Green-Weak Poems by Therese Broderick–A New Poetry Release

Red Wolf Editions is pleased to announce the release of a new poetry collection by Therese Broderick.

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A daughter’s labor in grass-cutting epitomizes these elegiac familial poems. The three sections of this endearing collection act together as memory and catharsis, with an overall tone of love and whimsy. The first “green-weak” section opens with the remembrance. It defines the father-daughter relationship, its roots in the practice of scissoring the cardboard found within her father’s Roxy shirts into a child’s hand-made cards.

The poems take us through art and illness, a mother’s sense of lack, a brother’s divorce and other undoings. At heart the poems honor the perfection of imperfections: “And I loved him/to the end/despite a lifelong lack/of luster.” (Song for the Colorblind Artist). The collection’s title refers to her father’s congenital “green-weak” colorblindness, a faulty perception of reds and greens.

Her idyllic musings while cutting grass by scissors is at center, a meditation (glimpsing “the conjuring garden knot, its green snaking”) serving as transition to the third “regreening” section. It deals with death and loss. It is grief contained by noticing “an opened bag of nougat and milk/chocolate truffles” at her mother’s cremation and tellingly endured through the arrayed riches of Morocco. The reader takes each mouthful of poems, cupping them, full of weight and weightlessness.

Then there’s the one and only erotic poem, which is clinically breathtaking, a kind of Spanish blessing.

Green is the trope, whether in the Moroccan silk of “Paradise Green”, or in grass’s “emerald blade”, or “the neon L sprouting from Google’s trademark.” How deep sorrow, how deep the green. It becomes blue.

Download the collection here.

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Spring/Summer 2016 Issue 9

Song of myself

We are pleased to announce the release of Red Wolf Journal’s Spring/Summer 2016 Issue 9:

Red Wolf Journal Spring Summer 2016 Issue 9

 

The poets with work in this edition are:

Pat Anthony
Vivienne Blake
Marilyn Braendeholm
Edilson Afonso Ferreira
Grace Harriman
Christopher Hileman
A.J. Huffman
Kathleen Kimball-Baker
Ron. Lavalette
Patricia McGoldrick
Sanjeev Sethi
Debi Swim
Robert Walton

You are welcome to submit work to our upcoming Fall/Winter 2016/2017. The theme is “The Heart Knows”. Watch this space for the official announcement.

With pleasure,
Irene Toh and Tawnya Smith
Spring/Summer 2016 Editors

Release of Winter 2015/2016 Issue 8

Seeing beauty

 

We are pleased to announce the release of Red Wolf Journal’s Winter 2015/2016 Issue 8:

Red Wolf Journal Winter 2015 2016 Issue 8

 

The poets with work in this edition are:

Holly Day
Edilson Afonso Ferreira
Christopher Hileman
Nancy Iannucci
Christopher Oak Reiner
Roslyn Ross
Debi Swim
Alan Toltzis

You are welcome to submit work to our upcoming Spring/Summer 2015 Issue 9. The theme is “Song of Myself”. Watch this space for the official announcement.

With pleasure,
Irene Toh and Tawnya Smith
Winter 2015/2016 Editors

Winter 2015/2016 Issue 8: Seeing Beauty

Seeing beauty

Red Wolf Journal Issue 8 (Winter 2015/2016)
Our theme: “Seeing Beauty”

Suddenly, without expecting it, beauty is there. Yet ultimately beauty is a profound illumination of presence, a stirring of the invisible in visible form …”
― John O’Donohue

Beauty is a woman like Miss Universe. Ha! Or is Beauty the woman you love and behold? Beauty is, in fact, what you see. It is personal. Hence it lies in the eyes of the beholder. Where do you see beauty? That is the question for pondering.

True beauty has been transfigured by time. When you see a particular landscape that has been imbued by time, like the ancient rocks of Sedona, you perhaps experience a sense of stillness, solitude and silence. You are receiving time. Yet in receiving it you are steeped in its timelessness. Furthermore, nature seems to be a direct expression of divine beauty. You see beauty in the natural landscape―mountains, rivers, trees, whatever―and the creatures―hummingbird, snow leopard, salmon, whatever―that inhabit it. It is everywhere around.

