BTS Grows Again! New Formal/Rhyming Poetry Page Editor Joins Staff
Vera has been reading, writing and studying poetry for over 40 years. She brings her love for and knowledge of traditional and rhyming poetry to edit this new page on Better Than Starbucks.
Better than Starbucks is proud to announce the addition to our staff of
Vera Ignatowitsch. She will be editing the Formal & Rhyming Page.
Featured Poem of the Month
THIRTY JANUARIES PAST A HALF-MEMORY
A passing glance at a word, courtyard, transports me
far away in time, not to the warm streets of Venice, nor
a piazza in Fiesole, not even to a gray stone eminence of
bygone Bytown, but instead to Salzburg, to a bleak winter
courtyard with one gnarled old tree, spreading its
bare black boughs over nothing but dirt and stone.
Young men in white parade through the street below. Was there
the sound of bells as they approached? Were these "Glöckler"? Were they
dancing to wake the seed, to wake nature from her winter sleep?
But it was thirty Januaries in the past. I cannot remember.
There is no warmth here in this ancient fortress of Hohensalzburg,
not even the sound of the aerophone piping its daily song
can ease the chill that shivers down my spine. Perhaps
the shades of long-dead prisoners still gather beneath this tree,
unable to free themselves, the sins against them still holding back
the light they need to pass beyond.
Carol A. Stephen
Tobi Alfier, Co-editor, San Pedro River Review and Moderator of LinkedIn's 30,000+ member group Poetry Editors & Poets group. Tobi has been widely published and is a multiple Pushcart Prize nominee.
The BTS Interview with Tobi Alfier
BTS: Tobi Alfier, you are both a very widely published and recognized poet, as well as editor and moderator of poetry venues. Did one lead you to the other? If so which one?
Tobi Alfier: I’ve been writing for over 30 years (a lot of my work is published under Tobi Cogswell), but I didn’t start submitting and reading until 2005. My (now) husband Jeffrey Alfier, a beautiful poet and photographer, had always had a dream of publishing a journal of poetry and art. When he retired from the Air Force after almost 28 years, I might have bugged him a little bit about following his dream, and very quickly San Pedro River Review (SPRR) was born. He named me co-editor and co-publisher. It was completely unexpected and I was thrilled to work on it with him. With regard to the LinkedIn site – Poetry Editors and Poets - the prior moderator wanted to leave to start a more religiously based site. She felt after reading my posts, I would be a fair and kind moderator. I talked myself into it at the same time I was trying to talk myself out of it. That worked well - all of a sudden I was the moderator. In the last five years we have gone from 3,000 participants to 35,000 participants. I hope people are enjoying the group and learning from it.
BTS: How did you first come to publishing?
Tobi Alfier: I took a beginning class with Jack Grapes because the “final” was to make a chapbook. I was feeling brave. I liked the work I was writing. I finally was beginning to have my own voice, and I wanted to learn how to make a chapbook. That’s how “Sanity Among the Wildflowers” became my first chapbook. I found out that the printer made a copy for himself and read it on his lunch breaks. I was amazed, flattered, proud, shy, every emotion. I was so grateful that someone actually wanted to read my work. I couldn’t believe it. Since that time, I’ve never stopped.
If you know a literary sort, a poet, an author, a teacher of literature, or just a truly all around interesting character, and you think it might be fun to get their thoughts down on "paper". Let us know, if you have contact info, all the better, but we have our ways....