Category Archives: Archive

Older, time sensitive posts

A. Garnett Weiss cento on display in the online exhibition “The Art of Conversation”

Here’s the link to the art show which launched today on Facebook. Once there, please click ‘discussion’ to access the works of art and commentary.
https://www.facebook.com/events/435477617556915

JC is one of 15 artists and writers contributing to this virtual show. The project, sponsored by the Prince Edward County Arts Council and the Community Care for Seniors Association, paired each participating artist with a local senior and encouraged them to hold up to five conversations. From that shared experience, the artists and writers produced a work drawing on what they learned about and from each other.

“Our telephone conversations took us to Waupoos Island, where my almost 100 year-old partner was born, and around the County as we talked about ancestors and landscape, family and friends, food and history.

“It was a delight to meet Catherine, even if only over the phone, and to find out how we shared a love of poetry and particularly the words of Al Purdy. Together, we read “In search of Owen Roblin” aloud and from that exchange came my cento, in honour of Al and of Catherine.”

Writing as A. Garnett Weiss, the pseudonym JC uses when she writes centos and found poetry, JC chose lines from Purdy’s long poem for her cento, “I am a screen through which the world passes.” JC thanked Martin Soldat for his advice about arraying the poem.

“My part in this innovative program connecting people during the pandemic brought me great joy. I am grateful to the organizers for giving me this unique opportunity.”

The show runs for two weeks. Please offer comments on the FB post about what you read and see.

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Happy Birthday, Billy Collins

Writing as A. Garnett Weiss, JC was delighted to contribute her cento, “How the voices of light enter the body,” to the tribute video assembled for the former US Poet Laureate’s 80th birthday, March 22. The poem draws lines unaltered, apart for purposes of grammar or punctuation, from Billy’s collection, “Sailing Alone Around the Room.” Here’s the link to her reading you can cut and paste into your browser:
https://www.tribute.co/american-poet-billy-collins/?video=3c7d4c9b-fa77-c03a-3217-0858e707e029

Billy and his spouse have brought his poetry and his thoughts about poetry to a regular audience of almost 400 for a half-hour, 5 nights a week during the last year.

“These poetry broadcasts offered regular followers, including me, a looked-forward-to, late afternoon gift—respite from the tribulations of the day. Billy’s unique voice capturing experience in an accessible and eloquent way, delivered without pretense in the surprising intimacy of his home, gave me such a boost. Every day!

“Here’s wishing Billy and his family good health and happiness for many, many, many years to come.”

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Poetry Quarter in the Glebe Report in time for Valentine’s Day

Poetry Quarter (PQ) in the January/February Glebe Report published today features poems by eight local poets on the theme of “It Could Happen to You.”

Here’s the link to the paper
https://www.glebereport.ca/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/GR_Jan_February-12-2021_WEB.pdf

Scroll to page 24 for the poems JC selected for this issue and to see the submission call for the next PQ. The theme for May is tied to the sense of Spring–what it feels like: deliverance, relief, asylum and safety or the opposite. The deadline is April 26.

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A. Garnett Weiss weighs in with a poem for today

JC writes found poetry and centos using her pseudonym, A. Garnett Weiss. “I decided to make a distinction between these found poems, particularly centos, and what I write of a narrative or lyric nature, which I sign with my own name. For me, the process of composing a cento, for example, is completely different from how I approach a free verse poem. By using my pseudonym, I gained the independence I needed to move forward with found poetry.

Given the cacophony of political rhetoric these days, JC offers “Loose in the cathedral.” This five-line piece uses individual words drawn from death notices and obituary articles published in the Toronto Globe and Mail on April 17, 2017. It first appeared on JC’s Facebook page in 2018 in response to US writer Anne Lamott. Her collection of such poems is making the rounds of publishers.

Loose in the Cathedral

Privileged to know
someone else’s pain,
grieving for an approachable place,

an open door around the world,
the degree of vitriol and hate defrocked.

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The Light Ekphrastic’s November issue features JC’s collaboration with Ron Tobey from West Virginia

JC thanks Editor Jenny O’Grady for pairing her with Ron Tobey and for publishing her two poems, “Luck. Now” and “From Sea to Sea.”

“I am grateful that my work has been favoured a number of times by The Light Ekphrastic (TLE) and that these poems appear during the Journal’s 10th anniversary year.”

