The Phoenix Resurgence |
by Priyanka Mandal‏

Vanishing through the delusions of the world, we live in today,
Estranged by the hullabaloo of the prejudices within;
Numbed was your soul, till it found solace in its own murder.
Unscathed, you remain in us;
Shimmering from behind the clutches of our burquas.

Splattered are the pieces of your spirit in the living maze,
Harpooned by the lethal weapons of the minds;
I, stand for you, I will stand even with amputated limbs.
Negating their atrocities, their idiosyncrasies, will Justice
Emerge with a stronghold from the wombs of karma, though
Shrouded in mist, will be unvanquished as you are.

The Poet: Priyanka Mandal is a 22 year old student from Calcutta, India. She is currently pursuing a degree of 'Bachelor of Arts in French' from The Ramakrishna Mission Institute of Culture and is in the 3rd year. She has completed a Bachelor's degree in Engineering in the stream 'Electronics and Communication' and working as a Assistant System Engineer. She has been earlier published in the UK Poetry Library and A Billion Stories.

The Artist: Daniel Ayles is a Portland, Oregon-based artist whose work bridges the gap between the genres of Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror. If you are interested in exploring his body of work further, you can see examples of his art in the 2012 August issue of The Horror Zine here:  You may also view two collaborative pieces he did with Tiffany Luna in the 2012 November issue of The Horror Zine:

"Play Ball!" |
by Alan Swyer

 At what he called the get acquainted lunch, which took place before he officially agreed to direct the baseball instructional video he was offered, Leibowitz did a surreptitious check on what he termed attention span.
After countless hours with public figures -- doing on-camera interviews with politicians, scientists, law enforcement officials, and athletes -- directing actors for film, plus singers in music videos, Leibowitz had learned the hard way that each and every person has a fixed period of time -- a maximum -- after which concentration shuts down.  That means that at a certain point, shooting simply must be interrupted.  Though for most people the window is roughly ten minutes before a break is needed, there are those who are able to go five, ten, or even fifteen minutes longer.  Others, however, reach their limit sooner -- after eight, six, or in rare cases, only five minutes or so.
Clete Holmes, to Leibowitz's astonishment, broke all land and sea records.  His ceiling, Leibowitz noted over tasteless pasta at a San Fernando Valley Italian restaurant that wouldn't have lasted a week in Rome, New York, or even Hoboken, was two minutes maximum. 
As Leibowitz saw it, that translated into an attention span in the same range as a two-year-old child and a Labrador Retriever.
But given Clete Holmes' singular place in American culture, that was no great surprise. 
Clete Holmes, Leibowitz knew all too well, was baseball's quintessential Bad Boy, a guy whose stats and accomplishments would have guaranteed a first-ballot entrance into the Hall of Fame had his behavior been anything less than deplorable.  Mickey Mantle's alcoholism, Ty Cobb's racism, and the great Babe Ruth's legendary womanizing and carousing were far more palatable to baseball's powers-that-be than Clete's most glaring infraction.  He, in their eyes, had committed the game's cardinal sin:  betting on his own team's games.  To make matters worse, he then spent years disputing and denying clear-cut evidence, only to do an about-face when money woes forced him to come clean in an As Told To autobiography calculated to bring in an influx of cash.
So from a public relations standpoint, Leibowitz was taking a risk in getting involved in such a project.
And factoring in Clete's ridiculous attention span, the production itself could potentially range from difficult to absurd.
But Leibowitz, who loved challenges, particularly when there was controversy, was a lifelong sports nut.  He had done a film about a Bad Boy in the world of basketball -- a Harlem playground legend whose life went awry -- and would later do a documentary about an even more questionable world:  boxing.  Yet the Clete Holmes project, he recognized, might be his one and only chance at directing anything even remotely associated with baseball.
But also not to be denied was a reality drummed home repeatedly by both his agent and his business manager.  For different reasons than Clete -- foremost among them, double alimony plus child support -- Liebowitz, too, needed a payday.
So rather than heed the all-too-present warning signs, Leibowitz did his best to convince himself that the experience would be interesting.  And grist for his memoirs, should he ever write them.  And maybe, if luck proved to be on his side, even fun.

