With wall-to-wall poetry for a full week, Albany’s Word Fest, now in its nineteenth year, is an amazing showcase for the region’s extraordinary literary community. I’m a few thousand miles away but very pleased to be able to participate through the event’s “Online Open Mic,” a new feature this year. Thanks Albany Poets!
“For poetry aficionados and the casual reader, this is one of the few poetry collections that grabs you from the opening poem with its intensity and never lets go.”
Read the full review here:
Pleased to have the opportunity to discuss The Last Jazz Fan and Other Poems with interviewer Ellen Feld.
“Roughly 37 cents per poem. And they’re really good poems.”
“. . . I expect each reader will find something special and amazing in the poems within this collection. ”
Read the full review here: https://readersfavorite.com/book-review/the-last-jazz-fan-and-other-poems
Here’s how “The Poem I have Yet to Write” – one of the poems included in my new book, THE LAST JAZZ FAN AND OTHER POEMS – came to be. People seem to be reading it many different ways, but – for me – it began as a tongue-in-cheek response to a comment by the late, great Philip Levine, who said:
“One of the aspects of my own poetry I like best is the presence of people who don’t seem to make it into other people’s poems. Much of our recent poetry seems totally without people. Except for the speaker, no one is there. There’s a lot of snow, a moose walks across the field, the trees darken, the sun begins to set, and a window opens. Maybe from a great distance you can see an old woman in a dark shawl carrying an unrecognizable bundle into the gathering gloom. That’s one familiar poem. In others you get people you’d sooner not meet. They live in the suburbs of a large city, have two children, own a Volvo station wagon; they love their psychiatrists but are having an affair with someone else. Their greatest terror is that they’ll become like their parents and maybe do something dreadful, like furnish the house in knotty pine. You read twenty of those poems and you’re yearning for snow fields and moose tracks.”
So, here’s what I wrote:
The poem I have yet to write
except for one small
truth tucked into
the smoky recesses
of the unexpected
caesura that waits for you
the deep green pond
the second stanza
and gives up
rippling reflections of
an image we encountered
in the first in which
a solitary figure
can be seen casting
across a meadow
and metaphors bloom
of redemption or like
bursting into flame
among the spindle trees.
Copyright 2018 Kenneth Salzmann
“It’s one of those sweet sax solos disguised as a book of poetry, trilling down with ease into the marrow of your bones.
“Kenneth Salzmann may be a musical guy enthralled with jazz, but in this instance music is really a metaphor for poetry. He is a poet. I’m a fan of poetry like his. It’s as simple as that–and as messy. You see, his poetry really does creep into the bones, the marrow, the blood.”
—Jan Peregrine, Compulsivereader.com