Art Zilleruelo’s "The Last Map" explores language’s role as the mediator between humanity and nature. Combining a deep reverence for the power of language with profound anxieties about language’s tendency to contaminate that which it represents, these poems reside between the impulse to succumb to the seductive qualities of words and the drive to penetrate through words into the unmediated world. Narrative modes ranging from history to mythology, from folklore to family legends, and from cosmology to apocalyptic eschatology are simultaneously exploited for their aesthetic potency and subjected to skeptical internal critique. Each poem engages ongoing human efforts to manage and articulate encounters with the radical otherness and uncanny familiarity of the natural world. The interpenetration of humanity and nature is revealed as both exhilarating and terrifying, and, as the cumulative effects of these encounters proliferate, the contact between these two worlds becomes increasingly fraught with complications for both. As the personae that populate these poems struggle with nature within and nature without, they come to question conventional ways of understanding themselves, their relationships, and their values. They consequently begin to perceive a new world ripe with strange possibilities, a world that all of their maps, both literal and figurative, seem ill-equipped to describe. Zilleruelo's poems display a deep commitment to pursuing poetry’s aesthetic dimensions. His disciplined, musical free verse reminds readers that poems are more than mere ideas meant to be interpreted--they are also aesthetic artifacts intended to be experienced.
What People Are Saying....
The Last Map is a spiritual journey that transcends our own minuscule limitations. Imagine putting on the lenses by which the poet Zilleruelo sees the world, and the reader finds a place full of unexpected treasure. While not afraid of the darkness, this collection makes a “livable fiction” of light, and the “long liquid fibers” a movable path for the eye and the spirit, a confirmation of magic—dragons and vines and worms. With a generosity sometimes rare in poetry, Zilleruelo invites us to traverse the darkness of the human spirit unafraid, often expressing what we’ve all desired: “light enough to lead us in through the verge… where the good kindling hid.” This is not a denial of evil, but rather a calm acceptance that where there is shadow, there can also be spark. Each new reading has rendered a new discovery in this landscape, another acknowledgement of this painful duality. And as seasons shift and change, so do the shadows shift. May we all be such fertile ground where we “bleed new greens into the grass.”
--- April Pameticky
What sticks with me when reading The Last Map is Zilleruelo's bridging of the natural world to what I'd call some kind of transcendental or spiritual realm, where one finds an appreciation for those things tangible and real. Poems like "Vines" and "Other Fires" stick out for their measured language and their invitations to readers to investigate not only the world around them but the soul within all things. Elsewhere, Zilleruelo reflects on the burdens of generations in the masterful centerpiece, "The Pipe-Tree," a poem of great depth and honesty, and amongst a great many stunning lines, he concludes the collection with some of my favorite:
Have you ever felt
your heart match the second hand?
They breathe together a moment,
If my breath is the first to break,
I’ll wait for you at the lake,
and meet you where the leaves put down their stain.
Kinnell once wrote: "I long for the mantle/of the great wanderers, who lighted/ their steps by the lamp/ of pure hunger and pure thirst,/ and whichever way they lurched was the way."
With the The Last Map, Zilleruelo embarks on a similar quest, and the results are frequently stunning and always inspiring.
Chris Ludovici has published articles in The Princeton Packet and online at Cinedelphia and Cleaver. In 2009, he won the Judith Stark awards in fiction and drama. His short story "Daisy" was published in the 2013 issue of Peregrine, the print journal of the University of Pennsylvania Creative Writing Program and in Cleaver Magazine. He lives in Pennsylvania with his wife, son, and too many cats.
Writing has always been a part of my life. It was the first art form I explored, and it remains the most poignant. I also enjoy pen and ink, yoyos, video games, classic literature. I am a denizen of the Southwest, originating in New Mexico. Take a stroll through my website: www.brianlooney.com.
Brian Looney's collection Alcoholic Murmurs is divided into two part: in the first part, we see the speaker struggling with an addiction to alcohol. We are invited to see the interior of an alcoholic's mind through AA meetings, relationships with loneliness and love, and the decision to quit drinking. In the second half of the collection, the speaker has new struggles...the battle to defeat addiction, and the mindset that comes along with the decision to stop drinking.
