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MUSINGS FROM MAMF WRITER-IN-RESIDENCE PAUL ZOLBROD

As I sat in the radiology waiting room at the local Veterans Administration Hospital a few days ago, listening to a fellow patient whom I got to know only as Bill, I found myself wishing that my Facebook friends could hear some of the stories we vets swap. While the grim front line stuff is rarely if ever mentioned, the yarns we share should circulate more widely. Our Americans know very little about our everyday routines while serving, which is too bad. So much of what we carry with us into our old age is woven into the American fabric. Without that knowledge among non-serving fellow Americans, our full identity as a nation is overlooked. After all, the country has undergone seemingly endless wars and campaigns spanning the twentieth century.

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Book Review of “The Little C.H.A.M.P.S.”

by Vicki Pitman Brady

My Thoughts on a book, “The Little C.H.A.M.P.S.” by Jennifer Fink and Debbie Fink, M.A., Illustrated by Walter Blackwell. Published by Harmony Hearth, LLC, 2013, 2012, Second Edition, 56 pages.

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I promised to do a book review on what is considered to be a somewhat controversial book in the international “BRAT” community…Here is my humble opinion on the book, from both a military (Navy) brat perspective and from a writer’s perspective. Read the rest of this entry »


COMPARATIVE REVIEW OF LOCAL NEWS FROM SOMEPLACE ELSE BY MARJORIE MADDOX & THE HISTORY OF BEARING CHILDREN BY JACQUELINE MURRAY LORING

by Caroline LeBlanc

This review was first published on the blog Poetry Matters (http://www.readwritepoetry.blogspot.com/2014_07_01_archive.html ) in July 2014.

 I’ve only recently had the pleasure of meeting Marjorie Maddox, long distance. After my December 2013 review of Barbara Crooker’s, Gold, Marjorie contacted me about reviewing her new book of poems, Local News from Someplace Else.   As it turns out, Marjorie lives in one of the most beautiful regions of Pennsylvania, where I was fortunate enough to live from 1977 to 1982, and I recognize a number of the places she refers to in her poems. In fact, my sons used to love going to Clyde Peelings Reptile Land, described in a poem by that title.

 About the same time as Marjorie introduced herself to me, I met poet and sister Southwest Writer member, Jacqueline Murray Loring, who contacted me for information about the Women Veteran’s Writing Salon I host. Jacqueline gave me a copy of her chapbook, The History of Bearing Children, and asked if I would consider reviewing it.

 It was a too difficult choice to make, and, after reading both books, I realized that they shared a concern with the incursion of violence/tragedy into modern life—whether through first or second hand experience.   Consequently, I decided to ask both poets the same questions and to examine poems from each book in relation to the other.

 Since meeting, Jacqueline and I have participated in several projects together, including 4 Voices on the 4th, a spoken word performance about military family life which I directed as Writer in Residence at the Museum of the American Military Family. As script writer for the MAMF exhibit, Sacrifice & Service: The American Military Family, I also included Jacqueline’s poem, “Braving the Storm,” on our “Return & Re-integration” panel. Jacqueline is also a family member performer in Telling, Albuquerque, our local production of The Telling Project which I am co-producing/writing with Max Rayneard, Senior Writer/Producer for The Telling Project (http:// thetellingproject.org ) .  

Caroline LeBlanc, MFA, MS, RN is a former Army Nurse, an Army wife & mother, and retired psychotherapist. As the Writer in Residence at the Museum of the American Military Family since 2012, she wrote the script for the museum’s Summer 2014 exhibit, Sacrifice & Service: The American Military Family. She co-produced & wrote the script for Telling, Albuquerque (part of the national Telling Project), a 9/11/2104 testimonial theatrical event where military veterans and family members perform their own stories. In 2014 she directed & performed in 4 Voices on the 4th, a collaborative spoken word performance with three other women military family members. Since relocating to Albuquerque in 2013, she has hosted a writing salon for women military veterans and family members. In 2011 Spalding University awarded her an MFA in Creative Writing. Her poems have been published in her 2010 chapbook, Smoky Ink and a Touch of Honeysuckle, as well as online and in a number of print journals. Her art work has also been included in a number of Apronistas Women’s Art Group shows in the Albuquerque area.

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Director of Creative Writing and Professor of English at Lock Haven University, Marjorie Maddox has published  Local News from Someplace Else (Wipf & Stock 2013);  a 2013 ebook of Perpendicular As I ( Kindle version, Nook version, Kobo version); print version of Perpendicular As I (1994 Sandstone Book Award); and six other award winning books, as well as over 450 poems, stories, and essays in journals and anthologies. She is the co-editor, with Jerry Wemple, of Common Wealth: Contemporary Poets on Pennsylvania (Penn State Press, 2005) and has two children’s books. The Working Poet: 75 Writing Exercises and a Poetry Anthology (Autumn House Press) contains three of her pedagogical essays, including poems by her former students. Her memoir essays are included in several collections.

Transplant, Transport, Transubstantiation was a runner-up, finalist, or semifinalist at 30 national competitions. Local News From Someplace Else has been a finalist for the Samuel French Morse Poetry Award, sponsored by Northeastern University; for the Kentucky Women’s Prize, sponsored by Sarabande; for the Magellan Prize, sponsored by Button Wood Press; for the Mammoth Books Poetry Award; the Ashland Poetry Press Prize; and a semifinalist for the Crab Orchard Poetry Award, and elsewhere.

Marjorie studied with A. R. Ammons, Robert Morgan, Phyllis Janowitz, and Ken McClane at Cornell, where she received the Sage Graduate Fellowship for her M.F.A. in poetry in 1989; with Sena Jeter Naslund at the University of Louisville, where she received an M.A. in English; and with Beatrice Batson and Harold Fickett at Wheaton College, where she received a B.A. in Literature. Her numerous honors include Cornell University’s Chasen Award, the 2000 Paumanok Poetry Award, an Academy of American Poets Prize, the Seattle Review’s Bentley Prize for Poetry, a Bread Loaf Scholarship, Pushcart Prize nominations in both poetry and fiction, among other awards. She lives with her husband and two children in Williamsport, Pa., birthplace of Little League and home of the Little League World Series. She is the great grandniece of baseball legend Branch Rickey, the general manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers who helped break the color barrier by signing Jackie Robinson.

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 Jacqueline Murray Loring writes scripts, poetry and stage plays. Her poetry collection The History of Bearing Children won the 2012 of the Doire Irish International Prize. History was awarded 2nd place in the 2012 New Mexico Press Women competition.  Her plays have been produced at the Provincetown Theater Company, Provincetown, MA. Her full-length play, Reflections for a Warm Day, was presented in 2007 at the Provincetown Theater/New Provincetown Players Festival. No Matter What, about trafficking of women in present day, was stage-read in 2010. Fight for Right and Freedom was produced during the 2012 Provincetown Theater’s 24-hour Playwrights Festival.

Loring compiled, edited and published Summer Home Review, Volumes I & II. Her poetry is published in journals and anthologies including the Scribner anthology, From Both Sides Now, A Sense of Place: An Anthology of Cape Women Writers and Cadence of Hooves.  Loring has received professional development grants and artist residencies from the Ragdale Foundation in Forest Lake, IL and the Heinrich Böll cottage, Achill Island, County Mayo, Ireland, among others. In July 2013, she was a co-writer on the ‘Real to Reel’ team participating in the New Mexico 48 Hour Film Project. She co-wrote the script, Sir Acheron’s Party. the Friends Of Film, Media And Video entry in the 2014 New Mexico 48 Hour Film Project. Read the rest of this entry »