That the beauty of these creatures, including human beings, shall eventually fade and finally die, whose frail presences shall fade into eternal absences, where does that leave us? Wreckage, loss and absence. These truths wrought within us a sense of their beauty rooted in time and yet somehow transcending it. Mortality enables us to see darkness in light, and light in darkness. We remember their colors. How we felt in their presences, enlivened as if a thread of infinity held us and it was through them that we have felt most alive. Then there is our ability to imagine them when they’ve become ghosts, an ability that makes us feel loss keenly and yet the act of summoning these ghosts fills us. Thus beauty is ether–sullied by ghosts, clothed in memory, revisited by imagination. What is beauty but to have known fullness?

Beauty achieves forms that are expressions of the human soul. So beauty is form, and form beauty—a variant of Keatsian truth. The quest for ultimate truth leads us to beauty. To quote O’Donohue, “We were sent into the world alive with beauty. As soon as we choose Beauty, unseen forces conspire to guide and encourage us towards unexpected forms of compassion, healing and creativity.” We heal from our woundedness, are transfigured through feeling, suffering. Then the beauty of our own human soul becomes luminous. Beauty is, says O’Donohue, “the illumination of your soul.”

How do we begin to see beauty? When our souls awaken and begin to recognize the concealed beauty of our mystical world, our stance changes to one filled with reverence and longing. We become attuned to nature’s rhythm–day and night; the change of seasons. Beauty makes us love. Love discloses another’s sacred and secret identity. It allows us to see one another in the soul’s individuality. I see you. An African greeting, “sawa bona”. The response is “Sikhona” (“I am here”). The exchange means, “until you see me, I do not exist and when you see me, you bring me into existence.” The beauty of the human soul seen by another.

How do we begin to see beauty in suffering? When we experience unexpected grace, in whatever form. Our cover art, Sandro Botticelli’s The Annunciation, depicts the Virgin Mary being visited by the angel, Gabriel, receiving the message that she had been impregnated and would bear the son of God. That is a moment of grace and significance, made timeless through art. Isn’t life more meaningful if one is given a sense of some higher order? That kind of spirituality is surely how beauty resonates with soul. Is there beauty in mystery, you might ask.

Nature-inspired poems, creaturely poems, love poems, spiritual poems–would you have it within to find a note of sacred beauty somewhere? A reason to celebrate saying “I am here.” Above all, presence is beautiful, real or ghost.

Have you noticed?
how the immense circles still,
stubbornly, after a hundred years,
mark the grass where the rich droppings
from the roaring bulls
fell to the earth as the herd stood
day after day, moon after moon
in their tribal circle, outwaiting
the packs of yellow-eyed wolves that are also
have you noticed? gone now.

Mary Oliver, “Ghosts”

We hope you collaborate in our poetic quest.

Dwell on the beauty of life. Watch the stars, and see yourself running with them.
― Marcus Aurelius, Meditations 

 

***

Interpret the theme however you wish. Submit poems to us by email here.

SUBMISSION DEADLINE IS 28 FEBRUARY 2016. SUBMISSIONS CLOSED. PDF RELEASE FORTHCOMING.

Please review the submission guidelines and then send us your poems in the body of an email.

Poems will be published in ongoing posts on this site. Each posting will be announced on the Red Wolf Journal page on Facebook. Your poem may be published at any time from November 2015 to February 2016 so please check back here. If you do not see your poem(s) appear, you may deem it as not accepted for publication. We will not be sending out any acceptance or rejection letters.

The entire collection will be released in PDF format in due course. An announcement will be made at that point.

Regards,
Irene Toh and Tawnya Smith
Winter 2015/2016 Editors

Release of Fall 2015 Issue 7 (PDF Edition)

We are pleased to announce the release of Red Wolf Journal’s Fall 2015 Issue 7.

