Saturday, June 22, 2024

Contents of the California Quarterly Vol. 50 No. 2 (Summer 2024) Edited by Nicholas Skaldetvind

California Quarterly Vol. 50, No. 2 (Summer 2024) edited by Nicholas Skaldetvind,
Cover Art: To Sleep, To Dream, To Remember by Ambika Talwar (2006). Mixed Media Collage — oils, acrylic, fabric, crayons, plant, paper on canvas. Size: 24”x 24”


California Quarterly, Volume 50, Number 2, Summer 2024 

That’s the Trouble —  Casey Fuller 7

To Money and Material   Phil Linz 8

Static  Emily Barton Altman 8

After Brecht: Those Who Eat Their Fill —  Jim Ellis 9

A Poem for Portraits   Anselm Berrigan 10

Stealing a Car with Eric Snyder     Casey Fuller 12

Villanelle No. One     Jeremy Rendina 14

Promotions are for Suckers      Anselm Berrigan 15

What Good is a Fist?   Maja Trochimczyk 16

Na co ci ta pięść? (in Polish)    Maja Trochimczyk, tr. 17

Evening Storm, New Mexico    Kate Partridge 18

Down on Land   —  Kate Partridge     20

The Turn Towards Winter  Bruce Bennett 21

Somehow the Ghost Tree Still Blooms     Melinda Palacio 22

Statues      Aidan Coleman 23

The Hamptons    Casey Fuller 24

Orcas Biting Propellers    —   Anselm Berrigan 25

Fault Lines       Sara Hailstone 26

Insula     Phillip Newton 27

Speculative Futures (#3)    Anthony Caleshu 28

A Thousand Noises    —   Bruce Bennett 29

Pectus Excavatum   —   Barrett Warner 30

Bedchamber with Bright’s    Rosa Lane 31

Ode to the Plumeria in Her Hair   —   Melinda Palacio 32

Nesting in Love’s Wildness       Ambika Talwar 33

Fulgurite Love   —  Sara Hailstone 34

Coffee      Alessio Zanelli 36

Anoint Anoint Anoint    Linda Saccoccio 37

Deer Pause   —  Candace Walsh 39

Static 2  —   Emily Barton Altman 40

Tacit Accidents   —   Candace Walsh 40

A Colleague Remembers  —  Bruce Bennett 41

Let’s Meet Somewhere   —   Candace Walsh 42

Both Camps —   Thomas McGrath 43

Song   —   Thomas McGrath 43

Winter Crows   —   Don Heneghan 44

Winter A Time Machine   —   Linda Saccoccio 44

Pieces of String      Thomas McGrath 45

Möbius   —  Phillip Newton 45

Art—A Deep Slice    —  Henry HeartSong 46

Augury   —  Kate Partridge 47

On Cherche l’Afrique   —   Jane Stuart 48

Susan’s Calls are Like  Anthony’s Supper   —   Rosa Lane 49

Manna in Our Palms   —   Ambika Talwar 50

Sprouting Wings   —  Jane Stuart 51

No I Did Not Want To Write   An Essay So  —  shilo virginia previti  52

Far Reach   —  Rosa Lane 54

Madonna of Music   —   Anne-Marie Brumm   55

Dragon Fruit Awareness  —  Maja Trochimczyk 56

Evening by the Fire   —  Jane Stuart 57

Static No. 3   —   Emily Barton Altman 58

Contributors in Alphabetical Order                                              59

CSPS Contest Opportunities                                                      60  

CSPS Newsbriefs 2024, No. 2 by Maja Trochimczyk                 63      

Publishing Opportunities with CSPS                                           65

2022 CSPS Donors, Patrons, and Membership                          66

CSPS Membership Form                                                             68       

To Sleep, To Dream, To Remember by Ambika Talwar (2006). Mixed Media Collage — 
oils, acrylic, fabric, crayons, plant, paper on canvas. Size: 24”x 24”


 As Ezra Pound wrote elsewhere: “All time is contemporaneous.”    If these poems are other than uniform, it is because of rite and motif binding the living and the dead. This common partnership is of veridical significance as the poems transmute meaning.

