Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Winter boarder: bay tree

December 1: time to bring the bay tree indoors for the winter.

It does take up a pretty big corner of the kitchen, but there's nothing like fresh-from-the-tree bay leaf.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Reevaluating my facile relationship with Nature, or: The first few baby spiders in the laundry room looked so cute until I glanced up--

--and saw multitudes dangling from their invisible threads and realized they were already in the laundry basket so I threw everything back into the dryer and set it on high then caught as many of the tiny critters as I could in an upturned broom and set it outside in the cold (forgive me) before backing out of the laundry room feeling all prickly and freaked out and brushing myself all over . . .

It's really us or them.

fabric search!

When I last visited my folks in August, I taught Mom how to paper-piece a six-point star and hexagon: six of each, when combined, make up a block that I was working on. I didn't know yet what to do with these blocks; they were just fun to make and I had a vague notion that they'd make a nice star quilt.

It turns out that, like most quilt patterns I come up with, someone has done it before. Which is fine--it's wonderful, actually, because I'm very drawn to traditional quilting and patterns. The blocks I was making are the basic units for a Seven Sisters quilt.

But they're quite variable, as well: Mom and I came up with four or five variations, sitting at the kitchen table and moving the paper diamonds and hexagons into different combinations. I cut out a big batch of each from the subscription cards I'd taken from her magazines (these cards are the ideal weight for paper-piecing and I'm always saving them) to start Mom off, and before I left to come back home, she'd already finished her first block (and she'd done a very good job, despite her initial misgivings of "Oh, that's too hard; too many pieces").

Which brings us to the fabric search. Here's the basic block that I showed her how to make:

And here is the block variation that she came up with:

Doesn't it look like a snowflake? And completely different from the first pattern. I've been making mine with yellow or white stars in the center surrounded by dark or medium blue hexagons to emphasize the stars. By repeating the diamond points, she's extended the center star into a more complex crystal shape.

The problem is with the first block: she needs more of the center blue to finish off the outer points on that block. We think that maybe I gave her the blue that she started out with, so I've been searching to see if I have any more of it--so far, without any luck. Does anyone out there have a 6 x 8 inch piece of this blue fabric? Here's a closeup, and thanks very much:

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Quilt project: Lone Star

A few pics of the Lone Star quilt top I'm making for R. I'm using an old method, English paper piecing, which basically involves basting each piece of fabric onto a small paper cutout (in this case, little diamond shapes) and then sewing each diamond into place. As each concentric row is completed, the basting thread is removed from the previous row and the paper backing is picked out. In the close-up below, you can see the center eight-point star, the green second row, the third row (a reproduction shirting cotton), and a bit of the fourth row, which still has its basting stitches in:

To photograph the quilt top, I pinned it to a white whole-cloth quilt that Randy made a few years ago. It looks awesome against all that quilting!

But still a ways to go. I try to get in a half-hour of piecing each night. The finished quilt should be about the size of the white one it's pinned against (or roughly 40 x 40 inches):

These photos were taken October 10th. I'll post another pic soon that I took on November 10th. Making slow but steady progress . . .

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Dear Wordsworth

While taking a brief respite from grading, I scanned some of the lower bookcase shelves for a few more poetry books to donate to the library. Found an old copy of William Hathaway's The Gymnast of Inertia, published by LSU in 1982, and of course I had to skim through it before putting it in the "go" pile. Here's a poem for all you fellow teachers:


I liked your poems "Michael," "We Are Seven,"
and "Idiot Boy" very much, even when
the teacher read them aloud and cried
and blew her nose. "Tintern Abbey" is really neat,
though I don't understand it. I did a walk-
athon for March of Dimes once. I hate your poem
"Daffodils." Ha-ha, that's just a joke,
I just don't know better because of television.
Seriously, why did you become such a crusty,
old poo-poo? Professor Borck at the university
says you got tired of not being rich. My
dad says poor people are happy being poor
because God loves everyone--even poets. I
think it would be romantic to have a French
girlfriend and a dopefiend for a best friend.
I can hardly wait until my creepy sister
goes to college and I can have her room.
My best friend is Veralee Broussard and I can
talk about anything with her. I wish you
could tell me what it's like to be dead.
It would feel neat to lie in a cozy coffin
underneath the flowers and know everything.
Really, you rot and go to heaven or hell.
Well, this is almost two hundred words, so
I have to go. Tomorrow we read Amy Lowell.
Mrs. Curtis says she smoked cigars!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Is it Mercury?

I heard somewhere that Mercury was retrograde; maybe that's the reason for all the idiots on the road lately--have been in a couple of really close calls with drivers who suddenly veered into my lane or glanced up from their cell phone chatter just in time to NOT rear-end me. C'mon, people. Pay attention out there. If I could teleport to Williamsport (oh, now I feel pressured to keep rhyming) I'd do it, but meanwhile it's back on the road where usually my main worry is stray deer.

Well, I shopped around a bit online and then went out tonight & blew a gaping hole in the 7KP budget, an act I hope I don't regret. We needed a printer, a good, dependable, total-access laser printer. So now we have one. It's still in the box: a Canon something-or-other. I'll clear space for it this weekend. And yes, we'll gladly accept donations (of any size) to help replenish the budget. Buy a chapbook! Buy two! Support our independent micropress!

We're still tinkering with the cover, but Erin Bertram's Inland Sea is on schedule to come out this month. Can hardly wait: wonderful poems.

Ugh, midnight. I'm a pumpkin. Night night, y'all.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Back to the blog

I'm still here: juggling teaching, grading, commuting, and the myriad tasks that come with the press. I need to head off to my next class in six minutes. Just ate a sandwich at my desk from the little coffee stand downstairs--I was going to make a sandwich but the bread had gone bad, something I didn't notice until after taking a bite, ewww. I need to head off to class in four minutes. Last night I tried to preserve some Japanese maple leaves by pressing them between waxed paper layers with a warm iron; I'm not sure it worked because the edges are curling up; I may try again tonight. It's a long winter to go without leaves. Three minutes till class time. We (the press) lost a significant benefactor today; I'm trying to roll with it but I'm not sure yet what the impact will be. Two minutes: time to gather my papers and notes. R just texted me that he found a recipe for kim chee chicken: I'm game. And it's showtime, and I'm off--

Thursday, October 15, 2009


You planted cabbages to please me,
I know.
And there the last three or four of them clung
like pock-marked green moons in orbit
across the muddy sky of the garden slope.

We had to get out the hatchet
to chop the woody stem off the one I wanted.
And then I pulled off leaf after leaf,
each rubbery jacket bull's-eyed
like cigarette burns on an unfortunate table,
where slugs had tried to burrow in.

Before I brought it inside for a good scrub
I hacked off
half-a dozen leaves with my pocket knife
and flung them onto the compost heap,
flicking slugs off,
lacking the zeal even to deprive
them of their disgusting lives.
Autumn is here, and where
is the gardener's thoroughness
that would have been mine in March or May?

The essence of cabbage
as I chopped through its crunchy thickness
on the kitchen counter
was what the word October
smells like.
That pure white-and-greenness
that filled my head
with what grows and keeps on growing
was what I had needed all this
short and getting-shorter day.

