November-December 2014 … The Global Online Magazine of Arts, Information & Entertainment … Volume 10, Number 6
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Category — covers

Covers: Sept ’10 thru Feb ’11


Dancing with Dragons

Putting out a magazine is like dancing with dragons and letting go genies…. You struggle to pull things together without knowing what kind of animal you’ll deliver until the things – the issues — are out of the bottle. We’re doing our best to see that what you take the time to look at and read in Ragazine will add something measurably more memorable to your day than the daily dose of dumbed down pablum delivered by mainstream media to a mind-numbed populous.  Let us know if it’s not and we’ll kick ourselves in the shins, scream “Sakai,” and pay homage to the gods of wind feces (snow), until we get it right.

For those of you ready to dive in now, there’s plenty to break your fall:

The Ragazine cover this month is contributed by New York photographer Gabrielle Revere, whose work reveals the youth and beauty of a new generation. An interview with Revere shows she’s well aware not everyone in the world is so lucky. Our associated galleries include shots from her documentary series, “I only have eyes for you,” which captures the ice-cold irony of the beauty of children living in the midst of oft-neglected poverty.

Photographer Josephine Close explores the world of the psyche in the shadows, a journey into what lies within and beyond the visual field one sees through the camera’s eye, what evolves in the darkroom (or on the computer), and comes to life in the print. Close, in her own words, undertakes the pursuit in “… seeking to illuminate the magic in my life.”

On other fronts: A surreal love story from Stephen O’Connor/Fiction; Michael Parish’s Vignettes/Creative Nonfiction,, which CNF editor Leslie Heywood describes as a “series of vignettes on our strange contemporary relationship with the natural world.  There’s the poetry of John F. Buckley, Anne Babson and John Richard Smith; Jeff Katz’s unusually broad Top Ten music picks of 2010; Mark Levy’s eye on life as theCasual Observer, and his pro bono legal advice column for creative types in Feeding the Starving Artist.

From deep in the heart of Mexico, San Miguel Allende to be exact, politics editor Jim Palombo and guest contributor Horace Whittlesey comment on the effects of modern day prohibition and the unfulfilled promise of California’s recently defeated Proposition 19.

There’s more, of course, including illustrations, book reviews, a couple of events that caught our eyes, and more. … Such As —


Water, from Cecelia Chapman’s Video series

This is the first video we’ve run in Ragazine, but we’ll have more, soon. We are looking for original short videos (approx. 2 minutes) that have not been posted elsewhere, but we’ll sometimes take them if they have. They’ll run in a window on Ragazine, without redirects to other sites, but we will include the videographer’s site references with the piece. E-mail to, as attachments, with a still from the video.

So, while we close out 2010 dancing with dragons, and let the genie out of the bottle with VOLUME 7 Number 1, we wish you a healthy and progressive new year.

As always, thanks for reading.

— Mike Foldes

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Ragazine, updated approximately six times a year, is a collaboration of emerging and established artists, writers, poets, photographers, travelers and interested others, with a goal to promote an eclectic selection of subject matter to an international audience.

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Mail: Ragazine, c/o PO Box 8586, Endwell, NY 13762

