As of this writing Hidden in Childhood: A Poetry Anthology is still running #1 on Amazon New Releases [poetry anthologies]. This is almost the 5th day. I cannot tell you how humbled and delighted I am. The poetry in this volume is fantastic. 150 poets wrote about their childhood. Joy and pain. Tears and smiles.
Today coming from childhood the voice of Vance Walker.
PAST AS PROLOGUE – VANCE WALKER
Under the old oak tree where they hung our swing we three would play till the bell would ring
and we burned our hands on the fisherman’s rope and skinned our knees on the fireman’s pole
In our big tree house with lights but no water we three played two sons and a daughter
Using cherries for blood our ammunition was mud squirt guns for rain It was all just pantomimed pain
And I could hold my breath much longer than you under the old oak tree when it was just us two
Except on that day on that afternoon when that rope around your neck turned your face bright blue
I didn’t know what to do under that old oak tree Hang on hold on I’ll get you free
We had our GI Joes up to their necks in mud and flying through the air and landing with a thud
And I could hold my breath much longer than you except on that day on that afternoon
when you banged to the floor when I banged down the door blood, not mud and your face bright blue
I didn’t know what to do tears coming down like rain you in your cherry juice you and your phone cord noose
Remember when we had to pantomime pain?
Well it was we three then it was us two now it’s just me me alone
using tears for rain and I don’t have to pantomime pain.
Vance Walker has been writing poetry since he was a little boy. Recent poetry published: When Smooth-Faced Wooers Woo, in the Wingless Dreamer’s Breath of Love, Poems for Global Poemic, Vita Brevis Press, and The Gay & Lesbian Review. His play, You’ve Got To Keep Mother Alive, was recently performed at Scribe Stages.
My deepest apologies for not being able to return your likes. At this point Word Press is working to fix several problems that occurred with this site. I believe I can reply to your comments on my site, but I cannot leave comments or like other sites. I hope this problem gets fixed soon.
Gabriela Marie Milton 2022 Pushcart Prize Nominee Publisher, Editor, Award Winning & #1 Amazon Bestselling Author Books:
I am thrilled to let you know that Hidden in Childhood: A Poetry Anthology published by Literary Revelations is now a #1 Amazon bestseller. This book was made possible by the gorgeous poems you, poets from around the world, sent us. Thank you for trusting Literary Revelations with your poetry. Congratulations! You are now #1 Amazon bestselling poets. And we are filled with joy.
We planned the official release of the book on January 31. The book was on Amazon on the 26. However, not all Amazon markets were populated [at the hour I write they are still not fully populated] and the book’s categories we not showing. Even now only one category shows. In addition we had other few things to take care of.
However, people found out about the book on the 27th of January. In a matter of hours Hidden in Childhood became a #1 Amazon bestseller.
I am filled with joy and gratitude. Thank you for buying the book. Thank you for supporting Literary Revelations Publishing House.
On our pre-launch Hidden in Childhood show: Our gracious host Victoria Onofrei of Radio Bloomsbury will broadcast the show on Sunday January 29, at 6pm London Time. If you want to listen you can do it here https://www.bil.ac.uk/bloomsburyradio/
You can buy the book here:
Thank you. Have a great weekend.
Gabriela Marie Milton 2022 Pushcart Prize Nominee Publisher, Editor, Award Winning & #1 Amazon Bestselling Author Books:
Literary Revelations is thrilled to let you know that Hidden in Childhood: A Poetry Anthology is scheduled to be released on January 31. On January 31 I will post the Amazon link where you can buy the book.
Contributors please check your email in the beginning of next week for updates. Those of you who are interested in our anthology please check my blog, the Literary Revelations website, and my social media: Twitter @shortprose1 & IG @gabriela_marie_milton. I cannot tell you how excited I am. The book will be monumental. The paperback version will have 450 pages; 450 pages filled with the light and the shadows of your childhoods; 450 pages filled with tears and smiles. It’s an incredible book.
Zoom Meeting – Radio Show
On Saturday, January 21 a pre-launch meeting for Hidden in Childhood took place. I am most grateful to those of you who participated and to Victoria Onofrei of Bloomsbury Radio for inviting us to her show, Victoria in Verse.
We expect the radio show to be broadcast on Sunday January 29, at 6 pm London time. If no delays I will send our contributors the link where they can listen to the show.
Several thoughts about the zoom meeting: I have participated in many literary meetings, but never in one like ours. You recited your poetry beautifully, you poured your heart into every verse, you shared your experiences in a very meaningful way. You opened up your souls and spoke about the abuses you endured, the trauma that is still with you. You shed tears. Thank you for every tear you shed. Thank you for every word you spoke.
Most of the time people want to convince us how great and confident they are. They want to be perceived as winners. Sharing feelings during a public event is not in the cards. Please know that those of you who shared your feelings with sincerity and took off the mask of hypocrisy are the real winners. Our contributors are all winners. You conquered my heart and you will conquered the hearts of those who will read this anthology. My love to all of you.
Below please find the Amazon Description I wrote for the book
From authors featured on NPR, BBC, and the New York Times, and from emerging poets, comes a monumental anthology in which every poem sends shivers down your spine. Childhood’s joy and trauma expressed – with stunning talent and sincerity – by over 150 poets in more than 280 poems. Childhood spaces magnified by the human memory, populated by good and bad, by trips to hell and heaven, in an almost Hieronymus Bosch type of atmosphere. Over 150 voices call you to read this book. Read it. You will learn that childhood never goes away. You will be reminded of the beauty of the seraphim and the need to protect children from any form of abuse. 150 voices knock on your door. Open the door. A chorus of childhoods will tell you that our children need love.
Literary Revelations is proud to bring you this anthology and deeply grateful to all contributors for pouring out their hearts into the pages of this book.