Red Wolf Journal Fall 2015 Issue 7

The poets with work in this edition are:

Marilyn Braendeholm
Vivienne Blake
Mark Danowsky
Hannah Gosselin
Christopher Hileman
Nancy Iannucci
Tom Montag
Debi Swim

You are welcome to submit work to our upcoming Winter 2015 Issue 8. The theme is “Seeing Beauty”.

With pleasure,
Irene Toh and Tawnya Smith
Summer 2015 Editors

Release of Spring 2015 Issue 5 (PDF edition)

herecomesthesun2

We’re pleased to announce that the Spring 2015 Issue 5 can be downloaded here.

Red Wolf Journal Spring 2015 v2

The poets with work in this edition are:

Vivienne Blake
Marilyn Braendeholm
Bobbi Buchanan
Alan Catlin
Amitabh Vikram Dwivedi
Christopher Hileman
A J Huffman
Ron. Lavalette
Alan Toltzis
Martin Willitts Jr
Barbara Young

Irene Toh and Tawnya Smith
Spring 2015 Editors

New Poetry Collections

Poets have an online presence these days. Over time, a prodigious volume of poems has been posted in blogs. Blogs garner international readers and are not confined to ivory towers. The accessibility of poems posted on blogs is remarkable. Self-publishing is either a levelling up or a dumbing down. Both are true.

Blogs help facilitate the creative process in another way. A notable strategy of Internet poets is to write to prompts. A writing prompt gets posted and within a day or two, you’ll see poems written in response by poets from all over the map. I myself fall under this category of poets. Call it speed poeming. It is a moot point as to whether poems can be any good if they’re written fast. Such arguments are facetious as one judges a poem on its own merit and disregards all else. A poem can definitely be revisited and improved upon if necessary.

There is, of course, the real question of which poems make the cut. It is a question worth pondering. In any case, this is the context which I’m vested in and in which I am now writing and making a small announcement.

Red Wolf Editions is pleased to announce the release of two poetry collections in PDF format.

The first is a collection of 50 poems by Christopher Hileman. The poems arose precisely out of the context of which I have spoken—posted on the poet’s blog. I have made a selection and put them together as a poetry collection. They are meant to be representative of the poet’s mesmerizing work.

Having Taken Vows collection cover

Cover artwork: Carmen © by Catrin Welz-Stein

HAVING TAKEN VOWS
By Christopher Hileman

Christopher Hileman’s poems in this collection shine. But if you feel the blaze in the words, you feel the ashes too. These poems are courtly, filled with longing, passion, gratitude, despair. Startlingly accessible in their human range, they oft use the lover as mage, always part of a spiritual quest. The poems feel like soliloquys. You’ll feel the tenderness and poignancy, hope and truth, dream and reality, flight and fall, all tangled up, finely wrought. As if the poet had sat at an overnight loom as he formed a blanket for spiritual comfort. In all of this, amidst all of love’s yearning, God is never far.

“I live in squirming under
God’s wide ranging eyes
And all things would shift, and I
Love you for this dream.”
–“Having Taken Vows”

These poems are about finding truth in heart.

Download the collection here.
Having Taken Vows First Collection

The second is a collection of 118 poems written in collaboration between Christopher and myself. It was a series of poems which addressed the other. Most of it happened at a daily pace over April 2014. As poets, we were writing in fantasy, or in a fictionalized mode. Stepping out of it now, fevered pitch gone, it felt like the poems had fallen out of the sky. For being forged in an intense process that lasted for as long as it did, the collection has raw and fortuitous energy.

