Tag Archives: poems about dolls

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

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New on the Shelves – Doll God by Luanne Castle

A big thank you to Sally Cronin for putting DOLL GOD on the shelf at Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore! It’s in great company, and I’m thrilled to be one of Sally’s authors!

Smorgasbord - Variety is the spice of life

Welcome to the first of the New on the Shelves posts this week and today it is poet Luanne Castle and her debut collection, award winning Doll God that explores the emotion that we invest in inanimate objects, some of which have been created in our own image.

About Doll God

Winner of the New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards, Doll God, studies traces of the spirit world in human-made and natural objects–a Japanese doll, a Palo Verde tree, a hummingbird. Her exploration leads the reader between the twin poles of nature and creations of the imagination in dolls, myth, and art.

“Every day the world subtracts from itself,” Luanne Castle observes. Her wonderfully titled collection, Doll God, with its rich and varied mix of poems part memoir, part myth and tale, shimmers as it swims as poetry is meant to, upstream against the loss.
Stuart Dybek, MacArthur Fellow and author…

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Filed under #AmWriting, Book promotion, Books, Doll God, National Poetry Month, poems about dolls, Poetry, Poetry book, Poetry Collection, Writing

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 ;).

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

Enter to Win a FREE COPY of DOLL GOD and The Little Free Library with Dogs

What to win a free copy of Doll God?

Enter the Goodreads Giveaway. If you’re not on Goodreads, it is easy to sign up–and it costs nothing to enter to WIN A FREE COPY OF DOLL GOD.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Doll God by Luanne Castle

Doll God

by Luanne Castle

Released January 10 2015

Enter Giveaway

Remember the little free library?

One of the books I bought at the used bookstore was The Girl on the Train. It was a fairly suspenseful thriller, but it had some pretty big flaws. For one, a lot of the book is taken up by holding the main character’s hand while she drinks. Yeah, she’s a very tedious alcoholic. Boring. Then I figured out the solution to the mystery by the middle of the book, so the ending was a big letdown. None of the characters were likable.

Strangely, the book felt like it was written by Paul (not Paula) Hawkins. This is not meant as a negative about books by men or anything like that. And I’ve never really thought to myself about whether a book was written by a man or woman–I never cared. But I was haunted by the feeling that a woman couldn’t have written this book. It was kind of odd.

All that said, I read the book in one day, so it was a suspenseful read.

I went to California and thought I’d visit the little free library. Since I had just finished reading The Girl on the Train and didn’t have anybody I wanted to subject give it to, I thought I’d walk there and do a switch. When I arrived at the house with the little library, I noticed that the front door was open and a little wire-haired cutie (dog) was walking down the front yard. I kept approaching the library, wondering if the dog was supposed to be outside as he/she wasn’t wearing a collar. Just then a yellow lab came running out of that open door. The lab was not happy with me and ran toward me, growling in an aggressive manner. I walked across the street and turned back in the direction I came from. That was disappointing, considering I like being able to walk to a little library. And I couldn’t help but think of the children’s books in the library and what could have happened if a child had been walking there at that moment.

Later, the gardener drove me over there and I did the swap. I ended up with a book called Earnest about . . . (get this) a yellow lab.

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Filed under Book Giveaway, Book promotion, Book Review, Books, California, Doll God, poems about dolls, Poetry, Poetry book, Poetry Collection, Writing

Book reminiscing: Doll God by Luanne Castle

To celebrate this charming and personal review of Doll God by Robin at her blog, I am offering for one last time a donation event to receive a free copy.
For one lil ole donation of a minimum of $10 to Home Fur Good no-kill animal shelter in Phoenix, you will receive a signed copy of my book and a cat or elephant charm with free shipping (and tax write-off from the shelter).
My book is valued at $14 and the charm at $5, plus I am picking up the shipping myself. All I am asking is that you donate a minimum of $10 (for shipping to US address!!! (For international, please email me to discuss shipping costs). Feel free to donate more if you can, but only one package deal per person, please.
CLICK HERE TO DONATE: Home Fur Good donations

Go here for full details including how to email me the information.

witlessdatingafterfifty

image

I read my friend from Michigan’s book,

“Doll God,” over a period of days.

Luanne Castle heads off on some

interesting, curious, twisted paths

in numerous directions taken.

Natural, mystical and physical

worlds inexplicably melded,

in her 2015 prize-winning

book awarded by the ~

“New Mexico – Arizona

Book Awards.”

All found within a collection of

54 deeply moving, tense and

alternatively relaxing, poems.

I had wished to write with parts

of each poem originally to intrigue

and entice you with snippets

but we had to cut back

featuring several instead.

Partnering up with my mother,

past 30 year teacher of high school

English, World Literature and Spanish,

we tackled thought-provoking poems.

Floundering a bit in our lack of abstract-

thinking abilities, both more practiced

in concrete-level of comprehension.

Quick summaries may also

provide clues to what hidden

gems may lie underneath the

piles of pages, like leaves, which

hold…

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Filed under Book Review, Doll God, Dolls, poems about dolls, Poetry, Poetry book, Poetry Collection, Poetry reading, Writing

A Good Book, A Beautiful Gift, and Help the Shelter Animals with One Click!

