This is an epistolary book, a mode of writing quite popular in the 19th century, a form Dostoyevsky used for his first novel POOR PEOPLE, the book he wrote before he went to Jail for a decade. But it wasn’t POOR PEOPLE that got Dostoyevsky sent to Siberia; it was “conspiracy.” Though I doubt Ann or Kell will get thrown in the slammer because of this tome, it is conceivable that with a few changes in politics, along Reaganistic lines, they might be indicted for this conspiracy, this honesty & openness, and life-long iconoclasm that necessarily personifies a poet in these days & times. It is a fine day when one receives a dispatch from either of these two. Both are consummate letter writers. Annie’s most often are typed out in long narrative prose lines, laying on the page like a poem. Kell’s are also typed, and go on for 2 pages and sometimes 4-. Both dip into memories and present thoughts freely, rambling with untarnished sincerity. Both do their writing in the mornings, before work, sometimes before the sun comes up. — Mark Weber Continue reading
One cold and dreary February afternoon in Moscow, I kissed my mother good-bye, waved to my friends and lovers, and embarked on the journey of my life to the Brave New World across the ocean. Soon I was on my way to the forbidden and luring place, another side of everything I had experienced so far in my ever suffering and intensely profound homeland. It was the time when tectonic plates of history moved, breaking countries into pieces, sending waves of people to new shores. The way of life in Russia was rapidly changing. The old order deteriorated in no time. In the social and political vacuum, the gangsters, party bureaucrats, and secret services became major powerbrokers. Local social and ethnic communities were quickly transformed into markets producing a few haves and plenty of have-nots. The end of the century was near, climate change was on the horizon, and the global warning broadcasted gloom and doom. I arrived in America equipped with a back-pack, a suitcase, a guitar, three hundred dollars in my pocket, and a determination to mix in into the celebrated creative exuberance of the Big Apple. In one day, I became a rootless cosmopolitan * and was soon roaming free in the streets on Manhattan.
Now, many years later, I still can recollect practically moment by moment my first day in New York as well as many other first experiences I have had in my new life. Putting together this book, I relied not only on such poignant memories but also on the notes I began to take upon my arrival to New York. I continued taking snapshots of experiences and observations during my frequent expeditions in 48 states of the U.S., in Germany and a few other European countries for the next seventeen years. Once uprooted, you become an outsider everywhere you go, and being an outsider relieves you from the compulsion to take sides or subscribe to any particular ideology. It is an auspicious point in time to begin Tribal Diaries. — Misha Feigin Continue reading
Searching for Irina Feigin’s book has that sweet impact that only time and distance can provide-this ex-muscovite-turned-Kentucky “blue blood” writes through the eyes of one voluntary displaced within a time warp of pathos and humor, and painfully “good” times in his domestic land in the seventies. I’ve enjoyed every moment of this glorious freak show. – Steve Dalachinsky Continue reading
The poetry of Misha Feigin bristles with improvisational energy, gentle resignation, a joie de vivre that is, by turns, wily and philosophical. A murder of crows in a naked tree become “the silent notes / In the chord of grief,” yet the heart of a solitary sparrow remains “big enough / To shelter one more spring.” These are poems that celebrate language, light, and the lucky accident that finds us alive in a place where “any choice is a cosmic choice.” Choose this book as I have done, and you will discover, time and again. “In every new breath… / The same nourishment.” Dig in! — Brett Eugene Ralph, the author of Black Sabbatical Continue reading
Misha Feigin won the Thomas Merton Prize for Poetry and was awarded the Al Smith Fellowship for Creative Nonfiction. His books include a novel Searching for Irina and a book of poetry, The Last Word in Astronomy, both by Fleur Publishing, Misha’s latest book is a collection of poetry, Abraham’s Bagel by Avid Readers Publishing Group. Continue reading
John Thomas – Ann Menebroker – Ronald Koertge – Lyn Lifshin – Al Masarik – Gerda Penfold Continue reading
Absolutes are not accessible thru the senses. All sensory experience is a vicarious thrill. Ratchet your learning beyond the threshold of fear, and when the bolts begin to pop and an entire ocean rushes thru a pinhole, then it will happen. Something quite unimaginable that you knew all along. —John Bennett Continue reading