PRESS

New from Women's Alliance: HERE
Rock River Time Review
Click HERE to read!

From Newsday
From The Sun-Sentinel
Amazon.com Editorial Review

Book Description
This collection of great poems has been put together quite thoughtfully in order to create a seamless flow between works. The proof lies in the use of multiple works from several authors instead of one work per author. This format creates continuity from one work to another. It is throughout this continuity that something greater than each piece forms. A connection with not just one work, but the collection itself. This particular format creates a deeper look and stronger connection with the author, but isolates the intimacy between reader and author down to one emotion. Not all of the consecutive works from an author recreate this. In other instances, themes from the author vary from one piece to the next. What binds the work in this case isn't theme, but style in expression. This gives the reader an overall and in depth view of the poet.

From The Sun-Sentinel

 

Also in the Sun Sentinel, mention of the August 2008 reading of Meridian HERE

 

From PoeticDiversity.com

Francisco Dominguez November 2005
   
Meridian Anthology of Contemporary Poetry, Vol. 3

Phyliss L. Geller and Marilyn Krepf are back with a third installment of the well-crafted Meridian Anthology of Contemporary Poetry. The volume displays the editors' strong ability to create a solid representation of the human spirit through the art of poetry. But what’s impressive in this anthology is the editors' unwillingness to use such ability to play it safe. This volume is definitely bolder than its predecessor. For one, the number of writers has increased. However, the reader may not feel overwhelmed by the large number of works. Much of the same techniques in editing that proved so successful in the previous anthology are employed here as well, mainly, the careful placing of works to create seamless continuity.
    The poets are a mix of published veterans and emerging, but accomplished, artists from the U.S., Canada, the Netherlands, New Zealand and Egypt. The themes are varied as expected from such an eclectic mix of writers with varied lifestyles and backgrounds. However, the appearance of Pulitzer Prize winner and National Book Award winner Philip Levine, while thoroughly enjoyable, is a little puzzling. While his inclusion serves as an introduction to readers previously unaware of his work, overall the anthology is no better off.
Which brings us back to the collection itself. There are plenty of gems in this anthology that speak of the human spirit, as well as the spirit of writing itself as with the piece from returning contributing writer, Fredrick Zydeck, titled, “Letter to Blaski from Brunswick”:

“Dear Steve: Ever notice how some poems
want to be prayed? There is this homing spirit
to such poems. They want to make their nests
at the core of mysteries I don’t even know
how to write about. Pity me. I have never
been bright enough to understand these things…”

    There is also poetry subtle in form, but profound in its careful placing of words and theme, as represented in Shari O’Brien’s “Wide Eyes of Trusting Blue”:

“Wide eyes of trusting blue turn upward
and my grandson asks
where’s Creampuff,

the gentle cream-colored cat who,
with wide eyes of trusting blue, too,
always rolled on the floor when stroked
like a purring slinky cylinder.

Creampuff is gone, I explain,
Hesitating to say the word “died”
Oh,
Says the child, who struggles to make sense
Of an absence like this,
Struggles, I see, to grasp how

The warm ball of silken fur,
So steadfast, so alive,

Could disappear,
Like all things will, in time, from here.

But then,
As I look down into his wide eyes of trusting blue,

I struggle to grasp it, too.”

There is even room for poetry that is whimsical but full of the same mystical presence Mr. Zydeck previously described in his own piece. D.R. Goodman’s poem “Burr” is one of these:

“How did the pod know
a small spiked spiral,
suitable to catch on cloth,
was the way to success?
That any creature,
Furred or clothed,
Would pass?
That this young girl,
Harried by the sticke
Between sock and moccasin
Would stop, unhurried,
To work it free,
Admire its spiny elegance,
And in a spark
Of shared intelligence,
Plant it on a far oasis of grass?”

The third installment of Meridian accomplishes what its predecessor accomplished: to bring another facet of human expression within the writing form to captivate both casual and dedicated poetry reader.

Meridian Anthology of Contemporary Poetry Vol. 3, Phyliss L. Geller & Marilyn Krepf (editors & publishers), Copyright 2005 NM Cyprian Publishers, ISBN: 0-9729014-3-4, pages: 168, $14.
 

copyright 2005 Francisco Dominguez

 

Francisco Dominguez November 2004
   

 

