Thursday, June 30, 2011

Biscuits with Applesauce and Of Gentle Wolves

Romania is the second largest country in Eastern Europe

I admit to full ignorance when it comes to Romanian poetry. I sense that I am not alone in this poetic deficit --- at least among North American poets. However, I am looking forward to the anthology Of Gentle Wolves: An Anthology of Romanian Poetry edited by Martin Woodside, due out in July (that is one day away, by the way). 

Still in its first year of operations, Calypso Editions is forging a new (old) model in publishing that is worthy of more attention. Here is the press's statement of purpose.

The editors are targeting bookstores such as Open Books, Elliott Bay Book Company, Pegasus Books, and The Seminary Bookstore across the country. I love everything about this model -- the editors are clearly a working cooperative and will publish some of their own projects as well as the work of others. Anna Swir and Leo Tolstoy collections also came out this year. The editors stress that they have not set out to publish only international literature --- merely poetry and fiction with a global focus. 

This is a press to not only to rejoice in, but also to support. Why not be the first on the block with a copy of a Calypso Editions book on your shelf. Call me easily pleased, but I am hoping I'm the first one introducing you to these beautiful poems. Enjoy!

Biscuits with Applesauce

I stay with mara at the window. a beautiful winter’s day
it snows as we eat biscuits with apple sauce
not saying a word.
each with a tiny spoon,
each with the whole winter morning before us.
sometimes we stop eating and
press our noses to the glass 
stay that way without saying a word
breath warms my face slowly
and slowly—slowly mara’s breath
spreads warmth throughout the park. 

Translated by Martin Woodside and Ioana Ieronim

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

It's a Day for "One Art" - Honoring Miss Bishop

Elizabeth Bishop was the poet that brought me back to writing. I found her after I'd spent my twenties living in West Africa, England, and Scotland. After I had hitch-hiked between London and Rome, after I had traveled overland from Mali to Senegal by freight train, after I had lost at love. Without Bishop's poems and the story of her life, I don't think I could have believed in myself enough to write. In no small terms, Elizabeth Bishop saved me. On this grey, cool, Nova Scotia like day - I lift my writing pen to her.

Thanks to the miracle of the web, you can now hear her read her poems ("The Art of Losing and the Man-Moth") -- something she didn't much like to do. There's a wonderful letter where she writes of seeing Anne Sexton read in Boston (they both lived in the city at the same time) with a back-up band. She felt like an old foggy beside the young woman.

If Elizabeth Bishop were alive today, she would be 100 years old. Well, she would have turned 100 in February. In Nova Scotia, where Bishop lived the happiest years of her childhood, it's been an all year celebration. Here is the Elizabeth Bishop Centenary Blog (English and Spanish) that focuses on all things Bishop with daily updates. And for $10 a year ($25 for three years) you can become a member of the Elizabeth Bishop Society of Nova Scotia. I am signing up today! The website states that centenary celebrations are planned to continue for the foreseeable future. This seems the right time to plan a trip to Nova Scotia. Why not?

***H mmm I've just noticed that I posted this poem almost exactly a year ago. How strange that it comes back to me now. I will link to the original post here -- and because I'm a little embarrassed to repeat myself, I will add a second poem by Miss Bishop that I also love.

One Art
by Elizabeth Bishop
The art of losing isn't hard to master;
so many things seem filled with the intent
to be lost that their loss is no disaster.

Lose something every day. Accept the fluster
of lost door keys, the hour badly spent.
The art of losing isn't hard to master.

Then practice losing farther, losing faster:
places, and names, and where it was you meant 
to travel. None of these will bring disaster.

I lost my mother's watch. And look! my last, or
next-to-last, of three loved houses went.
The art of losing isn't hard to master.

I lost two cities, lovely ones. And, vaster,
some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent.
I miss them, but it wasn't a disaster.

--Even losing you (the joking voice, a gesture
I love) I shan't have lied.  It's evident
the art of losing's not too hard to master
though it may look like (Write it!) like disaster.

Here is her "Questions of Travel" which I can't get to look right here so instead, here is the one place on the web I can find it. This is also a top favorite of mine.

