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Getting Ready for BEA
We'll have a booth at Book Expo America (BEA), which runs from May 28 through 31 at the convention center in NYC. If any Level 4 Press author, including contributors to our poetry anthologies, would like to attend let me know and I'll provide details.

All of our new titles are working their way through the supply chain. Amazon has been mostly sold out while their inventory profile for the books ratchets upward. Go ahead and place your orders as back orders if required, as this will speed the process of getting the inventory levels to a reasonable level.
Update on Plays
We've decided to accept the offer to perform Pound at the Midtown International Theatre Festival in NYC, so Pound will run in Theatre Row during May/June and at MITF during July. In addition, it just completed a one-night-only run as part of Emerging Artist Theatre's Illuminating Artists series in New York. It looks like May tickets to Pound will sell out soon based on initial interest, so I encourage you to make your reservations soon at

Rehearsals for Dickinson are underway. It runs during June in New York (Planet Connections festival) and then for one month in San Diego (July 10 through August 3rd). Other productions are in the works and will be announced as they firm up.

A reading of Eliot, the musical about T.S. Eliot, has been scheduled for 18 July in New York.

Poems of Nature
edited by William Roetzheim
This poetry anthology collects together the poetry of well known and emerging poets, all dealing with various aspects of nature. The included audio CD contains spoken word versions of selected poems from the book. The book was partially developed using the services of weBook, an on-line community of approximately 400,000 writers contributing and reviewing work.

Some samples:

Back to Nature

Can you hear me?
Can you hear the man calling?
Lost among streets and straight lines
I am running
I will dance deftly though
Running still to escape the streets
Will reach you

White Out

Here on this ridge
The only color
Left is you,
And soon you too will fade.
The spruce have long
Returned to birch,
And the birch
Are quietly
Turning to snow.
Order Poems of Nature
Poetry Corner
by William Roetzheim
Poetry as Therapy

We all go through difficult times in life. Sometimes bad things happen that affect us, as with the death of a child, friend, spouse/partner, or parent. Sometimes bad things are done to us, as with childhood physical or sexual abuse. Sometimes we do bad things to ourselves or others, as with addictions or violence. Sometimes our body does bad things to us, as with illness or many cases of depression. Getting past the difficult time always involves some form of inner growth or healing, and getting our thoughts and feelings down on paper often helps to clarify them and release them from our inner-mind.

To accomplish this, diaries are great. Letters to people, whether dead or alive, and whether sent or not sent, are also great. But one of the most effective approaches is poetry. Poetry is a uniquely powerful way of expressing our emotions, and the rich images and/or musicality communicate directly with our deepest sub-conscious. Writing these poems, the objective is not to see them printed in a magazine or book. Rather, they are written just for ourselves, and even though no-one else reads them they become an important part of the healing process.

Sometimes the poems that we create during these periods are so powerful that they offer the potential to help others facing a similar situation, at least because they let us know that someone else had feelings similar to ours. Let’s look at a poem by Lisel Mueller from her book Alive Together (LSU Press) that deals with the issue of the loss of a spouse or partner:


What the neighbors bring
to her kitchen
is food for the living.
She wants to eat
the food of the dead, their pure
narcotic of dry, black seeds.
Why, without him,
should she desire
the endurance offered
by meat and grain,
the sugars that glue the soul
to the body?
She thanks them, but does not eat,
consumes strong coffee
as if it were air
and she the vigilant candle
on a famous grave,
until the familiar
sounds of the house
become strange,
turn into messages
in the new language
he has been forced to learn.
All night she works on the code,
almost happy, her body rising
like bread, while the food in its china caskets
dries out on the kitchen table.

I particularly like the description of the ceramic dishes filled with drying food as “china caskets.”

Often the poet will sneak up on the real issue, addressing it indirectly or even denying it outright, as in this poem that I wrote on the subject of depression, from Thoughts I Left Behind (2006, Level 4 Press):

Shadow Friends

I worship shadows like my daughter worships sun.
I don’t mean those
so crisp and dark
beneath a noon-time sun,
or shadow soldier squads
before a picket fence.
Those underneath
a harvest moon are more my style;
the way they hide and watch
from low bushes,
then dance around
the lifted skirts of swaying trees,
like witches in a forest glen.
I’ve lured them home
with low-watt bulbs
in gargoyle sconces under overhangs.
At night my friends uncoil
on walks and walls,
then call me to their yard
to stroll and see my life
in grays and blacks.
And in my den
the shy ones come to watch
me read by candlelight.
They come, pull back,
grow bold, then sly;
so while I sip my scotch
and swirl the ice
I’m not alone.
I’m not

So the next time you’re trying to cope with life’s problems, try writing poetry to get your thoughts organized; to get the poison out of your system; or just to say all of those things you didn’t say in person. Then take some time to read what other poets have said while in your position, and remember that you are connected to a web of humanity stretching around the world and across the centuries.
Visit William Roetheim's personal website
Reading: Dickinson
The Studio Theatre in
Theatre Row
410 West 42nd Street
New York, NY 10036
May 31st, 4:30 PM
(Immediately after "Pound")

Performance: Dickinson
440 Studios
440 Lafayette Street, 3rd floor
New York, NY
Tickets $18
June 13, 11:00 AM Preview
June 14, 7:00 PM Open
June 15, 8:30 PM
June 17, 4:00 PM
June 19, 8:30 PM
June 20, 1:00 PM

Performance: Pound
The Studio Theatre in
Theatre Row
410 West 42nd Street
New York, NY 10036
Box office 212.714.2442
Tickets $18
Box office 212.714.2442
May 27, 8 PM Preview
May 28, 8 PM Preview
May 29, 8 PM Open
May 30, 8 PM
May 31, 3 PM
June 11, 3:30-6, Tech
June 11, 8 PM
June 12, 8 PM
June 13, 8 PM
June 14, DARK
June 15, DARK
June 16, 7 PM
June 17, 8 PM
June 18, 8 PM
June 19, 8 PM

Performance: Dickinson
North Park Vaudeville
2031 El Cajon Blvd.
San Diego, CA 92104
Tickets $18
619 220 8663 for box office
July 10 - August 2, 2009
Friday/Saturday at 8 PM
Sundays at 2 PM

Midtown International Theatre
Workshop Jewel Theater
312 West 36th Street
Fourth Floor East
New York, NY 10018
Tickets $18
July 20, 8:30 PM Open
July 21, 6:30 PM
July 22, 5 PM
July 24, 9 PM
July 25, 7 PM
July 26, 4 PM
View our calendar on-line
Fundraising Progress
We are up to $2,486 in our fund raising efforts, so thank you to all of you who have donated. These funds are allowing us to pay a smalll stipend to the actors and crew involved in our productions, something that they very much deserve. We would like to thank the following doners who have recently made donations:

Stephen & Kathryn Papaleo
William I. Elliott
David and Kathy Payne
Sports Marketing Associates, Inc. (EMSI)
Gerald Locklin
Lakshmi Tangella

We've applied for grants, but thus far nothing but rejections. Of course, I hope that the no answers come fast and the yes answers come slow. If you work for a large company with a foundation that supports the arts and culture, please contact me. Most of these foundations will only provide grant funds if one of their employees is involved in the project somehow.

Also, we could use non-financial support as well:

1. Do you know any groups in San Diego or New York who might be interested in attending one of our performances as a group?

2. Do you live in either San Diego or New York, and if so, would you be willing to put out postcards somewhere (perhaps where you work) advertising the show?

If you can help us in any of these areas, or if you have other ideas, please email
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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