Thursday, March 12, 2009

In The Silence of This Room

This is a self-plug. I am proud to have my poems about my two grandmothers included in this excellent collection.

In the Silence of this Room

International authors share their thoughts
in poetry and prose, linked by
global issues that haunt us all.

A cross-cultural collection of writings that through poetry, narrative, and photos grapple with some of the most pressing issues of the world we live in: war, poverty, health care, environment, family, beauty, and lastly--the ever-present need to connect--love.

The book represents the efforts of dedicated artists around the globe, some who have been nominated or awarded literary prizes, to express a personal vision. Many of the writers here have experienced in some way the terrors of war and poverty, the lack of adequate medical care, and oppression. For them, this book represents both the vision of the world as it is, and also, what it can be. It also expresses the belief that no matter our culture or belief, no matter what distance separates us-- we are more similar than not. We are all very much human. --Kyle Hemmings

Grey Sparrow Press
Diane Smith
St. Paul, Minnesota

238 pages
$19.98 (US)

Authors and Artists featured:

SITA BHASKAR was born in India and now lives in Madison, Wisconsin. She is the author of Shielding Her Modesty; a collection of short stories set on both sides of the globe. Her reviewers mention “Shades of R.K. Narayan.” Sita’s short stories have been published in Crab Orchard Review, GSU Review, Desilit Magazine and TQR Stories. She received an Honorable Mention in Washington Post Magazine’s fiction contest for her story, “Touch of Wrinkled Skin” and placed as a finalist for her story, “Safety in These Times,” with the Thomas Wolfe Literary Competition conducted by the North Carolina Writers’ Network. She has included this story in the anthology. Set either in India or America or the space in-between where immigrants resist the tug and pull of both sides, Sita calls her stories ‘a slice of life.’

ALEX BRAVERMAN was born in Lithuania in 1955, resided in Israel, South Africa, and now lives in Texas. Alex is a mathematician by profession, who finally abandoned this exciting career for the benefit of literature and the art of photography. His stories appeared in publications around the world: USA, Israel, South Africa, Ireland, and India. Alex’s photographs are exhibited in New York and Texas. He is currently working on a book dedicated to photography of modern dance. Our photographic art for the cover was taken by Alex Braverman.

A. JEFFERSON BROWN was born in the United States, a southern boy with a penchant for the darker side of writing. He is a member of Cavender’s “Terrible Twelve” with Horror Library and has been published in Our Shadows Speak and Dark Distortions, among others. He is married with two children. Life enjoys him as much as he enjoys it.

RAQUEL CHALFI was born in Tel-Aviv where she lives and works. She studied at Hebrew University, at Berkeley University, and at the American Film Institute. She worked for Israeli radio and television as writer-director-producer, and has taught film at Tel Aviv University. She has published eight volumes of poetry, and is the recipient of numerous awards for her poetry as well as for her work in theater, radio and film. Her collected poems, Solar Plexus, Poems 1975-1999, appeared in 2002; in 2006 she received the Bialik Award for poetry as well as the Israeli Prime Minister's Prize for Hebrew Writers, the Ashman Prize 1999. Most recently, her work has appeared in the American Poetry Review, Zoland Annual, Metamorphoses, and in the anthology Poets on the Edge –An Anthology of Contemporary Hebrew Poetry (SUNY Press, 2008).

Poet Chalfi’s translator, TSIPI KELLER was born in Prague, raised in Israel, and has been living in the U.S. since 1974. She is the recipient of several literary awards, including a National Endowment for the Arts Translation Fellowship, CAPS and NYFA awards in fiction, and an Armand G. Erpf award from Columbia University. Her translation of Dan Pagis’s posthumous collection, Last Poems, was published by The Quarterly Review of Literature (1993), and her translation of Irit Katzir’s posthumous collection, And I Wrote Poems, was published by Carmel, Israel (2000). Her recent translation collections are: Poets on the Edge – An Anthology of Contemporary Hebrew Poetry (SUNY Press, 2008); and The Hymns of Job & Other Poems (BOA Editions, 2008).

L. MCKENNA DONOVAN was born in the United States. She has been an editor, writer and writing coach for eighteen years. Although she works freelance writing for various companies and teaches writing courses on “style” and “creative brainstorming,” her current focus is the completion of her Master’s in Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Goddard College in Vermont. Her master’s thesis is the
first volume of a four-volume, cross-genre novel series. While her passion is writing long fiction, she takes occasional breaks to write vignettes in the flash and short story forms. She writes from her home in the Smoky Mountains of western North Carolina.

MARIE LYNAM FITZPATRICK was born in Ireland. She lives and works in the Irish Republic. Marie is a mother and writer.

