Saturday, November 23, 2013

Shhhh.......Poems Germinating

44º ~ Dear Siberia, please recall this "arctic air" as it is far, far from home ~ after strong storms, many trees are close to bare with the sweetgum holding on for all its worth

Dear Reader,
I feel the stirring of words in the pit of me. Oh be joyful, but quietly, lest they run for cover again. Here are some reasons for the stirring.

Hayden's Ferry Review will publish two fever poems in the new issue (Issue 53), due out in December. The editors emailed a bunch of contributors about a special subscription project. This issue contains some work submitted around the theme of "Departure," although I believe I submitted the fever poems under the unthemed guidelines. In any case, the editors asked contributors to participate in a special subscription drive (which isn't being offered quite yet) that would include new subscribers receiving a paper airplane with something from a contributor.  The picture above might explain it better.

While I could have simply copied out the poems that are in the issue, I opted to try and generate something new. The result is a poem written under a time constraint, but it is something I think works, so I'm happy with it.


Reading journals. To try and get more poetry in my daily life, I've been trying to read the poems in journals as they arrive, and here are a few standouts.

from Gulf Coast 26.1 (Winter/Spring 2014)
"Fugue for the Sky Burial of Your Father" by M. K. Foster (winner of the 2013 Gulf Coast Poetry Prize)
"You Cannot Go to the God You Love With Your Two Legs" by Patrick Rosal
"Reprieve as Unlikely Baltimore" by Matthew Pennock
"I am not Gertrude Stein" by friend and fellow U of Arkansas alum, Stacy Kidd
"After Warhol's Rorschach, 1984" by friend Adam Vines
"Of the Swan" by Jericho Brown (who will be reading for the Big Rock in February!!!!)

from North American Review 298.2 (Spring 2013)
"Bad May" by Andrew Payton (winner of the 2013 James Hearst Poetry Prize)
"A Phone Line to Seven Generations" by Mark Wagenaar
"A Letter to the Coroner in the Voice of Marian Parker" by Jennifer Militello
"I Swam Where Johnny was Tarzan" by Heather Sellers

from Cave Wall 12
"Seen from Above" by Jennifer K. Sweeney
"What was Promised Me" by Cecilia Woloch
"Keepsakes from the Daily Route" by friend and fellow U of Arkansas alum, Alison Pelegrin
"First Shift" by Heather Cousins
"Morning Train" by Kathryn Stripling Byer


Reading, slowly, Stay, Illusion by Lucie Brock-Broido. If you read me frequently, you know how much I admire Brock-Broido's work. Let's face it, I lap it up. I ended up buying this book as an ebook to see how publishers and programs were handling poetry. Brock-Broido tends to the long line and irregular indents, so I knew it would be a challenge. Sure enough, on my iPad, it is a disaster unless I choose "scrolling view" which destroys the sense of pages in a book. However, happily, on my MacBook Air, it does just fine, and I'm even learning to use the highlight and note function. It certainly isn't the same as cradling a paper copy in my hands, but I do want to give the new technology a chance as I can see the great benefit of being able to access the book from anywhere, rather than having to wait until I get home.  (Yes, I'm a greedy-gut that way!)


Reading, reading, reading submissions for Heron Tree. If you haven't submitted, we accept submissions through December 1. Remember, we read blind, so I won't know it's your work, but I hope y'all will send us your best poems!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Woe Unto this Poor Abandoned Blog

65º ~ slate gray skies, about half of the leaves blown down from the trees

Oh, this poor blog has born the brunt of the suffering this semester.  If there are any readers left around out there, here's some news, in no particular order.

1. For the first time in my life, I have poems out to only one magazine, and those were solicited.

2. For the first time in a very long time, I have not written a new draft in over three months.

3. I have been invited to participate in a roundtable radio interview/podcast on Midwest regionalism on December 7, sponsored by Quiddity at Benedictine University at Springfield (IL).  Fellow panelists: Justin Hamm, Monica Berlin, and Chad Simpson.

4. After the roundtable, we will read at the Dana House in Springfield.

5. The Central Arkansas Broadside Project has a new broadside out, featuring a prose-poemish piece by Tyrone Jaeger.

6. The Big Rock Reading Series wrapped up for the year yesterday with Diana Reaves (poetry) and William Pittam (prose), both graduate students at the University of Arkansas.  Will and Diana brought along two other MFAers, so we had a great lunch where I pestered them with questions about all the goings on up on the hill.

7.  I continue to send out the sickly speaker manuscript, although I think it will undergo a title change today.

8.  The Girlhood Book of Prairie Myths is out there in the world!  There will be a Little Rock reading on February 11 at South on Main.  Wahooooooooo!