:: Richard Tillinghast, The New Life

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

New chap covers

Last night I picked up the covers for Christina Pacosz's chapbook, Notes from the Red Zone. I got one copy assembled, just enough to cross the finish line on time (the official publication date is September 1st). More news soon on the 7KP blog--I'm still at the office right now--but here's a peek at the cover:[cover image: "Biblis" by Tim Haini. Used by permission. See more of the artist's work at]

Monday, August 24, 2009

Follow the poop

The Milkweed Experiment is a success: I noticed something had been eating the leaves and took a closer look. Caterpillar poop!
Two tears ago I managed to grow one milkweed plant from a handful of seeds. It only grew a few inches tall before winter, but came back like Jack's Beanstalk last year: crazy robust growth but no flowers. And no monarchs.

By this spring, the milkweed had spread, sending up eight or nine shoots! I had to stake them (they're planted right at the corner of a raised bed where the neighbor's downspout overflows constantly, and in heavy rain anything growing there can get shredded) but they thrived, blooming heavily and sending out a half-dozen warty outer-spacey seed pods:
Today, I took a good close look and found two caterpillars munching away: one smallish (pictured below) and another about as big as my index finger (the big caterpillar had tucked inside a curled leaf by the time I had come back with my camera, so no pic yet). We're going to keep a close watch on these guys--hopefully will get pics of a chrysalis soon.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

CFS: Tattoo Anthology!

Click here to read the full article in the Los Angeles Times.

Friday, August 07, 2009

CFS: New online journal for writers of color

"Kweli Journal is a new online literary journal established to identify, promote and nurture emerging writers of color. We also seek to expand the audience of authors of color who already have a foothold in the industry. Our mission, as editors and publishers, is to find a broad, international audience for the artists that we publish and the work that we find engaging and uncompromising."

"As a biennial publication, Kweli plans to publish Fall/Winter and Spring/Summer editions. We encourage new and emerging artists, as well as established voices, to submit their work for consideration. Kweli is particularly interested in short stories, poetry, and excerpts from novels that are self-contained. We seek high quality literary work that is beautiful and sustaining, profound and powerful."

Click here for complete submission details.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

CFS: Final day for Reginald Shepherd Prize

For all you procrastinators out there, today is the deadline for the Reginald Shepherd Memorial Poetry Prize. The final judge is Carl Phillips. Click here for guidelines, then step to it!

Friday, July 24, 2009


Congrats to Jeff Walt, whose chapbook manuscript "Vows" just won the Gertrude Press Poetry Chapbook Contest. The news was just posted yesterday, only two months behind schedule (ahem). Best of luck with your new publisher, Jeff!

Wednesday, July 08, 2009


I drove up to Lyco today, after meeting Randy for a quick lunch. I had library books to pick up. And to drop off: five more books to donate, including Olga Broumas' Rave and J.D. McClatchy's Hazmat.

"It's our E-Z Borrow guy!"

Yeah, it's me. I brought my own tote bag. Fill 'er up.

Also fiddled with the cover(s) of our next 7KP title. Not so much "fiddled" as took advantage of a super-fast, super-loaded library computer to tweak my cover designs, save them as PDFs, and print out a color copy to stick on my wall for inspiration as I move into the assembly stage of this project. Will post the cover images over at Seven Kitchens sometime this week.

Picked up a print job on the way home: covers for the second printing of Judith's and Steven's chaps. Which look just like the covers for the first printing. But now we're in the second printing.

Some hammock time with At Work: The Art of California Labor before dinner--tandoori chicken, grilled shrimp, basmati rice, curried vegetables, naan, and an ice-cold beer. Oh hell, yes, Randy can cook. And leftovers in the fridge.

Upstairs, what I mistook for a book on the chair in the bathroom. Upside-down, on its spine, the title HEAVY DUTY. I pondered the sound of the words, flicked through a mental list--honoring our parents' wishes, being truthful, burying the cat, signing the DNR form all came to mind before I realized it wasn't a book. It was the cardboard packaging around the new shower curtain. But even then, even after mentally shoehorning the words back into their purely utilitarian place, they echoed with a deeper resonance.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Call for shark poems!

Please pass this along--what a fun opportunity!

Shark Summer Poetry Contest

Thursday, July 02, 2009

CFS: Subito Press

for all you "innovative writers" out there:

Subito Press of the University of Colorado invites submissions to its annual book competition. We will publish two books of innovative writing, one each of fiction and poetry:
  • Submissions will be accepted from June 1 to August 15, 2009 (postmark date).
  • Submit manuscripts of up to 70 pages of poetry or up to 100 pages of (double spaced) fiction along with a $20 reading fee and an SASE for notification of results.
  • Manuscripts should include two cover sheets: one with title only, the other with title, author's name, address, e-mail, and phone number.
  • All submissions will be judged anonymously by the creative writing faculty at the University of Colorado; friends, relatives, and former students of University of Colorado creative writing faculty are not eligible.
  • Simultaneous submissions are ok; please notify Subito immediately if your ms. is accepted elsewhere.
  • Winners will give a reading at the University of Colorado in the Spring of 2010.
  • Notification of winners will occur by January of 2010.
  • Send mss. to: Subito Press, Department of English, 226 UCB, Boulder CO 80309-0226.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Micropublishing fiction

Please check out Dan Jaffe's article over at Kim's Craft Blog discussing how he published his story, "One-Foot Lover," with Seven Kitchens Press!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Mystery cactus

A few years ago--maybe five or six--I found a cactus leaf on the floor of a local greenhouse, next to a floor drain. A single leaf, rather small and wan, already limp from having been knocked off its mother plant--but looking around, I couldn't locate the source. I slipped the leaf in my shirt pocket and, fortunately, remembered it at the end of the day. After floating in a cup of water for a day or two, it seemed visibly revived, and I had not much trouble rooting it. I think I had to wait almost six months before it actually put out a second leaf.

Fast forward to last year: the wee cactus has been steadily growing in a narrow wall pocket (planter) in my bathroom and has four or five arching stems. Then, finally, it popped: seven or eight tiny flower buds that opened nearly all at once, after growing and growing for a couple weeks, into gorgeous shaggy multipetaled crimson blossoms. Such a nice surprise.

That was last year. This year, the cactus is a bit larger, though still on the smallish side, and still growing in the same planter. There's finally enough of it that I felt comfortable removing a three-leaf section to root for a friend. And it's blooming again, only this time one bud will appear, grow and swell for a couple weeks, and finally open--expanding open during the day and half-closing at night. Each blossom lasts about a week before closing up for good and eventually dropping off. Meanwhile, a second bud starts to develop on another stem, and then another, each taking its turn. It's a nice extension of the blooming period, but I don't know why it's behaving this way: the plant has been in the same location for years now.
Oh, and I don't know its name. Do you?

How to make a chapbook in five hours

Spent half the day printing, folding, cutting, gluing, frowning, squinting, correcting, re-printing, re-cutting, resetting margins, re-printing, recutting, re-folding, squinting some more, holding my head in my hands once or twice, getting up and walking away more times than that, coming back, hitting a groove, more printing, more gluing, more puzzling and pondering. Result: one proof copy of Number 3 in the Editor's Series. Two titles in one: Jeff Stumpo's The Icarus Sketches and Crystal Boson's The Icarus Series. It was due to go out in the mail today, but tomorrow will do. More news will be up soon on the 7KP blog, as soon as we get the cover image finalized. The publication date is scheduled for July 15th.

