Category Archives: Poetry

SUMMER SPOTLIGHT: LUANNE CASTLE — Jill Weatherholt

Jill Weatherholt has been so kind to interview me for her blog! Please join us over there!

What is special about the place you grew up? The places of my childhood are always with me although I live almost 2000 miles away. I grew up in Kalamazoo County, which is in southwest Michigan. There are 101 inland lakes in the county alone, and we were not far from Lake Michigan. My mother’s […]

via SUMMER SPOTLIGHT: LUANNE CASTLE — Jill Weatherholt

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Filed under Blogging, Book promotion, Family history, Flash Nonfiction, Interview, Kin Types, Memoir, Poetry, Poetry book, Poetry Collection, Writing

Family Histories: Kin Types by Luanne Castle

Adrienne at Middlemay Books allowed me the opportunity to guest post about family history, a subject close to my heart and that of Kin Types! Thank you so much, Adrienne.

Nothing Gilded, Nothing Gained-Period Drama on Paper at Middlemay Farm

Welcome to Family Histories, a series of guest posts by some of my favorite bloggers in which they explore family . . . and history. The families and the histories are sometimes the writers’ own and sometimes not.

This weekLuanne Castle discusses how the exploration of family history has enriched her creative life:

By combining a passion for family history with my creative writing, I felt able to—for a brief moment—inhabit the lives of women and men from previous generations and imagine how their stories felt to them.

Family history as done by genealogy buffs only interested in filling in the dates and places of lineal ancestors miss the point. Everybody has ancestors. What becomes fascinating is that by recreating and listening to the stories of previous generations, we learn from the experiences of those who have lived on Earth before us.

Family history is a messy, complicated, and…

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Filed under Book promotion, Books, Creative Nonfiction, Family history, Flash Nonfiction, History, Inspiration, Kin Types, Memoir, Nonfiction, Poetry, Poetry book, Poetry Collection, Research and prep for writing, Writing, Writing Talk

Sunday Compulsion: Luanne Castle (Why I Write) — O at the Edges

Thank you to Robert Okaji for interviewing me for his beautiful poetry blog. He made me think about one of the hard questions . . . .

Welcome to “Sunday Compulsion,” in which creatives answer one question: Why do I create? Here’s poet Luanne Castle: When I pondered why I write, my mind flipped the question to why I don’t write during so many fallow periods. There have been so many reasons over the years: school, work, social life, teaching, raising kids. It’s not that I […]

via Sunday Compulsion: Luanne Castle (Why I Write) — O at the Edges

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Filed under #AmWriting, Family history, Inspiration, Kin Types, Poetry, Poetry book, Poetry Collection, Poetry reading, Writing, Writing Talk

You Should Probably Read This: Kin Types

If you read Merril’s blog you know that she’s a historian and a poet. Here’s Merril’s first reaction to KIN TYPES. (Thanks, Merril!)

Yesterday and today: Merril's historical musings

So–this arrived last night. I left it on the kitchen table, and I just started reading it–you know, leafing through it the way one does–and I got sucked in. I had to force myself to put it down because I have work to do. It is a powerful, lyrical mixture of poetry and prose, tragic accounts of everyday life–stories from her family history. Well, at least that’s what I’ve read so far. I’ll return for more in a bit.

OK, back to work now!

Luanne Castle is an award-winning poet. You can read more about her here.

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Filed under Book Review, Family history, Flash Nonfiction, History, Kin Types, Nonfiction, Poetry, Poetry book, Poetry Collection, Writing

New-ish Cat and Brand New Book

I had a couple of requests for a Perry update, so as tough (hahaha) as it is to write about him, here it is.

We’ve moved way beyond the “give me your paw” trick. His next move was to head butt my face and rub against me when I was on the floor to feed him.

Soon after, he indicated he wanted me to scratch his cheeks. Then pet his sides and the length of his tail.

Now he has added in a squishy and slobbery nose rub and even a little kiss-kiss.

