Lots of Stuff about Writing Besides Actually Writing

Eilene Lyon of Myricopia has written a beautiful review of my chapbook Kin Types. She writes on her blog about her family history (among other things), and is finishing up a book  about it as well. About my chap:

This slender volume is saturated with spirits brought to life by Luanne Castle’s soulful words in prose and poetry. It’s a collection I will read again and again, as it inspires a hope that some of her magic will rub off on my attempts to reinvigorate my ancestors’ stories. The writing is not just creative and lyrical, but draws on deep research and compassion.

Though there are instances of tragedy and death—universal human events—not all is gloomy within these pages. I love how “Half-Naked Woman Found Dead” conjures the purple prose of 19th-century journalism, and despite the dire subject, makes me laugh out loud with the final line. In “Genealogy” she takes a simple subject, the name Frank, and in a few words imparts both a legacy passed down and a deeper meaning tied to the name itself.

The details Castle creates to evoke time, place, and experience, continually astonish me. The veil clouding the past is pierced and we step into the shoes of her long-gone loved ones.

Coincidentally, two of the Kin Types poems were just reprinted by Verse-Virtual in the May issue. You can find them here:

2 Verse-Virtual poems

Check out the other poems in this issue, as well. Some lovely work.

You know that first poem, “Genealogy”? As you can see it’s about the name Frank and looks at another meaning of the name. So when I first heard about the great Diane Seuss’ phenomenal book Frank: Sonnets I knew the ambiguity inherent in that one-word title and was intrigued. In fact, her collection is a frank exploration of her life in poems, as well as inspired by but completely different from the work of poet Frank O’Hara. If you read one poetry book by a “great” this year, make it Seuss’.  The book has just taken these awards:

Winner of the 2022 PEN/Voelcker Award for Poetry Collection
Winner of the 2021 National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry
Winner of the 2021 L.A. Times Book Prize for Poetry
Finalist for the 2022 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award

Pretty darn amazing, but you will see why the book earned them.

On another note, I have a bundle of yummy looking poetry books to read by Merril D. Smith, Justin Hamm, Caroline Goodwin, Millicent Accardi, KB, and John Sibley Williams. Woohoo!!!!

And, finally, I am tinkering with the memoir. Is a writer’s work ever done? Kind of like being a woman (if you remember the expression).

Finally, on a completely unrelated topic, I found out there is a haunted hotel in Phoenix, Hotel San Carlos. That’s right. You can read about its checkered history here.

Make it a good week!


Filed under #amreading, #amrevising, #amwriting, #poetrycommunity, #writerlife, #writerslife, #writingcommunity, Book Review, Family history, Poetry, Poetry book, Poetry Collection, Writing

44 responses to “Lots of Stuff about Writing Besides Actually Writing

  1. Congrats on the recognition!

  2. Such a lovely review, Luanne. How wonderful–and, of course, well-deserved!
    Family names are interesting.

    So, are you going to stay at this hotel? If so, you better report back! 😀

    • Thanks, Merril. Haha, I was hoping you would stay at the hotel. I stayed at a haunted one once by myself, though. But I don’t know. This one, it would be nice if someone else did it and “reported back”!!!

  3. Great review! Congrats, Luanne!

  4. Amy

    I read Eilene’s blog regularly yet somehow missed that beautiful review. Well-deserved!!

  5. Congratulations on the review. Thanks for all the other information too.

  6. Kudos on awards and the beautiful review, Luanne!
    Enjoyed the hotel add-on.

  7. Brilliant. Confirmation I am officially lazy.

    • You are hardly lazy, Sheila! You have so much that if you want to sit on your laurels to save energy, you should do so without self-reproach! You’ve have written so many books, inspired so many people, had so much fun . . . .

  8. Congratulations, Luanne. Nice review! I’m too easily spooked to stay at a haunted hotel! 🙂

    • I stayed at one by myself in Texas years ago! But it wasn’t as haunted as the theater in the same town, so although it was scary, nothing TOO much happened.

  9. A memoir? I wish you well with it. I’m sure like your poetry it’ll do great. We stayed in a haunted hotel in San Antonio TX. It was fun to see if we could figure out any eerie phenomenon going on. The elevator seemed to be haunted, but maybe it was just old!

    • Aw shucks, Ally. Oh, that must have been fun especially if you had company so you weren’t scared. My haunted hotel was also in Texas, but in a smaller town than San Antonio.

  10. Congratulations on the excellent review, Luanne! I enjoyed the two poems from it at Verse-Virtual. (In my far-back family, it was all about the Jonathans.) The second poem was very powerful, leaving me to wonder what ended up happening to the poor girl and her baby.

  11. Did I write that? Dang. I had no idea I had any talent for writing reviews. Not bad!😉

    Thanks for the ping back. Best wishes for the memoir!

    • This cracked me up. Yes, you did a great job!!! Thanks re the memoir. I’m pretty happy with how it’s shaping up at this point (finally).

  12. Congratulations on the continuing accolades, Luanne

  13. Wonderful review! Congratulations!!! Wishing you many blessings this first week of May!

  14. Congratulations on the wonderful review of Kin Types! I don’t think a writer’s work is ever done. I just finished printing my WIP and now I’m going to put it away for a little while to “stew.” Hopefully it will improve in time just like leftovers do 😉

  15. Wow, Luanne, your poems are astonishing! Congrats on being recognized for them. 😘

  16. I love this even more now that Diane Seuss has been awarded a Pulitzer Prize in Poetry!

  17. What a wonderful review Luanne. You must have felt very encouraged when you read it. I’m not long back from a writers retreat, and have been saying to some other bloggers that I really need poets to recite their work for me to become totally immersed. But never with yours, because the “story” comes through so clearly. The second poem touched me deeply. Shortly before she died, my best girlfriend shared exactly this experience with me. She had kept it to herself for decades. It was as if you were channeling her to me. I wonder if I stayed in that hotel in Phoenix, would other ghosts also come calling?

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