Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Photos from the Marick Press Mini-literary festival's Friday night readings

Marick Press Authors, from left to right: Peter Conners, David Matlin, Derick Burleson, Sean Thomas (poolhall junkie) Dougherty, Susan Kelly-DeWitt and Jim Schley

Peter Conners reads from his new book, Emily Ate the Wind, against a backdrop of “urban art”

The words from Sean Thomas Dougherty’s new book, The Blue City, seem to flow through his fingers into his chest and out his mouth.

Marick Press authors chat under blushing green trees outside the Grosse Pointe Artists Center

Derick Burleson reads from Never Night, his new book shiny in the foreground.

With his new book As When, In Season in hand, Jim Schley tells us where he’s coming from.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Marick Press Mini-Literary Festival and Book Launch a Tremendous Success

It began Friday, May 2, a soggy spring evening saw writers from Alaska to Vermont gathered at the Grosse Pointe Arts Center to read for a captivated crowd. Friends old and new loitered on Kercheval Street. Wine was consumed. A palpable energy coursed through and outside the building and one and all were touched with the wonder of the event.

The next morning, fortified by a table full of snacks and a couple gallons of coffee, the authors dug in to a series of workshops. Topics covered: flash fiction, the craft of emotion, the metaphor as alchemy, reading poems from around the world, poetry writing: the poet as camera, the grammar of metaphor and making poems with the inner child. There was an amazing amount of knowledge being tossed about the room and the young poets in attendance drank it all in.

The clouds broke and the sun shone on the Tompkins Community Center at Windmill Pointe Park Sunday. Tables were lined with food, books and Marick Press authors. Ribbons were cut, poems read, music played and books signed. What started as a perfect day unfolded a perfect day.

Thanks to the Marick Press authors and staff. And a special thanks to all of you that came out for readings, participated in the workshops and helped to launch our five new titles. Your support is invaluable.

Check this blog frequently. We’ll be bringing out many photos and videos captured throughout the weekend.

And please, post your comments here. Let us know how you felt about the mini-festival.

Review of Peter Conners, Emily Ate the Wind in the Brooklyn Rail

...each short prose piece seems to speak in its own language, each gives a view of its subject as seen from blindingly close range, and since many of the stories read at first as departures from the main narrative, the expanding implications revealed on a subsequent pass form a wide wholeness that books twice its length rarely achieve.

Read all of John Colasacco's review of Emily Ate the Wind in the Brooklyn Rail

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Robert Lipton: A Complex Bravery

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Chafing, raw, reddened skin
from fiction the man tells me
all chicken fried and coated with sun.
I’m surrounded by him
like the atmosphere of a dying planet.
He was here before mathematics
before the first winter collecting
so many layers of blue
or before a brother had large teeth
enough to kill his twin.
I had little on offer
simply considered splitting the Pringles
and Slurpees, too shell-shocked to talk
or to feed my child the last little dollup
of Gerber’s yams.
The man was all sepulchral
as he described a war drenched in red sunsets
a “blood red that is not blood”
or of the mountain of three goddesses
sans goddesses.
He shakes his head as my child screams
Do you charge for that baby?
he winks, the baby starting to hum
not like an opera singer
but like a washing machine
something to calm the parents.
Even after all this
there is a singing about paradise.

Buy the book

“This is the book of childhood, love and war. Lipton’s poems are a gang that takes no prisoners: his voice is direct, his tone is clear, his diction is ironic — but his irony is earned and felt-through. The manuscript is a book of elegies that refuse to go mourning without at least a little bit of protest. Whatever his loss is, Lipton’s voice’s always quirky and alive, always ready to report the world straight to us, without patronizing, for “this battle is parent by parent / and I have homework to do.”
—Ilya Kaminsky, author of Dancing in Odessa and Musica Humana

Robert Lipton is the author of Bearing Witness in the Promised Land. In: Live from Palestine (South End Press). His stories and poems have appeared in a wide range of literary journals, both on and offline, including Echo 681, Interbang, Jacaranda Review, Squaw Valley Review, King Log, Shades of Contradiction, The Texas Observer and Parthenon West. He has received grants from Berkeley Community Arts and Alameda Community Arts Programs, was for seven years poetry workshop leader at Berkeley Art Center.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Festival of New European film and writing at Oakland University May 9-10, 2008

Oakland University and Absinthe: New European Writing will host a festival of new European film and writing at Oakland University in Rochester on May 9-10th, 2008. All festival events are free and open to the public.

The festival will commence on Friday evening, May 9, with a presentation of short films from Europe by the Ann Arbor Film Festival, readings by the poets Eamonn Wall and Valzhyna Mort, and a silent auction to benefit the festival. Desserts and drinks will be provided, and door prizes will be raffled off throughout the evening. In addition, the first 100 guests will receive a free copy of the current issue of Absinthe: New European Writing.

