Julia Bouwsma & Dzvinia Orlowsky

Please join us Thursday, May 2, 2019 at 7:00 pm, when poets Julia Bouwsma and Dzvinia Orlowsky will continue the twelfth season of the Collected Poets Series! Mocha Maya’s Coffee House, 47 Bridge St, Shelburne Falls, MA. ($2-5 suggested donation)

Julia Bouwsma

Julia Bouwsma lives off-the-grid in the mountains of western Maine, where she is a poet, farmer, freelance editor, critic, and small-town librarian. She is the author of two poetry collections: Midden (Fordham University Press, 2018) and Work by Bloodlight (Cider Press Review, 2017). Honors she has received include the 2018 Maine Literary Award, the 2016-17 Poets Out Loud Prize, the 2015 Cider Press Review Book Award, and residencies from the Virginia Center for Creative Arts and the Vermont Studio Center. Her poems and book reviews can be found in Cutthroat, Grist, The Ilanot Review, Poetry Northwest, RHINO, River Styx, Verse Daily, and other journals. Bouwsma currently serves as Book Review Editor for Connotation Press: An Online Artifact and as Library Director for Webster Library in Kingfield, Maine.

Dzvinia Orlowsky

Ukrainian-American poet, translator, editor, and teacher, Dzvinia Orlowsky is a Pushcart prize recipient and founding editor (1993-2001) of Four Way Books.  She is the author of six poetry collections published by Carnegie Mellon University Press, including Convertible Night, Flurry of Stones (2009) for which she received a Sheila Motton Book Award; Silvertone (2013) for which she was named Ohio Poetry Day Association’s 2014 Co-Poet of the Year. Her first collection, A Handful of Bees, was reprinted in 2009 as a Carnegie Mellon University Classic Contemporary.  Her most recent, Bad Harvest, was published in October, 2018.  In 2006 House Between Water published her translation from Ukrainian of The Enchanted Desna by Alexander Dovzhenko and in 2014 Dialogos published Jeff Friedman’s and her co-translation of Memorials: A Selection by Polish poet Mieczysław Jastrun for which she and Friedman were awarded a 2016 National Endowment for the Arts Literature Translation Fellowship in support of continuing their translation work of Jastrun’s poems. Dzvinia currently teaches creative writing at Providence College and serves as core faculty of poetry at The Solstice Low-Residency MFA in Creative Writing Program of Pine Manor College.



If you could kick your feet through loose shells now, you’d hear
them skitter—the sound of your body forgetting

your body, forgetting your land. Without harbor, longing piles
your skin. Without harbor, cells cluster to islands inside you, white

as bone-bleach sun. You become a terrain for fever, a toothache
in the mouths of strangers as you pass. Without memory,

you become a permeable scent wafting through an empty
hallway, oil soap and wax. One has only to exhale

and you might disappear. If you paused by the mirror
you’d see the fish scales falling from your eyes,

but you never do. To try to name yourself now is to cauterize
an abscess that drains into the heart. Silence is a muscle

you open, then close—practice like sleeping
or eating or prayer.

from Midden


THE FORTIETH DAY / Dzvinia Orlowsky

called forth a night of a different kind of brilliance when the moon wrapped every thing with light—trumpeting yellow pumpkin blossoms, a water pump with a dropped handle resembling a rusty beard, an old chain saw depression at the top of a tree stump—things just outside her window that spoke with feeble or hoarse voices. A minute passed…then another. Old roses opened fearless and beautiful on this day of sadness. Since, flowers were no longer just flowers, they blurred and stretched into transparent curtains walking in the breeze of the raised storm window, walking, for those of us left behind.

from Bad Harvest