Year 2021 (watercolor, February 2021)
—this is a sequel to the “Year 2020” painting, posted in hope that 2021 will be better and happier for everyone
More watercolors at Joanna Kurowska’s ART page
My father Bohdan Kurowski left memoirs that I’ve been editing for the past 16 months or so. Some of those recollections depict father’s childhood, including his forced exile, at the age of six, to Kazakhstan—as part of the Soviet deportations of Poles during the war. The Column presents excerpts from those memoirs, translated into English. Thank you for reading.
So sad and disappointing. Bernie Sanders ties gun violence with mental illness, IGNORING the fact that such violence is FAR MORE FREQUENT among the so-called NORMAL people. Mentally ill people are repeatedly (and habitually) scapegoated by politicians to detract attention from systemic flaws that make average—or “normal”—Americans angry and afraid. STOP ABUSING ILL PEOPLE, BERNIE SANDERS AND OTHERS! They need your help, not libeling!
Proportionally, the mentally ill are FAR LESS AGGRESSIVE than the people not diagnosed with mental illness. And yet almost every commentator in the USA labels them as culprits after a major gun-violence incident.
What is it, stupidity, laziness, or ill will?
THREE DAYS AFTER LAS VEGAS HORROR AND A FEW MORE DAYS AFTER MARIA HURRICANE ALL NEWS DISCUSS JUST ONE TOPIC: DID TILLERSON CALL TRUMP “MORON” OR NOT?
IS THIS NORMAL? IF NOT, ON WHAT GROUNDS THE NEWS (AND TRUMP) PICK ON THE MENTALLY ILL PEOPLE? IS IT TO AVERT OUR ATTENTION FROM THE REAL PARANOIA WE LIVE IN?
IS NOT PICKING ON THE MOST VULNERABLE JUST ANOTHER EXAMPLE OF BULLYING THAT RULES OUR SOCIETY?
How delightful! The Editor of Concise Delight, Mr. Denis M. Garrison, has made the Summer 2009 issue available online. The original print-issue is a beautifully edited collection of very short poetry. There are plenty of pearls to fish for in this publication!
For me the issue has a very special significance, as one of my earliest poetry publications in English. Several of the poems included in Concise Delight (pp. 88-9) were in fact my first, shy attempts of writing in the new language. I sketched those poems on the margins of the books I was reading back then—hence their brevity!
I want to use this opportunity to express my deep gratitude to Mr. Denis M. Garrison, for including my work in this charming publication. Thank you so much!
Having my poems accepted in Concise Delight in 2009 gave me the courage to pursue writing poetry in my second language, English (which I had learned in my 30s). Since then, I have published five books of poetry in English.
Please, take a moment to read Mary Harwell Sayler’s insightful review of Stained Glass, just published on her blog The Poetry Editor.
Thank you so much, Mary!
In the most recent interview in The Column I present two extraordinary persons. One of them is a young artist Justyna Palka, the other her mother Malgorzata Palka, the author of a biographical album about Justyna, titled She Simply Disappeared. Sadly, Justyna Palka died tragically a few years ago. Recalling her daughter’s life and accomplishments, Malgorzata recounts a story of pain but also of a life that keeps shining beyond death. It is a story of beauty, courage, and endurance.
Please take a few moments to read my conversation with Malgorzata Palka.
Reading and conversation at:
with poets Lidia Rozmus and Joanna Kurowska
Sunday, October 9, 2016, at 1 p.m.
Copernicus Center, King’s Hall
5216 W. Lawrence Avenue, Chicago, IL, 60630
(free parking on site)
This event is a Tribute to Polish & Polish-American Women Poets and part of the Polish-American Heritage Month.
I used to joke about this but in fact it’s quite serious—yet another symptom of the sickness of our society. 95% of the e-mails I receive from strangers—including messages from various poetry organizations (whose messages sound very much like those from other, less etheric enterprises)—address me by my first name (“Dear Joanna”) ONLY while attempting to solicit funds from me. Otherwise, they don’t bother.
It hurts, so whoever does this, please stop.
Thank you for your consideration.
It’s been half-a-year since Ivaana Muse composed music to “Snow”—and the more I listen to her composition, the more I love it! I am so happy and humbled she chose my poem as the lyrics to her amazing work. So today I am celebrating Ivaana‘s composition—and asking that you please take a moment to listen to it! Here’s “Snow” in Sound Cloud—composed and performed by Ivaana Muse.
I also posted links to the composition, its history, and the poem itself, in the POEMS section of my website.
And here’s a photo of my childhood garden in Olsztyn—my native town in Poland, one very snowy winter. Echoes of that garden play in “Snow”…
Naomi Gladish Smith was born in England of American parents who returned to the U.S. with their family at the beginning of World War II. Three of her novels, The Arrivals, The Wanderers, and The Searchers use Swedenborgian beliefs to explore what the afterlife might be like. The Searchers was a finalist in USA Best Books 2011 – Visionary Fiction category. Naomi’s most recent book, V as in Victor, is a memoir about her father. Her essays and short stories appeared in JAMA, The Christian Science Monitor, Soundings Review, and elsewhere; she also read her essays on WBEZ, Chicago’s NPR station.
V as in Victor by Naomi Gladish Smith
eLectio Publishing 2014
You are invited to the following event:
(click the image to view the poster)
I am grateful to In Print Radio‘s producer Bob Francis, for this post, and for hosting a program with me in the past.
*Both poems are from Inclusions, Cervena Barva Press 2014
Originally from Pennsylvania, Arthur Turfa has now lived over a decade in the Midlands of South Carolina. In between these two places are many others, stretching from California to Germany. Turfa hold degrees in German, a BA from Penn State, MA from UC-Irvine, Master of Divinity from the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, MA in History from Binghamton University, and a doctorate in Literature from Drew University. Since 1981 he has been a Lutheran pastor, and served as a chaplain in the United States Army until his retirement, with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. Turfa’s first book of poetry, Places and Times, was released in 2015 by eLectio Publishing. His poems have also appeared in Altpoetics, Metaphor, SC English Teacher, the Munyori Literary Journal, and Afflatus.
Daily North Shore has published an article titled “Poets Crescendo At Madame Zuzu’s“, about the April 30 poetry event in Highland Park.
Many thanks to Julie Kemp Pick, the author of the article!
Photo by Jennifer Dotson
A new, insightful review of Stained Glass has appeared on Amazon.
Excerpts: In a calm, reflective manner the poet evokes her life experiences . . . . I was particularly taken by the way she conducts her narration, which turns into a brief story about small details—such as often remain imperceptible to adults but are quite striking to a little girl . . . . Stained Glass is also a story of self-discovery through a ceaseless searching for answers regarding fundamental truths. Kurowska distances herself from widely accepted social and religious practices. Careful observation prompts her to question their overall legitimacy and validity. However, she is far from being a severe judge, in fact she does not pass any moral judgments. Rather, hers is the voice of a sensitive individual, who refuses to go through life in a meaningless and unreflective manner.
I am very grateful to the reviewer!
2016 Featured Illinois Author in Willow Review:
As the Featured Illinois Author in the 2016 issue of Willow Review, the journal of the College of Lake County, I was interviewed by the editor Michael Latza; had several poems published in the journal, and read my poetry at the issue’s launch in the College of Lake County, on April 21.
I am deeply grateful to Michael Latza and the editorial team of Willow Review for this distinction.