Sporting hair a reddish color not found either in nature or on his old baseball cards, and with a fondness for warm-up suits usually seen on L.A.'s third-tier Russian mobsters, Clete Holmes, Leibowitz sensed immediately, was fighting desperately not to appear un-young.  More ominous for the task ahead was that there was something willfully, coarse, abrasive, and animalistic about him.  While those traits, coupled with his legendary cockiness and aggressiveness, may have been virtues on baseball diamonds, they were, Leibowitz knew too well, hardly pluses on-screen.
The camera, he had learned from experience, was not only unerring in capturing a person's true self -- it somehow managed to exaggerate a human being's very essence.  As a result, a soul who was naturally upbeat would, when seen on-screen, seem positively ebullient, while someone taciturn would go from reticent to total sourpuss.
 So what was needed to make the instructional video viewer friendly was a counterbalance for Clete -- someone kids, their parents, and their grandparents would actively welcome to their TV screen or laptop.  But that someone, Leibowitz knew, could not in any way be threatening to Clete.  It couldn't, therefore, be someone young and good-looking. 
The answer, Leibowitz sensed, was an old-time scout named Tim Norwood, who in the best sense personified the word avuncular.  Easy-going, with a warm smile and a twinkle in his eye, Tim made both baseball and life seem like fun.  Tim would, if brought in as a sidekick, light up a screen darkened by Clete.  And in the process, he would serve another key function as well.  Since Clete's frame of reference was entirely from once-upon-a-time, the names he mentioned would, to a Little Leaguer or even a high school player, seem prehistoric.  But if Clete alluded to a long-retired lefty pitcher named Steve Carlton, Tim could state, Like Clayton Kershaw today.  Or for Gary Carter, interject, Who today would be Buster Posey.  Or for Mike Schmidt, add, Who played third-base like Pablo Sandoval or Adrian Beltre.

All too vividly aware of the potential pitfalls and land mines ahead, Leibowitz hosted a series of what he privately termed bonding lunches with Clete and Tim, during which the two old-timers grew comfortable not merely with each other, but also with the director.
As the rapport developed, so, too, did an interesting dynamic -- that of two baseball lifers hanging out and telling stories while sharing insights about a game they both loved.
Starting to feel a bit more positive, Leibowitz searched for a baseball diamond that was secluded enough to keep them relatively free of gawkers during production, then selected a racially mixed group of minor league and collegiate players for the drills they would be shooting.
For his technical crew, he was careful to hire people who knew something about baseball, making certain to avoid anyone who might in any way annoy or irritate Clete, even inadvertently.  Then, he hand-picked an assistant director whose main task would be outside the usual job description:  to monitor Clete's two-minute attention span.  It was a strange task -- one about which no other person, especially Clete -- could be informed.  But one minute and forty-five seconds into a take, Doug Grote was to signal Leibowitz.  And in non-filming moments, if someone else managed to commandeer Clete, it was up to Doug to interrupt by telling Clete, as the two-minute mark neared, that the director needed him. 

“So who's in charge of this circus we're about to put on?” Clete asked Leibowitz one afternoon when the two of them were alone.
“Yours truly.”
“And you know more than me?”
“About baseball?  No.  About filming?  Absolutely.”
“Hold on --” Clete said, clearly irritated.
“No, you hold on and hear me out.  When Tony LaRussa was managing you at Oakland, who was in charge?”
“He was.”
“And if the manager's Mike Soscia?  Or Maddon?  Or a younger guy like Girardi or Bochy?  Who's running things?”
“He is,” Clete acknowledged with no great glee.
“Well, on this team I'm the manager.”
Clete eyed Leibowitz carefully.  “But what if --”
“There's something that bothers me.”
“Then pick a nice quiet moment, and we'll talk.”
“And then?”
“I'll decide what's best.”
Not pleased with what he what have termed intransigence if he were familiar with the word, Clete steamed.
“You got some set of balls,” he stated once he regained something approximating composure.
“You can bet on it.”
“That supposed to be funny?” Clete snarled, ever so sensitive about his reputation.
“It's a figure of speech.”
“Then listen up, Mr. Figure-of-Fuckin'-Speech!” Clete bellowed, jamming a finger into Leibowitz's chest.  “That's someplace we don't go.  You hear me?  That's someplace we never fuckin' go!”
Aware that if pushed beyond the boiling point Clete Holmes was capable of picking him up and breaking him in two, Leibowitz nonetheless stood his ground.
“What's the first rule of baseball?” he asked calmly but clearly.
“You fuckin' tell me!”
“Be a team player.”
Clete glared, all the while searching unsuccessfully for a response. 
When none was forthcoming, Leibowitz shrugged, then turned and walked away.

