Thursday, January 19, 2012


Marsh Hawk Press is grateful to have been awarded a grant in the amount of $2,000 — to underwrite costs of author advances by the New York State Literary Publishers Capacity Fund with support from the New York State Council on the Arts, through the Council of Literary Magazines & Presses. The award, with additional funds from the Press will be paid to the authors of the six 2012 Marsh Hawk Press titles.

Monday, January 16, 2012


Submission Deadline: April 30, 2012

CONTEST JUDGE: Cornelius Eady

The Marsh Hawk Press Poetry Prize offers a cash award of $1,000.00 plus publication of the winning manuscript. It is judged by a poet of national stature. The winner's name and title of the winning book are announced and advertised nationally.


Friday, January 06, 2012


You are invited to:

For Gertrude Stein, words constitute moments in time that are meant to be experienced, not named and understood. She disconnects English from its own authority, from its own memory, and from its own dictionary. She uses language as aural bits of tangible time that are always in a state of activity—always in a continuous present.

For the poets Charles Bernstein (b. 1950) and Paolo Javier (b. 1974), words are also things we can touch, effect, distort, and replenish. They think of language as a social medium, and their work moves in and out of English and Englishes.

“There’s nothing up my sleevelessness,” said Charles Bernstein.
“I go line dancing on parables,” said Paolo Javier.

Charles Bernstein and Paolo Javier read from their past and recent work. More information is HERE.

Saturday, January 7th

The Artist's Institute
163 Eldridge St
New York, NY 10002
A project by Hunter College,
City University of New York

Tuesday, January 03, 2012


Teacher Nicholas T. Spatafora offers an essay on Eileen Tabios' most recent Marsh Hawk Press book, THE THORN ROSARY: SELECTED PROSE POEMS AND NEW (1998-2010):

Love Loss: Reflections on Eileen Tabios’ The Thorn Rosary
by Nicholas T. Spatafora

"I don’t know what they are called,
the spaces between seconds– but
I think of you always in those
- Salvador Plascencia

Time is indeed medicinal and a curative for the throbbing wound of heartbreak. For others, however, it is a palliative, mitigating the severity of the injury but leaving a permanent scar in its wake. Eileen R. Tabios’ The Thorn Rosary features an extensive collection of profound prose-fashioned lyrics addressing love loss and the accompanying prolonged perseverating thoughts and feelings experienced by victims of abandonment. To highlight this concept exclusively may in fact do injustice to an anthology profoundly and brilliantly replete with a host of reflections, such as love, ego, meditation, suicide and death.

A rejected lover questions her former partner’s thoughts and feelings in “After 2 a.m.” A lady mourns the departure” of her lover in “The Lamb,” incessantly and futilely anticipating his return. A forsaken young woman in distress projects her thoughts, feelings and hopes onto her absent lover in “You” and “I.” Antonymous perspectives of recollection are highlighted in “The Estrus Gaze” and “Ideal Violet,” the first illustrative of detachment and impassivity and the second antithetically depictive of emotional attachment. “Eulogy” equates a love division with death, the eulogist deliberating special and exclusive moments together with her love of yesterday. It is apparent that neither partner of a former relationship is consequently affected by their separation of ten years, however, in “Pollen.”

It is shortly after 2 p.m., and a forlorn victim of abandonment is suffering, perseverating thoughts and emotions over her significant other who has led her astray. “Does [he] laugh behind [his] closed door” (line 13), the woman wonders, while she is presumably crying behind hers: “My blood is blue” (15)? Unable to sleep, and perhaps awakening from nightmarish dreams, she painfully recalls special mutual moments with him back home (10).

“[W]e make love to concede to Nostalgia” (“The Estrus Gaze,” line 4). Physical intimacy, albeit permanently sacred to the forlorn, is often dispassionately recalled as merely a vast lifetime of novel experiences and encounters. It is quite a dichotomous recollection for the former, however, whose memories painfully linger on indefinitely: “I, too, thought I’d lurk forever in the red phone booth looking up at your window” (“’Ideal Violet,’” line 8). This disparity is similarly exemplified in “The Lamb,” whereby an abandoned and devastated lover is ineffectually “comforted” by the “paltry joke” (lines 1-2) of the unsympathetic lover who forsakes her: “She mourns his departure though he has yet to turn towards the door” (1).

“Eulogy” is an ambiguous piece, illustrating abandonment by choice or perhaps death, which is typically likened to love loss for a rejected partner, the writer seemingly explicitly confessing a traumatic separation of her own in Santo Tomas, Philippines (line
3). She recalls the “Manhattan skyline at night” (3-4), dinners together in Rome (7), “daylight rippl[ing] silver across the surface of Lonoan / Strait (9-10) and wintry weather in Boston (10).

“You” and “I” comprise a seriality of narrative lyrics, wherein the speaker, Enheduanna, writes of her projected perspective of her deserting lover for whom she languishes, in the former, and from her own perspective in the second, akin to the arrant afterthoughts plaguing the rejected lover in poet Phillip Lopate’s “In the Dentist’s Chair” (lines 162-64).

