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TIDE’S IN! – Tidal Basin Review, Fall/Winter 2011 E-Issue

T ∫ B ∫ R

tidal basin review

The Tidal Basin Press Launches the Fall/Winter 2011 Issue!

The complete E-Issue of the Tidal Basin Review is available at www.TidalBasinPress.org.

Cover Art by JoAnne McFarland

December 31, 2011 – Washington, DC

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Tidal Basin Press, Inc. launches the Fall/Winter 2011 Issue of the Tidal Basin Review.

Tidal Basin Review is an electronic literary journal with a print-on-demand option. Tidal Basin Press, Inc. seeks to amplify the voice of the human experience through art that is intimate, engaging, and audacious. We make every effort to include work that propels the present artistic landscape and to publish the wide spectrum of American voices.

The Fall/Winter 2011 Issue features the art, JoAnne McFarland, and the creative works of 31 writers. This issue includes creative responses to the topics of beauty and image, including an important reflection on the topics by TBR’s essayist-in-residence, Leola Dublin Macmillan. “Letters to Parkway” by Aisha Sharif, our center-featured Series Poet, in the print version of the Fall/Winter 2011 Issue only available for purchase now. Read her interview with TBR Poetry Editor, Truth Thomas, on The Basin Blog.

View the full E-Issue and order your print copy of the Fall/Winter 2011 Issue Tidal Basin Review at www.TidalBasinPress.org.

 

Fall/Winter 2011 Contributors:

Joshua Bauer, Ahimsa Timoteo Bodhrán, Elijah Burrell, Megan Cowen,  Geoffrey Craig, Kyle Dargan, Daniel Davis, Leola Dublin MacMillan, Scot Ehrhardt, Tina Fakhrid-Deen, Rachel Furey, April Gibson, Laura Hartmark, Shayla Hawkins, Kevin Heaton, Lauren Hilger, Jennifer Hurley, Jacqueline Johnson, Alan King, David Lewitsky, Janice Lynch Schuster, Cynthia Manick, JoAnne McFarland, Amanda Montell, Jonathan Moody, Michael Moreno, James O’Brien, Aisha Sharif, Laura Shovan, Jessica Simms, Melissa Sipin, and Yim Tan Wong.

Subscriptions Now Available!

Press Contacts:

Melanie Henderson, Managing Editor

Randall Horton, Editor-in-Chief

tidalbasinpress@gmail.com

Meet Aisha Sharif, Series Poet, Fall/Winter 2011

Aisha Sharif

Aisha Sharif was selected by TBR’s Editors as the Fall/Winter 2011 Center-Featured Series Poet. Letters to Parkway is an amazing epistle thats whispers to the memory of her grandparents, Mama Too and Papa Trees. You can read her series poem in the Fall/Winter 2011 Issue of Tidal Basin Review. Meanwhile, check out TBR’s interview with Aisha Sharif below!

INTERVIEW WITH TIDAL BASIN REVIEW SERIES POET, AISHA SHARIF, AND TIDAL BASIN REVIEW POETRY EDITOR, TRUTH THOMAS

(Interview conducted via email correspondence in November of 2011)

Truth Thomas: Every time I have a chance to read profoundly well-crafted poetry, I count it all joy.  Your series poem, “Letters to Parkway,” rises like sweet bread in a bakery.  Thank you for blessing the Tidal Basin Review with your gifts.  It is a marvelous and magnetic ode to your grandparents—a multilayered portrait of your vibrant family—of upper-class black family dynamics and of color complex issues.  When you embarked upon the composition of this poetic suite, did you plan to address all of those issues, or did they surface naturally in the process of honest reflection?

