Now Celebrating 23 Years of Chapbook Publication  

The Hudson Valley Writers' Center
Sleepy Hollow, New York


October 2013

In this issue...

- A Poem from our 2013 SHP Chapbook Contest Winner
        - "?" from Six Portraits by Julie Danho

- Submit to the 2013 Writers on War & Peace Reading!

- Poems from New Collections by Slapering Hol Press Affiliated Authors
        - "When my poem appeared" by Estha Weiner
        - "Concern" by Mervyn Taylor       
        - "Keats's Lung" by Ann Lauinger

        - "Week 30 (Maternity Bathing Suit)" by B.K. Fischer
        - "Lines For The Actress Who Performed Shakespeare-
           In-The-Park With A Stick In Her Mouth" by Suzanne Cleary
        -  "My Sister’s Subdivision"  by Jo Ann Clark
        - "Wife and Mistress" by Susana H. Case

Slapering Hol Press
at The Hudson Valley Writers' Center
Philipse Manor Railroad Station
300 Riverside Drive
Sleepy Hollow, NY 10591


2013 SHP Chapbook Contest Winner!

Six Portraits by Julie Danho

Thank you to all of the poets who entered the 2013 Slapering Hol Press (SHP) Poetry Chapbook Contest.  This year’s winning chapbook manuscript is Julie Danho's Six Portraits. We are excited to invite Julie into the Slapering Hol Press family and proud of the work that she has created. Be sure to look for her debut collection later this year.

Early praise for Six Portraits:
"In Six Portraits, a chapbook ingeniously organized around common punctuation marks, Julie Danho serves a mash-up of ekphrasis and illumination, field and typography, private grief and public discourse, leaving her reader stunned and haunted by these wisely crafted, devastatingly forthright poems.”

            - Kathy Fagan, author of Lip

"Julie Danho writes a poetry of ekphrasis with a genuine passion for visual images, from paintings and sculpture to the shapes of punctuation marks. She loves words, not just for their fickle meanings, but for the hooks and angles they make for the eye when fitted together so precisely, and for the way they taste in the human mouth. If I wore a hat I would take it off in honor of these sharp-edged poems."
            - Tom Chandler, author of Guitar of the Stars

   By Julie Danho

I can’t stop lingering
along those curves, the sexy
esoteric way she teeters

on that dot, how she rises
from the basket, a cobra
unfazed by my pungi’s

charm. A Matisse odalisque,
she teases. No one else
dives with half a parachute,

alights in backless dress.
All I ask is to unhook
that strap, let fabric pool

until it’s just her pearl:
small, round, certain
as it’s possible to be.


Julie Danho
JULIE DANHO is an editor working in Providence, Rhode Island. Her poems and essays have appeared in Barrow Street, Mid-American Review, West Branch, Southern Poetry Review, and Bellingham Review, among other journals. She received an M.F.A. from Ohio State University and has received fellowships in poetry from the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts.





Call for Submissions
8th Annual Poets & Writers on War & Peace

Plans are well underway for the 2013 Poets & Writers on War & Peace Reading, scheduled for Friday, November 8 at 7:30pm. The evening will feature a reading by Fred Marchant, along with a number of readings from the community.

2013 Call for Submissions
Those interested in reading original work at the 8th Annual Poets & Writers on War & Peace gathering at the Writers' Center on November 8 may submit one poem or piece of prose for consideration. Poems should be one page long single-spaced, prose pieces should be no longer than two pages (double-spaced), as there is a strict three minute limit per reader at the event. Please include your name, e-mail address, and phone number at top of submission for notification of acceptance. Only those accepted will be notified.

Hard copy submissions are preferred but email submissions will be considered. All submissions must be postmarked no later than 10/21/2013. If you have any questions please email Ryan, at

Send submissions to:
Poets & Writers On War & Peace - Submissions
The Hudson Valley Writers' Center
Philipse Manor Railroad Station

300 Riverside Drive
Sleepy Hollow, NY 10591



Poems from New Collections by
Slapering Hol Press Affiliated Authors

When my poem appeared
    by Estha Weiner

in a respected and established
national and international magazine
that people could actually buy
on newsstands,
people used the word
“proud” as in, they were
of me,
as if I had
the baby,
enough money,
made peace in the Middle East
and Northern Ireland,
stabbed a stake through
the heart of racism,
wrested power from the bad guys who
didn’t deserve it,
sat beside my father through
the moment of death,
found a lover who fought
to keep me;
and when my poem appeared,
I had. 

