Feversof Promos: Getting to Know Michigan Author Ron Riekki

Ron Riekki is a poet/writer/editor from Michigan and has been published by several publications such as Juked, The Threepenny Review, Wigleaf, Akashic Books, Beloit Poetry Journal, Spillway, Rattle and many more. He has produced/written films that have been submitted to the SooFilmFest Screenings in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. This years festival dates are currently September 15-19th. This year “Thank You For Your Teeth” is his submission to this film festival directed by George ve Gänæaard & Horia Cucută. He has written several shorts & screenplays.

https://www.soofilmfestival.org/sff_festival/2021_films/11_tunes_and_toons.html#thank

To see all the listings for this event check out the Soo Film Festival page here https://www.soofilmfestival.org/

Ron has compiled and has written several poetry & fiction books included a book of essays based on "Stephen King's It" titled "The Many Lives of It: Essays on the Stephen King Horror Franchise"

Another unique concept for an anthology that Ron has edited is “The Way North” Collected Upper Peninsula New Works which is a collection of writing from several contributors that are writers either from Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, or are based on the territory. Writers such as Steve Hamilton, Catie Rosemurgy, Keith Taylor, Jonathan Johnson, John Smolens, and Ellen Airgood are included in this Michigan Writing collection.

The Way North: Collected Upper Peninsula New Works (Made in Michigan Writers Series) Kindle Edition

“My Ancestors Are Reindeer Herders and I Am Melting in Extinction” is a book of stories and poetry through the eyes of a Saami-American that deals with struggles of today’s world through metaphors and verse.

My Ancestors are Reindeer Herders and I Am Melting In Extinction: Saami-American Non-Fiction, Fiction, and Poetry by [Ron Riekki]

https://amzn.to/2WcDbAj

An anthology edited by Ron “Undocumented: Great Lakes Poets Laureate on Social Justice” is a nice collection of Great Lakes region poets and writers that speak on diversity, social justice, and poet laureates of the region putting out some of their most meaningful works. Poets such as Rita Dove, Lauren McClung, Karla Huston, Joyce Sutphen, Zora Howard, Wendy Vardaman, Marvin Bell and much more are included in this collection.

https://amzn.to/3kfRpbJ

For more books and collections by Ron please follow the Amazon link to his books of poetry, fiction, non-fiction, essays.

https://amzn.to/2XADt4e

Links to Interviews, Poetry & more:

https://www.apprenticehouse.com/?p=1629

https://pleaseseeme.com/issue-6/poetry/three-poems-ron-riekki/

https://www.splitlipmagazine.com/7-ron-riekki

https://theamericanjournalofpoetry.com/v6-riekki.html

http://unbrokenjournal.com/2019/09/23-ron-riekki/

https://oneartpoetry.com/2021/02/03/five-poems-by-ron-riekki/

http://www.jokesliteraryreview.com/2-poems-ron-riekki

https://causewaylit.com/2017/05/23/2017-poetry-contest-honorable-mention-my-ancestors-by-ron-reikki/

http://theadirondackreview.com/interview-riekki

A Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with Norb Aikin

with Norb Aikin:

Q1: When did you start writing and first influences?

Norb: I’ve probably always been a writer to some degree and began to take it more seriously in high school. Shortly after graduating I was writing constantly, and early influences were more music-based than writing-based…I was listening to a lot of The Beatles, and bands like Pearl Jam, Radiohead, and golden-era Hip Hop before I got into Jack Kerouac.

Thanks, Eddie Vedder - Semi-Rad.com

Q2: Who are some of your biggest influences today?

Norb: Today, I’m more into writers and lyricists like the late Tony Hoagland and Gord Downie. Downie in particular influenced a lot of my last book, Mutants.

Q3: Where did you grow up and how did that influence your writing/art? Have any travels away from home influenced work/describe?

Norb: I grew up in the Western New York suburbs but I don’t think that favored heavily into my work until I began to get more serious and creative. I would walk the town a lot and note my surroundings, and turn that into little details in different poems. When I moved to Central New York it felt like a clean slate and a new nest of ideas based on a less-than-ideal living situation. A lot of that factored in my first book, 100, and as I’ve started looking differently at how I’m taking care of my Mental Health I’ve seen that creeping into the things I’m working on now.