“Under Christian Crosses” was reprinted from The Binnacle at the University of Maine at Machias, 2006.

MARKO FONG is a fourth generation Chinese-American who was born, raised and lives in Northern California. He never learned to speak Chinese and has never been to China. He recently completed a collection of short stories about the last Chinatown in America, Paper Ghosts, and set it in a town that never existed. It was once one of his dreams to dunk a basketball.

CLEVELAND W. GIBSON was born in colonial India in an atmosphere of color, mystery and intrigue. In the United Kingdom he has worked for many major companies as well as the government. He’s been involved with charity work, trained as a Life Guard and was a Road Race Director for over ten years. Since taking up writing he’s published over 200 short stories, poems, articles in over eighty-five countries. Moondust represents his first surreal book of classic
short stories, with a fantasy novel, Billabongo, to follow soon. He’s married with one son, teaches ESOL and helps novice writers. Contact him on URL:

HANNATU GREEN: Born in Nigeria and lives in the United States. Hannatu is a born storyteller. She is married with eight children and has been sharing her folk tales with them all her life, as well as the schools and community centers in Minnesota. Hannatu comes from a large extended family with a strong sense of responsibility and a proud African heritage. She noted, "My family were pioneers in everything, the first from my village to embrace western education, medicine and so much more."

JEFF HAAS was born in the United States, received a BA in English Language and Literature from the University of Chicago, and works as a technical writer in Atlanta. He made his first professional sale of a short story called “Cacophony of the Spheres” to Jim Baen’s Universe in 2008, and has published over thirty stories online and in print. “Spin Degrees of Freedom,” originally published on Eclectica, was named a Million Writers Award notable story of the year by StorySouth, and “Cacophony of the Spheres” and “Immortality Street” were selected as Editor’s Choices by Bewildering Stories. Jeff is currently working on a novel called Sugarville, a psychological thriller about a man whose faith is tested when he becomes the legal guardian of his troubled nephew.

SUE HAIGH spent most of her life on the north-east coast of Scotland. She now lives and writes deep underground in a cave-house in the Loire valley, France. Stories from her Scottish collection, The Snow Lazarus, have been published by Dundee Women and Books (UK), Chistell Publishing, PA (USA), Solander (UK) and Cadenza Magazine (UK). “Dreams of Home” was named as a winner in the 2008 Cadenza Magazine Open Short Story Competition, under the title of “The Garden.”

Sue won the Scottish Women’s Short Story Competition in 2002, second prize in the 2008 8th Annual Chistell Contest and third prize in the 2008 Cadenza competition. Two of her short stories were also short-listed and three long-listed in the 2007 Blinking Eye competition. Her work has also appeared in Myslexia (UK).

She has also written a series of short stories for children, Stories from a Cave, set in and around her house in France, as well as two plays for radio. Sue studied in Bristol, Dundee, Paris and Cologne and has worked as a lecturer in languages, a counsellor and a clinical aromatherapist. She is currently working on the final chapters of her novel, Missing Words, which is set in Germany and Scotland. This version of The Dream-Weaver's Son was work-shopped on Zoetrope, as was Dreams of Home. She is also engaged in research for her next novel, set in medieval Bruges.

ROBERT HAMPTON was born in the United States. Hampton accelerated his work in poetry the past ten years on a work-in-progress; “Ode to An Intelligent Woman.” The poetry offered for this anthology is part of that larger work. He’s published a few short stories in the seventies and some poetry in the ’80s and ’90s. He holds an M.A. in English. Robert has scaled down a career in business consulting and communications to special projects. He believes social, economic and political problems may be solved through a creative and artistic strategic and logistical approach instead of through a fragmentary and analytical approach. Hampton’s cultural heritage includes Welsh, Scottish, Irish, Bavarian and “according to my mother, Chickasaw Native American. My maternal relatives are Cherokee.”

ALAMGIR HASHMI was born in Pakistan. He has published eleven books of poetry and several volumes of literary criticism in the United States, England, Australia, Canada, Pakistan, India and other counties. He has won a number of awards and honors, and his work has been translated into several European and Asian languages. For over three decades he has taught in European, Asian, and U.S. Universities, as Professor of English and Comparative Literature. Although he has little faith in the determinants of birth or death as definitions of cultural life, he cares for people and places. He lived and taught in Cambridge, MA before moving overseas. He has also taught down south and
on the West Coast. He began writing at the ripe old age of eleven and has not stopped since. Currently, he lives in Islamabad, Pakistan.

©Kashmir 1987 was reprinted from Inland and Other Poems by Alamgir Hashmi (Islamabad: Gulmohar Press, 1988), reprinted here with the author’s permission.

