December 10, 2017

New Books by IVJ Authors

This month's featured books will make wonderful Christmas presents!  "Across the Light" by Bruce Owens, "The Wild Essential" by Claudine Nash, "Languid Lusciousness with Lemon" by Joan Leotta, and "Have We Been Screwed?" by Teresa Roberts.


across the light by Bruce Owens

Available from the publisher and Amazon

Although Bruce Owens has been crafting and publishing poetry for over forty years and is considered by many to be an undiscovered national treasure, he remains one of America's great, unsung poets. Across the Light is not only home to his most recent poems, it is a quintessential body of work from this contemporary master of the language whose foundation in beauty and spirit lends a generous and responsive perspective to his work.

 "Some people try to find their voice, some are found by it. Bruce Owens seems to be one of the latter, and reading his poems, I too, felt found—by ecstasy and vulnerability. To read Across the Light is to take a journey into the resilience of the human body and heart. Equal parts romantic and rugged, this collection points to the importance of solitude and, at the same time, how very much we need each other." ~ Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer, author of Even Now, The Less I Hold, and The Miracle Already Happening

 "The poems in this collection establish Bruce Owens as one of today's most accomplished poets. His poems are rich in detail, striking in clarity and grace. Owens writes from the heart with power and passion, weaving together worlds both seen and unseen. His lines are sometimes deliberately simple, and often surrealistic, as he takes us to the edge of a dream, then leaves us there, marveling at what we have just discovered. This book belongs in every community library". ~ Janine Pickett, Indiana Voice Journal

 "Bruce has found a voice in poetry that beautifully frames thought in a language that resonates deep within where the ordinary and even mundane day to day things of life become spectacularly significant. He masterfully does that also with a camera - where a moment witnessed by many as quite ordinary, is captured and highlighted in a way that one wonders how it was possible not to see it like that in the first place! Reading his poems then becomes an adventurous journey where one often finds oneself drawn into the moment not merely as an honored audience but also as a welcome participant." ~ Francois Du Toit author of Divine Embrace and The Eagle Story

"Bruce Owens is one of the most powerful, original, visually and emotionally compelling poets in the English language. He's been amazing me for 40 years with the depth and scope of his genius." ~ James Dalessandro, author of 1906 and Canary in a Coal Mine.

 “Bruce is unlike any poet or writer I’ve come across. He meets me where I want to live. His poems, like the very finest . . . catch me off-guard, building line after line, until I forget I’m reading poetry. I’m simply lost in a scene that seems written only for me." ~ John Lynch, author of On My Worst Day 

When I first began to read his poetry, something inside me shifted. For the first time, instead of being an outsider looking into a poem, I experienced what could only be called the transcendent sensation of being inside it. I didn’t read it. It read me. Bruce’s poetry seemed to somehow know how to touch the nerves connected to the existential questions about life and sooth me. For a man who doesn’t consider himself particularly artsy or one of unusual literary aptitude, his poems do something to me. Something good that always leaves me wanting more." ~ Dr. Steve McVey Best selling author of Grace Walk


The Wild Essential by Claudine Nash

Published by Kelsay Books
Arrives before Christmas! Amazon

From “You Are a Mountain” to ”Songbird,” The Wild Essential "covers, no, seals, no, reclaims" what it means to be human, to love, to be flawed, to be alive. Claudine Nash assures us that "there is earth in you" and that we can "feel the infinite within." As she writes in the title poem: “loosen these concepts that limit and bind, touch only my truest skin.” That is what her words do. They let us forget our names, the labels, the places and day we've come from. We find through her wisdom, kindness and grace how nature lives within us and what it means to feel a deeper, more beautiful rain.
~ Julia Klatt Singer, Author of Untranslatable, A Tangled Path to Heaven and In the Dreamed of Places

