A Vibrant Community

A Vibrant Community

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Conversation and Poetry with Martha Deed

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Martha Deed has been writing ever since she could hold a crayon or pencil.  Academically, she started off in history, completed her B.A. in Psychology at the New School for Social Research in Greenwich Village (New York City) when the village was teaming with poets Ashbery, Creeley, Ginsberg, Dylan Thomas and others who were meeting in places where she did not dare to go and consuming liquids and other substances she wished to avoid.  Next stop:  Boston University where she earned her PhD and launched her career as a psychologist.  She studied one building away from the famous Robert Lowell seminar that included Anne Sexton, Maxine Kumin and others.  But she was unaware of them.  For the next 30 years, she combined writing with her career as a psychologist, retiring early in 2000 to write full time.  Since then, she has published four books (including one edited), several chapbooks and dozens of poems.  Two Pushcart nominations and winner of the Ice Boom contest.  She has read at many Buffalo venues as well as in Albany and Wilkes-Barre, PA.

Several of her collections focus on particular topics.  Several are multi-genre.  They include (partial list):

Climate Change. (Foothills Publishing, 2014).  A selected collected work.  Poems from 1965-2013. 96 pages.

The Last Collaboration (Online published by Furtherfield, 2012; print edition by Furtherfield and Friends of Spork, 2012 ).  Multi-genre reconstruction of life and death in a community hospital's ICU.  Millie Niss was a writer and web techie who found herself on a vent and in an ICU, continuing to email, writing all of her communications, because she could not speak.  Wanting her story told.  The resulting book is a collage of Millie's medical records and writings, Martha's poems and log, along with administrative reviews by the NYS Department of Health.  Can be read as poetry; can be read as non-fiction.  212 pages

City Bird: Selected Poems (1991-2009) by Millie Niss, edited by Martha Deed ( BlazeVox, 2010).  Millie Niss was in discussions with the publisher prior to her death, but did not have the time to create the submission.  Martha Deed, her mother, completed the project for her. 158 pages.

Intersections: A 20-day Journal of the Unexpected.  Mixed media of prose, poetry and photographs.  I am vicariously following Michael Czarnecki on his journey along US Rt 62 from Niagara Falls, NY to El Paso , TX and journaling as "we" go when a family health crisis causes a detour and an investigation of how to balance family needs with creative urges and projects.  Originally published in Regina Pinto's "Library of Marvels" (arteonline, 2006).  80 page e-book.  Copy online at:

65 X 65 is a send-up of autobiography, published by Peter Ganick's small chapbook project in 2006, revised and re-issued (with his permission) in 2009.  65 65-word texts with interlocking words.  A giant puzzle. Oulipo.  36 pages.

The Lost Shoe (Naissance, 2010).  A chapbook that weaves three murder trials into an examination of justice and injustice in local criminal courts.  40 pages.

Blog:  http://sporkworld.tumblr.com/
Links to published work: http://www.sporkworld.org/Deed/writing.html
The Last Collaboration excerpts and links:  http://www.sporkworld.org/Deed/tlc.html
Luther Milton Loper Civil War Letters Collection:  http://dmna.ny.gov/historic/reghist/civil/infantry/115thInf/LoperColl/115thInf_LoperColl.htm

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