NEWS

DINNER DATE REVIEW
A lovely review for Judy Robinson's book, Dinner Date, can be found at The Montserrat Review.

DINNER DATE
by Judith Robinson

We are happy to announce that Judith Robinson's book, Dinner Date, is being published by Finishing Line Press.

Judith Robinson is an editor, teacher, fiction writer and poet. A graduate of the University of Pittsburgh, she has been published in numerous magazines, newspapers and anthologies. She was editor of Living Inland, author of The Beautiful Wife and Other Stories; poetry editor of Signatures. She currently teaches poetry in the ALL Program at Carnegie Mellon University. She is editor of Only the Sea Keeps: Poetry of the Tsunami (Bayeux Arts), and co-editor with Michael Wurster of Along These Rivers: Poetry and Photography from Pittsburgh (Quadrant).

Here's what Helen-Faye Rosenblum had to say about the collection:

Judith Robinson's essential poems are suffused with delicate irony and pungent imagery that deliver the joyful, melancholic, tragic moments of a life well-lived. Her gorgeous rhythms, word-upon-word, reach to the soul of the reader. Her reflections illuminate a gentle, tough, romantic, clear-eyed and always purely poetic sensibility.

Dinner Date can now be purchased HERE via Finishing Line Press' website. Or, a copy of the book can be purchased HERE (alongtheserivers@gmail.com), directly through Judy for $14/$1 shipping. Enrich your summer with this wonderful collection!

THE BRITISH DETECTIVE
by Michael Wurster

We are happy to announce our good-friend Michael Wurster's new collection of poems is available via Main Street Rag Press.

Michael Wurster, born in Moline, Illinois, has lived in three of the main cities of Pennsylvania: Philadelphia, Harrisburg, and since 1964, Pittsburgh, where he is a founding member of the Pittsburgh poetry exchange. His teaching and promotion of poetry includes a post at the Pittsburgh center for the Arts School, private classes at his Bedford square atelier, organization of the Southside Poetry Smorgasbord, the monthly national poet study group at Borders North Pittsburgh, as well as his weekly symposium at City Books’ Café Descartes every Saturday afternoon. In 1996, Pittsburgh Magazine awarded Michael Wurster the Schwalb Award in recognition of his dramatic contribution to the life and history of Pittsburgh’s literary scene.

For more information about The British Detective, please visit the Main Street Rag website HERE.

THE MAIN STREET RAG REVIEW
A very warm review of Along These Rivers was included in The Main Street Rag's Fall 2008 ediiton. Special thanks to Richard Allen Taylor for the wonderful words. Here it is, in it's entirety:

I don't like all of the poems in this book, and I mean that as a compliment. Had the editors included only poems that suit my tastes—or tastes of any single reader—they would have missed their mark. Instead, editors Judith Robinson and Michael Wurster set out to create and anthology "more completely representational" than previous anthologies of Pittsburgh-area poets, a book that reflects the cultural and ethnic diversity of the area with subjects ranging from Godzilla to Groundhog Day.

Several of the poems remember the city's past glory as a center of steel manufacturing and subsequent decline. One of my favorites is Jan Beatty's "Pittsburgh Poem." It begins: On Sarah Street, on the South Side, / the old woman stand with her broom, imagining / the air full of lug and swish from the steelworker's boot ... // She thinks of the dark well of J&L, how it sifted down to nothing, / the mill's hole of a mouth that ate full years of her life, / nights she pulled her husband from Yarkey's bar across the street ...

Expatriated Pittsburgher Rick Campbell provides a richly detailed portrait of the city, its citizens, its geographic features and (we presume) his old neighborhood in "How the Streets in Front of Kaufmann's Department Story Tell Me I Am Home." For years I have been lost, he writes, as if jolted by the realization that he is back, where he is drawn to the deli across the street, to pastrami and Iron City, / where everyone eating big sandwiches is big / ... and their voice sing Pittsburgh when they say Iron.

In a poem dedicated to Judith Vollmer, Nancy L. Krzton's "On Pittsburgh as Poet's Canvas" provides a wide-angle look at Pittsburgh and surrounding countryside as Clear water from the north slips past the weathered hills and In taverns, millworkers drink with tombstone eyes, their children off to the promised land,/ while we are left in this Old Country of obelisks, churches, thin black seams of coal...