Monday, June 27, 2011

More Lies - American Life in Poetry

I found this poem this morning in Ted Kooser's American Life in Poetry column. I love the way it moves so effortlessly and illustrates, as Elizabeth Bishop wrote about, "the mind in motion." This is the kind of poem that makes me want to write my own version. In life, I'm a terrible liar -- I am biologically made to tell the truth (well, most of the time) so lying in a poem sounds like a great deal of fun. I think it's my next assignment to myself; although I confess I do pretty badly with homework of any sort. I hope you enjoy - perhaps you have some lies to tell, too?

I'd heard the name of this poet before: Karin Gottshall, but this poem makes we want to get to know her work. This poem is taken from her recent collection, Crocus.

More Lies 

Sometimes I say I’m going to meet my sister at the café—
even though I have no sister—just because it’s such
a beautiful thing to say. I’ve always thought so, ever since

I read a novel in which two sisters were constantly meeting
in cafés. Today, for example, I walked alone
on the wet sidewalk, wearing my rain boots, expecting

someone might ask where I was headed. I bought
a steno pad and a watch battery, the store windows
fogged up. Rain in April is a kind of promise, and it costs

nothing. I carried a bag of books to the café and ordered
tea. I like a place that’s lit by lamps. I like a place
where you can hear people talk about small things,

like the difference between azure and cerulean,
and the price of tulips. It’s going down. I watched
someone who could be my sister walk in, shaking the rain

from her hair. I thought, even now florists are filling
their coolers with tulips, five dollars a bundle. All over
the city there are sisters. Any one of them could be mine.

American Life in Poetry is made possible by The Poetry Foundation (, publisher of Poetry magazine. It is also supported by the Department of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Poem copyright ©2010 by Karin Gottshall, whose most recent book of poetry is Crocus, Fordham University Press, 2007. Poem reprinted from the New Ohio Review, No. 8, Fall 2010, by permission of Karin Gottshall and the publisher.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Kelli Russell Agodon Wins the Gold!

Photo by Rosanne Olson
Congratulations to my dear friend Kelli Russell Agodon whose book Letters from the Emily Dickinson Room has just won the "Gold" (yes, the top prize) for Foreword Magazine's Poetry Book of the Year. Congratulations to Kelli! And if you have forgotten to get your copy, now is a good time to get Letters from the Emily Dickinson Room from your local bookstore!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Congratulations, New York!

From today's New York Times

Lawmakers voted late Friday to legalize same-sex marriage, making New York the largest state where gay and lesbian couples will be able to wed and giving the national gay-rights movement new momentum from the state where it was born. 

The marriage bill, whose fate was uncertain until moments before the vote, was approved 33 to 29 in a packed but hushed Senate chamber. Four members of the Republican majority joined all but one Democrat in the Senate in supporting the measure after an intense and emotional campaign aimed at the handful of lawmakers wrestling with a decision that divided their friends, their constituents and sometimes their own homes.. To continue reading ...

Friday, June 24, 2011

Wendy Call reads from "No Word for Welcome" 5 pm, this Sunday at the Elliott Bay Book Company

If you missed the wild launch party this week, don't worry! Wendy Call will be reading this Sunday at 5 pm at the Elliott Bay Book Company. This will be her only Seattle reading for the foreseeable future.

Hedgebrook Applications Now Available On-line

This is a cottage at Hedgebrook. This could be your cottage for anywhere from two weeks to two months.  Of course you need to be a woman writer and you need to apply. Do it. Here is the link to the on-line application.

I first went to Hedgebrook sixteen years ago. At the time, I was a graduate student in the University of Oregon MFA program. I spent six weeks in "Owl" during August and September of 1995. Life has never been the same.  My time at Hedgebrook changed how I saw myself as a writer.

If you are thinking of applying, I am happy to answer any questions you may have. I have been on the review committee several times and have a sense of how you can optimize your chances of acceptance. Having said that, the pool is more competitive each year -- and the writers who review the work also change. If you have not been accepted before, that's no reason not to try again now. And for the first time, the application process is now on-line.  Why not give it a try?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Reading Poetry or Reading Prose: What's the Difference?

Last night I gave my first prose reading at Elliott Bay Book Company. I adore this bookstore and have been lucky enough to read my poems there several times. However, last night was different. Good or bad different? I don't know. Here are some things I noticed.

1. Reading prose requires more water. Now I get why authors sipping from their water glasses is not just for effect. Reading without a break for fifteen minutes is tough. Less breathing is allowed with prose.

