Undercurrent Blues Has A Rhythm of Its Own - Poetry Book Review
On July 17, 2005 Cahuenga Press released Undercurrent Blues by James Cushing (Cahuenga is a cooperative press and Undercurrent Blues is the 14th book they have published since their inception in 1989). The collection includes poems written from 1989 through 1991 and 1997 through 2002. If you're like me, you immediately ask where 1992 through 1996 went. Mr. Cushing explains the skip in time in his Author's Note at the beginning of the book. Basically, the poetry included reflects the first 25 years of his writing life.
In Undercurrent Blues, The poems from 1989 through 1991 are from Mr. Cushing's first book, You and the Night and the Music published by Cahuenga Press in 1991. The titles and poems are inspired by 20th Century American songs that have become jazz standards. In Fly Me to the Moon Mr. Cushing's lyrical style matches the desire for transport in that old standard but he offers us a deeper yearning in his stanzas.
We picked roles (insomniac shepherd, complaining nymph) from
a basket of fruit. Orisons rise from every third house, a glow like
a broadcast ending, and we wanted this, to live near the sun, that
constant burnt offering.
His poetry from 1997 through 2002 is a reaction to the death of both parents and the end of his second marriage - to put it in the author's words "darker stimulation". In spite of the dark stimulation, these poems have a sly sense of humor, an acceptance of life's slings and arrows. Of these, The Turn of April shows the author's recovering hope:
I think we are moving, slowly and patiently,
within a great walled garden along an eastern path,
and I think I can assume we keep walking, lightly
and with kindness, until the garden ends, and we fall off the edge
where the next dream begins in a rush of kisses and cameras.
Undercurrent Blues by James Cushing asserts that music shapes us but also encourages the reader to play with its rhythms in order to fully incorporate its influence on our psyche. In the second half of the book, Mr. Cushing acknowledges the darker moments of life but offers hope and a bit of a lesson in maintaining one's sense of humor.
Sanora is a co-creator and founder of www.LAwritersgroup.com">http://www.LAwritersgroup.com. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from North Dakota State University. From 1995-2001, she studied under Cathy Colman ("Borrowed Dress") in her Unleash the Writer Within workshops and was included in her Master Poetry Class in 1996 and 1997. In April 1997 she won a Poetry Reading contest sponsored by Borders. In 2000 she studied under Ron Koertge ("Making Love to Roget's Wife") in Pasadena. She was one of several featured poets at scheduled readings at Midnight Special Book Store in Santa Monica, The Rose Café in Venice, CA and Projectile Poetry. She has taken part in several open mike readings in the Los Angeles area and believes poetry is meant to be spoken as well as read. Two of her poems, Elegy and Untouchable, appeared in the 20th edition of Wordwrights! magazine. Sanora is currently working on her Master of Professional Writing degree at the University of Southern California.
Anna Burns won the 2018 Man Booker Prize for her third novel, Milkman. Burns, 56, is the first writer from Northern Ireland to win the Booker. She accepted the prize tonight at a lavish ceremony in London.
Burns's dark, experimental novel is about a bookish 18-year-old girl caught up in the Troubles in Northern Ireland. Originally set to be published in the United States next fall, Graywolf Press announced tonight that Milkman will be released on Dec. 11.
The New Academy Prize in Literature 2018 has been awarded to Guadeloupean author Maryse Condé. She is the author of about 20 novels, including I, Tituba, Black Witch of Salem; Tales from the Heart: True Stories from My Childhood; Windward Heights; Victoire: My Mother's Mother; and Who Slashed Celanire's Throat?
The New Academy Prize in Literature was created earlier this year by more than 100 Swedish writers, actors, journalists and other cultural figures in response to the Swedish Academy's decision not to award a 2018 Nobel Prize in Literature in the wake of a highly-publicized scandal. The New Academy will be dissolved in December.
A spate of global phishing scams attempting to access agencies' and publishers' manuscripts and other sensitive information prompted Penguin Random House North America to issue an urgent warning to all staff.
The PRH email was circulated with the subject line "Important: New Phishing Alert" and reads: "We have recently seen an increase in attempts to steal our manuscripts. This has occurred in multiple locations across the globe. The individuals attempting to access these manuscripts have a sophisticated understanding of our business. We need to protect ourselves from these threats."
