Both contemporary and historical Ireland come to life through Sheryl Clough’s masterful linguistic abilities. Like Yeats, who inhabits some of this collection, these poems are born of music and beg to be read aloud. Lyrical marries imagistic in social commentary rich in culture from the homeless, the pub, symbols, wars, famous writers and storied citizens to the haunting beauty of art and landscapes “unchanged through time’s folded embrace.” Maith Thú! Brava!
In these rich and complex poems, Sheryl Clough contemplates the interplay of the human and the natural, the litter of the quotidian beside the timeless landmarks of an ancient countryside. Her imagination is captured equally by the hunger of an ancestor who fled the Great Famine and the mordant wit of an Irish barman. Clough's exploration of caverns and cliffs, churchyards, inns, and villages is sometimes melancholy, sometimes uproarious: in her deft, articulate lines, we encounter a people capable of bestowing bawdy nicknames on poets and patriots even as they mourn. Clough has the range to engage consistently with both the humor and the near-classical sense of tragedy. Poul na Brone is a delight of a book.
-- Carol Alexander, author of Habitat Lost
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Sheryl Clough has worked as a teacher, editor, whitewater river guide, paralegal, and egg packer in an Alaskan salmon cannery. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Alaska Fairbanks, where she designed and taught UAF’s first writing course linked to environmental literature. Her work has appeared in Storyboard, Sierra, Travelers Tales, Soundings Review, Bacopa, Third Wednesday, and others.
In 2009, Sheryl founded Write Wing Publishing, a small press that has produced the poetry anthologies Surrounded: Living With Islands and Through a Distant Lens: Travel Poems.
Honors include the Donn Goodwin Prize from Milwaukee Irish Fest, a creative nonfiction prize from Jane’s Stories Press Foundation and the William Stafford Award from the Washington Poets Association. In February 2013, Sheryl gave a featured reading at the San Gabriel Valley Literary Festival, which awarded first prize to her chapbook Ring of Fire, Sea of Stone.
“Ash Keys” is a journey, these poems the keys (or seeds) gathered along the way. Some are sad or dark, some are humorous or hopeful; some have found received forms and some are in free verse. These are personal poems, among them mood pieces and character sketches from my childhood in South Africa and a year in New Zealand. There are poems that come to terms with the end of a long marriage and the challenge of single parenthood, that explore the complexities of rebuilding a life and of working it out in a foreign country and culture, in this case, France. This is the fight for survival and the search for love and fulfillment that we all know well.
Lee Nash writes deft, evocative poems that pick their way across a life lived in different parts of the world. Rooted in small, telling details, these poems have an undercurrent of self-mocking wit coupled with respect for women who cope with challenges different to her own. Nash's poems are written in a range of forms, always well crafted.
Angela Topping—former Writer in Residence at Gladstone's Library
Some story-tellers write novels, some write novellas or short stories. Lee Nash is that rare thing, an expert story-teller who writes through the medium of poetry. ... ... the strength of Nash's poetry, for me, is the incredibly concise way she can hint at a multitude of heart-breaking stories. ... Ash Keys is a beautiful collection of poems that are heartfelt, warm and enriching. I know I will return to my favorites often, and then read the whole through again and discover new favorites.
Catherine Edmunds—author of The Driftwood Tree and My Hidden Mother
Lee Nash's exquisite debut collection Ash Keys begins with the image of a Matryoshka being split apart and reassembled and closes with the repeated Laudamus Te. Throughout, we watch as she opens secret after secret and finds the key by which each evokes praise. In these poems, "The past looks in through sepia" yet breathes. We share a child's first impressions of class, race, and cultural otherness, and a young woman's experience of being newly-wed and newly single. We meet her children as babies and as young adults on the cusp of starting their own lives. In addition, Nash's poems are a linguistic delight. Her examination of bone china brings us crushed ossein and sgraffito. Her child-self in South Africa gnaws biltong and naartjies. The astringency of her second C-section gives us pethidine. Her French lover teaches us both déboussolé. Nash is equally deft with poetic forms, at home in haibun, tanka, sonnet, pantoum, kyrielle, tritina, and free verse. Like the new widow in her poem, she "finds the knack." The reader proceeds torn between the urge to savor each poem and to rush on to the next in order to witness more of her artistry. "Do not disturb the bees in me," she warns, but we are tempted, if only to see how Nash will craft their angry flare.
Devon Balwit—author of Motes at Play in the Halls of Light;The Bow Must Bear the Brunt; and We are Procession, Seismograph
Ash Keys is a varied, virtuoso collection with original language, close observation and poems revealing unspoken feelings. Describing experience drawn from many times and places, realized in a wide range of poetic forms, it repays close rereading.
