Circling Rivers, September 2020

Ekphrastic Poem Book Giveaway

front cover of Loplop in a Red City

The Circling Rivers’ ekphrastic poetry book giveaway ended September 1. The premise: Send an ekphrastic poem, winner gets a signed copy of Ken Pobo’s ekphrastic poetry collection, Loplop in a Red City. 

We’re very grateful to the poets who sent their work — and thankful we didn’t have to play judge. All entries were variously interesting and beautifully written; it would have been a very tough choice. We used a randomizer to pick the name of the winner. 

AND (conga line, please) the winner is poet JOHN GREY.

John Grey is an Australian poet, now a US resident. His work has been published in Soundings East, Dalhousie Review, and Qwerty, and upcoming in West Trade Review, Willard and Maple, and Connecticut River Review. [coincidentally, CR writer Erin Wilson has a poem in CRR; read on… ]

Scroll down to read “Interrupted Reading by Corot,” with an image of the Corot painting that inspired the poem.

Ken Pobo says, ‘Congratulations, John! I’ve seen your work for many years and admire your imagery and appealing use of figurative language. “Interrupted Reading by Corot” has a lovely ending. I envy lines like “A sigh rises up in my flesh/ like the ribbon in my hair.” Best wishes to you as you create more beautiful poems.’

Circling Rivers Writers

Get a preview of our next forthcoming book, as well as a short intro to what we do at Circling Rivers: Bernard Horn will read from his collection LOVE’S FINGERPRINTS with intro by Jean at the Small Press Fair & EcoPoetry Panel, San Jose Poetry Festival. The Fair is on Sept 13, from 1 pm – 3 pm pacific / 4 pm to 6 pm eastern. Each small press gets a quick 5 minutes, so you’ll get a big span of people and poetry. It’s via Zoom. Free – info & registration here

See our Events page for more events (some very soon) with Circling Rivers writers. 

Ken Pobo | Publications: Chapbook, Your Place Or Mine, Poetry Society of Alabama; “Monopoly,” “Skip Bullied,” in Nine Cloud Journal 1 (August 2020); “A Show And Tell Dahlia,” “Start of Spring,” in Brittle Star 46 (June 2020).

Nina Murray | Oksana Zabuzhko’s short story collection, Your Ad Could Go Here, got an enthusiastic review in LARB, with mention of Nina, who edited the book and was one of the translators. here

Jean Huets | Jean reviewed Rebecca Watson’s debut novel Little Scratch in On the Seawall here

Bernard Horn | “A place of solidarity—it is not a quiet place—it can be a very hard place to write in.” Bernhard Horn talks with Doug Holder of Boston’s Ibbetson Street Press here

Erin Wilson |Publications: “Hymnal,” Connecticut River Review here.

Corot painting Interrupted Reading
Interrupted Reading by Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, 1870


I let the book flop onto my lap.
My face turns away from words,
eyes stare blankly
as my mulling mind
stops the story in its tracks.

What have I been reading.
Poetry? A chapter of a novel?
I dress comfortably,
white blouse,
deep-folded dress, a greenish brown.
My arms are long and white.
One loosely grips the discarded pages.
The other buoys my head.

Introspection, melancholy…
the feelings interweave.
A sigh rises up in my flesh
like the ribbon in my hair.
And then it deflates,
dangles like rings from my ear-lobes.

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