Here is the link to their ekphrastic collaboration to paste into your browser: https://thelightekphrastic.com/tobey-sulzenko-november-2020/

“I take joy in writing poetry inspired by works of art and in what is unique about the TLE process. Each artist and poet pair chosen by the Editor receives several offerings from his or her ‘Artner’ from which to select one as the focus of new work.

“For the first time in writing such poems, I received videos, one of which included the voiceover by the videographer-poet. I hesitated. Accustomed to working from a still image or an object, I couldn’t see a way in, particularly because I didn’t want my work to be influenced by Ron Tobey’s words.

“I chose “Days Rise” and received permission from Ron to mute his poem so that I could concentrate upon images in the video. I asked him questions in an exchange of emails before I began to fashion “Luck. Now.” Only after I had completed the poem and sent it to TLE did I allow myself to listen to Ron read.

“After that, I waited to share “Luck. Now.” with Ron until he had submitted his piece in response to my poem, “From Sea to Sea.” While he chose to wait to read “Luck. Now” until when our work would be published, I couldn’t resist watching “Open your Eye” immediately.

“I remain spellbound by the synchronicity between “Luck. Now” and “Open Your Eye.” Each of us, responding to a different work of art by the other, came independently to an alignment that is nothing short of a wonder to me. Ron’s serendipitous choice of the title for his video and the wording of my last stanza in “Luck. Now” provide one example.

“Open Your Eye” misses none of the oceanic emotions embodied in “From Sea to Sea,” right from the video’s first sequences, staccato images and spectral footsteps. In my comments to Ron, I welcomed how the video moves from stark portrayals of loss into sunlight that streams around the construction of a new home in a landscape that welcomes two young people into its embrace.

“My participation in this ekphrastic collaboration has been a privilege and enriched my writing life,” JC concluded.

For information on imagistic poet Ron Tobey: https://vimeo.com/userturin

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JC’s poem “Ode to a wine-lover’s friend” featured in Silver Birch Press series PRIME MOVERS

This new, online series from California-based Silver Birch Press gave JC the opportunity to write about someone she met in the context of restrictions imposed by the pandemic who is, in his unique way, a prime mover among ‘front line’ workers. She is grateful to SBP for favouring her work with publication.

Embarrassed about the boxes of wine bottles accumulated while recycling options were unavailable, JC learned about David and his family’s novel approach to raising funds for his favourite charities.They come to the house, take away the bottles, and donate the proceeds from the returns. David’s mother, enthusiastic and warmhearted, shared his story and championed her son’s services, with emphasis on his abilities and commitment.

In “Ode to a wine-lover’s friend” JC captured the moment of their meeting and this young man’s positive disposition. She hopes David and his family will welcome the tribute.

Here is a link to the poem to cut and paste into your browser:
https://silverbirchpress.wordpress.com/2020/09/06/ode-to-a-wine-lovers-friend-by-jc-sulzenko-prime-movers-series/

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Poetry Quarter: November, Besting the Bard and poems for January, 2021

JC curates Poetry Quarter (PQ), a regular feature in the community newspaper, The Glebe Report.

The November issues features work related to the works of William Shakespeare. “We received surprising and worthwhile riffs off Shakespeare bound to offset mid-November doldrums. To read the poems, please put this link into your browser. Go to https://www.glebereport.ca/poetry-quarter-16/

For the next PQ challenge, with a submission deadline of January 15, 2l21, here’s what the The Glebe Report seeks:

Roses are red, violets are blue” –- an over-used line to be sure, but we use it to launch our theme for February’s Poetry Quarter: It could happen to you!

Send us your poems on the theme of love to illuminate the long winter nights around Valentine’s Day.
Bring light, passion and joy – or their opposite forces – to bear on words you choose to share in poetic form about your loves, your hates and your in-betweens.

Local poets: Come one, come all!

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Silver Birch Press Landmark Series feature’s JC’s poem, “At the South Rim”

JC is delighted that California-based Silver Birch Press has featured her poem about the Grand Canyon in its new series on landmarks.

