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Everywhere is Someplace Else

New Voices Series

Edited by Susan Bright and Margo LaGattuta


Susan Bright, Bonnie Buhler-Smith, Valerie Bridgeman Davis, Bradley Earle Hoge, Frances Downing Hunter, Margo LaGattuta, Polly Opsahl, Christine Valentine Reising, Karen Chorkey Renaud, Kalamu ya Salaam, Gail Teachworth


This is the product of a publishing colony in which a group of eleven national writers created a book at a week-long retreat held on the Texas Gulf Coast. It is a gathering of poetry about issues: justice, environment, spirit, creativity, and community.

You'll find a series of "Gansta" poems by Austin poet, Valerie Bridgeman Davis and new work by Susan Bright.

Foreword
Collaboration: working together to effect social, political and personal change.

Everywhere we go in the world, we bring ourselves and our histories. We are both exhilarated and cautioned by differences we see in climates, customs, ideologies and people, and we build walls of protection to keep us safe in our hermetic hometowns. Yet, as writers and readers, we can see beyond those walls. Through the lenses of metaphor and image, focus and association, we can see the inner connections between people infrastructures of common experience that go beyond first appearances. The world becomes smaller and less intimidating when we name our truths and discover that our neighbors share them. Through collaboration, we create new pathways of understanding. Everywhere is Someplace Else is the 15th in a series of issue-based anthologies published by Plain View Press. This powerful new collection examines Spirit, Earth, Justice, The Other, Community, Work, Creatures, Time, Death, Love and Creativity through the eyes of eleven poets and storytellers who gathered in Port Aransas, Texas, to collaborate and create a stunning celebration of life and the creative process. The book was assembled in a week of intensive collaboration, a process which influenced everyone's vision. After a year-long call for entry during which the press reviewed more than 250 inquiries and submissions, the writers came together to make a book. We brought computers, manuscripts, craft and idealism, and gathered as collaborators whose aim was to learn from each other. We read aloud, found common ideas and decided to weave our voices together in pursuit of meaning. Each writer became editor for one section of the book, selected work, wrote an introduction, and interviewed his or her colleagues to expand understanding. The collaborative process ebbed and flowed as prolifically as the waves did just past our gulf-side porch. Cover and book design emerged from things at hand, under the skillful guidance of visual artist/writer Christine Valentine Reising, whose specialty is facilitating collaborative art installations. Kalamu ya Salaam, whose name means pen of peace, served as computer mentor to everyone. Each person's skills and good will, generously given, made the project work. There was much hard work and much to celebratea starfish on the beach, a thousand typos, an old road map, dirty dishes, hard-working hands, fresh fish, grocery shopping, a wild-life preserve, laundry, an astounding double rainbow, art, each other. We explored global and ecological concerns in our multi-cultural cocoon, enjoyed diversity of experience and cultural milieu. The writers and artists, all well-represented in national publications, include a New York cab driver, a Michigan letter carrier and union activist, a New Orleans writer and arts producer, an exhibiting visual artist from Michigan, an award-winning poet and professor at Arkansas State University, an award-winning writer from Florida, a Houston global-change scientist, a Michigan business owner, an Austin community activist and pastor, and two writer/editors (Bright & LaGattuta). The group includes members of five of the worlds major religions. What Plain View Press has found in the process of creating, along with family and friends, a network of writers, artists and readers, is that community sustains us. Our best art comes from healing its pain. Our readers are an extended community of people all over the world who work every day to change ideas and institutions that are destroying the planet. The anthologies in the New Voices Series in many ways are the product of all we know about the soul of the writer, how it grows from community and gives back to it, how teaching is at the heart of what the artist does best, how a circle of voices is often the truth of the poem, how meaning is created because we need it.

