Monday, July 27, 2015

Congratulations to TWR Editor Parker Towle

I'm delighted to to share the happy news that poetry editor Parker Towle's second full-length collection of poetry, The World Spread Out, was for published in April 2015 by Antrim House Books.
“Parker Towle’s poems achieve a fine balance between our coming and going on the face of the earth and the magical presence of the earth itself. An inveterate hiker, he testifies to human beauty and human difficulty, those flashes of feeling incited by terrain, exertion, camaraderie, and the insight love bestows. His recall of a campground or adolescent moment feels deeply accurate, the stuff of lived imagination.”~Baron Wormser 

Parker will be a guest on Bookshelf, NHPR on August 7, and he will also be reading at the Gale Free Library in Holden, MA library on Sept 16 at 6:30.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Congratulations to BILiNE Contributors

Congratulations to the following contributors to The Worcester Review whose work has been selected for inclusion in Best Indie Lit in New England Volume 2!

Douglas W. Margeson, short story "Barton's Pipe," TWR Volume 33
Karen Nunley, short story, short story, "Thirteenth Summer," TWR Volume 34
Colin Dekeersgieter, poem, "Gutting," TWR Volume 34
Dmitry Berenson, poem, "The Fishing Village," TWR Volume 34
Judy Ireland, poem, "My Pillow, a Stone," TWR Volume 33

There will be a a release party for the 2nd volume of BILiNE at 7 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 20, at Nick's Bar and Restaurant, 124 Millbury St., Worcester.  The reading will be co-sponsored by the Worcester County Poetry Association.

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Wednesday, July 1, 2015

From Volume 35: A poem by Jeffrey Beck

Jeffrey Beck

his father’s voice

because you didn’t have time to return

his last call, you linger now replaying

the crackly voicemail, his buoyant plea

to talk, his voice rising a squeaky

octave, so you’ll know he’s excited;

In the Spotlight: Jeffrey Beck

Jeffrey Beck received an honorable mention for the Worcester County Poetry Association Frank O’Hara Prize. His poem, appearing in volume XXXV of The Worcester Review, is a poem about his father (pictured below), Arnold James Beck, who died on March 29, 2009.  

What does it mean to write? What do you believe to be the role of the writer?

Writing poetry is creating astounding word-machines that move. They “move” the thoughts, senses, and emotions of readers. That is the role of the writer: to do the creative work with words that will lead to these movements. And the poet seeks to move all three—thought, senses, emotions. If a poem lacks one of these movements, it is less successful. The poet Ted Kooser says that certain poems remind him of machines that were invented in the nineteenth century—fantastic mechanical levers to help men tip their hats. Of course, no one bought those machines because, in spite of their cleverness, they weren’t really needed. A poem that really moves people will seem necessary. A poem that is cleverly worded, but not moving, will be discounted as a trifle.

According to your LinkedIn profile, you received a PH.D. in English in 1993 and have been teaching since. You are also currently the dean of the Nathan Weiss Graduate College at Kean University and are involved in several projects. Could you discuss your strategies for finding time to write while also maintaining such a busy lifestyle?

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

From Volume 35: A poem by William Jolliff

William Jolliff


Explanations for the Night



Her doctor, she says, claims he can't do a thing

for her other troubles until she starts to sleep.

Anybody who goes a day or two without it

is likely to forget things, lose things, maybe

even find things that aren't really there.

In the Spotlight: William Jolliff

The writer of “Explanations for the Night” and "For Rebecca, Off to Spain,” two poems published in The Worcester Review Volume XXXV, William Jolliff is a professor, old-time country and traditional music enthusiast, and poet who here offers writing tips and insights into his own work as a poet. 

You have noted on the George Fox University faculty page that you are interested in traditional Appalachian and Midwestern music. Could you discuss how your interest and involvement in these genres has influenced your poetry?

That's really hard to say. I assume there may be some mutual influence but not much that would lend itself to easy correspondences. I've loved old-time country and traditional music since the cradle, but other than the shared fascination with words, such art forms seem very different to me from literary poetry. When I write songs in those genres, I put a very different kind of formal demands on myself than I do with my poetry, which is largely (more or less) free verse. Probably the main influence might simply be that the kinds of people who show up in my poems are often people who like old-time country music and live in that little demographic slice. I did happen to notice a few summers back that I'd written about forty poems of sixteen lines each: four, four-line stanzas with about four pulses to the line. That happens to be the structure of a traditional fiddle tune... So I suppose on some deep structural level there's a bit of merging going on.

You have also noted that you like to focus on countercultural writers. Could you share why and which works in particular have stuck with you and your writing? 

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

From Volume 35: A poem by Becky Kennedy

Becky Kennedy





It's Sunday morning and sun the color

of honey spills on the kitchen counter;

it’s ten or eleven o’clock and they

fill our kitchen, our son and his new wife

and their friends and the laughing, the way that

people laugh when laughing is like breathing,

laughing about beer and golf and bad luck

and graduate school, laughing at jobs they’ve

had or never had, the two wives rolling

eyes, laughing, planning Sunday. His new wife

humming as if she were baking or were

planning something really nice like golfing

while you test your clubs in the living room

where I sort my photos. In the night you