Hiram Larew: Lucky

Hiram Larew is one of the featured poets in our Summer 2017 Issue. He has graciously allowed us to reprint his poem here. 

Hiram Larew
Drawing by Donna Luhrs

Lucky

I’ve never been able to add right
Somehow for me one plus one turns into black wavy hair
And all the stars up there—they just become
Eyes glancing down.
Even as a kid when I overheard someone counting
All I could think of was skin.
I am just estimated
Like how straw scatters in wind.
Things are almost too much for me—
When I dream of vast prairies
Or am in a crowd of luck
I’m stunned by so much desire.
In fact lately I’ve realized that
When a tally is taken
I’ll be the chewed pencil.

BIO:

Hiram Larew’s work has appeared most recently in vox poetica, Every Day Poetry, Honest Ulsterman, Viator, Shot Glass, Forth Magazine, Seminary Ridge Review and Amsterdam Quarterly. He is a global food security specialist, and lives in Upper Marlboro, MD.

 

NOTE: If you enjoyed this poem, please check out LPR’s Summer Issue 2017. Order copies here (Note that annual subscriptions are available online as well.)

Advertisements

Peter Marcus: Black Light for Etheridge Knight

Peter Marcus is one of our featured poets in the Winter 2017 issue. He has graciously allowed us to reprint his poem here. 

Peter Marcus

Black Light for Etheridge Knight
after Terrance Hayes

Count those living a locked-up life who sleep with one
eye open, always open. Black is the horse running from
the fires. Ka-toum Ka-toum, Ka-toum. Ka-toum. Black are
the horses galloping in silhouette across the stone-white
face of the moon. This song in which the dream-god said,
I will give you two hands that cut with the skill of Kara Walker.
The dead you left behind on Korean fields. The near dead
you lived among in wintertime on Midwestern city streets.
Those kept temporarily warm by Pluto’s snowy light.
The cemeteries of the heart one carries like an ancient vision.
Who among us is not less than their history of grief?
Who’s never drowned in the wine of their own blood?
Who’s not been beset with a vision of America without
its prisons, shelters, slums? I too lost faith in the systems;
sustained only by friendship, family, forgiveness, art. How
you sung the talking drum, the kindness drum. Bearded bard
of Memphis, Indianapolis, Pittsburgh. King of cobalt. King
of indigo. Ka-toum. Ka-toum, Ka-toum. Ever shadowed by
a racial blues: its horses, her tender hands. That primordial
blue where the stars still yearn to feel themselves scatter.

BIO:

Peter Marcus has poems upcoming in Miramar, Slipstream, and Prairie Schooner and in Broken Atoms in Our Hands, an anthology on nuclear war and disaster. He will be attending an upcoming residency fellowship at PLAYA (Oregon) in May 2017. He has published one book, Dark Square (Pleasure Boat Studio: A Literary Press imprint, 2012).

 NOTE: If you enjoyed this poem, please check out LPR’s Winter Issue 2017. Order this issue. (Note that annual subscriptions are available online as well.)
Continue reading

The Salon Series: A Smorgasbord of the Arts and Scientific Inquiry

Thank you to Publisher Emeritus, Mike Clark, for this blog post on the LPR Salon Series.  

If you have any interest in mythology, jazz, classical Indian dance, folklore, the Big Bang Theory, the fate of the Whooping Crane, a refugee’s escape from a war-torn country, Baroque music performed on reed instruments, the historic mission to Pluto, an expanding universe, the practices of world religions, ceramics, how food has influenced film, and protest art then I may have seen you at a salon.

Sponsored by Little Patuxent Review, a journal of literature and the arts, and the Columbia Association Art Center, the salons typically occur on a scheduled Monday night September through June.

The regular attenders say they find salons food for the mind, the senses and the spirit.

With the salon series entering its ninth year, Little Patuxent Review and the Columbia Art Center strive to bring in local artists, scientists and authors and engage with them in dialogue.

Salons have a unique history. In early 18th century France, they usually took the form of intellectual discussions where wigged, powdered French aristocratic men and women assembled in a drawing room. Closer to home is Chautauqua in southwest New York where 100,000 folks gather in the summer to enjoy a diverse cultural program. The salon series in Columbia typically draw 30 to 60 patrons.

The concept of initiating a salon series at the art center was first discussed in February 2008, when the literary journal staff members Susan Thornton Hobby, Tim Singleton, and I met with Liz Henzey, director of the Columbia Art Center and her deputy Trudy Babchak.

Liz Henzey pointed out in our early discussions that the art center would prove a welcoming artistic environment. “We would be using our space in a better way for all the different arts in our community,” she said.