            As Robert Frost wrote elsewhere: “No surprise in the writer, no surprise in the reader.” So, I’ve set out to present an example of poets’ vertical investigations abstracting from the muck and confusing murk a clattering of time, of place, of history, making the reader giddy with notions of the numinous, of names, of feeling. A good poem rewards this kind of looking. These poets place themselves at the center of all time in that self-perpetuating way great mythic-figures have always done without border, age, limit and within a labyrinthine wonder. 

            What’s a reflection? A chance to see two. The reward is this terrific group singing the relationship they share with the world: Shilo Virginia Previti, Jeremy Rendina, Emilly Barton Altman, Casey Fuller, Rosa Lane, Candace Walsh, Anselm Berrigan, Kate Partridge. Songs in which there is the recognizable sound of a human voice inducing you to continue reading. There’s an ordered movement of the experience, an esthetic quality au fond.

            Reflecting on these poems, I am reminded of what Susan Howe wrote elsewhere: “Poetry is love for the felt fact.”  Discovering how each poem continues the other’s story. My aim has been to place them into a shape of communal feeling. And, as with any decent anthology, you are able to open at random and Dame Fortune will enfold you in the language’s sheer beauty of resonance.

            Lastly, thanks to the people involved with the Chester Fritz Library for having made a selection of Thomas McGrath available to me. Thanks to Crystal Alberts. Thanks are due to the Board of the California State Poetry Society for trusting my judgment.  Thanks also to the keen Maja Trochimczyk for every little thing she does. Thanks to the poets for offering such a rich assortment of verse. And thanks are due to you. We are in society.

    Nicholas Skaldetvind 

Ojai, CA / Owasco, NY

Konrad Tademar Wilk, Maja Trochimczyk, Nicholas Skaldetvind, Spring 2024


Nicholas Skaldetvind is an Italian-American poet and paper-maker. He holds a M.A. (2019) from Stockholm University, Department of English and Transnational Creative Writing  (thesis "The Spontaneous Poetics of Jack Kerouac’s Letters from 1947-1956: Repetition, Language, and Narration.”)  In 2015 he received B.A degree from Saint Louis University, Madrid, Department of Spanish Language and Literature, Department of International Studies, and Department of Ibero-American Studies. He is a recipient of numerous scholarships and grants, including  Graduate ERASMUS  Merit Scholarship (September 2018 – January 2019) at Bath Spa University. Department of English and Creative Writing in Bath, England; as well as scholarships at creative writing workshops at Berkeley, CA; Naropa University, Colorado and book arts and papermaking workshop at Wells College in Aurora, New York. He also was an undergraduate Exchange Student at the University of Copenhagen, Department of Political Sciences, English Literature, Spanish Literature, and Historical Linguistics (August 2012 – May 2016) and took a writing course in Danish in 2015.  

Skaldetvind's research and teaching interests include: Twentieth-century American Literature, Transnational Studies, Epistolary Poetics, Life Writing, Literature of the American West, Papermaking and Book Arts, Fibers and Shrinkage, and Paper Drying Process. He is a multilingual poet and writer: native speaker in English, with advanced knowledge of Spanish, Danish,  intermediate knowledge of Swedish, Portuguese, Italian, and French. He joined the Editorial Board in September 2023.

NEWSBRIEFS 2024, NO. 2, SUMMER 2024 


The CSPS ANNUAL POETRY CONTEST 2024 is in progress. The judge is Marlene Hitt, an author of two books (Clocks and Water Drops, 2015, and Yellow Tree Alone, 2022) and multiple chapbooks. She is a true community poet, who has done much to promote poetry writing, reading, and recognition in the Los Angeles area. In the era of poetic rants and manifestos, we value the unique, sometimes sardonic, sometimes bewildered poetic voice of Hitt, focused on finding inspiration and beauty in the quotidian—the seed stuck between the teeth, the plodding of beetles, the lone yellow tree of autumn that reminds her, and us, of the inherent loneliness of all human beings. Only original, hitherto unpublished work is eligible for submission.