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November-December 2010

©Aline Smithson

Arrangement #3

Aline Smithson: The Photographer’s Mother


The Art of Being Modern

Hello, again. Thanks for coming back. We know it’s not easy to take a few minutes out of a busy day for an “arts’ breather,’ but we’re glad you did.
The beauty of the web is also the spider at its center, that being people’s ability to spin whatever yarn they like and put it out in cyberspace. Everybody gets a shot. It used to be there were so few people with sites that it was a small community, many of whom knew one another, often righteously so. That community has grown so that now we’re not just a city, not just a nation, and each site has become one in a million. Or more likely, one in a few hundred million. The web, like the universe, is expanding exponentially, and it’s our challenge to keep up.
The New York Times newspaper is a great example of meeting that challenge. The gray lady may not be at her best these days, circulation and advertising revenue-wise, but she hasn’t lost her touch with news, features, reviews, opinion and leading edge journalism. Say what you want, but take a Sunday morning and afternoon off to read the Times cover to cover (if you can) and you’ll see what I mean. Don’t just take it for granted, because of the paper’s reputation, or because it’s been quoted from or talked about in news and movies since you were two. Read it once cover to cover and deny you’re less of a person than you were hours before when you picked it up — all two or three kilograms! (Sorry, tree people.)
I used to work for a newspaper conglomerate that published News Lite. The managers of the empire knew that busy people didn’t have time, and many didn’t have the interest — to read anything “in depth”. And in order to deliver bite-sized morsels of information people could digest, they peeled the onion until there was little left to eat. Reading theTimes on Sunday is like going to a farmer’s market in September. Two-page spreads on the people of Afghanistan and Pakistan, who too few Americans really know about, and fewer understand. Interviews with Centenarians who too often are passed over in favor of attention to youth culture. Articles on youth and growing up in America, the cost of education, and the more exorbitant costs of not having it. Political coverage by international correspondents who live and work close to the ground they cover. And, of course, so much more.

No paper, of course, is perfect, and I’m in no position to tear wings from the dragon. But so much of what we see and hear on the web these days is a mirror of what the least-common-denominator print publishing offerings give us, that it’s a blessing the Times is still with us — and a sad fact of life that so many other great papers have died, not all of them with their boots on.

This issue of Ragazine has a lot to offer, too. We’re not just a Sunday read; we’re here two months at a time, and it’s OK to come back — again and again, we hope — until you’ve read us “cover to cover”.  Poetry, art, interviews, photography, fiction, creative non-fiction, music, reviews, travel and more, from around the world.

November-December 2010 brings you the photographic series by Aline Smithson, taken of her mother in a variety of poses, including the one at the top of this page; poems by Hannah Greenberg; Farsi poetry by ex-pat Iranian poet Ali Abdolrezaei in the original and in translation by Abol Froushan; an interview with Belgian-American artist Amy Swartelé; fiction by Paul Lisicky and Sarah Sarai; music columns byJeff Katz; a take on illegal immigration by politics editor Jim Palombo and guest writer Robert Murray Davis; a story of reconciliation with the harsh reality of a child’s death in creative non-fiction by James Benton; the Casual Observer followed byScott Hardin’s pane; our legal advice column for creative types, Feeding the Starving Artist; and, from Colorado, Art & About, where Jonathan Evans explores a bit of the blues.

There’s more, of course, but you’ll have to find it. And again, thanks for reading!



September-October 2010

©Albert Watson

Taking the best shot yet

Welcome to another killer issue of

Photographer Albert Watson,  in an interview at his NYC studio, discusses aspects of his craft, the evolution of his career, the equipment he uses to produce his prints, and more.  Referred to byPhoto District News as “one of the most influential photographers of all time,” Watson generously allowed to reprint an extensive portfolio of images, many of which you’ll no doubt recognize from the covers and pages of Vogue, Rolling Stone and Harper’s Bazaar.  Showing no sign of slowing down, Watson has two book collections coming out this fall from PQ Blackwell publishing company, a solo show in Chelsea opening in October, and more than one project in the works.

Sara Ellison Lewis tells what it’s like for her to be a photo stylist in New York. Brookly-based sculptor Miya Ando explains what it means to her “to do good” in the world, a task that merely begins with making art. The cast and crew at Spool MFG, a gallery-performance space in Johnson City, New York, share part of their group’s latest production,Ampersand, a collage-like assemblage of history, poetry and art.

In Music, Jeff Katz reviews the latest musical offering from Eli “Paperboy” Reed, and looks back on 30 years of Paul Simon’s “One Trick Pony“. Jonathan Evans remembers Bob Marley a full 19 years after the reggae legend’s death. And, in Politics, San Miguel Allende, Mexico-based writer Lou Christine recounts his impressions of a 2007 trip to Havana that ring true even today.