Aisha Sharif: When I began writing these poems several years ago, I knew that class would be a prominent issue in my depiction of my grandparents.  They were a prominent couple in the Memphis social scene during the ‘50s & ‘60s, and that status was reinforced every time I went to my grandmother’s house and saw its decor, met her friends for brunch, heard stories about her international trips, and viewed pictures of her from her youth.  Her upper-class status definitely defined her and made me so in awe of her.  Yet, the aspect of color was something that did not surface until mid-way through the writing process.  In the poems, it was difficult to avoid describing my grandmother’s actions without also describing her physical appearance.  I realized that what made her so elegant and refined was not just her class but also her light-skinned color.  To put it simply, her color influenced her class.  Class and color were ultimately linked in my admiration of her; ultimately, this poetic suite became more than a personal narrative but a reflection of the bigger issues regarding race and class that affect the African-American community.

T: Often, discussions of color complex matters among black folks are about as welcome as tone-deaf singers at the Apollo.  How have these light-skinned vs. dark-skinned identity issues impacted you as a writer?

AS: These identity issues have really forced me to be more honest as a writer.  When writing it is very easy to hide behind the mask that is the “speaker” of the poem.  We can distance ourselves from the very complex issues the poem presents and imply that these are the “speaker’s issues.”   Yet, I had to reassess my own views while writing the poem in which Little Bug finds a matchbook with a picture of her grandmother on it.  Here, she focuses so much on how her grandmother looks; she’s mesmerized.  At that point as a writer, I had to remove the speaker’s mask and just confess that a part of me, Aisha, wanted to obtain that class and poise symbolized through my grandmother’s color.  That was a difficult poem to write because I had to face the fact that I harbored some of these color complexes.  Did I possess them because of my grandmother?  Society?  Low self esteem? Was it because through “light-skinnedness” I could hope to attain upper-class status also?  That poem was a reality check; I had to be responsible for my own self-perception and be more open in my poetry to addressing these issues regardless of how touchy they may be.

T: At what point did you know that the epistle form would be the form to help propel this narrative, which echoes of Rita Dove’s Thomas and Beulah and Toni Morrison’s Beloved?

AS:  That’s so interesting that you mention Thomas and Beulah because that book really influenced me to adopt the epistle form for these poems.  When I was in graduate school at IU [Indiana University], I took a class with Kevin Young on the long poem, in which we read Dove’s book as well those by Anne Carson, William Carlos Williams, and Sylvia Plath.  That class piqued my interest in how long poems, poetic series, and novels-in-verse can create and establish a narrative over the course of several poems.  I decided to use the epistle form to build my series because it allows the writer to recount stories, events, or personal feelings to a specific addressee.  Epistles also serve as a type of documentation of the writer’s life and words.  Those two aspects were important for me because these poems needed a real form that would allow Little Bug to recount events from the grandmother’s past and to narrate the events happening in her own life that the grandmother couldn’t experience due to her illness.  I felt that using several epistles would help display this intricate story one letter at a time.

T: Deliberateness of the language you use draws readers in like candles on cakes when placed on the tables of children. Indeed, your choice of family names sparkle in the place setting of this series: “Mama Too,” your grandmother; “Papa Trees,” your grandfather; and “Little Bug” for you.  To what extent are these names real and to what extent are they kinfolk of the muse?

AS:  The names “Mama Too” and “Papa Trees” are actually names that my siblings and I used to refer to our grandparents.  The name “Mama Too” replaced the standard title of “grandma” and all of the connotations of being old that come with it.  My grandfather was called “Trees” by friends due to his height; he was 6’5”.  So, as children, my siblings and I referred to him as “Papa Trees.”  But “Little Bug” was a product of the muse – it developed while writing this series.  The name seemed to symbolically represent the speaker’s insecurities in light of her grandmother’s great status.

T: Trees represent more than simply statuesque elements of nature to black folks—so many of us have been hung from them.  In that sense, your grandfather’s name, Papa Trees, captures a wealth of symbolism.  Arguably, Trees become an additional character in the piece. They are ever-present—haunting, much like the unsettled blood of slavery did in Morrison’s Beloved.  Again, was it your intention to address the ghosts of slavery that haunt America, or did this symbolism emerge organically in the process of your writing?