Really fun accordion-style construction, such that you can read both titles by continuously turning the pages right to left--when you reach the end of one book and close the cover, you just open it again and read the other book. I totally owe the construction specs to Michele, one of our spring interns, who figured out how to make what I had tried to describe with my hands in the air by taping little two-inch squares of blue paper together.

Will try to post a pic or two.

Hoya kentiana

I bought this wax plant at the grocery store I think--or maybe at Lowe's--two years ago. It was tagged as Hoya kentiana. I keep it hanging in the sunny bathroom window. It's finally started to bloom!

Below you can see a second bloom spur developing:

Sunday, June 14, 2009

CFS: Chapbook DL extended: Hotmetal Press

Just passing this along; their guidelines don't exactly sound writer-friendly, if you ask me. . .

The 3rd Annual Hotmetalpress Chapbook Contest
http://www.hotmetal PoetryPrize. html

Our prize is $350 and 20 free copies. We also want to send every entrant a copy of the winning collection.
  • Page Limit: 32 pages
  • Fee: $20.00
  • Deadline: extended to Wednesday, July 15, 5 PM
  • If you are looking for clues as to what we look for a winner, we wish you luck because our selections are unpredictable and eclectic. We like to take risks if the poems interest us. We do not know what poems will interest us either until we see the poems. Sometimes we request poems from the manuscripts for our magazines.
  • Please make out a check for $20 to Hotmetalpress.
  • Send it to Carole Towers; 1173 Sea Eagle Watch; Charleston SC; 29412.
  • Judged by the staff.
  • Please send a copy of your manuscript in a word document to:sea7@comcast. net.
  • Your work will be read upon receipt of your check.

The entry rules:

  • Single spaced poems in 12pt Courier.
  • Attach title page with your name, address, telephone, and email.
  • 32 page maximum limit including title, content page, acknowledgements, and pages.
  • Anything with more pages will be eliminated.

CFS: Journal of Lesbian Studies: proposals due 7/03

passing this along:

ENDED DEADLINE - Journal of Lesbian Studies Special Issue on Black Lesbians- Call for Proposals

Call for Contributors— please consider and let your friends and colleagues know!

Thematic issue of the Journal of Lesbian Studies on LESBIANS OF AFRICAN DESCENT: CONTEMPORARY perspectives by Bianca D.M. Wilson and Verlena L. Johnson

The Journal of Lesbian Studies will be devoting a thematic journal issue and book on the topic of LESBIANS OF AFRICAN DESCENT. This journal issue will focus on some of the contemporary topics being discussed among lesbians of African descent, including creation of community, resisting oppression(s) , intersectional identity politics, sexual culture, negotiating family life, etc. Pieces that locate their work and perspectives in the current historical, political,20cultura l, and/or social context will be given preference. We welcome several forms of work, including personal essays, empirical papers, theoretical papers, poetry, and visual artwork. All work should have been written or developed in the last ten years. Authors may use a pseudonym if they prefer.

If there is a piece you published more than ten years ago, you may want to submit a commentary on your own work regarding how things stand now.

For written pieces, please send a one-page abstract of your proposed contribution. For visual art proposals, please submit five images maximum for consideration and a 250-word artist statement/bio. Send all proposals to Bianca D.M. Wilson at bwilson@csulb. edu or Verlena Johnson at verlenasroom@ by July 3, 2009. Abstracts will be evaluated for originality, diversity of experience, and writing style. Please keep in mind that selected 1-page proposals will need to submit full drafts by mid-September, 2009.

Please let your friends and colleagues know about this project. We are limiting submissions to authors who identify as lesbian or same-gender loving women of African descent.

All thematic issues of the Journal of Lesbian Studies are simultaneously reprinted in book form by Taylor and Francis. We hope that the resulting book will be used in social science and humanities studies courses and will be available in feminist and Black community bookstores.

We hope you will consider writing about contemporary topics relevant to lesbians of African descent, so that important aspects of our communities receive the attention they deserve!

In Sisterhood,

Bianca D.M. Wilson and Verlena L. Johnson
Guest Editors, Journal of Lesbian Studies Special Issue

Friday, June 05, 2009


Can't stop photographing these.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

The new paper cutter is here! The new paper cutter is here!

Horizontal view.
Vertical view.

This dandy tool could shave hours from assembly time. I am so excited. (!)

Sunday, May 31, 2009

"So that I'm not screwed by a bear"

Just caught Isabella Rossellini's Green Porno series on the Sundance Channel, thanks to her appearance on the Graham Norton show: wonderful, quirky, fascinating. She's such an intriguing, engaging person. One of the few "famous" people I'd love to meet.

Check out these delightful short films!

Thursday, May 28, 2009


Thanks go out to Karen Weyant, who will serve as the final judge for this year's Keystone Chapbook Prize. Karen's blog vanished into the ether the other day, but her new blog is up and you can find it here. I highly recommend grabbing yourself a copy of her fine new chapbook, Stealing Dust.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Imagine our surprise

So our apartment has its problems: we live in a half-double, a very old two-story brick house just off Market Street, and getting the owner to keep up with repairs is sometimes an incredible hassle. Case in point: the leak over the front door, which we pointed out for the first time four years ago, and which has caused increasing damage to the door frame and the exterior and interior walls. We sent letters. We phoned. She blew us off repeatedly. Two years ago, just after R had sent another letter, we saw her on Market Street: "I got your letter," she said. "I got your last ten letters. . ." The remark that made me spin on my heels and walk away was: "But face it--it's only a rental."

So imagine our surprise, two days ago, to find a carpenter knocking loose some of the rotten wood from above the door. He poked, he prodded. He sent around a worker to start yanking out the ruined wood.

Today, the full extent of the damage is visible: a massive crossbeam, 150 years old, was completely rotted through and had to be removed. Temporary supports have been jacked into place to keep the bricks from collapsing. We can see daylight through holes punched through the plaster. The door casing itself is partially rotted; I don't know if they'll remove the door and replace this or try somehow to work around it. But all I can think is that 90% of this could have been prevented.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Call for chapbooks: Pilot

passing along this call for chapbooks from our friends at Pilot Books:

Pilot Books will hold our first open reading period in May of 2009 to select a manuscript to be published in our new Meddling Kids Series. Please submit 2 printed copies of your original poetry manuscript (10-25 pages of verse) postmarked between May 1st -May 31st , 2009. Include two cover pages--one with manuscript title, your name, address, email and phone; another with manuscript title only. Manuscripts will be logged in by an impartial third party, and read anonymously by the editors and a panel of outside readers. A selection of finalists may be asked to submit their manuscript electronically. No SASE necessary; we will communicate via email. Post your entries, along with a $10 reading fee to the address below. (All entry $$ will fund the production of the selected manuscript.)

