Publisher James P. Wagner (Ishwa)
Releases his Latest Poetry Collection
"Ten Year Reunion"
Local Gems Press is proud to announce that its founder and publisher James P. Wagner (Ishwa) has released his latest collection of poetry
Ten Year Reunion.
Inspired by his organizing and attending his own ten year reunion, when a flood of nostalgia came rushing back to him, James did what all poets do and wrote. Ten Year Reunion is a unique look at a world that changed entirely in 10 years.
As you follow in the footsteps of the poet’s spirit, James Wagner (Ishwa) brilliantly explores a slice of life’s journey, from entering the hallways of halcyon days to the corridor’s end; and back. As doors open, in between, he evokes friendships, changes in technology, laughter, loss and more. In a somber moment, he recalls Mr. Campbell’s haunting quote, that 911 “will be the day that will define your entire generation.” As this treasure of age passes from breath to breath, it concludes with A Look Back, recounting each frozen frame as the face in the mirror changes. Ten Year Reunion clearly strikes the balance between the experience of learning and the path to discovery.
~ Robert Savino
Suffolk County Poet Laureate (2015-2017)
James P. Wagner brings the Class of 2004 to life, in a remembrance of time from grammar school to reunion , with a poignant tale of life and death of classmates , the evolution of internet, the “would haves” of hindsight, and the fleeting freedom before adulthood. James has evolved into an all-around go-getter, a credit to the community of the Arts.
Praise for the book...
"I've never been very far from the schools I went to/growing up," writes James Wagner in Looking Back, one of the fine poems in Ten Year Reunion, and proceeds to take his reader back to those schools days. He recalls first encounters with flip phones, playstations and CD players. He shares his wide eyed 7-year old vision of a seemingly endless playgrounds, and his first tentative attempts as a freshman in high school to form friendships and fit in. Perhaps most arresting is his generation's singular experience of 9-11 -- the time-stopping moment when they learned the world trade center had gone down. In this slim collection, Wagner substantially demonstrates what Mindfulness expert Jon Kabat-Zinn preaches -- pay attention to the little things and the little moments in life. They really aren't little at all.
~ George Wallace, First Suffolk County Poet Laureate
Ten Year Reunion is a look back, a go back to a time frozen like a picture. It's a still life James has painted well and filled with flip phones, diskettes, playgrounds and friendships. We take sanctuary in his Library. His collection of poems takes us to places we used to know in our own pasts. Places now empty. We explore the generation defined by 911 and feel the loss of all that came before. But James gives us insight into why every generation feels something is missing in their present, that universal feeling that travels with us into the future.
~ Lorraine Conlin – Nassau County Poet Laureate (2015-2017)