As always on the night before actual production was to begin, Leibowitz had a tough time sleeping.  His mind raced not just with the customary obsessions -- what he might have missed that still needed to be done; what contingencies perhaps had been overlooked; what things, big or small, could possibly go wrong -- but also with the X-factor provided by Clete Holmes.
Yet happily, Day One got underway without either a bump or hitch.  No crew member called in sick or got lost, no piece of equipment had a glitch or even a hiccup,
Clete, who was known to surround himself with a posse, accepted Leibowitz's First Day of Shooting ban of onlookers, showing up at the ballpark entirely on his own.  Though clearly ill at ease, he relaxed a bit when greeted by Tim Norwood, who, per Leibowitz's suggestion, promptly led him toward the catering truck.  There they were instantly handed humongous breakfast burritos topped with salsa, crema, and a mound of guacamole.
Only when they were seated at a bench and chomping did Leibowitz approach the living legend.
“Ready to play ball?” Leibowitz asked.
“Put me in, coach,” Clete replied, getting a pat on the back from Tim Norwood.

With non-pros, Leibowitz tried whenever possible to shoot in sequence, so that questions like Where are we? or Where does this fit in? became a non-factor.  That led him to start production with what's known as a Cold Opening -- a shot of Tim and Clete, talking in the dugout -- which would provide for viewers both an introduction and a statement of purpose.
“For years young players and their parents have been asking me for something that would teach baseball the right way,” Tim began once the camera was rolling.  “And thanks to you, Clete, they'll have that opportunity.”
“We'll do our best,” Clete said.  “You and me and all the ballplayers here to help us.”
“And know what?” Tim replied.  “We're gonna have fun doing it.”
“Played the right way, baseball is the most fun there is,” Clete added, relieved when Leibowitz said, “Cut!”
Only then did Clete add what he hadn't said on-camera.  “Except getting laid!”
“I kinda remember what that's like,” Tim joked.  Then, as their laughter subsided, Clete grew serious.
“Did I do okay?”
“Academy Award,” Tim answered with a smile.
“I'll settle for a base hit,” Clete said.  “So, Mr. Director, what do you have to say?
“Remember how you told me you've never done anything like this?” Leibowitz replied.
Clete nodded.
“Well, now you have.”
“And lived to tell the tale,” Tim added..
“Which means,” said Leibowitz, “we get what in filmmaking is known as the great reward.”
“Namely?” asked Clete.
“Another take for insurance.”

At eleven that morning, while Doug Grote was wrangling a wandering Clete Holmes for the third time in less than an hour, Tim Norwood got a call, then approached Leibowitz with a troubled look on his face.  “One of my grandkids took a fall at school,” he began.  “Okay if I sneak out at lunch for a half-hour or so?”
“Take more than that if you need to.”
“Just want to poke in at the hospital and say hello.”
Always the good sport, Tim finished the next segment they were filming -- Clete's approach to baserunning -- then announced to Clete and Leibowitz that he'd be back right after lunch.
 “What's up?” Clete asked.
“I figure it's a chance for you guys to finally get a word in without me monopolizing the conversation,” Tim joked.
“Lunch is on me,” Leibowitz said, grabbing Clete's arm and leading him toward the catering truck so as not to lose the star to the calls to friends and bookies he would otherwise make.
“What are the three most important things in the world?” Clete asked as the two men put down their plates -- Leibowitz's an ascetic piece of salmon accompanied by brown rice and steamed veggies; Clete's a mountain of salmon, prime rib, and lasagne, plus a helping of potato salad.
“I give up.”
“Think of the Three P's.”
“Still blanking.”
“Pussy, the ponies, and more pussy,” Clete bellowed.
Again and again Clete tried to steer the conversation toward dive bars and massage parlors, though not in that order, but each time Leibowitz did his best to return to baseball.
What surprised him, during the moments when he was able to get Clete to concentrate, was how fresh, intelligent, and iconoclastic the aging star's take proved to be.  “Why is it that people claim you need power at the corners?” Clete asked at one point, referring to third-base and first.  “What's to prevent you from having a power guy at short, like Ernie Banks?  Or behind the plate like Piazza?  Or at second, like Morgan?”
Seeing Leibowitz smile, Clete continued.  “And why in hell try to hide some lug with hands of stone at first?  Dumbest thing I ever heard is to hide a guy like Dick Stuart --”
“Dr. Strangelove --” Leibowitz interjected, drawing a fist bump.
“-- In that position,” Clete continued.  “Think what it means.  The pitcher doesn't want to throw over.  The catcher won't throw behind a runner.  The shortstop and third-baseman start to aim, which is bad news.  And a ground ball or pop-up toward first with the game on the line?  Nightmare!  You want power over there?  Give me Vic Power, who was the best fielding first-baseman I ever saw.  Or else a non-power guy like J.T. Snow, who had great hands.”