The Bookseller understands PRH UK has been similarly targeted, with fraudsters posing as literary agents and foreign-rights staff from seemingly legitimate email addresses. Other houses have also been affected. Pan Macmillan revealed it had also been targeted by scammers trying to access manuscripts, and has issued an internal briefing to staff. The head of another global publisher said that while there have long been scams targeting confidential information such as contracts, seeking manuscripts is a new development.
The deadline is approaching to cast votes for the USA's best-loved novel. To date, more than 3.8 million votes have been cast.
Organizers of The Great American Read have released a Top 10 list of the leading candidates. The winning book will be revealed in the "Grand Finale" episode on October 23 on PBS stations nationwide.
Viewers can vote for their favorite titles each day through October 18 via Facebook, Twitter, text and phone. Click the link below for full details.
The Top Ten are:
Chronicles of Narnia series
Gone with the Wind
Harry Potter series
Lord of the Rings series
Pride and Prejudice
To Kill a Mockingbird
The number of self-published books topped the 1 million mark for the first time in 2017, according to Bowker's annual report on the number of ISBNs that were issued to self-published authors. The total number of ISBNs issued last year rose 28% over 2016, to 1,009,188.
It is important to note that these figures represent book editions not book titles - for example, a book that is published in three different formats (say hardcover, paperback and audio), would count for three ISBNs.
The gain was due entirely to the increase in the number of print ISBNs issued by Bowker last year: 879,587, an increase of 38% over 2016. The number of ISBNs issued for e-books released by self-published authors fell 13% from 2016, to 129,601.
While Bowker noted that the 2017 decline is the third consecutive year the number of ISBNs issued for e-books fell, the drop is more likely due to authors moving to Amazon's KDP self-publishing platform than an overall decline in the number e-books that were self-published last year. Because KDP uses Amazon's own ASIN identifiers rather than the industry standard ISBNs, KDP's titles do not appear in the Bowker data. Amazon does not disclose the number of KDP titles that it releases annually.
The finalists for the National Book Award are in, and this year, there's more of them than ever before.
For 2018, the National Book Foundation has added a new category for translated literature, in what seems to be an attempt to push back against the idea that Americans don't read books from other countries. It doesn't spotlight only unfamiliar names, though: The finalists in this category include Trick, translated by Namesake author Jhumpa Lahiri, who has written extensively about her decision to begin reading and writing in Italian after years of being celebrated for her beautiful English sentences.
Handbags, briefcases and ties can be checked out for up to three weeks at a time at the Riverside branch of the New York Public Library, as part of a pilot program dreamed up by Michelle Lee, a young adult librarian...
Johns Hopkins University just announced that the school will name a new research building after Henrietta Lacks, the "mother of modern medicine" whose cancer cells revolutionized medical research--and whose story came to the public's attention through Rebecca Skloot's 2010 nonfiction work, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.
"Through her life and her immortal cells, Henrietta Lacks made an immeasurable impact on science and medicine that has touched countless lives around the world," Johns Hopkins President Ronald Daniels said during the university's 9th annual Henrietta Lacks Memorial Lecture on Saturday.
Amazon's minimum-wage increase for its hourly workers comes with a trade-off: no more monthly bonuses and stock awards.
Amazon confirmed in an email to CNBC that the company is getting rid of incentive pay and stock option awards as it increases the minimum wage to $15 per hour. The company, however, stressed that the wage increase "more than compensates" for the loss in other benefits.
Among the 25 winners of the 2018 John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation fellowships (widely referred to as the "genius grants," which come with a no-strings-attached award of $625,000) are at least six people who are writers or story-tellers:
- Natalie Diaz, 40, a poet who teaches at Arizona State University.
- John Keene, 53, a writer in the Department of African American and African Studies at Rutgers University.
- Kelly Link, 49, a fiction writer in Northampton, Mass.
- Dominique Morisseau, 40, a playwright at Signature Theatre in New York City.
- Ken Ward Jr., 50, an investigative journalist with the Charleston Gazette-Mail.M
- Raj Jayadev, 43, a community organizer and co-founder of Silicon Valley De-Bug, a story-telling, community organizing, and advocacy organization.