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new notes from elisavietta

Saturday March 3, 2018

lisa's book table

Book fair, College Park, MD
Rocky Jones will share my table to display his book MY DEMO.

I will feature my newest publications:


Reflections: A Poet's Gallery, poems on paintings;

And TIMBOT: the newly updated and republished edition, a novella in verse about a Circassian refugee and a Russian-American of noble lineage.

February 12, 2018

Dear Gang,

With a broken shoulder amid a big move, my schedule and my writing and communiques have also broken into pieces, so instead of forwarding a bunch of artcles etc to jumpstart your memories real and fictional, I merely suggest you come up with a piece that may or may not be true --

A few ego-trips also — spurred me to keep on (such as big piece in the Valentine's Day Bay Weekly, etc.:

How Lisa met Clyde

how lisa met clyde

bay weekly

Elisavietta Ritchie and Clyde Farnsworth: The wooing of a brilliant loner

Dissident Russian artists was my topic toward an M.A. at American University, so when Norton Dodge, professor of Russian economics and collector of Russian dissidentsí paintings, held a conference at his Cremona estate, where several émigré artists and their canvases would be present, I was delighted.

Guests included New York Times journalist Clyde Farnsworth, recently back from Paris. Guessing that Clyde had surely met the existentialist novelist Albert Camus, I settled next to him. Conversation revealed that Camusí The Exile and the Kingdom reflected Clydeís situation as a brilliant loner.

He scribbled his phone number on a matchbook. A month later I called: On my own after 24 years of a mostly good marriage, I didn't suffer for lack of diversion. Nor did Clyde.

I could bring an escort to dinner at my fatherís friend Dr. George Mishtowt's. An evening of brilliant conversation and Russian songs, and Clyde was a baritone. He also practiced his violin daily.

Our respective children asked, "Why don't you two get married?"

My answer: "He hasn't asked me."

Summer 1992, on the cusp of his transfer to Canada (I assumed another romance over), I drove him to a knee operation. Afterward I settled him in our guest bed while I slept on the couch, at midnight back to the ER, then home again to his bed of pain.

Suddenly at 2am he asked, "Why don't we mosey down to the Prince Frederick courthouse tomorrow and pick up a license?"

I phoned Elspeth Cameron Ritchie, my doctor daughter, then a captain at a military hospital in South Korea. Her answer zoomed across the Pacific: "Do so quickly before the anesthesia wears off!"

Around the world and all these years later, we still have a cottage at Broomes Island and are settling in at Asbury Solomons.

January 2018

Open reading in which several of us will participate follows Grace Cavalieri's reading 6:30 Saturday, December 9th, at Evelyn's in Annapolis. Will be able to read a couple of poems from Harbingers and Babuska's Beads this Saturday in Annapolis as a couple of participants from my Saturday workshop at Jack Bay offered to drive me.

Evelyn's Address: 26 Annapolis St. Annapolis, MD 21401 (410) 263-4794

January 2018

Newly updated and refurbished edition of Timbot, a novella in verse, about a Circassian refugee and a Russian-American of noble lineage.

Timbot, by Elisavietta Ritchie


Visit my books page:

Elisavietta's Books


Read my news from 2017 by clicking on this link.

Read my news from 2016 by clicking on this link.

Read my news from 2015 by clicking on this link.

Read my news from 2014 by clicking on this link.


creative memoirs

Creative Writing — Creative Memoir

"Rewrite Your Life—Or Someone Else's"
Workshop at Prince Frederick Library

Wednesday, April 18, 2-4 pm

Sorry I am late in getting out a few prompts which might jump start your own writing. Dead sober, I broke my right shoulder in early January which has slowed down not only writing, but our process of moving directly from the ER of Calvert hospital to the tip of Solomon, and organizing is an on-going dilemma. Increasingly mobile, amid the upheavals, I am stealing time to scribble and decipher and re-work-work-work new and ongoing stories, poems and articles.

CLICK to...

...get inspired! December 2018


We are all supposed to be reading, at least dipping into, this year's One Maryland One Book title, All American Boys, and/or at least thinking and perhaps writing about our own experiences with and ideas regarding race relations in schools, workplaces and on the street. The situation in the book is right out of current news. I've emailed you a book review which gives a good sense of the book, and if you at least dip into the book, you quickly see it vividly presents the language of today's teenage boys and their conundrums.


The Twelve

I am showcasing some selections of my translations online.
This one, THE TWELVE, by Alexander Blok, has now been revitalized and is presented here as an online book, very closely rendered to it's original formatting.

The graphic above will lead you to my translations page, where THE TWELVE can be found.




I snap the geraniums in 400 ASP black-and-white
since that's in my camera. They catch sun from snow
piled outside. In my bay window they glow
what my mother might call rather a brazen scarlet.

Each single floret is tiny, fragile, but massed
in a greater sum, big as a fist,
they burn my palms with their light.
Even when petals shrivel, officially finished,

that pungent crimson stays bright.
Yet they print mere icicle gray.
One would suppose, seeing this glossy photo,
my geraniums pink, sappy lavender, white.

These leaves velvet green, must explain.
Recalling my mother's distaste
for what is passé, right before I shot
I clipped what foliage yellowed and dried.

My mother, whose birthday should be today,
insisted on positive attitudes. Oh, I can tell they
are red, she would assure me. Color is not
what matters here, but your composition.

Note interplays, variegated light against
curved shapes, indented, the pick-up-stix
grids of spaghetti twigs bearing blossoms or leaves
versus the thick main stems…You've let them grow

leggy, ungainly, dear, do cut them back...By the rotund
weight of the pots, one knows they are rusty brick.
The planes of ceiling and wall are white as the snow
on black branches outside. As for your voids–

I'm all too aware of the voids. And look! She'd point
to what I see only now, in the space of the pane:
Did you know you caught a cardinal in flight?
Male, you can tell by the crest. Very red.

[earlier versions ©1992 The Christian Science Monitor]



For autographed copies, order directly from the author:
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To confirm or requests concerning special orders
of more than one book or for comments and queries:
— contact Elisavietta Ritchie via email —

Elisavietta Ritchie
P.O. Box 298, Broomes Island, MD 20615
— contact Elisavietta Ritchie via email —