RE-POSTING BECAUSE THERE ARE STILL SOME BOOKS AND CHARMS LEFT! DO YOU HAVE $10 TO HELP THE ANIMALS AND GET ALL THIS?

 

I’ve rambled on plenty about the no-kill animal shelter where I volunteer. It’s in Phoenix, and they do a fabulous job with the dogs and cats. Hundreds of animals find their forever homes thanks to Home Fur Good.

If you have a heart for the animals OR like pretty gifts OR want to get a copy of Doll God, my award-winning poetry collection, you can do all three of those things and get free shipping to boot!!!

To raise some funds for the shelter and to promote my book I have planned a treat.

First, I have 12 copies of Doll God that can be signed and personalized, if you like.

Then I ordered 12 purse/briefcase charms from a Home Fur Good volunteer who makes them. Each one costs me $5, and each $5 is donated to the shelter!

 

Some charms have a cat (duh) and some have an elephant (which you know I respect).

You will receive a signed copy of my book and a charm (tell me whether you prefer a cat or elephant, and I will send you your preference if I have one available–otherwise I will send the other) with free shipping all for one lil ole donation to HOME FUR GOOD.

My book is valued at $14 and the charm at $5, plus I am picking up the shipping myself. All I am asking is that you donate a minimum of $10 (for shipping to US address) or $15 (for international shipping)!!! Feel free to donate more if you can, but only one package deal per person, please.

$10.00 donation for U.S. shipping

$15 donation for international shipping

Value $19 + free shipping (and you get a tax write-off via HFG)

CLICK HERE TO DONATE

How can you BEAT that? No more excuses that you can’t spend $14 on a poetry book!!! I’m making it really easy for you ;). Just email me either the email you get from HFG verifying your donation or a little screen shot of a non-private part of your donation. Also send your mailing address and full name to writersite.wordpress[at]gmail[dot]com.

If you already have Doll God (thank you thank you thank you), please think of it for gift-giving!!! How can you go wrong with this deal? If you don’t have a purse or briefcase, I’m pretty sure you know somebody who does who would love a pretty charm.

Thank you so much for helping out the cats and dogs!!!

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Filed under #AmWriting, Book Giveaway, Book promotion, Books, Cats and Other Animals, Doll God, poems about dolls, Poetry, Poetry book, Poetry Collection, Writing

A Good Book, A Beautiful Gift, and Help the Shelter Animals with One Click!

 

I’ve rambled on plenty about the no-kill animal shelter where I volunteer. It’s in Phoenix, and they do a fabulous job with the dogs and cats. Hundreds of animals find their forever homes thanks to Home Fur Good.

If you have a heart for the animals OR like pretty gifts OR want to get a copy of Doll God, my award-winning poetry collection, you can do all three of those things and get free shipping to boot!!!

To raise some funds for the shelter and to promote my book I have planned a treat.

First, I have 12 copies of Doll God that can be signed and personalized, if you like.

Then I ordered 12 purse/briefcase charms from a Home Fur Good volunteer who makes them. Each one costs me $5, and each $5 is donated to the shelter!

 

Some charms have a cat (duh) and some have an elephant (which you know I respect).

You will receive a signed copy of my book and a charm (tell me whether you prefer a cat or elephant, and I will send you your preference if I have one available–otherwise I will send the other) with free shipping all for one lil ole donation to HOME FUR GOOD.

My book is valued at $14 and the charm at $5, plus I am picking up the shipping myself. All I am asking is that you donate a minimum of $10 (for shipping to US address) or $15 (for international shipping)!!! Feel free to donate more if you can, but only one package deal per person, please.

$10.00 donation for U.S. shipping

$15 donation for international shipping

Value $19 + free shipping (and you get a tax write-off via HFG)

CLICK HERE TO DONATE

How can you BEAT that? No more excuses that you can’t spend $14 on a poetry book!!! I’m making it really easy for you ;). Just email me either the email you get from HFG verifying your donation or a little screen shot of a non-private part of your donation. Also send your mailing address and full name to writersite.wordpress[at]gmail[dot]com.

If you already have Doll God (thank you thank you thank you), please think of it for gift-giving!!! How can you go wrong with this deal? If you don’t have a purse or briefcase, I’m pretty sure you know somebody who does who would love a pretty charm.

Hurry now, before the dozen books and charms are gone! Thank you so much for helping out the cats and dogs!!!

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Filed under #AmWriting, Book Giveaway, Book promotion, Books, Cats and Other Animals, Doll God, poems about dolls, Poetry, Poetry book, Poetry Collection, Writing

The Doll Collection: A Book Review

Poet Nicole Cooley, in her introduction to The Doll Collection, makes the connection for readers:

I have always thought that dolls and poems are a natural combination. Ever since I was a child, my dolls were part of my writing, as I arranged them into orphanages with my sister and wrote my own stories and poems about them. Now, I love to bring images of dolls to my poetry workshops for writing exercises.