Eamonn Wall was born in Enniscorthy, County Wexford, Ireland. His poetry has been published widely in Ireland and in the U.S. His books include Dyckman-200th Street, (Salmon, 1993), Iron Mountain Road (Salmon, 1997), and The Crosses (Salmon, 2001).

Valzyhna Mort was born Valzhyna Martynava in 1981 in Minsk, Belarus. She will read from her recently published collection Factory of Tears.

On Saturday, May 10, from 10:00 am until 10:00 pm, the festival will screen three award-winning European feature films, along with readings by the Detroit-area translators Keith Taylor, Marilynn Rashid, and Doris Runey, and Polish poet Piotr Sommers with Chicago-based translator Bill Martin. The films will be preceded by a selection of short films by Oakland University students.

10:00 AM--A screening of the German film Yella-a metaphysical thriller crafted by acclaimed writer-director Christian Petzold. The title role is played by Nina Hoss, who was awarded the 2007 Berlin Film Festival's Silver Bear for her performance.

12:30-1:00--Lunch will be provided for festival attendees

1:00 PM--A reading by the Detroit-area writers and translators Doris Runey, Keith Taylor, and Marilynn Rashid.

2:00 PM--A screening of the Romanian film The Way I Spent the End of the World-this film appeared at several film festivals, including the Toronto International Film Festival, the Berlin International Film Festival, and the Cannes Film Festival.

4:30 PM--A reading by Polish poet Piotr Sommer and translator Bill Martin

Piotr Sommer is a poet and translator of contemporary English-language poetry, including the work of Frank O'Hara, John Ashbery, Robert Lowell, and many others. He has published several dozen books of poetry, literary criticism.

7:00 PM--A screening of the Russian film The Island-this film was shown at several film festivals, including the Toronto International Film Festival, the Venice International Film Festival, the Sundance Film Festival, and the London Film Festival, and was awarded five major Nika Awards (Russian Oscars).

Presentation of The Island is generously underwritten by the Council of Orthodox Christian Churches of Metropolitan Detroit (COCC)-Promoting Orthodox Christianity since 1957.

The Oakland University/Absinthe Festival of New European Film and Writing is supported by the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs and Oakland County Arts & Culture.

Additional information, including the full festival schedule is available at www.absinthenew.com/pages/OUConference.html or by contacting Dwayne D. Hayes, editor of Absinthe: New European Writing at dhayes@absinthenew.com.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Poet's Follies

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Browsing the images of "Urban Edge"
at the Grosse Pointe Art Center

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Abdul Punnayurkulam talks about his
short story "Dedication"

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Marick Press publisher, Mariela Griffor,
reads from her latest book House

May 3rd Marick Press Author Workshops 50% off for students

Date: Saturday, May 3, 2008
Time: 8:00-8:45 registration with coffee & bagels.
Location: Grosse Pointe Artists Association
15001 Kercheval Avenue, Grosse Pointe Park, MI 48230
Admission: Individual workshops are $100.00 each.
$150.00 includes all workshops, buffet lunch and refreshments.


o 9am-11am Peter Conners: Flash Fiction: How & Why to Shrink your Story

o 11am-Noon Katie Ford : The Craft of Emotion

o Noon-1pm G.C. Waldrep: The Metaphor as Alchemy

o 1pm-2 pm Ilya Kaminsky: Reading Poems from Around the World

o 2pm-3pm Susan Kelly-DeWitt: Poetry Writing: The Poet as Camera

o 3pm-4pm Sean Thomas Dougherty: The Grammar of Metaphor

o 4pm-5pm Derick Burleson: Trailing Clouds of Glory: Making Poems with the Inner Child

To pre-register contact Mariela Griffor at mgriffor@marickpress.com, or Ryan Kelly at rkelly@marickpress.com. Or call (313) 407-9236. Registration for any workshop is available throughout the Festival.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Jim Schley: As When, In Season

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Some cartographer’s error
and we squandered days,
a river on the map now swamp:
glacial fissures drained to marsh,
so a channel angled south goes east then north,
to halt canoes at a beavers’ dam, trunks big as cabin logs.
Millions of droplets per cubic inch, and brief efflorescence
in stalks, leaves and lacy ferns already by August
curling for an onslaught of snow. Head-high grass
spread by prows keeps no trail of keel, paddle blade or feet
as flies toil and bite, as boots spew rot from muddy sockets.
Redwings creak on cattails like farcical guides.
Bullfrogs thrum directions only a blackbird could decipher.
Who are you to the herons, to the beavers felling trees?
Who cares for you? say the barred owls,
as soft to disappear as puffs of mist.
How far to your vanishing point?

