Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Happy Mail



A little more good news on the publishing front. The editors of Meridian have accepted two poems for the next issue. This will be my second appearance in Meridian, and they also published a review of Blood Almanac. If you've never checked them out, this is one of my favorite journals...a good balance of work and beautifully produced.

As I've said before, it's hard to stay motivated about writing during the height of the semester, but moments like these prove that all of the work from the summer matters in the end.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Congratulations Are In Order

Good news for a fellow Arkansas MFA and good friend.

Crab Orchard Review and Southern Illinois University Press are pleased to announce the selection of last year's competition. Our final judge, Ricardo Pau-Llosa, selected William Notter's HOLDING EVERYTHING DOWN as the winner of the 2008 Crab Orchard Series in Poetry First Book Award. HOLDING EVERYTHING DOWN will be published by Southern Illinois University Press in October 2009.

Congratulations Bill!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

What I'm Reading: Poets & Writers Nov/Dec 2008

Just got the new edition of Poets & Writers and am regretting a schedule that precludes reading it from cover to cover as usual. I did read two of the shorter articles tonight. One is an overview of the Cider Press/Stacey Lynn Brown events. The article presents more information from the point of view of the press, along with Brown's points. Also, I read the profile of Paul Guest, a poet whose work I admire and whose blog I read fairly regularly. If you aren't familiar with his work, check it out. I can't wait to read the profile of Toni Morrison. Also of interest to me is Mike Chasar's piece on being asked to write poems for the Iowa City Press-Citizen. Lots to look forward too.

Also in the mail: a copy of Carolyn Guinzio's new book Quarry.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Absentee

I have been prioritizing my time lately, and when I sit down to poetry, I've been reading a lot rather than posting here. I've also devoted time to continue sending out poems to magazines and the book to publishers. Some good news: I'll have poems appearing in the new issues of Hunger Mountain and New South, as well as one set to appear in Linebreak.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

What I'm Reading: Poetry October 08

Yesterday, during my office hours, I turned around twice and realized that, aside from some minor homework grading, I had no major school work to do this weekend. Woo Hoo. A return to poetry. So I'm catching up with the stack of journals on my desk.

In the October 2008 issue of Poetry, I found quite a few poems that touched a chord with me. Poets Sarah Lindsay, Laura Kasischke, Jill Osier, and Maurice Manning have been favorites of mine for awhile now, and I was glad to read their new poems. However, it was Eric Ekstrand's work that stood out the most.

This issue contains five poems by Ekstrand, all titled "Appleblossom," with the fifth poem adding "(Leaving Edo)" to the title. The footnote on the first poem says, "Each 'Appleblossom' is a verse translation from the Japanese of a short selection from the notebooks of Chiri, Basho's traveling companion during the years between Withered Chestnuts and Travelogue of Weatherbeaten Bones." Intriguing.

These poems express a fragile strength. There is beauty in the images and humor and grief and desire. While Ekstrand uses long lines, the poems themselves are rather short. Still, after reading each one, I find myself pausing in the best way and rereading, only to discover that the poem continues to unfold.