On the literary front, there’s the Poetry of Emily VogelTony GruenewaldJ.P. Smelcer and Rob Mustard; the Creative Non Fiction (CNF) of Marissa Fielstein, Fiction from  Mira Martin Parker and Jessie Carty; a book review of  Ted Greenwald’s 2008 volume “3″ by Kayleigh Wanzer, and the wry commentary of our Casual Observer Mark Levy. Levy also weighs in this month withShaun Vavra, offering legal advice in “Feeding the Starving Artist” — “Wait, Wasn’t That My Substantially Similar Idea?”

Rounding things out is the new strip from editorial cartoonist Jeff Hardin, whose first appearance in anchors the Casual Observer.

If all that’s not funky enough for you, we’ll just have to keep trying.


February 25, 2011   Comments Off on Covers: Sept ’10 thru Feb ’11

Cover: July-August 2010

Jean Marc Calvet, Legend, Acrylic on Canvas, 90cm x 90 cm, 2010

The 20 Act Play

A friend paints. I wonder how she does it. Day after day, year after year, for as long as I’ve known her, 35 years – which is quite a long time, indeed. It’s not the mechanism I wonder about, but the motivation, the drive, the wellspring of the ideas that come to her as she applies layer upon layer of color until the piece itself achieves unity. Some of the works look alike. In their style, that is. The subjects almost always are different. She’s not skinning the same cat twice.

With the help of a growing population of contributors — painters, poets, photographers, writers and others after arcane pursuits — we try to do that with each issue of  The format is designed to put each and every contributor – and contribution – center stage, for how else can an audience best judge the performer?

With the July-August issue, we’ve got dozens of images and thousands of words, in nearly 25 posts. Not all the posts, I’m afraid, are included in the list of “Recent Posts” that appears column left, so don’t be afraid to click on the categories to the right that may be of interest to you. The latest posts in that category will lead the page.

Regular features include “On Location/Los Angeles” with Ginger Liu, and “On Location/Columbus”, the latter with a snapshot bio of Candice Watkins, artist, photographer & musicologist; and, an update from Baghdad on the activities of Kitchen Caravan’s Emma Piper-Burketand the Iraqi Seed Project. “Music” includes Jaff Katz’s review ofNeil Young’s Albany gig at the opening of his latest tour, and an interview with Graham Parker. “Politics” editor Jim Palomboshares his unique experiences and artwork from Cuba. And for amateur filmmakers, Mark Levy shares his regrets in Casual Observer.

On the literary front, you’ll find fiction by Kris Saknussemm andDavid Cody; an exploration of the “life force” by Lucy Sherman, with a thoughtful introduction by CNF editor Leslie Heywood; poetry byPaul Sohar, including translations from Hungarian to English; poetry by Laura Merleau, written in both English and French, as well as poems by Carmen Mojica and Deborah LaVeglia.

In a world of contrasts, nothing could be more different than the “spiritual madness” and reconciliation in the work of French-born artistJean Marc Calvet,  and the tranquility evidenced in the communion with nature drawn out in the paintings of Transylvanian artist Claudiu Presecan. For more visual impact, check out the gallery of photographs by Jim Friedman, whose obsession with the interior design of golf balls gives something to think twice about before taking that next big swing. And in keeping with summer, Herm Card, who’s spent decades as player, coach and umpire, shares some of the special photos he’s taken staking out the diamond as a photographer.

At home, Emily Vogel joins poetry editor Joe Weil on the staff as assistant poetry editor. Vogel is the recipient of second prize for The Academy of American Poets competition at Binghamton University, 2008. Her third collection of poetry, “Elucidation Through Darkness”, was published by Split Oak Press in May of 2010.   She has been nominated for the AWP award in creative non-fiction, 2010.

We’re hoping you, dear reader, will let us know your thoughts about the play. And if you please, leave a comment on your way out after the curtain falls at the end of Act 20-something. And thanks for reading!

– Mike Foldes is a program of Binghamton Imaginink, a 501(c)(3) organization incorporated in the State of New York. Your donations to Binghamton Imaginink earmarked for are, updated approximately six times a year, is a collaboration of new and established artists, writers, poets, photographers, travelers and interested others, with a goal to promote an eclectic selection of subject matter to an international audience.

August 20, 2010   Comments Off on Cover: July-August 2010