With Tim Norwood back as promised, filming went well that afternoon, giving everyone the sense that the rest of the three-day shoot might prove to be trouble-free.  Everyone, that is, but Leibowitz, who knew that each day carries with it the potential for new and unforeseen problems -- which is why the industry saying, Never dare or upset the movie gods.
What concerned him above and beyond the mercurial nature of his star, plus the less than likely chance of rain or a terrorist attack, was the fact that to keep the investors from having coronaries, he had imposed only a one-day ban on visitors.
Lookie-loos, as they were often called, could have a disruptive effect, as could friends, relatives, and hangers-on, especially when dealing with someone as prickly and inconsistent as Clete Holmes.
So it was with sinking sensation in the pit of his stomach that he saw Clete, on Day Two, arrive with a guy with gold chains and a ponytail of thinning gray hair.
“Come say hello to Mumbles,” Clete squawked, waving Leibowitz over.  “He's got a great idea for us.”
“Cups!” Mumbles offered as though proposing a path toward world peace.  “We need a segment about the importance of cups.”
“We?” Leibowitz asked.
“You.  Me.  The video,” Clete interjected, gleefully grabbing his own crotch.  “We don't want any sopranos.  Right, Mumbles?”
“Fuckin'-A!” Mumbles answered.
“Let me think about it,” Leibowitz said, signaling for Doug Grote to get Clete as far away from Mumbles as possible.
To the dismay of the crew members who had worked with him on other projects -- particularly the cinematographer and the sound man, who knew he who never dawdled when there was work to be done -- Leibowitz ambled out toward the right field, then suddenly burst into laughter.
The laughter started slowly, then grew steadily until the director was doubled up in stitches in a way none of them had ever seen or imagined.
What they didn't know -- indeed couldn't know -- was that the laughter was based not on a joke or a funny piece of behavior, but rather on what Leibowitz considered to be the absurdity of life -- especially his.  Having come to LA from New Jersey via Paris with the hope of being the next Orson Welles, Jean-Luc Godard, or Preston Sturges -- someone who could magically combine art, entertainment, and social criticism -- he was instead shooting at an off-the-beaten-track baseball diamond, worrying not about lenses or dialogue, but rather some schmuck of a hanger-on obsessing about protective cups in jockstraps. 
Only with a nearly superhuman effort was Leibowitz ultimately able stifle his guffaws, then return to the task at hand.

A segment on bunting went fairly well, slowed down only by Clete mugging on a couple of occasions -- once for a couple of the investors, then later when Mumbles pointed out a prime example of cleavage among the onlookers.

Not finding the distraction to be either helpful or endearing, Leibowitz was not overjoyed when Mumbles approached him once they were ready to take a break.
“So we going forward with the cup idea?” Mumbles asked, with Clete standing nearby.
“Only if we get you on-camera.”
“Doing what?” Mumbles inquired.
“Grabbing every guy's crotch to see who's protected.”
While Mumbles sneered, Clete took a step forward.  “That ain't helpful!” he growled.
“No shit,” Leibowitz said.  “Time to move on.”