2. With memoir there is nowhere to hide. OK so the stage is the same size no matter the genre, but it doesn't feel that way. Let me explain. My poems are never analogous with my life. Yes, I write about places I've lived and lovers I've had, but poetry allows for far more imaginative play than memoir. For me, poetry is closer to song than to a prose piece - even a lyrical prose piece. My travel essay last night concerned a love affair gone wrong. The first question from a gentle looking grandmother in the audience was "what happened next"?

3. Timing, timing, timing. Read only one essay and stay to your time? How does that work? When I prepare for a poetry reading I always allow for some improvisation. I prepare more poems than I will read so I can gauge the audience and mix it up depending on their mood. Not with prose. I had only one essay in this wonderful anthology, Best Women's Travel Writing 2011, and that was what I needed to fit into fifteen minutes. This meant reading the entire essay several times and then cutting out just a little to make the timing work. Thankfully, it did.

4. Do you have a good life? This is the second question that the very kind looking, grandmotherly lady asked me before she went out the door and into the night. Trust me, no one has ever asked me this at a poetry reading. Yet, because I read a travel essay about my own experiences, anything was fair game for the audience. I think of myself as a private person. Memoir makes this difficult. (And yes, today I like my life; it's a good one.)

5. Prose is like pecan pie. Poetry more like ice cream. I love pecan pie on Thanksgiving. The texture and unusual taste delights me, but then I'm done. Now ice cream, I could eat everyday. Ice cream comforts me with its endless variety. I feel as if I could make whole meals of  ice cream cones and shakes and sundaes without ever getting bored.

There are a few more readings in the works for Best Women's Travel Writing and I am happy to be part of a great group of women writers, but then I will return (mostly) to poetry. At the moment, however, I am trying to write about a Bosnian ice cream parlor. Oddly, I can't decide: poetry or prose?

Monday, June 20, 2011

The Best of Women's Travel Writing: Travelers Tales This Wednesday at Elliott Bay Book Company

Are you travelling this summer? Are you a woman or do you know one? (That should cover everyone) because if you are, this is the anthology for you (or your female friend) to take as a  travel companion. I first learned of this Best Women's Travel Writing anthology a few years ago when I traveled on my own to Bosnia. I needed a book to help me feel brave in the face of endless buses and train rides. There were no essays written on Bosnia or Slovenia, but that didn't matter. I knew a woman traveling alone in the world was not as weird as all that -- and that I now had found solid proof of women travelers exploring, loving, and writing about new worlds. 

I wrote Blue Gates as a way to remember my time living in Zinder, Niger as a twenty-something Peace Corps Volunteer.
I tried to evoke the slow-winding rhythm of my days and the lovely strangeness that surrounded me. For example, the attractive man pictured above is a Fulani nomad. The Fulani believe fully in the expression of male beauty. Mascara plays a key part in  a young man's life as does the make-up that accents his nose and cheekbones. The young men in my story: Dari, Sa-a, and Yabide are all Fulani pre-teens - their coming of age rituals still ahead of them. 

I'll be reading with local writer Sara Barnum and Jocelyn Edelstein. It would be lovely to see you there!

06/22/2011 7:00 pm
If travel is on your mind, consider joining us for what will be a lively evening of storytelling about the discoveries, misadventures, and epiphanies of the road trip (and of writing about it). Best Women's Travel Writing 2011 (Travelers' Tales), edited by Lavinia Spalding, is the seventh installment in an enjoyable, award-winning series. Local contributors Sara Bathum, Susan Rich, and Jocelyn Edelstein will read from their work, and weigh in on the many reasons why we embark on these journeys.
ISBN-13: 9781609520120
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Travelers' Tales Guides,

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Dorothy Parker and Writers Block: "I Can't Look You in the Voice"

Anyone who has ever hit a wall whilst writing will find it difficult not to empathize with the dejected words of Dorothy Parker in this telegram, sent in 1945 to her editor, Pascal Covici. Such was her frustration, Parker couldn't even bring herself to ring him and explain.

This is from one of my favorite places on the web:
Letters of Note "is an attempt to gather and sort fascinating letters, postcards, telegrams, faxes, and memos. Scans/photos where possible. Fakes will be sneered at. Updated every weekday."  Edited by Shaun Usher.