Leslie Tate—UEA novelist and poet, shortlisted for the Bridport, Geoff Stevens and Wivenhoe Prizes, whose trans memoir Heaven's Rage has been turned into a film. https://leslietate.com/
Lee Nash describes Ash Keys as a journey and, like a journey that begins low key, the poems get stronger and stronger as the collection progresses. The more I read and re-read, the more I came to appreciate that this is a stunning book; original, varied, clever and moving.
Mandy Pannett—poet, novelist, poetry editor of Sentinel Literary Quarterly
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Lee Nash lives in France and freelances as an editor and proofreader. Her poems have appeared in print and online journals in the UK, the US and France including Acorn, Ambit, Angle, Magma, Mezzo Cammin, Orbis, Poetry Salzburg Review, Presence, Sentinel Literary Quarterly, The Lake and The World Haiku Review. You can find out more on her website: leenashpoetry.com.
REVIEWS: “These powerful metaphorical poems in Yuan Changming's new collection, Dark Phantasms, push the limits of language and the bizarre in a Lorca dreamscape with echoes of Poe and Orwell. In “Self Abuse,” a man self-decapitates and tries to barbecue his own head with human hair. Or neighbors keep renovating their house with blood and body parts of infants, and “No one knows / What kind of house they are trying to have.” Yuan fiercely executes these surrealist dark metaphors with brilliant imagination and imagery.”
-- Koon Woon, award-winning poet and author of Truth in Rented Rooms and Water Chasing Water
“Yuan Changming's work combines mythology with technology, utilizing a modern voice that still shows evidence of ancient wisdom. The words are moving in subtle ways that leave the reader filled with quietly obtrusive thoughts.”
-- Brent Armour, Editor-in-Chief of HelloHorror
“Changming’s dark and twisted imagery will have you cozying up to a hellfire furnace as his fantasies set your neighbourhoods and your realities ablaze.”
-- Allen Qing Yuan, author of Traffic Lightand editor of Poetry Pacific
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Yuan Changming, nine-time Pushcart and two-time Best of the Net nominee, is the author of six chapbooks [including Wordscaping (Halifax: Fowlpox Press, 2016)], and the world's most widely published poetry creator who speaks Mandarin but writes in English. Growing up in a remote village, Yuan started to learn the English alphabet as an ESL student in Shanghai at age nineteen and published several monographs on translation before leaving China. With a PhD in English from the University of Saskatchewan, Yuan currently edits Poetry Pacific with Allen Qing Yuan at poetrypacific.blogspot.ca and runs Poetry Pacific Press in Vancouver, Canada. Since mid-2005, he has had poetry appear in nearly 1,400 literary journals and/or anthologies across 40 countries, which include Best of the Best Canadian Poetry: Tenth Anniversary Edition (2017), BestNewPoemsOnline, London Magazine, and Threepenny Review.
This intimate collection of fourteen poems by Dr. Fred Ehrlich, titled How the Dead Stay in Touch, documents observations and reflections upon issues one deals with when nearing the end of one’s life. These include: aging, illness, loss, and death.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
"I am 87 years of age, retired from the practice of medicine for over ten tears. I practiced and taught child psychiatry and psychoanalysis.
In my retirement, I have had the freedom to look more deeply at issues I had previously tried to ignore. I watch individuals and couples who are dealing with illness, loss, and death. At the same time, I am dealing with these matters in myself. I am privileged to still be able to write poems about these concerns."
The theme of Ghosts of My Own Choosing is that we are all haunted by something, whether it's growing up, people living or dead, love, or the choices we make. To some extent we've chosen the things that stick with us, the memories that we visit again and again. REVIEW: Read a lovely review at Paving My Author's Road.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Terri Simon has degrees from Sarah Lawrence College (Writing/Literature) and Virginia Tech (Computer Science) and works in IT. She lives in Laurel, Maryland with her husband and dogs. She collects fountain pens, plays hand drums, and has more projects started than she will ever finish. Her work has appeared in “Three Line Poetry,” “Black Mirror Magazine,” “Mused,” among others, and the anthologies “A Mantle of Stars: A Queen of Heaven Devotional,” “Bright Stars: An Organic Tanka Journal (Volume 1),” and “Switch (The Difference)” and received honorable mention in Kind of a Hurricane Press’ Editor’s Choice for 2015.
~ During the entire month of October, all chapbooks sold on Createspace and Amazon will retail for $7.99 each. Author discounts will change to 50% off the retail price of his or her book. Author discount codes have been adjusted to reflect this change.
If sales go well for October, I hope to maintain these lower prices. Please help spread the word about your chapbook and these affordable prices, at Flutter Press.