Our lives became things,
callused joints and scarlet knees,
with hair tied back to tumble behind. Six of us,
strangers since, a rank and cantankerous crew.
On day three we crossed a flowage in porridge-thick fog,
tracking island to island by compass
with twelve-foot visibility encircling each boat.
Near noon a bush plane, then growling saws.
The village on Red Lake. But remember

how the land made its own way, with no one there

Buy the book

“I like these poems immensely. What Schley has done is to reinvent the ode, especially in the nine poems for the muses. Prosodically he’s discovered an odic tone, grave but graceful, imaginatively objective. It’s extremely effective, and it tokens a very large degree of literary depth and experience.” —Hayden Carruth

Jim Schley grew up in Wisconsin and moved to New England in 1975 to attend Dartmouth College, where he majored in Literature & Creative Writing and Native American Studies. In 1986 he earned an MFA in Poetry from Warren Wilson College. He has been co-editor of the literary quarterly New England Review, production editor for University Press of New England, and editor-in-chief of Chelsea Green Publishing Company and has edited more than a hundred books on a wide variety of subjects, including poetry and fiction, literary essays, history, art, Native American culture, organic farming and gardening, solar and wind energy, and natural architecture and building techniques. He has also been very active as a teacher with Community College of Vermont and the Vermont Humanities Council. A frequent performer with experimental theatre ensembles, including Signal & Noise and FLOCK Dance Troupe, he has toured internationally with Bread & Puppet Theater and the Swiss movement-theater company Les Montreurs d’Images. Jim’s poems have been featured in Best American Spiritual Writing, on Garrison Keillor’s radio program The Writer’s Almanac, and in Keillor’s companion book Good Poems, as well as in a poetry chapbook, One Another (Chapiteau, 1999; chapiteau.org), which Christopher Merrill called “the most beautiful book of poems I've ever seen.” He’s an associate of the journalists' collective Homelands Research Group (homelands.org) and is now executive director of The Frost Place (frostplace.org), a museum and poetry education center based at Robert Frost's historic homestead in Franconia, N.H. Jim Schley lives with his wife Rebecca Bailey and their daughter Lillian in a home they built themselves as part of an off-the-grid, multi-family cooperative in central Vermont.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Robert Fanning: The Seed Thieves

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Green Stephania

A full wood, wet bark
shower, the fresh drenched
trees, the leaves lush heavy,
so consequently, Stephania.

Stephania, curled finger ferns
unfurl and burst. Loose spores
string through mist and nestle.
Moss tufts rub.
Rain-slapped leaves, Stephania,
spring and drip on our deep
sogged glade, our soaked sunk roots.

Me and Stephania.
In a hiding place our slick lips sore
from pressing together.
Stephania, seaweed breath,
burrs in your tangling curls,
soiled nails and knees, giggling.
Eden, Stephania. The smell of dirt.
I never want to leave the world.

Through the streaming wash
of rain, through the windows
and pale curtains, our mothers ache.
Their bedrooms flicker with blue TV.
Scent of biscuits, chimney smoke, tea.
Our fathers cup their hands
against the cold glass panes
and look out.

It’s dusk, Stephania.
No one knows where we are.

Buy the book

“Passionate and accomplished — this poet’s ear is beautifully tuned — The Seed Thieves is an urgent, nervous, tender, and brilliant first book. Read it for joy!”
—Tomas Lux, author of The Street of Clocks and The Cradle Place

In addition to The Seed Thieves, Robert Fanning is the author of Old Bright Wheel, winner of the Ledge Press Poetry Chapbook Award. A graduate of the University of Michigan and Sarah Lawrence College, his writing awards include a Creative Artist Grant from ArtServe Michigan, the Inkwell Poetry Award, and the Foley Poetry Award. His work has also been published in Poetry, Ploughshares, The Atlanta Review, The Hawaii Review, America, The Ledge, and Artword Quarterly. He is the Program Director of the InsideOut Literary Arts Project, which brings professional writers into the classrooms of the Detroit Public Schools. He is a resident of Ferndale.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Russell Thorburn: Father, Tell Me I Have Not Aged