In “Enheduanna # 1,” she ponders whether or not her forsaking mate thinks of her when he “pace[s] the streets of the city” where the two of them had previously walked hand in hand (lines 1-2), musing “at the sight of a sky thinned / by two parallel skyscrapers” (8-9). Does he think of her when he looks up at the sky? When he sees a couple in a café sharing a bottle of wine? When he sees a woman with long, dark hair (“Enheduanna # 2,” 1-5)? Perhaps he is seeking casual physical encounters with strangers, she muses (“Enheduanna # 3,” lines 7-8). An affair with this “long-haired woman across the table” (“Enheduanna # 7,” line 2), a yoga sifu (“Enheduanna # 3,” line 17), a young “girl with green eyes, “’ holey’ jeans / and hair dyed cobalt” (“Enheduanna # 4,” lines 17-18) or a promiscuous woman with exceptionally strong sexual drives (“Enheduanna # 5,” lines 11-12). Do his friends admire his machismo, devil-may-care attitude, she ponders (“Enheduanna # 6,” line 13)? Will he eventually return to her, a groomed individual with “Compassion” (“Enheduanna # 8,” line 24)? The forlorn abandoned reader of “You” will indeed be emotionally affected by the poet’s climactic, closing line: “My Love, oh my dear Love, you never imagined my longing, my missing you” (“Enheduanna #10,” line 32).

The speaker directly expresses her own thoughts and feelings in the next nine lyrical selections comprising “I,” reminded of her lover while “pac[ing] the streets of [the] city” (Enheduanna # 17,” line 1), musing art (“Enheduanna # 11,” line 1) and the “cobalt sky” above Manhattan’s Park Avenue (“Enheduanna # 12,’’ lines 1-2). She desperately seeks escape and distraction from this scourging reminiscence, “deliberately lower[ing] [her] gaze [and] expos[ing] [her]self to the tension of traffic” (4). Her tears are likened to “white salamanders,” hyperbolizing her acute sadness, which grieves her endlessly (“Enheduanna # 13,” line 25). In “Enheduanna # 14,” the narrator is painfully reminded of her travels with her companion on a Greek island (line 2). And she is reminded of their moments dining together, “cutting steaks amidst decanters of wine” (“Enheduanna # 15,” line 3). She thinks of him by the ocean, “how water offers an ‘inner animation, [a] radiation of the visible’ that / painters seek ‘beneath the words depth, space and colour’” (“Enheduanna # 16,” lines 2-3). The heartbroken woman wonders if she will ever reunite with her parted lover again (“Enheduanna # 18,” line 11) or if he is indeed emotionally callous and indifferent (“Enheduanna # 19,” line 32).

Benjamin Franklin once stated that time is an herb which cures all diseases, and although most emotional wounds mend through the passage of time, few of the love forsaken will go completely unscathed by such devastation such as the man seated at a café table adjacent to one occupied by his lover of ten years past in “Pollen” (lines 9-10). The reader is not provided with the circumstances of the broken relationship, thus, is at a loss to project suppositions or sustain judgment regarding the former couple.

“Absence from whom we love is worse than death,” says English poet William Cowper. Few readers will be strangers to the rumination and the languishing experience of abandonment and heartbreak illustrated in “After 2 p.m.,” “The Lamb,” “The Estrus Gaze,” “Ideal Violet,” “Eulogy,” “Pollen” and the Enheduanna succession; thus, most will appreciate and relate to the selected narrative prose lyrics comprising author and poet Eileen R. Tabios’ The Thorn Rosary.

Works Cited

Lopate, Phillip. “In the Dentist’s Chair.” At the End of the Day. New York: Marsh Hawk Press, 2010. Print.

Tabios, Eileen R. The Thorn Rosary: Selected Prose Poems & New (1998-2010). New York: Marsh Hawk Press, 2010. Print.

---. “After 2 a.m.” Tabios 76.

---. “Enheduanna # 1.” Tabios 115.

---. “Enheduanna # 2.” Tabios 116.

---. “Enheduanna # 3.” Tabios 117.

---. “Enheduanna # 4.” Tabios 118.

---. “Enheduanna # 5.” Tabios 119.

---. “Enheduanna # 6.” Tabios 120.

---. “Enheduanna # 7.” Tabios 121.

---. “Enheduanna # 8.” Tabios 122.

---. “Enheduanna # 10.” Tabios 124.

---. “Enheduanna # 11.” Tabios 127.

---. “Enheduanna # 12.” Tabios 128.

---. “Enheduanna # 13.” Tabios 129.

---. “Enheduanna # 14.” Tabios 130.

---. “Enheduanna # 15.” Tabios 131.

---. “Enheduanna # 16.” Tabios 132.

---. “Enheduanna # 17.” Tabios 133.

---. “Enheduanna # 18.” Tabios 134.

---. “Enheduanna # 19.” Tabios 135.

---. “The Estrus Gaze.” Tabios 215.

---. “Eulogy.” Tabios 81.

---. “’Ideal Violet.’” Tabios 149.

---. “The Lamb.” Tabios 98.

---. “Pollen.” Tabios 30


About the Writer
Nicholas T. Spatafora is an educator at Joseph Pulitzer Intermediate School in Jackson Heights, Queens and an English Professor at the City University of New York. He holds two graduate degrees from Hunter College in New York City and has enjoyed a successful career in education spanning twenty five years. Contemplating a life in Catholic ministry, he attended Cathedral Preparatory Seminary in New York. He is a member of the Tao Society in Tai Pei, and prior affiliations include the Religious Society of Friends and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn. Spatafora is the author of Hurt, the feature article “Hermann Hesse’s Siddhartha: A Fictional Account of the Life of Siddhartha Gautama, the Buddha,” “A Review of Jack Lynch’s Manhattan Man and Other Poems,” “Challenging Perspectives: A Review of Thomas Fink’s & Maya Diablo Mason’s AutopsyTurvy,” “Kingdom by the Harbor,” “Allen Bramhall’s Days Poem: A Critical Analysis of a Dying Art,” “The Word: An Analysis of The Chained Hay(na)ku Project,“ and “Love Stories: An Analysis of Eileen R. Tabios’ Silk Egg.” Nicholas Spatafora and his wife Hsiaochen (Judy) reside in Flushing, New York.

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