Here’s the link to the post to paste into your browser:

https://silverbirchpress.wordpress.com/2020/07/08/at-the-south-rim-by-jc-sulzenko-landmarks-series/

“I thank Silver Birch Press Editor Melanie Villines for publishing “At the South Rim” along with my explanation of how that one-time visit to the canyon affected and continues to affect me. I hope one day to return. Sharing this poem takes me to the moment I first took in the spectacle that is the Grand Canyon and felt somehow I had been let in on a secret beyond my imagination.”

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An anthem by JC Celebrates Canada Day, 2020

Anthem

The Mountie sings “O Canada”—
a fine baritone in scarlet.
Odd how his stiff, brown hat stays put.

I strain to hear the others. Their singing jumbles
off high glass planes, transparent walls.
I make out “Des plus brilliants,

God keep,
Glorious and free.”
I hear my voice, small in the great room

“O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.”
I will the words to be true,
fear we are not up to it.

Many don’t vote,
squander their choices, our democracy.
Grumble at leaders in power almost by default.

Our fault, really.
Centred in little lives, blind to our need
to protect our Canada — beautiful, fragile.

We ought to know better, to know
what to do for our country every day
and in times of flood, plague, war and fire.

Could someone tell us how
or should we go out there, start somewhere,
work not only for ourselves

but for our Canada.
A half hour a day spent by
each of the 37+ million of us

(minus the sick, the too-young)
would sure buy a lot
of standing on guard.

JC Sulzenko
(CBC radio broadcast an early version of this poem )

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“The Jane Austen Society” by Natalie Jenner — JC’s new Bookends mini review

JC, a Jane Austen devotee, just finished this Oakville author’s 2020 novel. JC gives it an 8.5/10 rating. Go to Bookends to see the review.

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Eva Holland’s “Nerve, A Personal Journey Through the Science of Fear”–JC’s Review

The June 12 Glebe Report carries JC’s review of this memoire by Whitehorse-based author Eva Holland. ALLEN LANE, an imprint of Penguin Canada published “Nerve” in May.

The review admits upfront that JC has known the writer since she was a child and has watched her career with an interest that is both a professional and personal.

If JC had reviewed the book on this site for her “Bookends” feature, what rating would JC have given “Nerve?” 9/10!

Here’s the link to the paper. The article appears on page 22.
https://www.glebereport.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/GR-June-2020_web.pdf

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SILVER BIRCH PRESS FEATURES JC’S POEM, “DEADBOLT” IN THE ‘MY FRONT DOOR’ SERIES

Right after Editor Melanie Villines ended this California press’s hiatus, JC welcomed the opportunity to contribute her poem “Deadbolt” to its new, online series.

“The Editor’s choice of ’my front door’ for the current series’ theme strikes me as inspired and evocative. During the pandemic, what happens inside or outside open or closed doors, whether metaphorical or physical, offers poets such scope to explore experiences real or imagined,” JC commented.

Silver Birch Press has published JC’s poems in a number of its anthologies and in various online series. She is the only Canadian whose work appears in its 2015 chapbook anthology, IDES.

Here is the link to “Deadbolt” to cut and paste into your browser:

https://silverbirchpress.wordpress.com/2020/05/12/deadbolt-by-jc-sulzenko-my-front-door-series/

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For the times — JC’s irreverent ‘haiku’

zoom once defined a lens
now opens conversations
face-to-face-to-face

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WATCH JC READ HER POEM FROM Vallum’s ISSUE ON ‘HOME’

JC was delighted that Editors at VALLUM chose her found poem “Whether or not transference occurs” for issue 17.1, which launched at an innovative, online watch party on April 24, 2020. Here is the link that will bring you her reading.

https://www.facebook.com/VallumMagazine/videos/174245443751882/

“Whether or not transference occurs” uses words drawn unaltered from death notices and obituary articles published on a single day in the Toronto GLOBE AND MAIL. The poem is part of a full collection seeking a publisher.

“I thank VALLUM’S Editors for including my piece in the ‘home’ issue. It’s a privilege to appear in the magazine and to be in the fine company of other poets whose work is featured there,” JC noted after the launch. She took the opportunity also to read two centos.

Here is a link to VALLUM’s whole digital issue 17.1:

http://www.vallummag.com/current_issue_copy171.html

JC writes centos and found poetry under the pseudonym A. Garnett Weiss.

