Archive for the 'Poetry' Category

Announcement of Reading at Mocha Maya’s

Friday, November 10th, 2017

Dear Poetry-loving Friends (and those who would like to be):

This is just to tell you that I will be reading in the Collected Poets Series at Mocha Maya’s Coffee Shop, 47 Bridge Street, Shelburne Falls, MA, on Thursday, December 7. It begins at 7:oo p.m.

If you can get there, I would love to see you and say hello. Books will be available
for signing and purchase – the new one, Climate of Opinion: Sigmund Freud in Poetry, an anthology of poetry from many parts of the world, including quite a few from Massachusetts, as well as the previous one, Reminder, with only my own poems. I should also mention that food is there as well, and it’s very good.

Looking forward – and let’s hope the weather is with us,

–Irene Willis
Poetry Editor

POETRY MONDAY:  November 6, 2017

Monday, November 6th, 2017


                             Joan Cusack Handler

Good morning, everyone.  It’s hard to believe daylight savings time is about to end here in the Northeastern U.S., where the trees are splendidly scarlet and gold and poetry almost can’t compete.

Our poet today has a name that is already familiar to many of you who have purchased and read the lovely books produced under one of the imprints of CavanKerry Press since its founding in 2000 by Joan Cusack Handler and Florenz Eisman.

Joan herself is a poet and memoirist whose poems have been widely published in  literary journals, including several in Psychoanalytic Perspective, and have received The Sampler Award from Boston Review and five Pushcart nominations. She has four published collections: Confessions of Joan the Tall, a prose memoir, and three poetry collections: GlOrious, The Red Canoe: Love in Its Making and, most recently, Orphans, a verse memoir that presents three stories spoken in three voices (her mother’s, father’s and her own) in three different forms.

Informing all of her work, undoubtedly, are insights derived from the fact that she is a psychologist in clinical practice.

I’m happy that she has shared with us the three poems below, all from her newest book, Orphans.

                            –Irene Wills
                               Poetry Editor


Therapy Room

The coat rack that holds your coats also holds your names.
Each forty-five minutes a different one, from plump purple (more…)


Monday, September 4th, 2017



                      Barbara Ungar


 Welcome back to our poetry pages, everyone.  Happy Labor Day, if such is still possible in the world we’re facing right now.  Nevertheless, we carry on.  The hard work of labor unions over the years needs to be honored and rights maintained. It’s also back- to-school time for all the students and teachers among our readers, as well as a time of celebration and reflection.

Our poet for today, one whose work I encountered on (more…)

Yiddish Poet Celebrates Life with His Language

Monday, July 10th, 2017

Click Here to Read:  Yiddish Poet Celebrates Life with His Language By Joseph Berger In the New York Times on March 17, 1985.

POETRY MONDAY: June 5, 2017

Tuesday, June 6th, 2017

To Our Readers:  I will be on vacation during July and August and want to wish you a happy summer. Poetry Monday  will be back in September.

                                  –Irene Willis
                                    Poetry Editor

E.J. Brunoski


Good morning, poetry readers! As you in the Northeastern U.S. have observed, it may actually be spring here at last. In fact, given this week’s forecast, we may even have some days that feel like summer. Leaves are back on the trees, which so far have managed to ignore climate change, and some flowers are open now, seeming happy and innocent of world affairs, as I am trying to be, focused on poetry today.

Our poet this month, a new one to me as well, is E. J. Brunoski, as she prefers to be known to poetry readers. Her other – and major – professional identity is as a full-time, practicing psychoanalyst in Manhattan who has taught, supervised and run clinics. As we all know, poetry and psychoanalysis have much in common, and Elizabeth Brunoski’s education and career are an example of that. She began as an English major and poet, went on to finish most of a doctorate in English literature for which, interestingly, her dissertation was a psychoanalytic study of Nijinsky. About that time, she realized where she really wanted to head in her career and switched to a doctoral program in clinical psychology and finished up in New York University’s postdoctoral program. (more…)

Reflections on Poetry and on Civic Poetry, in Particular

Thursday, May 18th, 2017

A note from our Poetry Editor, Irene Willis:

I recommend this excellent and timely article to all our readers.

Click Here to Read:  Reflections on Poetry and on Civic Poetry, in Particular by Jim Haba on April 20, 2017.

POETRY MONDAY: May 1, 2017

Monday, May 1st, 2017

Terry Lucas


I’m happy to present another award-winning poet to you today. Terry Lucas is the author of two full-length poetry collections, both of which came out in 2016: In This Room from CW Books in January and Dharma Rain, from Saint Julian Press in October. He has also published two award-winning chapbooks: Altar Call, selected by the 2013 San Gabriel Valley Literary Festival for the anthology, Diesel, and If They Have Ears to Hear, winner of the 2012 Copperdome Chapbook contest and published by Southeast Missouri State University Press in 2013. Among his many other writing awards were the 2014 Crab Orchard Review Feature Award in Poetry, the fifth annual Littoral Press Poetry Prize, and six Pushcart Prize nominations.

