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-Maple Leaf Rag III

Maple Leaf Rag III

Maple Leaf Rag III
ISBN 978-0-916620-46-2
192 pages; $20
A new collection of poems by poets who have read at the Maple Leaf Bar in New Orleans (1979-2006). The poems range from Katrina-inspired works to the early days of Everette Maddox. Other poets include: Ralph Adamo, Grace Bauer, Steve Beisner, Dave Brinks, Maxine Cassin, Chris Champagne, Andrei Codrescu, Peter Cooley, John Gery, Malaika Favorite, Ken Fontenot, Nancy Harris, Julie Kane, Kay Murphy, Valentine Pierce, Brad Richard, H. R. Stoneback, Michael True, Gordon Walmsley, Andy Young, Yictove.

From Notes on the Third Edition:

Poetry readings at the Maple Leaf Bar in New Orleans, held from 3 to 5 Sunday afternoons, constitute one of the oldest, continuously running poetry readings in the U.S.

The first edition of The Maple Leaf Rag anthology was published in the 1980s by Maxine Cassin's Poetry Journal Press. The second (15th anniversary) edition, published by Portals Press, was collected and bound in 1994. Most of the selections in this third edition were written in the years since. While this is not a Katrina anthology, some poets do capture New Orleans' post-diluvian scene.

Like writers around the globe, the writers at the Maple Leaf voice keen perceptions of life experience, both joyful and painful. Themes abound, especially the complexity of human relations. Some of the poems, like the readings, are for mature audiences. Many probe deeply into psychology and philosophy. Many are charged with deep feeling and sparkling imagination. Many record the fiery interplay between the physical and the spiritual, between mind and reality, sense and absurdity.

Poems, though rooted in place and circumstance, can transcend time. Through the heartache - and moments of exhilaration - of nearly three decades, writers from all walks of life have kept writing and presenting their artistic expressions at the Maple Leaf, perhaps reflecting that truism by George Bernard Shaw: "Without art, the crudeness of reality would be unbearable."

- John P. Travis, Portals Press