NEW HOPE INTERNATIONAL REVIEW

An independent small press poetry review

NHI independent review
JOHNNY BARANSKI: CONVICTS SHOOT THE BREEZE
Saki Press
1021 Gregory
Normal
IL 61761
USA
ISBN 1 893823 11 3
$4.50
[+ postage, 57c USA; 76c Canada; $2.55 RoW]
cheques payable to "Lenore Hutton"

JOHNNY BARANSKI: JUST A STONE'S THROW
Tribe Press
c/o Johnny Baranski
3308 N. Terry Street
Portland
OR 97217
USA
$5
checks to Johnny Baranski

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JOHNNY BARANSKI: CONVICTS SHOOT THE BREEZE

This is a beautifully produced 20 page A6 pamphlet. The haiku aside, I was especially impressed by Diana Bower's densely framed block prints being only slightly larger than the haiku they illustrated, thus heightening the sense of containment.

The author's mind, though, not so confined. Johnny Baranski did time in Snohomish County Jail for nuclear weapons protest. What brought men there though is quickly put to one side.

	After a strip search
	old inmates, new inmates
	in blue prison garb
Thereafter in this booklet Johnny Baranski manages to convey the slowness of prison time, simply by telling of the huge importance of small events.
	Starting a new month
	in Snohomish County Jail;
	same old teabag

		Moonlit spider
		web weaving
		cell bar to cell bar
Come the end, like the author, you yearn for release. And you've only done 20 pages.

reviewer: Sam Smith
JOHNNY BARANSKI: JUST A STONE'S THROW

Carefully slip off the red paper band that is wrapped around this floppy-disk-sized package, and when opened unfold the strip of paper it contains.

One side gives all the usual publisher's information and tells you that:

Johnny Baranski's prison experiences are largely the result of his actions against war and nuclear weapons.
Both the cover of the collection and the red band carry a drawing of a headstone bearing the number 14302, the significance of which only becomes apparent when on the second side you read the ten haiku, one of which says:
	in the prison graveyard
	just as he was in life 
	convict 14302
The title of the collection is contained in another poem:
	road to freedom
	just a stone's throw beyond
	the prison graveyard
These are intensely moving poems, encased in one of the most delightful settings I have ever seen.

reviewer: John Francis Haines