At our first salon event, Tim Singleton expounded on haiku, a form of poetry tracing its imagistic influence to 17th century Japan and resonating with the Beat poets of the 1960’s. “Haiku,” he told the audience seems “very little (in verbiage), but it does big things” to stir our imaginations.

From there we reached as far as the stars. Nobel Prize winning NASA scientist John C. Mather told us about the story of the universe. Hubble Space Telescope Astronomer Thomas M. Brown let us know that astronomical sightings indicate that our universe is expanding. Alice Bowman, New Horizons Mission Manager, told us of the ten-year mission to Pluto with a spine tingling challenge the mission faced in the last minutes before reaching its goal.

Recent salons included a demonstration of classical Indian dance, a jazz performance, Tom Glenn’s bitter memories of the fall of Saigon, and Professors Mike Giuliano and Marie Westhaver exploration of how food has become a vibrant theme in movies that not only makes our mouths water but also affects human relationships.

The schedule for the 2017-2018 salon series is being put in place with the assistance of Columbia Art Center staff members Liz Henzey and Monica Herber along with Little Patuxent Review’s supporters– Liz Bobo, Phyllis Greenbaum, Sabina Taj , Tim Singleton and Kimberley Flowers. The first salon for the 2107-2018 series will be held at the Columbia Art Center on September 18, 2017, at 7:00pm and will explore the first 50 years of Columbia’s history. Featured presenters, Robert Tennenbaum and Prof. Sidney Bower, will present a talk entitled “The Book, Columbia, Maryland: A 50 Year Retrospective of a Model City.”

Steven Leyva: The Editor’s Reflections

Three years ago, Laura Shovan called me to offer the position of Editor of the Little Patuxent Review. I was, of course, both flabbergasted and flattered, having only recently been published in LPR through the Enoch Pratt Free Poetry Contest (1st runner up). Laura and I didn’t know each other well, but I knew her reputation as an insightful, kind, and attentive editor of a regional literary journal that always managed to land some pretty big name interviews. That phone call is one of three literary moments that profoundly affected me as a writer. The other two are being selected as a Cave Canem Fellow and finishing my MFA at the University of Baltimore.

Steven Leyva, Editor

From the moment I said yes to the offer, I knew that I was both entering an organization with a good foundation and one that I could help move forward in various ways. I saw my role as twofold – act as a good steward of LPR’s egalitarian ethos and seek out excellent writing from diverse voices. I thought of the literary journal as serving the same purpose as the old town halls. LPR would be a meeting place for the community, by providing an ether of ideas and the physical space for literary events and readings. Get sharp people in the same (metaphorical) room and good things will happen was my unspoken motto.

Looking back on three years of editing with its ebbs and flows, I am most proud of how often LPR had the privilege to publish women of color. One particular issue, Summer 2015, is one where I think LPR grew close to having its pages look like the demographic landscape of central Maryland, and the Mid-Atlantic region as a whole. That issue featured the poets, t’ai freedom ford, Rachel Nelson, Breauna L. Roach, and Mary More Easter, alongside fiction by Nandini Dhar and others. The audience of the launch reading for that issue looked like the 95 corridor from DC to New York. Black, brown, and white faces beamed as authors read their work aloud. People talked, mingled, and shared stories during the reception afterwards. It wasn’t a perfect representation of diversity, but there was growth from where LPR had been. And that growth felt sustainable, without gimmick, and without any whispers of tokenism. And I think beyond any individual examples, honest and equitable growth towards building diverse literary spaces is a goal we reach towards in every issue.

As LPR continues to grow I don’t want to lose sight of the rhizomes that connect the journal to its local communities, but I also want that network of roots to expand. We can to do more to be a welcoming space for LGBTQ artists and writers. We can do more to bring the journal to different economic communities around the region. Not everyone can make it to Columbia, MD, twice a year for a launch event, particularly if you don’t own a car. We can do more to highlight emerging visual artists and put them in conversation with diverse communities. There is always more to be done, but I have come to realize that the literary journal isn’t the finish line. It’s the baton. The goal isn’t to run as hard as you can, passing all others, but rather to hand the baton off well. And anyone who’s ever run a relay can tell you that it requires trust, patience, and practice. I look forward to continuing to cultivate all three in the issues ahead.

Introducing Julia Gerhardt: LPR’s New Online Editor

The LPR staff and board are happy to welcome Julia Gerhardt as our new online editor. Julia worked as an intern for us and volunteered as a poetry reader from August 2016 to May 2017.  Desiree Magney, our co-publisher,  and I met her when we all worked at the AWP conference in February of this year. We’re all looking forward to Julia’s contributions and the fresh energy she’ll bring to the LPR blog. Welcome, Julia.