I love everything about the simplicity of this project -- the way it works to bring telegrams, postcards, napkins scribbled with drawings, or fan letters to a wider audience. There is a deep intimacy in reading the words of letters never meant for more than an audience of one. I'm happy to know that these utterances are resurrected and given a worldwide audience. And today I'm especially happy that even Ms. Parker was sometimes at a loss for words.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Tonight, Tonight -- Won' Be Just Any Night!

In this age of on-line everything, here is a journal that you just can't digitize. Jennifer Borges Foster, Kate Lebo, and a village of volunteers have assembled a completely hand printed, hand-bound, handsome journal in a box. Yes, in a box. Each year for the past three years, Jennifer Borges Foster has created a Filter journal from scratch, each one its own separate art object.

I love the energy behind this project and I am honored to be included along with writers such as Yusef Komunyakaa, Martha Silano, and Stacey Levine. This is a journal we will certainly hear more from.

Come out tonight to the Freemont Abbey Arts Center and celebrate book arts and bravado --- for in this Facebook age, creating a hand bound journal is nothing short of heroic. Of course these twenty-somethings aren't stupid, here is the Filter Blog where you can follow the assemblage and celebration if you aren't in Seattle.

For more information on Filter and how to get your tickets, click here. And yes, the evening is worth the price of admission: $8 in advance.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Superb Piece on Creating a Manuscript - Thanks, Ploughshares

One of my  first "jobs" in the literary world was as a reader for Ploughshares Journal. I would stop by the home of David Daniels and he would greet me with shoeboxes full of submissions. From these over-stuffed boxes I learned so much. I learned that hundreds, if not thousands, of people (in the two years I was a reader) cared enough about poetry to write it, but not as many seemed particularly  interested in honing their craft. The letter I remember best was written in a spiraling circle on the waxy paper often used to wrap sandwiches. The poet cursed me. Or the me he imagined. He (yes, it was a he) imagined that I was a graduate student (I wasn't) and that I delighted in rejecting his poems (again, no). 

I learned that a short and positive submission letter did the trick. I learned that it's the poem that counts, not the bells or whistles in the envelope (sometimes photos). And today I can thank Ploughshares -- or more to the point -- Peter Kline -- for a beautifully written piece on how one might think about constructing a manuscript. Hope you enjoy! And by the way, Ploughshares is now accepting new work on-line. 

Peter Kline Searches for Voice

Lately I’ve been spending a lot of time reworking my manuscript, ordering and reordering, adding and removing poems, trying to shape it into something that’s more than just a coherent collection.  I want my book to feel like a particular kind of experience, one that develops unexpectedly as it unfolds in time, like a provocative encounter with a stranger.  

There’s a party, a big room with many voices, spectacle, eye candy.  You’ve come to meet someone, but who?  It’s so hard to really meet anyone in these places.  Your eyes browse the hipsters in line at the cash bar, lingering on fripperies, amused.  Then someone crosses the room right to where you’re standing and fixes you with his grin.  Does he really think that line will work?  You challenge it – and find, despite yourself, that you’ve been drawn into a meaningful conversation.  His bravado complexifies into a kind of self-deprecation.  His manner, at first overfamiliar, now seems a direct response to the brevity of life.  Already you feel intimate with him.  Will you leave the party together?  No.  His heart is not his own.  He smooths the stray hair back from your eyes in farewell.

The best books of poetry lead us in and teach us how to read them; they are primers for themselves.  Some poets do this gently, with an outstretched hand; others just toss the reader into the maelstrom (my first experience of reading The Dream Songs had something of this character!).  But a well-constructed book of poems will use these waves to teach a reader how to swim.  Something of what must be taught is method: each poet has a different way, a different range of ways, to establish meaning, and part of reading new poets is becoming attuned to the subtleties of their meaning-making.  The difficulty of this endeavor has become much greater over the past century – many poets, in attempting to follow Pound’s dictum to “Make it new,” have abandoned traditional methods of meaning (coherent syntax, unified speaker, logical argument, narrative) in favor of more radically disjunctive or associative ways.  Because of this, lesser contemporary poets of an experimental bent are often incoherent unless they are interpreted using one particular rubric – thus, the necessity for manifesto.  These are poems that require a handbook.  A great experimental poet, like Berryman or, more recently, Rae Armantrout, teaches you the rubric as you read the poems, no handbook required. Click here to continue reading Peter Kline's posting.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Come One, Come All: 7:00 PM This Thursday at the Seattle Art Museum in Conjunction with Jack Straw