is co-editor and contributor to Blues For Bill: A Tribute To William Matthews (Akron Poetry Series, 2005) and author of The Mistress Manuscript (Book Works, 2009) and Transfiguration Begins At Home (Tiger Bark Press, 2009). In the Weather of the World was  published  by Ireland's Salmon Poetry in  Feb, 2013. She is a Professor in the English Dept. at City College of NY and serves on the Advisory Board of Slapering Hol Press. In her previous life, Estha was an actor and worked for BBC Radio.



by Mervyn Taylor

The forceps left two bruises
on my son’s head, visible till
he was about six weeks old.

What kind of doctor, I ask,
grabs a kid like that, pulls him
like meat from the grill when

it’s done? Two green spots,
as if the tongs were old, the
first thing they could find.

I find myself looking, now
the boy’s forty, for further
signs of damage.  So far, none. 

MERVYN TAYLOR is a Trinidad-born poet who divides his time between Brooklyn, New York, and his island home. He has conducted workshops in prison and taught at Bronx Community College, The New School, at the Young Adult Learning Academy, and in the New York City public schools system. He is the author of four previous volumes of poetry: An Island of His Own, The Goat, and Gone Away, all from Junction Press, and No Back Door, from Shearsman Books, which received the Paterson Award for Literary Excellence. He serves on the Advisory Board of Slapering Hol Press. A new collection, The Waving Gallery, is forthcoming from Shearsman in January, 2014.


Keats's Lung
    by Ann Lauinger

At twenty, I was fall-besotted.
Half in love with Keats’s lung,
I doted on November gray
And scorned the spring. Rapt by decay
And wreckage, I loved sorrow’s glut,
A narrow bed, the early doom.

Like it or not, I’m seasoned now, 
Expert in worms, maven of mold.
I’ve got a garner full of gold
Conclusions: in a way, I’m wise.
And I would burn the whole barn down
To re-ignite that green surprise, 
Dumb spring.
                       To have again that breathing room.

ANN LAUINGER has written two books of poetry: Persuasions of Fall (University of Utah Press, 2004), winner of the Agha Shahid Ali Prize in Poetry, and Against Butterflies (Little Red Tree Publishing, 2013). Her work has been featured on Poetry Daily, Verse Daily, and Martha Stewart Living Radio. She is a member of the literature faculty at Sarah Lawrence College and of the Slapering Hol Press Advisory Committee.



Week 30 (Maternity Bathing Suit)
    by B.K. Fischer

Forget those gilded mamas,
she’s a magic marker Venus de Milo

at the open swim, a cellulite bird
of blub and doodles full of words,

A-E-I-O-U and growing
a varicose cosmos

of pantihoseless possibility,
up to her anatomy in irregular stars,

her daisy-decal polka-dot
pliant bingo bottom buoyant enough

to balance an elephantine arabesque
off the ladder, smile

at mister-smug-one shrunk
in his trunks in front of

her flagrant magenta bellyful
of flutter kicks—O shaky bravura—

and drop, splashless,
into water over her head.

B.K. FISCHER is poetry editor at Boston ReviewShe is the author of St. Rage’s Vault, winner of the 2012 Washington Prize, Mutiny Gallery, winner of the 2011 T. S. Eliot Prize, and Museum Mediations, a critical study. A co-editor of Slapering Hol Press, she teaches at the Hudson Valley Writers’ Center in Sleepy Hollow, NY.




Lines For The Actress Who Performed Shakespeare-In-The-Park With A Stick In Her Mouth
   by Suzanne Cleary

What made you, that evening
            as you walked into Central Park, stop
                        and stoop, pluck that stick from the grass,

and put it directly,
            without word or thought, into your mouth,
                        clamp your teeth?

How did you know
            this was how to speak your lines that night:
                        tongue pressed to rough-soft bark,

stick placed far back in your mouth
            so it pulled your lips taut, so you strained
                        as if speaking for the first time?

Small woman holding like a terrier
            a stick in your mouth,
                        you dared them to laugh,

the audience leaning forward, straining
            to understand what you said,
                        until the difficult music of it

washed over them,
            washed them of desire
                        for anything small as understanding.

