New poem published at Panoply. Check it out here.
Roberta reads from her just released chapbook, Touchstones. Here's a link.
New poem in the latest volume of Pine Mountain Sand & Gravel, Vol 23: Appalachian Edge. Here's a link to purchase or to see the beautiful cover art by Loren Crawford. This facebook page will also promote any upcoming readings for Volumes 22 & 23.
New Review of Touchstones from Grady Ormsby(October 2020.)
I just had a wonderful visit with my friend Roberta Schultz. I had been to the mailbox and found an envelope from Kentucky. In it was a copy of her newest chapbook, Touchstones. It is her third poetry collection from Finishing Line Press.
I picked up my Pilot Precise V7 Rolling Ball Fine Point pen, settled into my recliner and began the conversation. With the pen I make marginal comments, asked questions, recorded observations and added a couple of snarky reactions.
It was fabulous spending time with her again. We met a dozen or so years ago. We are not the closest of friends. Time and distance conspire against us. We live too far apart. We only see each other once or maybe twice a year, and then for only a short time. On the other hand, we are the closest of friends. She is a treasured, dear friend.
She brought me up-to-date on family matters. There were stories and reminiscences about her mother and father, aunts, grannies and sisters, especially sisters.
We went back to the past with childhood stories, family lore, an emergency visit to a doctor, politics in the family, ear teasing, a picnic by the river and genealogical wondering,
We went to a variety of settings: Cincinnati, Grant’s Lick, Newport, and Phillips Creek. There was a haunting visit to a North Carolina plantation and a wonderful bear story from a campground in California. The cast of characters went beyond family to include people from the VA hospital and old folks’ homes where Roberta is a drum therapist.
The conversation had more profound, spiritual side as she discussed prayer, the nature of God, the nature of nature, John Donne and a sweat lodge gift exchange.
One of my favorites was “Requiem,” a summation of our shared baby boomer generation.
A touchstone is a standard or criterion by which something is judged or recognized. Roberta’s 24 poems are touchstones that establish a standard of quality that is both familiar and universal.
Avid reader, Grady Ormsby, had this to say about Outposts on the Border of Longing:
Last year I wrote about Songs from the Shaper’s Harp by Roberta Schultz. I recently received a copy of Outposts on the Border of Longing, her first published volume from Finishing Line Press. I sat down and read it straight through (sixteen poems, 31 pages). I immediately read it through again, this time with my Pilot fine point pen. I underlined and circled. I created a marginalia of comments and questions. It was a friendly conversation for, indeed, Roberta Schultz is a friend.
In this slim volume she touched on a wide range of subjects: National Geographic, a new childhood home,room decoration, recess games, an Asian visitor, shopping lists, The Run of the Ancestors, canine love, a tornado and a haiku-like koan. Despite the nod to Zen there is nothing arcane or mysterious. The predominant and recurring theme is family. One of my favorite pieces is a wonderful sestina that appealed to the literary nerd in me. All is very down-to-earth and vicariously familiar with a marvelous sense of humor and humanity. I grew up five hundred miles away from where Roberta did, but she enlivens the characters in her story poems so that they are just as real as the ones I grew up with."