12122826_10206032084974353_6558037644519784889_n

Julia Gerhardt

Dear LPR Readers,

Hello there! My name is Julia Gerhardt, and it is with great pleasure that I write to you as LPR’s new online editor. I’ve noticed that whenever I want to speak honestly with a family member, friend, or beloved, I find myself bent over my desk writing a letter on my old Betty Boop-themed stationary. Now, while I cannot address a letter to every single one of you, the readers, consider this online blog post my personal, open letter to all of you.

Like all the LPR staff, I too, love reading and writing, although my relationship to literature had a fairly tumultuous start. When I was in first grade, I refused to read and write. I have a sister who is five-and-a-half years older than I and was getting straight A’s at the time, so the bar in my family was set pretty high. Instead of trying to reach for it, I gave up thinking that I would never be as smart as her (completely unaware that I would ever get any older and smarter). So, after refusing to read and write, it was either repeating another year or attending summer school. Summer school it was, and I abhorred it. My teacher was tough, the workload was heavy, (for a five-year-old that is) and the summer was hot. Yet, it was that tough-love attitude of my teacher that finally got me to start reading. Her stature may have been short, but her big, frizzy, gray curls, commanding voice, and piercing brown eyes always made her presence known in a room. The best way to avoid that eye contact was planting my face in a book, and so I did, again and again and again until I loved it.

My love for reading and writing continued into Goucher College where I received my bachelor’s degree in English with a concentration in creative writing. Prior to entering college, my only editors were my mother and my sister who were the equivalent of the good cop, bad cop dynamic of writing. My mom was in constant praise of my work (even when undeserving), and my sister would take a literary knife to my essays until they bled red ink, always holding me to a higher standard. In all honesty, while I’m grateful for both types of feedback, my sister prepared me for only half the critiques I would get in college.

I wrote my first short story for a beginning fiction class my freshman year of college. It was a stream-of-consciousness piece from the perspective of an eight-year-old British boy. Friendly reminder: I had never been to England at that time, and all the British vernacular that I used I found on the internet. Needless to say, it was not a success story, and my classmates’ responses were clear on that score. While devastating to my freshman ego, that failed attempt at a story was the best thing to happen to my writing process. I realized that the more people critiqued my writing, the more they cared. After four years of people caring, I’ve grown a tough hide to criticism, but an open heart to feedback. My efforts resulted in my first short story being published during my junior year in a magazine called Sun & Sandstone.

18920605_10213523605109228_5295617166580368521_n

Since graduating college, I took the opportunity to travel and backpack through Europe alone. I should mention that I am so geographically inept, I once got lost in my own city for over an hour. However, this extended trip was an opportunity to prove to myself that I could trust my instincts and my intuition a little more. While abroad, I traveled throughout England, Scotland, and Italy. In the United Kingdom I visited various friends; however, while in Italy, I worked as a farmer for an organic vineyard through the World Wide Opportunities for Organic Farming (WWOOF) network. I earned a fellowship from Goucher College to write a short story based on my experiences working in a vineyard and learning more about Italian wine culture. Now that I am safely back in the United States, I’m happy to report that I have not gotten lost in the city.

So there you have it—my troubled writing past and my hopeful writing endeavors for the future. While navigating post-grad life as a young writer isn’t easy, I’m grateful to be writing and learning the way with you.

Yours truly,

Julia Gerhardt

Open Call for Submissions

The submission window for the next issue of Little Patuxent Review opened on December 1, 2016 and will close on March 1st. The issue is unthemed.

LPR is looking for the very best smart, engaging and well-crafted submissions of poetry, fiction and creative non-fiction. The editors welcome vibrant creative writing that demonstrates a strong sense of craft, a clear voice, and an ability to captivate the reader. The editors and readers of LPR have a variety of aesthetics and welcome a broad range of work, from the experimental to the conventional. Send work that will engage the imagination. Please read the information here. We thank you for your submissions!

Little Patuxent Review is a community-based publication focused on writers and artists from the Mid-Atlantic region, but all excellent work originating in the United States will be considered.

Interested? Keep reading…..

2016 – 2017 Salon Series

Little Patuxent Review’s 2016-2017 Salon Series has begun.

The Salon Series is a monthly meeting from September to May sponsored by Little Patuxent Review and the Columbia Arts Center. The series covers a broad range of themes and topics featuring a variety of guests in different specialties. From lectures to workshops and demonstrations, the evening is guaranteed to teach you something new while engaging with the local community.

Attend one of the upcoming meetings below and on our Events page:

Monday, September 19,  7pm

The Maceo Leatherwood Retrospective:  Reflections of Family, Life & Culture.  