He also keeps rolling on his back and trying to get me to pet his stomach, but with those “natural length” claws of his, I am not that stupid. Gotta get those nails trimmed somehow, but I don’t want to spook him and have a setback.

My son and ND (new daughter or, as some would have it, daughter-in-law) gave me the sweetest little instant camera for my birthday. It doesn’t take the place of my iPhone camera, of course, but I can snap a cute pic of a cat and put the photo into a little frame within a minute. Those little pet frames always beg tiny pix, so these are just right at 2″ or so. I’ve been learning how to use it, and Perry is the model.

My first attempt with the instant camera: I had to learn to use the little buttons

Today is the day I have to take Perry’s poo in for the final check in the deworming process. If it’s negative, I plan to be paranoid and do it again in another week or two. That is because the first time I had it checked, it was negative and then look what I’ve gone through because that was just a lull in the worm cycle. Ugh.

If it’s negative, we put the gate up at the bedroom door so the cats can meet. I’ll try to feed him on one side of the gate another couple of cats on the other side–at the same time. Over the gate I will hang a sheet. That is enough for most cats: gate and sheet and they think they are stuck in there.

Kana and Perry did have a little meeting the other night though. The hall outside Perry’s bedroom was so dark I couldn’t see anything and when I opened the door, suddenly there were two cats in the bedroom! I thought I was seeing double. But Perry was running away and Kana was sniffing Perry’s toys. I picked up Kana, and she managed to graze her teeth on my hand because she was unhappy in the extreme to be removed. What a stinker. She is the trouble-maker of the house, for sure. That is why when I go away, she has to go into her bedroom for the duration. That’s ok, it’s my office and it is the nicest room in the house IN MY OPINION.

Since Perry is in the bedroom all the time, I have certain times of the day I spend with him. My daughter shipped me her old laptop so I can get some work done while I’m in with him.

Probably because he is young, Perry loves his dolls. Sometimes his teeth or claws start holes in the dolls and I have to take them away or stitch them, but that is just him loving them ;).

I’m not used to having a cat so young. It’s been many years since 17-year-old Pear was that young! Perry likes to shred tissues and other paper. That ought to be great when he’s got the run of the house with all our business and writing paper lying about (yikes).

 

I noticed the other day that Perry is now filling out. I suspect that means that the worms are gone and that he is absorbing his food better. He’s going to be a fairly large long-haired cat. And now that I am petting him, I can verify that his fur is super soft!

Perry and an interactive doll:

There was a speck on the lens that shows up in the video. Does anybody know how to remove something like that through Windows Movie Maker?

 

 

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KIN TYPES IS NOW AVAILABLE AT AMAZON! Copies should be arriving soon (I hope)!

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Filed under Cats and Other Animals, Family history, Kin Types, Lifestyle, Nonfiction, Poetry, Poetry book, Poetry Collection, Publishing, Writing

Like a Mourning Dove

This is a hectic month, so I need to slow down my blogging for a few more days. But I’ll be back soon.

In the meantime, here are two sweet baby mourning doves.

 

If I Could Mourn Like A Mourning Dove
by Frank Bidart
It is what recurs that we believe,
your face not at one moment looking
sideways up at me anguished orelate, but the old words welling up by
gravity rearranged:
two weeks before you died in pain worn out, after my usual casual sign-off
with All my love, your simple
solemn My love to you, Frank.

If you don’t know the work of Frank Bidart, you might want to check him out. Here is a bio and selected bibliography from poets.org:

Frank Bidart was born in Bakersfield, California on May 27, 1939 and educated at the University of California at Riverside and at Harvard University, where he was a student and friend of Robert Lowell and Elizabeth Bishop.

His first volume of poetry, Golden State (G. Braziller, 1973), was selected by poet Richard Howard for the Braziller Poetry series, but it wasn’t until the publication of The Sacrifice (Random House, 1983) that Bidart’s poetry began to attract a wider readership. Bidart’s early books are collected in In the Western Night: Collected Poems 1965-90 (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1990).