Pilot Books
39 Lilly Street
Florence, MA 01020

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Amid the swirl

Amid the swirl of comments and speculation surrounding the strange and disconcerting disappearance of Craig Arnold, I ran across this Facebook group set up by his family. Send good thoughts.
__ __ __

Still grading essays. My final exams (take-"home") were due at 4PM today; a few trickled in until 5:30. I'm actually glad the weather's turned rainy: less distraction. But the garden (and lawn) is a riot of luscious sweet violets, the lilacs next door are opening, the ferns have unsprung. I completely missed seeing the crabapple in bud. Suddenly it was in full bloom. We had such odd hot weather for a few days--everything went into overdrive--hurry, hurry--. So much nicer to have mild days.

Friday, April 24, 2009

New venue for chapbook reviews

Please take a moment to check out the new Fiddler Crab Review, an online site for poetry chapbook reviews.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Deborah Digges

I was very sad to hear about this:


More than my sixteen rented houses and their eighty or so rooms
held up by stone or cinderblock foundations,
most facing north, with useless basements,
wrought iron fences to the curb,
beat-up black mailboxes--
eagles impaled through breasts to edifice--
or set like lighthouses
some distance from the stoop a thousand miles inland,

or close enough to sea the sea gulls
settled mornings in the playing fields I passed
on this continent and others
as I walked my sons to school or to the train--

more than the kitchen door frames where is carved the progress
of their growth, one then the other on his birthday
backed against a wall, almost on tiptoe--

and more than the ruler
I have laid across their skulls
where the older's brown hair like my own,
or the younger's blond like his father's, covered abundantly
what was once only a swatch of scalp
I'd touch as they slept to know their hearts beat--

more than the height at which, and in this house,
the markings stopped like stairs leading to ground level,
and they walked out into the world,
dogged, no doubt, by the ghost of the man, their father,
and the men who tried to be their fathers,
father their wildness--

and more, even, than the high sashed windows
and windows sliding sideways
through which I watched for them, sometimes squinting,
sometimes through my hands cupped on cold glass
trying to see in the dark my men approaching,
my breath blinding me,
the first born surely the man I would have married,
the second, me in his man's body--

more than the locks left open and the creaking steps,
the books left open like mirrors on the floor
and the sinks where we washed our faces
and the beds above which our threefold dreams collided,

I have loved the broom I took into my hands
and crossed the threshold to begin again,
whose straw I wore to nothing,
whose shaft I could use to straighten a tree, or break
across my knee to kindle the first winter fire,
or use to stir the fire,

broom whose stave is pine or hickory,
and whose skirt of birch-spray and heather
offers itself up as nest matter,
arcs like the equator
in the corner, could we see far enough,
or is parted one way like my hair.

Once I asked myself, when was I happy?
I was looking at a February sky.
When did the light hold me and I didn't struggle?
And it came to me, an image
of myself in a doorway, a broom in my hand,
sweeping out beach sand, salt, soot,
pollen and pine needles, the last December leaves,
and mud wasps, moths, flies crushed to wafers,
and spring's first seed husks,
and then the final tufts like down, and red bud petals
like autumn leaves--so many petals--

sweeping out the soil the boys tracked in
from burying in the new yard another animal--
broom leaving intact the spiders' webs,
careful of those,
and careful when I danced with the broom,
that no one was watching,
and when I hacked at the floor
with the broom like an axe, jammed handle through glass
as if the house were burning and I must abandon ship
as I wept over a man' faithlessness, or wept over my own--

and so the broom became
an oar that parted waters, raft-keel and mast, or twirled
around and around on the back lawn,
a sort of compass through whose blurred counter-motion
the woods became a gathering of brooms,
onlooking or ancestral.

I thought I could grow old here,
safe among the ghosts, each welcomed,
yes, welcomed back for once, into this house, these rooms

in which I have got down on hands and knees and swept my hair
across my two sons' broad tan backs,
and swept my hair across you, swinging my head,
lost in the motion,
lost swaying up and down the whole length of your body,
my hair tangling in your hair,
our hair matted with sweat and my own cum, and semen,
lost swaying, smelling you,
smelling you humming,
gone in the motion, back and forth, sweeping.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

A Celebration of the Chapbook: NYC: 4/23-25

[passing this along; wish I could attend]

April 2009
For Immediate Release

We are excited to announce a wonderful event upcoming on April 23-25 in New York: A Celebration of the Chapbook, a three-day festival featuring panels, workshops and a bookfair. For a full schedule of events, visit .

This festival celebrates the chapbook and highlights its rich history, as well as its essential place in poetry publishing today, as a vehicle for alternative poetry projects and for emerging authors and editors to gain entry into the literary marketplace. The festival hopes to forge a new platform for the study of the chapbook inside and outside the academy.

We invite you to visit the fair and attend the panels and workshops, all of which are free of charge. Please note that the workshops require registration, and will fill up fast, so reserve your seat now. Visit for instructions on how to register.

We are seeking volunteers for the festival, and there are still a few spots available in the bookfair. If you’re interested in volunteering, or if you are a chapbook publisher and want to participate in the bookfair, please e-mail

Join us for A Celebration of the Chapbook – we hope to see you there!

The Asian American Writers’ Workshop
The Center for Book Arts
The Center for the Humanities, The Graduate Center, The Office of Academic Affairs, and MFA Programs in Creative Writing of the City University of New York
Poetry Society of America

A Celebration of the Chapbook

Thursday April 23rd, 2009 - Saturday April 25th, 2009

~ Thursday, April 23 at The Graduate Center, CUNY, 365 Fifth Avenue & 34th St

Chapbook Fair - 10:00am-6:00pm, The Elebash Recital Hall Lobby

Brief History of Chapbooks - 3:00-4:30pm, The Elebash Recital Hall
With Isaac Gewirtz, Curator of the New York Public Library’s Berg Collection; Eric Lorberer, Editor of Rain Taxi; and Michael Ryan, Director of the Rare Books and Manuscripts Library at Columbia University. Moderated by Richard Kaye, Hunter College, CUNY

Chapbooks in the 20th and 21st Centuries - 4:30-6:00pm, The Elebash Recital Hall
With Michael Basinski, Assistant Curator of the Poetry/Rare Books Collection of the University Libraries, SUNY at Buffalo; Anne Waldman, Chair and Artistic Director of Naropa University’s Summer Writing Program; and Kevin Young, Emory University. Moderated by Ammiel Alcalay, Queens College, CUNY.

Keynote Reading - 6:00pm, The Elebash Recital Hall
Readings by Lytton Smith, Gerald Stern, Judith Vollmer, Kevin Young and others, with an introduction by Kimiko Hahn.

~Friday, April 24 at The Graduate Center, CUNY, 365 Fifth Avenue & 34th St

Chapbook Fair - 10:00am-4:00pm, Rooms 8301/8304

Chapbook Now: Producing Chapbooks-A Workshop for Poets - 10:00-11:30am, Room 8400 With Rachel Levitsky (Belladonna*); Sharon Dolin (The Center for Book Arts); and Ryan Murphy (North Beach Yacht Club). Moderated by Alice Quinn (Poetry Society of America). To register, call (212) 817-2005 or e-mail – registration is offered on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Chapbook Now: Producing Chapbooks-A Workshop for Publishers - 11:30am-1:00pm, Room 8402 With Jen Benka (Booklyn); Matvei Yankelevich (Ugly Duckling Presse); and Brenda Iijima(Portable Press at Yo-Yo Labs). Moderated by Rob Casper (Poetry Society of America). To register, call (212) 817-2005 or e-mail – registration is offered on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Friday, April 24 at The Center for Book Arts, 28 West 27th Street, 3rd Floor

Bookmaking for Writers: A Studio Workshop with Susan Mills and Karen Randall - 2:00-5:00pm
To register, call (212) 481-0295 or – registration is offered on a first-come, first-serve basis. There's a $20 materials fee for each workshop.

