News and pictures from 2015
December 15, 2015
Again meanwhile, to indulge in self-puffery, the hallmark activity of this century when we are all supposed to be selling ourselves on more than Facebook and Linked-in, my new collection should be in print from Poets-Choice Publishers: BABUSHKA'S BEADS: A GEOGRAPHY OF GENES. These form a sort of family history or pseudo-memoir in poems on the Russian side of my family. Nearly all of them were already published in various journals and in my existing books, but most revised and re-revised for this collection of New & Selected.
Poets-Choice Publishers brought out GUY WIRES last May, and this can be found in Calvert Library, Second Look Books, and on Amazon.com
Some of my most recent news is on my Facebook page
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Sunday, November 22, 2015
2-4 pm launch of GUY WIRES (Poets-Choice.com)
The Writer's Center, 4508 Walsh Street, Bethesda MD 20815
Loch Raven Review has published two poems from GUY WIRES see Loch Raven Review Volume 11, No. 2
Sunday, November 8, 2015
One of my poems featuring mushrooms was used in the New York Times magazine article "Sex, Death and Mushrooms."
September 12, 2015
Rocky Jones has invited me to be a featured reader along with Jehanne Dubrow Saturday, September 12, at Ahh Coffee, 1015 Bay Ridge Ave, Annapolis, MD. 6:30pm. Open Mic, good food. I'll read from GUY
WIRES, (Poets-Choice Publishing, May 2015), my recently republished translation of an Akhmatova poem, and In Haste I Write You This Note, winner of the 1999 Washington Writers' Publishing House fiction award, now much revised as an e-book.
Friday, July 24, 2015
Review of GUY WIRES Washington Independent Review of Books July 2015 Exemplars:
Poetry Reviews by Grace Cavalieri
Guy Wires by Elisavietta Ritchie.
This is Ritchie's best book, I think, and she's written more than 20 of them. There's a surprising group of poems in the section EXPLORATIONS in the voice of Cecilia (whose notes were apparently found in an old shopping bag, unless it is a Ritchie trick) and they're terrific. Once Cecelia was a dancer with an "ermine muff" and we watch her decline into homelessness but not without ebullience. "Cecelia Writes A Letter To Her Heart" ends, "So I will dance till sunrise, jog up Everest — / keep up with me if you can. Please try."
Ritchie's title poem is about a foreign visitor, a writer. It begins, "You sat yesterday on my balcony…I served you melons and wine, / you spoke of mangoes and palms, / a child throwing stones at a plane…" She ends with the emptiness of the next day, "Alone, still breathless this morning,/ I note a spider skein the cat ignores/ in the slant of sun, guyed from this worn/ wrought-iron chair to your chair." This poem is emblematic for the book shows a life entertaining international writers and artists, sitting with each as if he/she is the only person of interest to the speaker.
Born to a Russian émigré father, several poems show enormous attention to that ethos. She has a poem about Mandelstam who suffered poverty, censorship, eventually prison and death during the reign of terror. She speaks of sisterhood with Russian dissident Anna Akhmatova; she has a prayer from Tatyana; and she muses on Solszenitzen's fate. These are powerful comments on the unjust plights of nonconformist poets and writers in many lands.
Also there's an arranged society that emerges covering the gamut from the wealthy and learned to the homeless. "On My Own" is a two-page poem about the daily endurance of a homeless man, subtitled "Water in the Coffeemaker Frozen," ends "But Monday a kindly old-timer forgot a crushed box of doughnuts/ with icing! In my sleeping bag, warm with both cats, I'll eat my/
fortuitous bounty, read my overdue books, if ink and fingers/thaw, write my own…So I am, I exist, alive."
World travel from Hong Kong to Morocco cuts through the poetry landscape projecting a person of the world but Ritchie shows a different set of investments. She sees every city or country as a challenge facing the writer to find the fusion of culture and what's traceable to convert to poetry. What informs her is causality and how it'll turn on the page. The book is well organized into five sections and it's a good thing because this is a comprehensive book covering the waterfront of a life well lived. We needed infrastructure to hold it captive.
Ritchie makes demands upon herself; she explores questions about animals; she reveals the system of checks and balances in love and relationship. She takes the mundane and makes it public art. This is a plentiful book filled with gratitude for the world. She comes from a different place than many new to the art. She's not market driven. She sees poetry as an acceptable use of force. She's done it all.
Saturday, July 18, 2015
Tracking down this Tweet takes you to an old poem published in Poetry 1989--
Vicki Ziegler @bookgaga
My #todayspoem choice is Sorting Laundry by Elisavietta Ritchie (@elisaviettaritc) (1989 @PoetryMagazine) bit.ly/1IbFWlb
But I am sure it can be found in Flying Time, Stories & Half Stories, available both here on the website and also and on Amazon.com
Wednesday, July 8, 2015
As the Library is devoting July to the kiddies, we found a great place for us grown-up writers to gather: CalvArt Gallery (between the Green Turtle and EZThai in the old shopping center just across the street from the Prince Frederick post office). 2:00 to 4:00 pm, surrounded by paintings and pottery and glassworks and photographs, inspiring in themselves.
