"Jim Russo's wounded love of humanity is at the core of his poetry. Yet there's more to it than that. His work is a rich diversity of subjects, moods, emotions, humor, irony, pathos, whimsy, the surreal and the bizarre, ranging from romance to sensual love: Touching Flowers (from Soldiers for Peace & Kids Ruled), "You were touching me down there while I lay upon a carpet of wild flowers, that caused their soft petals to open and their stems to stiffen."
Conversely, in his poem Bad Sex: "How do you create an entire planet of sexual guilt?...I think we can pin this one on religion"; to of course, greed, in his poem, The Bulls (from I Wanna Hold Your Hand & Make Your Move), his broadside against good old Goldman Sachs— “playing the commodity exchange like it’s their own private casino”; to the ferocious fun he pokes at personalized commercialism in his bizarre poem, Stella, when a pampered Beverly Hills shopper pulls a gun from her purse, and shoots dead a hyper-pushy sales girl who hasn’t eaten in days; to catastrophic climate change coming down on us daily, in Dawn of Man (from Soldiers for Peace & Kids Ruled) where he paints a pleasant picture of our human beginnings until finally, “They could kill a saber tooth tiger, a grizzly or a mastodon and live to grunt about it.”
This micro tour is but a taste of the poet’s long reach. Strong on the page, strong on stage, Jim can belt it out. Read him. See him."
Bert Glick—I Used To Be Me
Jim Russo is the founder of Central Coast Poetry Shows and author of three poetry books: I Wanna Hold Your Hand / Make Your Move; Soldiers For Peace / Kids Ruled and The Sway Of Color / Laura.
He shows generosity of heart in his various endeavors as impresario and host, for example, of Central Coast Poetry Shows local TV show featuring widely acclaimed poets like Ellen Bass and Daniel Yaryan and also lesser known, but emerging poets from California’s Central Coast.
These latest volumes bring together the best of his earlier works and make it available under three covers. They are Jim Russo’s Collected Poems.
Speaking with Jim what comes through is the operative phrase “to nourish…”
Robert Sward —Love Has Made Grief Absurd, Gloria, A Monologue
Soldiers For Peace
By Jim Russo
Sky Bolt Circus Press
"Jim Russo traverses a poetic universe uniquely his own – containing narratives of discovery which ricochet between youthful innocence (from adolescent Jimmy’s curiosities) to seasoned wisdom (adulthood unveiling reasons he would rather travel to another planet). Yet, what makes his voice impactful is the wit-infused details he utilizes to lambast conformity, the status quo and postmodern mores.
There is an undeniable beauty to his poetic vignettes that reveals a novelist sharing art-infused portions of prose. Russo’s poems are each an observation undergoing metamorphisis into action – provoking thought and enhanced perspective on human interaction.
–Daniel Yaryan, Sparring With Beatnik Ghosts
There is nothing worse for a poet than the blank page. We’ve made your writing life a little easier by putting together a whole month’s worth of great poetry and writing prompts to help you get your creative juices flowing.
We have two types of prompts: 'seed' prompts that can be used as actual lines in your poem or story, or to inspire thought and creativity.
The other type is 'random word', which is a curated collection of 5, 7, 9 or 11 words that have been assembled with the poet or writer in mind—there's always at least one location word to center your poem, another word that guides action, and then others that represent time and season, and objects and feelings. Some poets like to use up to 20 random words, and so our books can be combined to accommodate that need—combine day 13 of prompt books 9 and 11 to get your 20 words, for example. Random word prompt books can also be used with magnetic poetry kits or slips of paper with words pulled from a hat .
Try out haiku, ballads, sonnets, limericks, free verse, spoken word and ghazals.
Perfect for use in the classroom, in poetry groups, in therapeutic settings and to explore your inner poet in your special place.
Just think, in 31 days, you'll have enough poetry to publish a chap book!
Words are free. Use them.
Of course as poets we're pretty much bristling with things to say--but the path from deep impulse to actual poetry can be complicated.
Anybody can make up mediocre prompts. But Jim is not anybody. It takes a great subtlety, I think, to create prompts actual working poets will be powerfully drawn to.
Only a poet could "write" prompts like these. I'd say, in fact, that "write" is an insufficient verb here; I think Jim intuited these wonderful paths to unknown but potent destinations.
-Tim J. Myers, Down In the White of the Tree Spiritual Poems
Grief & Loss
Love & Romance
5 More Words
7 More Words
9 More Words
11 More Words
To Be Released February 2019
We owe a big thanks to Hungry Skinny for allowing us to use their song, Hot Dang, for the opening and closing credits on the show.
Hungry Skinny is a rock and roll band from San Francisco. The band - comprised of Garrett Riley (vocals/guitar), Sean Russo (vocals/bass), Ty Thorpe (drums), and Remy Vale (guitar) - formed in San Francisco's tenderloin district in early 2011. They have recorded and released 3 EP's with Light Rail Studios and one full length album. Hungry Skinny released their self-titled debut album on Vinyl with Light Rail in January 2016.