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Ambassador Bridge

We wanted to set the world right
on the Ambassador Bridge, returning
over a mile of steel to the American side.
We wanted the presence of the earth, the river
below lazy in its blueness like a sleepwalker
raising his hands to this mystery.
We looked down and knew goodness
with my lover’s baby in her arms,
and our friend innocent enough
to be a teenager. We were stopped
coming back to Detroit from Windsor,
our trunk searched, revealing dirty
laundry, a bag of detergent the officer
thought was drugs. We laughed
until he wanted to know our age.
Show me your ID photo, anything
to tell us why you are so young.
And for a moment we held our breath
prisoners of paranoia, naïve and lost.
And she was our runaway friend,
or so the Canadian thought.
Oh, to be that young again, as if one
of us were a runaway teenager,
and we, perhaps, kidnappers –
and with the baby in her arms, my lover,
her eyes heaven and looking
to be one and good with the world
from our excursion to Windsor
and the art museum. Our communion
with paintings and the sea gulls later,
with their tilted wings, forming a narrative.
And the Canadian officer
checking ID photos, his jaw sticking out
like a Maple Leaf flag, not letting us go.
Oh hosanna of his hands – and the river
in its blue painting, sun speckled,
a nameless feeling of having been
already painted by a crazy man,
soulful in the way of Van Gogh,
trying to make the world turn good.

Buy the book

A memoir in poetry drawing upon childhood, love and loss, with a french turn to film, especially Truffaut, in explaining the human spirit.
Russell Thorburn’s Father, Tell Me I Have Not Aged is as sure-footed and persuasive a poetry collection as I have come across in a long time. To say it both devastates and delights with its insights is simply to acknowledge the book’s depth and accuracy of emotion, its abiding humanity, and its vigorous pursuit of linguistic exuberance. I was not only moved by what I encountered in these poems, I was compelled. This is poetry of the first order. – Jack Driscoll

Read the Metro Times review

Russell Thorburn is the author of Approximate Desire (New Issues Poetry, 1999). His poems have appeared in a wide range of literary journals both on and off line, including Briar Cliff Review, Full Circle Journal, LitRag, Parting Gifts, Passages North, Poet Lore, Praire Schooner, Puerto del Sol, The Quarterly, Quarterly West, Sou'wester, Third Coast, Willow Springs and Witness. He has received a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship and has been awarded creative artist grants from the State of Michigan. Since 2000 he has been teaching poetry in Upper Peninsula schools through Michigan Council of Arts and Cultural Affairs. He has taught college classes at Marquette Branch Prison and Northern Michigan University. He is editor of numerous poetry books. He lives in Marquette, Michigan, with his wife, Emily, and three sons, Gabriel, Christopher and Michael.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

April is National Poetry Month

30 ways to celebrate National Poetry Month.

National Poetry Month was established by the Academy of American Poets as a month-long, national celebration of poetry. The concept was to increase the attention paid-by individuals and the media—to the art of poetry, to living poets, to our poetic heritage, and to poetry books and magazines. In the end, we hoped to achieve an increase in the visibility, presence, and accessibility of poetry in our culture. National Poetry Month has been successful beyond all anticipation and has grown over the years into the largest literary celebration in the world.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Coming soon: fiction editor Peter Markus' new novel, Bob, or Man on Boat

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"Markus has a remarkable ability to strip life down to its basics, to the point where the metaphors we manufacture as the looking-glass for our existence end up standing in for existence itself. Fish, mud, night and river come to stand in place of family connections as fathers and sons, by giving themselves to fishing, give themselves over to a lone search and to loss.”
—Brian Evenson

"With spare but magical language, Peter Markus weaves a tale with the currents of a river, a family saga that spins through both the depths and the shallows. In Bob, or Man on Boat, recollections rise from the muddy river bed to be illuminated by starshine on the surface, only to be lost once more in the river mists that mingle with the wind-scattered ashes of a dead man, and finally, to sink again to the bottom. Like the voice of the narrator, Markus uses words that “skip across the surface like a stone”, but take the reader to the depths of longing and loss, myth and memory."
—Pamela Ryder

Buy the book

Peter Markus is the Marick Press fiction editor and author of three short books of short-short fiction, Good, Brother (AWOL Press/reissued by Calamari Press), The Moon is a Lighthouse (New Michigan Press), and The Singing Fish (Calamari Press). His work has been published in a number of anthologies, including New Sudden Fiction (Norton), Fiction Gallery (Bloomsbury), Sudden Stories (Mammoth Books), and PP/FF: An Anthology (Starcherone Books). His stories have appeared widely in such journals as Black Warrior Review, Chicago Review, Massachusetts Review, Northwest Review, New Orleans Review, Quarterly West, 3rd Bed, Denver Quarterly, Third Coast, Willow Springs, Seattle Review, Post Road, New York Tyrant, Sleeping Fish, Verse, Another Chicago Magazine, Unsaid, Dislocate, among many others. He lives in Trenton, Michigan, with his wife and two kids and is the Senior Writer with the InsideOut Literary Arts Project of Detroit.

Ancestral Radio, Book Review by Heather A. McMacken

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Listen. There are poets…and then there are poets.

Ancestral Radio was written by a poet.

