The Talking Drum

The Talking Drum
By Lisa Braxton

It is 1971. The fictional city of Bellport, Massachusetts, is in decline with an urban redevelopment project on the horizon expected to transform this dying factory town into a thriving economic center. This planned transformation has a profound effect on the residents who live in Bellport as their own personal transformations take place. Sydney Stallworth steps away from her fellowship and law studies at an elite university to support husband Malachi’s dream of opening a business in the heart of the black community of his hometown, Bellport.

For Omar Bassari, an immigrant from Senegal, Bellport is where he will establish his drumming career and the launching pad from which he will spread African culture across the world. Della Tolliver has built a fragile sanctuary in Bellport for herself, boyfriend Kwamé Rodriguez, and daughter Jasmine, a troubled child prone to nightmares and outbursts.

The Talking Drum explores intraracial, class, and cross-cultural tensions, along with the meaning of community and belonging. It examines the profound impact gentrification has on people in many neighborhoods and the way in which being uprooted affects the fabric of their families, friendships, and emotional well-being.

The Talking DrumLisa Braxton’s debut, is beautifully written (perhaps why it’s being released by a press more known for their poetry), and transports us to early 1970s Massachusetts, where a predominantly black neighborhood is about to fall victim to the twin forces of gentrification and institutional racism, with a strong dose of corruption on the side.

Crime Reads

 

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Water Mask

Water Mask
By Monica Devine

Picture Alaska—her braided rivers and Arctic tundra, her tidal shorelines and thrashing salmon. Imagine flying over the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta with an inexperienced pilot, charging into an ever-changing rodeo of sky, clouds so thick it’s like flying through milk. Imagine Yup’ik elders whose humble behavior and reverence for their homeland teaches you more about living with intention than formal education ever could. Imagine learning that to practice deep listening is to practice silence. Imagine spending 21 days on a 42-foot trawler boating the Inside Passage.

Monica Devine’s new collection, Water Mask, captures these experiences alongside stories of New Mexico deserts, Wyoming horses, and family, making accessible through lyrical essays this remarkable American landscape.

Page Lamber, In Search of Kinship and Shifting Stars

 

In Water Mask, Monica Devine maps out a life in Alaska that explores issues of the human heart: fear, spiritual longing, memory, perception, loss and wonder. She skis woodland trails with her baby on her back, navigates sea ice with Beaufort Sea whalers, negotiates the deaths of her parents and endures the near loss of her cabin on the shape-shifting Copper River. In these captivating stories, Monica reflects on family, the importance of place, her work in Alaska Native villages, and more…all told against the background of a cold northern landscape that both rejects and beguiles.

 

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Through the Lens of Love: Facing Terminal Illness

Through the Lens of Love: Facing Terminal Illness
A Memoir by Robin Gross


Through the Lens of Love: Facing Terminal Illness is an open-hearted, inspiring story of the two years Robin’s husband, Dr. Richard (Dick) Gross, was dying from glioblastoma (GBM), an aggressive form of brain cancer. If you or your loved one has been diagnosed with a terminal illness, this book will guide you through the days and months to come. Robin will be your voice of reason, your shoulder to cry on, and your light at the end of the tunnel.

When Dick and his wife Robin receive news that he has GBM, the life they built together over forty years abruptly changed in one day. With the help of family, friends, and acquaintances, his last two years became an unexpected, extraordinary part of Dick’s life. Through the Lens of Love: Facing Terminal Illness is foremost a love story that brings you on an amazing journey which begins on a photography trip to Monet’s Garden in France and ends with an emotional reunion in Callaway Gardens, Georgia. 

Anyone who has been touched by glioblastoma will hear their own voice echoed somewhere in Robin’s book. With gentle yet exquisite and sometimes humorous style, she invites readers to explore her family, faith, & friendship. 

— Jo Simpson, MSN, spouse of glioblastoma patient

 

Why do we write books? In the hopes our story, experiences, lessons learned might help others. Kudos to Robin Gross for honoring her husband, family and community for their loving support through her dark night of the soul. You will be inspired and uplifted by the humanity demonstrated in this book – and will be motivated to reach out to those around you to re-establish what matters most in good times and bad – kindness, compassion and connection. Read it and reap.                             

— Sam Horn, SOMEDAY Is Not a Day in the Week

 

 To order, CLICK HERE.

