a taste of ‘100 Lives’

102 writers feature in 100 Lives …

scroll down for tastes …


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One of my aunts decided to upbraid me: “What a vain child. Here we are going to her grandfather’s funeral, and she is making a wreath for her hair.” from Cornflowers Were His Favorite by Beate Sigriddaughter

Compulsive energy / and chaotic creativity / through alcohol haze / create canvasses of frenzied angst. from Bernard Buffet by Henry Bladon

When young, he gave my brothers / red boxing gloves for Christmas. / How I loved the fake leather smell! from My Father, the Boxer by Martha Landman

The second time we filled a tank with water, / dropped him in and froze him, because he asked. from The Life of Elvis Presley by Kevin Oberlin

“I tell my mother and my grandmother that this act of slapping is barbaric and violates the norms of civilized existence. And blood from our body is sacred. It defines the process of life itself. Why must we be ashamed of it?” from The Tattoo Girl by Bina Sarkar Ellias

Come three a.m. Sydelle would be sitting at the kitchen counter, lights ablaze, downing cherry vanilla ice cream by the sterling silver spoonful. from Sydelle Bender Brown by Iris N. Schwartz

I don’t remember the latest photo Deb posts on Facebook. We are in a kitchen at a party. That’s me, clearly, and I remember the shirt I have on, a gauzy periwinkle thing. from Deborah at 46 by Colleen Rich

At the Bayfield Library / a poet from downstate / reads, some inflection / reminds me of Bill. from Uncle Bill by Jan Chronister

If only his partner listened more. / Then she would understand / the correct way to stack firewood, from Tony by Louise Lameko

You, the oldest of 13 siblings, resigned yourself to leave school after second grade in a rural municipality in Mexico to help raise the growing number of siblings as if they were your own. from Minia by Francisco G Delgadillo

I was twenty-three and it was both the easiest personal choice I made and the most difficult, because it freed me from having to hide who I was, yet it meant there was a possibility I would spend the rest of my life being subjected to discrimination and scorn. from Steve Carr (A Memoir) by Steve Carr

Everything changes. The city. The faces. Even the bus route. The one thing that hasn’t changed is the mounting apprehension as he approaches the housing estate. from Ryan by David Butler

she could have been / a scholar, spoke of Nietzchian ubermensches / and anarchism and socialism / and Marxist theory from Ode To Diana Haghighi by Mir-Yashar Seyedbagheri

You lived in a time when “above average / For Colored” euphemized Black / Superiority. from Poem for My Grandfather Willie Catchings by Anthony Crutcher

While Granda’ forges his morning routine / before he heads for the anvil / of blacksmithing in the shipyards. from Granda’ by John Moody

Rosemary wondered if she would ever ride her cycle again, and would the cycle go with them when they went back to London? Mum and Dad thought Rosemary had to learn to share her possessions with others, including the cycle. from A Lesson Learnt by Christine Law

My son would study hard but all in vanity, for in reality / A white kid with half his brain capacity grabs the vacancy from My Son is White by Mie Hansson

I suppose my mother would have known how the blooms were used, known that they weren’t nightshade deadly. That candy-coloured globe just looked good to me. from Shirl by Alex Reece Abbott

I recall him saying, “I wish I didn’t see the things I saw or do the things I did,” but that might just be my imagination looking for a story, like forming constellations out of random stars. from Lonnie the Vet by JW Goll

The Shithead sends me some guidelines. / The poem does not have to rhyme / all the time, at the end of every line. from My Publisher, the Shithead by Sally-Anne Macomber

Was he erratic kind of nuts / plucked eyebrows / gestures and surprising smiles / in rhythms of their own? from A Refugee by Sara Abend-Sims

I can point to a poem afterwards / and quip, “Have a look at what I made, lads.” from Dave the Tinkerer by Dave Clark

Twenty minutes later, Frank was navigating Bob through a vast archipelago of mobile homes that Bob never knew existed, despite having lived fifteen miles away for forty years. from Bob by Pat Bubul

He turned on the ‘Montel Williams Show’, and when he saw and heard Ernie speaking, he was hit by the striking resemblance in appearance and even voice to his parents’ neighbor, Zoltan Hollander. from Ernie’s Miracle by Joanne Jagoda

I recall him saying, “I wish I didn’t see the things I saw or do the things I did,” but that might just be my imagination looking for a story, like forming constellations out of random stars. from River and the Cathedral by Leah Rogin

Stripping requires acid. I remember / I always showed up on time and / they always had the acid waiting. from I Used to be a Stripper by Ron. Lavalette

Catriona knows well these don’t count, but loves / to have them described to her, especially the weather / and the violet-gray color of the clouds. from Catriona the Blind Woman Taste-Tests Whiskys in Tobermory by Tobi Alfier

I attempted to obtain a Cuban visa to study how – in the face / of Amerika’s boycott – you could still build a world-class / model healthcare system serving everyone equally and well. from My Dear Fidel, by Gerard Sarnat

Looking over at Tom, I wondered why he was wearing his long camelhair coat, which his dad used to wear. It struck me as unusual, ’cause he usually only wore it on special occasions. from Paul Peterson by John Bost

This was her background, this was the Sydney she knew. She painted a series of the construction of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and a number of what could be termed religious scenes of church congregations. from Miss Grace Cossington Smith, OBE, AO by Patricia Unsworth


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