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From Memory And Imagination

Palmer Smith
Palmer Smith Author Interview

The Butterfly Bruises is a collection of thought-provoking poetry on nature, technology, culture and childhood. What was the inspiration for the ideas behind the poem in this book?

I wrote this book because I felt the need to tell these stories. The inspiration behind the ideas really comes from memory and imagination and the intertwining of these two facets of the mind. I wanted to write poems that readers could relate to that would also make them ask questions about their own lives.

My favorite poem from the collection is ‘Can Time Ever Fall?. Do you have a favorite poem from this book?

My favorite poem is definitely “The Dollhouse on Fifth Avenue.” I think it encapsulates the absurdities of apartment living and city living.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

The main themes that were important to explore were: love, communication, nature, and technology.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

I am working on a fiction novel about a character who sleepwalks and a complicated family. The book is set in NYC/the south.

Author Links: GoodReads | Website

The Butterfly Bruises is a collection of poems and stories regarding animals, the ocean, miscommunication, childhood, Northeastern versus Southern American culture, family, nature versus technology, and the imagination of the introvert. In these lyrical texts, a couple sleepwalks together, a therapist is imagined as a snake, a manatee befriends a widow, a ghost haunts an old Charleston home, and New York City becomes its own character. Stepping into these pages brings about new worlds-some full of magic, others full of mystery.

To Reveal Its Shocking Nature

Author Interview
Colin McNairn Author Interview

Signs of the Times reexamines classic nursery rhymes through a contemporary and humorous lens. What inspired you to write this book?

My mother was an English teacher and a great fan of humorous poetry. She introduced me to the light verse of Ogden Nash and the nonsense rhymes of Edward Lear, kindling my enthusiasm for their writing styles. I have also been fascinated by wordplay, of one kind or another, and have written about it in earlier books. The light verse style offers considerable wordplay possibilities. It struck me that classic nursery rhymes would lend themselves to reinterpretation in this style and that they could do with some updating as it were.

What is the most memorable nursery rhyme from your childhood and how does that speak to you today?

One of the most memorable, if not the most memorable, nursery rhyme from my childhood is “Mary Had a Little Lamb.” It speaks to me today because I now appreciate that a lamb represents innocence and purity and that the pure whiteness of the typical lamb’s coat reinforces the notion of purity. I now believe that this nursery rhyme emphasizes the faithfulness that a pet, endowed with the characteristics of innocence and purity, is capable of showing to a human companion. In the nursery rhymes, that faithfulness is reciprocated by Mary, to her enduring credit.

What nursery rhyme shocked you the most when reexamining it?

For me, the nursery rhyme “Goosey, Goosey, Gander” didn’t take much reexamination to reveal its shocking nature. It portrays someone throwing an old, presumably defenseless, old man down a set of stairs for the simple crime of refusing to say his prayers. For me, the shocking nature of the narrative wasn’t particularly dampened when I learned that what was being described here was likely the fate of a priest, hidden away in a “priest-hole” in a Catholic home, being rousted and punished for refusing to swear allegiance to the Protestant Queen. This would have been a not untypical occurrence in England during the Papist purge of the sixteenth century.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

My next book will be another collection of light verse for adults. It’s to be titled What If Jack Wasn’t So Nimble: Mother Goose Characters Reimagined. I’m currently looking for a publisher. One of the poems from this collection, entitled “Time’s No Fun When You’re Having Flies” has been published in the latest quarterly issue (Sept., 2021) of the British Webzine Lighten Up Online (see https://lightenup-online.co.uk/index.php/isse-55-september-2021/2174-colin-mcnairn-time-s-no-fun-when-you-re-having-flies).

Author Links: GoodReads | Amazon

Signs of the Times is good clean—or not so clean—fun in two ways. It’s a joy to be reintroduced to so many dearly loved and justly renowned nursery rhymes, long after their sparkle and pungency may have faded from adult memory. It’s also fun to see what an informed and somewhat sardonic modern sensibility makes of them anew in the context of these times we are all now living through.

—Bruce Bennett, Emeritus Professor of English, Wells College

Colin McNairn is clearly having fun as he rewrites nursery rhymes to comment on the wider world. With jabs and plentiful jokes (“hickory, dickory, daiquiri”), he happily draws readers into his imaginative wordsmithery.

—Warren Clements, Author, The Nestlings Press Book of Fairy Tales in Verse

If Mother Goose were writing her nursery rhymes to-day, she would no doubt
burnish her MeToo credentials by condemning Georgie Porgie for kissing the girls and making them cry,
have Billy Boy, a.k.a. Charming Billy, look for a wife online rather than by pursuing a ground game;
warn us against catching a tiger by the toe, given the dangers of nail fungus; and
recognize a twinkle, twinkle in the night sky as more likely to evidence a drone rather than a star.
These are among the revisionist scenarios portrayed in the 70 plus mature verses in this collection, all of which have been inspired, to some extent, by traditional nursery rhymes. The subject matter of the verses ranges widely and includes, politics, language, the law, dating and mating, social behavior, food and drink, health, sports, commerce, technology, travel, and the natural environment.

