Welcome to the 10th issue of Muddy River Poetry Review. Congratulations to poet Afaa Michael Weaver, this year’s recipient of the $100,000 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award. Afaa is a wonderful poet, a fine person and Feature Poet in Issue #2 of Muddy River Poetry Review. If you are not familiar with his work, I recommend you purchase his books and discover this outstanding poet’s work. Here is an excerpt from the Los Angeles Times story announcing Weaver’s selection:
“My license to be a poet is one I inherited from black and poor people who
built cultures of a faith in struggle and hope,” Weaver writes on his website.
“The Kingsley Tufts Award is one of the most prestigious prizes a poet can
win, and I’m delighted to see it go to Afaa,” said the poetry prize’s chief
judge, Chase Twichell. “He essentially invented himself from whole cloth
as a poet. It’s truly remarkable.”
Our Special Feature for this issue is the wonderful Australian poet Jane Williams, whose latest book of poetry is Days Like These, New and selected poems 1998-2013. She also has written a book of short stories. Her many poetry awards include The Anne Elder Award and the D. J. O’Hearn Memorial Fellowship. She lives in Tasmania. I am sure you will find her work enjoyable, insightful and tender with a touch of humor.
Our two features are special in their own way. Flavia Cosma received the Title of Excellence for outstanding contribution in the promotion and enrichment of the Romanian culture within the European region and throughout the world, awarded by The International Festival “Lucian Blaga”, XXIX edition, Sebeş-Alba, Romania, 2009. She was decorated with the Golden Medal and was appointed Honorary Member by the Casa del Poeta Peruano, Lima, Peru, 2010, for her poetry and her work as an international cultural promoter. She is the director of the International Writers’ and Artists’ Residency, Val-David, Quebec, Canada.
Another feature is Luis Benítez. Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina he is a member of the Latin-American Academy of Poetry (USA), the International Society of Writers (USA), World Poets (Greece), the Advisory Board de Poetry Press (India) and the Argentinean Society of Writers. He has received the tittle of Compagnon de la Poésie, from La Porte des Poétes Association, France. Other local and international awards, he has received: La Porte des Poétes International Award (Paris, 1991); Biennial Award of the Argentinean Poetry (Buenos Aires, 1991); Amalia Lacroze de Fortabat Foundation Award of Poetry (Buenos Aires, 1996); International Award of Fiction (Uruguay, 1996); Primo Premio Tusculorum di Poesia (Italy, 1996) and 10me. Concours International de Poésie, accesit (Paris, 2003).
Among our poets this month is past feature, irene koronas, who has just published turtle grass, a series of shadows with our new publishing house, Muddy River Books. I recommend purchasing her book and our other books by Doug Holder and Gloria Mindock, both also past features. irene’s poems are among the best you will read, encompassing nature, life and her own brand of subtle humor. All the poets in this edition are outstanding bringing you a wide variety of poems that are serious or humorous or touching. The final poet traditionally, is reserved for a previously unpublished poet. In this edition it is Colin Brooks who attends Framingham (MA) University. Colin’s poem is a touching, if unorthodox requiem for his recently deceased grandmother.
Finally, there are twenty-seven poets in this edition, 21 of whom have not appeared in Muddy River Poetry Review previously, so sit back, put up your feet and lose yourself in poetry.
Zvi A. Sesling