“The Wall & Beyond” update

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Wonderful news! The Wall & Beyond is #17 in “Religious & Inspirational Poetry” and # 49 in “American Poetry,” today on Amazon! TW&B Poster

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Press release!

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Press release!

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A note of appreciation

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THANK YOU!

Following the press release from Cervena Barva Press announcing the publication of my poetry collection Inclusions, I would like to express my deep gratitude to Cervena Barva Press’s editor Gloria Mindock, and her associates, for publishing my work. I also remain most grateful to all my friends, who believed in me as a poet. Thank you all so much!

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On rejections from literary journals and publishers

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To My Chivalric Rejectors:

Every writer knows rejections hurt, especially when one is a beginner; but even the old veterans of the publishing battlefield find rejections unpleasant. Because so little money goes to both the writers‘ and (as we are repeatedly told) the editors‘ ends of the food-chain, the times when rejectees received personal feedback from their rejectors, seem long gone. It‘s almost amusing to read the same old message with each rejection—not a single word changed for a number of years, for example: “We are sorry to say we’ll have to pass on this submission, but thank you very much for letting us have a chance with your work.” Sounds familiar?

When one gets such a message the tenth time in a row, one begins to feel a single comma or a dash added would change that message into poetry (which acts through surprise). But no. That’s why, when I get a personalized rejection, it feels almost like a distinction. The current times are safely mapped, the borderlines between the powerful and the powerless clearer than ever. Like in an ant-heap, everyone knows where to move, and how. Machines talk to us and we to machines.

Then—suddenly—something humane looms on the rejector’s end. A rejection with some personal feedback. I remember every single one of such rare, chivalric rejections, in which a distinguishable human being tells me “No, we won’t publish you because…” I remember them as much as I remember the acceptances.

I want to tell a story that, on my part, is long overdue. In 2002, soon after my qualifying exams for my advanced degree, I took the courage to send my work to The Atlantic

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YOUR FEEDBACK

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From Debbie Young’s blog:

Whatever you’re reading just now, if you enjoy the book, take a moment to thank the author by leaving a quick review on Amazon, Goodreads, or any other site that you prefer. I guarantee you’ll make the author’s day.

AMEN!!!

Debbie Young is an accomplished writer and literary critic. She has just published an outstanding review of my volume The Wall & Beyond on Amazon and Goodreads. The review has originally appeared in Vine Leaves Literary Journal.

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New review of TW&B

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NEW REVIEW OF THE WALL & BEYOND

In her review of TW&B in Vine Leaves Literary JournalDebbie Young writes:

While the scale and shape of Kurowska’s poems feels up-to-the-minute modern, her themes are timeless and profound: familial love, life, death, liberty, theology, and eternity. Though the poems often ooze fear, doubt, and anxiety, they are ultimately upbeat, uplifting, and often gently humorous. They are the product of a mind that has faced and explored life’s uncertainties and chosen to embrace the positive …. These are deft, assured poems by any measure, and I’m thankful to have had this opportunity to explore and appreciate Kurowska’s work.

Read the entire review

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Joseph Conrad and Religion

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I just received, by mail, The Conradian (vol. 38 No. 32), with my essay in it, titled “Moral and Religious Relativism in The Rover.”  In this essay, I argue that Joseph Conrad did not become increasingly nihilistic, as he aged (as some critics would claim). Rather, he continued to explore religious themes, while striving to separate them from religious and nationalistic discourses of his milieu. Fascinating topic!

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