Archive for the ‘News’ Category

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RWB Workshop Poem of the Week—May 21

May 23, 2019

Della Rowland

Maybe It Wasn’t A Golden Retriever

I was barely old enough to drive when Mom got sick in Sarasota 
on our first vacation after she divorced Dad.
I drove a thousand miles home 
in our white Chevy Impala convertible with red seats, 
straight through, no motel, with Mom slumped against the passenger-side door 
and my younger sisters and brother in the back seat 
with the top up the whole way.
During the night a blond streak crossed in front of the headlights, 
and I felt the two bumps under the tires on my side, the driver’s side. 
I slowed down to pull over but Mom, her voice dark 
and guttural, said, “Keep driving.” 

I did. But back there was the golden retriever
who was barking at the white and red convertible 
playing the chase game it was bound to lose some day 
whose face was turned toward the on-coming headlights, 
and now it was lying on the road, maybe beside the road, dead, 
I hoped, dead instantly I hoped,
not quivering in a ditch waiting 
for its owner to wake up the next morning 
and wonder where that danged dog was.

Maybe it wasn’t a golden retriever. Maybe I was remembering 
the dog I got when I was in third grade. 
I fell asleep in the back seat of our car 
on the way home from Granny and Grandpa’s one Sunday night, 
holding the puppy, my first pet, him asleep too, 
my arm over his fat belly,
my face next to his body
that smelled like a baby. 
Dad didn’t think we should sleep with our pets 
and hooked his leash to the clothesline at night.
One morning, the puppy was gone.
“Stolen,” Dad said. 
Mom said nothing.

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Blog – http://redwheelbarrowpoets.org
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/RWBPoets
Twitter – https://twitter.com/RWBPoets

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GV—Electric Poetry & Music, Anton Yakovlev’s Book Launch—May 31

May 13, 2019

ELECTRIC POETRY AND MUSIC,
ANTON YAKOVLEV’S BOOK LAUNCH AT GAINVILLE

The Magic Circle series returns to GainVille Café Friday on May 31, celebrating the beginning of summer. ANTON YAKOVLEV will be launching his latest book of poetry, “Chronos Dines Alone.” Among his many accomplishments, Anton is the 2018 winner of the James Tate Poetry Prize. Musical feature will be THE ELECTRIC POET GATHERING with GEORGE PERENY. George will have both music and poetry on tap. 

Also featuring the Red Wheelbarrow Poets’ Bring-Your-A-Game open mic.
Hosted by the poet Mark Fogarty.

A $9 cover includes coffee/tea, dessert. 
7 PM, GainVille Café, 17 Ames Avenue, Rutherford. 
201-507-1800.

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Blog – http://redwheelbarrowpoets.org
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/RWBPoets
Twitter – https://twitter.com/RWBPoets

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RWB Workshop Poem of the Week—Apr 23

April 29, 2019

Mary Ma 
For a year, I smell like guava or whatever Dove has to offer 

My roommate hates the smell of cigarettes,
doesn’t know I smoke.

I shower between two and four times a day,
short bursts of hot water on my bones.

We talk to each other about calories
the way we read about them online.

Neither of us get our periods
and that’s all we have in common.

We agree to stop keeping food in the room,
agree that we shouldn’t eat after 7 pm.

We sleep through our alarms so thoroughly
the other girls on our floor have to shut them off.

We get drunk enough to allow ourselves to eat
and that’s the only time we eat together.

We dig our heels in until

Andy tells me she is moving out.
Her best friend is on our floor too and
Andy says it just makes sense.

She leaves the next week and I buy
a second set of sheets

for the bare twin bed.

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Blog – http://redwheelbarrowpoets.org
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/RWBPoets
Twitter – https://twitter.com/RWBPoets

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WCW—Jennifer Franklin—May 1st

April 18, 2019

Williams Readings-JFranklin-May2019.indd

For the month of May, the Gang of Five is excited to feature Jennifer Franklin, a NYC poet of exceptional talent.

Please join us on Wednesday, May 1st, 2019, 7:00 PM at the William Carlos Williams Center, One Williams Plaza in Rutherford NJ to hear Jennifer.

About our feature:

Whether ekphrasis or autobiography, Jennifer Franklin‘s hard-hitting poems make personal heartache universal through her choice of detail, imagery, and deep compassion. Her work has a hypnotic quality so breathtakingly immediate in its ability to engross the reader, one almost forgets how startlingly beautiful the visuals, the metaphors, and the language are, line after line.

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:
Blog – https://redwheelbarrowpoets.wordpress.com
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/RWBPoets
Twitter – @RWBPoets.