AS:  The symbolism surrounding Papa Trees grew through the writing process.  I set out to have him function as a ghost of sorts – this dashing male whose absence was very much like a presence.  Little Bug’s inability to recall this man pushes her to construct an image of him, but it is unclear if it is an accurate depiction of the man as he really was or how she wants to perceive him.  Having said that, I guess we could say then that Papa Trees functions as a much bigger symbol.  He seems to represent that persistent need young people and, particularly, African Americans have to know their roots and the desire to re-figure and construct their history.

T: There is a river of living history that flows in “Letters to Parkway.” Its currents testify to the grand elegance, strength and accomplishments of African-American people (broadcasts that do not often make the news).  How did you approach the research that underpins this tribute to family?

AS:  I truly believe in William Carlos William’s statement, “No ideas but in things.”  Since it was hard for me to actually communicate with my grandmother, who had suffered a stroke at the start of my writing process, I learned more about her through her things.  When my family and I cleaned out my grandparents’ house, we stumbled across such an array of items in the attics, basement, and closets: golf clubs, newspaper articles about Papa Trees’ medical practice, dog tags from the Korean war, several pairs of leather opera gloves and wigs, manual typewriters, old bottles of wine, and tons of photographs.  I would literally sit on the floor with these things spread all around me and discern from them the types of people my grandparents were.  I would allow myself to ask questions, and the poems just developed from them.  It was as if I was putting together the pieces of a puzzle.

T: Were you at all transformed by that research?

AS: Yes!  My perception of my grandparents definitely evolved.  As children, we think of our parents and grandparents as these older figures who exist simply in relation to us.  But after this research, I began to see my grandparents as individuals with their own triumphs and struggles.  I also understood the impact of widowhood on my grandmother and on women in general.  For over 25 years, she lived alone in the same house and never remarried.  I wondered whether my grandmother, as well as many other widows, struggled with how she could get back that life she had before her husband died. I became more aware of the roles and identities women during her generation adopted when they married and how those roles and identities changed during widowhood.

T: Speaking of living history, one of the most inventive aspects of your poem is an ingenious incorporation of real life events used as list poems. You offer readers actual records that Mama Too kept of Papa Trees funeral arrangements. That craft element is to this poem what jet fuel is to flying—only this piece does not lose its perch on clouds. What inspired this rhetorical approach?

AS: One day I found an old telegram sent to my grandmother after her husband died. I wondered whether she kept it to remember the day he died and the love she received from friends afterwards.  That telegram made me consider all the different people who must have contacted her to send condolences.  How did she keep up with all the visitors and tasks that needed to get done before the funeral?  Through meticulous lists.  Lists allow people to see things in their raw state.  And like the epistle, lists allow people to write through complex issues quickly.  The records of the funeral arrangements catalogued the people who sent condolences; they also helped Mama Too process what was actually happening to her given the sudden loss of her husband.

T: Your poem reads as though it may be the beginning of a much more ambitious project. Is “Letters to Parkway” part of a larger work—an upcoming collection poems, or perhaps a play?

AS: It is!  I began writing the poems about my grandparents as a personal journey through my family history, but the more I wrote, the more I realized that there were bigger issues at hand.  I became really fascinated with widowhood and how it affects family members and the widow herself.  I have developed two more series of poems written in the voices of other women who are affected by widowhood.  These women are also writing epistles to understand their experiences with loss and its effects on the family unit.  These three sets of epistles weave in and out of each other and, together, make up one long poem.

T: For all who enter the world of this poem, what legacy would you like it to occupy in the afterglow of its reading?

AS: I would like for it to be a work that gives voice to issues that may be taboo or overlooked: color matters, self-esteem (particularly among African-American women), and widowhood.  I would like for it to be seen as a work that tries to utilize poetic form well.  My hope is that this collection shows how poetry – and writing in general – can be shaped to suit and reflect the ways in which women think and deal with the issues that affect them.

