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.
Call Number is a library-inspired monthly book subscription box that celebrates Black literature and authors. Started by Jamillah Gabriel to mesh her two great lovesBlack literature and librariesCall Number is built out of the desire to share the books she loves. Fiction and nonfiction monthly subscriptions are available starting at $20. An excellent choice both for individual readers and smaller libraries looking to build up their collection of Black literature.
The Hogwarts universe is set to expand by an additional two new Harry Potter books, published by Bloomsbury in the UK (and presumably Scholastic in the USA) in conjunction with a British Library event, in celebration of the 20th anniversary of the series.
The library exhibition titled, "A History of Magic," featuring the two books will be open from October 2017 to February 2018.
The books, both by the British Library, include unseen sketches and manuscript pages from author J.K. Rowling, magical illustrations from Jim Kay and artifacts from the archives at the library.
J.K. Rowling, in a statement on the Pottermore website, called A History of Magic an "adult edition" and Harry Potter A Journey Through A History of Magic "a family edition for younger readers."
As a part of the celebration of its centennial this year, the Women's National Book Association has awarded the WNBA Second Century Prize to the Little Free Library. The award, which carries a $5,000 grant, honors "an organization that supports the power of reading, past, present, and into the future,"
The Little Free Library, a nonprofit organization that promotes reading for all ages, but especially children, by building free book exchanges.
Founded in 2009 in Hudson, Wis., by Todd Bol to honor his mother, a schoolteacher, the Little Free Library promotes the building of free book exchanges. There are now more than 50,000 registered Little Free Libraries worldwide, in all 50 states and 70 countries.
The budget battle is kicking up again in Washington, but this time with a note of optimism for libraries and library supporters. Last week, a House Appropriations subcommittee voted to recommend level funding for libraries in FY2018, which would mean roughly $231 million for the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), $183 million for the Library Services and Technology Act, and $27 million for the Innovative Approaches to Literacy (IAL) program.
The vote comes after President Trump in May doubled down on his call to eliminate IMLS and virtually all federal funding for libraries, as well as a host of other vital agencies.
By his own admission, the novelist Junot Díaz is an agonizingly slow writer and a chronic procrastinator. Over the past two-plus decades, he has published just three books: two short-story collections and his 2007 novel, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, which won the Pulitzer Prize.
But even by Mr. Díaz's glacial standards, his latest book, Islandborn (March 2018, Dial Books), will be long overdue about 20 years past deadline. And it's a mere 48 pages long.
According to the New York Times, Islandborn "engages with many of the same themes that Mr. Díaz has wrestled with in his fiction: immigration and identity, the weight of collective memory, and feelings of displacement and belonging." ...
This year's International Thriller Writers' annual awards have been presented to:
Hardcover: Before the Fall
, Noah Hawley
First Novel: The Drifter
, Nicholas Petrie
Paperback Original: The Body Reader
, Anne Frasier
eBook Original: Romeo's Way
, James Scott Bell
Liu Xiaobo, the renegade Chinese intellectual who kept vigil at Tiananmen Square in 1989 to protect protesters from encroaching soldiers, promoted a pro-democracy charter that brought him a lengthy prison sentence and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize while locked away, died under guard in a hospital on Thursday. He was 61.
(Liu Xiaobo is pronounced approximately Lee-O shau-BO. Liu is his family name, Xiaobo his given name. The first syllable of Xiaobo rhymes with now.)
For the 50th anniversary of the Beatles' Yellow Submarine, the Apple Corporation is authorizing a comic book adaptation of the classic film with Titan Comics. The book is slated for release in 2018.
In a move that had been expected, Bertelsmann has increased its stake in Penguin Random House. After the deal is completed in September, Bertelsmann will have a 75% share of PRH with Pearson controlling the remaining 25%.
Spencer Johnson, a onetime physician and children's book author, whose best-selling books on business management, including "The One-Minute Manager" and "Who Moved My Cheese?," sold millions of copies and inspired a cult-like following, died July 3 at a hospital in Encinitas, Calif. He was 78.