Back to the Muck
In 2008, Moon Tide Press started a very rewarding partnership with the Muckenthaler Cultural Center, a gorgeous performing arts venue in Fullerton that ended up hosting the majority of our book launches -- including an outdoor extravaganza for the release of the anthology Pop Art, where poets shared the stage with a local high school jazz band. Zoot Velasco, who is stepping down as director of the Muck this year, was an avid supporter of our press and authors, and we are always happy to make a return trip to the Muck when possible.
So...I am pleased to announce that on Saturday, July 16, I will return to the Muck to teach a two-hour poetry workshop on finding creative inspiration. This interactive workshop, intended for ages 14 and older and all skill levels, will start at 10 a.m. and 12 spaces are available. Admission is $40 and includes a copy of my new book, Angels in Seven, which came out from Moon Tide this month.
For more information, call (714) 738-6595 or visit themuck.org/onedayclasses. I hope to see you there!
After the shadows: Irena Praitis
One of the joys of being a publisher is watching your authors continue to thrive. In 2012, Moon Tide Press published Irena Praitis' Straws and Shadows, a remarkable thematic collection of poems about life in Lithuania between the world wars. The book had a number of successful readings and got a writeup in Orange Coast Magazine. Now, Irena, who teaches at Cal State Fullerton, is back with a new release: The Last Stone in the Circle, which won Red Mountain Press' 2015 poetry prize competition and will launch at 3 p.m. on June 19 at Teatro Paraguas, 3504 Calle Marie in Santa Fe.
Yes, that's in New Mexico, which is a long drive from Irena's home in Southern California. But I once made that very drive, stopping overnight just once in Arizona, and can vouch that it's a beautiful and thought-provoking drive for artists or poets -- complete with the ranch where D.H. Lawrence once lived. Just make sure to fill up regularly on gas to avoid running on empty in the middle of the desert, as I nearly did at one point.
The Last Stone in the Circle, which Irena crafted from eyewitness accounts, depicts the experience of prisoners in a German work/re-education camp during World War II. One of the most striking things about Straws and Shadows is Irena's eye for detail, particularly in service of preserving the past. The book ends with the lines "I'll be gone soon, too, and only the ghosts / will have tales to tell, but no one to tell them to." We can count ourselves lucky to have Irena's tales again.
This is the blog of Michael Miller, a longtime journalist, poet, publisher and teacher. Check here for musings, observations, commentary and assorted bits of gratitude.