The CALIFORNIA QUARTERLY welcomed a new guest editor for its spring 2024 issue: Beverly M. Collins, a noted poet and photographer, brought together many new authors and fascinating poems in the CQ vol. 50, no. 1, an issue graced with her nature photograph on the cover. While editing the CQ, she found that two poems she meant to include in the Quarterly were plagiarized by their purported author, a certain John Kucera. Maybe the name was not real either? After receiving the notification from Ms. Collins, I conducted a quick internet search and found two poetry periodicals that were deceived by the same plagiarist. One of them replaced the ripped-off work that they had already published with original poems that were stolen plus a note about the sad state of affairs. Luckily, these were online, not print journals.

I’m so glad we avoided the same fate for the California Quarterly, thanks to Beverly’s vigilance! I later sent proof of the wrongdoing to and the plagiarist (or prankster) was banned from the platform. However, this case made me wonder: why would anyone plagiarize poetry? I understand term papers: lazy students want better grades without effort. I even can comprehend plagiarism of scholarly or scientific papers: the stakes are career and money. But poetry? Very strange, indeed. Unless it was a test and a project of someone bent to prove that modern poetry is all gobbledygook and nobody reads anything… Similarly, some people seek to prove that modern “critical theory” papers in the humanities are pure nonsense, since their fake, jargon-filled writings get published. Actually, the state of scientific journals these days is a horror story. An academic publisher Wiley had retracted over 11,000 papers in the past few years and had closed 19 journals that were the most affected. The censorship of scholarly dissent and non-conforming views is yet another issue that the “scientific” community, captured by corrupt corporations and global ideologues, has to deal with. We are so happy to be penniless poets in such a crazy world!

POETRY LETTER. The first issue of the Poetry Letter in 2024 presented prize-winning poems from 2023 Monthly Contests, illustrated with paintings from the Smithsonian Museum of American Art: folk art by Josephine Joy (1869-1948), anonymous rural paintings, and California landscape art by Elmer Wachtel (1864-1939), Paul Dougherty (1877-1947), and Edward Bruce (1879-1943).  According to the Smithsonian, “Josephine Joy grew up on an Illinois farm, where she loved to sketch birds, trees, and flowers. Circumstances prevented her from following her artistic calling until 1927, after her children were grown and her husband had died. Joy lived in California then, and the WPA’s California Art Project afforded her the opportunity to work gainfully as an artist.” I like “naïve” art of amateur artist like Ociepka in Poland, taking a place of honor at a recent Surrealism exhibition at the National Museum in Warsaw. Colorful and imaginative, it is art not constrained by convention—be it traditional modes of representation, or narrowly defined modernist trends. The poets of Poetry Letter 1/2024 also included CQ Editor Konrad Tademar Wilk, a prolific creator of sonnets in English and Polish. We presented a selection from his forthcoming book of 164 sonnets, Trafficking of Time. 

The Poetry Letter No. 2 of 2024 featured eminent California poets Sharmagne Leland-St. John (author of many books and publisher of The Quill and Parchment monthly online poetry journal) and Mary Torregrossa, plus artwork by Hanna Kulenty, a noted Polish composer of large scale “surrealist music” who recently started painting. Her work reminds us that all artists were once “self-taught” and did not need diplomas and academic credentials to create great art. The Poetry Letter was rounded up by reviews of books by Kathy Lohrum Cotton, Ann Fox Chandonnet, Anna Maria Mickiewicz and Deborah P Kolodji. The reviewers were Michael Escoubas and Zbigniew Mirosławski. Incidentally, by happenstance all featured authors were female, while both reviewers were male. "The feminine" in action as creators, and "the masculine" as passive observers... A reversal of traditional roles, long past. . .  

 Maja Trochimczyk, CSPS President 

Maja Trochimczyk, Institute of Musicology, University of Warsaw, May 2024

No comments:

Post a Comment