News about L.R. Berger


Indebted to Wind new collection by award winning LR BergerL.R. has some readings coming up this fall.

One at the New England Poetry Club  

And one at Gibson’s Bookstore November 16th

L.R.’s new book is Indebted to Wind which came out last year and has been reviewed in North of Oxford.

Find the book on deerbrookeditions.com

Endorsements from the back cover

The wind in these eloquent, elegant, tensile poems is present as spirit, of course; as spirit it can manifest as the longing or fate of the body (it expires), as intellectual momentum (it inspires), as power for social justice (it aspires). In all these modes, L.R. Berger both controls the energy as form, and honors the charge of the moment through perception by brilliant perception, breath by mortal breath.

—Stephen Tapscott

In this beautiful new book, words are unusually alive and active in the poet’s capable hands. A whispered finale meaning finally, a riff on up, and an exploration of the letter P : these are among the linguistic players that address both personal loss and political realities, which L. R. Berger explores with searing honesty, emotional depth, and lyric grace. No precious word is wasted here; you will read carefully and gratefully, and want to read again.

—Martha Collins

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Indebted to Wind book review


Indebted to Wind new collection by award winning LR BergerIndebted to Wind has a review in North of Oxford by John Zheng

Endorsements from the back cover

The wind in these eloquent, elegant, tensile poems is present as spirit, of course; as spirit it can manifest as the longing or fate of the body (it expires), as intellectual momentum (it inspires), as power for social justice (it aspires). In all these modes, L.R. Berger both controls the energy as form, and honors the charge of the moment through perception by brilliant perception, breath by mortal breath.

—Stephen Tapscott

In this beautiful new book, words are unusually alive and active in the poet’s capable hands. A whispered finale meaning finally, a riff on up, and an exploration of the letter P : these are among the linguistic players that address both personal loss and political realities, which L. R. Berger explores with searing honesty, emotional depth, and lyric grace. No precious word is wasted here; you will read carefully and gratefully, and want to read again.

—Martha Collins

About LR Berger

L.R. Berger’s work has been supported by The National Endowment for the Arts, The PEN New England Discovery Award and The New Hampshire State Council on the Arts.  She was Visiting Artist at The American Academy in Rome, and has been granted residencies at The MacDowell Colony, The Blue Mountain Center, Hedgebrook, Wellspring House and The Hermitage.  Her collection of poems, The Unexpected Aviary, received the Jane Kenyon Award for Outstanding Book of Poetry.

Antique Densities, Maine poetry book award 2022


Antique Densities by Jefferson NavickyAntique Densities: Modern Parables & Other Experiments in Short Prose by Jefferson Navicky is a winner in the Book Award for Poetry category.

Antique Densities: Modern Parables & Other Experiments in Short Prose is a collection that flickers between the surreal and the recognizable, between poetry and fiction, between this world and another.

Available here from Deerbrook Editions  Visit the book page for endorsements.

About the Author

Jefferson Navicky is the author of the story collection, The Paper Coast, and the poetic novel, The Book of Transparencies. His writing has appeared in Smokelong QuarterlyElectric LiteratureFairy Tale Review, and Beloit Poetry Journal; his short plays have been produced across New England. He has been awarded a Maine Arts Commission grant, two Maine Literary Awards, and was the 2019 winner of the Maine Postmark Poetry Contest. He is the archivist for the Maine Women Writers Collection.    Visit the author’s Website

Jefferson Navicky

See a preview of Antique Densities on issuu.com.

The Argument of Time series by Teresa Carson


Teresa Carson has been working on a series of books, poetry of an experimental or inventive kind, one might say. Though there is more than one book, underneath the separate books is one unbroken thread, or one poem. This concept is explained by the author in the note below which is in book II.

The Argument of Time    {From the back matter of book II, Metamorphoses, Book XVI}

My formal education in ancient literature has amounted to little more than a sprinkling from Homer and Ovid, and my knowledge of ancient languages has been limited to phrases of response that I learned when the Roman Catholic mass was still said in Latin; nevertheless, in my fourth decade I found Ovid’s Metamorphoses and suddenly entered a genre of literature that I felt more at home in than in any other. Ovid led me to Homer led me to Vigil led me to Dante … in short, I discovered the epic form.

This deep connection to epic poetry makes sense because I am, above all else, interested in the why and how of the stories that we humans tell. Stories about ourselves, about others, about the world and the universe, about the past and the future. Stories. For more than two decades I nursed an unexpressed wish to write a modern epic.

Ostia Antica transformed that wish into reality. After having an intense experience of Time and Memory during my first visit there in 2014, the structure of a series, now titled The Argument of Time, appeared, all at once, as if in a vision. From the beginning the series was conceived as a five-book epic poem. In addition, I saw each of the five books as an epyllion, a short epic poem. Therefore, the pieces in each book connect into one poem; the five books connect into one large poem.