The Butterfly Bruises

I have been reading poetry for much of my life and Palmer Smith’s The Butterfly Bruises exceeded my expectations. The Butterfly Bruises is filled with poetry and short stories- all of which are emotive and captivating. The book is divided into sections, with each story or poem having a different length or theme. This made for an easy read. I think any reader would be able to find a short story or poem that they would love in this melodic collection.

These imaginative poems and short stories revolves around relatable, sometimes heart wrenching, topics. This is a great book to start with if you are not familiar with reading poetry or short stories, The Butterfly Bruises flows with ease and is easily comprehensible. While you read the book you will often reflect on the choices you have made in your life or consider how events could have turned out differently. Palmer’s writing allows you to paint a picture in your mind of how the poem or story is occurring. This, in my experience, is a rare talent for an author to achieve.

One thing to note is some of the stories and poems are dark, but these poems were my favorite because they were written tastefully. Palmer did a great job with allowing the reader to reflect and not judge for what their opinion may or may not be. Palmer kept my attention throughout the entire book.

The Butterfly Bruises is definitely a book I would read again for its striking imagery, creative stories, and its thoughtful themes.

Pages: 176 | ASIN: B093Z25LMW

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We Are At Crossroads

Jani Viswanath
Jani Viswanath Author Interview

Echoes of Light is a collection of thought-provoking poetry and stories that explore powerful but common emotions. Why was this an important book for you to write?

Echoes of light is a book of short stories and Poems. Each one inspired from people I meet during my extensive travels to remote places.

We are at Crossroads as a race… we need to re evaluate ourselves.

My desire was to refresh our minds and bring back the nostalgia of simplicity , the sensitivity, the joy of human bonding that we had before life became so hectic, digitized and impersonal. The simple acts of kindness without expectations that we have forgotten and the immense joy it brings.

The last few years have been globally difficult and challenging in many ways and more so for the impoverished and broken sections of society. Now , more than ever is the dire need to reach out and do what little we can to help and provide some relief to those who have very little or nothing at all and despite of our phenomenal advancement, we are fraught with stress, restlessness, mindless competitiveness and the financial, mental and emotional damage that takes away the joy from everyday living.

this is the time for us to set aside our differences and unite as the privileged superior race we are and rediscover the simple joys of living and giving and to heal more than we hurt.

What is your favorite poem from this collection?

Requiem is my fav Poem & the short story close to my heart is “ The last Fortnight”

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in your poetry?

The futility of War, the magic of Love, nostalgia of the old times, the senselessness & folly of our fanatic competitiveness and self -obsession, the forgotten basic secrets of real happiness, the incomparable joy of simple gestures of kindness, the undervalued importance of living in the moment, and the vanishing sensitivity and empathy that are the fundamental threads that bind us as a race.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

My next book is a coffee table photo book of my art & quotes– I paint with knives and blades on Oils.

Author Links: GoodReads | Website

A rare and inspiring gift of short stories and poetry which
will warm the spirit and uplift the reader as they appreciate
a world woven with messages of love, compassion and hope.
Echoes of light accentuates the basic, simple requirements for
the happiness we so desperately crave, and the essential quality
that we are all gifted with, to attain it.
These Stories and poems are immersed with the myriad emotions
of the magnificent human psyche – kindness, hope, redemption;
the magic of compassion, and the unparalleled joy of giving
spontaneously.
The Poems touch on the futility of our hyper active lifestyles
and the need for slowing down to truly enjoy this beautiful
journey called life.
The stories are set in various parts of the world – reaffirming
the fact that wherever we are, whichever part of the world
we belong to and whatever religion we choose to follow –
the fundamental thread that binds us and unites us is love,
humanity and joy.
Discover a world of true inspiration, of generosity and love so
rarely experienced in our fast-paced world.
Each story and poem reflect so much which has been forgotten
and the humanity we long to rediscover and would love to
teach our children….

Echoes of Light

Echoes of Light by [Jani Viswanath]

Echoes of Light, by Jani Viswanathis a compilation of poems and short stories with the common underlying theme of hope, compassion, and love for the world around us and the people in it. The book consists of five poems covering five major themes of death, mortality, uncertainty, nostalgia and love. Additionally, there are six short stories that are set across the world with a common thread of compassion and humanity that perfectly sets the tone of the book. The stories take us from pandemic struck Indonesia to the caste system of India, and each story manages to stir up deep emotions of humanity that make us feel for all the people that Viswanath talks about.

