Saturday, December 31, 2005

New Collection from Partisan Press

In a week or two, a new and powerful collection of poetry called "Cosmic Rainbow" by Mary McAnally will be available from Partisan Press. This flat-spined publication is priced at for $14.00 (including shipping). The Poet Christopher Butters says about this collection:

"The publication of Cosmic Rainbow by Partisan Press is an event for those who have followed the growth of Mary McAnally's poetry in the small press over the last thirty years. Present are poems many of us have loved like "We Will Make a River ", "Pain Teaches Us" , "The Great Beggs, Oklahoma Bank Robbery", as well as poems in solidarity with the African revolution, poems about her beloved cardinals and swallows, poems about the forgotten street people of New York .
Side by side with these are later poems occasioned by her return to Oklahoma, her spiritual awakening and later ministership in Tulsa. Unlike the Moral Majority, however – and very much like the poets Thomas Merton, Daniel Berrigan and Ernesto Cardenal – her tango with organized religion seems to have broadened rather than narrowed her world outlook, and only deepened her wrath against the philistines and money changers of our time.
Part memoir, part selected poems, Cosmic Rainbow gives witness to one extraordinary woman's search for truth, meaning and solidarity amid an American landscape ravaged by institutionalized exploitation, sexism and racism. Part conversation with the dead, part conversation with future generations, the later poems encourage us all to explore the " thin places" -- that unitary reality that McAnally's beloved Irish seers, magicians and prophets have long claimed lies within each of us -- even as we rededicate ourselves to the struggle for social justice in our time."

This book is an inspiring "must have" for those of us struggling daily against the odds for a just society and a life changing read for those new to the idea that a better world is possible.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Book by a BCR contributor

Greetings. On my blog I've written a short review of The Keepsake Storm, book of poems by Gina Franco (published by University of Arizona Press), who has a poem in the Autumn 2005 Blue Collar Review. I recommend the book. The review is here if you care to take a look.

And, while I'm here, check out the article Covered in Oil in the November 16, 2005 issue of Pulse of the Twin Cities (weekly paper published in Minneapolis). The article, by the paper's publisher Ed Felien, gives an insightful history of the Bush family oil business, and takes a close-up look at the family's business dealings with the Nazi government of Germany during the 1930's and 1940's. See also the brief sidebar item to the article, a short personal recollection of Prescott Bush (G.W.'s grandpa) by a man who once worked at an elite club P. Bush belonged to.

Thanks. -- Salud.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Autumn Issue Editorial

The poets in this collection have had it with the superficial mass culture that decorates the juggernaut of empire. The poets in this issue are tired of living with degrading work and the dread of layoffs, bad leases, crushing debt, and the erosion of any illusions of security.

These are the well honed words of the overtime slaves and the out of work, the fixed-income poor and those falling through the canyon-like cracks left in the wake of decades of crooked politics and cynical cutbacks in social spending.
These are the voices on the periphery. Those of us desperately clinging to the crumbling edges of destitution, of sanity; forced from job to job, from house to apartment to street in the trail of tears on which or class is driven for the enrichment or others.

These are the voices of horror and rage at the lies and murderous crimes of torture and needless war perpetuated in our name.

These are the trenchant words of a society at the breaking point. Just as the dying glory of Autumn marks the end of one season and the beginning of another, the rising rage reflected in this issue is indicative of the collapse of a misguided and criminal power which can be even more dangerous in its dying throes.

This is a perilous and historically significant time as our politcal system and our ecology reach a tipping point. The poetry in this issue does not occur in a vacuum. Even here in the conservative bastion of Virginia there is a marked increase in political activism as mainstream citizens look for answers and for a rational alternative to the insanity of a corporate dictatorship out of control.

We believe that people act out of our culture and its vision. It has never been as important to support progressive culture and to bring our vision to fruition through active participation in organizing and working for progress in our communities.

As we begin our ninth year of publishing this journal, we are continually grateful for the input and support of you, our readers and look forward to your comments, poetry, and much needed support in the future.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Review and Editorial Rant

We get a lot of requests of book review and very few make it to the journal. I will be using this blog to post reviews and links to appropriate working class literature. Today's review is for the new book by Mike Palecek, called Looking for Bigfoot.

I am in the process of constructing the new Autumn issue of the journal and, having run into difficulties feel it's time to unload some frustration with an editorial rant. I had to pull 2 very fine poems from the issue due to the fact that the poet did not follow our simple guidelines by putting his or her name on their poetry. I usually catch this early on but at this point the poems may never be published because I don't know whose they are. I have added our Submission Guidelines to the journal web page. If you want to submit poetry, please follow the guidelines! Also, if you are published and like our journal enough to send more work, consider subscribing to support our efforts. This is a working class operation and funds to do it are always needed. 'Nuff said. Barring unforseen circumstances the next issue should be out in 2-3 weeks.