New poetry from Dan Grote!
We Are All Doing Time, published by Iniquity Press/Vendetta Books, is a new chapbook of poem by Dan Grote, an incarcerated writer whose work has appeared in a wide variety of print and online publications. He is the author of several hold-up notes, a couple of signed confessions, and one other chapbook of poetry, The Sum Total of My Mistakes (Between Shadows Press, 2022).
To buy: Amazon
Tom Laichas' new book!
Aji is pleased to share the announcement of Tom Laichas' new book entitled Three Hundred Streets of Venice California. Two poems originally published in Aji also appear in this book. We wish Laichas the very best with this new publication, and want to share this good news with readers who may wish to purchase the book.
Tom Laichas is author of Three Hundred Streets of Venice California (FutureCycle Press, 2023), Sixty-Three Photographs from the End of a War (3.1 Press, 2021), and Empire of Eden (The High Window Press, 2019). A recipient of the Nancy Hargrove Poetry Prize, his recent work has appeared or is forthcoming in Salt, Jabberwock, Blue Unicorn, Disquieting Muses Quarterly, Stand, and elsewhere. He lives in Venice, California.
To buy: Amazon, Bookshop.org or your local independent bookstore.
New Poetry from Oisin Breen
Irish poet, academic, and journalist, Oisín Breen, a Best of the Net Nominee, is published in 103 journals in 20 countries, including in About Place, Door is a Jar, Northern Gravy, North Dakota Quarterly, Books Ireland, The Tahoma Literary Review, La Piccioletta Barca, Decomp, New Critique, and Reservoir Road. Breen's second collection, Lilies on the Deathbed of Étaín has just been released by Beir Bua Press. It follows his well received debut, 'Flowers, All Sorts, in Blossom...' (Dreich, 2020).
Erric Emerson, who has reviewed poetry for Aji, recently launched his own new literary magazine and press, Dark Onus. We love the look and the theme of this new site!
Congratulations, Erric, and kudos from us on your hard work and creative vision. We hope Aji readers and contributors will give the first issue and the website a look--send your poems, stories, and images!
Recently, our magazine published an interview with Mark Hurtubise, former president and CEO of Inland Northwest Community Foundation (currently Innovia). The interview informed our readers on how some charitable foundations give donor money to hate groups. Alarming, right?
Recently, Hurtubise shared a link to an article by Jenny Stephens, a freelance journalist (see below). According to Stephens, Microsoft donates money through its online reward program, allowing users of their services, including the search engine Bing, to accrue money to be given to the charities of their choice, including identified hate groups. The users themselves don’t have to contribute a cent.
It is getting more and more difficult for well-intentioned donors to know how their money is actually being spent by groups who purport to be benevolent.
It is a free country, thank goodness. This means that hate groups are allowed to exist, and those who wish to give them money are allowed to do that, so long as they do not commit any crimes. The point is, if donors do not know how their money is being used, then they aren’t exercising true freedom.
The article lists a number of groups readers can research. Aji rejects any form of discrimination on the basis of sex, religion, ethnicity, race, nation of origin, any of the groups protected by U.S. law. We stand with the Southern Poverty Law Poverty Center and other organizations that work to protect the constitutional freedoms and rights of all Americans, not just our own.
We appreciate Mark Hurtubise in sharing this article with our readers so that you may make truly informed choices .
Thank you, Mark, and thank you also to Jenny Stephens for making this information available to all.
Hate groups don’t sleep, so those hoping to curb the inequity and violence they foment can’t sleep, either. Hate groups don’t just herald their own rights. They work tirelessly to deny others their constitutional rights, believing their own personal beliefs and values, including in some cases outright bigotry, should be inflicted on everyone else.