Q4: What do you consider the most meaningful work you’ve done creatively so far?

Norb: I think we as creatives always tend to think our latest work is our most meaningful, or stands out and is better than anything else, and for me this is mostly true. I’m currently shopping around my latest finished product, and I’d love to find a nice, small, indie press but I haven’t found the right fit yet. I’m also proud of the articles relating to Mental Health I’ve written for sites like Stigma Fighters, The Mighty, and The Good Men Project. Advocating for MH awareness to me is just as important as any 5-star rating either of my books has received.

Q5: Any pivotal moment when you knew you wanted to be a writer?

Norb: Just now, when I got this interview request!! Kidding…but it’s hard to remember so far back; I’ve been at this now for nearly 30 years. I’m almost 46, and I think getting validation from close friends and family when I was around 18 or 19 put the seed in my head that I had something worth working for and toward. It’s been very rewarding to show them however many years later that yes, I did this and have been published and have all these wonderful experiences and new friends attached to it.

Q6: Favorite activities to relax?

Norb: Hmmm…I just like to chill, listen to music, and cheer on my favorite teams with friends on Twitter during games. I’m a nerdy writer who loves sports; make what you will of that!

Q7: Any recent or forthcoming projects you’d like to promote?

Norb: With everything opening back up in NY after the pandemic, there are a few things I’d like to set up back in WNY and maybe locally. Open mics will be an option, as well as libraries. Unfortunately, there are few indie bookstores local to me, but I’ll reach out to a few in WNY and see if I can set something up. I’d also like to travel again and meet up with some old friends I’ve worked with in the past.

Q8: What is a favorite line/stanza from a poem of yours or others?

Norb: Wow, it’s been awhile since I looked through my latest work. I think I’m going to go with “You couldn’t stay because/ you couldn’t be replaced.” from “Thinking About Suicide Takes Years Off Your Life”. It’s a very personal piece about the loss of my brother, my own struggles, and the relationships I’ve been lucky to have with some of his closest friends.

Q9: Who has helped you most with writing?

Norb: I’ll have been a member of http://Writing.com for 20 years as of July 1st, and without the support of many friends there I’ve been able to make over the years, I wouldn’t be the same author I am today. A handful of them pushed me to start back up writing poetry after a long hiatus, and what became of that ended up being my first book, 100. Being able to share that with them has been beyond gratifying, and having another WDC member write the foreward to the next book was really special. I don’t often share much I’m working on currently on Twitter or Instagram, but WDC is often where pieces may show up first…sort of like how a musician might road test new songs in concert before recording them. I’ll always be thankful for being a part of such an amazing community.

Links:

Mutants: https://amazon.com/Mutants-Poems-Essays-Norb-Aikin/dp/1949351904

Twitter: @AikinNorb

Instagram: https://instagram.com/fivesixer/

3 Poems from Anthologies by Norb Aikin

2 Poems from the Fevers of the Mind Press Presents the Poets of 2020 by Norb Aikin

BOOKS to Read in 2021: Mutants by Norb Aikin

https://www.norbaikin.com/

https://www.poemhunter.com/norb-aikin/

https://thepoetryquestion.com/2019/09/24/tpq5-norb-aikin/

Poem by Kathryn Anna Marshall : EMDR

(c) David L O’Nan

EMDR

left brain right brain
left brain right brain
reroute neural pathways
rewrite my own tale
left brain right brain
left brain right brain
reluctant loss of signposts
identity is frayed
left brain right brain
left brain right brain
I miss visceral pain
stomach rooted wail
left brain right brain
left brain right brain
I crawl out for nothing
blasted tears flow
left brain right brain
left brain right brain
body slam at memory
start of domino
left brain right brain
left brain right brain
small girl in my palm
wild feeling lives beside
power supplants harm

Bio
Kathryn Anna Marshall is a poet based in Shropshire. Her work is inspired by her experience of chronic illness, as well as her connection with the natural world. Kathryn has work in places like Mslexia, Popshot Quarterly, Streetcake, Sledgehammer and Words for the Wild. She is a columnist for Spelt Magazine, and is working on her first pamphl
et.