Bookmaking for Publishers: A Studio Workshop with Susan Mills and Karen Randall - 2:00-5:00pm
To register, call (212) 481-0295 or – registration is
offered on a first-come, first-serve basis. There's a $20 materials fee for each workshop.

RECEPTION at The Center for Book Arts, 28 West 27th Street, 3rd Floor - 6:00 pm
All are welcome! Visit the exhibitions at The Center for Book Arts: \’fl \:art, text, new media, Roni Gross: Zitouna at 20, and Spotlight: 2008 Artists-in-Residence.

~Saturday, April 25 at The Asian American Writers’ Workshop, 16 West 32nd Street, Suite 10A

Collector’s Show-and-Tell: The Secret History of Asian American Literature Patricia Wakida - 2:00-3:00pm

Publishing from the Margins - 4:30-6:00pm with Tan Lin; Dawn Lundy Martin (Third Wave Foundation, Black Took Collective); and Bushra Rehman. Moderated by Ken Chen (The Asian American Writers’ Workshop). Followed by a brief reading from the Workshop's Postcard Poetry Project.

RECEPTION at The Asian American Writers’ Workshop, 16 West 32nd Street, Suite 10A - 6:00 pm

Participating Publishers: Achiote Press :: Belladonna* :: Booklyn :: Book Thug :: Cuneiform Press :: Dancing Girl Press :: Diagram/New Michigan Press :: dusi/e-chap kollektiv :: Flying Guillotine Press :: hand*held*editions :: Interlude Editions :: Noemi Press :: North Beach Yacht Club :: Octopus Books :: Portable Press at Yo-Yo Labs :: Rain Taxi :: Sarabande Books :: Slapering Hol :: Small Fires Press :: TinFish Press :: Toadlily Press :: Ubu Editions :: Ugly Duckling Presse :: Web Del Sol's World Voices :: X-ing Press­ :: and others

For more information visit

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Vermont! and DC!

Let's all do the Wave.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Earth Hour

I took a walk last night in the not-quite-rain during Earth Hour. We seemed to be the only house using candles. A loud concert near campus boomed and echoed through town--I could even hear it down by the river. The same cop drove slowly past at least three times as I made a vague loop: did I look like a troublemaker? True, no one else was out.

[Photo: candle on the kitchen counter.]

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

And another

Well now I'm on page 68, reading and re-reading the title poem, and just have to share it:


The Potscrubber completes a cycle
so vigorous the knives were rattling,
and pauses, waking Evan Michael,
who finds all silences unsettling.

There's no resemblance. It's too early.
Everything is still so round.
But we've occurred to him as surely
as silence has occurred to sound,

and when he's finished sharpening
into himself, and when we've blurred,
we're going to go on happening
in silence like he's never heard.

I wore him like a broken arm
all summer, slung
from my right shoulder in a paisley hammock
so deep the sides closed over him.
When I walked he swung, and slept,
kukked by the time his body kept
against my stomach.
When I stopped I had to sing.

An Eric McHenry poem

I EZB'd Potscrubber Lullabies because of the title, because I've got my radar out for poems with working-class themes (for the other blog), and of course the book is something completely different, but a fun read nonetheless. I'd never heard of Eric McHenry before. His book came out in '06 from Waywiser Press. I'm going to look up some more of their titles. Here's one poem:

"Larkin at Sixty"

I did the South Bank Show today. It went
no worse than I'd expected, though they spent
rather too much time talking
about four-letter Larkin for my liking.

What will survive of me will no more live
than an appendix in preservative,
and now it's clear to me
"They fuck you up" will be my Innisfree.

Hump Day

I threw nineteen students out of my working class lit course last hour: anyone who had not read the essay I'd assigned for today. The six remaining students and I had an engaging discussion, partly devoted to the reading material and partly assessing what was going wrong with the class and what we could all do to inject new life into it. . . Just two minutes ago, one of the nineteen came by with a two-page response to the reading and an apology for not being prepared. I nearly wept.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Opportunity to read: DC regional

[Note: I read in this series a few years ago with Jennifer Gresham; if you can make it to the DC area this summer, it's well worth attending (or participating: details below on how to apply)]

The Joaquin Miller Cabin Poetry Series is currently accepting applications.

  • WHEN: Tuesdays at 7:30 p.m. in Washington, DC’s Rock Creek Park, Picnic Area Number 6, during June and July.
  • WHAT: Two poets are usually featured. The outdoor programs held next to poet Joaquin Miller’s Cabin are sponsored by The Word Works, and the National Park Service.
  • WHO: Kathi Morrison-Taylor, Rosemary Winslow and Deborah Ager are the co-directors for 2009.
  • IF SELECTED, you will read your work at the cabin and receive a small honorarium. Copies of a poster/flyer (self-mailer) will be available for you to send to friends and colleagues. If you have books published, you may sell them at the reception. If you live out of town and need a place to stay, we’ll do our best to help you find a place.

TO APPLY to the series, send the following:

  • 5 poems, typed, one poem per page. No one poem longer than two pages.
  • Name, address, telephone numbers, email on first page of the submission. Name on every page.
  • Brief biographical note, including publications, readings, literary studies, prizes.
  • Stamped, self-addressed envelope for reply (for return of poems, add sufficient postage as needed).
  • NOTE: All manuscripts must be typed. Any form or style of poetry will be considered; selection is made on the basis of the poems submitted. The biographical note is for information only. The director is assisted by a panel of writers in choosing poets.
  • SEND TO: Rosemary Winslow, Co-Director; Joaquin Miller Cabin Poetry Series; Department of English; The Catholic University of America; Washington, DC 20064.
  • DEADLINE: Postmarked on or before March 31 of each year.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

New Ohio Review

Got a note from Jill Rosser that the New Ohio Review's contest deadline has been extended to March 15--check out the details here, and please encourage folks to enter their work.

Oh, and there's a new Mary Ruefle poem on their site: "Helium." Who else but Mary could say, to helium, "They gave you/ a dibble. They made you wrists."

[I have a dibble. I'm delighted to see one appear in this poem.]

Monday, March 02, 2009

CFS: qaartsiluni chapbook contest

The good folks over at qaartsiluni have just announced their first chapbook contest. The judge will be Dinty Moore.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Working class poems

I've been loading poems to a new blog that I set up as a resource for my working-class literature course. You're welcome to check it out & to suggest poems to add. A new poem opens every day at 12:45 (class time).