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Ellis Marsalis Tribute

JC offers her deepest sympathy to the family of patriarch Ellis Marsalis along with her poem,”Like father, like son.” Written in 2003 after the Marsalis family played together at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa, the poem has been published elsewhere, most recently in VERSE AFIRE (The Ontario Poetry Society.)

May memories of Ellis, as was his life, be a blessing.

LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON

Ellis Marsalis caresses the keys, releases melody.
His sons trombone, sax, trumpet, drum
into the music, explore its geography,
improvise new routes to the source of sound.

They play together, yet play alone,
a composition so intimate it’s a surprise
when the jazz flows back to where it began.

What lingers is not only the music.
It’s Ellis. His voice soft,
he introduces each son
as though unwrapping a gift.

Did he know from the start how it would be,
sharing the same stage, each other’s rhythms
the joyful dissonance, harmonies?

He’d likely say luck had a hand in it, led
his boys past the usual rejection of a father’s
ways to choose such instruments
for the love of him, for the love of song.

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Nowhere to run

A wall
transparent, translucent

Easy to walk through
if you dare

I don’t
I stare at the street

Sunlit, snow covered
empty

Put my hands up to the wall
Feel cold, cold

cold as hard as my choices
Be exposed or cocoon

Hyper-vigilant, yet numb
I want to run, don’t know where

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Spring to summer

JC is very pleased that her work will appear in upcoming issues of VALLUM: CONTEMPORARY POETRY and THE NAUGATUCK RIVER REVIEW. In May, Poetry Leaves, a poetry exhibition and anthology project of the Waterford Township Public Library (Michigan), was slated to feature her for the second year in a row.

“I’m delighted by the reception my found poetry has received and look forward, as well, to seeing an ekphrastic poem based on an image by Prince Edward County photographer Graham Davies in print.

JC continues to curate “Poetry Quarter” for the community newspaper,THE GLEBE REPORT, and serves on the selection board for ByWords.ca, an online, monthly poetry journal.

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HAPPY 2020 to all–Boxing day colours republished

BOXING DAY COLOURS

Three black pigeons found solace

in the too-warm puddles

They alone had not dreamt of a white Christmas

Did not regret the grim, gray slush

that bequeathed lines of salt to new leather boots

still stiff from packages, now crushed and

stuffed along with blue reindeer wrapping

and rivers of silver ribbon

into bulging green garbage bags

at the curb

of a new year

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The Light Ekphrastic publishes 2 poems by JC Sulzenko

JC is very pleased that Jenny O’Grady, Editor and Publisher of The Light Ekphrastic (TLE), chose her to collaborate with Baltimore artist Leah Michaels for the August issue of the online journal.

The journal exclusively publishes ekphrastic collaborations.

JC is no stranger to TLE and welcomes the opportunity to write in response to works of art and to have her work interpreted by artists who use various media.

In “Recessional,” JC offered a poem originally written to incorporate words from a poetry challenge. Leah Michaels chose to create an image related to memory, relationship, language, and ruins in response.

In “I must bury sorrow,“ JC writing as A. Garnett Weiss, used the cento form and lines from Robert Browning to respond to Leah’s image of The Angel of Grief by 19th century US sculptor William Wetmore Story.

Here is the link to their work to cut and paste into your browser:
https://thelightekphrastic.com/august-2019-issue-39/michaels-sulzenko-august-2019/

JC thanked Leah Michaels and Jenny O’Grady for the chance to let art influence her poetry and for her poetry to influence art in such a forum.

“I find great joy in writing ekphrastic poetry,” JC admits. “I feel enriched by each experience.”

Working together, JC and writing partner Carol A. Stephen have developed a full collection of ekphrastic poems written collaboratively, some of which have been published. All they need now is a poetry publisher to help these innovative intepretations reach a wider audience.

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JC wrote Poems To-Go at the Birds and Bees fundraiser for the Prince Edward Point Bird Observatory (PEPtBO)

Poet JC brought her impromptu poetry-writing to the Birds and Bees Fundraiser on Saturday, July 27 during two, 90-minute time slots.

For a $10 fee, she interviewed willing nature enthusiasts and turned what she learned into a poem with a minimum of 3 lines, which the buyer received in file form after the event. All proceeds benefitted PEPtBO in Prince Edward County, Ontario.

