TW&B reviewed in TIME OF SINGING

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From Joanne Stokkink‘s review of The Wall & Beyond:

“If being inspired and made to think is part of the happiness that some say is the purpose of poetry, Joanna Kurowska’s latest poetry collection The Wall and Beyond meets that purpose and then some. Her poems entice you with simplicity and ease in reading and then stand you on your head.”  (Time of Singing. Vol. 41. Fall 2014, p. 20)

To read the entire review, click HERE

Copied with permission from Joanne Stokkink and Time of Singing

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The Best of Vine Leaves

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Poem “Facing the Wall” included in The Best of Vine Leaves Literary Journal anthology.  See also Debbie Young’s review of The Wall & Beyond in Vine Leaves.

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Interview in TLJ

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1 on 1: Joanna Kurowska“, a featured interview by Alice Saunders, in Torrid Literature Journal (Vol. 12, Fall 2014). Read the interview

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New review of TW&B

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From J. Federico Martin‘s review of The Wall & Beyond:

“Her poems have the feeling of a silence that looks at you and makes you look at the familiar; such as a wall, that suddenly makes you realize that what we touch as something solid and indifferent, is actually as evanescent as a curtain…” read the entire review

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“The Creed”

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Poem “The Creed” published in  all roads will take you home.

 

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“The Wall & Beyond” reviewed in RART!

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A phenomenal review of The Wall & Beyond, by Wendy Vardaman, has just appeared in Religion And The Arts (# 18.1-2).

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New poems!

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Five poems just published at Lunch at Giverny.*

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*Warning! Some of these poems employ irony.

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A Poet’s Dilemma

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Writing poetry, I feel I do what I must and should do; while, through its lack of interest and support, the society I live in seems to be suggesting, “Drop it and get a REAL job.”

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New publications

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FORTHCOMING:         

• Poem “Vibrations” in Adanna Literary Journal Issue #4

JUST PUBLISHED:        

• Poems “The Rose” and “An Inkling” in Torrid Literature Journal Vol. XI    (July, 2014)
• Poem “Kloto,” in the anthology Warszawskie Opowieści (Warsaw Tales) published by New Europe Writers (2014) (in Polish).  The poem first appeared in Obok : Near (Oficyna Literacka, 1999).  Its English version “Cloto” can be found in The Wall & Beyond (eLectio Publishing, 2013)
• Poem “The Choice” in Time of Singing Vol. 41 No 1 (Spring 2014)

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INCLUSIONS reviewed

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INCLInclusions has received its first review, written by Mary Harwell Sayler; followed by a five-star mark and a comment on Amazon, also by Mary Harwell Sayler.

Mary Harwell Sayler, thank you!

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INCLUSIONS update

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INCLMy newest poetry book Inclusions is currently available on Amazon.

Thank you for your support. I can write because of you—my readers!

These mostly short, lapidary lyrics present to the reader not only a fallen world of detritus, missed emotional connections, thoughtless consumption, empty gratification, but also a world of fragile and fleeting beauty, raptures that last “but a fraction of a second,” and art-making that redeems us. A town’s soul leaks away as globalization grinds everyone and everything to sameness; a bishop’s suit in a window is “a skin missing a body”; and a price is put on everything: “The trees have turned into business letters.” This is simply the “now,” as Kurowska sees it. But these are spiritual poems, though the god evoked—invoked—is not the property of any single group or mission. In the title poem, the speaker longs “to make sure/that i, too, am included/in the world deposited/on God’s tongue.” And always, the human possibilities, and the beauty of the world, are what we transcend to. In the final poem, to her son who asks what the meaning of life is, the poet replies, “Next to me, a feather swirls/In the air. A draft carries it/When the window is open” … To me, this is a lovely, non-Western image of the inclusion the poet prays for. 

— James Cummins

Inclusions is a book of surprising, reflective encounters with things as small as ants and as big as God. The ants, however, are big enough to make us think about the meaning of life and death. God, on the other hand, is small and light enough to fit into a snowflake. The poems listen to silence, loved ones now gone, cupboards and birds. Joanna Kurowska’s slender verses pray by playing and masterfully lead the reader to the realization that “knowing is letting go.”

— Katia Mitova

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Poland-related poem

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Rendition

Can I translate the waves of Lake Michigan
into the Śniardwy’s squall or Skanda’s ripples?
The deep carpets of grass in Evanston’s parks
into chamomiles, nettles, and weed thickets?

And can I transcribe the crimson cardinal
Into the charcoal “szpak” or olive “dzwoniec,”
or move the gray squirrels (when I dye them red)
from the town’s squares to the Mazurian forests?

So powerfully space and time interlace
—abandon one, you will distort the other.
Dogs don’t speak Polish here nor do the birds;
the black currant does not bloom—it can talk to no one.

read more…

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Happy Poetry Month!

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* * *

a group of people
push their way
onto a crowded bus

a three-year-old boy
exclaims:

finally
we are riding together
the whole family!

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© Joanna Kurowska
Poem first published in Strong Verse

Read more poems by Joanna Kurowska

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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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New review!

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A new 5-star review of THE WALL & BEYOND, by Laura Bailey, on Amazon

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New Review of THE WALL & BEYOND

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New review of The Wall & Beyond by Eusebeia Philos, on Amazon:

Joanna Kurowska has written a wonderful collection of poems to be enjoyed on many levels. Her imagery and phrasing is sharp and descriptive, a delight in itself. Below the beautiful transparency of her wording one is invited to go deeper to explore the symbols and questions contained in the many “wall” references. This is poetry that never lets us languish in the obscure. Kurowska helps us surpass the limits of our experience to reach for what is beyond.

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