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


Err. . . what's the plural of haiku? I thought to look in my Princeton Encyclopedia, but it's at home.
_ _ _ _ _

Went to a reading last night by Erinn Batykefer and Katie Hays. Very much enjoyed the second half.
_ _ _ _ _

It's nearly spring break. I can hardly wait.
_ _ _ _ _

Look at the amazing cover we're doing for Steven Riel's new chapbook. We were so lucky to get permission from Sean-Michael Rau to use his image. More on artist and author will be posted soon at Seven Kitchens . . .

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Get yours

Congrats to Matthew Hittinger, whose second chapbook, Narcissus Resists, is out now. Go get yours!

Monday, February 16, 2009


In the stillest house it startles
to see the curtains move above
the radiator, stirred by unseen
fountains, unseen drifts from warmed sweet
metal, showing the air alive
and rising in an oracle,
the lift within each calorie
and molecule, each element,
the fabric troubled by ghosts of
excitement so even emptiness
when touched by heat or pain becomes
breath, becomes aspiration to
convey across the difference change,
the clear trembling flower of haunt.

:: Robert Morgan, Wild Peavines (Gnomon Press, 1996)

Thursday, February 05, 2009

We're okay--

So the fire dude assured us. He wouldn't lie; he's a professional. Right?

A fine mess

Working upstairs tonight, I heard the wail of a fire truck coming up Market Street. Coming up our street. Umm, stopping out front?

The neighbors' house is on fire. The next door neighbors, the ones who drink and fight in their back yard all summer. Is on fire. Right now.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Someone made darkness perfect

Wordle: The Icarus Sketches manuscript

A Wordle made using the text of The Icarus Sketches, forthcoming this summer:

(Thanks, Jeff!)

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

The other anniversary

Just looked at my desk calendar (thanks, Sis: today's word is unkard) and realized that today would have been my 23rd anniversary with David--had he lived, had we stayed together. Cupids and bows make me retch, but it's perhaps significant that all my anniversaries (count them, only three) fall in February:
  • 2/04 was with Tom, my first boyfriend back in college
  • 2/03 was with David, and it marks the night he phoned me from Houston (I was still living in Cincinnati) to ask me to marry him. I was at a pay phone. It was after midnight and I was on break from my night shift job. With horror, I realized that it was actually February 4th, the date of my first anniversary, which relationship (I) had ended (badly). Suddenly, the answer: "What time is it there? Right now?" "Err. . . 11:43." And I accepted on Central Time.
  • 2/23 is my anniversary with Randy: coming up on fourteen years.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Being the messenger

Just finished sending an e-mail to the folks whose work was not selected for the ReBound Chapbook Series. It was a short list. We didn't have many entries, and some of the e-mails went out to those who nominated the chapbooks for republication . . .

[Eww. That word looks too much like "republican." But ANYWAY--]

. . . I still feel very strongly about this series: I think it has enormous potential, and I'm doing what I can to better get the word out this year. Even though there were less than ten entries, the decision was not easy, and in the end I had to just set the top contenders aside, not look at them for a few weeks, and then see which one had sustained the strongest impact in my memory. Then I re-read them all again, just to verify that yes, this was the right choice for this year's title.

Which I will announce over at Seven Kitchens as soon as I've heard back from the author.

For now, a message of appreciation to everyone out there who's running a micropress or journal or reading series on an insanely tight budget; who's taking the time to encourage a younger writer; who shares his or her knowledge and resources freely, generously, constantly, all for the collective advancement of poetry. We're doing good work. I'm proud to be one of us.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Now I've gone and done it

After receiving several Facebook invitations over the past few weeks, I finally caved: within minutes of clicking through the application boxes, I had 33 friends and my gmail box was clicking like a Geiger counter. I figured out how to add a mail filter, which restored my inbox to some level of manageability. Found some more friends I'd lost touch with. Found out about a poetry reading that I can't attend, but added it to my PA Poetry blog listings--I'm there in spirit, Alex--and tracked down a brilliant artist whose work I'm ready to beg for because it would make a stunning cover for Steven Riel's chapbook. All this instead of grading a stack of quizzes. I've got one foot tentatively in the internet ether and the other on a banana peel. Go ahead: Facebook me.



When an illegal radioactive waste dump caused the death of a Colombian child who'd been playing there, villagers refused to bury her in their cemetery, and her body was classified as hazardous waste.

King Midas sits admiring his wealth
of burnished apples. It will be a long time
before hunger interrupts him,

a long time before he misses
the squeals of his childish daughter
who finds the dust

so lovely, so luminous, she streaks
both her arms with it. She paints her eyelids
and makes two bright antennae of her braids.

She can't wait for the dark.
How she will flit for him, lanky, radiant moth.
She doesn't wash for dinner.

And he hasn't noticed, not yet.
It will be a long time
before he comes around.

He will have to bury her in lead,
his fondest hope, this isotopic waste
over which the kingdom must rise

against him. Though he will swear
he only wanted the best
for them, for her, his golden girl,

who can barely contain herself just now--
look how she glows
anticipating his delight.

:: Jody Gladding, Stone Crop

Saturday, January 31, 2009



Through the open window, a confusion
of gasoline fumes, lilacs, the green esters of grass.
Edward Waite rides the lawn mower.
Each summer his voice is more stifled. His emphysema is worse.
"Three packs a day," he says, still proud of the fact.
Before he got sick, he drove semis across the country.
Every two weeks he drives his small truck up the mountain.
He mows in long rows fitting swath to cut swath, overlapping the width.
To please me he saves the wild paintbrush along the edge.
Stripped to the waist, I see he has hung his blue shirt
on my clothesline to dry out the sweat.
The shirt, with its arms upraised, filled with the body of air,
is deeply inhaling, exhaling its doppelganger breath.
:: Ruth Stone, In the Next Galaxy

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Gaying out

So I'm generally not one to idly blogsurf--I usually have a destination or purpose in mind, because NOT having one in mind generally leads to the sort of brainless time-wasting that's fine for those who like to spazz out in front of the computer but always leaves me feeling so guilty at having wasted whhole hours of my life that I swear never to do it again--but I somehow ended up this afternoon at Go Fug Yourself and laughed so hard I nearly farted. Okay, I farted. But just a little, and no one else was around.

Start here. Poor Meryl. "Oh honey, no" indeed.

Friday, January 23, 2009

I'm shivering in word nerd ecstasy--

--because a coworker this morning asked how to correctly write the term for a file in .jpeg format, and I didn't know, and I said if only I had a copy of the Chicago Manual in my office, but I don't, but then I thought hmm, I wonder if they have a web site, and the answer, dear readers, is a thrilling yes:

Be still, my heart.

Fix It

Fix It (Winter)

He disappeared in the dead of winter.
—W. H. Auden

lips part
To greet the perfect stranger.
—James Merrill

Heart’s February: fill it in as bleak
and lonely. But today a warming flood
of color stains the calendar’s pale cheek.
The eve of your return I give my blood.
Picture a glacier bruising into bloom.
I let it all hang out and drain from my
right, my writing arm: the silent room,
morning and evening’s empty bed. I lie
between two bodies, palping a red ball,
flushed to pallor, gazing at the ceiling,
as hollow days are dammed into a crimson pool
soon to be sealed and channeled to a stranger
and even more precarious life. I’m filling
a loving cup to raise to mortal danger.