Use this link to access a poem JC wrote in response to a commission at the event by Tamara Segal:

https://www.facebook.com/324148114673039/posts/718871921867321?s=714679292&sfns=mo

“This tailored poem is a mini-version of the services I provide when I write poetry on commission,” JC explained.

JC only writes on subjects within the bounds of public discourse. There are no returns, and the copyright for each poem stays with JC.

“I just can’t resist the challenge: writing to a subject not of my choosing, suggested by someone whom I didn’t know beforehand, for the most part, to mark a birthday, an anniversary, a special event or person, or in memoriam,” JC admits. “That is why I launched “BESPOKE POETRY” to give me the chance to create new poems or poems to-go this way.”

JC began her love affair with poetry written on demand many summers ago at a showcase for artists, crafts people and assorted others in her neighbourhood. Wearing a lot of sunscreen and with paper pad and pen, she set up a table and offered to write poems for visitors at $2.50 each, the proceeds of which went to a charitable organization. She cannot remember to which one the modest take went that first year.

Though not a big fundraiser, JC found the experience exhilarating. “I used a number of the poems written at that festival in “Fat poems Tall poems Long poems Small,” my ekphrastic book of poems for families and children to which Ottawa artists contributed interpretative illustrations.” Several other poems found their way into chapbooks.

For a couple of years, JC returned to the venue. Each year, the price tag went up by a bit. The final year of her participation, she raised funds for a local hospital.

Then she stopped, overtaken by other writing projects including “Boot Crazy” and later by “What My Grandma Means to Say,” her book and play about Alzheimer’s disease.

Now she has taken up poetry on commission again with enthusiasm. The process begins with agreement on a base price for the poem, which can take the form of free verse or rhyme. The ‘buyer’ pays JC upfront. Then, there’s an interview which can take as little as 10 minutes over the phone or up to an hour face-to-face, where that’s convenient to the parties.

JC considers carefully what she has learned about the subject and writes the poem within the timeframe agreed to in the discussions. The length of the poem can vary depending the subject matter. Once she’s satisfied, she shares the poem and asks for comments as to accuracy only. If there are any factual inaccuracies, she corrects them and then provides a final text.

She asks that the poem not be published without her prior permission and then only with clear acknowledgment as to her authorship.

“I have written about a granddaughter’s graduation from high school on her birthday, the death of a child, a dog who dreams. It’s such an adventure, never knowing where a new poem will begin or to where it will take me.”

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New Bookends Review: “Suzanne” by Anais Barbeau-Lavalette

JC is back in book review mode at long last.
Go to Bookends on this website to read her take on the novel, “Suzanne”, a 2019 CBC Canada Read’s selection, to which she gives an unusual 8/10 score.

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JC read her winning cento at Art in the County

The Prince Edward County Arts Council’s inaugural Wind and Water writing contest gave JC the opportunity to submit her cento, “Sacred place where each thing speaks itself” for consideration. JC writes centos and found poetry using her pseudonym, A. Garnett Weiss.

She read the poem, which won the competition, during the Picton Art Crawl on Thursday, June 27 at the Art in the County exhibition.

JC thanked the jury for selecting her poem. “The cento is a poetic form which gives me great pleasure to write. It’s like a puzzle when I choose and use lines from the fine work of other poets from many eras to create a completely new work which both respects the original material yet takes its own path.”

JC’s centos have been successful in many contests and appear in a number of anthologies. Her lyric and narrative poems appear in “South Shore Suite, Poems.”

Information on the Suite is available from the publisher, www.pointpetrepublishing.ca.

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JC appears on 99.3 FM radio on Father’s Day and at Arts Crawl with a poetry reading on Thursday, June 27

Just after the June 16 Sunday noon news, JC recommends a book that influenced her as part of a panel on Lynn Pickering’s The County Writes…The County Reads, 99.3 FM Prince Edward County.

Sworn to secrecy until the big reveal, JC welcomed the opportunity to hype her selection as a book from which every Canadian would draw benefits at many levels.

Selecting one title proved challenging. She almost chose Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice,” a book she revels in rereading. She also found it difficult to resist Anne Lamott’s “Bird By Bird,” which she considers one of the best primers on how to let oneself develop a writing process that is satisfying.
Tune into the show. Here’s a link: https://www.facebook.com/993CountyFM

On Thursday, June 27 JC joins in Arts Crawl festivities with a reading at the Armoury in Picton, Ontario at 6:30 PM.