His name is Edward Haworth Hoeppner, longtime English Professor at Oakland University, whose first book of poems, Rain Through High Windows, published by New Issues Press in 2000, was a gorgeous and intuitive collection.

Aptly titled, Ancestral Radio is about family. The word radio suggests a frequency, a channel to impart the observations of one particularly awake man.

Ancestral Radio’s broken into four parts. The first contains the autumn season. These are poems of frustration and melancholy chaos; about problems like alcoholism and vacations gone sour. The setting is either far away in actuality (Italy) or in the mind. The speaker is lost, agitated. In “East Dakota,” the complaint:

There are too many stars
on the prairie tonight.
They are too much here
and there is nowhere else
to turn.

The second section is not a season, but a location: the past. It faces backward—staring intensely at deaths and endings. At this point, memory is either vacant or a traitor. “Private Property” summarizes the lifecycle in this bone-chilling way:

You go off like a flash-bulb,
and people rub their eyes.

Poems in part three deal with winter: this dry, white ship, slow cage (70).
There’s frostbite, snowdrifts, sickness, and talk of how Michigan winters suck:

…brain’s not propped up
well enough to handle being shoved inside a box
and left for long

The most enjoyable section is the last—it’s spring! Here Hoeppner fulfills our need for a happy resolution, for transforming grief to joy. The setting for most are near Minnesota, his birthplace. The last word of the book is home, signifying serenity.

Notice Hoeppner’s descriptional mastery in “Early Spring:”

…for this season made from small
bells, in which you step once more
across the planks, to a bobbing edge,
spread your hands as if to float
straight from out your clothing.

As a whole, Ancestral Radio’s mostly sober, with glints of hilarity. The speaker appears consistent, autobiographical, and incredibly honest. All the indecision, flimsy, and misperceptions of this person are center stage.

The book reflects the contradictions, inaccuracies of the mind. Quite often the speaker will say how something is, and then immediately say that it isn’t. There’s also a riot of double (even triple!) negatives. What impresses most, though, is the poet’s clear appreciation of the intricacies of systems: systems of thought, systems of nature, the systems governing human relationships and time.

This universe, all flecked
by things that move so quickly they are partly gone
when they arrive

Edward Haworth Hoeppner cannot be called a simple poet. He is not an Alice Walker or a Billy Collins. Ancestral Radio asks patience. It calls for meditation, for time to fight the bafflement. This book reminds me so much of Hoeppner’s biggest influence, John Ashbery. It requires readers to do as they do with Ashbery’s poems: to let go. To process with something more than brain.


Buy the book

Heather A. McMacken has worked with Marick Press on various editorial assignments. She received her B.A. in English from Oakland University. She writes about art and culture for Detroit’s Metro Times, Real Detroit Weekly and Gazette van Detroi. Her poems have appeared in Oakland County Beat, The Fairfield Review, thedetroiter.com, 3rd Muse Poetry Journal, nthposition.com, Slow Trains, Autism Advocate, and elsewhere. She is a recipient of a Liberal Arts Network for Development (LAND) poetry prize.

Contact Heather at hmcmacken@gmail.com.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Two extraordinary chapbooks from Marick Press

Storm, Katie Ford


I held the chambered gun
and clicked its emptiness against the crows

let them fly inside me even as they fell
back into the saplings of thin woods

for when there is no storm
there is this stormed body

to keep alive in its solitary room
outside of which the snow is falling

One of us at a time.

Buy the book

Listen to the University of Iowa podcast, Katie Ford: “Ghost Forms: Using Traditional Form in Free Verse

Katie Ford is the author of Deposition (2002) and Colosseum (Graywolf Press, 2008).Her poems have appeared in the American Poetry Review, Ploughshares, Partisan Review, Seneca Review, Poets & Writers, American Literary Review and Pleiades.

The Catfish, Franz Wright


I saw the blind student crying
on the steps to my Beacon
Street classroom that darkly
bright day in late October –
the next thing I knew
I was sitting beside her
and asking if she might like to
talk about it.
she replied. “Thanks.”
This was said with great kindness and tact
as if in answer to a child
who offered her his sucker.
“Save your pity for yourself,”
wrote Heine in his obituary
on his friend Gérard de Nerval.
“Do you have the faintest clue
what may well one day happen to you?”

Buy the book

Read a review at The Miracle Blog, Chanticleer.