SAM Word 
June 16, 2011
7:30–8:30 pm
Third Floor Galleries

Produced in conjunction with local literary organizations, join us for an evening of spoken word and poetry readings in response to Alden Mason and SAM's permanent collection. This evening's event features Nora Wendl, Anne McDuffie and Donald Fels.
Anne McDuffie writes essays, poetry and book reviews. Her work has appeared in Colorado ReviewCrab Creek ReviewA River and Sound ReviewRattlePoetry InternationalAmerican Book Review, and the anthologyShort Takes: Brief Encounters with Contemporary Nonfiction(Norton, 2005). She received her MFA in 2007 from the Rainier Writing Workshop at Pacific Lutheran University.
Nora Wendl is a writer and professor of architecture whose work (built and written) is influenced by the processes, products, history and discourse of the (silent) built and made things around us—particularly architecture. A native of Nebraska, she studied at Iowa State University and was 2005 Pearl Hogrefe Fellow in Creative Writing. For the Jack Straw Writers Program, she is collaborating with the late Dr. Edith Farnsworth to write a more immediate and poetic account of living in the Mies van der Rohe-designed Farnsworth House. She lives in Portland, Oregon and teaches at Portland State University Department of Architecture.
Don Fels is a visual artist and writer. For the past twenty-five years he has followed the trade in commodities around the world. People have always exchanged goods, and in the process have forever swapped stories, traded hopes and ideas. He is currently at work on a graphic non-fiction book,Placing Color, which looks at the rather incredible history of the mordant alum. His book, Water’s Edge, about a year he spent as artist in residence at a decommissioned steel plant in Southern Italy, is being readied for publication.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Neil Patrick Harris' 2011 Tony Awards Opening Number: A Poem for Our Times

A few moments of happiness can be yours - right here. This is perfect
for me today -- my day off after a crazy academic and touring year.
I love how over-the-top he is! It's smart, funny, offensive and so
of our times. Harris is my hero of the day.

Friday, June 10, 2011

School's Out For Summer, And Now ...

Wow. Exams proctored, papers read, and grades posted. It's always a mix of ecstasy followed by a tinge of sadness. The summer stretches out before me like a sweet blue beach blanket. The only problem? It's 58 degrees in Seattle and overcast. Still, this is perfect writing weather. My House of Sky studio calls and this afternoon I plan to see if I remember how to write a poem.  The process of transitioning from  writing teacher to writer is often strange. It's a strangeness I've come to know.

This summer I hope to stay mostly in the garden and the writing studio. I have stacks of books ready to read and perhaps poems ready to write. I'll also be doing two readings and two teaching gigs. May summer last forever. Happy summer to you!

Monday, June 6, 2011

From Around the Blogosphere ~ Jeannine Hall Gailey Interviews Elizabeth Austen

Thanks to Elizabeth Austen and Jeannine Hall Gailey for this practical and smart interview. 

Elizabeth Austen is the author of the poetry collection Every Dress a Decision(Blue Begonia Press, 2010) and the chapbooks The Girl Who Goes Alone(Floating Bridge Press, 2010) and Where Currents Meet (one of four winners of the 2010 Toadlily Press chapbook award and part of the quartet Sightline). She produces poetry-related programming for KUOW 94.9 and makes her living as a communications specialist at Seattle Children’s Hospital, where she also offers retreats and journaling workshops for the staff.

Jeannine Hall Gailey: Elizabeth, you're a professional interviewer for our local Seattle NPR station, KUOW, correct? What advice do you have for poets preparing for a radio interview?

Elizabeth Austen: Though I’m called a “literary producer,” I have the luxury of focusing exclusively on poetry for KUOW. I produce a weekly poetry segment, introducing a Pacific NW poet and his or her poem. I also do occasional interviews, and have had the pleasure of talking with poets including W.S. MerwinJane HirshfieldMark DotyEavan Boland and Chris Abani.

