I was honored to be invited to participate in an international poetry anthology curated by one of the best living British poets, Oscar Sparrow and bringing together major American and English poets. I contributed a series of poems about Rome, what the Eternal City means in today's world...

FREEZE FRAME An International Anthology edited by Oscar Sparrow

Published by Gallo Romano, UK, 2012, with audio.
Printed version out in 2013.

Link to buy: Freeze Frame Poetry Anthology  

Watch the book trailer, really jazzy, bubbly!

Here I am reading one of my poems, The Catacombs:

The person on the right with a beard and looking very serious is British poet Oscar Sparrow, the editor of the anthology. That video was created when he interviewed me and asked that I read one of my poems.

How did all this happen? In the fall of 2012, I received an unexpected email from Oscar Sparrow, the talented author of I Threw a Stone and other poems.

Here is what he wrote to me on 4 October:

"Hi Claude, I am rather kicking myself for sending you this e mail today when probably I should have done so about a month ago. For a few months I have been working on a project called "Freezing The Frame". The concept was to answer a self posed question as to what poetry is for in our contemporary time. With multi-channel everything and the blur of tweets, sweets and sour news all running 24/7, what can poetry do that is not being done? 

I decided in the end that freezing the frame is at least a comprehensible ambition for poetry. To this effect I have been gathering poets around this banner... I do not believe in labouring concepts with artists. They are artists because they have their own take. 

The other aspect of the project is to produce an accompanying audio file. So far I have two Americans and three Brits. The range of accent and delivery is wonderful to me. All the other writers are serious and by my own judgement "good". We have Jo von Bargen, Jeff Hansen, Paul Tobin, Candy Bright and me.....

So - what do you think? Do you have any archive or hot off the press freeze framing poems and would you care to join us?" 

I told him I was amazed he'd ask, that I'd written poetry long ago when I was young (who hasn't?) but that I hadn't kept any poem around. Just like I don't keep many of my writing notes around (hey, I'm very disorganized). All I do nowadays is to include an occasional poem in my novels, most recently in A HOOK IN THE SKY (they're called "doodles" by the main character).  

How did Oscar intuit I wrote poetry? To this day I don't know. But in the end I gladly participated in the Freeze Frame Project and the anthology was published just before Christmas, on 21 December 2012 by the publisher Gallo Romano.
An unforgettable experience! I met some wonderful poets besides Oscar (we even had a hangout on Google) - all new friends in the magical world of poetry!

If you're curious and want to step out of your daily routine and take a look at the world through the eyes of poets - if you want to listen to poets reading their work the way they feel it should be read, get your copy of Freeze Frame (the audio book comes free, the link is included in the ebook - a printed version is due out in early 2013).

The perfect read by the fireside with your loved one!

Illustration for The year's at the spring; an ... 

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