Raven’s Pushcart Prize Nominations for Work Published in 2016

The editors of Raven Chronicles nominate the following writers for their work published in Raven Chronicles, A Journal of Art, Literature & The Spoken Word,  Vol. 22, Celebration issue, July, 2016:
1. Christine Clarke, “Twenty”— poem, pg. 54.
2. Nancy Flynn, “Gift Event for Our New Gilded Age”— poem, pg. 73.
3. Dawn Karima, “Homecoming Celebration on the Fifth of July”— prose-try, pg. 48-49.
4. Kevin Miller, “On Jane’s Table Everything’s…— poem, pg. 63.
5. Jesse Minkert, “Basket Weaver”— poem, pg. 33.
6. Armin Tolentino “Watching My Son Bloom into
Summer”— poem, pg. 100.

WATCHING MY SON BLOOM INTO SUMMER, poem by Armin Tolentino

His mossy crotch stains the shower floor green
and the drain is clogged with wet clumps of grass.

My boy unfolds into fronds of fern as he slowly sheds
any semblance of me. I’m losing his face through bark

and branches. His hair fluffs with pollen
and his armpits secrete a nectar so cloying

his room is filled with bees. He no longer speaks,
just stares out the window, lusting for sun.

I lie and tell him I understand, that it’s natural,
but my voice is lost through miles of forest.

I don’t know what to get him for his birthday.
I place a basket beneath his outstretched arms

and together we celebrate his falling leaves.

—Armin Tolentino


Armin Tolentino (poem, Back Cover) received his MFA at Rutgers University in Newark, New Jersey. His poetry has appeared, or is forthcoming, in Smoky Blue Literary and Arts Magazine, Ellipsis, and Backwords Press. He was a 2014 Oregon Literary Arts Fellowship recipient, and hopes one day to earn a Guinness Record for the world’s loudest clap.

Published in Raven Chronicles, Vol. 22, 2016.

Art at the Hopvine Pub, Nov. 1-Nov. 27. Reception Nov. 3rd.

Hopvine-fall-winter_poster-2016

Curated by Les Morely;
Co-sponsored by Raven Chronicles.

Hopvine Pub, Capitol Hill Neighborhood,
507 15th Avenue East, Seattle, WA 98112

 


John Dlouhy, “Lost Time,” Digital Prints. 11/1-11/27/16. Artist Reception: Thursday 11/3 at 7:00 pm

Dlouhy sifts through art historical references for images that resonate and then processed these images with digital tools to achieve a layering that speaks to memory, distortion, pattern and color.

And (this is a double exhibit):

Maggie Murphy, “Sea Knots,” Linocut Relief and Reduction Prints. 11/1-11/27/16. Artist Reception: Thursday 11/3 at 7:00 pm

Murphy’s process involves developing personally-charged, symbolic images, or, sometimes, images that provide spiritual refuge. These intricate prints are created using a multi-layered, multi-plate process and reductive printing methods.


Daniel Michael Viox, “On Nature, Time and Patience,” Acrylic on Wood. 12/1-12/31/16. Artist Reception: Thursday 12/8 at 7:00 pm

Viox is inspired by patterns of nature, geological formations, precious stones, topographical maps, and satellite imagery of the earth. He believes in the transformative power of art, myth, and metaphor.

 

2 Poems from WORDS FROM the CAFE

2 poems from Words From the Cafe, An Anthology,
Edited by Anna Balint, Raven Chronicles Press, 2016
ISBN 978-0-9979468-0-2, 202 pages, $14.99

Ocean
by Esmeralda Hernandez

In the heart of the city
if you listen carefully
you can hear the cries of humanity.
Each night I lie in my bed at the shelter
not knowing who will enter,
with no telling what will happen

I have seen a sea of faces of homeless women.
As I make my way through that sea
I get to know some of them, gently pushing
my way, I make my own wave.

Some waves move forward to find land.
Some waves fold long before reaching land.

Like many, I’ve walked
through a sea of tears, yet still felt
God’s gentle push, to remind me
that His love is wider than any ocean,
and whenever I weep He turns it into love.


Cry and Transform
by Taumstar

5 A.M.
Walk briskly.    Will rain.
The ego is anxious.
The ego wants no change.
But change has already occurred—
an exercise in love,
picking up and going forward.

