Saturday, December 31, 2011

Sneak Peek: Liberty's Vigil, release date: 1/15/2012, preorder your copy now.

Co-editors Karla Linn Merrifield and Dwain Wilder have assembled the first anthology of its type in the world to inspire readers to take action on behalf of the 99%.

"Poets here have left their quiet corners to hit the streets to encourage their neighbors to address the needs of the homeless…to fight side by side with besieged homeowners who are facing eliminate corporate “personhood” and inordinate corporate influence on Capital Hill. We want readers to learn; we want them to act,” said Merrifield, author of six books of poetry.

Diverse Voices, Diverse Styles

Humor and rage, compassion and irony and so much more! Liberty’s Vigil, The Occupy Anthology may have a single unifying theme, but its poets represent a wide range of viewpoints and styles. You’ll find in the book’s pages distinguished poetic masters such as William Heyen and Francisco X. Alarc√≥n as well as poets just launching their careers. And, the 99 poets’ styles range from free verse to tanka to villanelle to sestina to….

Follow Liberty’s Vigil Online

It’s easy to keep up with Liberty’s Vigil and its activist poets. News of readings held by contributors will be posted on the FootHills Publishing web site ( as well as on Liberty’s Vigil group wall page on Facebook.

Sales to Support Income Equality

FootHills is contributing 20 percent of proceeds from sales of Liberty’s Vigil to the Occupy Movement. For details, please contact the publisher.

Available Now

Liberty’s Vigil, The Occupy Anthology: 99 Poets among the 99% (128 pages) is available for $20.00 at selected bookstores nationwide – ISBN 978-0-931053-81-8 -- and from FootHills Publishing at FootHills Publishing, celebrating its 26th anniversary this year, is headquartered in Wheeler Hill, N.Y. Michael Czarnecki, publisher, is available at (607) 566-3881.


About the Editors

A long-time environmental activist and a National Park Artist-in-Residence, Karla Linn Merrifield has seen hundreds of her poems appear in dozens of publications as well as in many anthologies. She has six books to her credit, including Godwit: Poems of Canada (FootHills Publishing), which received the 2009 Andrew Eiseman Writers Award for Poetry, and her new chapbook, The Urn, from Finishing Line Press. Forthcoming from Salmon Press is her full-length collection Athabaskan Fractal and Other Poems of the Far North, and The Ice Decides: Poems of Antarctica from FLP.

She and her husband Roger M. Weir co-edited THE DIRE ELEGIES: 59 Poets on Endangered Species of North America, also from FootHills. Currently in the works is a book of technologically themed poems, The Gizmo Girl’s Diary, a collection of poems reflecting on the Age of Technology, and Virus in the Song, poems in memoriam to her brother. She was founding poetry editor of Sea Stories, and is now book reviewer and assistant editor for The Centrifugal Eye ( A graduate of The College at Brockport (SUNY), where she earned an MA in Creative Writing-Poetry, she teaches at Writers & Books, Rochester, NY. You can read more about her and sample her poems and photographs at She resides in Kent, NY, and winters in North Fort Myers, FL.

Dwain Wilder, a native of a small town outside Dallas, moved to Rochester, NY, in 1970 to study Zen Buddhism. He has had a varied career as Navy flight crew member, research technician, software engineer, and luthier (builder of stringed musical instruments). Dwain had leadership roles in the Civil Rights and Anti-Vietnam War Movements, as a staff member of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference’s Project Dialogue, and coordinator of the Southern Coordinating Committee to End the War in Vietnam. In this latter capacity, he worked closely with students, Quakers, pacifists and civil rights field workers across the South to organize the only South-wide Anti-War March, on Lincoln’s Birthday, Feb 12, 1967. He was also security marshal for the 1967 Fifth Avenue Parade against the War, worked with Staughton Lynd as a community organizer in New Haven, and as an organizer for the 1967 People’s Congress, an attempt to nonviolently occupy the House of Representatives in Washington.

Dwain graduated with honors from Yale with a degree in American Studies (History of Technology and Literature). He is a poet and essayist whose work has been published in various small poetry periodicals and collections. His poetry collection, Under the Only Moon, was published by FootHills Publishing in August 2011.

Dwain lives with his wife and their dog and parrot in a quaint farmhouse near a large park. He currently makes his livelihood in lutherie, and his Appalachian dulcimers are held in high regard, both in the U.S. and abroad.

About the Publisher

Publishing America's poets for 26 years, FootHills Publishing is a family-owned-and- operated concern based in Wheeler, NY. Each copy of its hundreds of titles is lovingly hand-sewn, making for a more beautiful reading experience. Visit FootHills at

Thursday, December 29, 2011

December 29th, the fourth day of limbo week

Yesterday? It snowed and snowed every which way. Down our country road, a whirling dervish rose up in its carriage-- I swear I saw men in top hats and women in black silk bonnets, rosy cheeked and waving hello and good-bye, thunder of horse hooves passing by quickly and disappearing by the turn onto Priem Road . . . Sometimes, I think I have 19th century sensibilities. I'm certainly drawn to the time period.

This was our first stick to the ground snowfall. Our chickens and ducks were just beside themselves, high-stepping in the snow and squawking, What, What is All This.

Meghan heard an adage the other day, which may explain our lack of winter weather:

Lightning in Fall, No Winter at all.

Have you ever heard this before? Strangely, we had two big thunderstorms in late fall, which were so other worldly, waking us up in the middle of the night.

Because of this mild weather, farmers have been pushing ahead of their usual schedules. Two days ago, they were pruning the orchard that wraps around our land.

