Poetry – The Sky and the Sea: Poetry and Prose

The Sky and the Sea: Poetry and ProseSky and the Sea
By Kevin J. Johnson
Publisher: Author House
ISBN: 978-1481766449
Published: July 2013
Pages: 70
Genre: Poetry
Formats Available For Review: kindle

The book is a small collection of poetry and short stories, many of which concern our relationship with, and understanding of the oceans and the heavens–perhaps our two greatest unknowns. Influences include, but are not limited to, The Bible, Malcolm X, Anne Sexton, and Elaine Morgan. Types of poems include the sonnet, the ode, the haiku, and the villanelle; as well as poems written in the standard ABCB rhyme scheme, and some written in no discernible form. The author graduated cum laude with a degree in history and studied English at the graduate level. This is his first book.

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Short Stories – Sarah Carlisle’s River and Other Stories

Sarah Carlisle’s River and Other StoriesSarah Carlisle's River
By Cynthia Lang
Publisher: Mill City Press
ISBN: 978-1938223372
Published: June 2012
Pages: 114
Genre: Short Stories

What defines a legacy? Is it a fortune, a factory, or a debt, a grandfather’s prized baseball card collection or a mother’s silver spoons? Sarah Carlisle’s River and Other Stories begins with a family legacy. Sarah— the author’s ancestor and mother of Gardner Colby, benefactor of Colby College—married a successful Maine shipbuilder and lived a life of wealth, even extravagance, until the war of 1812 destroyed the business and erased all traces of former fortune. “Having known what such adversity is,” Sarah wrote to a nephew who’d fallen on hard times, “I can appreciate the distress you are in.”

Through nine short stories and a cast of vibrant characters, Sarah Carlisle’s River collects legacies of all forms—not all as tangible as Sarah’s letter. Take a journey, and nothing may change hands but tickets. But now and then. . . a train ride to Texas connects two orthodox students, unmoored from competing religions. A celebrated computer geek flies to the Caribbean to help his father but finds his own future reprogrammed. The harmony of three musicians is altered for good when the trio accepts a booking at an Edinburgh nightclub.

“It’s the vocal textures: nimble sentences, sometimes buoyant, sometimes poignant, always with the sense that the momentum is the story. Cynthia Lang writes of aspiration, chagrin, fleeting contentment. . . often the equilibrium her people seek is just millimeters out of reach. . . These stories open themselves across 200 years, two continents and the Caribbean, commingling ethnicities and temperatures so deftly that we may forget we’re being edified.” — Virginia Euwer Wolff, winner of the 2001 National Book Award, Young People’s Literature for True Believer (Simon & Schuster/Atheneum)

Cynthia Lang graduated from Smith College. She was born in Newton, MA, lived in Cambridge, and currently lives in Gloucester and Tucson, AZ. She won a Vogue Prix de Paris, worked as a staff writer on Glamour, then free-lanced for Glamour, Parents, Mademoiselle, Vogue Children, and New York Times Magazine. She wrote publications for the Education Development Center, Inc. (EDC) and taught at the College of Communications, Boston University. With Jerome Kagan, she co-authored Psychology and Education: An Introduction (Harcourt Brace Jovanovich); and with Harry Levinson, Executive (Harvard University Press).

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Poetry & Stories – Stray Thoughts/Winged Words

Stray Thoughts/Winged Words
By Zakiah Sayeed
Publisher: CreateSpace
ISBN: 978-1468090109
Published: July 2012
Genre: Poetry, Stories

An autobiographical collection of poems and flash fiction exploring the author’s distinctly Indian perspective, welcoming readers to a world of raw beauty, true emotion, and sometimes painful reality.

For author Zakiah Sayeed, baring her soul to the world, releasing these intensely personal thoughts and feelings, is a freeing experience. Within these pages is solace and inspiration, happiness and sorrow, and a warm feeling of connection and shared understanding. Free verse poetry and flash fiction, it relies on stream of consciousness and ethereal connection cascading into awareness rather than preconceived rhythm and rhyme, her words true to the cadences of being, each a pulse—a reflection—that when viewed in their whole portrays a stunning breadth of emotion with resonance and beauty. Combined with prose and artfully crafted letters that provide insight into her life, her children, and her grandchildren, her fearless honesty displays for all to see the truth of her being.

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Short Story Collection – Safe Haven

Safe Haven
Author: Susan Dugan
Publisher: Karat Publishing
ISBN: 978-0983742005
Pages: 270
Published: November 2011

Safe Haven is a new collection of short stories. Each character shares a deep longing and active seeking for an elusive seeming love that will never fail them, and a sense of true meaning and purpose in an ultimately meaningless world. Their quest is our own.

Storylines include:
Awaiting news of her son gone missing during World War II, a mother recalls his childhood victory over polio.

A young woman weighs the promise of John Kennedy’s new frontier against the reality of her best friend’s breakdown.

A child searches for proof of celestial goodness while lobbying to secure a spot for her family in a neighbor’s bomb shelter.

An extramarital affair propels a suburban mother to awaken to true desire on the eve of the Apollo 11 space walk.

The end of an era and an unplanned pregnancy converge on the occasion of John Lennon’s murder.

In her wry and wrenching debut collection of linked short stories, Safe Haven, Susan Dugan inhabits the lives of three generations of American women seeking refuge from the harsh realities of their moments in time and finding it at last where they forgot to look; patiently waiting in their own backyards.

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