The short stories evoke deep emotions. Written beautifully and in sweet, simple language that is easy to consume, these short stories talk about ordinary lives and their struggles. In less than twenty pages, the author makes us feel for the characters, empathize with their struggles and bring the story to a satisfying conclusion about how they conquer them. A cherry on the cake is the individual brief introductions to the theme before every poem and short story and the epigraphy to the book, which help set the tone for the upcoming story or poem. These small things, this focus on details, provides an overall soothing literary experience for the reader. Everyone indeed will find something that they cherish in this book.

Echoes of Light is an impassioned book with wonderfully immersive stories and beautiful overarching themes. I would recommend this book to anyone looking for an uplifting read, which connects with their heart and soul and truly speaks to them. The poems touch upon the futility of human life and bring up a myriad of emotions, so the readers are in for a emotionally-charged journey of discovery.

Pages: 180 | ASIN: B097P8N83S

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HEAVIEST CALM

HEAVIEST CALM by [Sherine Anniruth]

Heaviest Calm by Sherine Anniruth is a collection of poems dedicated to and written in the memory of the author’s son, whom she lost at a very young age. Throughout the book, the author touches upon various bittersweet memories, the pure joy and bliss that her child brought into her life, and then life taking him away at a very tender age. The poems convey simple emotions in a relatively effortless tone, baring the feeling of grief that any parent would feel at the loss of a child.

The best part about this book is that it makes you feel like you have a companion in your grief. This compilation of poems is a perfect balm to this feeling of loneliness. It talks about the first-hand experience of losing a child, walking us through the ups and downs of the journey to finally getting over the immense and insurmountable grief.

With lines like “Some days the memories drown me…. Some days the memories bring a smile to my face”, the author deals with grief, not as a single-dimensional emotion with just gloom, sadness, and inability to carry on, but also talks about the momentary happiness that gives a person the ability to carry on.

The poems are contemplative and meandering, simply exploring what the author is feeling, and how those feeling keep recurring. The poems are pure, raw expressions, that acknowledge the existence of some life changing and potent emotions.

Heaviest Calm is a collection of poetry that provide a beautiful and heart-wrenching depiction of grief. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants a deeper connection with human emotions, grief in specific. This book is perfect for people who don’t really read a lot however want some catharsis to their grief.

Pages: 158 | ASIN: B098K7CXS8

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Galleon Moon: Puzzle Book

Galleon Moon: Puzzle Book by [Frank Schroeder]

Galleon Moon: Puzzle Book is a collection of imaginative poetry that follow a journey through sea and land throughout different points in history, from the 14th century in the sea to the tale of a dog reunited with its bone underground. Hidden in almost every poem is a message. If one pays close attention to the first letter of each line that is capitalized and follows it down to the next capitalized letter it will eventually spell out a word. This adds a fantastic layer of interactivity within the book that is unlike any other poetry book that I have read. It is a puzzle book as well as a poetry book and the level of engagement it offers is intellectually invigorating.

The poems range in topic, covering animals in the sea and their lifespan and lifestyle to personal reflections on happiness. Although there are hidden phrases and words throughout the poems I would have liked to have seen a variety of puzzles used to change things up. The poems are untitled, and left to the reader to name them, which makes this collection of poetry more personal to the reader and engages the imagination. The writing and prose themselves were really beautiful and entertaining to read. One of my favorite poems has to be the one that is from the perspective of a dog who is speaking to its owner about being unable to run in the sun anymore but being appreciative of all fond memories.

Galleon Moon: Puzzle Book is a fun and engaging collection of poetry that is filled with hidden treasure and thought-provoking poems.

Pages: 193 | ASIN:

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Victoria by Deceit of the Pants

Victoria by Deceit of the Pants by [RickthePoetWarrior RickthePoetWarrior]

Victoria by Deceit of the Pants showcases yet more of Rickthepoetwarrior’s biting wit and sarcasm while once again enlightening the reader on important issues of the western world. This book focuses on the inherent issues of modern society in Victoria, Canada. The author frequently comments on a characteristic of modern so-called progressive society, that there is an illusion of being progressive and moving forward, when in reality, there is no care behind it and the populace turns being “woke” into a fashionable thing without putting any action behind their words and at the same time, sweeping issues under the rug.

Rickthepoetwarrior does this adeptly and with style, albeit his own very unique and humorous style. One of the poems that stuck out to me the most was “They’re Fixing The Empress Hotel” which discusses the ugly past of this land in Victoria which is now being renovated, symbolically attempting to forget the horrific past of abusing First Nations people. The author also uses “book bombs” to help tie in poems from his other works to highlight societal problems that are connected. As always, the author offers his unique commentary and whimsical humor that is worth reading and considering as we try to navigate modern society.

Pages: 97 | ASIN: B08WPCTM8J

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