Fortunately, there was little chance for an extended period of pouting, for the next segment was Clete's favorite part of the game:  hitting.
With renewed zeal, he spoke incisively about what he considered to be the best approach -- reminding potential viewers that the area next to home plate is called the batter's box, not the watcher's box -- then put on a show that would have been impressive from a star in his prime, but was awesome from someone years beyond his playing career.
First from the right side, then from the left, Clete demonstrated initially how best to swing the bat, then how to hit the ball the opposite way, and finally how to foul off pitches until the right one -- the hitter's pitch, as he termed it -- finally appears.
For the onlookers who were gathered, as well as for the minor leaguers and collegians -- and even for Leibowitz, who had been around future Hall of Famers at Spring Training in both Arizona and Florida -- the demonstration went beyond memorable.  It was the highlight of the entire production.
And it led to a standing ovation that caused Clete's chest to swell.

Hoping that the glow would carry on through the rest of the shoot, Leibowitz shook Clete's hand, then moved toward centerfield to set up a segment on outfield play.
Only when he was ready to shoot did he look for Clete, who was cornered by a white-haired woman in a Dodger cap and her cute, blond granddaughters, aged, Leibowitz figured, roughly ten and twelve.
With Doug Grote nowhere in sight, Leibowitz started sprinting toward them.
“Clete, I need you!” he yelled, all too vividly aware of Clete's limited attention span.
“Duty calls,” Clete said apologetically to his well-wishers.
“One last question, Mr. Holmes?” asked the younger of the girls.
“Sure, honey,” Clete responded, ignoring Leibowitz, who was shaking his head.
“During your playing days --” the blond-haired girl began.
“Did you used to lift weights?”
“Only when I took a leak!” Clete stated proudly, leaving the grandmother and her granddaughters mortified as Leibowitz dragged him away.

Though everyone involved in the production -- the ballplayers, the crew, the investors, and even Leibowitz -- thought they were on to something special, by Day Three there was an ever-increasing sense of restlessness.
The source, each and every one of them knew full well, was Clete Holmes.
Like an unruly kid, or a dog that barks incessantly, he had gone from amusing to tiring, and then became simply tiresome.  Anything and everything was about him:  his wants, his needs, his ego, his mood swings, his posse.  And most of all, his total and unrelenting narcissism.
Even the most easy-going people Leibowitz had assembled -- Tim Norwood and Doug Grote -- made it clear to Leibowitz that their patience was wearing thin, though neither joined the ranks of those who started grumbling openly or belly-aching publicly.
Trying to keep a lid on an explosive situation, Leibowitz defused a couple of near blow-ups, then put a last-second stop to what would have been a production-ending practical joke in which Clete's prized collection of gloves and bats were almost set on fire.
But once he had sufficient footage to cut together a video if -- for whatever reason, or reasons, production was never quite finished -- Leibowitz backed off as peacemaker.
And it was then, when he had adopted a completely different attitude that Clete approached him once too often.
“I keep feeling like there's something you've missed,” Clete said in a condescending way.
“Some way to end the video with a bang.  You know, that'll hit home.  That they'll really remember.”
“I got it,” Leibowitz said as Tim Norwood, Doug Grote, and some others wandered up.
“Let's hear.”
“I figure we'll have Tim say, You know, Clete, I'm convinced that anyone who watches this video will be not just a better ballplayer, but a better person as well.”
“Not bad,” Clete responded.  “And what do I say?
“Can't you guess?”
“Guess what?”
“You can bet on it!”
Though everyone else got a kick out of the joke, Clete Holmes refused to speak to Leibowitz the rest of the day.

Clete's demand that Leibowitz be banned from the editing room backfired due to a Directors Guild contract that gave Leibowitz what's known as final cut.

Somehow, Tim Norwood got significantly more close-ups than was originally intended.  And that meant that the putative star, who wanted at all times to be featured, wound up with far fewer than he hoped for or expected.

As is often said in baseball circles, payback is great.

Alan Swyer was once a boxer. Plus, he recently made a documentary about boxing:

A Lark Up the Nose of Time |
by Wayne F. Burke

we left Kansas after
the bars closed
Ron and Steve and me
in a station wagon
that I passed-out
in the back of
and woke
below a huge steel arch
high above
like a gate to heaven,
but it was Saint Louis
which we bombed through
all the way to Daytona
and got a motel room
on the beach
and sat indoors for three days
hurricane winds drove white sea horses
to shore and
branches of palm trees whirled
like broken helicopter blades...
on day four we got sun burnt
and drunk
and I was so hungry
I punched-out the Plexi-glass
of a candy machine
and tried to eat a candy bar
older than Methuselah
and in the morning I woke
from piss
in my bed
covered the spot
and we drove back
out of money
out of smokes
and Ron got ugly
without his fix
and Steve
a born-again liar
told one whopper after
all the way to Ottawa.