Now, the definition for epic in The Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry & Poetics goes like this:

An epic is a long narrative poem of heroic action: “narrative,” in that it tells a story; “poem,” in that it is written in verse rather than prose; “heroic action,” while reinterpreted by each major epic poet, in that, broadly defined, it recounts deeds of great valor that bear consequence for the community to which the hero belongs. An epic plot is typically focused on the deeds of a single person or hero, mortal though exceptionally strong, intelligent, or brave, and often assisted or opposed by gods. Epic is set in a remote or legendary past represented as an age of greater heroism than the present. Its style is elevated and rhetorical.

On the surface The Argument of Time falls short of these requirements; while it definitely tells a story and definitely is written in verse, it does not seem to contain “heroic action,” an “epic plot,” or an “elevated and rhetorical” style; worst of all, it takes place in historical time. But what if we question the traditional definition of an epic? What if we expand that definition to allow for the actions of the community in a specific place over a period of time? What if their deeds are the stories of everyday life? What if Time itself became the hero of an epic? What if the narrative were written in a common style? All of which is exactly what I chose to do; under this new definition, The Argument of Time is an epic.

 

The first book in the series, Visit to an Extinct City is available. Even though this post may exceed a length some readers appreciate, we wanted to give a certain impression of these books and the work involved by more than just a cover and a blurb.

And those words of thine thus made to serve for the time, did the outward ear give
notice to unto the intelligent soul, whose inward ear lay listening to thy eternal Word.
Saint Augustine, Confessions, XI-VI

Visit to an Extinct City, poems by Teresa CarsonVisit to an Extinct City, the first of five book-length poems in The Argument of Time series, was triggered by my first visit to Ostia Antica in 2014. My reason for going there was simple: I was determined not to leave Italy without visiting an extinct city, and I did not have enough time to go to Pompeii or Herculaneum. Yet from the moment I stepped through the Porta Romana, the place had an inexplicable hold on me. My daylong exploration of the ruins turned into a profound experience: everything in the landscape spoke to me. By the end of that visit, Ostia was pulsing through my veins. Back in New Jersey, I wrote down the title of all five books in The Argument of Time without any idea what the actual content of each book would be, except that it would be connected to Ostia in some way and that the poems would have to exist in English and Italian. Good fortune brought Steve Baker into my life; he approached the translation of Visit to an Extinct City with the same care and attention with which I approached the original.

While there are many excellent sources for detailed information about the history of Ostia, here is a brief introduction. Unlike the resort towns of Pompeii and Herculaneum, Ostia was a commercial center that served as the main port for goods coming into Rome from everywhere in the Roman Empire. By the second century a.d. its landscape was a densely packed mix of warehouses, apartment houses, temples (for various religions), baths, toilets, bakeries, and takeout food shops. Its decline from prosperous to extinct happened over a few hundred years; by the eleventh century its marble was being scavenged to build cathedrals throughout Italy. For centuries after Ostia’s abandonment, treasure hunters scoured its ruins for desirable artifacts that ended up in private collections, museums, and even the Vatican. Fortunately for us there is still much to find in Ostia. Today, systematic excavations undertaken by scientists continue to reveal its complexities and marvels.

—Teresa Carson

Each book is presented in both Italian and English. View previews of the books here.

And book II here.

New events with L.R. Berger


Zoom only

Poets L. R. Berger, Peter Murphy, and Tom Schmidt will read from their original work with Q&A to follow. L.R. Berger will be reading from Indebted to Wind, Peter Murphy from Underwater, and Tom Schmidt from Like, A Metaphor. Preregister at kellogghubbard.org/poemcity.

 

L.R. Berger was Visiting Artist at The American Academy in Rome.  Her collection of poems, The Unexpected Aviary, received the Jane Kenyon Award for Outstanding Book of Poetry.   Peter Murphy is the previous Dean of Academic Affairs at Goddard College and author of Maps of Three Contintents  Tom Schmidt has published two poetry chapbooks, Enough to Drink or Drown (Kelsay Books, 2020) and Like, A Metaphor (Encircle Publications, June 2021). He received a PhD from Cambridge University and taught humanities for thirty years in California, Oregon, and Vermont. Her new book is Indebted to Wind.

Indebted to Wind new collection by award winning LR Berger

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

EXPLORING THE SACRED & THE ORDINARY WITH FOUR WOMEN POETS
Fridays May 20, 27; June 3 and 10 from 1-3:30
Instructor: Catherine O’Brian
Guest Poet: L.R. Berger

Cost: $200

In this four-week class we will explore the “Sacred and the Ordinary” with four women poets: Gwendolyn Brooks, Jane Kenyon, Lucille Clifton and Eavan Boland. I will facilitate discussions, offer writing prompts and talk about revision strategies. Guest poet and author, L.R. Berger will join us on June 3 to share a few of her own poems, her writing process and life-long appreciation for the work of Gwendolyn Brooks.

This workshop is open to everyone. You don’t need to know how to write poems and you don’t need to know anything about the poets under discussion. Please bring a journal and pen plus your curiosity and imagination. Using the Twiggs Gallery’s art exhibits and diverse poetic styles we will generate new poems in a supportive environment.
CLICK HERE TO REGISTER VIA EVENTBRITE

or call

 

Twiggs Gallery
603-975-0015