Thank you again to the contributors to our Literary Revelations Poetry Anthology Hidden in Childhood. I am truly humbled you trusted me with your magnificent poetry. Equally, thank you to everyone who has been supporting our endeavor. I am grateful for your shares, comments, and encouragement.
To the contributors: Please read your email. To celebrate our anthology you are invited to participate on Victoria Onofrei’s Show “Victoria in Verse,” [Radio Bloomsbury] this Saturday January 21 at 10 am Central Time (USA). The show will be recorded this Saturday and it will be broadcast on Sunday January 29, when we hope our anthology will be out (the exact release date depends on Amazon).
On the release date: I will keep everyone posted. Please stay tuned and check your email, my blog, my social media, as well as the Literary Revelations’ website for more updates.
Preface: If you did not read the preface to Hidden in Childhood please read it HERE.
Below please find my reading of my poem included in Hidden in Childhood. I hope you enjoy it.
I read your words and a thousand childhoods burrowed into my heart.
Gabriela Marie Milton
My Dear Readers
Thank you to everyone who submitted to Literary Revelations Publishing House’s collection Hidden in Childhood: A Poetry Anthology, due to be released late January. If anything changes, I will let you know.
I am thrilled to release the full cover of the anthology and the preface I wrote. I have tears in my eyes. Here is why.
I am beyond humbled by the number of submissions. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for entrusting me with your beautiful poetry. Most important you entrusted me with glimpses of your childhood. That honors me more than words can possibly express. I rarely talk about myself. Yet, last night after 14 hours of work I was listening to the winter knocking on my windows and thinking of your poems. A sentence inscribed itself into my soul. It will stay with me forever. I read your words and a thousand childhoods burrowed into my heart.
We are looking at a monumental work of poetry; a work of breathtaking beauty and substance. I included over 150 poets and around 280 poems. The Word file I will send for formatting tomorrow has 456 pages. I suspect after the formatting the anthology will have over 456 pages. Congratulations to everyone who was included.
I wrote a good number of rejection letters and I am not done yet. To those poets who were rejected: please do not get discouraged. I am honored by your submissions too and ready to collaborate with you in the future.
One other important thing I learned by reading your poems: this collection teaches the reader about childhood perhaps more than an academic treaty could do it.
Hidden in Childhood: A Poetry Anthology – preface by Gabriela Marie Milton
If you open the pages of this poetry collection, you will be mesmerized by the talent of the contributors, and by the range of stylistic approaches they use to recreate the world of childhood. It must be said from the beginning that this is not a poetry collection for children. The pages you will read memorialize the beauty and magic of childhood – remembrance of love and fairytales – as well as its ugliness – abuses, poverty – that unfortunately still exist in our world. Some of the authors of the poems included in this anthology were brave enough to talk about the pain they endured in childhood. I salute all contributors: those who tell the world that childhood is love, and those who still bear the wounds of a difficult childhood.
As the editor, curator, and publisher of this book, I am honored and humbled that so many poets entrusted me with their work. The poems I included in this anthology are stunners. They are magnificent in their wealth of emotions, and very diverse in style. It is the role of the editor to try – as much as she/he can- to stylistically unify the works included in poetry collections. To a certain extent, I decided against it. I allowed for English spelling, as well as for American spelling. I overlooked places where perhaps I would have used different words, in the interest of clarity. Why did I do it? Two reasons: (1) These breathtaking poems have their own energy, an energy that continuously echoes in one’s soul, and it sends shivers down the spine of the reader. There is a freshness about them, freshness in front of which the strive for better formulations ends up in patheticism. (2) Perfection is most of the time sterile. There are emblematic poets who sometimes consciously allowed for small degrees of clumsiness – here and there – in their poems in order to preserve the authenticity of the feelings. I hope I did that in this collection.
The themes and archetypes the contributors use are very diverse. You will find the father as the protector and/or as the abuser, the figure of the mother as the nurturer and/or as the monster, the loss of siblings, the heavenly paradise of grandparents, the fight with disease, and the list can continue.
To turn to a different idea, once Charles Baudelaire wrote, “The child sees everything in a state of newness… Nothing more resembles what we call inspiration than the delight with which a small child absorbs form and color.” No doubt, during childhood we are first and foremost the recipients of the sensory world.
The academic literature on childhood – as well as our common understanding – frequently defines childhood as a period of our lives that precedes adulthood. Whatever happens during our first years is formative and important to our becoming. However, we tend to dissociate childhood from maturity. Most people subscribe to the dichotomy of childhood/adulthood.
Indeed, the prima facie reading of the poems included in this anthology shows that the authors kept in mind the dichotomy of childhood/adulthood.
Yet, what strikes the reader during the second and/or third reading of these stunning poems is how present childhood is in the lives of the authors, now mature people. For these poets, whether they know it or not, childhood is not a simple memory filled with joy or pain. Childhood constitutes itself as an integral part of their poems, a part that continues to transform them as they write.
The strength of this poetry collection is the capacity of its authors to blur the line between childhood and adulthood. Whether the authors talk about joyful memories, or sadly abusive childhood, the effect is stunning. We do not know anymore where childhood stops, and adulthood starts.
Am I returning to Philippe Ariès and his Centuries of Childhood: A Social History of Family Life (1960), who put forward the idea – albeit controversial – that during medieval times childhood was not recognized as a distinct phase of human existence?
No. I am not. I merely claim that the idea of childhood is not as transient as authors such as Ray Bradbury claimed.
In many aspects, childhood never goes away. It stays with us forever.
This is what you will discover in this anthology, which contains the most beautiful, as well as the most heart-wrenching, verses one has ever read. And this is a phenomenal discovery.