It was The Tempest. You were Ariel—
            airy sprite, industrious servant,
                        forty-year-old woman in green tights,

pressing the small stick into the role
            of the vast unspoken, the greater part
                        of most that can be said.

You were not the one who said
            our little life is rounded with a sleep,
                        but you had taken the very earth

into your mouth, the stick clotted with dirt.
            And you became a kind of blossom upon it,
                        mortal, mortal, mortal.

won the John Ciardi Prize for Poetry for Beauty Mark (BkMk Press, of the University of Missouri-Kansas City), to be published in September 2013. Her previous books are Keeping Time (2002) and Trick Pear (2007). Her other awards include a Pushcart Prize and the Cecil Hemley Memorial Award of the Poetry Society of America. Former editor of Slapering Hol Press and current Slapering Hol Press Advisory Board member, she isProfessor of English at the State University of New York at Rockland, and also teaches as core faculty for the low-residency MFA in Creative Writing Program of Converse College.


My Sister’s Subdivision
   by Jo Ann Clark

The starter homes of all Olympus draw entire
pantheons. Though Apollo himself finds it
no mean task to will away the insinuations

of cirrus drifting aloft—the mustache
of an unsavory neighbor, party-favor
streamers, the tatters of a neglected saint

skimming frost heaves in the pavement.
It proves no lesser feat to disregard the usual
earthbound signs—fur caught in spokes,

rodent entrails on the porch—for ferreting out
among tarot cards and ceiling cracks
why foregrounds render immortals flat,

x-ray vision and all. Wait long enough
and standing fog hiding the maples is certain
to burn off. Wait longer and the tree limbs

reappear, blacken, refract beyond the surface
tensions of backyard pools. Then a thunderhead
rants above what stays rooted here below

among sprinkler heads, home truths, and deer-
repellant perennials. Still Daphne’s crabbed
arthritic toes grip dirt, her fingers branch to sky.

JO ANN CLARK’s first collection, 1001 Facts of Prehistoric Life, is forthcoming from Black Lawrence Press in 2014. She holds an MFA from Columbia University and has held fellowships with the BAU Institute in Otranto, Italy; the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts; and (for research in Europe, Israel, Russia, and Ukraine) with the Thomas J. Watson Foundation. She has taught at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Bank Street College, and in international schools in Italy. In July of 2012 she was appointed Executive Director of the Hudson Valley Writers’ Center and of the Center’s imprint, Slapering Hol Press.


Wife and Mistress
    by Susana H. Case

Two women keeping vigil at the surface, Camp Hope; the wife of twenty-eight years hears the mistress of five years wailing the husband’s name. They discover they live a street apart. Oops.

All OK, he writes, in ignorance, from below.

The mistress creates a shrine for the trapped miner: votive candles, a photo of the two of them at a restaurant. The wife wrecks it.

The wife creates a shrine for the trapped miner: votive candles, a photo of the two of them on his birthday. The mistress wrecks it.

Again and again, the two are separated as they punch and scratch over who has the greater right to be bereaved.

Before he’s the twenty-first man brought back up, he gets the news, considers staying, dying. Underground, the ninety percent humidity is cooler than the surface. He’s worked the mine thirty years, unsure now if he wants to leave.

The wife stays away from his rescue. I am a decent woman, she tells the press. Their lawyers will do the talking.

No big party for the lovers, just chicken, fries, music and her leopard-print underwear—an early night. Go Tarzan! His rescuers shout.

He’s not frightened to return to work underground. After this, he sighs, I’m not afraid of anything.

If any other woman tries to take him from me, the mistress warns, I will eat her eyes.

is a Professor and Program Coordinator at the New York Institute of Technology and currently a Slapering Hol Press Advisory Board member. Author of several chapbooks, her first won the 2002 Slapering Hol Press Chapbook Competition, and the chapbook, The Scottish Café, was subsequently published in a dual-language version, Kawiarnia Szkocka, by Poland’s Opole University Press. She authored the books, Salem In Séance (WordTech Editions), Elvis Presley’s Hips & Mick Jagger’s Lips (Anaphora Literary Press), and most recently, Earth and Below (Anaphora Literary Press). 4 Rms w Vu is forthcoming in 2014 from Mayapple Press.


The Hudson Valley Writers' Center staff is:

Jo Ann Clark- Executive Director
Ryan J. Conatti - Slapering Hol Press Managing Editor/Assistant to the Director

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, 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!
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