What is Black Poetry Day?
Black Poetry Day and Why It Matters
What is Black Poetry Day?
Black Poetry Day and Why It Matters
Poetry Matters Project is set to receive entires from poets for our 2017 Lit Prize. We are now using Submittables to process entries. For a complete update on entering visit http://poetrymattersproject.submittable.com/submit/51511/general-submissions.
We look forward to hearing from you. Happy 2017!
1. How did you come up with the title for your book? Cello’s Tears is an image I use in one of the poems in the collection. The cello for me is the most evocative instrument, one that when playing a melancholic tune seems to be crying. The notes the cello produces are like tears.
2. What kind of reader were you as a child? And what were your favorite childhood books?
I was a voracious reader. I loved authors such as Jules Verne (Around the World in 80 Days), Alexandre Dumas (The Three Musketeers), Baroness Orczy (Scarlet Pimpernel), James Fenimore Cooper (The Last of the Mohicans), Rudyard Kipling (The Jungle Book), Daniel Defoe (Robinson Crusoe). As a young child, I read a lot of Hungarian classics in the original; Hungarian literature is fabulously rich, with only some of it available in translation.
3. What are your current projects?
I am trying to get a trilogy of memoirs based on Cold War escapes I was involved in published. Two of these are completed and the third one still requires a lot of work. I am also working on a thriller that involves a coup d’etat in France; a first draft of this is three-quarters done. As well, another thriller―the second in a trilogy the first of which is currently being published―is in the works. I also might rework ARCTIC MELTDOWN, the e-thriller I published electronically in 2011 since much of what I envisaged in that novel is playing out today. When inspired, I also write poetry and will eventually put these together in a collection.
4. What was the last truly great book you read?
The Swerve: How the World Became Modern by Stephen Greenblatt. It teaches and at the same time thrills. It is history, literature and thriller all rolled into one. It talks about the rediscovery of one of the great epic poems of antiquity, Lucretius’ De Rerum Naturae, in the early Renaissance and how that influenced modern thought thereafter.
5. The last book that made you cry?
Thomas Snyder’s Badlands: Europe between Hitler and Stalin. It truly brings home the brutality that the peoples of the countries between Germany and Russia suffered under those two dictators.
6. List five words that you feel best describes your book.
Multi-cultural, translations, experimental, musical, pictorial.
7. If you could only bring three books to a desert island, which would you choose?
Goethe’s Faust, Lucretius’ On the Nature of Things, Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe (to get some tips)
8. Who is your favorite novelist of all time? Your favorite novelist writing today?
Graham Greene, Philip Kerr. Greene writes wonderfully, creating rich characters, dripping with suspense, evoking time and place. I love the thriller genre, particularly literary thrillers like Greene’s The Third Man. It is also my very favorite movie. Philip Kerr’s books are based on extensive research, and are a fun read with lots of intrigue; his detective character, Bernie Gunther, is brilliant. again, he evokes time and place so well that you are transported.
9. What are your literary guilty pleasures? Do you have a favorite genre?
I love thrillers, historical fiction and well-written history. Poems. Some erotica.
10. Which book might we be surprised to find on your bookshelves?
The Onion Book of Known Knowledge. I don’t know how it appeared on my shelf, but this book spoofs facts and knowledge – sort of like Monty Python or Saturday Night Live. I think it is a rare book; I haven’t seen it anywhere else.
11. What were the most influential books you read as a student?
Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species; Joseph Conrad, The Heart of Darkness; Karl Popper, The Open Society and its Enemies; James Joyce, Ulysses; D.H. Lawrence, Lady Chatterly’s Lover
12. Who or what has influenced the writing?
Some poems are influenced by the time I spent in different countries―Japan, Canada, Germany, France Hungary, USA etc. Artists such as Henry Moore, John Turner, Michelangelo, my good friend Jeremy Smith among others, musicians such as Mahler, Ravel and Schubert to name just a few, and other poets such as Bassho, Goethe and Nelligan (a French Canadian poet) have all been influencers.
13. If you could require the president to read one book, what would it be?
Arctic Meltdown (my e-thriller)―not because of the writing, but because it addresses a critical issue and is a fun read at the same time (also selfishly, beacuse if he read it and piad attention, others might as well.)
14. What kind of books do you like to read before bed?
Thrillers. Books that provide excitement / suspense and learning at the same time.
15. What’s the worst book you’ve ever read?
Fifty Shades of Gray. Boring. There is no plot to speak of, not even any good sex.
Geza Tatrallyay was born in Hungary before his family escaped the Hungarian Revolution by fleeing to Canada. After graduating from Harvard University and studying at Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar, he went on to earn a master’s degree in economics from the London School of Economics. An avid fencer, he represented Canada in the 1976 Olympic Games. Cello’s Tears, his debut poetry collection, is the culmination of his longtime fascination with poetic verse and human emotion.
J.C. Elkin is a graduate of Bates College, Southern Connecticut state University, and the Defense Language Institute. Founder of the Broadneck Writer’s Workshop, she is a Pushcart Prize nominee whose work has been recognized by Poetry Matters, The Poetry Society of New Hampshire and the Maryland Writers’ Association. An E.S.L. instructor at Anne Arundel Community College, she also works as a theater critic and singer, and makes her home on the Chesapeake Bay.
There are 325 languages spoken in the United States and over a million immigrants enrolled in federally funded English classes. Most are beginners. In this collection of poems, an ESL teacher and former expat illustrates her students’ struggles and triumphs by addressing their linguistic challenges and culture shock alongside broader social issues such as poverty, spousal abuse, religious traditions, illegal immigration, education, the role of women in other cultures, and the mental scars of war. Their stories are heart-breaking, uplifting, and tinged with unexpected humor that shines a new light on their place in America.
The book has received rave reviews from Sue Ellen Thompson and Newt Gingrich just to name a few, who found this work to be important. Below are more links on World Class:
Oh my,with all that is going on with us for Poetry Month we almost forgot to acknowledge this most important day. As always when I am short on time I refer to American Academy of Poets.
By the way, my favorite poem of all time is If by Rudyard Kipling, I alway change the end to woman, my daughter. I think she, my daughter, needs to have it shared with her today. To JCC
BY RUDYARD KIPLING
If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!
Source: A Choice of Kipling’s Verse (1943)
Ever wonder which Poets The great state of Georgia claims? Check out the history provided by Academy of American Poets. http://www.poets.org/state.php/varState/GA
We have posted our Poetry Month News letter! Want to thank Daphne Tredore for all her help with layout and editing! Newsletter 4-2-14