The Prince Edward County Arts Council held its inaugural Wind and Water Writing Contest, which JC won. JC will read the winning cento, written using her pseudonym A. Garnett Weiss, and a selection from her debut collection, “South Shore Suite…POEMS,” from Point Petre Publishing (www.pointpetrepublishing.ca)

Here’s a link to the FB posting from the Council about the event and the Crawl around town.
https://www.experiencepicton.com/picton-art-crawl?fbclid=IwAR3Kh_BYE7_7jR01jx3OxTP1I6_N6jbYqxfS39qlSOX50naYTd5eA-vUaGs

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Poetry collection “For the Birds” launched in Picton, Ontario on May 11, 2019

County readers and nature enthusiasts celebrated the release in print of the Prince Edward Point Bird Observatory’s 46-page, full colour poetry chapbook “For the Birds,” first published on its website in January, 2019.

The collection of 20 winning poems written by 17 poets from the County and away and complemented by fine images taken by local photographers Ian Dickinson and Hélène Tremblay came together as a result of the Observatory’s first poetry contest. Poems by County writer and publisher Brian L. Flack and by Walter H. Watt of Richmond Hill shared first place in the contest.

As part of PEPtBO’s May 11- 20 Spring Birding Festival programming (www.peptbo.ca), this special event included the awards ceremony and readings by poets whose work appears in “For the Birds.” Prince Edward County Public Library CEO Barbara Sweet welcomed the poets and friends to the launch and spoke of the value of the relationship the Library enjoys with PEPtBO. PEPtBO Vice-President and Municipal Counsellor John Hirsch awarded prizes to the winning poets.

Copies of “For the Birds” @ $12 each are available at the Observatory during the festival, from PEPtBO’s online store and at Books and Co. and the Local Store in the County. Net proceeds from the sale of each chapbook benefit PEPtBO’s migration monitoring and reporting work at the County’s South Shore.

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JC attended the May 14 awards ceremony for the National Capital Writing Contest (CAA, Ottawa Branch)

JC congratulated the finalists at the May 14 Awards ceremony in Ottawa. Here’s the link to the Canadian Authors Association (Ottawa Branch) announcement of winning writers and poems.
http://canadianauthors.org/nationalcapitalregion/contests/ncwc/

JC felt honoured to judge the poetry entries in this year’s writing contest. “I recognize how idiosyncratic the process is: one judge’s selections are particular to that judge.

“Judging the work blind is a blessing, so that the identity of the top entrants remained unknown to me until the announcement. I was delighted with the results! The winning poems by Sylvia Adams and by Susan Atkinson were both memorable and incomparable, which is why I recommended, and the CAA accepted, that these poets share first place in the competition.”

Texts of the winning poetry and short stories will be published in “Byline”, the Branch’s newsletter.

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Patrick Lane, IN MEMORIAM

With sadness, JC read today of the death of master poet Patrick Lane.

JC, writing as A. Garnett Weiss, created a cento for her manuscript which uses lines from individual poems in Lane’s collection of 40 poems, “Winter.”

She offers the poem here to pay homage to Lane’s legacy and in his memory.

In that certain darkness decided

He is the dream man, given to her by the snow;
a sharp, lean hero, immaculate and alone
where the weak have no place.

She knows their flesh is a repetition.
It is the story about grief and music
scored with myriad tiny cuts
so perfect no one will ever know
to listen to their singing, the voices,
the shouts, the lamentation after
their wild impossible crying for more.

Everything is ready to begin
that impossible dream of beauty
because it resembles the unfolding we call love.

Cento gloss: In that certain darkness decided
Title: Patrick Lane, “Winter 4”*
Line 1: Patrick Lane, “Winter 40”
Line 2: Patrick Lane, “Winter 43”
Line 3: Patrick Lane, “Winter 32”
Line 4: Patrick Lane, “Winter 36”
Line 5: Patrick Lane, “Winter 35”
Line 6: Patrick Lane, “Winter 8”
Line 7: Patrick Lane, “Winter 21”
Line 8: Patrick Lane, “Winter 10”
Line 9: Patrick Lane, “Winter 42”
Line 10: Patrick Lane, “Winter 11”
Line 11: Patrick Lane, “Winter 6”
Line 12: Patrick Lane, “Winter 22”
Line 13: Patrick Lane, “Winter 29”

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All for the love of books and reading: March 1 in Beaufort SC

JC is thrilled to participate in READ ACROSS AMERICA DAY in Beaufort.