T:  My Sister, the best two-word prose poem I know begins and ends with the words “Thank you.” To embrace your work has been like tasting sweet potato pie.  It is filling and warm and always gets people’s attention. Last question: in perhaps 40 years or so, if another Little Bug springs up in your family, what would you like for that child to write about you?

AS:  Wow.  That’s a great question.  Having written this series of poems, I understand better some of the paradoxes surrounding my grandmother’s life, and I would like for my future granddaughter to feel free to write about the paradoxes in my life so that she can better understand me – the good and the bad:  my humor and solemnity, my faith and doubt, and, my interest in areas of life that are sad but inevitable, like loss and grief.  But whatever the next “Little Bug” chooses to write, I hope that she writes with curiosity.

Aisha Sharif received her MFA from Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana.  Much of her poetry and nonfiction explores how religious and gender identities intersect.  Her poetry has appeared in Muslim Wakeup!, Touchstone Literary Journal,  Poemmemoirstory, Callaloo, and Mythium.  She is a Cave Canem fellow and teaches English at Park University in Parkville, Missouri, a short commute from her home in Merriam, Kansas.

Truth Thomas is a musician, poet, educator and Poetry Editor of the Tidal Basin Review.

CALL: Beauty & Image

NOTE: THIS CALL HAS ENDED.

 

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tidal basin review

Washington, DC

 

 

 

CALL: BEAUTY & IMAGE

Marylin Monroe (1957) by Milton H. Greene. Image courtesy of Marquardt Beauty Analysis.

Tidal Basin Review invites submissions on the related topics of image and beauty. Who determines standards of beauty? The dominant narrative/culture? How do we as a society disrupt this narrative? These are a few of the many questions that can be raised. Tidal Basin Review invites submissions of poems and prose, as well as, critical essays that investigate standards of beauty and/or explore beauty in new and exciting ways. As always, Tidal Basin Review wants to hear from America’s beautiful spectrum.

Tidal Basin Review will accept submissions for the Beauty & Image Call from October 1st to October 31st, 2011. Any submissions received after this deadline will not be considered and will be discarded. The standard response time is 2 (two) months.

Tidal Basin Review considers work, in English, which has not been previously published. Tidal Basin Press, Inc. acquires North American Serial Rights, First Electronic Rights, and Electronic Archival Rights. Publication rights revert back to the author upon publication of work in an issue of Tidal Basin Review.

We accept simultaneous submissions, however, please notify us immediately upon acceptance of your work elsewhere via the Submission Manager.

For poetry submissions, submit 3-5 poems totaling no more than 7 pages in one single file in doc., rtf, or .pdf format.

For prose submissions, submit one (1) short story or one (1) stand alone novel chapter or creative non-fiction piece of no more than 2,500 words in one single file in doc., rtf, or .docx format.

For critical submissions, submit one (1) essay not to exceed 5,000 words.

You may include biographical information in the “Comments” section.

CALL: Prison Industrial Complex and Capital Punishment

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tidal basin review

Washington, DC

 

 

 

CALL: PRISON INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX & CAPITAL PUNISHMENT

 

Image Courtesy of NACCP.org

Tidal Basin Review invites submissions regarding the Prison Industrial Complex and Capital Punishment. The Prison Industrial Complex (PIC) is a term used to describe the phenomenal growth of America’s inmate population and its relation to and influence on major social, economic and political factors in the United States. Capital Punishment (or the Death Penalty) is the judicially-imposed sentence of death or execution upon a person for a capital crime or offense. Tidal Basin Review invites submissions of poems and prose, as well as, critical essays that examine America’s judicial system. We are especially interested in submissions that deal directly with the denial of clemency for Troy Davis, who was executed on September 21, 2011 in the state Georgia despite the looming doubt of his guilt. As always, Tidal Basin Review wants to hear from America’s beautiful spectrum.

 

Tidal Basin Review will accept submissions for the Prison Industrial Complex & Capital Punishment Call from October 1st to December 31, 2011. Any submissions received after this deadline will not be considered and will be discarded. The standard response time is 2 (two) months.

