Monthly Archives: March 2012

O Dear Deer, by Linda Dove

(Reviewed by Christina Anne Taylor of Middle Island Press)

Upon reading O Dear Deer, by poetess Linda Dove, I am not surprised that it stood out as a winner amid over a hundred entries in quest of the 2011 Eudaimonia Chapbook Prize. Once a manuscript and a living aspiration with tendrils extending in all directions, O Dear Deer, is now perfect-bound in Penguin style and presented by Squall Publishing for the instinctual intrigue and intellectual delight of poetry readers.

In its entirety, O Dear Deer, is an intense and multi-faceted perceptive unveiling of the paradox of ramifications within a courtroom situation, a search for a killer, and a need for direction. It tells of the irony of conclusion without resolution; it illustrates many forks of possibilities, like the antlers of deer, like the branches of trees, like veins in the soil washed away by water, like pathways scrubbed clean by the seasons.

All the while, the reader’s mind is swirling in sensations of intelligence confused, of clarity diffused, of truth torn in a million pieces and cast to the west wind, and yet…

Linda Dove is brilliant innately and through her studies, and she seized an opportunity to do what all great poets aspire toward: She analyzed a real situation and raised a multi-verse of abstractions to life in a picturesque panorama of clever metaphor.

From her first poem, “Voir Dire”:

We keep branches of want in our heads
and gather little else, our arms heavy

with the dead wood of deer.

The situation told through a series of poems is erudite with meaning, which makes Linda’s use of couplets a welcome format that allows space for the mind to process thoughts…thoughts that flow, thoughts that divide and branch out in wonder, thoughts that engage the reader in the same search as the jurors who seek the evasive. It’s so hyper-real that it’s surreal…

Congratulations to Linda, a winner worthy of the prize!
Purchase a copy of O Dear Deer, through

Linda Dove holds a Ph.D. in Renaissance poetry and taught literature and creative writing for many years. Her full-length collection of poems is In Defense of Objects (Bear Star Press, 2009). Poems have been nominated recently for a Pushcart Prize and as a finalist for the Robert H. Winner Award from the Poetry Society of America and have appeared in such publications as the L.A. Review, Diner, Horse Less Review, and the North American Review. She lives in Altadena, California with her husband, daughter, and two Jack Russell terriers.

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Posted by on March 30, 2012 in Poetry Book Reviews


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TRENDING: Publishing Services That Pay (Upon Being Paid)

(By Christina Anne Taylor of Middle Island Press)
Fortunately, it has become common enough that writers pay for publishing services that it should not be an embarrassment for writers to compare notes amid their peers. In my opinion, there are some extraordinary writers who paid someone to turn their manuscripts into marketable books (I have published some exemplary poets, myself).

It’s a relatively recent trend: publishers focusing their efforts on accommodating the transformative “pandemic” of writers with needs to share their words in a tangible fashion. Some are up front with services (the publisher’s time) charged to the writer. Others are more subtle with “free publishing” bound to a book-buying requirement, but the price of “books” then pays for the books, the publisher’s time, and then some. Another downside to the “free publishing buy books” strategy is that the author comes to realize that his/her thin paperback must sell for $30 (and it must sell) for the writer to ever dream of recompense (when, truly, a reasonable retail price is likely lower than what the publisher charges the author). That’s why I stand behind up-front subsidy publishers in practice. It’s a step up from the vanity label, it’s not criminal, and it’s win-win.

Either way, it’s all the same: far more often than not, writers pay to get their words in print, and it’s obvious that they have no problem with it (considering the mind-bogglingly immense industry that has manifested of necessity).

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Posted by on March 29, 2012 in Articles


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HEX To Feature “Lord & Lady”

Our friends Henry, Arrowyn & Markus of HEX magazine have been hard at work the past few weeks in preparation for the Spring & Summer 2012 issue of HEX. I (under the name Christina Finlayson Taylor) have within it a brief narrative essay on the subject of love within marriage. Arrowyn gets credit for titling it “Lord & Lady” for me, and how uncannily suitable it is! I am excited to be a three-time contributor for HEX (this being my first prose contribution).

Show your support for people who work from the heart to water the World Tree in celebration of “Old Ways for a New Day” by subscribing or ordering a copy.

And by the way, SPLENDID SPRING TO ALL! We in West Virginia are enjoying sunny daffodils and forsythia. It doesn’t get much more cheery than yellow amid green.

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Posted by on March 21, 2012 in Literary News


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Birdsong & Sunshine

My muse isn’t a goddess, but the sun, the moon,
and all beauties that flutter and bloom.


Birdsong awakens my slumber,
gathers my mind from the grave.
It never was dead,
it never was dead,
but buried, aware
it was warmer down there.
Whitewash of winter,
summoning spring.
In currents of color,
I dream.

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Posted by on March 18, 2012 in Musings & Other Things



Free Verse: An Essay on Prosody ❧ A Review

Via PoemShape:


Free Verse: an essay on Prosody by Carles O. Hartman
March 9, 2012

First Things First: What is Prosody?

I remember, way back when, I knew a poet who favored free verse. As his writing developed, he struggled with a question that confronts many writers of free verse. Where does the poet break his or her lines? You can find this same question frequently posed on the internet. In traditional poetry, the line ends where the iambic pentameter ends, basta; but, as far as my friend knew, there was no such rule pertaining to line lengths in free verse. My friend declared that he was going to systematize lineation in free verse. I never heard back from him. His name was Jerry Lafemina and if any of you know him, have him send me a note. Anyway, what he was really saying was that he wanted to develop a Prosody…

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Posted by on March 12, 2012 in Musings & Other Things


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Middle Island Press: Proofreading and Cover Design

Middle Island Press continues to offer proofreading and cover design services alongside standard publishing contracts. Rates vary according to the size of each project and are comparatively very reasonable, so contact me if you simply wish to self-publish but feel that some assistance is necessary.

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Posted by on March 6, 2012 in Literary News


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