Poetry & Message from Church Rowe : A Song Stolen by the Wind

(c) Church Rowe

A Song Stolen by the Wind

i crack a knuckle and flex my neck
in hopes, a synapse may snap
a vision of wisdom about something
mundane, that i can sing atop a mountain
down to a people in pain

i feel a melody without words to sing
not that verbiage would mean anything
of value or worth to those that hurt,
ones that life has drug through dirt

i open a chorus, the wind sings back
a brazen, vigorous, purposeful attack
rocks roll under feet, i’m encircled
by my own song; drowned-out in defeat

my knees scuffed
i can’t get up
i’m slipping
down this mountain
hands gripping
broken nails digging
for a single stable root
gulps and guttural grunts
i try to get up
but
panic’s
.
afoot
.
.
(breathe)
.
.
mine own whirlwind of syllables
threatens my footing
of who I am
of who I could be
this unending struggle
with deficiency;
may I once
sing
free?

i think i’ve tapped into my insecurities (again). I have pretty severe stage fright and social anxiety. This usually leads to long internal bouts with MDD, which may come as a surprise to some, but it’s all too true. I’ve sung countless times on stage, hearing my warbling voice try to maintain authority in the speakers; and fail. I’ve looked down to physically see my legs shaking through my pants, so I would sit down on an amp, but the nervous energy just moves elsewhere. I’ve played the wrong-est notes, at the wrong-est times, out of sheer panic, throughout many years on a church stage. Yet, the hundreds of times I’ve been on stage, it never goes away. The more I focus on it, the worse it gets. However, if I don’t pay attention, it also gets out of hand. And, not just ‘the stage’, either. I get over-stimulated when there are many moving parts (read: the general public), my mind starts to race and I can’t keep up with everything around me. I don’t need to keep up with things, but someone please tell my mind that. There are more than a dozen times that I’ve blacked-out from my brain running away without my permission – panic attacks. Most of the time, I am unaware that it’s happening, until I’m waking up to “WTF? and where am I? how many people saw? …I want to go home.”

Doc and I have been working on it for quite a few years, now. Meds are great, but at 43 years old, habits are hard, more so are mindsets. I support the Big 3: Exercise, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy & meds (if necessary). I know medication gets a bad wrap, but as a person who’s tried many substances, don’t knock it until you’ve fully tried it (good fixes usually aren’t quick). There’s no reason to get beat up (mentally) while fighting something you can’t win. It’s unfortunate, but no one will see the badges of your fight with your depression. People just won’t see it, especially if you’re strong. Set that fight down and lean on someone else for help. As it’s Mental Awareness Month (I’m a little late), I figure I’ll just put this out there. Of course, my issues are not your issues and we are all in a different place. But, if you feel alone, your brain’s lying to you. You are wrong.

I’ve watched my son, now 15, deal with the same thing; numerous panic attacks to the point of blacking out. Now that we know what’s happening, it can be somewhat managed. I’m only getting personal to tell somebody that not all things are environmental or circumstantial. If it is, change it. But apparently, sometimes, we are just biology gone awry, and we are vessels containing that mental wackiness. It’s not your fault. I thought I could fight it on my own, fix my own problem; I tried until my mid-30s. It was a waste of time to be arrogant.

Final Thought: This is not a sob story or looking for pity; please don’t do that. So many times poetry comes from a context-less place, that the reader must figure some interpretation out on their own. I’ve read my share of poetry and am always amused (mostly, enlightened) to hear the author’s version of their writ, so here’s mine.

Bio:

My name is Trinity Bourque (aka Church Rowe). I’ve been part of a few bands in the past currently in The Wanderer’s Drift. I am a 43-year-old, father of two, husband to one, from South Central, Louisiana (deep cajun country). I’m attempting to build a farm that produces organic vegetables; while holding down a part-time remodeling job. I’ve played/written music since I was about 12 years old. Since then my expressions have overflowed onto paper and computer keyboards. I enjoy playing music, listening to music, poetry, writing, typing, reading, camping (mostly primitive backpacking), and more recently, gardening and farming.