Lucas’ poems, reviews and essays have appeared in dozens of national literary journals, including Best New Poets 2012, Green Mountains Review, Great River Review, Poetry Flash, and South 85 Journal. He has taught in the Chicago public schools as a Master Poet in the Von Steuben Metropolitan Science Center’s Writing Center, and is a guest lecturer for the Dominican University Low-Residency MFA Program in Creative Writing. A 2008 MFA graduate of New England College, he  is (more…)

POETRY MONDAY: April 3, 2017

Monday, April 3rd, 2017

James Cummins


Is it spring yet? Hard to know, since here in the Northeastern U.S. as I wrote this, we were in a storm that just got upgraded to “blizzard” status, and I could hardly see out of my Berkshire windows. But here we are, anyway, thinking about what makes us happy – poetry.

As befitting National Poetry Month, our poet today is one whose life and career are devoted to poetry. Curator of the Elliston Poetry Collection, where he is also a professor of English, James Cummins has published five books of poetry, the most recent of which is Still Some Cake (Carnegie Mellon Press). His others are The Whole Truth (North Point Press); Portrait in a Spoon (University of South Carolina Press); Then and Now (Swallow Press); and, co-authored with David Lehman, Jim and Dave Defeat the Masked Man (Soft Skull Press). But this is far from all. Honors for his work include poems selected for several Best American Poetry  (more…)

POETRY MONDAY: March 6, 2017

Monday, March 6th, 2017

Judy Rowe Michaels

The happy poet you see pictured here, hygge (cozy), as the Danes would say, with a cat on her lap absorbed in a book of poems from WordTech Editions, is a founding member of the poetry critique and performance group, “Cool Women” and a poet for the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation in New Jersey. A six-time cancer survivor, she also gives talks on ovarian cancer for “Survivors Teaching Students,” a program in over one hundred medical schools throughout the United States.

She has published three full-length poetry collections: The Forest of Wild Hands (University Press of Florida); Reviewing the Skull (WordTech Editions) and a chapbook, Ghost Notes (Finishing Line Press), as well as three books on teaching writing, most recently Catching Tigers in Red Weather (National Council of Teachers of English Press). A MacDowell Colony Fellow, she has held two poetry fellowships from the New Jersey State Arts Council and in 2015 won the New Jersey Poets Prize. (more…)

Note to Submiters on February 7, 2017 from Irene Willis

Tuesday, February 7th, 2017

To all who responded to my “Call to Poets” for submissions to the anthology Climate of Opinion: Sigmund Freud in Poetry:

As some of you may already know, I have been derailed for a few months, but am now back on track and beginning to respond to submissions — many more than expected, from all over the world. If you have not heard from me, either by e-mail or postal mail, by March 1st, 2017, and still wish to have your poems considered, please re-submit them, together with a cover letter and brief bio, by no later than March 10. U.S.1 members may send poems as e-mail attachments, to my personal e-mail address.

Other submiters will please send by postal mail to:

Irene Willis
Poetry Editor
International Psychoanalysis
P.O. Box 217 (more…)

POETRY MONDAY: February 6, 2017

Monday, February 6th, 2017

Betty Lies

No, she doesn’t. It’s pronounced Lees, in case you wondered, and she’s one of the most truthful poets I know. Full disclosure: I’ve known and admired Betty Lies as a poet, educator and colleague for many years and in fact even blurbed one of her books, The Day After I Drowned (Cherry Grove Collections, 2010). I had the occasion to re-read it recently, and it resonated more strongly than ever. This is what poetry does for us – one of the many things it
does. For me, right now, having suffered a painful loss, her poems were as good as a grief support group. (more…)

POETRY MONDAY: January 2, 2017

Monday, January 2nd, 2017


Zara Raab

Happy New Year, everyone!  Well, it seems as if we’ve survived 2016  — and what a year it was.

Now, back to poetry, which is one of the things that helps us stay alive and human.

You must think so, too, or you wouldn’t be reading this page. Our poet today is someone whose sophisticated and mature work I had the pleasure of discovering only recently.  Zara Raab grew up in northern California, where her
grandparents’ grandparents settled in the 19th century.  Settled now in western Massachusetts, she works on-line in media communications and is putting together two new books, leading workshops in formal aspects of poetry and helping out at MassPoetry.

The author of two full-length collections, Swimming the Eel and Fracas and Asylum  (David Robert Books, 2011 (more…)

The Poem that Foretold Modernism

Sunday, December 11th, 2016


Click Here to Read: The Poem that Foretold Modernism: How Stéphane Mallarmé’s greatest work was forged from tragedy BY Ellen Handler Spitz in the New Republic on December 9, 2016.

