The Skinny Poetry Anthology is a type of looking glass, no a monocle, that looks closely into the human condition in “an America” where devaluing human life is embraced as a political belief and a patriotic value. These poems are necessary. – DaMaris B. Hill, PhD and NAACP Image Award Nominee.
The Skinny Poetry Anthology Edited by Truth Thomas Review by Rosetta Codling, Ph.D.
The Ski NNY (2019) is the latest issue from Cherry Castle Publishing. It is, by far, the most lyrically aesthetic from the house of Cherry Castle. Truth Thomas is the creator of the Skinny genre. It is, perhaps, an urban haiku, framed in eleven volcanic lines which surge forth. The eleventh line and the last line must be repeated using the same words from the first and opening line. The composer, Truth Thomas, does lend liberty to rearrangement. But the second, sixth, and tenth lines must be identical. Thomas, also, stresses that: “All the lines in his form, except for the first and last lines, must be composed of a single word.”
Does this all sound daunting? Yes. Is it difficult to achieve? Yes. However, the subjects of these harmonious creations are the more tedious to bear witness to. Yet, the poets in this collection do so fearlessly.
“the glint of gas oven or America’s Concentration Camps” (with acknowledgment to “who” by Sylvia Plath) is the opening ‘sonata poem’ of this collection. This poem is disarming and starkly real. Debasis Mukhopadhyay is a poet true to his mentor Sylvia Plath. The words drip and drape across the page conveying the erosion of the human spirit. In short, terse, verse, America is indicted for crimes against humanity on a single page of history.
“Jail Cell Diaries” is an entry in this collection that invades the soul in variation mode. This poem is a chronicle of 21 days of unjust incarceration. The varied repetition of words, in each stanza, are branded upon the page for the reader. “Freely…free…delirium…cry…sleep…dropped…guiltocent…dropped” are the words which descend upon the reader, slowly. Jen Schneider, the poet, paints an image that lingers long after the cell doors…open and close, again.
But, this collection is not without wit. Pam Desloges’ “Skinny Skinny” reminds the reader what lies beneath the meter and the meaning of a poem. She entreats us to explore the “nouns” and “bony verbs” absorbed in a text. She uses food imagery to aid in our envisioning of “low-carb adjectives” that are consumed in sectional, lean forms.
This collection is a whole. This collection is in harmony. This collection stands alone. Thank you, Truth Thomas, for delivering truths in many lyrical tones.
Rosetta Codling is a freelance literary critic. She has written reviews for the Ama Books, the Manhattan Book Review, the San Francisco Book Review, the Journal of African Literature, Autres Modernites, and Examiner.com. She has obtained scholarships and fellowships from Queens College (NYC), Teachers College/Columbia University (NYC), and the Open University (UK). She retired (in 2006) as a secondary school teacher and Adjunct Professor of English for over 30 years in New York. However, she attends global conferences and continues to write professionally. In addition, she now is an Adjunct Associate Professor of English at Herzing University in Atlanta, Georgia.
Thomas Locicero’s poetry sings. It has a voice as grand as the New York Island. His poem, “The Skinny on Italian Lovers,” is a cultural ode both of splendid originality and bold ingenuity. Without question, his work shines in craft and endearing uniqueness–and for that, we should all be grateful. Order your copy of The Skinny Poetry Anthology today, TO BE buoyed by Locicero’s work @https://tinyurl.com/rqvf892
Thomas Locicero’s poems have appeared in The Skinny Poetry Journal, Roanoke Review, Boston Literary Magazine, Long Island Quarterly, The Ghazal Page, Birmingham Arts Journal, Poetry Pacific, Antarctica Journal, and Bindweed Magazine, among other journals. Originally from East Islip, NY, he resides with his wife, Lil, and sons, Sam and Ben, in Broken Arrow, OK.
Tara Betts is a poet’s poet, to be sure. She is a deep dish of literary excellence–and perhaps, one of the reasons that the wind blows so hard in Chicago is because Betts is stirring good things up with her words. TO BE inspired by her work in The Skinny Poetry Anthology, go tohttps://tinyurl.com/rqvf892
Tara Betts is the author of Break the Habit and Arc & Hue. She’s a co-editor of The Beiging of America: Personal Narratives about Being Mixed Race in the 21st Century and editor of the critical edition of Philippa Duke Schuyler’s memoir Adventures in Black and White. Her work has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies. Betts received her B.A. in Communication at Loyola University, received her M.F.A. in Creative Writing from New England College. She received her Ph.D. in English/Creative Writing from Binghamton University.