At the same time, sadness.
Feel older. Accomplishments?
Not everyone gets to accomplish much.
Gratitude.
Thanksgiving.
Going to a back and spine doctor—
they are not so quick to prescribe.
Started doing yoga, again.
No longer able to sweep, prune, saw, hammer.     No heavy lifting.

Learn/unlearn.
No longer get to drive.
Must think about
mobility = long term ability.
The little stuff more hard . . .
Cry and transform.

Raven Chronicles Journal Vol. 23: Jack Straw Writers Program, 1997-2016

js-writers-collage-smallercover-js-writers-collage-2016RAVEN CHRONICLES PRESS & 

JACK STRAW CULTURAL CENTER

present

A Reading & Reception

for

Raven Chronicles Journal Vol. 23:

Jack Straw Writers Program, 1997-2016

November 18, 2016

Friday, 7:00pm., Free,

Jack Straw Cultural Center, 4261 Roosevelt Way N.E., University District, Seattle

MC Kathleen Flenniken

Readings by:

Joan Fiset, Donna Miscolta, Deborah Woodard, David Halpern, Suzanne Bottelli, Mercedes Lawry, Elizabeth Austen, Kathryn Hunt, Janee J. Baugher, James Reed, Maliha Masood, John Burgess, Jourdan Keith, Laurie Blauner, Doug Nufer, Wendy Call, Sharon Cumberland, Rachel Dilworth, Bill Carty, Martha Clarkson, Harold Taw, Sharon Hashimoto, Josephine Ensign, Margot Kahn, Martha Breiner, EJ Koh.

Raven Chronicles Press is indebted to our 2016 co-sponsors for partial funding of our programs: Seattle’s Office of Arts & Culture; 4Culture / King County Lodging Tax; ARTSWA/Washington State Arts Commission with NEA project support; and Jack Straw Cultural Center / Joan Rabinowitz, for co-sponsoring Raven readings, and for unflagging support for writers, literary groups and music artists. And all Raven subscribers and donors.

Contact Information: ravenchronicles.org

206.941.2955, editors@ravenchronicles.org, Mailing address: 15528 12th Ave. NE, Shoreline, WA 98155

A Reading & Reception, Celebrating a new book & CD: Words From the Café, from Raven Chronicles Press

Cover photo: Ginny Banks
Cover photo: Ginny Banks

RAVEN CHRONICLES PRESS & JACK STRAW CULTURAL CENTER
present

A Reading & Reception, Celebrating a new book & CD:

Words From the Café

with MC/Host Anna Bálint

October 7, 2016, Friday, 7:00pm., Free

Jack Straw Cultural Center, 4261 Roosevelt Way N.E. University District, Seattle

Readings by:

• Johnnie Powell

• Taumstar

• Angel Ybarra

• Bang Nguyen

• Megan McInnis

• Tamar Hirsch

• Donald W. Butler

• Steve Torres

• Esmeralda Hernandez

• Mary Jo El-Wattar

Every Friday at Seattle’s Recovery Café, people struggling with addiction or mental illness or homelessness come together in Anna Bálint’s Safe Place Writing Circle to write and share writing. Here they discover their own unique voices and ways of shaping language to write stories and poems as part of reclaiming their lives. Anna’s 2015 residency with the Artist Support Program at Jack Straw, and funding from 4Culture, made it possible to capture some of the magic that takes place each week in Words From the Café, a book/CD compilation. These are voices that need to be heard. Their literary diversity and range of human experience fly in the face of prevailing stereotypes of some of the most marginalized members of our society.

Thanks to Recovery Café, 4Culture, Jack Straw Cultural Center and Raven Chronicles for making this program possible. Contact Information: ravenchronicles.org

206.941.2955, editors@ravenchronicles.org, Mailing address: 15528 12th Ave. NE, Shoreline, WA 98155

SILLYBRATIONS, an essay by John Olson

Who would’ve guessed? Today (March 14th) is Fill Our Stapler Day. But I don’t have a stapler. I’m very sad. However, I am looking forward to As Young as You Feel Day, which happens on March 22nd.