‘Portrait of Stéphane Mallarmé’ by Édouard Manet, 1876 / Wikimedia Commons

POETRY MONDAY:  December 5, 2016

Monday, December 5th, 2016


Jayne Benjulian


Welcome back, everyone.  As I keyed in this date, my mind jumped ahead and back to “a day that will live in infamy.”  Of course.  But we’ve had many infamous days since then  — some very recent —  and we have to remember and hold on to the fact that poetry helps to keep us not only alive but human.

Our new poet today is one who was new to me until a short time ago, when I discovered her here in the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts.  Her poems were a delightful surprise.  It was also a surprise to learn that she has just come out with a first collection, although she has been publishing in many fine literary magazines for some time.  (more…)

POETRY MONDAY: November 7, 2016

Monday, November 7th, 2016

To our readers:

Our Poetry Editor, Irene Willis, has had to take a bereavement leave this month, but she will be back with a new Poetry Monday in December.

Meanwhile, she wants to remind you to send your submissions, whether for Poetry Monday or for the forthcoming anthology, Climate of Opinion: Sigmund Freud in Poetry, by postal mail, to:

Irene Willis, Poetry Editor
International Psychoanalysis
P.O. Box 217
South Egremont, MA 01258

POETRY MONDAY: October 3, 2016

Monday, October 3rd, 2016


Elizabeth Socolow

To those of you whose holidays are this time of year, our very best wishes.

For all of us, we are pleased to present a poet who last with us on this page in October 2016. I urge you to search the archives to read about her and her previous publications. She’s a splendid poet, has long been a splendid poet, but there’s something special about these new poems. They are about someone our readers know quite well – and they were sent in response to a call to poets we published recently, in which we announced our forthcoming anthology of poems about Sigmund Freud and psychoanalysis. Climate of Opinion: Sigmund Freud in Poetry, Edited and with an Introduction by Irene Willis and supported by a grant from the American Psychoanalytic
Foundation, is now in progress, and IPBooks has agreed to publish it – hopefully, sometime in 2017. (more…)

Calling All Poets: A Message from Irene Willis

Monday, September 5th, 2016


To Our Readers:

This is a reminder that we always welcome your poetry submissions, which should be sent, by postal mail, to the address below:

Irene Willis
Poetry Editor
O. Box 217
South Egremont, MA

And now, here is a special announcement, which we strongly urge you to consider.  I am editing the anthology described, which is to be published by IP Books in 2017.

Click Here to Read: Calling All Poets: A Message for our Readers from Irene Willis, our Poetry Editor.

POETRY MONDAY: September 5, 2016

Monday, September 5th, 2016

john guzlowski

Good morning, everyone, and welcome to the climax of Labor Day weekend and the beginning of what already seems like fall here in the Northeastern part of the U.S.

Many of you were impressed with the work of John Guzlowski, our featured poet in April of this year. He has devoted a large part of his life and career to writing and speaking about the experiences of his Roman Catholic parents, who were taken as slave laborers by the Nazis and barely survived. Both he and his sister were born in Displaced Persons camps. There could not be a better time to re-consider those events than the present, during the heat of our own political campaign, which has kept alive the burning topic of how the world should treat refugees from war-torn regions. Please go back to our archive first to re-read some of John’s strong poems and information about his latest book, Echoes of Tattered Tongues (AQUA POLONICA, LTD., 2016), and then take the time to watch the video below, which he has been kind enough to share with us.

                                                                                              –Irene Willis
                                                                                              Poetry Editor


Click Here to View: A reading by John Guzlowski at the Hamtramck Public Library in Michigan on YouTub,.

60 Years Since the Murder of Jewish Intellectuals in the Soviet Union

Saturday, August 13th, 2016


Click Here to Read: 60 Years Since the Murder of Jewish Intellectuals in the Soviet Union on the Nation of Israel website.

Click Here to Read: Remembering the Night of the Murdered Soviet Yiddish Poets by Masha Leon on the Forward Website on August 17, 2015.

Click Here to Read:  Stalin and the Night of the Murdered Poets By Eli Kavon in the Jerusalem Post on August 11, 2015. (more…)

Poem on Blind Faith by Lawrence L. Schwartz

Friday, August 5th, 2016

On the Occasion of Hiroshima Day we thought it fitting to share the following poem by Lawrence L. Schwartz.  He introduces it with the following words:

On July 11, 2016, I was privileged to read my “Poem on Blind Faith” at the United Nations Chapel, in my role as an interfaith minister, as one of the guests at an interfaith program organized by Guruji Dileepkumar Thankappan.  (Text of poem follows link to video.)

Click Here to View:  Lawrence L.  Schwartz reading the poem on YouTube.

“A Poem on Blind Faith”

When religion is based on fear, not Love,
You cannot feel that God’s within,
You’re stuck with the fear of “that God above,”
And spend your days in dreading “sin,” (more…)