Now Celebrating 21 Years of Anthology and 20 Years of Chapbook Publication
The Hudson Valley Writers' Center
Sleepy Hollow, New York
THE NEWSLETTER OF SLAPERING HOL PRESS
The Hudson Valley Writers' Center
300 Riverside Drive
Sleepy Hollow, NY 10591
from New Publications by the
Lynn Wagner’s No Blues This Raucous Song sings in a cacophony meant to be heard by everyone. In tuning our ears to single voices within this collection we find a great depth and diversity that carries her song as long as we’ll let it.
Wagner moves through blues, religious life, home life, ex-lovers, a myriad of other topics, and a fishing trip with Elizabeth Bishop that is not too missed.
This collection draws inspiration from a wide variety of places. In “Two Hundred Cubic Feet and Fragiles” she ventures into “the hollows of the house” and sort of sad escapism to found in keeping a perfectly clean home. “Yesterday,” writes Wagner, “she Easy-Offed the oven,/knelt down and sponged the disasters free.” However, her examinations more complex than most poets’ work on domesticity and deserve careful examination. Despite the bleak outlook in “Two Hundred Cubic..” there are lines to carry us through the day in the same way they might carry the speaker: “Her refrigerator is a hallelujah of light./ Every outlet in the house is empty.” The speakers’ escape, although temporary, seems on the edge of rapture.
While “Two Hundred Cubic” dwells on a sort of cage, “Can I get an Amen” revels in escape. Wagner sends streams of church-filled blues down in a rhythmic hymn of salvation. “In my belly/ or maybe just my black soul. What is spirit/ save the righteous heat and glow where I feel it/ most[…]” If you give Wagner a chance, her heat and insight will elevate you again and again.
These are officially micro reviews. So I should be closing this right now. But, this is also the most beautifully made book I’ve ever owned. Thy copy I have is #156 of 500.
The pictures don’t do it justice. But I’m a writer, not a photographer.
It was hand stitched by vince tripi, printed in a rather unique typeface called “Pastonchi.” The flyleaf is Pearlized Gold, and the text pages on are a shimmering stock called Starwhite Flash. All of these elements combine with Wagner’s poetry to create a book that is a pleasure to own.
There is something in this that makes me think this type of bookmaking could sustain local booksellers in the face of the digital age.
The Hudson Valley Writers' Center staff is:
Frank Juliano - Executive Director
Ryan J. Conatti - Slapering Hol Press Managing Editor/Assistant to the Director/Office Manager
Nicole Testa - Administrator
Let us know what you think! Feel free to contact us with any comments, questions, or suggestions!
The Hudson Valley Writers' Center is located in the Philipse Manor Railroad Station in Sleepy Hollow, New York. Follow the Metro North signs to the station from Route 9, near Historic Hudson Valley's Philipsburg Manor. For more information, call us at (914) 332-5953 or visit our website, www.writerscenter.org. Our programs and events are made possible, in part, by grants from the Bydale Foundation, the David G. Taft Foundation, Maslin Foundation, Eileen Fisher Foundation, the Thendara Foundation, and the William E. Robinson Foundation; with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, a State Agency, and the National Endowment for the Arts; and by the Basic Program Support Grant from ArtsWestchester with funds from Westchester County Government.
The Hudson Valley Writers' Center, Inc. (HVWC) is a not-for-profit organization founded in 1988 with a mission to advance the art and craft of writing by encouraging writers and readers at all levels to participate in and enjoy the literary arts. HVWC is a not-for-profit, IRC section 501(c)(3) organization. Contributions in excess of value received are deductible for Federal Income Tax purposes
Wine for all HVWC & SHP Readings and Events has donated courtesy of Grape Expectations in Tarrytown. Stop in for your favorite bottle today and tell them that the Hudson Valley Writer's Center sent you!