His recent volumes include Metaphysical Dog: Poems (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2013); Watching the Spring Festival: Poems (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2008); Star Dust (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2005); Music Like Dirt (Sarabande Books, 2002); and Desire (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1997), which was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, and was a finalist for both the National Book Award and the National Book Critic’s Circle Award. He is also the co-editor of Robert Lowell’s Collected Poems(Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2003).

About his work, the former U.S. Poet Laureate Louise Glück has said, “More fiercely, more obsessively, more profoundly than any poet since Berryman (whom he in no way resembles) Bidart explores individual guilt, the insoluble dilemma.” And about his career as a poet, she said, “Since the publication, in 1973, of Golden State, Frank Bidart has patiently amassed as profound and original a body of work as any now being written in this country.”

His honors include the Wallace Stevens Award, the Lila Wallace-Reader’s Digest Foundation Writer’s Award, the Morton Dauwen Zabel Award given by the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Shelley Award of the Poetry Society of America, a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, and The Paris Review‘s first Bernard F. Conners Prize for “The War of Vaslav Nijinsky” in 1981. In 2007, he received the Bollingen Prize in American Poetry.

Bidart was elected a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets in 2003. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he has taught at Wellesley College since 1972.


Selected Bibliography

Metaphysical Dog: Poems (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2013)
Watching the Spring Festival: Poems (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2008)
Star Dust (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2005)
Music Like Dirt (Sarabande Books, 2002)
Desire (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1997)
In the Western Night: Collected Poems 1965-90 (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1990)
The Sacrifice (Random House, 1983)
Golden State (G. Braziller, 1973)

See you soon, peeps!

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Filed under Blogging, Cats and Other Animals, Poetry, Writing

Reading from Doll God and Kin Types

If you happen to be in the Phoenix area this Friday, please come hang out with me at {9} The Gallery! There will be an open mic, and then I will read from Doll God and Kin Types. I’ll have copies of Doll God to sign for a discounted price of $10 (regular $14).

Link to info: Caffeine Corridor Poetry feat. Luanne Castle

This series is pulled together by the wonderful Phoenix poet Shawnte Orion.

Let’s hope I don’t screw up too badly.

Make it a great week!

 

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Filed under Arizona, Book promotion, Doll God, poems about dolls, Poetry, Poetry book, Poetry Collection, Poetry reading, Reading, Writing, Writing Talk

Don’t Miss This Poetry Contest

Rick Lupert at Poetry Super Highway is offering a poetry contest that you might want to enter. The main prizes are cash (read below), but there are also a lot of other prizes available, including two copies of Doll God, which I am donating as a sponsor of the contest. There are lots of other books donated, too. What I love about Rick’s contests are that they aren’t to make money for a literary magazine, but to really benefit the poets themselves.

Read and ENTER. This is the best value contest around. The submission fee is $1 per poem!!! You can’t beat that. Think of the things you can buy for a buck. NOT MUCH and surely not even a large cup of coffee.

Warning: on my computer screen words do run too far to the right, but you can still get the gist of everything you need to know about the contest. I tested the links, so you can get to the entry form, etc.

Poetry Super Highway

Announcing the 2017 Poetry Super Highway Poetry Contest

s p o n s o r e d   b y

Angele Ellis • Ann Christine Tabaka • Clint Hirschfield • Corey Mesler • Curtis R. Smith • David C. Kopaska-Merkel • David Flynn • Ed Werstein • Elizabeth Marchitti • Ellen Sander • Emily Vieweg • Forage Poetry Forum • Hanoch Guy • Hiram Larew • Karawane, or the Temporary Death of the Bruitist • Ken Allan Dronsfield • Larry O. Bubar • “Laughing” Larry Berger • LB Sedlacek • Leilani Squire • Lone Stars Poetry Magazine • Luanne Castle • Magalena Ball • Marianne Szlyk • Marie C Lecrivain • Marsha Carow Markman • Mary Langer Thompson • Matthew Abuelo • Muddy River Poetry Review & Muddy River Books • Neil Leadbeater • Neil Meili • Poetry Contests for a Cause • Poets & Allies for Resistance • Poets Wear Prada • Rattle • Rick Lupert • Rolland Vasin • Ron Kolm • Ruth Hill • San Diego Poetry Annual • Science Fiction & Fantasy Poetry Association • Steve Braff • Trish Lindsey Jaggers • Unlikely Books • Unlikely Books • Vincent O’Connor • Voices Israel • Winning Writers • WoollyDocIt’s our twentieth annual Poetry Contest featuring cash prizes and 48 sponsors who’ve donated 95 additional prizes.  Last year we were able to send every contest entrant a prize for participating and we’re hoping to do the same this year. (Click here for information on sponsoring this year’s contest.)

