Zvi A Sesling Poetry

Welcome to Zvi A Sesling's Home Page


 Photo by Susan J. Dechter



Selected by Boston Poet Laureate Sam Cornish  to read my poetry at New England PEN "Discovery"   March 2008.

First Prize 2007 Reuben Rose International Poetry Competition. 

Third Prize 2004 Reuben Rose International Poetry Competition. 

Honorable Mention 2011 Reuben Rose International

Poetry Competition




Editor & Publisher of the Muddy River Poetry Review

I have taught at Boston University, Emerson College, Suffolk University


Order my chapbook Across Stones Of Bad Dreams from the Cervena Barva Bookstore:  www.thelostbookshelf.com  or from me at zviasesling@comcast.net 

      Across Stones Of Bad Dreams

Review of ACROSS STONES OF BAD DREAMS by Zvi A. Sesling, Cervena Barva Press, P.O. Box 440357, W. Somerville, MA 02144-3222, cover art by William J.Kelle, 39 pages, 2011, $7.

Review by Barbara Bialick

This great chapbook is about the giant dumpster of memory in the realm of past loves gone dead. The image of death carries right into the end, where Sesling imagines heaven as a welcoming place with a beautiful aquamarine sky like his mother’s ring…and yet there are his mother and father and relatives still instilling guilt and criticism and where “Piles of ancestors like old newspapers in the basement/will present themselves as headlines for me to acknowledge,…the sun yellow as the stars my aunts, uncles, cousins wore.” Only “Dogs from my past will bound forward through green fields,/tails wagging a quick metronome to their happy bark…”

That’s a heavy ending, and yet the sad, angry, sardonic but wry, and rye light touches of getting dumped by or dumping his past loves, even a son, carries you to the end with the voice of an experienced and knowing writer’s careful use of language. This whole collection works.

Back to the dumpster. “In this dumpster are all the dumped people, lovers, wives/husbands, boyfriends, girlfriends/old friends, acquaintances,/parents, children/,,,crushed like grapes…waiting for a chance to be rescued, dumped again.”
Sesling even feels dumped by the brother he does not have—“The brother who does not/exist is the shadow that/follows in the streets/or the rooms I enter/he never cries for me”.

Zvi Sesling, who recently published “King of the Jungle” (Ibbetson Street Press), is the editor of the “Muddy River Poetry Review”. He has published poetry in “Midstream”,
“Saranac Review,” “Voices Israel Anthology,” “Cyclamen and Swords” and many others. In 2007 he received First Prize in the Reuben Rose International Poetry Competition.

To buy this book, which I hope you do, go to Cervena Barva’s bookstore at www.thelostbookshelf.com.




Order my poetry book King Of The Jungle through Amazon.com, Lulu or

directly from me at zviasesling@comcast.net

Reviews below 









King of the Jungle 

By Zvi A. Sesling 

Review by Hugh Fox

King of the Jungle
By Zvi A. Sesling 
73pp    $15.00
Ibbetson Street Press
25 SchoolStreet            
                             Somerville, MA 02143.  

Low-key, meditative, deep insights, accessible,personal, revelatory, as you’re reading through King of the Jungle you are brought very intimately into Sesling’s inner world: “I am sitting in my old rocking chair/on my lap is a solid book, thick with words...//the moon is scimitar shaped//offering little light, just a big grin in the gaping mouth of the night sky...//I sit in the rocker and watch he imperceptible movement toward darkness//or light wndering if we or some other civilization has made a base by which/the evenual control of the Earth becomes a reality rather and the material of//science fiction.” (“Moonlight,” p.6)

Everyday beginnings that slowly turn into bibliophilic musings about ultimate realities, a strange combination of Low Key and Ultimate Key, a strong sense of aloneness that triggers deep musings on historical-philosophical realities: “Morning consists of lying in bed/with talk radio...//Weekends in bed with talk radio/listen, listen//No one to talk to.” (“As Good as Dead,” p.50).

A very satisfying combination of the everyday and historical here: “The dust of bones has mingled with/Sand, and the wind whistles a funereal/March of the ancients who rise from/Graves to tell their lives...//king and slave/Equal in a future neither would have dreamed.” (“Archaeology,” p.51).Playing with irony, ultimately Sesling is both a personal story-teller and a prophet who sees his own life/world in the context of all-time and all-place.








Review of KING OF THE JUNGLE by Zvi A. Sesling

by Zvi A. Sesling, Ibbetson Street Press
Somerville, MA
73 pages, $15

By Barbara Bialick

KING OF THE JUNGLE may be a first book, but it doesn’t read like one. It’s a book by an experienced, professional writer who’s got his own voice speaking out in every poem, and he should be considered worth reading by both small press fans and the mainstream. This may be because he got his first kiss in Youngstown, Ohio, which reminded him of a sweaty afternoon watching the Indians play baseball…but he didn’t stop there. “In the human species looks, money/and sometimes personality could get/a female to lay on her back, spread/her legs and say Enter my jungle/And what a jungle! The vines wrap/around you, the lions roar…”

He doesn’t stop there. He also reminds us of the Viet Nam War jungle, and about Jews forced to wear yellow stars in Hitler’s Germany. He keeps hinting at desert sands he doesn’t name, but he seems to describe Jewish immigrants who not only came to the U.S, but went to Israel.

Even the book itself is on slippery sensual paper including the cover, which features an original art work by Irene Koronas, artist and also poetry editor of the Wilderness House Literary Review. The picture makes me think of Sesling’s “word sheets hanging out to dry” or again, the desert sands of his poem “Pyramid”: “There among the flat sands/the color of a cat/the grey pyramid arises/…built by slaves forgotten/…crushed Hebrew bones…”

Before I even read the book I was intrigued with the word “jungle” on the cover and who could be king of it. I created a little word game: J for Jewish, U for universe or university, N for nazis, G for God or girls, L for life or life force, and E for earth. But he mentions neither university nor God in this book, except perhaps subtly as a lightening bolt that splits in halves the fruit tree “where a man and woman, naked, eat the fruit of the tree…”

Sesling’s poetry has been published widely. His work placed Third in the 2004 and First in the 2007 Reuben Rose International Poetry Competition. He’s also the editor of the Muddy River Poetry Review. There’s an intriguing introduction to the book by Boston Poet Laureate Sam Cornish, which declares Sesling “a buttoned-down Bukowski—direct, honest, male writing…” Who wouldn’t want to check this book out!





Magazine Publication Credits: 

  • Asphodel, A Literary Journal
  • Bagel Bards 3
  • Boston Braves Historical Association Newsletter
  • The Chaffin Journal
  • Chiron Review
  • Clarion, Newsletter of Adath Jeshrun, Minnetonka MN
  • Cyclamens & Swords (online)
  • Eden Waters Press
  • HazMat Review
  • Ibbeston Street
  • Illya’s Honey
  • Istanbul Literary Review
  • Main Channel Voices
  • Matrix (New Zealand)
  • Midstream
  • Mobius
  • Muddy River Poetry Review
  • New Delta Review
  • Plainsongs
  • Poetica, Reflections of Jewish Thought
  • Saranac Review
  • Ship of Fools
  • South Boston Literary Gazette
  • Third Wednesday
  • Touchstone
  • The Tower  (Canada)
  • Voices Israel Anthology (Israel)
  • Wavelength 

          and many more