Archive for the ‘News’ Category


RWB Workshop Poem of the Week—July 9

July 11, 2019

Zorida Mohammed
The Spirit of the Pines Still Haunts Me

I first set eyes on the two pines
in their adolescence.
They were so robust and so ferny and green.

They kept pushing upward
at such a rapid rate
I could almost see them grow.

The two pines became part of my woodwork,
always in the background of my daily life.
They billowed out, taking up a large space
on the ground and against the sky.
They seemed determined to poke a hole
in the sky.

They kept me company
when I made my 2 a.m. pee.
Avert my eyes upward, out the bathroom window,
and there they were,
always waiting, always welcoming.

Then came the gnawing drone of saws —
saws are always droning in the neighborhood.
The sound went on for two days.
First, the pines were defrocked of all the branches.
The two giants with their fresh wounds stood
as if in the town square, denuded and ashamed.
I could bear to look no more.

When my eyes did fall on that spot in the open sky,
phantom pines appeared and melted in my eyes.


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RWB Workshop Poem of the Week—July 2

July 3, 2019


Whenever you talk about stable housing,

I think of horses, she says.

When my mother was my age,

She used to break horses on the res,

What a badass! I could do it, too, bareback.

You make friends with the horse first,

She’s cantering around, spooked,

You whisper in her ear how beautiful she is,

She with her straight hair and you with your angled,

You lean your hair against hers, and she knows.

You ask her permission to swing up on top,

Feel the rocket strength of her between your legs

Where I am strong, too, where I carry my people’s beauty.

Then you grab her by the mane

And ride, fast, through the long, green grass of the res.

And then you slow, slow until it’s logical to get down again.

Except for the horseshit, she says, I don’t think I would mind stable housing.


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RWB Workshop Poem of the Week—June 24

June 27, 2019

Susanna Lee
Trusting Detritus

My favorite log of all time had pale green lichen over almost all of it
but was basically solid and dry.
I could find it every time I scavenged for firewood behind our campsite at Stokes.
It pointed the way back.

It had fallen on level ground.
I could trust it not to fall apart or teeter when I walked the length of its spine.
It would always be a pirate’s gangplank for me when I needed one.
Bits of lichen would break off under my sneakers, but always grew back.

My kids laughed at the ridiculous notion a person could get lost in the woods,
or would come to love the peculiar way detritus gathers meaning over time.
Trusting detritus seemed like crazy talk, I guess,
easy advice to discard.


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WCW—Jim Klein—July 3

June 26, 2019

It is a special honor this July for the Gang of Five to present Jim Klein. The Godfather of the Red Wheelbarrow offers you some poetry you can’t refuse as he showcases his new book, The Preembroidered Moment

Please join us on Wednesday July 3rd, 2019, 7:00 PM at the William Carlos Williams Center, One Williams Plaza in Rutherford, NJ, to hear Jim read. 

About our feature:

Jim Klein is editor-in-chief of The Red Wheelbarrow and the moderator of The Red Wheelbarrow Workshop—Rutherford’s iconic poetry workshop that has met weekly since 2005. Jim’s poetry has been published in Beloit Poetry Journal, Berkley Poetry Review, College English, The Wormwood Review, and in numerous other publications. In 2007, Jim’s manuscript I Didn’t Know If I Was Afoot or on Horseback was a finalist in the Anthony Hecht Award Competition and in the Sawtooth Poetry Prize. Jim is the author of Blue Chevies (White Chicken Press, 2008), To Eat Is Human Digest Divine (White Chicken Press, 2010), and the chapbook, Trinis Talk Like the Birds (Errant Pigeon Press, 2011). 

Please note: We must now pay $100 per month rent for the use the Williams Center for our readings. This is in addition to the $100 per month rent the Red Wheelbarrow workshop must pay for the use of their space in the Williams Center. 

We need your help to survive and continue to hold our monthly readings. We will be asking for donations. A $5 per person donation is suggested. If we all contribute, we can pay the rent! 

