Find Poems Here!

Two copies of the new issue of CopperNickel arrived in my mailbox. This beautiful journal is housed at the University of Colorado, Denver.

I have a prose poem in it about a woman getting a divorce in 1895. It is based on, among other information, two newspaper articles. The woman was my great-great-grandfather’s sister.


A feature of this journal that is particularly special is that they ask all contributors to recommend other books of poetry. I recommended Marci Calabretta Cancio-Bello’s book Hour of the Ox. Her collection won the prestigious Donald Hall Prize for Poetry in 2015–a well-deserved honor. Her book seems to me to be an excavation into what was, what would have been, what could be and could have been, and what isn’t. Marci, who in the past has published a poem called “Origin / Adoption,”  is a Korean-American poet who might be inventing a family in her first book. I find that all interesting because of my sympathies for adoptees and for anybody searching for their origins.

Here is a little taste of her lines:

Counting the breaths in the dark, my fingers crept lightly

across the floor and against my father’s calloused palm,

willing his lifeline to grow long as a stream

of tea poured green and steaming and smelling of herbs.

(from “The Last Supper”)

I’ve also recently read other books of poetry I want to recommend.

Nandini Dhar’s Lullabies Are Barbed Wire Nations is packed with lively and vivid prose poems. I found their form to be a great choice because of the narrative energy of the book. Lots of stories in here!

The Well Speaks of its Own Poison, by Maggie Smith, follows in the path of poets like Anne Sexton who explore the dark shadows of the fairy tale world to create magical poems.

I fell in love with Wendy Barker’s One Blackbird at a Time because every poem is about teaching literature. They re-created a world for me that I once knew so well. Anybody who has ever taught English or anybody who majored in English will probably feel the same way. You have to have a little familiarity with some of the more well-known texts read in the classroom: Whitman, Thoreau, Dickinson, Williams, Stevens, and Elizabeth Bishop, are a few of those mentioned. These are the opening lines of a poem that is a tribute to Bishop and her poem “One Art” (the formatting is completely off here; I can’t get WordPress to do it properly!!!):

It’s a perfect poem, I say, and though no one

In the class is over twenty-five, everybody

nods. They ‘ve all lost: the Madame

Alexander doll fallen into the toilet, silky

hair never the same, the friend who

moved away to Dallas, a brother once again

in juvie. So many schools—thirteen in

a dozen years—I lost each friend I made

till grad school.

 Notice the doll, too. That leads me back to–wait for it–Doll God ;).


Filed under Book Award, Book Review, Books, Doll God, Literary Journals, poems about dolls, Poetry, Poetry book, Poetry Collection, Poetry reading, Reading, Writing

17 responses to “Find Poems Here!

  1. Congratulations, Luanne, and thank you for all of these poets to check out!

  2. Congratulations, Luanne! I look forward to checking out your poetry recommendations. Thank you.

  3. Congratulations, Luanne!

  4. Congratulations, Luanne!

  5. I add my congratulations, Luanne

  6. Way to go, Luanne! I’m leaving for Spain and Italy tomorrow so will be out of touch for a few weeks. Happy March. 🙂

    • Oh, how lovely! Have a wonderful time. Those are two countries I have actually been to, and there is so much to see in both! Is it too much to hope that you get to go to Assisi? I love Umbria even more than Tuscany.

  7. Many congratulations Luanne, it looks like a lovely journal and a nice idea to ask for other recommendations.

  8. Congratulations, Luanne!

  9. I am so proud of how you keep stretching your range of publishing! Your book, “Doll God” is one of my prized possessions. ***** I may need to reblog my review article! 🙂 You were my first friend who published a book!!
    My Dad’s “Hot Lab” and ex-husband, Scot Eric Long, have also handwritten dedications in books they wrote.
    “Schnormeier Gardens: Peace Harmony and Serenity” was Scot’s book. We aren’t really friends anymore. . .

    • Aw, what a sweet thing to say, Robin! Oh, that last sentence. That doesn’t sound good, but I’m sure it’s not your fault!!! <3

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