Category Archives: Poetry

Anthology by Alvin Conway – The Interview

Majestic and beautiful…full of wonder, intellect, and charm...” – NY First Look

Whoever said poetry was dead and wasn’t what people in our modern world read anymore couldn’t be more wrong. We’ve come across a collection of poems that has simply stunned us. Anthology, the fifteenth book written by Alvin Conway, is majestic and beautiful. You’ll find yourself holding the book and just staring at the cover for ten minutes before you ever open it. Anthology is a true work of art. This book is full of wonder, intellect, and charm.

Reading Anthology, one gets the feeling that they just might’ve stumbled across a lost or forgotten work by Lord Byron or perhaps Oscar Wilde that just happened to be hiding out in someone’s attic. Mr. Conway’s poetic mastery of the English language in the modern and ancient vernacular is impressive. His verses are as colorful as they are passionate. Consider this exquisitely penned verse from his poem, Ancient Love Affair:

Or the eloquence expressed by a dying Greek solider who is mortally wounded  in battle and stumbles into a field of flowers, where he meets and falls in love with a young maiden in the poem Anemone:

Or the quest for beauty so wonderfully expressed in his poem, Sometimes:

Anthology is that kinda of a wonderful book. Mr. Conway certainly has a gift for poetic expression and that’s what makes this book so classical and endearing in our opinion. He even wrote a libretto for Belinni’s opera La Sommanbula , a poetic rendering for Listz’s classical Liebesträume , and composed a poetic reworking of the song, Habanera from Georges Bizet’s opera Carmen. 

It’s easy to lose oneself in the enchantment of Anthology’s poems which unfold like a series of lost myths, fairy tales, and legends strung across eons of time. Unrequited love, heartbreak, the quest for true love, the allure of nature, the transformation of beauty, the eloquence of form, and imagination as an authentic source of aesthetic experience – all these themes are explored here with such depth, poetic beauty, and intensity that we can’t help but feel Anthology is one of those seminal literary work by a western writer that is destined to become a literary classic.

Anthology, 532 pages – The Rose Diary (abridged version), 54 pages

We took time off from our New York literary circuit of books, pages, and pen to paper to briefly talk with author Alvin Conway about his latest project – a beautiful new collection of his poems called Anthology.   – Rachel Thomas 

NY First Look: We’ve never seen a collection of poems quite like this. I was impressed with the breadth and scope of the poems…their exquisite richness and texture. There are so many beautiful ones. I think people are going to have an enchanting time both reading this and flipping through the pages of this book. It’s already a fan favorite among the staff. Anthology is really beautifully illustrated from cover to cover.

AC: Thank you. What comes from the heart goes to the heart.

NY First Look: You see poetry differently than most  modern authors and poets, at least that’s the way you appear to write about it. Would you say that’s a correct assessment?

AC: I don’t know if I see it differently or I just express it differently. To me, it’s all about passion. Not just from feeling but also from experience. I see the poem as artistic composition. Therefore it has an almost infinite dimension of creative expression. I draw from the past and I filter it through my own experiences. Words can just be words, like music can just be noise but it’s the order and the aesthetics arrangement of themes in art and life that truly creates beauty.

NY First Look: What poets influenced you?

AC: I love the Romantic poets: William Blake, William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, George Gordon Lord Byron, Percy Bysshe Shelley and John Keats. I also love Homer, William Shakespeare, John Milton, Poe, Emily Dickinson, and Sara Teasdale.

NY First Look: Anthology is a very intriguing read with more than 500 poems. What inspired you to compose such a prolific volume of work?

AC: I thought it was time to take all the new material I’ve written, as well as the selections from the five poetic books I wrote over the last five years and compile them into one definitive masterwork. I think readers will have a more comprehensive view of my poetry given the tapestry and nature of the poems, their subject matter, and the fact that each of the books from which the selections were initially drawn are all interrelated.

NY First Look: You explore a lot of fascinating themes in your book Anthology from Opera to Classical music from the Hero mythos to Greek Classicism, from fairy tales to time travel, from love and loss to Romanticism. Why are these themes such compelling subjects for you, as a writer?