You can follow everything about the Red Wheelbarrow, its events and poets at these sites:
Twitter: @RWBPoets.


Gainville Reading Series Starts 11th Year with Mary Ma and Acoustic Joe!

June 17, 2019
Mary Ma and Acoustic Joe

The Magic Circle series returns to GainVille Café Friday, June 28 as we begin our 11th year (!) of poetry and music in Rutherford. Our poetry feature will be MARY MA, author of the chapbook Windows, Mirrors. Mary is a disabled, queer, non-binary writer and educator and a member of the Red Wheelbarrow Poet’s’ poetry workshop.

Our musical guest will be guitarist ACOUSTIC APOTHECARY JOE DELGIODICE, who has played in our open many times and in the Tribe of Uncles.

Also featuring the Red Wheelbarrow Poets’ Bring-Your-A-Game open mic.
A $9 cover includes coffee/tea, dessert.

7 PM, GainVille Café
17 Ames Avenue


RWB Workshop Poem of the Week—June 4

June 8, 2019

Della Rowland
The Undertaker

If you were 22, newly married, uniformed, and ready 
to ship out with your unit but found yourself 
under a clean white sheet coughing up TB blood, 
then rehabbing with your bride at your bedside
in a slim skirt and fuck-me pumps, 
her photo in the wallet you meant to take with you to the front,
the one of her with her dark wavy hair swooped up off her forehead, 
wrapped in a snood at the nape, a gardenia behind her ear like Billie, 

you might feel the living’s guilt when three quarters 
of that bonded unit was killed right off the boat ramp.

You might think you were always lucky 
and you’d have been the heads side of that coin flip 
to see who goes and dies, or stays and lives.

You might believe, having tricked death once with TB, 
that you could stay in that good grace 
by selling life after death in your three funeral homes, 
where a body is brought to look natural again, 
where the family would pay someone to take its bones back to earth.

You might hope that the grieving living would never forget you, 
your vividly empathetic eyes, your sudden chivalrous gestures 
as if to save a swaying vase from shattering on the floor,
like when you bolted from a chair to grab a tissue
and dab a mourner’s eye with the familiarity of kin.

You might wish to hear everyone who crowded your wake 
and gravesite proclaim their love 
and recount their particular memory of your kindnesses,
as if they knew how carefully you placed their dead 
on the porcelain table with a drain at one end, 
how you patted their hands after massaging the blood out, 
preserved their modesty with a white sheet.

As if they knew you saw each car-wrecked body that came to you
as a boy from off the battlefield, 
uniform in tatters,
whose smashed-up face and bloodied hands 
must be restored.


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RWB Workshop Poem of the Week—May 28

May 30, 2019

Mary Ma
How To Stay In New Jersey

It’s a small state but there’s room.             
Make room. Bring a map to your desk
and get to work:

Run a red marker over
all the parking lots you purged in. 
Black top tucked behind  
restaurants and schools. Sometimes 
you’d stay in the driver’s seat
until you found a trash can. 
Cross out the trash cans and dumpsters 
on the main stretch of town.

Tear away the town where you were raped
and the town where your rapist lives.
Be careful with the latter or you may tear 
your own town, too.

Be gentle, the state looks smaller.

Take a pencil and circle the spaces you can

Circle every place you tried to sleep
when you couldn’t go home. Mall parking lots,
pharmacy parking lots, coffee shops, bleachers.

Erase that last one. Cross the bleachers out instead. 
They remind you of your stalker. 
Note the driveway where he jumped inside 
your moving car.

Don’t forget the Petco where your ex’s twin 
brother works. All you know is one of them
called you a whore. One of them
didn’t want you to work with other men, 
but you can’t tell them apart so assume 
both are dangerous. Go ahead and cross out Route 17.

Move your home away 
from the tear on the page 
and try again.

There are new malls here. New restaurants. New streets.
You don’t really need to use parking lots
any more.

Now look at all the state that’s left: 

You’ll fit
There’s room.


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