Pittsburgh's three rivers-the Allegheny, the Monongahela and the Ohio-appear in several of these poems. In "Lunch on the Monongahela" by Gail Ghai, the author compares a river outing to the Renoir painting "Luncheon of the Boating Party." The speaker imagines herself and her man to be a couple balanced on that boat sipping along the Seine. You suited/with a black top hat, I draped in pastelflowers. But this is Pittsburgh.//This is the Monongahela, blackish green as the slag heap...

Christine Tefler, in the delightful "Fool Moon over the Mon" invokes the same analogy with a slightly different slant in this vignette of a hot couple on. a hot night. He finds her lips and the small plastic/clasp holding her bra together. She tries to pretend/ this is not East McKeesport but France, not this man/but anotha Probably she will go through/life this way, enchanted, pretending, as if the moon/was not a three quarter moon, as if it were full.

Alas, Pittsburgh is not Paris, but it is a place that commands the loyalty and love of its denizens. And while many of the poems in this collection ooze nostalgia and even sadness in remembering life during the steel boom, there are moments of hope and joy as well. Marilyn Bates' "Sonogram, May 2,2000" is a good example. In this letter to her unborn son, she writes, LittleAlien, //...you take! . the first step onto the landscape of my cratered heart. Peter Blair, best known for his book Divine Salt, writes these tender lines: You lean/against me, your eyes luminous as the blue water. We look over the levee,/down into a stillness that contains us,/a stillness where a red filll moon rises/into the depths of the Allegheny.

Photo Editor David Rohm has adorned this book with a pleasing and eclectic mix of black-and-white images by many of the area's finest photographers. Many, but not all of the photos, feature things and places mentioned in the poems-the Pittsburgh skyline, factories, rivers, bridges and churches; people working, playing and dancing.

Along These Rivers is a splendid book. Much of the poetry and photography is about Pittsburgh, but all of the words and images presented are the work of authors and artists who live there or have some association with the city. This volume belongs in every Pittsburgh household and is a good value for poetry and art lovers anywhere.

— Richard Allen Taylor

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A great review of Along These Rivers is featured in July's issue of Pittsburgh Magazine.

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Along These Rivers:
Readings in Celebration of Pittsburgh's 250th Anniversary

Along These Rivers (Quadrant Publishing), edited by Judith R. Robinson and Michael Wurster, showcases the art of the Pittsburgh region in the poetry and photography of 89 Western Pennsylvania artists. Poetry readings and exhibitions of the photography in the book took place in 15 area libraries and at the Three Rivers Arts Festival and the Southside Summer Street Spectacular. This reading and exhibition series was supported by a Seed Grant from The Sprout Fund.

Below: Lori Wilson, Ann Curran and John Cunningham from our October 23rd reading at the Carnegie Library Branch in Carnegie.




PAST NEWS

Along These Rivers editors, JUDITH R. ROBINSON and MICHAEL WURSTER, were interviewed on Feb. 5, 2008, on WYEP FM's Prosody.

You can check for Along These Rivers upcoming events at Poetz.Com.

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JUDITH ROBINSON was interviewed recently by
WDUQ, 90.5 FM in Pittsburgh. The interview is part
of their ongoing coverage of Pittsburgh250 and the
projects involved.

The broadcast will air on Monday, January 21
at both 6:30 AM and 12:30 PM. Also featured
on the broadcast are Along These Rivers contributors ANDREA LONDON and RICHARD ST. JOHN.

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We'd like to thank the following organizations for all their continuing support of Along These Rivers. Please visit their sites.

Poetz.com
The Pittsburgh Quarterly
Pittsburgh Poetry Exchange
Renaissance News, Inc.

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We are pleased to announce that we were recently selected as recipients of a Sprout Fund Seed Award to further promote and celebrate Along These Rivers.

The Sprout Fund is a nonprofit organization supporting innovative ideas and grassroots community projects that are catalyzing change in Pittsburgh.

Founded in 2001, Sprout is designed to facilitate community-led solutions to regional challenges and supports efforts to create a thriving, progressive, and culturally diverse region. With strong working relationships to many community organizations and regional stakeholders, The Sprout Fund is one of Southwestern Pennsylvania's leading agencies on issues related to civic engagement, talent attraction and retention, public art, and catalytic small-scale funding.

With ongoing local support and continued appreciation by the communities it serves, The Sprout Fund will continue to provide an entry point for young people to become involved and active in their communities and support projects that have the collective power to shape a new culture and vision for the region.