 

Tidal Basin Review considers work, in English, which has not been previously published. Tidal Basin Press, Inc. acquires North American Serial Rights, First Electronic Rights, and Electronic Archival Rights. Publication rights revert back to the author upon publication of work in an issue of Tidal Basin Review.

 

We accept simultaneous submissions, however, please notify us immediately upon acceptance of your work elsewhere via the Submission Manager.

 

For poetry submissions, submit 3-5 poems totaling no more than 7 pages in one single file in doc., rtf, or .pdf format.

 

For prose submissions, submit one (1) short story or one (1) stand alone novel chapter or creative non-fiction piece of no more than 2,500 words in one single file in doc., rtf, or .docx format.

 

For critical submissions, submit one (1) essay not to exceed 5,000 words.

 

You may include biographical information in the “Comments” section.

TIDE’S IN! – Tidal Basin Review, Summer 2011 E-Issue

T ∫ B ∫ R

tidal basin review

The Tidal Basin Press Launches the Summer 2011 Issue!

The complete E-Issue of the Tidal Basin Review is available at www.TidalBasinPress.org.

Covert Art by Ronald Davis

August 21, 2011 – Washington, DC

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Tidal Basin Press, Inc. launches the Summer 2011 Issue of the Tidal Basin Review.

Tidal Basin Review is an electronic literary journal with a print-on-demand option. Tidal Basin Press, Inc. seeks to amplify the voice of the human experience through art that is intimate, engaging, and audacious. We make every effort to include work that propels the present artistic landscape and to publish the wide spectrum of American voices.

In the Summer 2011 Issue, enjoy the creative works of 36 talented writers, including the winners of the 2011 TBR Editorial Review Prize, Derrick Austin (poetry) and Menoukha Case (prose). Also, meet the dynamic collagist and writer, Ronald Davis, TBR’s Summer 2011 Featured Artist.

“The Twelve Days in August When…” by Julianna McCarthy, our center-featured Series Poet available only in the Print Issue available for purchase now.

View the full E-Issue and order your print copy of the Summer 2011 Issue Tidal Basin Review at www.TidalBasinPress.org.

 

Summer 2011 Contributors:

Colleen Abel, Derrick Austin, Destiny Birdsong, Tony Burnett, Menoukha Case, Ama Codjoe, Rio Cortez, Curtis L. Crisler, DéLana R.A. Dameron, Ronald Davis, Katherine DeBlassie, Matthew Diomede, Ph.D., Alan Elyshevitz, Gerald Fleming, Jade Foster, Hafizah Geter, William Greenway, Ellen Hagan, Charish Halliburton, Derrick Harriell, Jim Hayes, Nadia Ibrashi, Jennifer Jean, Constantine Kulakov, Julianna McCarthy, Bethsheba McGruder, Michael Meyerhofer, Randy Parker, Joseph Ross, Karen Sagstetter, C. A. Schaefer, Susan Scheid, Pete Sipchen, Claude Clayton Smith, Brian Sullivan, and L. Lamar Wilson.

Press Contacts:

Melanie Henderson, Managing Editor

Randall Horton, Editor-in-Chief

tidalbasinpress@gmail.com

Meet Julianna McCarthy, Series Poet, Summer 2011

 

Julianna McCarthy was selected by TBR’s Editors as the Summer 2011 Center-Featured Series Poet. The Twelve Days in August When… is a cinematic poem detailing the writer’s unforgettable coming-of-age as the world exploded around her during World War II. You can read her series poem in the Summer 2011 Issue of Tidal Basin Review. Meanwhile, check out TBR’s interview with Julianna McCarthy below!

 

INTERVIEW WITH TIDAL BASIN REVIEW SERIES POET, JULIANNA MCCARTHY, AND TIDAL BASIN REVIEW POETRY EDITOR, TRUTH THOMAS

(Interview conducted via email correspondence)

Truth Thomas: It is an honor to enter into the rich cinema of your poetry.  I am a great fan of your work. What prompted this series poem at this point in your writing journey?

