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     Responsorials by Rich Follett and Constance Stadler

Responsorials by Rich Follett and Constance Stadler

From the Introduction

The complex relationship between masculine and feminine, explored consistently throughout the history of poetry, offers fertile ground for collaborative creation. In discussion of the inherent possibilities we realized with astonishment that, in a milieu where authenticity is venerated as a hallmark of quality, the lion’s share of published poems exploring this duality have been written from a singular rather than a dialogical perspective. The poems in this collection represent a resultant ongoing effort to break free from the bonds of such limitations; specifically, this is a collection of poetic dyads (responsorials) intended to reveal the myriad facets of the masculine/feminine adventure. 

 - Rich Follett and Constance Stadler

* This book includes a link to an audio download of the poets reading their work.

ISBN  978-0-9819984-3-5
74 pages
5.5"x8.5" perfect bound, paper

To purchase this book click HERE.

Rich Follett is an actor, musician and teacher who has recently returned to writing poetry after a thirty-year hiatus.  A founding member of the Shenandoah Valley’s premiere poetry group The Aubade Circle, his work has been published in several issues of Paraphilia and Calliope Nerve and in a ‘Featured Poet’ capacity at Counterexample Poetics.  Rich has been repeatedly recognized for his artistry in spoken word, most notably at the inaugural summer poetry festival in Middletown, Virginia and on blog talk radio. The poet Duane Locke has publically recognized the excellence of his poetic artistry.

Constance Stadler
has been writing, publishing, and editing poetry from the “prehistoric” epoch of print journals to modern e-times. She was a former editor of South and West and is currently a contributing editor to the e-zine Eviscerator Heaven and Review Editor for Calliope Nerve. She has published over 300 poems and three chapbooks in her ‘first manifestation’ as a poet, and has just released her first two chaps in 20 years, Tinted Steam (Shadow Archer Press) Sublunary Curse (Erbacce) and an eBook, Paper Cuts (Calliope Nerve Media).  

Her most recent work appears in such 'zines as BlazeVox, ditch, ken*again, Pen Himalaya, Rain Over Bouville, Clockwise Cat, Unlikely Stories 2.0, Hanging Moss, Neonbeam, and Gloom Cupboard. Recently, she has been “Featured Poet” for the Guild of Outsider Writers, Counterexample Poetics and The Poetry Warrior.


The artwork included in this publication has been created by Steve Viner.  Steve Viner lives in Dorset, UK, with his wife, Donna, and daughter, Athene.  He has illustrated several chapbooks for Shadow Archer Press, including Tinted Steam for Constance Stadler, with another cover to be released in the near future.  Steve has had work shown in The Glasgow Review as well as various other e-zines and has held a successful Exhibition in the UK.  

Learn more about Steve Viner HERE


“Alterity attracts.  Attracts, especially when the binary opposites are the masculine and the feminine.  James Joyce, in Dubliners, has a character make the observation of the masculine-feminine relationship that a man can never befriend a woman because he will always want to have sex with her.  In From Here to Eternity, James Jones has a character make a similar observation: after a convivial, congenial philosophic conversation, she says to the man, “What all this means is that you want me to take off my dress.”  I have found one of the best descriptions of love in Rainer Maria Rilke, “Love is the cherishing of each other’s solitude.”  

This book of poems, Responsorials, is not only exciting for its poetic art, but also for its diverse responses to this alterity of man and woman.  The reader will be moved by the sentiments, surprised, and enlightened.” 

- Duane Locke, author of 21 books of poetry and recipient of The Edna St. Vincent Millay Prize, The Charles Agnoff Award, and The Poetry Society of America’s Walt Whitman Award      

“The masculine-feminine dynamic is one of contrast, balance and enhancement. In Responsorials, Constance Stadler and Rich Follett have captured beautifully the inherent vulnerability and strength within each through a tender exchange of words. These are not only the intertwining of gender perspectives but also a mutual nourishment...the one to the other. It is not merely the romance of two souls; it extends much further, exploring roles and relationships between men and women which may be circumstantial, intense or fleeting. It is a subtle interplay which goes far to highlight gender difference without reducing it to mere simplistic dichotomy. The richness and beauty of language from both poets cannot be underestimated: this is writing of the highest order, probing the deepest corners of us all.”  

- Gillian Prew, author of standing still in motion and the idea of wings                

“In this profound collection, the often complex interactions between male and female archetypes are explored in the rich poetic language of both traditional and contemporary roles. A must-read for anyone who loves language and the exploration of (yin and yang) male and female within.”
- Maria Gornell, poet, published in the Shoots and Vines all female anthology I Can’t Be Your Virgin and Your Mother         

“Rich Follett and Constance Stadler introduce us in Responsorials to both a poetic collaboration and an exploration of the intimate interface between people who come together in the mysterious terrains of coupling: creative coupling in that the poets themselves are engaged in a shared process, and literal coupling in the sense that the poems themselves reflect the dynamics of people coming together in different forms, where personae and dialogue are devices in a process of unmitigated exchange.

Interesting that the poets mention authority, and the desire to diminish it. This goal very much echoes their take on gender, as this state of co-validity: In these poems, the poets want to avoid staking claims on authority just as this version of gender co-validity avoids comparisons but rather sees strength in the disparate voices, permitted to exist alongside.”  

- Lynn Alexander, poet and co-editor of Full of Crow      

“The exceptional collection Responsorials illustrates an extraordinary greatness, one of mimetic chanting from two equally dynamic vantage points by two rarities of the poetic world.  Together, Constance Stadler and Rich Follett are not at odds here, as is functional and fashionable within the dysfunctional state of neoteric marriages; rather, these two exceptional human beings are in harmonious serenity - outlining experiences of self and others through mysterious connection and understanding of emotional occurrences seen and unseen through the eyes of existential a priori.  

This collection is highly recommended for its language of philosophical poetry and for its coverage of the human status, one of equivalence to comprehension regarding relationships gathered in the literal and poetic definitions handwritten by these two gifted poets.”  

- Felino Soriano, author of ten books of poetry, including the newly released Apperceptions of Reinterpretations (Calliope Nerve Media) and editor of Counterexample Poetics 

“In drunken rage I once screamed a responsorial in a Catholic Church that cannot be reprinted for the sake of decency and, well, common sense.  Reading Responsorials, by Constance Stadler and Rich Follett, I never felt the need to stand up and tell the priest ... I mean ... the writers, my ‘deepest thoughts.’ This is a collection of poems that will keep the reader riveted, focused and eager to turn the page.  It is a give and take, a delicate dance, a lover’s gaze, a back alley deal of pure celebration. Its perspective between male and female is not to be missed and is utterly well done.”

- Jack Henry
, author of with the Patience of Monuments