Having (mis)spent his youth in the halls of academia, Mr. Mann-Bertrand eventually abandoned towers of ivory in favor of variegated artistic pursuits, peripatetic adventures, and repeated attempts to be officially recognized as a “Renaissance Man” by all 193 Member States of the United Nations. Obsessed with the fields of theatre, film, and television, the author has devoted considerable energies to deepening his involvement in these interconnected artistic disciplines, all while attempting to fight the forces of evil (well, boredom) by exploring the four corners of our great globe. Spoonfeeding Casanova is his novelistic debut, a strong expository effort on behalf of the author to become a serious and upstanding adult; it is possible he may have failed. In unsubstantiated rumors, it is claimed that if writer Mann-Bertrand owned a hat, it would currently be hanging somewhere in British Columbia.
You can find information about his book, here.
Alison Hicks is the author of full-length poetry collection Kiss (PS Books, 2011), chapbook Falling Dreams (Finishing Line Press, 2006), novella Love: A Story of Images (AWA Press, 2004), and an anthology, Prompted (PS Books, 2010). Her work has appeared in Eclipse, Fifth Wednesday, Gargoyle, Licking River Review, The Ledge, Louisville Review, Passager, Permafrost, Sanskrit, Whiskey Island, and other journals. Her poem “Color” was nominated for a Pushcart Prize by Green Hills Literary Lantern. Awards include the 2011 Philadelphia City Paper Poetry Prize and two Pennsylvania Council on the Arts fellowships. She is founder of Greater Philadelphia Wordshop Studio, which offers community-based writing workshops. She lives with her husband and son in Havertown, Pennsylvania.
Her book You Who Took the Boat Out can be found here.
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Author’s Website: www.philawordshop.com
Gemma Cooper-Novack is a writer, arts educator, and writing coach. Her poetry and fiction have appeared in more than twenty journals, including Ballard Street Poetry Journal (Pushcart Prize nomination), Bellevue Literary Review (Pushcart Prize nomination), Cider Press Review, Hanging Loose, Santa Fe Writers Project, and Printer’s Devil Review. Gemma’s plays have been produced in Chicago, Boston, and New York, and she diablogs on sinnerscreek.com. She has been awarded multiple artist’s residencies from Catalonia to Virginia and a grant from the Barbara Deming Fund, and enjoys baking cookies and walking on stilts in her spare time. Her debut poetry collection We Might As Well Be Underwater will be published by Unsolicited Press in 2017.
About the Author
Alison Hicks is the author of poetry collections Kiss (PS Books, 2011), and Falling Dreams (Finishing Line Press, 2006), a novella, Love: A Story of Images, (AWA Press, 2004, and an anthology, Prompted (PS Books, 2010). Her poem “house in mind” was winner of Philadelphia City Paper 2011 poetry contest, and a second poem, “canoeing at night,” was selected as runner-up. Also in 2011, her poem “Autumn Lilies” received First Prize in the 2011 Charlotte Miller Simon Poetry Contest from the Ardmore (PA) Free Library. She has twice received Pennsylvania Council on the Arts fellowships, in creative non-fiction in 2003 and in fiction in 2007.
Her fiction, poetry and nonfiction have appeared in Apiary, The Alembic, Amoskeag, Blood Lotus, The Broadkill Review, Broad River Review, the Bryn Mawr Alumnae Bulletin, Calibanonline, California Quarterly (CQ), Cottonwood, Crack the Spine, The Critical Pass Review, Diverse Voices Quarterly, Edison Literary Review, Eclipse, Fifth Wednesday Journal, Folly, Forge, Four Corners, Gargoyle, Grey Sparrow, The Griffin, Gulf Stream, the G.W. Review, HeartLodge, The Hollins Critic, The Ledge, Licking River Review, Literary Mama, The Lindenwood Review, The Louisville Review, Mad Poets Review, Melusine, Milk Money, The Muddy River Poetry Review, The Musehouse Journal, Organs of Vision & Sight (OVS), Pearl, The Penman Review, Peregrine, Permafrost, Pinyon, Philadelphia Poets, The Progressive, The Puritan, Quiddity, Rough Copy, Rougarou, Sanskrit, Schuylkill Valley Journal, Sliver of Stone, Softblow, Storyscape, Studio One, Whiskey Island, Wild Violet, Words and Images, Women. Period., The Wooster Review, and Xanadu. The story “The Reservoir” was performed for the 2002-2003 season of the Writing Aloud series hosted by the InterAct Theatre Company in Philadelphia and the poem “Twenty-Six Years” was included in the 2005 Poetry is Alive! Performance by the Ritz Theatre Company of Oaklyn, New Jersey.