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RWB Workshop Poem of the Week—Apr 9

April 12, 2019

Della Rowland

Pork Pie Hats            

We are all wearing knotted neckties and porkpie hats in the photograph,
very butch.
We are in the subway.  No flash, TriX pushed to 800
like Garry Winogrand and I’m Garry taking the shot
because I’m not in it,
just Louise, in the foreground, half turned to the camera,
her cheekbones, sharp as a cattle catcher, slightly blurred,
and Catherine, in soft focus, as she always liked, the gentle lighting,
her mouth pursed in a pithy comment, looking sideways
at Erin, who is pulling down the brim of her hat
to hide a cigarette.
God, did we know how to smoke then,
how to make the most of every cigarette gesture,
when and how long to take to light one up,
to take a draw, to blow the smoke out of our mouths
or let it drift up and out the nostrils,
very French,
how to use the cinder-tipped white wand like a conductor before sex
and stand behind the swirl of smoke like in b/w movies,
like in b/w film, TriX pushed to 800 to have natural light in subways
or dim, loud clubs, light natural so you could hear the glasses clink
or the silk lining in a jacket swish.

I found Erin again, some 20 years after she lost her accounting business to coke
and married Flora, a photographer.
Louise stopped sculpting and stopped talking to Erin and Catherine
and sometimes me, for ten years once, but always to Brigit,
who wasn’t with us.
Catherine, a designer, talks to everyone.

Where were we going on the subway? Max’s Kansas City?  Jimmy Days?
A party uptown at Brigit’s?  She rented two apartments
and removed the wall between.  Were we high already?
The only time I danced after eighth grade was at Brigit’s parties.
Maybe we were going to a play? We went to a lot of plays when they were cheaper.
We saw Langella in “Dracula” and had to run out to the lobby
at intermission to smoke and stroke our necks, he was so sexy.
Did we just have to ride the Staten Island Ferry to see some horizon?
Mid-westerners need that once in a while after moving to The City.
If we were going to Chinatown, we’d have already been to a club
and we’re headed downtown for chow fun
in our thrift store jackets, knotted neckties, and porkpie hats.

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Blog – http://redwheelbarrowpoets.org
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/RWBPoets
Twitter – https://twitter.com/RWBPoets

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WCW-Lynn McGee & Kryssa Schemmerling— April 3

March 28, 2019

Williams Readings-Lynn-Kryssa-Apr2019.indd

For the month of April, the Gang of Five is excited to co-feature Lynn McGee and Kryssa Schemmerling, two NYC poets of exceptional talent.

Please join us on Wednesday, April 3, 2019, 7:00 PM at the William Carlos Williams Center, One Williams Plaza in Rutherford NJ to hear Lynn and Kryssa.

About our features:

Lynn McGee‘s latest book Tracks (Broadstone Books, 2019) draws on observations along her daily commute on the New York City subways, and she captures both the urban landscape and her fellow riders with great sensitivity. Most importantly, it speaks of the tracks we leave in one another’s lives in moving poems about her sister whose memory haunts her commutes. These are poems of passage, through space and time, light and dark, through life and beyond it, and McGee exhorts us to breathe in each moment along the way.

Kryssa Schemmerling‘s collection Iris In (Broadstone Books, 2016) is inspired by her memories growing up in California in a place where the boundaries between film and real life were truly blurred, personal history and Hollywood history bound inextricably together. Schemmerling retains her childhood sense of wonder and joins it with an encyclopedic knowledge of the cinema. The result are poems that capture the reader, as mesmerizing as the images flickering on the screen in a darkened theatre. You can almost smell the popcorn.

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:
Blog – https://redwheelbarrowpoets.wordpress.com
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/RWBPoets
Twitter – @RWBPoets.

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RWB Workshop Poem of the Week—Mar 19

March 28, 2019

Bobbie O’Connor

Maywood Memories

It wasn’t illegal to burn leaves
or have open fires, back then.

Every once in a while,
we’d rake up a huge pile of leaves
from our big oak trees on Fairmount Ave.

We’d bring them
to the end of the dirt driveway,
on the Coles Street side:
no sidewalks there.

The grownups would light the leaves
for a big bonfire.
It was usually early evening.

The neighborhood kids
would begin congregating there.

Soon, a few of the moms
would appear with lawn chairs,
one or two with a cup of coffee.
A couple of dads would meander over.

Someone would show up with a few hotdogs,
and some would bring marshmallows.

Quite a few would disappear
and be back shortly with a couple of potatoes,
which they’d stuff into the leaves
around the base of the fire, to bake.

The grownups would sit around,
talking a little.
We kids would hang around,
poking the leaves with sticks,
listening to the grownups talk.

Every so often, an acorn would pop.

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Blog – http://redwheelbarrowpoets.org
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/RWBPoets
Twitter – https://twitter.com/RWBPoets