Read below for all the Entry Guidelines, The Complete Prize List, The Judges, and the 2017 Contest Calendar.

 

Entry Guidelines

  • The Poetry Super Highway Poetry Contest is open to all human beings on planet Earth. (except for the three judges)
  • Enter as many poems as you like.
  • Previously published poems are eligible.
  • Poems may be of any style, length, or subject matter.
  • This contest is separate from weekly Poet of the Week consideration though submissions for Poet of the week consideration must be separate from Contest Submissions and the same poems may not be submitted for both.
  • There is a One Dollar Per Poem (US Funds Only) entry fee.
  • Poems are sent to the three contest judges with your name removed. The judges score each poem from 0-5 using quarter point intervals. (0, .25, .5, .75, 1, 1.25, 1.5, etc…)
  • Poems are sent to judges only after you fill out the Contest Entry Formand we have received your payment.

There are three easy steps to entering the contest:

STEP 1 FILL OUT THE ENTRY FORM
STEP 2 E-MAIL YOUR POEMS
Guidelines on how and where to email poems will be
displayed once you submit the contest entry form.
STEP 3 PAY THE ENTRY FEE
Guidelines on how and where to submit your $1 per poem entry
fee will be displayed once you submit the contest entry form.

Click here to go to the entry form.

Deadlines Etcetera

  • Deadline for postmarking entry fees (or paying them via PayPal or Venmo) is Saturday, September 23, 2017.
  • Regardless of when you postmark, your entry fees must be received by Wednesday, September 27, so if you’re mailing your entry fee, please account for the amount of time it will take for your it to travel between your home and Los Angeles.
  • This is a not for profit contest. All of the collected entry fees will be divided between the top three scoring poems (minus postage for mailing out additional prizes. See Prize List below)
  • Once your entry fee is received, your poems will be sent with your name removed to the three judges who will score them 0 – 5 (5 being best).
  • Your poems will not be forwarded to the judges until your entry fee is received.
  • If you have any questions or need any of the contest details clarified, please e-mail Contest@PoetrySuperHighway.com

Prizes

First Prize: 50% of the entry fees collected plus winning poem featured on the PSH

Second Prize: 30% of the entry fees collected plus winning poem featured on the PSH.

Third Prize: 20% of the entry fees collected plus winning poem featured on the PSH.

In addition, thanks to sponsors Rolland Vasin and Hiram Larew, an additional $275 will be added to the entry fees collected and divided with the above percentages among the top three scoring poets.

Thanks to the generosity of our sponsors, we are able to supplement the cash prizes with an impressive array of prizes which would be of interest to poets and writers.

The following prizes will be used to bolster first through third prize as well as distributed to other contest entrants.

Our goal is to be able to send every single person who enters the contest something.

If you’re interested in becoming a sponsor to this years contest in exchange for promotional consideration, please click HERE for the details.