Here’s a link to what is spearheaded by the United Way of the Lowcountry from 10:00 AM until 1:00 PM on the anniversary of Dr. Seuss’s birthday.

https://uwlowcountry.org/read-across-america-3/

The free program of readings, games and food is aimed at children from Pre-K to Grade 3 and takes place at 801 Carteret St., the Center for the Arts at the University of South Carolina Beaufort.

JC learned about this celebration through local author Elizabeth Belenchia and welcomes the kind invitation of the United Way to share her poems and stories with Lowcountry children and their families.

Wait ‘til you see what JC wears to help her explain what makes a poem a poem and as she reads from “Boot Crazy” and “Fat poems Tall poems Long poems Small.”

She may even try out some new poems to get feedback from the kids.

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Homage to Mary Oliver

When JC read of the death of poet Mary Olive, she paused to remember very fine words by Oliver that will stay with her always.

“As A.Garnett Weiss, I wrote the following cento a few years ago, which I offer in recognition of Oliver’s craft and soul as a poet. May her memory as was her life be a blessing,” JC stated.

HOW DOES ANY OF US LIVE IN THIS WORLD

In every language, there is a word for it—
the dark heart of the story that is all.

Like a hinge, like a wing, like the part of a song
about the great wheel of growth,
the world offers itself to your imagination,

aches to be peaceful finally and at any cost—
a dream that would never breathe air.

How the mind clings to the world it knows, rushing
by the notion of oblivion:

all those gleaming and reasonless lives
in the crease and spasm of the thing about to be done
in those dark halls of honey,

with the reason for the wind forever a secret.

Cento gloss: How does any of us live in this world
Title: Mary Oliver, “Consequences”
Line 1: Mary Oliver, “The River”
Line 2: Mary Oliver, “The Chance to Love Everything”
Line 3: Mary Oliver, “Dogfish”
Line 4: Mary Oliver, “Stanley Kunitz”
Line 5: Mary Oliver, “Wild Geese”
Line 6: Mary Oliver, “Members of the Tribe”
Line 7: Mary Oliver, “The Swimmer”
Line 8: Mary Oliver, “Robert Schumann”
Line 9: Mary Oliver, “Bowing to the Empress”
Line 10: Mary Oliver, “Whispers”
Line 11: Mary Oliver, “The Shark”
Line 12: Mary Oliver, “The Moths”
Line 13: Mary Oliver, “Orion”

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Ottawa’s Sawdust Reading Series launched “Another Dysfunctional Cancer Poem Anthology” from Mansfield Press Nov. 21

JC’s poem “Right Here” was chosen by editors Meaghan Strimas and the late Priscila Uppal for this anthology, which was launched by Mansfield Press in Toronto on November 8, 2018 and in Ottawa at the Sawdust Reading Series on November 21.

Written to capture the hopefulness of her mother’s friend, this 5-stanza poem exists in a rich collection that takes cancer on with no holds barred. Not for the faint of heart, these offerings have a life and soul-affirming quality that is surprising.

JC is honoured to have her work appear in “Another Dysfunctional Cancer Poem Anthology,” which features poetry from well-known and emerging poets.

 

 

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Deadline: October 31 for PEPtBO Poetry Contest submissions from adults and students

Prince Edward Point Bird Observatory’s (PEPtBO’s) poetry contest, “For the Birds” closes at on Halloween at midnight.

Prince Edward County poets and visitors are welcome to enter poems in some way related to birds and birdlife on October 31st.

In January, PEPtBO plans to publish a chapbook of winning poems with photographs taken by local enthusiasts on its website and will celebrate the chapbook launch with prizes for the top poem in each age category (9-16) and adult.

As JC Sulzenko, who serves as contest judge and chapbook editor, explains: “It’s a great way to ring in 2019 by focusing on birds and nature with poems rooted in Prince Edward County.” For full contest details, go to http://peptbo.ca/poetry-contest.php

PEPtBO monitors and reports on bird migration along Prince Edward County’s unique South Shore and acts as official caretaker of the internationally-designated IBA (Important Bird and Biodiversity Area.)

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