How young do I feel? I feel like I’m eighteen, but with a full blown case of BPH (benign prostatic hyperplasia) and too many wrinkles. You might think I’m sharing too much information, but today (March 16th) is also Freedom of Information Day. I have a lot more information to share, but for now I want to express how much I’m looking forward to next year’s Extraterrestrial Culture Day (February 9th), Don’t Cry Over Spilt Milk Day (February 11th), and Absinthe Day (March 8th).  Those days managed to slip by without participating in an extraterrestrial event, drinking absinthe, or crying over spilled milk. To be honest, I didn’t spill any milk. I don’t like milk, nor do I drink absinthe, but I will keep that to myself on February 11th, and show humble respect to those who try not to weep over spilled milk, or cast a sympathetic eye on the drunken stupor of the absinthe drinkers on March 8th, while I, substituting one beverage for another, absent-mindedly sip a cream soda.

Ice Cream Soda Day will have my full attention on June 20th.

Soon also to be celebrated are Awkward Moments Day (March 18th), School Nurse Day (May 7th), Change A Light Day (October 2nd), Face Your Fears Day (October 11th), and — a personal favorite — Zero Tasking Day (November 6th).

The list is endless. There’s probably even an Endless List Day.

Let us enlist in a celebration of Endless List Day.

Is there a Celebration Day Celebration? A Celebration of Celebrations?

Over the years I’ve celebrated weddings, retirements, elections, and time itself (New Year’s).

My favorite celebration is Gazing Out of the Window Day. I just invented it. I’m doing it. I’m gazing out of the window. It’s a celebration. I can feel it. I can feel a fleeting euphoria pass through me and come out the other side as a feeling of gratified participation in the pageantry of life. Patches of sunlight, somebody’s head, a big gray cat. Gazing out of the window is special. It should be honored with idleness, rumination, and rhesus monkeys.

Now that I’ve resumed gazing at the computer screen I must repurpose my activity. I will call this Gazing at the Computer Screen Day.

Why “day”? Why is there never a celebration at night? There are, of course, celebrations that occur at night. But no one says “today is Plum Pudding Night.” Or, “Tonight is National Popcorn Night.”

Is there a celebration for night? For sleep? For late night movies? For popcorn?

National Popcorn Day occurs January 19th. I’m making my costume now. Popcorn shirt, popcorn pants, popcorn shoes. There will be a re-enactment of the birth of popcorn. The Popcorn Bird will descend from the Popcorn Sky and lay hundreds of Popcorn Eggs in the Popcorn Tree. All the eggs will hatch at once: pop! pop! pop! pop! pop! and hundreds of Popcorn Birds will begin begging for popcorn.

If you happened to be reading this on January 19th, have a Happy Popcorn Day. Until then, may you celebrate whatever day it happens to be, including Bring Your Manners to Work Day (September 2nd), Iguana Awareness Day (September 8th), or Origami Day (November 11th).

Or not.

Tie one on on National Knot Day. Is there a National Knot Day? If not, I will be undone.


John Olson is the author of numerous books of poetry, including Larynx Galaxy, Backscatter: New and Selected Poems, Free Stream Velocity, Eggs & Mirrors, and Echo Regime. He has also authored three novels, including Souls of Wind, The Seeing Machine, and The Nothing That Is. His latest novel, In Advance of the Broken Justy, was just published, June, 2016, by Quale Press. Dada Budapest, a collection of prose poetry, is forthcoming from Black Widow Press. He is the recipient of The Stranger’s Genius Award for Literature in 2004, and was one of eight finalists for the Artist Trust’s Arts Innovator Award in 2012.


Published in Raven Chronicles, Vol. 22, 2016.

Publication Party, Sept. 17th, for Peter Ludwin’s new book, GONE TO GOLD MOUNTAIN

Ludwin coverRaven Chronicles is hosting a coming-out, publication party for Peter Ludwin’s new book, Gone to Gold Mountain, MoonPath Press. Join us Saturday, September 17th, 3-7 p.m., 15528 12th Avenue NE, Shoreline, 98155. Peter will read from his new book, which will be for sale, along with several of his earlier works. Raven’s new issue, “Celebration, Vol. 22,” will also be on sale.

Bring a musical instrument; bring a dish or drink to share: potluck dinner.