The Poet: Wayne F. Burke's book of poems, WORDS THAT BURN, is published by Bareback Press (2013).

The Artist: Luka Fisher is a Los Angeles based painter known for his frequent collaborations, mixed media projects, and work with musicians. He has designed forthcoming releases for LA based bands Feral Kizzy and Death Hymn Number 9. His work was also featured in Feral Kizzy's latest music "22 A Month" which you can view here--- He has also collaborated with a wide range of artists, writers and photographers including---Dash Hobbeheydar, Brian Pulido, Brenda Carsey, and Tate Hemlock. His work has been shown in Los Angeles, Detroit, Phoenix and is held in private collections in the United States and Russia.

Fragments, not a Meal |
by Rehan Qayoom

Who thinks mostly of his observance of breathing than his actual breathing? Takes a glimpse 
at her photograph and then quickly puts it away. Stuck with a hasp of deadlier gloom than 
death – Can it bring delight?

I found nowhere to sit and read 
Your chapter on the life of Bede
The ground of Oxford Street reveals
What deeds of daring do go on beneath those heels
Laziness is white and pretty
London, you mock-savage city
Had we met in a way more real
Would we have felt what we feel?
So off to bed and up at 9!
I'll dream all night that you were mine
Or off to kip to wake at 10!
Begin another day - Again!

If it's true we're born in sin
Open yourself and let me in!

Obliged to live his life in limbo
The forlorn poet
Forgot he was sane
So wrote in gibberish across the window-pane

O what enchanting eyes you have
How magical a smile
Your ruddy hair sets hearts on fire
Oh your funky drunky style
Just hold my hand - Look in my eyes - Say nothing all the while
You will never not be dearer - To me nearer nearer setting
Roses all aflame
For the vision’s ever clearer – It’s a chilly wind that blows!
Love me as I am –

Rehan Qayoom is a poet, editor and translator from London.  He writes poetry in both English and Urdu and his work has featured in numerous literary publications and anthologies.  He is also available for interviews.

Church Shoes |
by M. Nasorri Pavone

I learned about faith and fashion
in the white patent leather shoes
I tiptoed to church in,
too tight, the wrong size.
My aunt mailed them across country.
For a short year she had
a friend in the shoe biz,
and could these toss outs be of use?
What luck for me whose mother
shook her head at patent leather
and to her, white was a soil savior
not a color.  I owned nothing white
as a child, not even white socks,
well, white cotton underwear,
and then my First Holy Communion dress
which became my going to church dress
until the Sundays of too much thigh
between hem and knees
and it vanished from my closet.
I could fake it in the shoes, though.
Who could tell but me
and the two pale kittens I squeezed
into their showy pens?
Our family believed in Jesus Christ,
weekly mass and one pair of sturdy brown
shoes for each kid to last, Amen.
Father Kieser had a lisp.
You are thinners.  Make thacrifices.
Carry your croth.
My mother, for instance,
had my father.  He was heavy.
I had no faith that I would ever
get shoes again this pretty.
I turned eight, nine and ten in them.
And was I proved right because
of my faithlessness?  Surely I believed
in angels over shoulders,
the hushed prayer in the lighted candle.
I'm afraid the kid's a dreamer,
my father said.  He watched me
stroke the cover of the library book
cradled in my arm where a baby doll
didn't.  But Daddy, I've been practicing.
See how I hold on?  I can hold back.
Now watch me walk for all
that will pinch and burn as I
blister my natural to a hobble
for beauty, man, God and beauty.

M. Nasorri Pavone's poems have appeared in The Cortland Review, River Styx, New Letters, Harpur Palate, Bluestem, DMQ Review, La Fovea and elsewhere. She also writes plays. Her latest, Feeding Time celebrated its world premiere at the 2012 Hollywood Fringe Festival.  She is a graduate of the University of California at Los Angeles and lives in Venice, California.