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"The best of the best is here in these pages, written by poets who know how it is EVERYWHERE."
Dorothy Housdorfer, Literary Agent

What a delightful collection of poetry! One that speaks to the entire range of human experience. A tribute to our poets who stun and enlighten, inform and inspire. Thanks to the editors and appreciation to the poets for one of the strongest of recent collections of contemporary poets.
Danny Rendleman, Author of The Middle West and Victrola

These talented, spiritual writers have rhythmed out a familiar that is akin to the joy of true community. Their voices within these chapters are married like first and last breaths. These concerned writers have thrown their pens into the harried fire of being alive in an otherwise babbling world. Their mastery of subject and language will surely cajole the reader toward the warmed breast of being alive and known in a thinking, feeling and intelligent world.
Jas. Mardis, Editor KenteCloth: Southwest Voices of the African Diaspora, UNT Press 1998

A most unusual anthology. The poems were selected and ordered by the poets themselves, working in close harmony and communal spirit. Here are poems that focus on the most central human concerns, poems whose perspectives range from the veins in a hand to the pulsing heat of the stars.
Rick Lott, Ph.D. Poetry Editor, Arkansas Review

Drawn from lives as varied as cab driver, college professor, letter carrier, union and community activists, pastor, scientist, business owner.
Larry Gross, Ph.D., The Word Shop

Everywhere is Someplace Else
will linger on the mind; you'll want to visit again and again.
Cheri Neuman Herald, Florida State Poets Assoc., Anthology Editor, Vol. 13-16.

About the Writers

Susan Bright is the author of seventeen books of poetry, three of which ("Far Side of the Word," "Tirades and Evidence of Grace" and "House of the Mother") have been recipients of Austin Book Awards. She is the editor of Plain View Press which, for the twenty-three years between 1975 and 1998, has published one-hundred-and-thirty books. Her work as a poet, publisher, activist and educator has taken her all over the US and to England. In Texas she has received a proclamation from the Senate honoring her literary and community work, and in Austin she received the Woman of the Year Award in 1990 from the Women's Political Caucus in recognition of outstanding leadership and initiative in helping to improve the quality of life for women and their families in Austin and Travis County. Her book, "Next to the Last Word" will be released by Plain View Press in January, 1999.

Bonnie Buhler-Smith (BB Smith) has been a television talk host, a video producer and cab driver, among other things. She lives in Ossining, New York, is a graduate of New York University, and has a daughter, T'ai, who just completed studies at Barnard College. She teaches creative writing and video production in Westchester County as an artist in residence through the Westchester Arts Council and works at Pace University. In the 70s she lived three years with the Zapotec Indians in Oaxaca, Mexico and became "semi bi-lingual." Her work is included in the Coffee House Poetry Anthology and is published by other small presses. She performs her work extensively in the New York Metro area.

Valerie Bridgeman Davis grew up in central Alabama, nourished by the piney woods and story telling tradition of her family. She moved to Texas in 1981. She earned a BA degree from Trinity University in 1986 and M.Div. degree in 1990 from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, where she won the Charles L. King Preaching Award. Currently, she is completing a Ph.D. in religion at Baylor University, works as a professor at Huston-Tillotson College, and as a part-time chaplain for Hospice Austin. She also serves Banah Full Community Church as a pastor, is a community activist, and mothers her teen-aged sons Darius and Deon. In 1995, she won the Austin Book Award for her collection, "In Search of Warriors, Dark and Strong, and Other Poems." She is married to her partner and best friend, Don.

Bradley Earle Hoge is an at-home dad for a three-year-old little boy and his dog, Pooh-Yie (a Cajun term of exasperation). He is also a global change scientist at Rice University. He writes and runs to keep everything in perspective. His fiction and poetry have appeared electronically and in the small presses. He's a member of the Florida State Poets Association and National Federation of State Poetry Societies. The poems in this volume spring mostly from ruminations while at work, but also while parenting and running. "It is hard to keep thoughts separate," he says.

