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I have poems that were published in Tablet Magazine. Click here to see them. Thank you for reading!
Praise for Stoned
The poet Andy Hacanis was kind enough to send me feedback for Stoned with a poem.
“Hey Jill. Just finished your novel. I enjoyed it a lot. More than I thought I was going to. Drew me in. Quirky, fun and entertaining. Pretty funny in places, with a touch of drama here and there, that didn’t at all ask for too much. And when I finished, I realized I had no resistance to any of the characters — didn’t feel any of them to be “wrong”. For whatever that’s all worth, coming from me.
And the book kind of hangs around in my head afterwards, too. I like that.
Have had the attached poem “Be the Dog” hanging around for years, and somehow your wonderfully eclectic mix of stuff in Stoned reminded me of it.
All right. Time for a whisky and a couple puffs…………………..Andy”
BE THE DOG
She’s a perky-sounding Klingon Language Academy dropout
and still pretty fluent. Followed by J. D. Salinger’s former toilet
for sale, uncleaned, for a million bucks. The only parking space left
is occupied by a cat staring at a squirrel on a porch railing nearby
flicking its tail and clucking like a chicken. I drive around the block.
Recently released from prison, Dr. Death is running for congress.
I kill the radio. Home now, I talk a single-minded ant onto a blank
sheet of paper for a complimentary ride to the window and
a flight home. Like usual, the neighbor’s dog pretends he is a cat
and pays no attention to her screeching for him to come in
as he lays low in the bushes, imperturbably chewing away on
whatever. He’s my guru. Chill little master of oblivion.
Save the Date!
Three-Book Book Launch Party and Fundraiser
$35 at the door
184 Franklin Street Ground Floor, Tribeca
(between Hudson and Greenwich streets)
For your generous donation, all guests will receive two of our three new publications, of their choosing, as well as refreshments, wine, and readings.
Come celebrate the return of Mudfish, our writers, our wonderful new books, our new 501(c)(3) status, and our cashier, Vermeer.
We can’t wait to see you!<3
I’ve just read an amazing chapbook – the winner of the Rattle chapbook contest, Adjusting to the Lights by Tom C. Hunley. The poems make brilliant use of dialogue and speech. They are at once heartbreaking, shocking, terrifying and even funny. About parenting and special needs, about failure and triumphing – always with astonishing honesty. The beauty of the poetry cannot be overstated, though you forget that you are reading poetry. It’s more like being there. In a dark theater or dream, then adjusting to the lights.
Mudfish Poetry Prize #16 Winners, Judged by Marie Howe
I am glad to announce the winners and finalists of the 16th Mudfish Poetry Prize.
They are as follows:
Alyssa Stadtlander, “the voice of one crying”
First Honorable Mention
Michael Miller, “Skunk Cabbage”
Second Honorable Mention
William Barnes, “the veils”
St. Louis Park, Minnesota
New York, New York
East Hampton, New York
Hot Springs, Arizona
Rafaella Del Bourgo
Poughquag, New York
Hastings-on-Hudson, New York
Richmond Hill, New York
Coral Gables, Florida
With thanks to our loyal and patient friends, and to Marie Howe for her brilliant judging of the contest, and to the wonderful poets who made her job difficult and the forthcoming issue great,
Mudfish/Box Turtle Press
By Jill Hoffman (Editor$20.00ISBN: 9781893654266Availability: On Our ShelvesPublished: Box Turtle Press/Attitude Art, Incorporated – March 22nd, 2021
Forthcoming from the Mudfish Individual Poets Series
Dell Lemmon’s Are you Somebody I Should Know? coming October 15, 2020
Richard Fein’s Losing It coming January 30, 2021
The winners of the 15th Mudfish Poetry Prize judged by Erica Jong.