Julianna McCarthy: Thank you, Truth. It’s an honor to have this poem chosen. Actually, the first draft of “Twelve Days…” was written way back in 2003. There have been many drafts since the; I think it’s finished now.

 

TT: Why the long title?

JM: Oh, I did try some shorter tent titles, i.e., “Morning”, and then inevitably “Evening.” Titles are tricky. I finally settled for imitation, a riff on Defoe’s “Moll Flanders: the Fortunes and Misfortunes of the Famous Moll Flanders” or Fieldings’ “The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling” with its many subtitles for each volume – the “Wherein’s” as it were. 

 

TT: Your poem is replete with piercing imagery—riveting, in fact.  It represents a series of scenes like a play set in verse. Its dramatic aspects of a 16 year old coming of age in a time of war captivate like a well-made movie.  Do you think that your background as an actress informed that craft aspect of this work?

JM: I’m not sure there is any way to avoid one’s background; I’ve had a lot of jobs: on an assembly line, as a truck dispatcher, a clerk/typist for Care, Inc., a reservation clerk for a cemetery, a mother… and an actress. The actress is most likely the one who has a fondness for writing persona poems and following a narrative structure.

TT: Is Franklin High School rooted in reality? To what extent is this poem autobiographical?

JM: The poem is completely autobiographical, right down to “For Whom the Bell Tolls” at the movie house in Cambridge Springs.  And yes, there is a Franklin High School that held its football camp each summer at the state normal college. I remember going to games in Franklin —no bleachers. We just walked up and down the field with the action and there were flame lit oil drums to warm our hands and thermos cocoa. Wonderful.

 

TT: One of many elements that enthralls in this poem is your use of contrasts. The speaker in the piece is framed in the waning days World War II, in presumably a small town somewhere in America. However, just as clearly as you paint the narrator in a safe suburban world, you also fix the narrator’s thoughts on the brutality of war—on America’s nuclear attack on Hiroshima, and Nagasaki.  Was this employment of contrasts intentional?

JM: I think the contrasts are more inescapable than intentional.  The small town of the poem is Edinboro, Pennsylvania, in that little piece of land between Ohio and New York (only 90 miles). It is spectacularly beautiful – woodlands and the foothills of the Allegheny mountains. It’s glorious. At fifteen, I knew you didn’t need a war to die young.  I’d already lost friends to Polio and Scarlet Fever and Whooping Cough and Meningitis and drowning—I’d been to my share of funerals. The war scared me, but nothing like the news about the A bomb and to hear of it while in such a gorgeous setting. That was monstrous— “the force of a hundred suns.” How can you even imagine that? Then, when I saw the newsreels, it paralyzed me.

TT:Resurrection” appears to be a strong undercurrent in your poem. Indeed, the narrator’s retelling of salvation of a kitten rising from the arms of violence fuels the plot of the piece. You even name the kitten Lazarus. One might argue that the resurrection of the cat is mirrored with the possibility of the rebirth of Japan’s nuclear bombardment. As a writer, do you believe it is possible for innocence to be reborn after enduring the horrors of life—especially of war? 

JM: I think it’s possible. It’s certainly necessary if we are to survive. If innocence can’t be “reborn,” then it must be reclaimed. I like your using the phrase “after enduring the horrors of life.” Enduring is such an accurate word. As I grow older, I find myself struggling to resist cynicism. It’s so seductive to see oneself as a sad, but wiser woman – and so silly.

 

TT: You capture the history of wartime America in this poem in great magnetic detail. It reads as if the bombing of Japan happened yesterday. What accounts for this? 

