Books By Frank Crocitto

This is some load of books, even if I do say so myself. Furthermore, this isn't the half of it. Frankly, it's more like a quarter of it. "It" being the ever-accumulating pile (of books) that I've funnelled a lifetime of thoughts and feelings and god-knows-what-else into. The other three-quarters still in my files will one day see the light of day, hopefully, one piece at a time. Some of these poor, yet to be published children of mine are among my favorites—like the Rumi translations and the book about Jesus and the Thoreau book and the screenplay about John Wilkes Booth and the radio play about Diedrich Bonhoeffer (who stood up to the Nazis) and that other elusive volume of poems, that as yet has no title, and—and—and—and I'm hoping they will step into print like Red Ryder used to step out of it, and some day soon.

What we have here is a full house—nine stage plays—all of which, at one time or another, have blossomed into actual productions—three radio plays which were all performed and broadcast—three volumes of tales—long and short, of dogs and cabbage-heads and kings, all more or less illuminating, most entertaining—some talks and lectures—and, oh yes, a frail little volume, frail as a sparrow's legs, frail as his wings, called A Renegade of Birds. Which reminds me what I like most about these books: they've got good covers: simple, clean, creative, so that in this bundle of books you can always tell a book by its cover. Not to mention the titles: there are some beauties here—well, I don't have to list them, you can see for yourself.

A book is like a cake—a lot goes into it. In go the ingredients—flour, eggs, sugar etc. You give it a good whipping. You give it a shape and a topping and then you send it into the fire. An ordeal. But when it's baking the fragrance of it soars throughout the house, transforming the mood of the place, and when it's savored you come to realize how Marie Antoinette spoke so much better than she meant when she snickered, "Let 'em eat cake." Need I say more?

A Renegade Of Birds - by Frank Crocitto

They say poetry is a pretty tough sell in these times, in this country. Maybe that's why Frank—who has a penchant for bucking the current—decided to let loose his Renegade of Birds. (Then again Dylan Thomas didn't do too bad, and neither has Rumi.)

Once Upon A Dog - by Frank Crocitto

Here's a dog book to end all dog books or maybe to begin all dog books. Frank takes us on a ride through his heart, where most of real life takes place. He leaves out none of the ache and uplift, the exhilaration and ecstasy that loving contact with man-and-woman's best friend invariably brings. He subtitles his book,rather appropriately: Tales of dogs that ran away with my heart.

May I In The Merry Merry - by Frank Crocitto

This book—admittedly—is outrageously small. If you're counting pages. All it contains is a single story. But what a story! A story that can blossom into all sorts of possibilities. It's a jazzy, poetic, tender, outrageous and funny fable of old Manhattan. In it Frank captures the pure, sweet spirit of the Sixties through his depiction of the head-on encounter and instant romance of that truly great character—Vinnie Sciaputo (of Bay Ridge ) and the gorgeous, brilliant but bored, Regina Holloway  ("of Hoity-Toityville" ).

Insight Is Better Than Ice Cream - by Frarnk Crocitto

Though the title he gave his book is snickered at and often blithely disputed, especially when the tongues talking have never tasted the ambrosia of insight, Frank insists on it. And slyly invites you to take a taste of his take on topics as varied as love, teachers, death, cars, money, fist-fighting, education, traveling, work, coffee--he goes on and on.

It's stories and straight talk straight out of his experience. Here's a snatch at random:

An Angel Visits Warpost - A Play By Frank Crocitto

Buried in Stephen Crane’s collected works is a short story that is the companion piece to his famous “The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky”. Set in the rip-roaring, lawless town of Warpost, Texas, not far from Yellow Sky, the invasion of land speculators from the East and the prospect of becoming rich persuades its inhabitants to reform themselves, and their town’s reputation. The struggle eventually brings in Marshall Jack Potter, assisted by his old friend Scratchy Wilson to bring peace to the place.

Hurray For Love - by Frank Crocitto

In his typically fresh and audacious way Frank packs a world of wisdom and experience into his slender volume about love. Not about sex and not about schmaltz, but about the real thing. He tells his story, a vivid, dramatic one, and out of it comes his great discovery about love—"the basic dynamic of love: The Three Pillars of Love." Then, since his optimism knows no bounds, Frank puts on paper the three essential, and practical, steps that make it possible for anyone to develop their personal capacity to love.

Behold the Man: Part 1 - A Play By Frank Crocitto

Part 1 is the first half of a play that has occupied playwright, Frank Crocitto, for the better part of forty years. Begun at Herbert Berghof’s Playwrights Foundation and recently produced at New Paltz’s The Present Company, the play utilizes the Catholic devotion created by St. Francis of Assisi to reveal the inner struggle of Jesus of Nazareth as he walks from Pilate’s judgment hall to Calvary. With honesty, love and reverence, the play telescopes the life and triumphs of Jesus as he moves from station to station on the Way of the Cross.

The Bride Comes To Yellow Sky - A Play By Frank Crocitto

Back in those high times—the legendary Sixties—when hope was in the driver's seat and anything seemed possible, Frank happened to sit in on a playwrighting class where the great Herbert Berghof was raving (as was his delightful way) of a "marvelous, magnificent story just waiting to be dramatized"—Stephen Crane's The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky. And, with a mischievous twinkle in his eye, attempting to goad a New York character named Joe somebody-or-other—oh, Molnar! Joe Molnar! that was his name—into doing it.

A Field Where Shadows Fall - A Play By Frank Crocitto

Everybody who reads Stephen Crane's Upturned Face agrees it's a great story. The critics, too. They proclaim it to be a Hemingway story before Hemingway. Crane himself tried to get somebody to dramatize it. And there were attempts. Alas, none of them were successful.

O Fathomless Love - A Play By Frank Crocitto

How about this: Frank reads a poem by Stephen Crane, his favorite long and short story writer, and takes it as a challenge. Make a play of it. All right, that shouldn't be too hard. It has to take place under the ocean. Oh, that makes it a little more difficult. What's more, make it a love story. Under the ocean? And make it about the power of love. Yes, and make it believable. Show the bond of love, its power, the kind of power that might bring a dead man back to life. Make it funny, too and beautiful. And make sure when its over the audience is smiling with tears in its eyes.