AC: Poems are a very unique way of telling a story, while expressing sentiment in the beauty and nuances of the transcribed language. Poems give structure to form, much like music elevates the life of lyrics. Poems artistically fall somewhere between a story and a song. It’s a ballet of words with meter and rhythm without the music. Poetry is the thunder of passion that is quietly quelled by the gentle, cool rain of contemplation. Poems are floral vignettes, or at least that’s the way I’ve always seen them. If passion is the electricity of life and love then I must say I’m fascinated by our drives and what fuels desire, fear, hope, love, emotional expression, obsessions and addictions. In my mind, poetry is the perfect canvass for such a colorful palette of human responses to life.

NY First Look: Do you have a favorite poem in the book?

AC: I have several. They generally resonate with the mood I’m in at the time. However, Parisina is one I definitely adore.

Where to buy Anthology by Alvin Conway: Lulu

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Sapientia: The 40 Principles of Wisdom by Alvin Conway

SapientiaSapientia is a Latin word meaning “wisdom.” Life has meaning. Life has a purpose. The author offers 40 insightful adages of wisdom to help guide you through the sometimes “uncanny and uncertain” corridors of life. This is a wonderful book that touches on everything from spirituality to philosophy without ever forgetting that it is the reader who is ultimately in control of his or her own life. It contains koans of wisdom that the intellectual and philosophically-curious will luxuriously gravitate to. It counsels on the best foods to eat for health and long life. It offers motivational advice on how to obtain and successfully reach your goals. It has a chart for age, weight, and nearly every hormonal peak your body will experience, as it ages. It may be the ultimate life textbook. The book retrospectively and analytically examines the psychological works of Freud, Jung, and Abraham Maslow.  It explores the wants, needs, and desires that drives us all in life – the very things that make us human and want to excel. This is one of the best motivational books I have ever read. It’s a book of wisdom that will seamlessly guide you along through life, as you age and mature under the lens of different life-altering experiences. Mr. Conway does a wonderful job of bringing all these existential elements together in one book that’s both enchanting to read and wonderfully illustrated to the point. –Evelyn Casey

Where to buy it – Lulu

5 Stars

 

All Our Days of Splendor by Alvin Conway

 Splendor Book B

Summary: Paris 1926: Les Années folles as the French called it, “The Crazy Years.” It was the Roaring Twenties. It was the dawn of the Age of Modernism, feminism, the flappers, the birth of cinema; it was the decade of the automobile and radio. It was the reckless years of wealth and exuberance, where stock markets toyed with ideas of fanaticism, and where legends lived, loved, and died. Paris France was at the heart of a new cultural revolution that was reshaping and changing the world. Thomas E. McCann came to Paris to change his life. His life ended up changing everyone around him. There were parties, class privileges, there were flowing rivers of champagne, there was extravagant wealth, and everyone lived and loved like no one thought the wild celebrations of this Golden decade would ever come to an end.

Opinion Nothing could have prepared me for this book – not its sleek black cover, its unique literary style, its lofty poetic aspirations, it visceral moodiness and impressionist tone, its lucid foray into French aristocratic privileges during the Jazz Age, its endearing love story, or it rich dialogue. All Our Days of Splendor by newly-commissioned fiction author, Alvin Conway, is visually sumptuous – meaning words are pushed to new visual dimensions. The book is a variable literary feast for the eyes, ears, and mind. One could spend a lifetime and a half searching for a relatively new and undiscovered gem like this and never find it. The poetry is divine, the characters are quintessentially cool and likable, it’s laced with intelligent discourse and picturesque imagery, and it takes place in Paris, France of all things during the height of the Roaring Twenties. What’s not to like? I read it once, and then read passages of it aloud to friends – and it turned a dozen heads with everyone asking me, “What is that you’re reading?” I smiled delightfully. I think I have a new favorite book.  – Lisa Harding

5 Stars

(Click on link) Where to find it:  Lulu.com