KYLE HEMMINGS: was born in the United States and holds an MFA in creative writing from National University, California. His stories and poems have been published in Verb Sap, Insolent Rudder, Night Train, Apple Valley Review, Off-Course Literary Review, Rose and Thorn, and others. His work gravitates towards the experimental and edgy. Kyle confides his biggest aspiration is to draw like R. Crumb and loves the work of Lynda Barry as well. His story "Is There Life on Mars," was nominated for both a Pushcart and a StorySouth Million Writers award.

FRANK J. HUTTON: Assistant Editor, was born in the United States. Frank is a large format field photographer and fine art printer. His photographic effort centers upon artifacts of cultural history that are vanishing under the rigor of time and the wilderness. His work has been shown in galleries and exhibitions around the Great Lakes. Frank is also an editor of fiction and an author, with essays published in newsprint and works of fiction having appeared in various places, under a variety of pseudonyms.

SHANNA KARELLA was born and raised on a rural Alaskan homestead. Shanna continues to reside in Fairbanks where she makes her living coordinating a social outreach ministry, as a desktop publisher and doing occasional septic system percolation tests. She is a strong advocate of social justice activism and cultural understanding based on the inherent dignity and worth of the human person. Shanna’s poetry and essays have been published in print by local press,
Ink Pot and The Ester Republic, as well as online at Right Hand Pointing and The Hiss Quarterly.

CAPTAIN KATHERINE ELIZABETH KENNEDY was born and raised on a farm in Clear Lake, Iowa. BS: Systems Engineering, West Point, MS: Strategic Intelligence, American Military University. Completing a Master’s degree in psychology. Katie served in Iraq for two deployments and is writing a book relating to her experiences as the only Caucasian female on an Iraqi base in the Northern part of the country. She recently left active duty, currently serving her country in the reserves.

TIFFANY LARSEN (1980- present) was born and grew up in the rural community of Clear Lake, Iowa. She graduated from Carleton College, Northfield, MN, in 2003 with a major in geology. In between undergraduate and graduate school, Tiffany spent her time exploring European cultures through travel, practice in multiple artistic media, and working for a satellite imaging company. Outdoor recreational activities serve as a connection to nature, balancing Tiffany’s time indoors doing schoolwork. She will complete a Master’s of Geology at the University of Vermont in the spring of ‘09.

KULVINDER SINGH MATHARU was born in Tanzania. His parents moved to the UK when he was only two years old. His early childhood revolved around the wonders of science and the beauty of this planet. With his keen interest in electronics, it was only natural he received a bachelor’s degree in electrical and electronic engineering and forged a successful career in telecommunications. Now with a steady income, Kulvinder was able to pursue his interests in travelling which, in turn, ignited a dormant need to capture the places he had visited. Initially using an affordable camera with full manual control, he has immersed himself into the world of photography with an online photographic portfolio. He provided two photographs of a Hmong village and the Mekong River.

ELSIE (STANWOOD) O’DAY was born in the United States and is a Maine native, She lives an hour’s drive from the Canadian border, in Cherryfield. Relatively new to writing, she is the author of poetry and short stories. Her poems, “Rainy Night Swim,” have appeared in the April edition of The Linnet’s Wings, two additional poems, “Winter Storm” and a Haiku: “Due North,” in the fall issue of Wolf Moon Journal. She favors disciplined poetry and writes sonnets as well as Haiku and prose poetry. She has two novels in process.

JAMES S. OPPENHEIM was born in Washington, D.C., raised in Montgomery County, Maryland, schooled in Oxford, Ohio and resident in half a dozen Maryland towns (and, for a summer, Jacksonville, Florida), Jim has published in Equus, The North American Review, The Washington Post and Firehouse Magazine, worked as managing editor of the University of Maryland graduate literary magazine, Ethos. He has also had a life in music, producing one album and playing venues from cabin porches in West Virginia to bars in Florida. James offered the lovely dove that graces the back of the book. Today finds him in Hagerstown, Maryland as a photographer, singer/songwriter, and the editor of a blog: Oppenheim Arts & Letters (—devoted to the understanding of political conflicts and small wars, also art, culture, and language.

AJAY PRASANNAN was born and raised in the UK, where he currently works as a web designer and all-round IT troubleshooter. Regular trips to Kerala allow him to re-connect with his Indian roots and better understand the country he hopes to retire in.

IVAN GABRIEL REHOREK lives in Australia. As he noted, “I was born in the middle of the last century, in the middle of Europe in the middle of a river. That makes me a Gemini Earth Pig Mitsubishi with radiator ascendant, wow. My family is theatre people, writers, scientists, musicians and other disturbers of the peace. I breed saxophones (got four already) and on some nights, the moon comes in for a visit.

