The Powow River Poets Anthology II
Edited by Paulette Demers Turco
172 pages ~ 111 poems
Price: $22.95 Publisher: Able Muse Press
ISBN: 9781773490755 (Paperback)
ISBN: 9781773490762 (ebook)
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The Powow River Poets Anthology II is a sequel to The Powow River Anthology, (2006).
This exquisite collection entreats poets and readers to “steer toward the music.”
The talented poets comprising Powow River Poets, established in the early 1990s
by Rhina P. Espaillat, originally from the Dominican Republic, have consistently steered
toward the music
of excellence in poetry. Of particular note is the group’s reputation for
writing exceptional formal verse. In an age where verse libre is the forte of the majority
of poets, this anthology is every poet’s “must read.”


Dedicated to the late Powow River Poet, David Berman, The Powow River Poets
Anthology II
continues in the splendid tradition of the group’s previous tome, published
in 2006. Twenty-seven poets touch on themes ranging from the simple joys of friendship,
nature, and art, to the complex issues of faith and doubt, love and loss. Guffaw-inducing
humor and biting wit abound, as well as solemn reflections on suicide, domestic violence,
social injustice, betrayal, illness, aging, and death. In Rhina P. Espaillat’s beautiful
villanelle, “Guidelines,” included in this collection, the poet wisely urges us to find
something to love, perhaps “a line of verse … that feels like the world’s heart since time
began.” Beyond question, the poems in The Powow River Poets Anthology II echo the
world’s heart.
—Catherine Chandler, author of Pointing Home

It might be far-fetched to suggest that the Muses have sprinkled a generous share of their
gifts into the waters of the Powow River … [near] the historic town of Newburyport …
where the Powow River poets established their home base three decades ago—but how
else to explain the lyric fluency, robust talent, and refreshing wit that consistently
distinguish this group?
—Leslie Monsour, (from the introduction), author of The House Sitter

The Powow River Poets are a group known for their concern with the craftsmanship of
verse, and for the formal dexterity and precision of their poems—qualities profusely
exemplified in this new collection. As might be expected, there are tricky forms in
abundance—sonnets, villanelles, triolets, a sestina—but what is so memorable about so
many of the poems is their continual precision of observation and depth of nuanced
feeling. To paraphrase Pope, come for the flow of reason, stay for the feast of soul. This
is a really delightfully various and moving collection, one to browse happily in and return
to often.
—Dick Davis, author of Faces of Love: Hafez and the Poets of Shiraz


Paulette Demers Turco began writing verse when she learned she soon would be a
grandmother. She took Rhina P. Espaillat’s Lyceum poetry course and joined Alfred
Nicol’s poetry workshop. Her poetry has appeared in the Lyric, Ibbetson Street, the
Sonnet Scroll feature of the Poetry Porch, Merrimac Mic Anthologies (II-V), Poems for
(Hawk & Whippoorwill, 2020), and the 2020 Hippocrates Awards Anthology. In
2018, Finishing Line Press published her chapbook, In Silence, and she became a
member of the Powow River Poets. She co-organizes Powow bimonthly poetry readings.
Her awards include the Robert Frost Poetry Award; commendation in the FPM-
Hippocrates Health Professional Prize for Poetry and Medicine; first prize in the
Rockport Ekphrastic Poetry Contest; and an MFA in Writing President’s Award at Lesley
University, Cambridge, Massachusetts. She earned her MFA in writing from Lesley
University in 2019 and in the same year, also retired from academic and clinical optometry.
She lives in Newburyport, Massachusetts.


The Effect of Hearing the Sublime
by David Berman

Odysseus, who heard the sirens sing,
was not enraptured by another thing
he heard from human lips; fools muttering
and golden sounds that proved the flutist’s skill,
which other men said gave their hearts a thrill,
to him were equally dislikable.
He knew that he would never hear again
the sounds he would have died for had his men
been able to hear what he said to them,
which was, “Steer toward the music, though it means
we shall not land upon familiar scenes
nor want to, once this music intervenes.”

“The Effect of Hearing the Sublime,” was first published in Peacock Journal.

Powow River Poets Anthology II is dedicated, in loving memory, to David Berman.

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