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John Berbrich: The World Boneblog #24

Posted by BoneWorld Publishing on May 27, 2018 at 3:50 PM Comments comments (0)
Re-read three of my poetry books lately: Margaret Atwood's "Morning in the Burned House," (1995). Predictably gloomy, but still draws my interest. Ragged childhood memories, death, & decomposition. Nothing light about this stuff. Paige Ackerson-Kiely's "In No One's Land," (2007). Quiet, nighttime mood. Paige usually seems to be alone, trying to navigate something--a situation, a relationship, a nocturnal concept. Always alone, sometimes lonely, always observant. Not happy, but someone you could have a good conversation with. Sweet quote from a prose poem: "God was shiny and dwelled peacefully in the village fertilizing crops and carrying planes in the stave of his hand to gentle landings at the Burlington Airport." Yes, that's Burlington, Vermont. Ai's "Dread," (2003). Ai invents personae in these poems & imagines the world from inside someone else's skin. There's violence here, & sex, but the stories are told w/ a human heart. Also reading "A Higher Loyalty" by James Comey. I'll say one thing: He's brave. This book is guaranteed to upset some powerful people. Quote of the Week: "Andy Warhol is the only genius with an IQ of 60." -Gore Vidal. For fun & adventure, contact John at

John Berbrich: The World Boneblog #23

Posted by BoneWorld Publishing on May 23, 2018 at 7:35 AM Comments comments (0)
Just so everyone knows, the next issue of Barbaric Yawp is in the works. Coming your way soon.....

John Berbrich: The World Boneblog #22

Posted by BoneWorld Publishing on June 5, 2016 at 7:15 PM Comments comments (3)

Okay, where are we?  Right now I'm reading Robert Heinlein's novel Starship Troopers.  If I don't finish it tonight, it'll be tomorrow.  It's got all of that breezy Heinlein speed whisking along in a masculine military world.  And it won the Hugo Award for the best science-fiction novel of 1960. 

I'm about halfway through the June issue of Poetry magazine.  Standouts thus far are Paul Hoover, Erin Belieu, & D. Nurkse. 

And I want to put in a plug for The Reading Room, a family owned & operated bookstore located in the Salmon Run Mall in Watertown, New York, right alongside Sears.  They've been in business almost one year.  They stock all kinds of books, especially books for kids of all ages.  You'll find a special section that features dozens of local authors (I had no idea there were so many).  They also host many book-related events, such as programs for kids, writing workshops, & book-signings by local authors.  It's a friendly atmosphere, run by folks who love what they are doing.  So, if you live anywhere near Watertown, head on over & check it out.  Support your local bookstores!  Also check out their Facebook page, where you'll find a list of upcoming events.

So that's it for today.  Local poets, there's a meeting of the Potsdam Poetry Club (PPC) at the Jernabi Coffee shop tomorrow afternoon at 4:30.  I'll see you there!


for fun & excitement, contact John at

John Berbrich: The World Boneblog #21

Posted by BoneWorld Publishing on May 22, 2016 at 8:05 PM Comments comments (0)

I finished that Connie Willis book of award-winning short stories.  It was indeed wonderful; I wouldn't call this hard SF, although some time travel is involved as well as some dismal looks into the future a few decades hence.  Don't worry, there's madcap comedy too.  One interesting fact: Every one of these ten tales is told from the first-person viewpoint.

And I'm getting a bit further in the May issue of Poetry Magazine, devoted to Australian poets.  Two additional favorites are Michael Brennan & Lionel G. Fogarty.  Now I'm working on the prose commentary.

And, don't laugh, I've started "Ooga-Booga" (2006), poems by Frederick Seidel.  I read a favorable review of Seidel in The New Yorker several months back & thought I'd give him a try.  He's cynical, blunt, & harsh.  Which is refreshing to read now & then but it gets a bit old poem after poem. 

For my local readers, that's the folks in SLAP (St. Lawrence Area Poets) & PPC (Potsdam Poetry Club), the next meeting will be held Tuesday, that's May 24th, @ 6:30 at the UU Church in downtown Canton.  The Challenge was to create something using the Automatic Writing method.  This is really a tough assignment.  I expect that, if anyone even tries it, the efforts will turn out like rambling prose poetry.  

And that's it.  Anyone living in St. Lawrence County (or nearby) who wants to get involved w/ SLAP or PPC, contact me at



John Berbrich: The World Boneblog #20

Posted by BoneWorld Publishing on May 15, 2016 at 5:25 PM Comments comments (0)

Okay, I'm ba-a-a-ck.  The plan is to post a new blog every Sunday or, failing that, at least once each year.  Just kidding.  The goal really is a weekly post.

So what am I reading?  First, a delicious book of short stories by Connie Willis.   This is science-fiction, a collection of some of her award-winning tales called The Best of Connie Willis.  After reading the first four I can see why she's considered a Master.  Highly recommended.

Also reading the May issue of Poetry magazine, featuring the poets of Australia.  Very impressed so far.  My favorites include Sarah Holland-Batt, Cassie Lewis, & Elizabeth Campbell.  But special mention must be made of Amanda Joy & Petra White.  Their work is excellent; in fact, Petra's poem, an excerpt from "The Wife, Ezekiel & God," practically exploded off the page at me, it's that amazing.  I was really stunned. 

As for Barbaric Yawp, I'm working on the May issue, which should be ready in June.  Catching up, a bit at a time.  Still not taking any new manuscripts for chapbooks--perhaps next year.  