What the eye, seeking, fails to penetrate
the ear awaits. Presently a cry

(baby waking, tomcat, beaten dog,
or floating rage caught raw between the walls)

shrills from the street. No, from the locked
interior whose study window, bright

with strained attention, now winks suddenly
from a blank surface. You’ve turned in the light.

Beyond the potted palms in some remote
anteroom the beaded curtains stir:

so I must sense, must pluck from winter air
the snatches of that song, or let the link

between our skulls (now stretched; now tighter) loosen.
I shut my eyes and almost hear you think.

I read much of the night. Ineptly woo
some shabby cousin of oblivion
out of the garish hours after two.
Having locked the secret inmost door,
stretched, and remembered once again you’re gone,
I wander to the kitchen for a swig
of milk, and creak back down the corridor
to a ghost bedroom, chilly and too big.

No, but the necklace! Burst
and scattered agates sprayed apart and rolled
under the furniture, and it was lost,
a labyrinth of winter, overnight
and not to be recovered. Somehow scaled
in those cold globes was a whole summer’s wealth of light.

I lean my ladder on
the beautiful, the flawed
handiwork of God
and turn to spy my son

busy way down there
patching a balloon,
filling in the moon.
The whole world needs repair.

Broken! he calls the moon
if it is less than round.
These syllables resound
domestically soon

as lightbulb, pencil, tile
get broken. His decree
Fix it! shows faith in me
that prompts me first to smile

and then suppress a sigh
and fetching tape and glue
climb up to mend the blue
disasters in the sky.

I lean my ladder on
the beautiful, the flawed
handiwork of God
and turn to spy my son.

Time to tunnel deeper into winter.
Broken! the boy cries, pointing at the moon.
Agates roll downhill into the river.

I stretch my chilly legs awake and wonder
whether this absence will seem warmer soon
and, sighing, rise: another day of winter.

It’s not as if I’m lonely. I’m a mother,
busy with fixing—pop went that balloon.
Agates roll away into a river

opaque with ice. So walk across the water,
so fix the brownouts of a cloudy sun?
No use. We’re heading deeper into winter.

What has been lost is gone and gone forever:
such knowledge is what forty winters mean.
My agates (yours?)—they vanished in the river

like last year’s snows. The only ever after
is what’s already written in the rune
of losses deeply etched into the winter
while agates settle blackly at the bottom of the river.

Something terrible is going to happen.
Something terrible has already happened.

Up from the dark words of authority rise,
anger, affection. Lights

gleam a minute till the door is slammed.
Easier to instruct anyone else in the truth of feeling

than try to span the awful gap yourself,
yourself to search for stones to leapfrog on

across the—is it water or a tunnel?
And in. And shut that door.

I don’t hear or listen well these days.
Did you say your new poem about your father

was to be called “Lines Found in a Bottle”?
I think I got it wrong. This bottle had

milk in it, bourbon, apple juice—not words.
It plugged three generations’ mouths to dumbness.

Weaned to a cup, my son escaped the bottle
and now eats sugar by the spoonful. I chew gum.

Faces stuffed, we slam right out of this
impossible world, propelled at speed

by terror, rage, loss,
and enter the shadow room of mourning.

Now it is multiplied as in a hall of mirrors.
Unpeeled of memory, ranks of men leap up

leaving lighted rooms with a start to go
in search of those lost lives:

precious particulars of how and when,
not whether, something terrible has happened.

“Both my fathers have cancer,” you said once.
I think you said it. Asymmetrically

you had two fathers, I had none. I had to
run upstairs one summer, slam a door,

and cry about my father: not that the loss was fresh
but that downstairs a woman also wept

whose ripened loss matched mine.
Two wounds touching start to bleed again.

Wetness is blessed: fountain stubbornly tumbling
to rise again over dust, shit, shards of glass.

“Now I want to kneel at a stream and drink,
or drink from a cup”; words flow from you

the week I’m teaching water, dipping deep
in Walden Pond, cursing aridities.

It had been said before as praise: “Recovered
greenness”; as prayer: Send my roots rain.”

Subterranean fathers hollowly
boom at the bottom of their empty cistern

Drink me.
My son’s new interest in drains
and water fountains (mountains, as he calls them):

he squats or lies face down to peer below
the grating; stretches up to touch the water.

Mountain of water, shine another spring
so we can drink from you and wet our lips

or raise a chancy cup
and across the rim salute each other’s

continued greenness. But the wind blows fresh
and filthy from the river.

Fix what is broken. What is scattered gather.
Easy to say. Not far from here, a woman

looks up to meet her eyes in the mirror
and sees a death. Her own?

Something terrible is about to happen?
Something terrible has already happened.

Not in the dead of winter
her father went, but one day before Easter

he walked the green, the warming earth, then vanished.
Pieces of his shirt still lay on the rug that night

where they’d cut it off to try to start his heart.
The tick, the march, inexorable. She touches

her own heart. It’s beating.
Wait. There are children sleeping.

There is unfinished music on the table.
The rest of a life waits on the other side of the mirror

and also somewhere invisible a limit.
A wall. If it were only painted black,

if she could see dark glass, it would be clearer.
She would be able to turn away from light

awhile and walk the room of the dead and say
it again: Something terrible has happened.

Fix what is broken. What is scattered gather.
Love’s gift of agates sown on the barren winter:

find them, restring them in another order.
And news of the lost father—

bottle bobbing, contents still unread,
toward a nameless destination,

perhaps a country where there are no fathers,
far out across the black and oily water.

Swoop of a bird swung between high walls.
Cry of a child rising from the house of darkness.

Up, uppie, says the boy, and holds his arms
up to be lifted in a world where sink
and table, chair and crib are still so tall
they have to be looked up to. Uppie, up!

The small bones lengthen, stretching in his sleep.
He is growing up. Our idiom features
cosily preposition-ended phrases
as well for aging, as slow down, dry out,

finally shrivel up.
Withered, a bush blows hard in autumn wind,
bald of petals now but still upright,
up, up,
obeying the commands of appetite.

:: Rachel Hadas, Pass It On (1989)

Sunday, January 18, 2009



The sky cracks along
a branch of sycamore: its fault.
The sidewalk, split in jigsaw-
puzzle pieces by the roots,
lifts, oblique to itself.
The foreground--leaves and bark--
collapses like a sinkhole
while the sky's crazed blue
bulges like heavy crockery.
Everything seems to have two
sides. I could be wrong.

:: Joan Larkin, A Long Sound (1986)

Saturday, January 17, 2009

New books I can't wait to get my hands on

K A Hays,
Dear Apocalypse
Rane Arroyo,
The Buried Sea
Kevin Gonzalez,
Cultural Studies

Maureen Seaton,
The Cave of the Yellow Volkswagen

Brent Goodman,
The Brother Swimming Beneath Me
Stacey Lynn Brown,
Cradle Song
Karen J Weyant,
Stealing Dust

Thursday, January 15, 2009

I'd like to meet that pilot

Just to shake his steady hand. Wow. Wow.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Bucknell Seminar for Younger Poets: two weeks to apply

Please share this information. If you know a student who qualifies, please encourage him or her to apply. If you can write a letter of recommendation, please offer to do so.