Additional Prizes:

Angele Ellis
1 Three-Book Set which includes 1 copy of “Arab on Radar” by Angele Ellis, 1 copy of the book “Spared” by Angele Ellis, and 1 copy of the book “Under the Kaufmann’s Clock” by Angele Ellis

Ann Christine Tabaka
2 copies of the book “It Is Still Morning” by Ann Christine Tabaka

Clint Hirschfield
1 copy of the anthology “2014 Pendle War Poetry Competition Selected Poems”
1 copy of the anthology “2015 Pendle War Poetry Competition Selected Poems”

Corey Mesler
coreymesler.wordpress.com
1 signed copy of the book “Opaque Melodies that Would Bug Most People” by Corey Mesler

Curtis R. Smith
www.facebook.com/ipoeticconfessions
1 copy of the book, “I, Poetic Confessions, II” by Curtis R. Smith

David C. Kopaska-Merkel
dreamsandnightmaresmagazine.blogspot.com
2 one-year (3 issue) digital (PDF) subscriptions to Dreams and Nightmares magazine

David Flynn
www.davidflynnbooks.com
2 copies of the book “Selected Poems” by David Flynn

Ed Werstein
1 copy of the book “Who Are We Then?” by Ed Werstein
1 copy of the book “Masquerades and Misdemeanors” by The Hartford Avenue Poets
1 copy of the “2018 Wisconsin Poets Calendar”

Elizabeth Marchitti
1 copy of the book “Growing Old Disgracefully” by Elizabeth Marchitti

Ellen Sander
www.ellensander.com
1 copy of the book “Hawthorne, a House in Bolinas” by Ellen Sander

Emily Vieweg
emilyvieweg.blogspot.com
1 copy of the chapbook “Conversations with Beethoven and Bach” by Emily Vieweg
1 copy of the chapbook “Look Where She Points” by Emily Vieweg

Forage Poetry Forum
foragepoetry.prophpbb.com
1 copy of the book “Poems of the Decade: An Anthology of the Forward Books of Poetry” selected by William Sieghart.
1 set of “Phoenix Classic Poetry: 10 book Box Set “Phoenix Poetry: Classic Poetry – a 10-book collection including Blake, Poe, Shakespeare & Yeats”

Hanoch Guy
hanochkguypoet.com
1 copy of the book “We Pass Each Other on the Stairs:120 Real and Imaginary Encounters” by Hanoch Guy

Hiram Larew
www.facebook.com/hiramlarewpoet
$25 added to the prize pot

Karawane, or the Temporary Death of the Bruitist
karawane.homestead.com
3 copies of the magazine “Karawane, or the Temporary Death of the Bruitist” with assorted postcards designed by Fluffy Singler

Ken Allan Dronsfield
arevenantpoet.wordpress.com
2 copies of the book “The Cellaring” by Ken Allan Dronsfield

Larry O. Bubar
2 copies of the anthology “Breathe vol.1” by the Breathe Writers Group

“Laughing” Larry Berger
1 copy of the book “Instant Poetry (Just add words!)” by Lawrence Berger

LB Sedlacek
www.lbsedlacek.com
1 copy of the chapbook “Mars or Bust” by LB Sedlacek

Leilani Squire
leilanisquire.com
4 1/2 hour creativity coaching sessions

Lone Stars Poetry Magazine
1 Issue of Lone Stars Poetry Magazine

Luanne Castle
www.luannecastle.com
2 copies of the book “Doll God” by Luanne Castle

Magalena Ball
www.magdalenaball.com
1 autographed copy of the book “Unmaking Atoms” by Magdalena Ball

Marianne Szlyk
thesongis.blogspot.com
3 copies of the book “I Dream of Empathy” by Marianne Szlyk
2 copies of the The Blue Hour’s Third Anthology
1 copy of “Literature Today”

Marie C Lecrivain
www.poeticdiversity.org
1 copy of the book “Philemon’s Gambit” by Marie C Lecrivain

Marsha Carow Markman
2 copies of the anthology “If We Dance . . . A Collection of Poems” edited by Joan Wines

Mary Langer Thompson
home.earthlink.net/~ml_thompson
1 signed copy of the book “Poems in Water” by Mary Langer Thompson

Matthew Abuelo
joerussia3.wixsite.com/thenewsfactory
2 copies of the book “The News Factory” by Matthew Abuelo

Muddy River Poetry Review & Muddy River Books
www.muddyriverpoetryreview.com
1 copy of the book “Love Poems From Hell” by Zvi A. Sesling