Claudine Nash invites her readers to return to what is natural and instinctual, and to use these lessons in trueness to live. With reflection and awareness, we find ourselves suppressing societal chatter and self-doubt; then, we see ourselves being empowered from the basis of just being our true selves. From the ozone to morning coffee, mountains to motherhood, The Wild Essential takes us to the roots of our identity so that we may flourish beyond barriers. This collection of poetry is a tender but powerful ride of self-exploration and self-acceptance through memories, experience, and forgiveness. At the end of this ride on which Claudine takes us, we acquire the tools to accept the beauty of all that makes us who we are.
~ Mercy Tullis-Bukhari, Author of Smoke

The Wild Essential is itself a continual act of healing reconnection with the authentic self. We are invited on every page into Nash's discoveries of fresh nuances of mystery and connection with the self she addresses directly in the waterside meditation "Sometimes Before It Storms": "Dear, you / give me such grief / for disappearing / into the ocean, // but tell me, // without this, // how else could / I ever offer you / any fruit?" We are reintroduced to a world that lives for itself, and in so doing allows us a mirror of our own true natures. Yet, though this speaker's paradoxical grounding in the movements between inner and natural mysteries is apparent and uncontrived, the reader is still allowed in poems like "I Keep Checking My Samsung Galaxy for Meaning" into the missteps of even the most contemplative minds – and the gleeful release of their humor. The aggregate is a deeply connected collection of poems for an often fractured world.
~ Michael Collins, Author of Appearances and Psalmandala


Languid Lusciousness with Lemon by Joan Leotta

Published and available now by Finishing Line Press
Joan's other books on Amazon

In Languid Lusciousness with Lemon, Joan Leotta’s poems balance the sugar and salt of our existence with a dash of humor: “Life’s sweetness stands out, / oft best preserved / when accented with tart,” ever evoking food, family and T.S. Eliot’s “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock,” especially the peaches of that famous poem. Memories of apple picking, Fourth of July picnics, and oysters bring the author’s family together across time and distance: “By the time plates are empty, hearts are full. / Long after the sweetness of dessert is a memory.” After savoring Leotta’s collection, you may experience your own special food memories and remember, “Everyone hears when called to table.”
–Alice Osborn, award-winning poet, author of Heroes without Capes
“Everyone hears / when called to the table,” Joan Leotta writes in her latest collection, Languid Lusciousness with Lemon. The title itself is a call to the table of lush language and insight that melds family and food. In this chapbook, Leotta serves up a feast of poems that explore our deep connections — to each other, to the food we carefully choose and prepare, to what nourishes and sustains us. Life’s sweetness stands out, / oft best preserved / when accented with tart,she writes in the title poem. You’ll find both the sweet and the tart along with a myriad of other more subtle flavors, so, come to the table, have a poem; have another, and fill yourself. These poems will leave you sated.
–Pat Riviere-Seel, award-winning poet, and teacher of poetry

Have We Been Screwed by Teresa Roberts

Available now on Amazon

Check out Teresa's Author Page on Amazon

We live in a world of myths, fairy tales and cultural expectations. It has always been so. Because Teresa was raised in a religious cult, she realized this at a very young age. When she decided to leave home, she was excommunicated from the family. With no money in her pocket, no driver’s license, no car, no job, no friends and no family, she ventured out from a closed society into the civilian world to make a life for herself. 

Teresa soon discovered that the world at large insisted upon conformity. She had managed to get over the first major hurdle, the religious indoctrination of her childhood, but that was just the beginning of what has turned out to be an entire lifetime of myth-busting. As a result, she has questioned most of what many people take for granted. Marriage, romance, childbirth, jobs, debt, holidays and the American Dream are all carefully examined. 
Do you feel frustrated by the lack of options in your life? Does it seem like you’ve been handed a role to play that doesn’t match your true self? Are you questioning the culturally approved ways of doing things? Teresa is here to show you that there are thousands of ways to live your life, many of them taking place simultaneously all over the world. She invites you to follow her irreverent journey and maybe even consider becoming a myth buster yourself. 
It’s a big job and there’s plenty of work for everybody. 

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