Creative Writing/Creative Memoir workshop July 8, 2015, special session held at hospitable CalvArt Gallery, thanks to Arts Council director, Bob Carpenter.
Participants: Sandra Anderson, Doug Hile, Ed Davenport, Walter Siefert, Donald Pitts. Elisavietta Ritchie, workshop leader.
Thursday, July 2, 2015
My mini-reviews of the books NABOKOV IN AMERICA: THE ROAD TO LOLITA and MIGRATION ECOLOGY OF MARINE FISHES appear inthe Bay Weekly this month.
and GUY WIRES is finally up and on Amazon.com
May 13, 2015 - Press Release for Lisa's new book, Guy Wires
Uncasville, CT, May 13, 2015 -- Poets' Choice Publishing, www.Poets-Choice.com is honored to publish Elisavietta Ritchie's Guy Wires, the seventeenth collection of poetry in a long, and distinguished career. Poet, writer, editor, translator, journalist, photographer, her award-winning work is widely published in the United States and abroad.
Ritchie served as Washington Writers' Publishing House president for thirteen years, and continues as an editor. She has involved herself with writers in exile and immigration/emigration, translating poems from Russian, French, and Malay-Indonesian. Her own work has been translated into a dozen languages. Her 2013 chapbook, Feathers, Or, Love on the Wing is a collaboration with visual artists Megan Richard and Suzanne Shelden who designed the present collection. (sheldenstudios.com). David Owens and other composers have written contemporary classical music to her poems.
Ritchie's work is greatly admired by readers and critics alike:
Former US Poet Laureate, Josephine Jacobsen described Ritchie's poetry as, "original, varied and exciting, growing steadily in scope and control. The core of her poems is vitality. Grim, joyous, exuberant or erotic, they have a strong and vivid life."
"Elisavietta Ritchie's poetry combines a Byzantine elegance with straight-forward plain style honesty," wrote William Packard, the late editor of New York Quarterly. "The extraordinary range of her interests: work, love, sensuality, and man's plight in a forlorn civilization—is reinforced by her exquisite regard for language and lively fascination with the possibilities of form."
Ritchie worked as a freelance writer-photographer for the New York Times and The Christian Science Monitor, and currently for The Bay Weekly. A poet-in-the schools for years, she continues to lead creative writing workshops for adults. She lives in Washington and Southern Maryland with her husband, writer/journalist Clyde Farnsworth. They traveled widely and lived in Europe, Canada and Australia.
The newly established Poets' Choice Publishing house works closely with the William Meredith Foundation to support the arts and continue the legacy of a great American spirit. Recent annual Meredith Awards for Poetry include poets David Fisher, Lyubomir Levchev, Andrew Oerke, and former US Poet Laureate, Natasha Trethewey.
Thursday, April 2, 2015
Though I have never read an e-book, the e-book of the new-and-improved IN HASTE I WRITE YOU THIS NOTE: STORIES & HALF-STORIES went up on Amazon April First! Washington Writers' Publishing House recent president Patric Pepper uploaded it and already it is here, or at least in the stratosphere! Mine is the last of six e-books by Washington Writers' Publishing House authors--Kathleen Wheaton, Elizabeth Bruce, Catherine Bell, Melanie Hatter, David Ebenbach, David Taylor and myself. Barbara Shaw of ShawType converted these from print editions into e-books. The launch of our e-books will take place at Busboys and Poets Brookland on Tuesday, May 5, 6:30 pm.
To Order IN HASTE I WRITE YOU THIS NOTE: STORIES & HALF-STORIES and on Amazon.com
Monday, March 2
Coming soon--an e-book of Elisavietta's Washington Writers' Publishing House prize-winner "IN HASTE I WRITE YOU THIS NOTE: STORIES & HALF-STORIES" published in its print version in 2000, but about to be available in a New & Improved electronic version. She has revised at least half the stories. The e-book will be available on Amazon in a few weeks.
A few copies of the original print paperback edition, ISBN 0-931-846-55-2, are available.
While the original price was $14.95, she is now offering them for $ 9.95 + postage & handling $2.50. For signed copies, send a check or money order to Elisavietta Ritchie, PO Box 298, Broomes Island, MD 20615
Wednesday, January 21, 4-6pm
Calvert Library, Prince Frederick, MD.
Am again asked to be a judge of the Poetry Out Loud competition among sixteen seniors from the four high schools in Calvert County, Northern, Huntingtown, Calvert and Patuxent. Students will recite from memory poems by Maya Angelou, Gwendolyn Brooks, Thomas Wyatt, Robert Graves, William Wordsworth, Alfred Lord Tennyson and other poets. Reception follows for contestants, families, friends, judges. Winners go on to compete in state and possibly national contests.