Neil Leadbeater
2 copies of the book “Finding the River Horse” by Neil Leadbeater

Neil Meili
NeilMeili.com
2 copies of the book “Missing Leonard Cohen” by Neil Meili

Poetry Contests for a Cause
www.facebook.com/poetrycontestsforacause
1 copy of the anthology “Paw Prints in Verse: Poems about Pets” edited by Stacy Savage

Poets & Allies for Resistance
1 copy of the book “The Bottle & The Boot” by J.L Martindale & Daniel McGinn
1 copy of the book “Deed” by Rod Smith
1 copy of the book “Rise of the Trust Fall” by Mindy Nettifee
1 copy of the book “Open 24 Hours” by Suzanne Lummis

Poets Wear Prada
www.poetswearprada.com
1 $15 Gift Certificate for poetry editing services (worth 5 pages) from Poets Wear prada

Rattle
www.rattle.com
2 one-year (4-issue) subscriptions to Rattle magazine

Rick Lupert
www.poetrysuperhighway.com
1 copy of the book “Donut Famine” by Rick Lupert
1 copy of the book “Romancing the Blarney Stone” by Rick Lupert
1 copy of the book “Professor Clown on Parade” by Rick Lupert”

Rolland Vasin
$250 added to the prize pot divided by the 3 winning poets

Ron Kolm
2 copies of the book “A Change in the Weather, poems” by Ron Kolm

Ruth Hill
1 pack of 3 recent poetry journals

San Diego Poetry Annual
sandiegopoetryannual.com
1 copy of the San Diego Poetry Annual 2016-17

Science Fiction & Fantasy Poetry Association
sfpoetry.com
2 .pdf subscriptions to “Star*Line”, the Science Fiction & Fantasy Poetry Association Journal

Steve Braff
stevebraff.blogspot.com
1 signed copy of “Forty Days” by Steve Braff- a chapbook of Ekphrastic poetry inspired by the included color photographs of Joshua Tree National Park .

Trish Lindsey Jaggers
www.facebook.com/trishlindseyjaggers
1 signed copy of the book “Holonym: a collection of poems” by Trish Lindsey Jaggers

Unlikely Books
www.unlikelystories.org/unlikely-books
2 copies of the book “Ghazals 1-59 and Other Poems” by Sheila E. Murphy and Michelle Greenblatt
2 copies of the book “Scorpions” by Joel Chace
2 copies of the book “brain : storm” by Michelle Greenblatt (2nd edition)
2 copies of the book “Soy solo palabras but wish to be a city” by León De la Rosa & Gui.ra.ga7 (2nd edition)
2 copies of the book “My Hands Were Clean” by Tom Bradley (2nd Edition)”

Vincent O’Connor
vinceoconnor.com
1 copy of the book “Mouthful of Forevers” by Clementine Von Radics
1 copy of the book “Thirty-Three Minnesota Poets” edited by Monica and Emilio DeGrazia”

Voices Israel
2 copies of the anthology “A Second Decade of Poems from Voices Israel”

Winning Writers
winningwriters.com
2 free entries to the Tom Howard/Margaret Reid Poetry Contest (value $12 each)

WoollyDoc
www.woollydoc.com
1 purple velvet covered WoollyDoc pocket journal
1 spotted velboa covered WoollyDoc pocket journal
1 canvas covered WoollyDoc pocket journal

.