Maceo Leatherwood

This presentation, which is produced by his daughter, poet Vanita Leatherwood, will explore the creative journey of Maceo, a Washington DC native.  Having engaged subjects for his art as diverse as human rights, ancestral connections, music and spirituality in nature, his work is steeped in symbolism.  This presentation is a look at not only the story of one man and his craft, but a dialogue about what it means to make an art of living against the grain.

Monday, October  24, 7pm

Protest Art:  Art with a Message

Presentation by Ann Wiker, Art Historian, Artist, and Instructor for Howard Community College and Johns Hopkins’ Osher Program

From Picasso’s Guernica to contemporary graffiti, art has often been used as a means of communication. This lecture will explore how artists throughout history have used visual imagery to raise attention for political and cultural issues.

 

Monday, November 7, 7pm

Hayden Mathews:  Magical Places in Maryland

Join Hayden, regional historian and word-weaver, for an illustrated journey to magical places in Maryland that will span the length and breadth of the ‘Old Line State’ from the surf-washed shores of Assateague Island to Muddy Creek Falls and Finzel Swamp in rugged western counties.  Through the words of Maryland natives, Hayden’s personal reflections, and the images of these places, past and present, this presentation is sure to give you a renewed sense of appreciation for the beautiful places that can be visited in Maryland. Hayden currently offers programs for all ages that mix natural and cultural history. He also leads educational bus tours for the Smithsonian Associates.

 

Monday, December 5, 7pm

Speak to My Heart Songs of Joy for the Holidays with Vocalist Denee Barr and Accompanying Cellist David Duan.

Celebrate an evening of cheer as performer Denee Barr sings seasonal melodies and familiar carols with the accompaniment by cellist David Duan.  Enjoy music and songs that are timeless.  Let the night carry you away in a place of wonderful festivity.

 

Monday, January 9, 7pm

Bitter Memories:  The Fall of Saigon with Tom Glenn

Tom Glenn was in Saigon as an undercover signals intelligence operative in April 1975 during the fall of Saigon when the North Vietnamese attacked the city. Glenn cheated, lied, and stole to assure that none of his subordinates, their wives or children were killed or wounded in the attack.  Glenn will present his story of how he got them out of Saigon by any ruse he could think of. For his work during the fall of Vietnam, Tom Glenn received the civilian Meritorious Medal, his proudest possession.

 

February 27, 7pm

NASA’s HISTORIC MISSION TO PLUTO with Alice Bowman, The New Horizons Mission Operations Manager, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory

Alice, the New Horizons Mission Operations Manager (MOM), will talk about the voyage of NASA’s historic mission to Pluto – which culminated with the first flight past the distant dwarf planet on July 14, 2015. Experience this journey through the eyes of the mission operations team as Alice describes some of the challenges of piloting the small robotic spacecraft through the solar system for nearly a decade.  Her team itself was part of history, operating a spacecraft that had to travel longer and farther than any mission ever to reach its main target.

 

March 13, 7pm

Food in Film with Mike Giuliano and Marie Westhaver, Film Professors at Howard Community College

If you haven’t experienced Mike and Marie’s film talks, then you are in for a treat!  Back by popular demand, this presentation marks the sixth time this dynamic duo has shared their film knowledge and expertise with our salon groups.  Mike and Marie will be sharing their knowledge about food as a topic in film.   In line with the theme, attendees are welcome to bring a favorite dessert or snack item.  Columbia Art Center will provide other potluck snacks and beverages.

 

Monday, April  3, 7pm

A Musical Journey through South Asia

Shaista Taj Keating will share folk songs, ghazals from Pakistan, and classical ragas from North India. Shaista has performed on national television. She has taught at UCLA and has also performed at the United States Embassy in New Delhi, UCLA, and several international celebrations.

 

May 15, 2017, 7-8pm

Helen Mitchell  Why Are They Doing That? Practices in World’s Religions!

Do you ever wonder why people dress a certain way, eat or avoid certain foods, engage in practices that can be puzzling to outsiders? What do the hand and body gestures associated with some of the world’s religions actually mean?  This ‘decoding” session will highlight the core beliefs and values that underpin these practices.

 

June 5, 2017, 7-8:30pm

Ceramics Panel Discussion:  New Technology in an Age Old Art

Computer technology enables seamless, hands free production of ceramic objects, allowing precision form and exact reproduction. But what is the downside to the loss of tactile interaction between ceramics artist and materials? Does smart technology further an artist’s reach or stand between artist and inspiration? When does ‘hand-made’ transition to ‘computer-generated’?  Does it matter?  Enjoy an evening panel discussion amongst recognized ceramics artists, including those exhibiting in Columbia’s 50th ARTrospective June exhibition in Columbia Art Center Galleries.