Great depth and craft abide in the poetry of Changming Yuan. It is an honor to read his pieces, rich with layers of wisdom, capable of warming souls in winter frost. TO BE stirred by his work in The Skinny Poetry Anthology, go tohttps://tinyurl.com/rqvf892
Changming Yuan published monograph translations, before leaving China. Currently, Yuan lives in Vancouver, where he edits Poetry Pacific with Allen Qing Yuan. His credits include: ten Pushcart nominations, the 2018 NajiNaaman’s Literary Prize, Best of the Best Canadian Poetry and Best New Poems Online.
There is a profound reverence for humanity in the poetry of Kara Provost. Now, more than ever, in the U.S. and in the world, such love is needed like air needs breathing. TO BE moved by her work in The Skinny Poetry Anthology, go tohttps://tinyurl.com/rqvf892
Kara Provost has published two chapbooks, Topless(Main Street Rag) and Nests (Finishing Line), and six microchapbooks with the Origami Poems Project. Her poems appear in literary journals and a number of anthologies, including Credo: Manifestos and Sourcebook for Creative Writing; Nuclear Impact: Shattered Atoms in Our Hands; and Shifts: Women’s Growth through Change. Kara teaches writing at Curry College and lives in Rhode Island.
What wonderful word pictures Regina Guarino paints in poetry. Her work literally Jumps off of the page of The Skinny Poetry Journal and that is a blessing for every reader who engages the pages of the book.
Regina Guarino is the author of Words Matter: Prayers to Heal a Feminist Soul(Blurb Books, 2018). Stockton University’s Shore Thing Writing Getaway, for which she was a scholarship recipient, inspired these poems. She has been teaching English as a second language for many years in Wilmington, Delaware.
Debasis Mukhopadhyay is, quite simply, a consistently brilliant poet with a singular voice. This happy fact abides in the Skinnys he has written that are gratefully a part of The Skinny Poetry Anthology.
Debasis Mukhopadhyay is the author of the chapbook kyrie eleison or all robins taken out of context (Finishing Line Press, 2017). His poems have appeared in Stride, The Honest Ulsterman, Posit, Words Dance, Erbacce, I am not a silent poet, and elsewhere. His work has been nominated for the Best of the Net. Debasis lives and writes in Montreal, Canada.
Blessed and honored to see this book in the hands of Melanie Henderson (aka DCluuuv) and her beautiful daughter–born loving books, to be sure.
Melanie Henderson, Washington, DC native poet, editor, photographer and publisher, is the author of Elegies for New York Avenue, winner of the 2011 Main Street Rag Poetry Book Award. An alumnus of Howard and Trinity Universities, she studied poetry at Howard University in Dr. Tony Medina’s “Boot Camp” and at the Voices Summer Writing Workshops (VONA) in San Francisco, CA prior to earning an MFA from Lesley University in Cambridge, MA. Her poems have appeared in Beltway Poetry Quarterly, Drumvoices Revue, jubilat, Torch, Tuesday; An Art Project, Valley Voices, and The Washington Informer among many other notable publications. She is a recipient of the 2009 Larry Neal Writers Award and received a 2013 Pushcart Prize nomination from Iris G. Press. She is a Founding Editor of Tidal Basin Review and serves on the editorial board of Cherry Castle Publishing. Learn more at: dcelegies.com.
When I think about the people who have greatly impacted my life, it’s clear that a significant number of them are veterans. Many, like Lamont B. Steptoe, are Vietnam veterans–but not all–Dr. Tony Medina, case in point. For what they have suffered in the act of giving, I am very grateful. And certainly, the wisdom, generosity, knowledge, and inspiration they have given me is a gift beyond compare.
I mention all of that to say that I am, and TSPA is, edified by another soldier–Matthew Borczon. He is also a gift beyond compare to the world–this poet–this writer–for his sterling poetry of witness. Not unlike Yehuda Amichai, he writes about war from the point of view of painful personal experience. He writes to honor the sanctity of life and to remind all who will listen about the ongoing human cost of war.
As we are inches away from the second decade in the twenty-first century, in a world in constant conflict, it strikes me that Borczon’s poetry should be embraced with the reverence of a New Year’s Eve “Watch Night” Service. – t
TO ORDER TSPA and explore Borczon’s work
and that of multitudes of exceedingly talented poets
GO TO CHERRY CASTLE PUBLISHING
Matthew Borczon is a poet from Erie, Pennsylvania. He has published 11 collections of poetry, the most recent being Body Bag, on Nixes Mate Books. When Borczon is not writing, he is a nurse who serves adults with developmental disabilities. He has been a Navy Hospital Corpsman for the last 18 years and often writes about his time in Afghanistan and his life after living with PTSD.