I'm pushing ahead of my usual schedule too.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

December 27th, the second day of limbo week

Welcome to Limbo! What to do, what to do seems to be my mantra. Last night I wrote a long overdue review in my sleep. Got up early this morning and actually wrote it and sent it off to the journal- in -waiting. The editor has been more than patient with me. I hope this review will met his approval. We'll see. The poetry collection is Just Beautiful by Tim Suermondt (NYQ Books, 2010) $14.95. It's an exceptional, witty collection, and I had a lot of fun figuring it out. If you're snooping around for a new read, this is one to pick up.

I've been writing every day, mostly prose poems. It takes me so long to complete a poem. The initial draft writes itself, then the fussing begins. My process reminds me of Topiary-- living text sculpture-- perhaps a garden, unlike any gardens I've known. The people who populate these
poems intrigue me. Every morning I look forward to spending time with them.

So now I have a fistful of poems. Will see if I can write two fistfuls by New Year's Day.

Have been catching up on my blogville reading. You would be surprised how long I've been away. Stunned by some of the posts. My heart aches. I wonder why we seek the approval of those who won't give us approval? What about all the people who do give us ascent? Why doesn't this count? All the bloggers who left messages were so comforting. The virtual hug.
Strangely, this need for a hug started earlier in the day. I was in the parking lot of Tops and I overheard a man talking to his sister, and he said, "I can let this go, but it will always come back to this . . ." I thought, that's so true. Poor guy, he was exasperated. And I get it, because I've been there a hundred times before, without much resolve. I'm still trying to figure out the sticky situation, which has everything to do with my family, not friends; and ironically I think the bloggers were actually talking about acquaintances. You think you know people through their blogs, but do you really?

Last Spring, I had to give up some blogs because the writers were so absorbed in the worlds of their own making. It frightened me because I couldn't tell if it was really them or personae talking. I think this venue is a remarkable mask, don't you?

O gentle readers, if any of you are actually out there, do you think this is so?

Friday, December 23, 2011

The Eve Before the Eve . . .

Just returned from a day of gathering this and that . . . all the trimmings to make family dinners merry! Our tradition features comfort foods and cozy hearth.

Past few days I've been preparing my gifts from the kitchen. . . holiday fudge, mendiants, cookies
I still want to make sugar plums. We'll see if I get a chance.

Have spent every morning writing since December 19th. It's a great relief to be focused on my own work . . . Have plans to accomplish a lot in the next two weeks.

Wishing all of you a very calm, relaxing, peaceful holiday!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Looking Ahead: Christmas Breakfast, a fabulous recipe and will no doubt become a tradition

We've been making this Christmas breakfast for many, many years. You can pop this in the oven while your family is gathered around the tree opening presents. It's done in an hour.

Christmas Eve (or make day ahead):


7 slices dense bread
8oz Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese.
6 large eggs
3 cups of milk
1/2 teas. salt
1/4 teas. pepper
1 teas. dry mustard
enough butter to slather on bottom & sides of round souffle dish.


Get a round souffle dish, maybe eight or nnne inches round and about 4 inches high.
Grease the dish with butter bottom and sides. Don't skimp. Take your six slices of dense bread (Pepperidge Farm works well) cube it up crust et al. Then line it in your souffle bowl's bottom and sides. The bread should stick because of the delicious butter.

Then: beat 6 large eggs, 3 cups of milk, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, 1 teaspoon of dry mustard and 8 oz of shredded sharp cheddar cheese. Once this is all mixed. pour it over the bread in the souffle dish. Take a fork and and poke through the mixture in several places, so everything soaks through. Cover and put in fridge overnight. This will let everything expand and blend perfectly.

Next Morning. Fire up the oven to 350 degrees. Take souffle dish out of fridge, uncover the wrap and put the dish on a cookie tray and pop it in the oven for 50-55 minutes.

It will poof up, like a gorgeous golden turban. When you pull it out of the oven, call everyone to admire how lovely it looks.

It's delicious. Serve with fresh fruit salad, cinnamon rolls, toast, coffee, mimosas, bloody marys
champagne. Your choice, after all it's Christmas morning and you have the whole day ahead of you!

Because my family gathering is Christmas eve and I have a crowd here, it's a bit of a challenge to prepare this at 11 p.m., but somehow I do it and on Christmas day everyone is so glad I did!

This recipe was given to me many years ago by my friend Margot Searls, who is an incredible cook, baker, and storyteller. Thanks, Margot for this tradition! I'm passing it on. . . .


Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!

Dear Spirit~

While I was grading my end of the semester papers, you brought
peace to a war that has been waging for nine long years. In 2002, Peter hung a wagon wheel peace sign on our house. The lights remained lit for 4 years, then they died out, one bulb at a time. Five more years. At last, good news. Time to restring the sign.

Spirit, I want peace, in every nook and cranny of our existence. Throughout the fall, we have been paring back.
We've been on a mission to reclaim our lives, which has been
a challenge, breaking habits that like an invasive root system have taken hold, in all sorts of insipid ways. Slowly, we're breaking free.

Spirit, I'm so grateful for the lessons of this farm. I think we're learning to be self-sufficient. Thank goodness we have a sense of humor. This life isn't a hobby, or a romantic notion, but people, who don't know this life, think it is.

Spirit, this is it, isn't it?

Thursday, December 15, 2011

No flurries in sight, but a flurry of activity this week!

Woke with a sudden start this early morning, around 3:45 a.m. It's 6:33 a.m. right now and I've been busy, writing letters, emails, and so on. So I'm ahead of work today, and the sun has yet to paint the sky with first light. Still, so dark. So velvety. The blue-black that is early December This time of year intrigues me.

Hope to have a few hours of writing before heading out on my appointed rounds. Inspiration has been percolating, slowly rising to take hold. Have been writing a sequence of prose poems and lyric poems. Need to keep this momentum going. . .