Category Archives: Poetry

Under the Tail of the Milky Way Galaxy Published!

Four Windows Press has just published Ethel Mortenson Davis’s new book, Under the Tail of the Milky Way Galaxy.

Underthewaycover

This is Ethel’s fifth book of poetry and has all of the poems she has written since moving to Wisconsin from New Mexico.

John Looker, one of the world’s finest poets, The Human Hive, wrote from Great Britain that “Here is a harvest of finely-judged lyrical poems that express a joy in the natural world.  Carefully observed and beautifully expressed, they are not just nature poems however.  Ethel Mortenson Davis has a deep reverence for nature, coupled with a sadness at humankind’s frequent indifference.”

Standing Feather, whose book, The Glowing Pink, has recently been published by Four Windows Press, said in his review that “There is something profoundly spiritual and tragically elusive in our understanding of the vast wilderness.  In Under the Tail of the Milky Way Galaxy, Ethel Mortenson Davis shows us how to connect deeply with the sacred spiral and reminds us that compassion is the fragrant essence that draws light into the darkness of human desire and elevates us to the edge of grand possibility.”

We’re hoping that those who love elegant, finely crafted imagistic poetry will pick up a copy at amazon.com or from the Galleria Carnaval in El Morro, New Mexico, www.galleriacarnaval.com.  This is a book that continues the fine tradition of publishing quality poetry and fiction pursued by Four Windows Press.

 

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In the Unsettled Homeland of Dreams to be Published by All Things That Matter Press

by Thomas Davis

I have just signed a publishing contract with All Things That Matter Press for my new novel, In the Unsettled Homeland of Dreams. I was first introduced to ATTMP by the books of Diane Denton. The author of three novels (Without the Veil Between is a book that I have recommended on this blog), I have followed Denton’s career before she became an ATTMP author. I have also read some of Mary Clark’s books, the latest being Miami Morning, who is published by ATTMP. Located in Maine, HTTMP has a substantial, and important, list of both authors and books that they publish.

In the Unsettled Homeland of Dreams is a novel about a black fisher community that located on Washington Island off Door County before the passage of the Fugitive Slave Act in 1850. At the time it was the largest black community in Wisconsin outside of Milwaukee. The novel traces the community from the time of its meetings with Preacher Tom Bennett in the boot of Missouri in the Mingo Swamp through their flight from slavery northward through Chicago to West Harbor on Washington Island.

I first stumbled across the Washington Island community of black fishermen when I was doing research for my non-fiction book, Sustaining the Forest, the People, and the Spirit (State University of New York Press), a number of years ago. When I moved to Sturgeon Bay I read Island Tales, an anthology by Kay Curtis, and found a mention of the community again. I was intrigued and started researching in order to write what I thought of as a sonnet sequence at the time. Then, on a trip to Washington Island, the owner of Faire Isle Books, Deb Wayman, told me she would really be interested in a book on the black community since no such book existed. What was first intended to be creative non-fiction later turned into a novel.

The following is the sonnet that introduces the novel:

Inflamed Imagining

A Spenserian Sonnet

Inside the swamp beside a cypress tree
(White herons in the water, bullfrog croaks
A symphony as dusk, as stealthily
As cat’s feet stalking small, shy birds, evokes
The coming night) the Preacher slowly stokes
The fire blazed in his heart and starts to sing
Songs powerful enough to loosen yokes
White masters forged through endless menacing.

The words he used burned deep; he felt their sting
And saw his spirit fire alive in eyes
Awake to dreams, inflamed imagining
Of days spent free beneath glad years of skies.

The darkness deepened underneath the tree.
He’d preach, he thought, then, later on, they’d flee.

I should also send out a word of thanks to Ralph Murre, the former Door County Poet Laureate, who gave me the title of the novel during a poetry workshop at the WriteOn, the writer’s retreat and organization in Door County. It is a paraphrase of a line from a poem by Pablo Neruda.

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Sweetgrass

by Ethel Mortenson Davis

It is a time
when the smell
of sweetgrass
hangs heavy
in the ear
of summer,

when light lingers long
in the night,
and we let go of
what is not right in the world,

when we drift
across the tall grasses
to where fireflies
are whispering
to each other.

In this small pocket
of summer,
the deer
have finally
let themselves
be seen.

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In Edgewood’s Orchard

Terza Rima Sonnet

by Thomas Davis

As dip-si-doodled as a particle
Inside the zipping universal whiz,
I stretched into a rusty horse and peered
At cultured woods that felt the guttural,
Mute roaring of a monster’s metal fizz
That jawed into a garden’s winsome weird.

Then, as an old farm’s walls grew images,
And glass shapes whirled with colored curves of light,
I felt creation’s fires congeal and mold
Into a spirit drawn from circuses
Born from the striving of an artist’s flight
Through zoos of sight, sound, thoughts, the manifold
Of what could be if chaos suddenly
Became a rusty horse whose eyes can see.

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Standing Feather, Betty Hayes Albright at Otherworlds Books in Sturgeon Bay

The owner of Otherworlds Books in Sturgeon Bay is featuring two Four Windows Press books at her bookstore, The Glowing Pink and Skipping Stones.  I hope some of the readers of this blog will consider buying a copy.  They are both really good books!

OtherworldStandingBetty.jpg

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Bards and Brew Tonight!

I just got an email from Ralph Murre, a former Door County Poet Laureate who is a classic poet!, reminding me that I will be one of two featured poets at Starboard Brewing, 151 N. 3rd, in downtown Sturgeon Bay this evening. Starboard Brewing is famous around here for its craft beers. I hope those in this area can attend this event. It tends to be something else.

Chuck Sully will be the other featured poet with his poetry about sailing and wild waters. There will also be an open mike. There tends to be quite an audience.

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Skipping Stones by Betty Hayes Albright

Four Windows Press has released Skipping Stones, a book of poetry by Betty Hayes Albright.

Albright cover.jpg

Last month Four Windows Press published an outstanding book of poetry by Standing Feather, a New Mexico poet. This month we are coming out with a volume of poetry by Betty Hayes Albright entitled, Skipping Stones.

Betty Hayes Albright has one of the most popular poetry sites on the web at https://raindancepoetry.wordpress.com/author/raindancer73. Called “Seasonings”, the site presents week after week the deeply romantic, often clever, and sometimes fantastical poetry of Albright. Four Windows Press is glad to now count Albright’s earth-mother poetry among its offerings.

A Sturgeon Bay poet, Mike Orloch, told me at a recent poetry reading that he was reluctant to publish a book, even though he is an excellent poet with strong credentials, because more people write poetry than read it. This may be true, but we’re hoping that Betty’s wonderful book sells some copies. There has got to be a market for what Candice Daquin, another excellent poet, calls “her gorgeous kaleidoscopic collection of poems”. Lauren Scott, another well-known poet, said of Skipping Stones that it “is mythical and dreamlike, moving and heart-wrenching, delightful and thought-provoking.”

Four Windows Press is certainly happy that the book will be available on amazon.com early next week. You can also order a book with a check or money order to Four Windows Press, attn. Tom Davis, 231 N. Hudson, Sturgeon Bay, WI 54235. The book is priced at 13.95. There is a $4.00 handling and shipping fee for those who want to order directly from the press.

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