Franz Wright is the author of fourteen collections of poetry. Walking to Martha's Vineyard (Knopf 2003) was awarded the Pulitzer Prize. His newest collections, GodÕs Silence, and Earlier Poems were published by Knopf in, 2006 & 2007. WrightÕs other books include The Beforelife (2001), Ill Lit: New and Selected Poems (1998), Rorschach Test (1995), The Night World and the Word Night (1993), and Midnight Postscript (1993). Mr. Wright has also translated poems by Renz Char, Erica Pedretti, and Rainer Maria Rilke. He has received the PEN/Voelcker Award for Poetry, as well as grants and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Whiting Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Wright has taught in many colleges and universities, including Emerson College and the University of Arkansas. He is currently the writer-in-residence at Brandeis. He has also worked in a mental health clinic in Lexington, Massachusetts, and as a volunteer at the Center for Grieving Children.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Ilya Kaminsky in the San Diego Weekly Reader

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Marick Press poetry editor gets some well-deserved press.
Read the story

Marick Press writer workshops May 3, 2008

Date: Saturday, May 3, 2008
Time: 8:00-8:45 registration with coffee & bagels.
Location: Grosse Pointe Artists Association
15001 Kercheval Avenue, Grosse Pointe Park, MI 48230
Admission: Individual workshops are $100.00 each.
$150.00 includes all workshops, buffet lunch and refreshments.


o 9am-11am Peter Conners: Flash Fiction: How & Why to Shrink your Story

o 11am-Noon Katie Ford : The Craft of Emotion

o Noon-1pm G.C. Waldrep: The Metaphor as Alchemy

o 1pm-2 pm Ilya Kaminsky: Reading Poems from Around the World

o 2pm-3pm Susan Kelly-DeWitt: Poetry Writing: The Poet as Camera

o 3pm-4pm Sean Thomas Dougherty: The Grammar of Metaphor

o 4pm-5pm Derick Burleson: Trailing Clouds of Glory: Making Poems with the Inner Child

To pre-register contact Mariela Griffor at mgriffor@marickpress.com, or Ryan Kelly at rkelly@marickpress.com, by April 25, 2008. Or call (313) 407-9236. Registration for any workshop is available throughout the Festival.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Emily Ate the Wind, Peter Conners

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Emily in the Hallway

There are no night-lights here, but the shades are up on all the windows and the anemic moon bleeds into the hallway. Little feet. The lime green carpet is scratchy and stiff and a few forlorn pictures hang on the wall. Emily pauses to look up at one – a man with unbelievably sad eyes and a ring of sharp wood encircling his forehead. Yawns. Blue light flickers through the stairway railing slats illuminating the green carpet where the pale moonlight gives way. Emily presses her face between two slats. Fits all the way up to her ears. Puffy emerald eyes sweep across the den. No one. On the television a man with three distinct sections of strawberry blonde hair allows a grin to spread with immaculate, slow control across his face until it seems to protrude past his cheeks. Applause. Drum Roll. Laughter. The strawberry blonde man steps back, steps forward, fans his arms out to either side and then swings two karate chops down in front of him. Emily lays her head down on the carpet, drowsily watching the man. Her knees creep closer to her chest. Her thumb finds her mouth. Her little toes curl, release. Her little toes curl, release.

Copyright © 2005-2008 Marick Press All Rights Reserved

Buy the book

"Sparks of brilliant images light up the compressed worlds Peter Conners creates with words. Music is made with whispers and curses, belches and laughter, pronouncements and asides and sly retorts. Startling lists transform into unsettling truths. The performances in Emily Ate the Wind are dazzling."

—Joanna Scott

Peter Conners is editor of PP/FF: An Anthology (Starcherone Books, 2006), founding co-editor of the literary journal, Double Room, and a contributing editor to Del Sol Review. His third collection of poetry and prose, Of Whiskey and Winter, is forthcoming from White Pine Press. His poetry and prose appear in such journals as Mississippi Review, Fiction International, American Book Review, Salt Hill, and, in several anthologies. He lives in Rochester, NY where he works as Editor/Marketing Director for the literary publisher BOA Editions.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Never Night, Derick Burleson

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He stands beside his father on the Gleaner
gripping the metal rail tight in both hands
staring down into the sun blur of sickle,
clouds of dust and straw and chaff blown behind,
and all the way to the horizon, to the curve
of round earth across the plain, nothing but wheat
and a cloud of dust for each combine cutting.
When wheat fills the machine, his father starts
the auger and a stream of gold pours into
the truck, where he is not allowed to play
since nearly every year a boy falls asleep
in the sun on that pile of gold smelling
of bread in the heat of late June and is
buried alive by his father under
the grain we in those parts of Oklahoma
all lived to raise from red soil. Thirteen hours
the sun spun across the unbroken blue sky,
thirteen hours we and the Gleaner gleaned
until moon rose and dew fell too heavy
down and wet the ripe wheat, and the silence
in that absence of machine was an abyss
only crickets could understand. I see the boy
there on that machine, the sure hands of his father
on the wheel, on the levers that sped or
slowed, raised or lowered to keep the wheat feeding
evenly in. How the boy stares down into
that spin of bright hot steel, of well-oiled blade
against steel cutter bar, the auger whirling,
a steel cylinder pulling fate and will together
where steel fingers grab grain and chaff and straw,
above it all into the metal monster’s
ravenous maw. I watch the boy hold tight
and I hope he will not fall.