RSVP Publication Party: Sept. 17th, 2016, 3-7 pm.
15528 12TH Avenue NE, Shoreline 98155
Potluck dinner
Reply: editors@ravenchronicles.org; 206-941-2955


Peter Ludwin about his book:  The focus of Gone to Gold Mountain, my new book from MoonPath Press, is the massacre of over thirty Chinese gold miners in Hells Canyon on May 25, 1887, by a gang of horse thieves based in Oregon’s Wallowa County. A fair number of the poems are of the persona variety in voices as disparate as a Chinese prostitute, the gang leader, a wife left behind in China, and the clerk of Wallowa County, who, along with many local residents, didn’t want the story told. A sub-theme is the degree to which the Chinese presence in the 19th century American West has largely been forgotten.

Blurbs for Gone to Gold Mountain:

“In Gone to Gold Mountain, poet Peter Ludwin brings to life the little-known story of Chea Po and his fellow Chinese gold miners, massacred in 1887, by Eastern Oregon pioneers. Ludwin embodies Chea Po and his experiences of breathtaking racism, homesickness, and dislocation. He imbues these persona poems, letters, and laments, with the finely-drawn landscapes of Hells Canyon and China, glowing lanterns, and an eagle circling the canyon rim. Chea Po seems to have haunted Ludwin until finally, here, his life and death are told justly. We are the richer for it.”—Kathleen Flenniken

“Peter Ludwin is a writer who knows there are poems no one asks for, but everyone needs—so he sets out to write them. In this book, he travels to a place of massacre, then enhances the story of trauma with longing, devotion, hope, and the unfurling tendril of life that reaches generations beyond a tragedy. The poems speak as letters, news items, memories, secret notes of lover to lost soul. Ludwin’s lens of imagination pierces a hidden past at a remote place, and his lyric archive invents what might otherwise be forgotten, what he calls ‘the speckled rhythms’ of change. Read this book for insight into a hidden chapter of international history, and to break a code of silence across cultures. You will recognize more poems need rich research, and history needs to sing.”—Kim Stafford

“Ludwin’s haunting poems resurrect an era of vehement anti-Chinese sentiment and the U.S. by focusing on the Hells Canyon massacre in 1887—a segment of U.S. history conveniently omitted from the textbooks. To a great extent, the work’s strength lies in its understated eloquence, riveting imagery, and frequent use of persona poems in different voices. With great insight, skill and compassion, Ludwin has produced a fine collection that succeeds in fleshing out this nightmare episode from our past.”—Diana Anhalt, author of because there is no return.


Peter Ludwin is the recipient of a Literary Fellowship from Artist Trust and the W.D. Snodgrass Award for Endeavor and Excellence in Poetry. His first book, A Guest in All Your Houses, was published in 2009 by Word Walker press. His second collection, Rumors of Fallible Gods, a two-time finalist for the Gival Press Poetry Award, was published in 2013, by Presa Press. Gone to Gold Mountain is forthcoming from MoonPath press. A Pushcart Prize nominee and a poetry finalist for the 2016 Tucson Festival of Books Literary Awards, Ludwin’s work has appeared in many journals, including Atlanta Review, The Bitter Oleander, The Comstock Review, Crab Orchard Review, Nimrod, North American Review, Raven Chronicles and Prairie Schooner. He works for the Kent Parks Department.

Larry Crist: recipient of Marion Kimes Memorial Open Mic Award

Marion Kimes Memorial Open Mic AwardOn July 1, 2016, Larry Crist was awarded the first Marion Kimes Memorial Open Mic Award for his dedication to/and support of the spirit of Open Mic readings. He received a cash award of $100.00.

I was surprised, shocked, flabbergasted to be the first recipient of the Marion Kimes Open Mic Award.

I met Ms. Kimes, in 1992, at Red Sky Poetry Theatre, one of the first people to welcome me to Seattle. I had moved here for theatre with a handful of poems and stories. I had taken a few writing classes, though I had never read my own out loud, nor had sent much out.

Marion was a dynamo of energy, good cheer, and selfless enthusiasm for everybody’s writing and participation. She was especially welcoming to newcomers. As an actor, I was wary of another cliquish caste system, one very much evident in the poetry scene.

I felt in awe of the many new voices I was experiencing, commanding the room’s attention. And with Marion as everyone’s advocate, respect was always widely generated around the room.

As I attended other open mics, while auditioning around town, I wasn’t sure whether I was a writer wanting to act, or an actor wanting to write. Both required endless homework and, hopefully, an audience. With theatre you are continually selling oneself; with writing, however, you are selling something far more personal and unique, intangible perhaps, certainly not an obvious commodity as in theatre.

