this page and in a tab at the top of this blog's home page. Reviews and essays are indexed by genre, reviewer names, and review sites so it may be used a resource for most anyone in the publishing industry. 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. #TheFrugalbookPromoter, #CarolynHowardJohnson, #TheNewBookReview, #TheFrugalEditor, #SharingwithWriters, #reading #BookReviews #GreatBkReviews #BookMarketing

Saturday, April 18, 2020

Poet Carol Smallwood Interviews Theresa Rodriguez




Shanti Arts LLC
ISBN: 978-1-951651-22-0 (print; softcover; perfect bound)
Released March 2020; $8.95; 48 pages
Order at Amazon
Author: Theresa Rodriguez
Author's Website: www.bardsinger.com

Interview by Carol Smallwood


Longer Thoughts is the third book of poetry by Theresa Rodriguez, a retired classical singer and voice teacher who holds a Bachelor of Arts in vocal music performance from Skidmore College and a Master of Music with distinction in voice pedagogy and performance from Westminster Choir College. A native Manhattanite, she now lives outside of Philadelphia. With deep emotion, Longer Thoughts presents poems on such topics as: love, beauty, mortality, aging, and theological questioning. "In fo "In fourteen lines, her sonnets in particular are able to communicate what takes essayists and writers thousands of wordsines, her sonnets in particular are able to 

 Smallwood: Why did you call your new collection Longer Thoughts? 


As opposed to my previous collection of sonnets, Longer Thoughts contains many longer poems in a variety of forms as well as free verse. It is a small collection but diverse in its range of subjects.


Smallwood: When did you begin writing poetry? Do you do other kinds of writing also?

I am sure I began writing poetry in earnest when I was about ten and by high school had some poems published in my school's literary magazine. In addition to poetry, I have written articles for Classical Singer Magazine on a myriad of topics of interest to classical singers. When I was a young mother I wrote a book entitled Diaper Changes: The Complete Diapering Book and Resource Guide and had articles about cloth diapering published by various parenting magazines. My book When Adoption Fails explores my life story as an adoptee in a dysfunctional adoptive situation. In Warning Signs of Abuse: Get Out Early and Stay Free Forever I provide encouragement and instruction to women in abusive relationships. I am sure I have a few more books inside of me yet to come! I have also begun writing book reviews as well.

  
Smallwood: What are the classical poetry forms that appear in Longer Thoughts and what did Evan Mantyk of the Society of Classical Poets comment about your sonnets? 

In Longer Thoughts I have included the villanelle, rondeau, triolet, ode and sonnet forms, in addition to free verse. Of my sonnets Mr. Mantyk has said, “In fourteen lines, her sonnets in particular are able to communicate what takes essayists and writers thousands of words.” I have endeavored to branch out to other forms while maintaining my inclination towards the sonnet. I have also begun writing in the Petrarchan, rather than mainly Shakespearean, sonnet form and have some examples of this in Longer Thoughts.


Smallwood: How do you use symbolism and imagery in Longer Thoughts?

There are three poems in particular that use symbolism and imagery in Longer Thoughts. In the poignant free verse “China Crystal Fairy” I describe a “delicate fairy creature” which symbolizes a particularly fragile relationship that I had broken apart though my own clumsiness. In another free verse entitled “Full Circle” I use the imagery of a tree and the fullness of its life cycle to symbolize the aging process. In the sonnet “The Rise of Fall” I also reflect on the aging process by comparing its phases to the four seasons.


Smallwood: What are some magazines your poetry has appeared?

My poetry has appeared in the Midwest Poetry Review, the Journal of Religion and Intellectual Life, an Anabaptist publication entitled Leaf MagazineThe Road Not Taken: A Journal of Formal Poetry, Mezzo Cammin: An Online Journal of Formalist Poetry by WomenSpindrift, the Shakespeare Oxford Fellowship, and the Society of Classical Poets.



Smallwood: Please tell readers about your activities with the Society of Classical Poets:


My work began appearing with the Society of Classical Poets in 2014. In June of 2019 I and three other poets—James Sale, James B. Nicola, and Mark Stone—participated in a poetry reading at Bryant Park in New York City where we each read from American poets including Poe's “The Raven” and then read selections of our own work. This year I am one of four featured poets who will be reading at the 2020 Society of Classical Poets Symposium. My background as a classical singer has given me the ability to render my spoken poetry in an interesting and engaging way without being overly dramatic.



Smallwood: One of your poems is about keeping a journal. When did you begin writing one and how does it help:

My first poems began appearing as diary entries in junior high school. As I mention in the sonnet “My Journal,” the place where I write is “a sanctuary, hallowed space.” It is where I work out the rough drafts of my work, prune and hew and adjust and temper what I have done, as I craft it into art. I am not a very fluid writer and there are lots of marginalia and scribbled out lines and words in my journals. What I usually do these days, is get the poem written to a basic condition, then type it up on my computer, edit it and prune it some more, and then again, and again, as many times as necessary, and then transcribe it back into my journal, so that I have both the rough material and finished product in the same place. It helps to have a journal because it is my workshop, my studio, where I can work hard and get dirty and then preserve a polished work at the end of my endeavors.



Smallwood: Do you have ideas for your next book?

I am currently working with Shanti Arts to publish Sonnets in an enlarged second edition. Since the first edition in 2019 I have begun writing in the Petrarchan sonnet form and these as well as other new poems will be a valuable addition to my current sonnet collection.


MORE ABOUT THE INTERVIEWER



Carol Smallwood, MLS, MA, Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, is a literary reader, judge, interviewer; her 13th collection is Thread, Form, and Other Enclosures (Main Street Rag, 2020)




MORE ABOUT THE  BLOGGER AND WAYS TO GET THE MOST FROM THIS BLOG

 The New Book Review is blogged by Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of the multi award-winning HowToDoItFrugally series of books for writers. Of particular interest to readers of this blog is her most recent How to Get Great Book Reviews Frugally and Ethically (http://bit.ly/GreatBkReviews ) that covers 325 jam-packed pages covering everithing from Amazon vine to writing reviews for profit and promotion. Reviewers will have a special interest in the chapter on how to make reviewing pay, either as way to market their own books or as a career path--ethically!

This blog 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.