I am as excited about bringing dolls and poetry together as Cooley seems to be. But she has taken it a step further by bringing dolls into the writing classroom. In the beginning, her students are reluctant to take dolls seriously as a muse for writing. But then she describes how they end up creating “uncanny, strange, frightening, and beautiful images.”

Diane Lockward chose this subject for the first book of her new press, Terrapin Books, and she has edited with great care. Because no poet has more than one poem in the anthology the variety of styles and subjects piques the imagination.  I’ve never read an anthology where I felt such excitement at each turn of the page.

My favorite poem in the book—and realize that this is saying a whole heckuva lot because the poems are stunning—is Christopher Citro’s “The Secret Lives of Little Girls.” This is a poem I wish I had written. I’m achingly jealous of it.

The Secret Lives of Little Girls

 

How loudly you can groan if you just use your eyes.

Children are adept at this, twelve-year-old girls especially.

Alone, high in mountain caves along cliffsides

accessible solely by toeholds and birds of prey,

they deflate and slouch a bit in ease.

At such times they might play jacks or jump a rope,

its woven line slapping the cave roof, freeing

gypsum flowers to flutter down in fragments

over reeking hides and doll parts piled in corners,

a sleeping area of matted glossy magazines,

a fire ring of rolled socks in parti-colored balls,

simple flint implements, a clamshell for stripping pelts,

small animal bones for holding a bow in the hair,

a pompom here and there caked with glitter and mud.

Hidden in the back beyond reach of firelight, a dollhouse—

perfectly split down the center as eggs rarely are—

where the gods live. The mommy god and the daddy god

stand facing each other either side of a four-poster bed,

a cellophane fire in the living room hearth below.

A dining room table set for three, three plates, three napkins,

and cutlery—a clear plastic goblet at each place.

In the daughter chair, an acorn balanced atop an acorn.

A smile scraped into the top one,

presumably by sharpened antler bone.

I’m imagining a little girl’s room as an eagle’s aerie—a difficult-to-reach, glamorous, gritty, dangerous space.

But there are so many other showstoppers. Do you know what a Frozen Charlotte is? Nicole brings up this doll in her introduction, and Susan de Sola’s “Frozen Charlotte” explores this doll/dead girl. Read the book to find out the story behind the doll.

“Doll Heads,” by Richard Garcia, will rip your guts out with its brutal reality.

There is even a poem, written by Susan Elbe, about Colleen Moore’s dollhouse at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago.  My own book Doll God might have its roots in that dollhouse. When I was a kid, we used to visit the museum regularly—and each time I refused to leave until we toured the doll house, just once more.

You will love these poems.  They will grab you at a visceral level and not let you go.

Go. read.

 

 

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Filed under Book Review, Books, Doll God, Dolls, poems about dolls, Poetry, Poetry book, Poetry Collection, Publishing, Writing

More Doll Poems!

If I told you there is a new poetry collection about dolls out, you would say that is news I’ve been spouting for a long time, right? But this isn’t my book that I’m talking about. This is an anthology of poems by dozens and dozens of poets–and every poem is about a doll or dolls. The book is appropriately titled The Doll Collection.

The minute I opened the book to the table of contents I got excited. Dream dolls, paper dolls, Barbies, doll makers, puppets, mother’s doll, and doll heads. There is even a poem about the doll I have written about in my unfinished memoir: the red riding hood doll that flips around to be the wolf and/or the grandma! There is a pregnant doll. There are dark poems about loss and violence.  There are poems brimming with heart or compassion or longing.

The pens behind these poems were held by a large variety of poets (OK, give me a little poetic license on that one–we can pretty much figure most were written on keyboards), including many luminaries like Chana Bloch, Kelly Cherry, Denise Duhamel, Jeffrey Harrison, and many more.

Oh, and there is a poem from Doll God in there, too: “Marriage Doll.” Woot!

What a wonderful book for anybody who loves beautiful, accessible poems–and particularly for anybody who has ever loved a doll. 

LIGHTBULB FLASH!!! Or a cooler idea yet would be to buy a pair of books: The Doll Collection and Doll God.  What a great gift! Mother’s Day? Spring birthday? Just because?

###

Weddings plans are in the works for son and his fiancee! They are looking a year out, but lots of preparation is already going on!

We went to California again. I’ll try to post a couple of photos of that hideous drive later this week.  Hahahaha.

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Filed under Books, Doll God, Dolls, poems about dolls, Poetry, Poetry book, Poetry Collection, Publishing, Writing

The Wax Image of Myself

I inhabit the wax image of myself, a doll’s body. Sickness begins here; I am a dartboard for witches.

Sylvia Plath

If not a dart board, at least a bulletin board. 

I’m trying to recover from a hideous sinus infection. Bad sinus infections always remind me of Sylvia Plath because she was prone to them and wrote in her diary about having them. I think they snuck into some of her poems.

I’m so behind in everything, but you know what? I don’t even care except that I am behind in reading your blogs–and that makes me sad. Two days ago I made a start to try to catch up, but that didn’t last long.

Germless hugs to all! xo

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Filed under Dolls, poems about dolls, Poetry, Writing