The Raw Art Review FALL 2020 Journal
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Legendary “renegade” poet John D. Robinson has been selected by UnCollected Press / The Raw Art Review as the first Winner of it’s newly established ” INNER CIRCLE AWARD”. John has poetry published in hundreds of journals across the globe, has written an impressive selection of books (see bibliography below), has regularly appeared in The Raw Art Review and has had two books of poetry published by UnCollected Press (UCP). UCP’s first published book (of poetry) was John’s devastating and compassionate book of poems “Hang In There”. John has been selected for all the right reasons: his uncompromising commitment to conveying precisely what he sees; his compassion for those of us who suffer in obscurity and neglect; his unadulterated and unadorned writing that eschews all things commercial, superfluous and pretty (for pretty’s sake); the outrage and agony that motivates his constant, unapologetic commitment to poetic expression of what is.
Selecting John as the first winner of The UnCollected Press Inner Circle Award underscores the deep respect and love we feel for our colleague and friend John D. Robinson.
John was born on the South East coast of the UK in 1963: he began writing poetry in his mid-teens and has never stopped. After reading Kerouac’s ‘On The Road’ aged 17, he went off the rails for 3 decades. He has at one time or another been homeless, hungry, lonely, jubilant and defiant, melancholic and dark, loved and loving, hostile and surrendering, successful and joyful, damn down dirty and crazy, arrested and applauded. He has and will never lose sight of love and compassion. He has never had any ambitions or dreams, with the exception of becoming a recluse with his beloved cats. He listens to birdsongs and classical music and embraces every day like it was the first and the last. He has made his demons into his friends and professes his eternal love for the muse. He has been a multiple nominee for the Pushcart Prize.
Editors at RAR will be nominating, discussing and selecting Poets, Fiction Writers and Artists who have established themselves as regular contributors of exceptional writing and artwork to UCP journal issues, contests, anthologies and books published by UnCollected Press. The artist’s body of work as expressed in other publications and venues will also be considered. Winners of the UCP Inner Circle Award will be offered the opportunity to publish a book with UnCollected Press and will be able to introduce and collaborate directly with UCP/RAR Editors on their own projects, as well as projects they introduce from other writers and artists. UCP Inner Circle Award winners will be given a Feature Artist Web Page that can be updated with new material on a regular basis and will be represented in a new Featured Artist section of RAR Quarterly Journal.
Please look out for a Featured Artist Web Presence on the RAR Website for John D. Robinson and at least one new book of John’s writing published by UnCollected Press. John’s participation in Inner Circle projects will be announced regularly on the RAR home page. The following is a review of John’s writing by an UCP editor:
I am an unrelenting, completely immersed, hopelessly addicted consumer of the poetry of John D. Robinson. The fix I get is exquisite. When I read a John D. Robinson poem, I so often experience a powerful rush of the most potent concoction – a mix of uncompromising honesty and painful empathy; a sweet and deadly solution of brutal expose and unconditional love . John’s poems deliver to me what I am always, without apology, and with admitted compulsion, seeking from life – truth and love. The poems in these books, like the poems in every John D. Robinson book, are dangerous. Prepare yourself. Make sure you have uncovered your most courageous self. The one that is willing to see things as they are and to feel the most penetrating anguish at their state. Find and sharpen the only weapon that will get you through Johns’ books whole to the other side – Love. If you can do this, you will be following after the author. John is fearless. John is courageous. John does not compromise. His books are not decorative art. His books are not the exercise of the commercial artisan. His books are stripped of 21st century consumer bullshit. His books are a way in to what matters. Getty ready to deep read. It is going to hurt. And you will love it.