That is not our idea of democracy. And so we share this article, hoping that 2023 will be a year of tolerance and respect, empathy and compassion around the globe but especially here in the U.S., a nation founded on those very values.
by John Allen
Vanessa Manzano is, first and foremost, a singer; however, she is not defined and restricted by the noun singer. As a writer of prose, poetry, and lyrics, she is passionate and sensitive to the human condition. She is introspective and a keen observer of the natural world. She is a searcher in ways that go beyond easy explanation; this informs her musical choices. I came upon her music through a song she composed and recorded with her husband, the multi-instrumentalist Jorge Herrera. Together they are recording an album titled “Fuerte y Claro” (“Loud and Clear”), a collection of songs that can best be described as Latin music: salsa, rumba, bolero, and more. In this interview, I am focusing on Vanessa Manzano the solo artist. When I came upon her YouTube channel, I was captivated by her composition “Mi Vera.” This wide-ranging, profoundly personal conversation is centered on “Mi Vera,” and “Volvé” as well as “Luna Tucumana,” a song made famous by one of her musical role models, Mercedes Sosa. These three songs get at the heart and soul of Vanessa Manzano.
Read the full interview in issue 17 and enjoy the below clips of Vanessa!
"With precision and compassion, Sharon Tracey invites readers on an exploration of the connections between the humblest creatures that co-inhabit our shared space, from the east coast to the west, and the human species, offering at once a celebration of the natural world and an aching requiem to the relationships we did not create and may not be able to preserve."
— Erin O’Neill Armendarez, Editor in Chief, Aji Magazine
Available for purchase now through
Congratulations to David Anthony Sam: Winner of the 2021 Homebound Publications Poetry Prize
Foundations Funding Hate
In our Spring 2022 issue, Mark Hurtubise tackled the troubling issue of foundations funding hate. Since publication, new information is encouraging in the fight against funding hate.
The Council on Foundations is "encouraging foundations to take steps to ensure that they are not funding hate." This is a great resource for people working within in foundations, as well as anyone wanting a deeper dive into the subject matter. Read their entire statement, as well as access the white paper here: https://cof.org/content/values-aligned-philanthropy-community-foundations.
To read a statement from the Council on Foundations on Aligning Values & Practice, as well as access additional resources, go here: https://cof.org/program-initiative/values-aligned-philanthropy.
Working together, raising our voices and talking about this subject can make a difference. We encourage our readers to become more educated on this topic and to support initiatives that end funding hate groups.
Thanks to Mark Hurtubise for sharing his knowledge, passion and expertise on this topic.
House of Falling Objects
(for Ukraine and everything and everyone now fallen all around us)
Sing me a song without a note of sadness—
-from Fa una Canzona by Orazio Vecchi (1550-1605)
Ego sum. I am. I am a cheerful person
but still I’ll sing you a sad song
of stacks of things that tumble in the hallways,
of decades sleeping all along the walls
where they dream their sundry dreams of railroad trestles,
and the streams that run below them
holding steelhead and the salmon we have wrestled,
both those fish landed and the ones we lost.
And for the cost of one more nut brown ale, I will
regale you with an epic tale
of times that were and were not mine, and reinvent
myself a youth, and none of it the truth.
If you want that, you’d best not frequent these saloons
lined up on Main street, end to end.
No one needs a mirror, but we all need a friend.
And me, I need a place to be without
the detritus of used up, boxed up calendars
tottering like leaning towers
in my front room, ready to fall and pin me there.
Less risk in this tavern— top shelf whiskey
in shining rows behind a fine old walnut bar.
If you build a wooden structure,
let’s say a bridge along the railway, or a house,
but don’t maintain it once it’s done against
the ravages of rain and snow and time also,
it will just fall down by and by
and if it stands brand new today but in Ukraine,
it could be in pieces by tomorrow.
Yesterday I saw some news film of their sorrow--
a tarp spread on the ground, four men
loading it with rubble. Then each one took a corner,
hauled it off, dumped it and went back for more.
Ego sum. I am. I am a cheerful person,
obliged to sing you a sad song,
and maybe soon I’ll try to sing you something new--
a bright green tune, not indigo, not blue.
Aji Magazine team