When preparing for a radio interview, I recommend listening to an example or two of your interviewer’s program, so that you’ll have a sense of what to expect in terms of tone and approach. Does this interviewer tend to ask more about craft and process, or about the backstory of the book or individual poems? Is the interviewer looking for anecdotes and stories? Does it seem like the interviewer has actually read the book?

I recommend that you spend some time thinking about what YOU want to say about your work. Very often, the person interviewing you will not have had time to read your book, and may or may not feel confident discussing poetry. What do you want to tell listeners about how you developed the collection, your personal connection to the subject matter, why and how you write, etc? Which poems will be a good introduction to the book, especially for someone who may not usually (or ever) read poetry? You’re essentially interviewer-proofing - Click here to keep reading this interview!

Friday, June 3, 2011

This May Be the Time ...

Summer Trying Its Best Outside My Studio

Okay, so that title might be a tad overdramatic, but perhaps this really will be the day that summer begins in the northwest. These pansies still look as if they're huddled together for warmth, but they aren't giving up! Yesterday was the last day of classes at the college where I teach and today starts a one week grading frenzy. At the end of the quarter --- and I mean in the last week --- there are some students who decide to put education as their first priority and some make great strides. It's both exciting to see students really "get it" and heartbreaking that they wait until the last possible moment. Yesterday afternoon I simply talked with a student about her ideas and late last night she sent me what she'd written. Her best work of the quarter. All it took was an exchange of ideas, a probing conversation and her work took off.

So perhaps it's not summer yet given what's on my mind... I don't usually post my own poems here but I think since I am teaching "Paradise Now" and my students are writing about the film right now, I'll share this poem. Happy Friday!

Paradise Now at Highline Community College

The boys argue about the end of the movie, did the bomb detonate?
They can't agree. They try out multiple meanings for white

light, two human eyes, the break-neck speed of Said's life;
his grief. The black ash of question marks begins to rise

reluctantly about their freshman heads --- the procrastinated
fall into inquiry, so what has this to do with me?

I cry out flashback, foreshadow --- hope to teach the world
of mise-en-scene --- to watch students interrogate

their own thinking. They side so easily with the suicide
bomber; understand instinctively two best friends

toppled by geography, their familiar junkyard lives.
In class discussion my students appear almost dreamy ---

Can there be a film industry without a country? 
Intifada and Mossad lift off their tongues

with new found confidence; the glossary --- their global gun.
On which side of the checkpoint can they rely? Arab

or Israeli? The questions with new answers lead them on,
keep them fractured, shapeshift some through to another side.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The New Issue of Crab Creek Review is Out and Beautiful!

Crab Creek Review is a perfect-bound print literary journal dedicated to 
publishing the best poetry, fiction, and creative non-fiction. 
We are interested in publishing both emerging and established poets and writers. 
Over the years we have published: Naomi Shihab Nye, Rebecca Wells, William 
Stafford, Madeline DeFrees, David Guterson, Lyn Lifshin, Dorianne Laux, Marvin 
Bell, Peter Pereira, Ilya Kaminsky, David Wagoner, Kathleen Alcala, Denise 
Duhamel, Aimee Nezhukumatathil, Peggy Shumaker, William Doreski, Joshua 
Marie Wilkinson, Susan Rich, Ryan G. Van Cleave, Alison Pelegrin, Mary 
Biddinger, Frances McCue, Virgil Suarez, Nancy Pagh, Alice Fogel, Oliver 
de la Paz, Martha Silano, Jim Daniels, James Bertolino, Ciaran Berry, 
Kathleen Flenniken, Patricia Fargnoli, Sam Hamill, Tod Marshall, Joseph 
Powell, Alice Derry, Marjorie Manwaring, Joannie Kervran Stangeland, 
Molly Tenenbaum, and Kary Wayson.

2011 Vol.1 Now Available!
Order our current issue, 2011 Vol.1, 
featuring interviews with Mark Doty and Todd Davis, and our fiction 
contest winner, Hal Ackerman, and poetry contest winner, Cameron Aveson.
Cover Art: NightFall, by Ben Mann (painted in response to the disaster in 
Japan, depicting the spirit of survival in the wake of devastation: "The black 
stems honor the citizens either killed or missing. Plum Blossoms, to me, 
are iconic of Spring and therefore renewal." ~Ben Mann)

Crab Creek Review publishes two issues a year.