Meridian Anthology of Contemporary Poetry, Vol. 2

    Sometimes a great poem risks losing its urgency when placed under a different context. This can occur in compilations featuring a diverse number of contributors. In fact, many works in the Meridian Anthology of Contemporary Poetry, Vol. 2, could very well have run this same risk. Each of the authors lending their works to this collection has a distinct background.
    Yet, it may be noted that this collection has been put together quite thoughtfully in order to create a seamless flow between works. The proof lies in the use of multiple works from several authors instead of one work per author. This format creates continuity from one work to another. It is throughout this continuity that something greater than each piece forms. A connection with not just one work, but the collection itself.
    “Tango with my Father”, by Marilyn Krepf is the first piece in this compilation. Here is the first example of how the use of successive works from one author creates a seamless flow from one poem to another. This poem reflects on the relationship between the author and her father, who has passed away. The piece shows a side of yearning for days past when the author and her father could interact:
        “Come dance with me
        I said to my father
        And he put the tango record on.
        Tell me which way
        Do our legs go,
        Which way does
        The stillness move
        When we push through it?”
    Yet, it isn’t until the following piece, “Awakening," that we feel a deeper connection with the author’s hardship and yearning. It is in this piece the reader find outs in a less allegorical form of the author’s hardship:
        “…but today, years later, his dying
        became more separate yet more near.
        I walked past a shop
        With devices for the sick.
        I saw him alone in his room,
        Aware of his jutting bones on the white sheet,
        His body in the parentheses of an IV bag,
        His dying attached to his life.”
    This particular format creates a deeper look and stronger connection with the author, but isolates the intimacy between reader and author down to one emotion. Not all of the consecutive works from an author recreate this. In other instances, themes from the author vary from one piece to the next. What binds the work in this case isn’t theme, but style in expression. This gives the reader an overall and in depth view of the poet.
    A good example of this is Fredrick Zydek’s works, “Leejohn," “Learning to Grow Old,” and “Even the Bunch Grass Has Lovely Eyes." These three poems explore different themes and perceptions throughout Zydek’s life. In each of his works, the style of expression is reflective and pensive. The expression in each poem also binds them seamlessly despite the differences in themes:
        “Leejohn”
        …“He knew I would life him
        From the display and press his
        Nose against mine before I did.
        What is there about puppy breath
        That bonds us to them? It is that day
        I choose to remember on this 25th
        Anniversary of the day he passed
        Back to the other side of the window”
    The same reflective style of the author continues in the next work.
        “Learning to Grow Old”
        “…There is a ragged magic to aging.
        The supple and the lame, the lithe
        And the short-winded, like light
        And shadow, share that one moment
        When each becomes the other”
    By the third poem, the reader has a clear idea of the poet's viewpoint and feelings.
        “Even the Bunch Grass Has Lovely Eyes
        “…Even the fish slip among their light and airy
        names. The moon and sun see to that.
        I am every reason they lived. That is true
        For all things seen and unseen still singing.”
    The most notable strength of this compilation is the arrangement of work. Interspersing consecutive works from one author with single works from different authors prevents montonony. It also creates a flow that introduces one author from the next seamlessly.
    There is a piece by D.L. Foor, “More” (p. 21), which reads,
        “…I am the splash of a classic painter
        I am a celadon hue with all
        its metallic dimensions seen,
        A form not fully fixed in a rainbow,
        But one held in the hands of a sculptor.
        No longer a fragment of a larger work
        I am the whole thing
        And yet just a scratch in an etching.”
    Foor’s last words describe this compilation. The sum of these works becomes greater than any particular piece. All of the works become one singular intangible feeling with each page turn. What is this intangible feeling? It is a sense that one isn’t simply looking into the hearts and minds of many poets, but of the hearts and minds of humanity as a whole.
    The editors' work must be noted with regard to this compilation. The contributors in this collection come from diverse backgrounds and this diversity could have overshadowed some worthy pieces. However, the editors' avoided this risk and have put together a clear and compelling compilation.
Meridian Anthology of Contemporary Poetry Vol. 2, Phyliss L. Geller & Marilyn Krepf (editors), Phyliss L. Geller (publisher - Meridiananthology.com), ISBN: 0-9729014-2-6, pages: 104

copyright 2004 Francisco Dominguez

 

Poetry in motion

Editor, Naples Daily News:

April was National Poetry Month — a good opportunity to reflect on why we need poets.

Perhaps the poet is the magnetic force that captures the true meaning of, let us say, palm trees or the flickering pearl color on the horizon. The poet is involved in the temporary uprooting of emotions, truth and beauty, so that we can examine them in our fragile hands.

The poet is society's eyes and can see the primal beauty, the oneness, that's true of all of us, but also the deceit and turmoil that exists in the human heart. In today's uncertain world, the poet can help us transcend hatreds, heal divisions, accept, understand and truly see others in their struggles and their epiphanies.

A few tips on appreciating poetry might be helpful. It is a good idea to read a poem slowly and more than once or twice. Be aware of the words chosen. A single word, aptly placed, can carry you into the world of the poem. It is also helpful to read the poem aloud, being attentive to the sounds that carry you along its path.

Poets are scattered everywhere, recognized or not and like a good shoemaker who knows and loves the leather he works with, the craft alone is enough reward.

— Marylin Krepf/Naples
Poet-in-residence, Royal Palm Academy

As with all poetry collections, I found poems in this anthology that moved me and others that left me indifferent.  That's the fate of the reader, perusing a collection of contemporary poetry.  But it's great to be exposed to current writing that has been carefully edited and thoughtfully published.  What I like about Meridian Anthology is its adventuresome willingness to explore current writing by some of the best poets in America, professionally presented for our ease of consumption.  This first volume includes work by Anselm Brocki, Phyllis Geller,  Benita Glickman, Stacie M. Kiner, Marilyn Krepf, Gilda Kreuter, Vladimir Swirynsky, and Gerald Zipper, just to mention a few of those included in this volume whose work has been available in other venues.  Ranging from insightful descriptive poetry ("In the Library of the Mind / Pompano Beach, FL" by Brian C. Felder, to insightful personal discoveries  ("Home Depot" by Brenda Serotte), this collection explores aspects of the "human condition" in current language, all decent and avoiding the lazy use of four-letter words, speaking about life being lived intensely. Because the variety offered is so wide, quoting any particular poem offered would limit your perception of what this anthology's scope is and in future editions will be.  It is a book for browsing, not reading in one swell foop, -- a poem-a-day to be enjoyed and contemplated.  I look forward to the next issue of Meridian Anthology of Contemporary Poetry.  If you are willing to wait until December each year to see your poems in print, this may be a good place to offer your own work and see what the editors do with it.  

Ursula T. Gibson, Poetry Editor, Poetic Voices

 

"Meridian Anthology of Contemporary Poetry pries open a window in the literary mind mansion of thought, feeling and expression . . . and extends the courtesy of inviting us in."

--Anthony Pomes, Square One Publishers