Tag Archives: poetry

“what sad people do when they are lonely looks a lot like me at the grocery store…” – Sabrina Benaim The Loneliest Sweet Potato

15 Aug


I was first drawn to Sabrina Benaim’s Depression and Other Magic Tricks by YouTube’s Button Poetry trending spoken word/poetry video called “The Loneliest Sweet Potato”.  You can borrow Depression and other Magic Tricks from BCCLS Libraries.

While I don’t think this is a book suited for everyone’s taste in prose, I do admit there is some raw humanity in a lot of the pages within this book. Whether it’s the title of a poem that impacts you more than the poem itself or if it’s one line that stands out within the mix of pages. This book is worth a glance, even if only to find that one line that’ll resonate deeply within you.

For example, the first page reads “what you see is what you get, / but that’s not all there is.”

This alone intrigued me because it is so true and yet can feel so false. To some people – in my opinion – what you see of course is not what you get as we are all just charading through everyday life trying to portray even if only a glimpse of who we are to those around us. Just as the iceberg analogy I’m sure everyone has heard, that you only see 10% of it and 90% of it is below the surface. This statement is very much relatable to many people. But I know there can be people that may not relate to this statement, and I think that is something so powerful and intriguing that it beguiles me. Whether or not the majority truly believe in their own belief – or if it’s just a reactional state dependent on past circumstances that have caused them to feel such a way – is still remarkable. This, I feel, is what draws attention to the question “what is one’s reality?” or “what is one’s truth?”

On a separate scale I also felt drawn to another poem on page 35 titled “gravity speaks” and it reads “if i am holding you without hands, / how am i supposed to let go?”

This statement/question feels so profound to me and though it makes absolute sense because the title is “gravity speaks” it can also go much deeper than just the literal.

Gravity is a force, a natural phenomenon, so by definition it makes sense for it to be something you can feel without feeling. But what about love? What about God? What about supernatural? Some can say that these are also phenomena that can be held without holding. It’s all about what one claims as their reality.

Sabrina Benaim’s Depression and other Magic Tricks is worth a comb through. If not for the sake of poetry, then for the sake of reality.

Written by:
Sherissa Hernandez
Adult Programming Assistant

Staff Picks for Poetry Month: Part 2

17 Apr

Sharing Your Poetry and Getting Published

Literary Market Place


Once you have begun writing poetry, you will want to begin sharing it with others.  The library has some great resources for finding a literary home for your work.  Literary Market Place is a directory for all genres of Writing, but its subject index allows you to easily narrow your focus to Publishers of Poetry.  Literary Market Place provides addresses, phone numbers, website, and emails for contacting publisher.  It also includes some basic information about the publishers such as number of titles that are typically published annually.  Besides publishers Literary Market Place includes information on editorial services and agents.  If you are looking for contact information for publishers whose work you have enjoyed, Literary Market Place is a good place to look, however, it is always a good idea once you found a potential “home” for your poetry to do a bit more research on the publisher to familiarize yourself with them and learn more about submission guidelines.  The library has a copy of Literary Market Place on the second floor next to the reference desk.

Poet’s Market


Another excellent resource, Poet’s Market, is also located near the reference desk.  Poet’s Market focuses specifically on poetry and lists contests and grants in addition to journals, book and chapbook publisher. Entries include information on the type of writing that the journal publishes, contact information along with tips from the publishers.  Poet’s Market is a good choice for those starting out since it also includes articles for beginning writers like mistakes to avoid when submitting your work and how to avoid scams.  It will even give you useful tips like a template for writing a cover letter and how to calculate postage. The library has a copy of Poet’s Market on the second floor next to the reference desk.

The library subscribes to several writing magazines including The Writer, Writer’s Digest, and Poets & WritersPoet & Writers includes along with insightful articles for writers, a classified section with journals and chapbook publishers looking for submissions.  Sometimes publishers may be working on an anthology on a specific topic such as one publisher in the March/April 2013 issue that is searching for poems about superheroes.

Park Bench Open-Mic

Of course beyond publishing you may want to interact with other writers and readers in person.  The Poet’s Market and Poets & Writers are also a resource for workshops and organizations.  Although poetry is enjoyable on the written page it can come alive when read aloud.  If you would like to read your work to a friendly audience, than you will enjoy the library’s Open Mics which will be beginning on May 18th at 2:00pm.  You can contact Sacha at hobkref@bccls.org for more information about the Open Mics.  The Open Mics take place in Church Square Park across from the library and are a great way to share your writing with the Hoboken Community.  If you would like to discuss your work with other creative writers than consider joining the library’s Writer’s Group which meets one Thursday a month.  Our next meeting will be on May 9th at 6:00pm.  You can email us at hplwriters@gmail.com for more details about the Writers Group.

– Aimee Harris, Head of Reference

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