Stone Gathering: A Reader

Stone Gathering: A Reader

Stone Gathering: A Reader is a mixed-genre, print anthology of hand-selected, previously published short writings intended for a wide readership. It is issued five times annually by Danielle Dufy Literary under the imprint French Press Editions (“portable, affordable, collectible, literature”).

Our mission is to get more short literature that matters into the hands of as many readers as possible through these beautiful but modestly priced quarterly anthologies. Each collects the work of 20-25 accomplished, inviting writers such as Naomi Shihab Nye, William Stafford, Kathy Fish, Lucille Clifton, Ross Gay, Brian Doyle, Danusha Laméris, Marjorie Saiser, Wendell Berry, Bao Phi, Abigail Thomas, Jane Brox, Molly Fisk, and more—writers you know and writers you’ll be glad to know.

Now in its second year, Stone Gathering has struck a strong chord with a wide readership. Contributors and readers have called it “a lovely, well-curated collection” “brimming with substantial wonders,” “a beautiful garden, with the gate wide open,” “a pocket-sized life raft,” and “a secular missal for our times.” If you like books you can fall back on; if you appreciate the way a line of poetry, a strong idea, a meaningful story can shore you up (or call you out!); if you like to hold beautiful, powerful words in your heart, or carry them in your pocket, or sometimes let them stir you to action, this book, this collectible series, is for you. Won’t you join our community of readers?

For subscriptions, gift subscriptions, and complete sets, CLICK HERE.

List & Story

List & Story
By Hilda Raz
 

In Hilda Raz’s dazzling List & Story, a pencil waits for us in every room, a bride and bridesmaid hold a trashcan between them, and April is recast as “a beautiful automaton” that lights peach blossoms on fire. These kaleidoscopic poems whipsaw between love and grief to create raw, unflinching elegies. Raz’s exquisite formal control is paired with associative leaps in these stunning explorations of identity, mortality, and the threshold between language and speechlessness… Bristling with brutal truths and sudden tenderness, Raz reminds us that, despite our losses, language and love will return in this life and the next.

—Hadara Bar-Nadav, The New Nudity
 

”Here then is my life in letters. A great weight,” writes Hilda Raz. This harvest—of art, of ripe heirloom tomatoes, of bobcats and lightning—nourishes us body and soul. This poet wants “to know how women sound in their heads.” These poems offer that, plus the beauty of “the glow we can’t see by,” the great mysteries of time and love and the night sky. Here is a poetry in the company of nature and art, saying YES out loud. Here is a poetry that acknowledges death, its nearness, then invites it to the table, where we feast. Thank you, Hilda Raz, for a masterful, profound collection.

—Peggy Shumaker, Cairn: New and Selected Poems
 

To order, CLICK HERE.

The Green Lantern and Other Stories

The Green Lantern and Other Stories
By Ariel Smart

In the driest, harshest corner of the Golden State, along Route 86, sits the Green Lantern Autocourt. There lives Delia, a lonely girl, with her pessimistic, phobic, depressed tyrant of a father, who, despite his neurosis, loves and protects his daughter. In this uncompromising environment, Delia and her father bond and thrive.

Ariel Smart was born at the Green Lantern during the peak of the Great Depression, when characters like the Joads from John Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath stopped for gasoline and supplies on their westward movement.

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Emerging Voices

Emerging Voices

Emergingvoices.co.uk is a quarterly online webzine. Based in London, the webzine presents voices from around the globe reflecting the personal and the political through paintings, poetry, essays, photography and video.

Going into its third year, Emerging Voices features have included:

Paintings linking visual art and politics
Poetry and sculptural art
Photography about politics and religion
Artists addressing climate change
Readings on mothers and daughters
Essays from Armenia, Zimbabwe and South Africa
… and much more.

Rose Levinson, Ph.D., formerly of Berkeley, is Founder and Managing Editor of Emerging Voices. Her writings appear each quarter.

Join our free subscriber list to be updated on quarterly postings.

Send us a 350 word submission on one of the following topics:

What are the most significant changes Covid 19 means for you personally and for your community?
Will the current wave of protests across the United States lead to significant changes? Why or why not?
Finally, our August issue will feature photographic essays. We invite you to submit four photographs along with a short essay. Send your contributions by July 15 to editors@emergingvoices.co.uk

We welcome you to our community of readers!