When performing a show, I’d get nervous about everything—external things beyond my control—whereas with writing, all that mattered really were the words themselves. Performance was a matter of presentation. To be clear, be yourself, and communicate to those listening to what you had placed upon the page.

From open mics, I discovered the most effective time to edit was about an hour before you were going to read. Like a lot of younger poets, my reading and listening to poetry, not my own, was minimal. I was resistant to the idea of “poetry,” which, at the time, I would have said seemed precious, manipulative, and unduly clever.

My enthusiasms began to shift and open mic became my drug-of-choice, and poems—such as I wrote them—weren’t ready or finished until, like a tired actor, they had made the rounds through a series of venues, tweaking them along the way.

Marion was always amicable and a generous resource, welcoming to all poetic fledglings, eager to encourage or reinforce whatever positive experiences therein gleaned. She might stop someone who was nervous and have them begin again, only, “take it a tad slower this time,” said in her soft Texan twang and a calming smile all the while.

Something I recall regarding a utopian society—put everyone first and be kind and respectful to all, and while I didn’t necessarily ever hear Marion say this, this is what I observed from her in my formative years reading in Seattle’s open mic scene.

—Larry Crist


Larry Crist lives in Seattle and is originally from California, specifically Humboldt County. He has also lived in Chicago, Houston, London, and Philadelphia, where he attended Temple University, receiving an MFA in Theatre. He’s been widely published. Undertow Overtures is Larry’s first poetry collection, published by ATOM Press, in 2014.

Black Lives Matter: Found Poem by Anna Bálint

Livestream

Please sir, don’t tell me he’s dead.
Please sir, don’t tell me he’s gone…just like that

Stay with me
Stay with me, baby

We got pulled over for a busted taillight.
That’s all baby.  A busted taillight.
Stay with me.

A traffic stop.  Nothing but a traffic stop, baby.
Stay with me.

Oh my God, don’t tell me he’s dead.
Please don’t tell me my boyfriend just went like that…
Please don’t tell me he’s gone.
Officer, please don’t tell me you did this to him.
You shot four bullets into him, sir.

Baby, baby, stay with me…

You told him to get his ID, sir
You told him to get his driver’s license.
Please officer, don’t tell me you just did this to him.
You shot four bullets into him, sir.
He was just getting his license and registration, sir.

Stay with me
Stay with me, baby

He’s a good man, sir.
He works in a school.
He’s never been to jail, anything…
He’s not a gang member, anything…
He worked with kids, sir, they loved him, sir…

Baby, baby, stay with me…

Exit the car!
Exit the car!
Keep your hands where they are!
Keep them up!
Move away!  Move away!  Keep moving!  Move away!
Now, get on your knees!
ON YOUR KNEES!

Mommy, Mommy, I’m right here with you, Mommy…

Stay with me.
Stay with me baby.

ON YOUR KNEES!!!

—Anna Bálint


This “found” poem is constructed from the words of Lavish, aka Diamond Reynolds, in the Livestream video she made right after police shot and killed her boyfriend, Philando Castile. Immediately after seeing her video, I tried to post it on Facebook, but at that point it was being blocked and wouldn’t post. This poem burst out of my frustration/anger/grief of wanting her words to be heard…and continue to be heard.


Anna Bálint is the author of Horse Thief, a collection of short fiction spanning cultures and continents that was a finalist for the Pacific Northwest Book Award. Two earlier books of poetry are Out of the Box and spread them crimson sleeves like wings. Her poems, stories, and essays have appeared in numerous journals and magazines, including recently in Riverbabble and Sparrow Trill,  Minerva Rising’s special issue on Race in America. Anna is an alumna of Hedgebrook Writers Retreat, the Jack Straw Writers Program, and has received awards/grants from the Seattle Arts Commission and 4Culture. In 2001, she received a Leading Voice Award in recognition of her creative work with urban youth at El Centro de la Raza. She has taught creative writing for many years and in many places, including in prisons, El Centro de la Raza, Antioch University, and Richard Hugo House. Currently, she is a teaching artist with Path With Art, and at Recovery Café in Seattle, where she founded and leads Safe Place, a weekly writing circle for people in recovery.