J.R. Solonche poems in Poetry Atlas

The author of Beautiful Day and Won’t Be Long, two recent books from Deerbrook Editions, has several poems in Poetry Atlas. Poetry Atlas is mapping the world in poetry. We collect and map all poems about places, whether by great poets, or by you.

Hemingway’s House, Key West

J.R. Solonche

They wanted the tour they said
to be “a positive experience.”
So they don’t say how he died,

the muzzle of the shotgun
in his mouth, his brains all over
the walls of the house in Ketchum.

The cats are descended from his.
They are everywhere.
Many have six toes.

One night he got drunk, brought home
a urinal from Sloppy Joe’s
and made a water trough for them.

The best part is the studio.
That it isn’t in the house.
That it’s in the guesthouse where he’d go

to write The Green Hills
of Africa
and A Farewell to Arms
and For Whom the Bell Tolls,

standing there beneath
the glass-eyed gaze of the antelope,
the eraser of the pencil in his teeth.

Beautiful Day by JR Solonche

Beautiful Day by JR Solonche has delight and sorrow insights and more.

Won't Be Long


Halloween news, treats but no tricks

Probably the biggest news is our own Stuart Kestenbaum is the new Maine Poet Laureate. His titles continue to be popular. This and other news can be found on the new Website.

Other news includes a new review for No Passing Zone also reviewed in the American Book Review, along with Wars Don’t Happen Anymore and links to that review, as well as poems appearing in journals, are on the Website page. Take a look at the new Website with new navigation features like drop-down menus, pages for author’s info and books, and of course free shipping in the US when you order from the Website. In the past 16 months, twelve new titles have been added to the list, so check out the quality work.

Lots of new books from 2015 & 2016: check the site for the latest titles

The Vagabond's Book Shelf by Dawn Potter

The Vagabond’s Book Shelf by Dawn Potter

F.Fields cover grab

Richard Kostelanetz

Wars Don't happen Anymore by Sarah White

Wars Don’t happen Anymore by Sarah White


Descent & Other Poems

The Conversation by Dawn Potter

The Conversation by Dawn Potter

A passing

A Passing by Joan Siegel

Beautiful Day by JR Solonche

Beautiful Day by JR Solonche

Middle of the Night

Middle of the Night prose & poetry by HC Hsu

Once It Stops by Florence Fogelin

Once It Stops by Florence Fogelin Cover photo by Rosamond Orford

Yellow Horses by Martin Steingesser

Yellow Horses by Martin Steingesser

The Congress of Human Oddities by Teresa Carson

The Congress of Human Oddities by Teresa Carson

The World Disguised as This One by Mimi White

The World Disguised as This One by Mimi White

To the Rabbit I Killed on the Road This Morning

To the Rabbit

One of my favorite poems from Beautiful Day by J.R. Solonche. The poems in Solonche’s book have been called “melancholy . . .  tempered with art, wit and good grace” whispering , sometimes with more strength, the dichotomy of being alive.

“Identity, history, mortality, the natural world—the big four take the stage here, but spiced with wry wit and bemusement. Solonche possesses deadpan delivery that delights in unexpected twists and word play that can turn deadly serious. He’s equally expert at both narrative and lyric, and the ghazals alone are worth the price of admission. Beautiful Day may seem a risky title for a book of poetry, but read the title poem and see what Solonche can pull from it, as a magician might pull a dinosaur from a hat.”

—Mary Makofske,

Still poetry month

Three new titles for poetry available now on the Website at deerbrookeditions.com all are accomplished poets. They Join the rank of Deerbrook poets, all of whom garner recognition in some way. In the spirit of poetry month (aren’t we lucky, the powers that be give us a full month to wave the poetry flag) I am going to post a poem, and a graph about the author, for as many as I can in the remaining days.

Wars Don't happen Anymore by Sarah White

Sarah White’s poems resonate the irony of glory and human love.

Beautiful Day by JR Solonche

Beautiful Day by JR Solonche has delight and sorrow, insights and more.

Poetry is like getting dropped off in New Orleans.

A passing by Joan I. Siegel

Meditations on what cannot be seen, the music of memory.

The poetry of JR Solonche

Beautiful Day is now available on the Website free shipping, amazon, too, but they don’t need you as much.

Here is what Ricardo Nirenberg has to say about Beautiful Day by JR Solonche:

“The spirit of Horace, the melancholy of time slithering away and turning all to dust, tempered with art, wit and good grace: Solonche’s is the Horatian spirit for our time and place.”

—Ricardo Nirenberg, editor of Offcourse

 Here is one ghazal from the book. Buy the book to read the other five.

Glass Ghazal by JR Solonche

Not only is JR Solonche witty, he is a humorist in that his humor is self-effacing, if you define the difference between a wit, who makes fun of others, and one who uses humor to make fun of himself. There are also serious poems in Beautiful Day on such things as identity, mortality, history, and the natural world. Ode to Coffee will make you start to drink your coffee black. It did so for me.

The ghazal is composed of a minimum of five couplets—and typically no more than fifteen—that are structurally, thematically, and emotionally autonomous. Each line of the poem must be of the same length, though meter is not imposed in English. The first couplet introduces a scheme, made up of a rhyme followed by a refrain. Subsequent couplets pick up the same scheme in the second line only, repeating the refrain and rhyming the second line with both lines of the first stanza. The final couplet usually includes the poet’s signature, referring to the author in the first or third person, and frequently including the poet’s own name or a derivation of its meaning. Read more here.

Five-time Pushcart Prize nominee as well as Best of the Net nominee, J.R. Solonche has been publishing poetry in magazines, journals, and anthologies since the early 70s. Among the 300 or so print and on-line publications in which his work has appeared are The American Scholar, The New Criterion, The Journal of the American Medical Association, Poetry Northwest, The Progressive, The North American Review, Poet Lore, Poetry East, Rattle, Barrow Street, The Hampden-Sydney Poetry Review, The Atlanta Review, Salmagundi, Yankee Magazine, The Literary Review, Natural Bridge, Nimrod, Fugue, the Anthology of Magazine Verse & Yearbook of American Poetry, Visiting Frost: Poems Inspired by the Life and Work of Robert Frost, Mixed Voices: Contemporary Poems about Music, Facing the Change: Personal Encounters with Global Warming, Dogs Singing: A Tribute Anthology, and A Ritual to Read Together: Poems in Conversation with William Stafford. Professor Emeritus of English at the State University of New York-Orange County, he is coauthor (with his wife Joan I. Siegel) of Peach Girl:Poems for a Chinese Daughter.