DUET collection cover

Cover artwork: The Moon Ship © by Catrin Welz-Stein

DUET
By Christopher Hileman and Irene Toh

Poetry duets work as a kind of dialog, not unlike the old haiku orations of the teahouse that were made up on the spot and traded back and forth by poets gathered there of an afternoon. These poems were written in collaboration. The first poem was written on 27 March 2014, inspired by the mysterious disappearance of Malaysian plane, MH370, on 8 March 2014. It was carrying 239 passengers. The plane’s wreckage was never found. If there’s any connection at all to these poems, it is perhaps the mystery of life on our planet. We come up with stories. That’s all we can do. These poems mythologize, speak a kind of ineffable love whose essence is both permanence and fragility. In the process, they seem to weave a precious, breakable thread that runs through life and art. The last poem in this collection, dated 20 June 2014, may be viewed simply as part of a piece of tape that had been snipped off.

“So which secretion is yours,
from ripeness and sun
and which mine from sour
grapes all in a bunch?”
–Christopher Hileman, “I So Very Much Love You”

“What is heaven except in stooping
to sweet apples fallen? Sphere
an Edenic fruit: to know is heaven.”
–Irene Toh, “Heaven Is A Deacon”

Download the collection here.
Duet Collection

These two collections birthed on the Internet are a testimony of the times in which we live. They’re the hippie version of publishing: belief in community and free love in the pursuit of poetic vision. The reason we do this is of the highest order. I leave you with a quote by Walt Whitman:

[and that the world is not joke,
Nor any part of it a sham].

–Walt Whitman, “I Am The Poet”

Fall 2014 Issue 3

Red Wolf Journal Issue 3 (Fall 2014).
Our theme: “Celebration and Ritual”

Roses_and_Urn_coverimage

Cover artwork: Roses and Urn © Carin Ingalsbe

Celebration and Ritual:

The two words are a call for a gathering of poems to be included in Red Wolf Journal, Issue 3. The two words are an intention for reflection, nothing more.

Ceremonies and rituals have always been the milestones of human experience. Baptisms, weddings, funerals, anniversaries, the changing of the seasons have long mapped the course of our collective experience.

The universe of nature provides the setting for mankind’s need for ceremony and ritual. The order of solstices, the oceans, the sun, moon and stars are the altar of the marriage between man and nature.

And there are the more intimate personal rituals and ceremonies — the dining table, Sunday mornings, ways of greeting, a cup of tea – the signs and symbols that are the measure of one’s daily life.

And then there is the universe of human consciousness – the life of the mind – where exist the most subtle forms of order and design. Language, and in particular the language of poetry, is in some way a celebration and a ritual.

The poet carefully selects words and constructs a poem as a message of meaning, emerging from the images in a moment, a scene, a lifetime. The very act of turning language into a poem is a ceremony of the poet’s vision, a ritual as it transfers meaning in the vessel of its imagery.

Any poem, modern or ancient, rhythmic or free form, celebrates or mourns the minute and the limitless: a table set with a small meal, a night sky mapped by stars.

Each time a writer engages with language it is a ritual: using words to describe in a unique voice an aspect of our shared humanity. Poetry can express our deep need for words to express emotions, ideas, a sense of place, a belief or fear.

Poems can capture the celebrations/rituals that are flamboyant, colorful: the rhythm of dance and music in a wild street parade; or they can convey the sense of solitude in an individual ritual — an unexpected moment of reflection, thanks, sorrow in the way a tree is framed in a familiar field.

Poetry is generous with its meanings, and our hope is that many poems submitted to Red Wolf Journal will reflect upon and speak of these major themes.

SUBMISSION DEADLINE IS 25 September, 2014. SUBMISSIONS CLOSED.

Please review the submission guidelines and then send us your poems via email to: redwolfjournal AT gmail DOT com.

Poems will be published in ongoing posts on this site. Each posting will be announced on the Red Wolf Journal page on Facebook. Your poem may be published at any time from June to September 2014 so please check back here. If you do not see your poem(s) appear, you may deem it as not accepted for publication. We will not be sending out any acceptance or rejection letters.

The entire collection will be released in PDF format in October 2014. An announcement will be made at that point.

SUBMISSIONS CLOSED.

Regards,
Peter Roundy and Grace Harriman
Fall 2014 Editors

Red Wolf Journal is a periodic publication of Red Wolf Poems (formerly known as We Write Poems).

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