Copyright © 2005-2008 Marick Press All Rights Reserved

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"Derick Burleson has given us a far northern book of invitations ("You'd like it here where/it's never night"), which shines with a radiant spirit. It is a work of soul-making." – Edward Hirsch

Derick Burleson's first book, Ejo: Poems, Rwanda 1991-94 won the Felix Pollak Prize in Poetry. His poems have appeared in The Georgia Review, The Kenyon Review, The Paris Review and Poetry, among other journals. A recipient of a 1999 National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Poetry, Burleson teaches in the MFA program in Creative Writing at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks.

Letter from the publisher

Dear Friends of Marick Press,

Hi, this is Marick Press again, with information about our new releases and workshops. This year we launch our new titles at ‘Mini-Literary Festival 2008’, with a reading on Friday May 2, workshops on Saturday May 3 and the 2008 Launch on Sunday May 4. The 2008 Launch will be held at 2pm at the Tompkins Center in beautiful Windmill Pointe Park in Grosse Pointe Park, on Lake St. Claire. Read the press release for more detailed information about these three days.

This year, we look forward to an exciting event. Some of the most promising poets of our generation will be traveling to be with us here, to hold workshops for the first Marick Press Mini-Literary Festival. The Festival workshops will take be held on Saturday, May 3 at the Grosse Pointe Artists Association, located at 15001 Kercheval, Grosse Pointe Park, 48230, from 9 AM to 5PM.

Our masterful authors will be sharing their skills and insights on a diverse variety of subjects dear to writing, both in poetry and fiction. Susan Kelly-Dewitt, the author of six chapbooks, will hold a workshop on "Poetry Writing: The Poet as Camera." Peter Conners is a poet and fiction writer. He is an editor and marketing director for BOA Editions, Ltd. He will instruct "Flash Fiction: How (and Why) To Shrink Your Story." Ilya Kaminsky teaching at San Diego University is the author of Dancing in Odessa (Tupelo Press, 2004), which won numerous awards. Ilya will lead "Reading Poems from Around the World." G.C. Waldrep holds an MFA from the University of Iowa and is currently a visiting professor at Kenyon College. His poetry workshop "The Metaphor as Alchemy" will be enlightening. Katie Ford is the poetry editor of the New Orleans Review whose work has been widely published in journals such as the American Poetry Review and Ploughshares. Ford’s class will be "The Craft of Emotion." Sean Thomas Dougherty is the author of nine books, and is known for his captivating performances. He will teach "The Grammar of Metaphor." Lastly, Derick Burleson from Alaska. In 1999, he received the National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Poetry. This year Burleson will bring us "Trailing Clouds of Glory: Making Poems with the Inner Child."

The community will benefit by participating in this landmark event. The description of the workshops and the registration form for the program are available for download here. If you have any questions, please contact our Marick office at (313) 407-9236, or email us at minifestival2008@marickpress.com or at mgriffor@marickpress.com. Staff and writers are available for interviews and questions.

With gratitude,

Mariela Griffor, Publisher
Marick Press
P.O. Box 36253
Grosse Pointe Farms, MI 48236
Phone (313) 407-9236
E-mail: mgriffor@marickpress.com

Friday, March 7, 2008

The Blue City, Sean Thomas Dougherty


This is the city three regimes deep. More than the psychopath, the criminal, the pimp. More than the schemer and the simply poot. More than the misanthrope and the destitute. Who collects their green printed check at the first of the month at the small postal drop door? It is the pensioner, those who rock in their small rooms with the bare bulb swinging above.

The city of the bare bulb belongs to the police who shine its sun into the eyes of the mistakenly-picked-up to keep them awake and blind. There is no shade for the lamp of the police sergeants, hips lips are grit, his fists are lumps of coal, coal-hearted former children.

Can you tell what city we are in?

How do I know these things? I who took bags of bread, fish Tomas gave me, spinach, tomatoes grown on roofs, took them to my great aunt Zelda who sang beneath the bare bulb in her one room at the end of the three flights of stairs in the shadow of the Great Machinery Plant whose twelve smokestacks filled the skyline with blackened earth.

Copyright © 2005-2008 Marick Press All Rights Reserved

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"Be prepared for wonder: The Blue City is a place where you will see paper boats made by God illuminated in the merciful light that rises from the eyes of the dead. Be prepared to grieve for the children who sing a song you sang in childhood. Sean Thomas Dougherty's mesmerizing tale is a song of praise, a hand-written psalm, a visionary prayer made from the last handful of earth." -- Melanie Rae Thon.