‘When You Hear The Bell, There’s Nowhere To Hide’ Holy&intoxicated Publications 2016 (UK) sold out
‘Cowboy Hats & Railways’ Scars Publications 2016 (USA)
‘An Outlaw In The Making’ Scars Publications 2017 (USA)
‘Hitting Home’ Iron Lung Press 2018 (USA) sold out
‘The Pursuit Of Shadows’ Analog Submission Press 2018 (UK) sold out
‘Too Many Drinks Ago’ Paper and Ink Press (UK) 2018 sold out
‘Echoes Of Diablo’ Concrete Meat Press (UK) 2018 sold out
‘Pushing Away The Hours’ Alien Buddha Press (USA) 2018
‘Hang In There’ Uncollected Press (USA) 2019
‘Singing Aria’s’ Analog Submission Press (UK) 2019 (sold out)
‘A Hash Smoking, Codeine Swallowing, Wine Drinking Son Of A Bitch’ 2019 Alien Buddha Press (USA)
‘Romance, Renegades & Riots’ with Gwil James Thomas: Analog Submission Press: UK 2019 (sold out)
‘The Sounds Of Samsara’ Cyberwit Publishing: (India) February 2020
Sharks and Butterflies ‘Cajun Mutt Press) USA Feb/March 2020
3 Poets Series: East London Press (UK) March/April 2020 sold out
‘Red Dance’ (Uncollected Press USA) March/April 2020
‘Smoking Herb and other Stories’ Analog Submission Press (UK) April 2020
‘The Dirty Sacrifice & Other Stories’ Alien Buddha Press 2020 (USA)
‘The Barbed and The Beautiful’ Petricor Press with Marcel Herms: The Netherlands 2020
Poems-For-All – Mini books series
‘Always More’ New & Selected Poems: Horror Sleaze Trash: USA 2020
‘A Gallon Of Red, A Gallon Of White’ (split with Pete Donohue) Scumbag Press: UK (sold out) 2021
‘Still Time’: Between Shadows Press: USA: 2021
‘Running Colours’ a novel of fiction: Alien Buddha Press: USA 2021
RUNNERS-UP (ALPHABETICAL BY TITLE)
HONORABLE MENTION (ALPHABETICAL BY TITLE)
Deborah Rosch Eifert in her masterful book of finely honed poems, Sewn from Water, has managed to do the most magical thing. By conjuring up the help of Owls and Jackdaws, the Coyote Goddess, Ocean and River, Balsam and Angelica Plant, all things that fly and crawl and gallop and run and by applying an artisan’s refined skills to her poems, the poet has enlivened everything with beauty. The book is just so beautiful. The poems astound you with their spare but exuberant language, with their deftly pointed but elaborate imagery, with their painfully clear, often terrible, stark but complex revelations.
Sewn from Water has at its fulcrum a fundamental paradox. How can beauty be so painful? How can a thing be beautiful that arises out of abuse, illness, loss, and loneliness? The superficial answer to this question may be, it cannot. A thing is either ugly or beautiful and cannot be both. It is fortunate for her readers that Deborah Rosch Eifert has not accepted this facile dichotomy. We are presented with a broad spectrum of experience which includes heart-warming and heart-rending, which buoys us up with optimism and buckles our knees with the terrible realities of life, which devastates us and rejuvenates us at our core. If you want superbly artful insights into what can happen and what can be done, if you want to experience artistic triumph in pure form, if you want to see how an artist, the poet, arranges the gorgeous and the awful fragments of experience into something beautiful, you must read this book. You may be a little weakened by what you find in Sewn from Water; conversely, you may also be strengthened by what you find in this book; without a doubt, you will be enthralled, you will be enlightened, and you will be moved deeply. You will be transformed.
Sewn from Water
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WINNER – FRONT COVER EVERYONE WILL HAVE THEIR DAY by ZAI PACARDO
FIRST RUNNER-UP (BACK COVER) – SOULS BIRTHING INSIDE THE SQUARE OF A DAY by LAWRENCE BARRETT
Review by Daniel Lassell, The Florida Review
Farewell Clay Dove is the second book of poetry from Sophia Falco published by UnCollected Press.
“Sophia Falco is a talented, imaginative, driven, raw, crafty, and original poet whose writings overcome and transfigure the stigma and challenges of bipolar disorder in well- crafted poetic forms that communicate and manage the heights and depths of her being-in-the-world. Farewell Clay Dove tracks the levitations and journeys, the loneliness, terrors, illness, as well as the poetic wonder of her journey to health, autonomy, and bliss in imagery of, crimson doves, golden hours of sunset, shrinking stars, hospitals, rocket ships, radiant horses, sheer mania at noon. It is a work of wholeness, honesty, psychic quest, and probing intelligence.”
—Rob Sean Wilson, University of California at Santa Cruz
Farewell Clay Dove
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