October 2009 Newsletter
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Update on Plays
An interview with William Roetzheim was published in the August issue of the literary magazine Eclectica. Click the link below to read the full interview.

We've just sent out a mailing about the touring production of "Pound: The Poet on Trial." We're promoting the play to regional and University theaters on a revenue sharing basis, with American International Theater, Inc. covering the up-front costs.

We've been able to confirm that "Dickinson: The Secret Story of Emily Dickinson" will reopen in NYC this summer, and our musical "T.S. Eliot: The Tortured Poet" will open in NYC this summer as well. Each show will be running for 3 weeks at The Grand Theater, 358 West 44th Street.
Read the interview with William Roetzheim
Regional Best 2010
Level 4 Press is continuing to accept submissions of plays for Regional Best 2010. We have spots for two more plays in the anthology.

"Regional Best 2010" is a collection of plays that premiered in regional theaters (not NYC) and that are not currently scheduled for an NYC production. Candidate plays should be emailed to william@level4press.com, along with the current and planned production history.
Postmark Atlantis
By Paul Kareem Tayyar
“Don’t pigeonhole Paul Kareem Tayyar,” writes Pulitzer Prize-winning author Lloyd Schwartz. “While the short, gnomic poems of Postmark Atlantis have elements of surrealism, parable, myth, and folk tale, many of them have even bigger surprises […] that, as with all the best poetry, elude categories.” Schwartz, a celebrated poet and Professor at Boston University, perfectly captures the grace and consciousness of Tayyar’s third book, which was recently nominated for the Pulitzer Prize.

Postmark Atlantis, an elliptical, often dream-like series of lyrics that chronicle the experiences of a displaced, traumatized, and perhaps mystical Vietnam Veteran, seeks to celebrate and memorialize the American Outsider, the man who has sacrificed much for his country and yet finds himself living at the margins of our nation’s society. That the book has already been an Amazon.com bestseller in America and Europe speaks to its narrative power—readers recognize the man who is telling his stories, and they recognize themselves within the tales he tells them.

The Last Dancer

Listen to the vinyl moon playing on the turntable of the sky,
Gramophone stars and the ballad of a beautiful world
That has lost its way.

You stand on the empty stage of this cabaret river,
You watch yourself in the mirrors above the bar
As you start to dance.

The Magician

You want so badly to tell how it’s done
That you tell it to yourself each night before sleep,
Narrating a film that no one will see,
The sound of the rain like the beating of wings,
The applause you receive for keeping the secret.

Unfaithful

Your patience is a lie that you sustain
An ethos forged from the landscape of a second face

All the days that you are certain will be yours
Your brothers carry with them when they leave
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Poetry Corner
by William Roetzheim
Memorizing Poetry

No-one should force anyone to memorize a poem. But it’s just as much fun to know a poem by heart as it is to know a song by heart. In fact, it’s more fun. With a song, unless you have a great voice the only person you can share your memorized lyrics with is yourself and the car next to you at the stoplight. With a poem, people love it when you share with them. Picking a poem to memorize is a very personal choice, which says a lot about you, but let me give you my favorites for memorization.

“The Walrus and the Carpenter” by Lewis Carroll is a wonderful poem to amuse young children. It starts out like this:

The sun was shining on the sea,
shining with all his might:
he did his very best to make
the billows smooth and bright—
and this was odd, because it was
the middle of the night.

A poem that’s particularly eerie when told while sitting around a campfire, whether with older children or adults, is the Robert Service poem “The Cremation of Sam McGee.” Written as a ballad, it starts out like this:

There are strange things done
in the midnight sun
by the men who moil for gold;
the Arctic trails
have their secret tales
that would make your blood run cold;
the Northern Lights
have seen queer sights,
but the queerest they ever did see
was that night on the marge
of Lake Lebarge
I cremated Sam McGee.

On a romantic picnic? How about quoting a little Omar Khayam?

Here with a loaf of bread
beneath the bough,
a flask of wine, a book of verse—
and thou
beside me singing in the wilderness—
and wilderness is paradise enow.

Oops, are things starting to get a little out of hand during this picnic? Want to slow things down a bit? How about this poem from Petronius Arbiter, written about the time of Christ:

Doing, a filthy pleasure is, and short;
and done,
we straight repent us of the sport:
let us not rush blindly on unto it,
like lustful beasts,
that only know to do it:
for lust will languish,
and that heat decay,
but thus, thus,
keeping endless holy-day,
let us together closely lie, and kiss,
there is no labor, nor no shame in this;
this hath pleased,
doth please
and long will please;
never can this decay,
but is beginning ever.

Out partying with your friends? The poem “Authorship, ” written in the late 1800s by James Naylor could get you a laugh if you time it right with the conversation. Or maybe you’re in a bible study group? It works well there, too (I know, I used it that way myself).

“King David and King Solomon
led merry, merry lives,
with many, many lady friends
and many, many wives;
but when old age crept over them,
with many, many qualms,
King Solomon wrote the Proverbs
and King David wrote the Psalms.”

Have you always had this strange desire to quote Ernest Hemingway but you never had time to read one of his books? Want to sound profound to your buddies late in the evening? Try reciting this poem from his book Wanderings, then walk off to the restroom leaving them thinking:

For we have thought
the longer thoughts
and gone the shorter way.
And we have danced
to devils’ tunes,
shivering home to pray;
to serve one master in the night,
another in the day.

Do you ever find yourself stuck in one of those religious debates? Here’s a short fragment from Fuses I by Charles Baudelaire, written in the mid 1800s, that will make you sound smart and profound and leave both sides initially thinking you agree with them, then saying, “Hey, wait a minute . . .”

Even if God did not exist,
religion would still be holy and divine,
God is the only being who,
in order to rule,
does not need even to exist.
Creations of the mind are more alive than matter.

Now, see if you can’t find a poem to memorize and make all your own.
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Calendar
Dickinson
The Grand Theatre
358 West 44TH ST
New York, NY 10036
Tuesday, June 01, 2010, 8:00 PM
Thursday, June 03, 2010, 8:00 PM
Saturday, June 05, 2010, 8:00 PM
Wednesday, June 09, 2010, 2:00 PM
Friday, June 11, 2010, 8:00 PM
Sunday, June 13, 2010, 3:00 PM
Wednesday, June 16, 2010, 8:00 PM
Saturday, June 19, 2010, 2:00 PM

T.S. Eliot
The Grand Theatre
358 West 44TH ST
New York, NY 10036
Tuesday, June 01, 2010, 8:00 PM
Thursday, June 03, 2010, 8:00 PM
Saturday, June 05, 2010, 8:00 PM
Wednesday, June 09, 2010, 2:00 PM
Friday, June 11, 2010, 8:00 PM
Sunday, June 13, 2010, 3:00 PM
Wednesday, June 16, 2010, 8:00 PM
Saturday, June 19, 2010, 2:00 PM
View our calendar on-line
Fundraising Progress
Looking for regional theatres who would like to partner with us to bring in Pound, performed by the original New York actor Jeff Berg, for a weekend on a revenue sharing basis.
Make a donation now!
This Issue

About William Roetzheim
William Roetzheim is an award winning poet, playwright, and
writer. He began his career in the fine arts in 2001 after retiring from the technology industry. Since that time he has founded a highly aclaimed small press, written or edited several award winning books, directed and produced fifteen spoken word audio CDs, and with his wife Marianne, started an art focused Bed and Breakfast outside of San Diego.
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