Interview of Christine Redman-Waldeyer |
by Carol Smallwood

1.    Please describe your website and your duties as editor/writer.
In 2008 my youngest son was born.  I was looking to make connections with other writers once I felt I lost the ability (even if it was short term) to physically attend writing workshops, readings and retreats. Thus my idea for a women’s journal was born.  After doing some research I wanted the name of the journal to reflect what I felt about my identity as a woman for better or worse.  The name Adanna is Nigerian and means my father’s daughter. In reality it means a daughter looks like her father physically but I infused it with new meaning…We look/act like our founding fathers and I wanted to talk about that. Adanna accepts all literary genres providing the topic reflects women’s commentary on women’s identity. My website only houses these ideologies but it is the work itself that I publish which speaks to my mission as a founder. As an editor, I am looking for both seasoned and emerging artists who want to participate in the conversation whether they are women or men. The topics do not necessarily have to be new conversations about feminism but I am looking for writers/artists who approach these topics in exciting ways.

2.    Tell us about your career.
I have been teaching at the college level now for fifteen years at various 4-year and community colleges and have spent the last nine years teaching full-time in an urban New Jersey community college. I oversee a journalism program and teach creative writing, composition, and literature. What I love about my job is that students bring new insights to readings and lectures I have done for years so I am always learning.

3. Which recognitions/achievements have encouraged you the most?
In my coursework in the Doctorate of Letters program with Drew University, I was recognized in two of my classes by the designation of Honors. My professor at that time, a Russian-born art critique and author, Arcadi Nebolsine felt my writing and reflection went beyond what the coursework demanded and I was encouraged to keep pursuing my love of writing. That was the beginning of feeling valued for my ability to write and ignited a passion and drive to publish. I’ve since then have had my work published in a number of journals across the country.

4. What writers have influenced you the most?
I think my time in Drew’s program benefited me most. Arcadi Nebolsine approached the topic of how a creation has soul. We discussed both art and novel masterpieces and how the restoration can destroy the creator’s intentions. Of course, there are many poets whose work I adore—Linda Pastan, Conrad Aiken, Mark Strand, Lucille Clifton, Alicia Ostriker to name a few.

5. How has the Internet benefited you?
When I was working on my thesis years ago, my research and interview contacts were done the old-fashioned way but today, there is this global community. I’m in touch with writers around the world who purchase and read Adanna and who publish in Adanna. I would not have met or heard of any of these emerging writers had it not been for the Internet. Really it has changed everything.

6. What classes have helped you the most?
I try to attend Maria Gillan’s getaway retreats as often as I can. She is the director of the Poetry Cultural Center in Paterson, NJ which is part of the college I’m employed at. I have learned more in those weekends over the last nine years that you could learn in a classroom. She ignites our narratives with meaning and places value on our individual voices. Those workshops have been critical I believe to my growth.

7. What advice would you give others?
To turn a deaf ear to critics who aren’t there to see you succeed. Unfortunately I have sat in workshops where members were cruel in their responses to other members’ works. Walk away when you find yourself in groups that don’t offer support or have elitist views. Find a group that will want to see you grow and succeed. It’s critical to how you feel about yourself as a writer.

8. What is your favorite quotation? “ I really don’t think life is about the I-could-have-beens. Life is only about the I-tried-to-do. I don’t mind the failure but I can’t imagine that I’d forgive myself if I didn’t try.”  --Nikki Giovanni

Christine Redman-Waldeyer is a poet and Assistant Professor in the Department of English at Passaic County Community College in New Jersey. She has published three poetry collections, "Frame by Frame", "Gravel", and "Eve Asks" (all with Muse-Pie Press) and has appeared in Schuylkill Valley Journal, The Texas Review, Verse Wisconsin, and others. Her latest credit includes Writing After Retirement: Tips from Successful Retired Writers (Rowman & Littlefield, 2014) which she co-edited. Redman-Waldeyer founded Adanna, a literary journal that focuses on women's topics.

Carol Smallwood's most recent books include Water, Earth, Air, Fire, and Picket Fences (Lamar University Press, 2014); Divining the Prime Meridian (WordTech Communications, 2015); and Writing After Retirement (Rowman & Littlefield, 2014). Carol has founded, supports humane societies.