Intermittent rain much of today, which has been nice because we needed it. Early this afternoon Randy hollered from the back yard Your tomato's fallen over! and I hurried out to help him set it back up. It's actually three tomato plants (Sweet 100) in a great big plastic tub planter, big and rangy and absolutely loaded with clusters of mostly-still-green fruit. We started out with one steel wire tomato cage, then wired a second on atop the first; now we're using cotton twine to secure the various errant limbs. It's loaded. It's top-heavy. It's seven feet tall and shows no sign of stopping. It sucks up all the moisture in the soil and must be watered each day. A strong gust of wind knocked it over. I braced the bottom with two heavy bricks, but I'm thinking now that maybe the bricks should go in the planter, not against it.
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Three days to go: submissions for the Keystone Chapbook Prize must be postmarked (or received via e-mail) by July 15, and they're coming in steadily. Thanks to everyone who's helped to spread the word, or bought a chapbook, or sent well-wishes. Our wee press is having a good year. Next week, I hope to post the cover image for our second title, Deborah Burnham's Still--the final proofs were mailed out on Friday, so I'm just waiting for the go-ahead--and our publication date is set for August 15th . . . I just heard from Robin Becker that she's ready to announce the winning manuscripts in that competition (I don't know yet, but I'll post the news on the 7KP blog as soon as I've been in touch with the authors) . . . Also, we're planning to announce our first fiction title this fall, hopefully in September, if all goes well: more on that in--well, in September, I guess. Do check out the Seven Kitchens blog for all the offical newsy updates.
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Special thanks to Louis McKee, who's been kind enough to let me pick his brain about some publishing questions, and who graciously sent me some chapbooks, including an early one by Harry Humes, and a beautiful hand-letterpressed broadside, No War by Stephen Berg, produced by Banshee Press.
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Heading off to Cincinnati at the end of the month to hang at the family homestead (thanks again, Sis, for the plane tix). Then it's all about gearing up to teach: classes start the last week of August. I'll be ready, but I'm sooo glad I have a month to prepare.
Oh, oh! And Eduardo rolls into town in late August. He'll be living at the Poet's Cottage. We'll dish. We'll put some chapbooks together. We'll maybe get back to writing some collaborative poems. Looking forward to it!
Hannah Larrabee, Murmuration
6 days ago