Meet Your Judges

  • Ben Britton (Exeter, United Kingdom)
    Ben Britton is a poet and short fiction writer currently living in Exeter, in the UK. He was brought up in London, and would like to think that as a youth he roamed through the disquiet of the city at ease. But instead he was brought up in suburbia (and not the gothic kind either). He alternates his time between writing, sleeping, and attempting to study literature and film at uni.
  • J.P. Grasser (Salt Lake City, Utah)
    A 2017-2019 Wallace Stegner Fellow in Poetry at Stanford University, J.P. Grasser attended Sewanee: The University of the South and received his M.F.A. in poetry from The Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University. He is currently a doctoral student in Literature & Creative Writing at the University of Utah, where he teaches undergraduate writing and serves as Managing Editor for Quarterly West. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in AGNI, Best New Poets 2015 (selected by Tracy K. Smith), The Cincinnati Review, Meridian, The New Criterion, Ninth Letter Online, and West Branch Wired, among others.
  • Jo Angela Edwins (Florence, South Carolina)
    Jo Angela Edwins teaches creative writing, American literature, and composition at Francis Marion University in Florence, SC. She has published poems in a variety of venues including Calyx, Sojourn, New South, and Adanna. She is the 2014 recipient of the Carrie McCray Nickens Fellowship Poetry Prize from the South Carolina Academy of Authors. Her chapbook, Play, was published by Finishing Line Press in 2016.

2017 Contest Calendar

  • July 5: Contest begins
  • July 10-16: Judges featured as Poets of the Week
  • July 23, 2:00 pm (pacific)PSH Live Judges Event: Live broadcast where Judges will have the chance to read poems and discuss the contest and you can call in live and ask them questions. Click here for more info. and to tune in.
  • September 23: Final deadline for contest entries. (Entry fees must be received by PayPal or Venmo, or postmarked by September 23 or they’ll be returned.)
  • September 29: Judges deadline for returning scored poems.
  • October 6: Second round scoring deadline (in the event of tied scores.)
  • October 82pm (pacific) PSH Live Event: “Winners Announced” in a special broadcast. Listen to it live and if any of the winners happen to be listening, they’ll be invited to call in and read their winning entries live on the air..
  • October 9-15: Contest Winners featured as Poets of the Week.

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Filed under Doll God, Poetry, Poetry book, Poetry Collection, Writing, Writing contest

Is It Really a Choice Between Twitter and Poetry?

In April, for Poetry Month, the LA Times ran an OP-ED by Lori Anne Ferrell, who is the director of Claremont Graduate University’s Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award and Kate Tufts Discovery Award. These are giants in the world of poetry awards. Ferrell’s piece argues that poetry is complex and cannot be reduced. She argues that we should all find a poem that startles us with its “lasting truths.” She wants us to put our favorite poems in our pockets. She speaks very well for poetry and for the month of poetry.

You can read the article here: A Book of Poetry That’s Worth $100,000, And So Much More

Near the end of the short piece, Ferrell suggests something she calls revolutionary: that we quit Twitter and send a poem to someone we disagree with. She thinks poetry will span the divide between us. What she seems to hope for is akin to what I felt Tony Walsh did in his poem “This is The Place” about Manchester.

At first, I took her quite literally. Yeah, I should stop wasting so much time on the internet. On Twitter, yes, but also Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and even WordPress. Maybe not Goodreads ;). After all, it makes sense, right? Every minute spent online is a minute that could be spent reading a poem or sending someone else a poem.

But then I wondered who I would send a poem to and it led me to think about the difference between Ferrell’s life and mine. She is a humanities professor on campus at a graduate university. I work at home and live a split personality existence, helping run our business and writing creatively.

Maybe you, like me, work from home. Maybe you don’t and you have a vast network of coworkers. If you work from home, you don’t see too many people on a regular basis. But you might correspond and communicate regularly using the internet and even social media.  If you have coworkers, but unlike Ferrell, don’t work in a field that automatically values poetry or novels or painting or photography (whatever your art, there are commonalities between them all), you still might find the need to communicate online with others who do.

So why would you quit your “Twitter feed”? Or WordPress or Facebook or whatever forum you most value? I sure don’t want to be that isolated. I want to talk to people about what I care about.

And as for sending a poem to someone: Since the postal service is a declining service, most people will choose email to send a poem. Last time I checked, emails were part of our online world.

NEVERTHELESS,

It is true that reading well-written poetry and prose adds a richness to our lives that we can’t get from Twitter. And it doesn’t provoke anxiety in the same way either. (Don’t tell me social media doesn’t give you anxiety, at least some of the time).