JM: It was a BIG time. The years before August 6th, 1945 had been filled with some shocking revelations. We lived at the movies and the newsreels had been grisly and upsetting all during the war. We scanned the faces of the dead and wounded looking for brothers and friends, for fathers and uncles. We sometimes sat through the movie more than once to make sure we hadn’t missed anyone. People called each other up if a local boy was spotted. Those newsreels: there was so much – the first pictures from the death camps, Mussolini and his mistress hanging by their heels, Hitler’s Bunker, VE day in New York and Europe, and of course, the great national sadness when President Roosevelt died. For me, the bomb did fall yesterday and it will continue to fall yesterday until the day I die.

 

TT: What I find particularly impressive—and piercing—is the timeless quality of this poem. In the latter section of your verses, the teenage narrator documents what it was like when World War II ended. She speaks of people telling “bad fall out jokes,” and folks celebrating with “Car horns.” When I read this, I was reminded of the spontaneous celebration America observed at the death of Osama Bin Laden, equally replete with bad Bin Laden jokes and car horns. Admittedly, the scale and nature of the two celebrations was profoundly different. Still the tendency for people to gloat over the death of enemies seems a consistent refrain among the living. You capture this well. As you approached this poem, was it your intention to record history, or to offer commentary on the violent, insensitive bent of humanity?

JM: A little of both, really. I wanted to tell what it was like for me that summer of ’45 and I also wanted to indicate that the introduction of an atomic weapon was life changing—everyone’s life changed. 

 

TT: Often events that occur in our formative years brand our life long steps. To what degree, if any, did the events of World War II impact your writing and your acting?

JM: To the nth degree, I’d say.  WWII was the subject of all the new plays and movies.  If you were acting you were acting in something about the war. For example, five years after the events of the poem when I was performing in Carmel, California in Arthur Miller’s All My Sons (which examined the morality of a man who placed his responsibility to his family over his responsibility to the soldiers who depended on the integrity of his work), I would fall asleep every night to the sound of gun-fire and bombing runs from maneuvers at near-by Fort Ord  for the war in Korea. It never ends, does it?

TT: Again, I must say it has been an honor to immerse myself in your work. What artistic efforts currently fill your table? What can readers and theatergoers expect from you in the future?

JM: Well, I don’t know about theatergoers, but I am writing more and more of my own story in memoir and in poetry. My children, Thea and Brendan Constantine, are both writers. Thea lives in Portland and is presently working on a novel, selections of which have appeared in Black Boot. Brendan is a poet and teacher; his books Letters to Guns and Birthday Girl with Possum are already in bookstores. I am immensely proud of them. I have family stories I want to tell them. We’ll see, right?  Thank you for asking.

Julianna McCarthy lives above the snow line, with a dog and two cats in the Los Padres National Forest. She is the 2009 The Bridge First Prize winner and a Schieble Sonnet Prize winner, a Pushcart Prize Nominee, and a Pablo Neruda Prize finalist. Her poems have appeared in The Antioch Review, Alehouse, The New Southerner Review, Boxcar Poetry Review, Best Poem, and others.  Her chapbook, Photoplay, was released in 2009.  She holds an MFA in Creative Writing/Poetry from New England College.

Truth Thomas is an educator, musician, poet, and a Poetry Editor of Tidal Basin Review.

Book Drive @ Marvin Gaye Ampitheatre

Big thanks to all brothers, all sisters. all colors, all family, who came out help the children in the today at Marvin Gaye Park. The response was overwhelming. Also big thanks to Marshall Heights Community Development Organization, Inc., Ward 7 Council member Yvette M. Alexander, Mr. Amin Muslim, and Ms. Lee of the Marvin Gaye Center for helping us to begin the book drive Beguine for school libraries… And a special thanks to poets Abdul Ali, Derrick Weston Brown, Brother Yao Glover, Alan King, and AJ Butler (Audio AJ) for their continued commitment–willingness–to elevate others through their art.  More to come…

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Read what others have to say about the book drive!

Averse to Illiteracy: Poets Come Out Against DC’s Ailing Public School Libraries

Tidal Basin Review Book Drive