A woman in middle-age takes a canoe out onto the water at night and must discern obstacles barely visible to keep her craft afloat. Her reward is a vision of stars transformed as they are reflected back through water. Her guide is the loon, whose red eye is capable of seeing underwater, and whose wail echoes and beckons. An adolescent whose mother has become ill must traverse the big county she finds inside herself to find a life worth living. A daughter mourns a father. In this collection, Alison Hicks looks beneath the surface of our emotional lives to murky shapes: the twists and turns we are unable to predict, the scrape of love and the experience of being lost, the whimsy of our fantasies, visitation by spirit guides of myth and legend, things we try to keep secret and yet seek to reveal, the hurt that has happened and the tasks to be undertaken toward a larger vision and understanding, and the flash of occasional illumination.
About the Author
An economist at his core, Ohan is a social scientist who aids people in maximizing their creative resources. It is something that has remained a constant throughout the many paths he’s made his way into, from starting a tshirt company, to running a newspaper, to presiding over a fraternity, then moving from financial analysis, to economic analysis, to building out an analytics department. Over time, this role of an economist evolved in to a wandering poet and community builder leading him to set up ‘Stageless Arts’ with a few other creative partners. Its results inspired him to spend more time in spreading art and promoting free expression, which is why he has now begun building a replicable model for an open arts community in Sri Lanka, one that can use the momentum of chapters in other cities to grow and connect its artists in a global network.
His book Scattered Allegories is available on December 28 through a limited print run.
About the Author
Anne Leigh Parrish is the author of three previously published books: All The Roads That Lead From Home, stories (Press 53, 2011);Our Love Could Light The World, stories (She Writes Press, 2013); and What Is Found, What Is Lost, a novel, (She Writes Press, 2014). She is also the author of over forty published short stories, including those appearing in By The Wayside, a complete list of which may be found on the publications tab of her website. Visit her at www.anneleighparrish.com, on Facebook atwww.facebook.com/AnneLeighParrish, and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/AnneLParrish. She lives in Seattle, and is moving next year to an evergreen forest north of Olympia, Washington.
About the Book
Marvelous. Honest. Generous. From the first story to the last, "By the Wayside" catches your attention and demands that you give into its every whirl. Each character unfolds with a precision that will have you wondering how Parrish managed to create such real-to-the-bones people within a world that captivates you with ease.
Preorder starts: 12/7/2016
Release Date: Feb 8, 2017
About the Author
L.L Holt is the author of The Black Spaniard, a novel about young Beethoven to be published in 2015-16. Holt has degrees from Rider, California State, and Drew Universities, and teaches Humanities courses at Southern New Hampshire University and Thomas Edison State College. Her music reviews have appeared in daily newspapers and online.
A member of the Princeton Research Forum and American Beethoven Society, she has special interest in the lives, work, and spiritual paths of Beethoven, Thoreau, and Meister Eckhart, and is the author of a book about the latter (Viewing Meister Eckhart). Holt has studied several musical instruments, music theory, sight-reading, music history, and related topics. She has conducted Beethoven research during several visits to Germany and Austria.
For many years, Holt led communications departments at Trenton State College, Thomas Edison State College, and NJIT. A lifelong yoga student and member of the SKY Foundation (Philadelphia), Holt posts some of her other writing at www.ReligiousScholar.com . Her Twitter account is @ReligiousSchola. Her experiences writing and seeking publication of The Black Spaniard, as well as excerpts from the novel, appear at: www.Facebook.com/BeethovenTheYoungMaster.
About the Book
A passionate musician from the provinces arrives in Vienna in the early years of the Napoleonic era. Dark and exotic, he captures the hearts of music-lovers, but cannot win the one woman he loves because of class differences. As a second love, perhaps the greatest of his life, eludes his grasp, he realizes he is also losing the one sense no musician can live without: his hearing. Driven nearly to suicide, Luis places his hopes in the triumph of a hero who will save the human race and dissolve the obstacles placed between people by prejudice and class barriers. Yet as Napoleon shows his true colors, is Art itself the path to salvation that Luis seeks?
The Black Spaniard can be ordered here. Copies are also available through all major retailers.