In 2009, the Stadler Center for Poetry will conduct the twenty-fifth annual Seminar for Younger Poets. Held for three weeks in June, the Seminar provides an extended opportunity for undergraduate poets to write and to be guided by established poets. Staff and visiting poets conduct writing workshops and offer lecture/discussions, present readings of their own work, and are available for individual conferences. In the past, such poets as Robin Becker, Denise Duhamel, Linda Gregg, Terrance Hayes, James Harms, Mary Ruefle, Gerald Stern, David St. John, Michael Waters, and Kazim Ali have served as visiting poets. Numerous readings provide the participants with the opportunity to hear and be heard by their peers. Applicants compete for ten places in the Seminar, all of which come with fellowships. Fellowships include tuition, housing in campus apartments, and meals. Accepted students are responsible only for their travel to Bucknell and a modest library deposit. A limited number of travel scholarships are available on the basis of need.

For the 2009 Seminar, visiting poets Kwame Dawes and Dana Levin will join director G. C. Waldrep and staff members Deirdre O'Connor, Erinn Batykefer, and K. A. Hays.

The dates of the 2009 Seminar will be Sunday, June 7, to Sunday, June 28. The postmark deadline for applications is Friday, January 30. Click here for complete application guidelines and here for a program FAQ.

Monday, January 12, 2009

new pomes

I, um, have these three poems up at ::diode:: if ya wanna check 'em out . . . Very happy to be in such good company.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

CFS: Wanna be on YouTube?

Shape of a Box, YouTube's first literary magazine, accepts submissions year round but we'd like to announce a special request.

  • Are you going to AWP? If you are and want to submit work between now and February 1st, and it is accepted, the Editor of Shape of a Box will be available at AWP to record video or audio of you reading your piece for publication!
  • Our guidelines are available here or here, but in short, send 1-6 pieces (at about 500 words, although we have worked with 1000 word pieces) pasted into the body of the email.
  • Any genre is welcome (poetry, non-fiction, fiction, stage/screen, graphic novel type work etc).
  • Look forward to reading your work at AWP!

Emerging Writer-Lecturer: Gettysburg

Department of English, Emerging Writer Lecturer:

  • One-year appointment, beginning August 2009, for a creative writer who plans a career that involves college-level teaching, to teach three courses per semester, including Introduction to Creative Writing and an advanced course in the writer's genre, as well as to assist with departmental writing activities.
  • Mentorship for teaching and assistance in professional development provided.
  • M.A., with a concentration in creative writing, M.F.A., or Ph.D. with creative dissertation required. Teaching experience and literary magazine publications are essential.
  • Competitive salary.
  • To apply, send letter of application, c.v., the names of three references, and a 5-10 page writing sample to Emerging Writer Lectureship; Department of English, Box 397; Gettysburg College; 300 N. Washington St.; Gettysburg, PA 17325.
  • Applications must be postmarked by January 30, 2009. Electronic applications will not be accepted.
  • Gettysburg College is a highly selective liberal arts college located within 90 minutes of the Washington/Baltimore metropolitan area. Established in 1832, the College has a rich history and is situated on a 220-acre campus with an enrollment of over 2,600 students.
  • Gettysburg College celebrates diversity and welcomes applications from members of any group that has been historically underrepresented in the American academy. The College assures equal employment opportunity and prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, religion, sexual orientation, age, and disability.

Poetry chapbook contest for women

2009 New Women's Voice Chapbook Competition:

  • A prize of $1,000 and publication will be awarded by Finishing Line Press for a chapbook-length poetry collection.
  • Open to women who have never before published a full-length poetry collection; previous chapbook publication does not disqualify.
  • All entries will be considered for publication, and the top-ten finalists will be offered publication.
  • Submit up to 26 pages of poetry, PLUS bio, acknowledgments, SASE and cover letter with a $15 entry fee by Deadline: Feb. 15, 2009 (POSTMARK).
  • Carol Hamilton will be the final judge.
  • Winner will be announced on our website.
  • Send to: New Women's Voices Chapbook Competition; Finishing Line Press; PO Box 1626; Georgetown, KY 40324
  • Visit website for further entry instructions.

New writers' rez taking fall applications

A new writers’ residency, Writers in The Heartland, is now taking applications for its inaugural season. Writers in the Heartland is a writing colony for creative writers in all genres. The colony is located in Gilman, Illinois, approximately 2 hours south of Chicago, on a beautiful 30-acre wooded site with lakes and walking paths. A limited number of one-week residencies are available for September 18-25 and October 3-10. Lodging and food are included.

Applications must be received by April 15, 2009, to be considered. Decisions will be announced by July 1st. For further information about applying to Writers in the Heartland, see our website or contact us by e-mail.

Emerging Poet sought: Columbia College of Chicago

Visiting Poet with recent MFA or PhD (no more than five years ago) sought by Columbia College Chicago for an annual, one-year non-renewable position.

The Elma Stuckey Liberal Arts and Sciences Emerging Poet-in-Residence starts August 2009.

Poets from underrepresented communities and/or those who bring diverse cultural, ethnic, theoretical, and national perspectives to their writing and teaching are particularly encouraged to apply.

Successful candidate will teach one course per semester (undergraduate workshop, craft, and/or literature seminars), give a public reading, and possibly supervise a small number of graduate theses.

Qualified candidates will have received an M.F.A. in poetry, or Ph.D. in English (with creative dissertation) , or other relevant terminal degree in past five years; demonstrate excellence and experience in college-level teaching; and will have strong record of publication in national literary magazines (but will have published no more than one full-length poetry collection).

Salary: $30,000 for the year.

Send cover letter, curriculum vitae, 5-page sample of published poetry (photocopies are fine), sample syllabus for undergraduate or graduate-level poetry workshop or literature course, three letters of recommendation (at least one should address teaching), and statement of teaching philosophy to: Tony Trigilio, Director, Creative Writing - Poetry, Columbia College Chicago, 600 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago, Illinois, 60605.

Postmark deadline for applications: February 15, 2009.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

A wintry mix

I stayed home again today, opting not to face the sleet we were told would arrive by lunchtime. It arrived later, preceded by a few minutes of fitful snow, hard pellets leaking down like sawdust from a wood-boring bee, and now I'm not sure which category precipitates against the window. I hear a faint ticking. It's 28 degrees. I set up the laptop on the dining table (no flat surface remains empty for long around here) and have toggled between projects all afternoon: work, then browse, then work, then look at collage art online, then think about book covers (for an upcoming 7KP title), then back to lesson plans. Tunneling into the last few quiet days before the new semester erupts into activity.
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A truly comforting e-mail from Robin (Becker) today, regarding our loss of Sadie. I should publicly thank all of you for your condolences. And for those who can't imagine being *that attached* to a dog, well I send you my own condolences for the emptiness where your soul would otherwise be.
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I'm not attending AWP this year, but for those of you who are, tell me: which of the panels or related events are you most looking forward to? You'll feed my vicarious hunger, and hopefully provide some good tips for folks who are trying to decide what not to miss.
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We had homemade pizza for dinner last night, loaded with broccoli, zucchini, garlic, onions, baby bella mushrooms, and turkey sausage. I wept, eating my crust: Sadie always loved the pizza bones.

[photo: me working on a mini quilt (photo by R Barlow)]