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Perry took his first dose of deworming medicine a week ago. He takes the 2nd dose in another week. In the meantime, he’s shut up in a bedroom with a view of birds, lizards, snakes, and bunnies. Although I still don’t pet him, if I reach out my “paw” to him, he reciprocates by touching it with his own paw. Then he gets excited and stretches and rolls on his back.

Look at how his paw pads have changed in the past two months!

 It’s been so hot in Arizona (up to 120.8 one day) that he must be so relieved to be inside in the air conditioning and with a clean water bowl.

Writing was set aside for the past week so that I could focus on all the work I needed to do for Perry on top of my regular work. But I hope to be #amwriting this week! What do you plan to do for yourself this week?

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Filed under #AmWriting, Arizona, Cats and Other Animals, Essay, National Poetry Month, Poetry, Reading, social media, Writing

The Real Story of Tiny and Catharina

 

baby Tiny

Teeny Tiny: last summer

 

Remember Tiny the magpie? And the love of his life, Tina? And remember Catharina who patiently observed the pair and reported on their goings-on? Check out the story here if you missed that post.

After writing about Catharina and Tiny, I wondered what was going on with Tiny and Tina and would periodically email Catharina to find out.  You might have wondered yourself how they were faring.

Now you can read the whole story of Tiny and Tina and of Catharina, too, in Fly Wings, Fly High!.What you might not realize is that Catharina had a stroke (at quite a young age) and began her recovery around the time that young Tiny was trying to learn how to deal with his screwed-up wing.

MY REVIEW

Catherine Lind’s narrative about her recovery from a stroke is threaded with the story of a wild magpie Lind observes struggling to fly with a deformed wing. Tiny, as Lind names the bird that lives in her yard, works very hard at learning to fly. Lind is inspired as she watches Tiny for months as he keeps trying to fly–first a few feet, then from a little “jungle gym” Lind creates for him, and then to the apple tree to eat the fruit.

Lind finds that Tiny is ever hopeful and persistent. When he tries to land, he isn’t graceful and crashes over and over. Each time, he picks himself up and tries again. He is never downhearted, and he never gives up. But it’s not so easy for Lind who has always prided herself on her skill with words. They are her livelihood and her portal to the world. When the stroke knocks out half her vocabulary in both English and Swedish, she can only communicate by speaking a combination of both languages. Sometimes it seems as if she will never recover.

Watching Tiny’s determination and good spirits, Lind decides to follow his lead and work intensely on her skills by singing, hand exercises, and eventually, telling elaborate stories aloud about Tiny and his life. Reading Fly Wings, Fly High! taught me a great deal about what it is like to experience a stroke, and I was comforted and intrigued by the extraordinary tale of Tiny, whose influence on Lind’s life has been enormous. My life has been enriched by reading this charming story told by a very talented storyteller.

MORE INFO

Catharina’s book is short, like a novella—either a very short novel or a long short story. It’s available in paperback or for Kindle.

 

I so enjoyed the loving detail of the natural world and the animals found within. When I was a kid I loved books that paid attention to this world (Gene Stratton Porter and Louisa May Alcott both managed this accomplishment at times), but I’ve moved away from it as an adult. What a wonderful experience to inhabit that world again.

Additionally, learning about the effects of a stroke from the inside out was fascinating; I’ve never read anything quite like Catharina’s experience.

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Yesterday I washed sweet Perry’s bedding and a hairball fell onto the floor. It had WORMS coming out of it. Right after we began fostering him I took his poo to the vet and paid $ to have it tested at the lab. Must have been at a certain point in the life cycle where it doesn’t show up because this hairball is just jammed with worms. I am being so nice to you not to show it to you. Heh. My stomach is still heaving a little. But imagine how bad his tummy has hurt all this time!

I did work on the galleys for Kin Types. That was fun, but a little difficult with my cataracts. Sigh.

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Filed under Book Review, Cats and Other Animals, Family history, Inspiration, Kin Types, Memoir, Nonfiction, Poetry, Poetry book, Poetry Collection, Publishing, Reading, Writing, Writing Talk