So that's it for today.  The rain just quit, which is fine because it was turning into snow.  The vagaries of spring.

For fun & adventure, contact John at

A Quick Update from John

Posted by BoneWorld Publishing on March 26, 2015 at 3:30 PM Comments comments (1)

Yo Poets-


Greetings & felicitations! I attended the Poetry For Peace reading yesterday evening at St. Lawrence University. This was a special reading, held once a semester, when all the foreign language students read works in the original language along w/ an English translation. It was quite a menagerie of poetry. I heard one poem in Arabic, two poems in Portuguese, one in French, three cuties by Shel Silverstein, three in Italian, four in Chinese, one poem by Charles Simic, fifteen in German (!), one by Joy Harjo, one in Russian, four in Spanish (three by Neruda), & one in Swahili. Plus mine, entirely in English. Most of these were accompanied by English translations, but not all. The next Poetry For Peace will be held on Monday, April 27th @ 4:30. Contact me if you need additional details.


Our next meeting will be held on Tuesday the 14th of April @ 6:30, right in the middle of National Poetry Month. The Challenge has been suggested by JeanMarie, & I am very excited about it. The Challenge is to choose a poem by a different poet, every day in April, & to write your response to it. This does not need to be an in-depth critical academic analysis of the poem. It's merely to record your response, which can go into a full-scale analysis if you want or can be as simple as, "It made me sad." So we can meet on the 14th & compare some of our notes on the poems we've chosen.


That's it for now.




John Berbrich: The World Boneblog #19

Posted by BoneWorld Publishing on May 28, 2014 at 2:55 PM Comments comments (2)

Anyone in northern New York should consider attending the poetry reading to be held this Friday evening in downtown Potsdam, at 7:00 at the Creative Spirit Art Gallery on Raymond Street.  Eleven readers are scheduled (including me) w/ a free-form musical jam to be performed afterwards, in which everyone is invited to join.  Kayla French has organized this entire extravaganza & hopes to make it a regular event, w/ open-mikes included for the future.  I'm looking forward to great things here.  Bring a friend & maybe a snack to share.  See you there.

weather: wet & cool I've got the woodstove going 

for exotic adventure, contact John at

John Berbrich: The World Boneblog #18

Posted by BoneWorld Publishing on May 4, 2014 at 7:50 PM Comments comments (0)

Okay, the Lorrie Moore thing didn't work out; she apparently got the flu & couldn't make it, although I hear they are trying to reschedule for next school year.  So on Tuesday we saw Katherine Riegel at SUNY Potsdam who gave a talk on poet craft, specifically about making sure the reader cares about what you write.  Riegel has produced two collections of poetry, Castaway (2010) & What the Mouth Was Made For (2013) both published by FutureCycle Press located down in Georgia.  Castaway focuses on the author's childhood among the cornfields of Illinois, & her reaction to the breakup of her parents when she was ten.  What the Mouth Was Made For is a more mature work, in which Riegel lets her imagination go, although the phantoms of her childhood still emerge from time to time.  By the way, Katherine prefers to be called Katie, in case you run into her at a reading somewhere.

Then on Friday, May 2nd, also at Potsdam State, we saw the poet Laurie Filipelli give a talk on poetry and imagination.  At one stage of the presentation, she handed out an individual word to each person present, & we had to write ten specific things or events our word prompted, then pick the one that really stood out & do a free-write on it for about five minutes.  This was fun & constructive.  My word was "Winner."  :-)

Okay, that's it for now.  Sounds like a big, multimedia poetry event is taking shape in Potsdam for late May.  More on this later.  Bye.

weather: rain, of course

sonic: rain pounding on the metal roof

miscellaneous: Wallace Stevens

for adventure & the unexpected, contact John at

John Berbrich: The World Boneblog #17

Posted by BoneWorld Publishing on April 27, 2014 at 3:15 PM Comments comments (0)

Yo Everyone-

Just a heads-up if anyone is interested.  Author Lorrie Moore will present her work tomorrow night, Monday the 28th, @ 8:00 in Sykes Hall on the St. Lawrence University campus.  I assume she'll read selections from her new book of short stories, Bark.  I've read two books by Moore, the collection of short stories Self-Help, & the novel A Gate at the Stairs.  Funny, acidic, casual mastery of language.  If you don't know where Sykes is, it's right across the street from the Brewer Bookstore & a bit to the left  I plan to attend.

See you there

weather: rain, then just clouds

beverage: thinking about cracking a cold one

music: listening to Nancy on the treadmill

for fun & adventure, contact John at

John Berbrich: The World Boneblog #16

Posted by BoneWorld Publishing on April 25, 2014 at 7:20 AM Comments comments (3)

Hey, faithful friends & fans, we are back.  Just sent out our latest issue of Barbaric Yawp, January 2014, volume 17, number 1.  Mailed it out in April, sure, but at least it's done.  2013 was a meltdown.  Working on the April 2014 issue now, which I expect to have out in May.  By July I expect to be fully caught up.  Then we'll see about chapbooks. 

Thanks to everyone who has stuck by us.  We plan to do more on the website, including text, video, & who knows what else.  Oh, radio--more on that later.  I'm signing off right now.  Check back soon.  I will.



weather: cloudy

sonic: the occasional passing car

beverage: coffee

miscellaneous: Peter Tieryas Liu / Wallace Stevens

for fun & adventure, contact John at