BILL FRANK ROBINSON was born near Raton, New Mexico. Billy Frank left school in ninth grade to work as a farm laborer. He joined the Air Force in 1950 for four years and spent one year in Korea as a medic in the war zone, three years at Los Angeles County Hospital in the emergency room, thirteen years as a mail carrier, seventeen years as a claims adjudicator for Social Security in San Francisco. He is retired and helping people with income taxes, Medicare, etc. He wrote a monthly serial for The Voice: a magazine based in Idaho, for thirty-six episodes. The serial was called “Archie Cleebo.”

DIANE SMITH, Editor, was born in the United States. Diane retired from child welfare and writes about the homeless, immigrants, the poor, healthcare, those who have little visibility or power in society. She has placed in international competition a few times. “Daniel” was reprinted from The Binnacle at the University of Machias in Maine, 2006 under the name of Lee Fuller.
TOWNSEND WALKER was born in Washington, DC. He now lives in San Francisco after sojourns in New York, Paris, London, and Rome. Townsend has been writing short stories since 2005; a dozen have been published. He has also published books and articles on foreign exchange, derivatives, and portfolio management; the products of a thirty-year career in finance. “Mort pour la France” first appeared in Raving Dove and “I Can’t Forget” first appeared in Penguin.

ANN WALTERS: a pen name, holds a PhD in physical anthropology and was born in the United States. She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and two young daughters. Her poetry has appeared in Poet Lore, Poetry International, Cadenza, Orbis, The Pedestal Magazine, and many others. She has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and was shortlisted for the 2007 LICHEN Tracking, a Serial Poet competition.

MIKE WOOF was born in Scotland. Mike is a full time journalist living and working in the United Kingdom. He confides he’s been to every continent on the planet, barring Antarctica. Mike lived and worked in West Africa for a couple of years and his stories are based on his time there. He mainly travels through Europe and the United States
these days. He noted, “A long time ago I was an engineer, but decided I didn’t like it. I write as a professional, then get home and write more, mainly fiction. I’ve got a non-fiction book released.”

NENG XIONG was born in Laos. She grew up in a Hmong Village (Meaung) and fled to Thailand when her Meaung was destroyed in war. She found sanctuary in the United States and became an American citizen. Neng, a widow, lives with her children in Minnesota; two are

attending college. Neng’s stories are true and stand as testimony to courage and strength.

KEN ZIMMERMAN keeps one foot and his left arm, up to the elbow, in the past. From his home in South Florida, he travels the area in a vintage Good Humor truck, fully restored; selling the ice cream treats we all grew up with more than 40 years ago. It's not unusual to find him at the plethora of art fairs and street festivals that pervade Palm Beach and Broward counties, although he specializes in corporate events and private parties. Add to that his collection of classic cars from that same era and you have a man who refuses to let go of a time when only scientists knew about cholesterol and nothing with wheels ran on unleaded gasoline.

His photographs of Tel Aviv are from a trip to Israel some twelve years ago.

For more on the Good Humor Man, visit Ken's website -

ANDRIJ ZIP was born in Saskatoon, Canada, is a graduate of the University of Saskatchewan. He lives and works in Gifu, Japan. Writing appears online and in dANDelion Magazine.



At 3/13/2009 02:07:00 PM, Blogger Dale said...

Wow! Congratulations! You must be so excited! Do you also plan on publishing (or have you) the short stories?

At 3/13/2009 03:42:00 PM, Blogger Chancelucky said...

Thanks Dale. My two poems are very short and just a small part of this, but it's a nice collection.

I've put my short stories together into a collection and I've started submitting it. Not a good time to try to get published though. Then again, it never is.

At 3/13/2009 10:20:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's so cool! Congratulations. I didn't even know you write poetry.

At 3/14/2009 11:53:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Marko,

"Grey Sparrow Press" appreciates the publicity. The book, "In the Silence of this Room" will be available through Amazon in the US and A1 Books in India around May:

USA: Amazon:


As I get closer to the release date, more information about availability in bookstores will be offered.

This morning, our Indian printer entered an agreement to cover all printing and marketing expenses for India and pay royalties. So, "Grey Sparrow Press" has an official co-publisher and another co-publisher under consideration in England.

Thank you for your authorship.

Diane Smith,
Grey Sparrow Press
Mendota Heights, MN


At 3/14/2009 12:56:00 PM, Blogger Chancelucky said...

thanks for the update, Diane.

At 3/15/2009 10:49:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a remarkable assembly of talent. I am so pleased for you!

I will look forward to reading this.

At 3/16/2009 05:32:00 PM, Blogger Chancelucky said...

thanks for dropping by. I think the thing releases in May and there should be contact info on the post.


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