Sean Thomas Dougherty is the author of nine books including Nightshift Belonging to Lorca, a finalist for the Paterson Poetry Prize and Except by Falling winner of the 2000 Pinyon Press Poetry Prize from Mesa State College. His awards include two Pennsylvania Council for the Arts Fellowships in Poetry. Known for his electrifying performances, he has toured extensively across North America and Europe. He received an MFA in poetry from Syracuse University and lives in Erie, PA where he teaches writing workshops.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

The Fortunate Islands, Susan Kelly-DeWitt


My mother, gray bird
beside a white bowl
of pomegranates

They flare
against her face
creating an odd

She is retelling the family
myths. In this one, her mouth
is cut and bleeding, her teeth
pop out like seeds.

It is winter.
My father is King
of the Underworld.

"My whole mouth,"
she explains, drawing open
her lower lip, exposing the hidden
scars, "was pulp."

I memorize exactly, word
for word:

He was quick
and strong, his punch
like a boxer's.

We'd been married
only six months, still newlyweds...

as I pluck a pomegranate
from the bowl, hack it

open, place

a single blood
red seed on my tongue

Copyright © 2005-2008 Marick Press All Rights Reserved

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Read what The Montserrat Review has to say about The Fortunate Islands.

Susan Kelly-DeWitt is the author of six chapbooks: A Camellia for Judy (Frith Press, 1998), Feather's Hand (Swan Scythe Press, 2000), To a Small Moth (Poet's Corner Press, 2001), Susan Kelly-DeWitt's Greatest Hits (Pudding House, 2003), The Land (Rattlesnake Press, 2005 ), and Cassiopeia Under the Banyan Tree (forthcoming, September 2007), as well as a letterpress collection, The Book of Insects (Spruce Street Press, 2003). Her work has been included in national and regional anthologies such as Claiming the Spirit Within (Beacon Press), I’ve Always Meant To Tell You, Letters to our Mothers (Pocket Books), Things I Never Said, An Anthology of Letters to Fathers (Story Line Press), O Taste and See (Bottom Dog Press) and Highway 99 (Heyday Books), and Words and Quilts (Quilt Digest Press, 1996); her poems have appeared in Poetry, Prairie Schooner, New Letters, North American Review, Rosebud, Cutbank, Nimrod, Women’s Studies Quarterly, Iris, Comstock Review, Oxymoron, Yankee, Runes, Poet Lore, Smartish Pace, Poetry Southeast, Cimarron Review, Spoon River Quarterly, Hawaii Review and Passages North, among many others. Her short story “The Audience” is forthcoming as an illustrated chapbook (Spring 2007) from Uptown Books. She has been the recipient of a Wallace Stegner Fellowship from Stanford University and has won a number of awards, including The Chicago Literary Award from Another Chicago Magazine, the Bazanella Award for Short Fiction and a number of Pushcart nominations. Her essays, interviews, reviews and creative non-fiction have appeared in Poetry Now, Small Press Review, Perihelion and Gardening at a Deeper Level (Garden House Press, 2004). She is currently a part-time instructor for Sacramento City College and the University of California, Davis Extension. The Fortunate Islands is her first full-length collection of poetry.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Review: The Boy Who Killed Caterpillars

Read the insightful review of The Boy Who Killed Caterpillars by Joshua Kornreich in The Meridian.

"Much of the pleasure in reading The Boy Who Killed Caterpillers does indeed come from the use of the language itself; once adjusted to the rhythm and flow of Kornreich’s isolated sentences, the reader may find it difficult to imagine the Boy’s story told any other way. Yet beneath his public image as a linguistic trailblazer, Kornreich proves himself to be a fine storyteller: outrageous and bizarre, certainly, but also subtle, perceptive, and sensitive enough to win the reader’s heart." —Tina Blevins

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Saturday, March 1, 2008


It’s the new and electric Marick Press weblog. Here you can read excerpts from our talented authors. Pierce the pulse of contemporary literature then watch it flow lighted before you. Revel in the words of the living. Find out what’s happening, what’s next, and what has come before.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Marick Press Authors Workshops

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Download the registration form.

• 9am-11am Peter Conners (confirmed)
• 11am-Noon Katie Ford (confirmed)
• Noon-1pm G.C. Waldrep (confirmed)
• 1pm-2 pm Ilya Kaminsky (confirmed)
• 2pm-3pm Susan Kelly DeWitt (confirmed)
• 3pm-4pm Sean Thomas Dougherty (confirmed)
• 4pm-5pm Derick Burleson (confirmed)

Register before April 25, 2008
Contact Mariela Griffor

Tuesday, January 1, 2008