Frances Downing Hunter received her Ph.D. from the University of Mississippi and teaches English at Arkansas State University. A finalist in The Atlanta Review Poetry 1997 Competition, she received an International Merit Award in the Poetry 1996 Competition. Her first full-length poetry collection, "The Sanguine Sunrise," was published by Chiron Review Press. Her poetry has appeared in "San Fernando Poetry Journal," "American Tanka," "Dream International Quarterly," "The Sierra Nevada College Review," "Raskolnikov's Cellar," "Poetry Motel," "Free Focus" and "Sunstone.' The mother of three adult children, she lives in Jonesboro, Arkansas, with her lawyer husband, Scott, and her dog, Jigger.

Margo LaGattuta is a poet with four published books: "Embracing the Fall" (Plain View Press), "The Dream Givers" (Lake Shore Publishing)," Noedgelines" (Earhart Press, a collaboration with visual artist Christine Reising) and "Diversion Road" (State Street Press). Her poems and essays have appeared in "Wind Eyes", "The Bridge," "Passages North', "Yankee," "Cincinnati Poetry Review," "The MacGuffin," "The Little Magazine," "Negative Capability," "The New Laurel Review," "The Sun," "PhenomeNews," "Suburban Lifestyles" (where she is Associate Editor) and others. Among her national awards are the Midwest Poetry Prize and the Founder's Award of the National Federation of State Poetry Societies. An editor for Plain View Press since 1995, she earned her MFA from Vermont College, teaches writing at University of Michigan (Flint) and, through her business Inventing the Invisible, she hosts a weekly radio program called Art in the Air on WPON AM in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.

Polly Opsahl is a letter carrier and union activist. She writes regularly for New Vision, a union newsletter. She has been published in "Almost Touching: A Reader for Women and Men" (Plain View Press) and many literary magazines and is a member of National Federation of State Poetry Societies, Poetry Society of Michigan, Detroit Women Writers, and Blue Toast Writers.

Christine Valentine Reising is a visual artist with an MFA from the University of Windsor who has been professionally exhibiting for the last twenty years. Her recent artistic interests include handmade artist books, gallery installation, set and costume design. She teaches painting and drawing at Siena Heights College and resides in Ann Arbor, Michigan, with her husband and high school sweetheart, Jim.

Karen Chorkey Renaud is a member of National Federation of State Poetry Societies, Detroit Women Writers, Poetry Society of Michigan and Blue Toast Writers. She and her husband Jim have four children and two daughters-in-law. She owns an accounting proprietorship, teaches creative writing classes and sits on the Addison Township Zoning Board of Appeals. Her work has been published in "Almost Touching: A Reader for Women and Men" (Plain View Press), Maverick Press, "Speakeasy Journals," "The Blues Review" and "The Eccentric Newspapers". Her poem "Rooster Spirit: Guardian of the Silla Dynasty" has been nominated for inclusion in Pushcart Best of Small Presses XXIII.

Kalamu ya Salaam is a New Orleans writer, editor and arts producer. He is the founder of the NOMMO Literary Society and co-founder with Kysha Brown of Runagate Press. He is the author of seven books of poetry and three books of essays. His latest book is "What is Life" (Third World Press), a collection of essays and poetry. He also has a new spoken word CD, "My Story, My Song" (AFO Records). His poetry, essays and fiction are widely published in anthologies and journals. He also produces weekly programs for radio station WWOZ 90.7 FM in New Orleans.

Gail Teachworth is President of the Florida State Poets Association and the Sunshine Poets of Crystal River, Secretary of the National Federation of State Poetry Societies and her local amputee support group. She is a founding member and current Parliamentarian of the Nature Coast branch of the National League of American Pen Women. She has been writing poetry seriously since 1986. Her work has appeared in "Modern Haiku,""Byline," "Harp-Strings," "Riverrun,"" Prize Poems of the NFSPS" and others.

256 pgs, $17.95, ISBN: 978-1891386022

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