First prize goes to:
Mark Schimmoeller from Frankfort, Kentucky, for his poem, “Benediction”
First Honorable Mention is:
Cornelia Hoogland from Hornby Island, Canada, for her poem, “Landscape with the Fall of Icarus”
Second Honorable Mention is:
James Trask from San Marcos, Texas, for his poem, “Springtime and Single Again”
Review of McNally Jackson Reading June 7th 2019 by Allen Brafman
I will begin with Jill Hoffman, the self in The Gates of Pearl is a complex of mother and daughter in three modulations or modalities: a mother’s no-holds-barred, shamelessly honest, pained journal entries; an extraordinary history of mother-daughter intimate, barrier disrupting telephone conversation; the fierce/sensitive voice of the daughter as it is born into a poetry of hard biting bursts of rich language that speak sometimes with image, sometimes with direct statement, but always distinctly, seeking to come to terms with the mother’s journal disclosures, with the shockingly frank ongoing telephone conversation and with the poet-daughter’s self. (I hope I am not mistaken here, but it seems to me that the intensity of the daughter’s writing both counterbalances and parallels the intensity of the mother’s journal, while the phone conversations mediate between, or perhaps amplify the mother’s and daughter’s individual writings. I say this even though the chronology of the various “compositions” might suggest otherwise.) I think of “The Gates of Pearl” as a “poem,” for I believe this work is a single long poem made up of individual pieces that easily stand on their own. the language throughout is tight, lyric and revelatory. from a writing point of view, the undertaking is conceptually ambitious—three very different, very powerful voices being compelled by the circumstance of the book to engage with one another. from a reading or listening point of view, the execution is haunting and enriching
Dell Lemmon read next. characterized by a deceptive, seeming artless writing style, her poems discover startling connections between elements of the everyday. hers is a sensibility that offers up a primer on the remarkable that resides in the unremarkable. the individual poems seem to inadvertently come upon hidden complexities in the details and routines of ordinary life, complexities that are not typically recognized as bearing upon one another. layer is peeled from layer and gratifying revelation is the reward. I think I had the sense that as the writing, wends its way through the commonplace, discovering unexpected links, the poet is as much surprised and delighted as the listener. from a listener’s point of view, that is, in and of itself, an uncommon delight. and, again, a delight that is very much enhanced by straightforward language spoken in the matter-of-fact tone of everyday talk—which, now that I think of it, is the most appropriate way to say what these poems have to say. from beginning to end, what they say and how well they say what they say are a happy surprise
next to read, E.J. Evans. I think I have never experienced writing that is so unrelentingly hell bent on creating distance by impersonalizing that which is most personal. the logic of the undertaking is subtle and courageous. the language, while mostly “technical,” strays just often enough into the lyric and the personal as to hold breathlessly the reader’s/listener’s attention, so validating the paradox of a seeming emotionless study of emotion. the writing diagrams experience in such meticulous detail that the experience, or exploration, being described seems to transcend the description, perhaps a paradox within a paradox. the tech-writing style of the work pushes the impersonal into a most surprising personal place. while it may seem counter intuitive to describe the style of writing as abstract, I think that it may fairly be said that the writing in its determination to get to the core of some particular want or desire so finely parses it, deconstructing it down to its tiniest elements, that the language and the sensibility break want and desire down into abstractions of themselves. truly fascinating. truly remarkable. truly satisfying
in short, I had a great time listening at the time; and later, in my recollection of the evening, revisiting the experience and coming to a fuller appreciation of what had taken place for me that evening. to go out on one more limb, I might say that the first reader gave us poetry as a work of art; the second reader gave us poetry as philosophical ruminations; the third reader gave us poetry as scientific treatise. in all instances, however, a study in connections. and, as I said, the three “styles” of connecting connecting with one another.
Mudfish 20 Launch Reading Photos (2018)
Paul Wuensche Review
Thank you to all of you who have received your copies and have written words of praise. As Paul Wuensche (p.174 Mudfish 20) wrote, “I wish all books were as good as Mudfish.” Everyone we’ve heard from has said how riveting and “unputdownable” Mudfish 20 is. Thanks to your work, which we hope to continue to share with the world. We write to urge you to buy copies for your friends and family, and also to buy The Gates of Pearl, “a mother/daughter saga unlike any other.”
Launch Reading of The Gates of Pearl and Single Woman
Don’t miss Jill Hoffman’s launch reading of The Gates of Pearl at McNally Jackson Books (April 16th at 7pm) with Dell Lemmon reading from Single Woman!