Tag Archives: poetry reading

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

17 Comments

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

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!

 

36 Comments

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

If You Were Stranded on a Desert Island Would You Have Any Poetry Memorized?

In fifth grade, we had to memorize a poem and recite it to the class. I loved doing that (like that shocks you) and won second place for “A Fairy Went A-Marketing” by Rose Fyleman. I was ticked off that I didn’t get first place and told myself that it was because my poem was longer than the one recited by the girl who took first place. Hahaha. Actually, I don’t know how she did because we had to go in the hall and recite our poems privately to the teacher. This was a kindness on her part, but it would have been great to listen to all the poems.

When my kids were little I had a handful of poems I’d memorized by accident that I used to recite to them with all manner of sound effects and gestures. One of my favorites was the “Double Double Toil and Trouble” passage from MacBeth. I also loved “The Spangled Pandemonium” and “Keep a Poem in Your Pocket,” as well as a couple of e.e. cummings poems. But after fifth grade, I was neither required nor encouraged to memorize poetry. A generation or two before my time students were routinely required to do so.

In that way, they would have literature to keep them company if they were stranded on a desert island or taken as a POW. Memorization of literature is good for the mind in a way that Google can never be good for us. Here’s just one article about the subject: Why We Should Memorize.

I’ve also heard that poets who recite their own poetry at readings, rather than reading them from the page, are electrifying performers. The thought of that terrifies me. What if my mind goes blank?

AS IT SO OFTEN DOES AS OF LATE. Either my brain is suffering from an overload of iPhone, iPad, computer, and social media–or it’s starting to decay. That is why I now can be sure to complete only one poem from beginning to end without ever reading it. And it so happens that little Perry loves to listen to it ;).

THE SPANGLED PANDEMONIUM

 

by Palmer Brown*

 

The Spangled Pandemonium

Is missing from the zoo.

He bent the bars the barest bit,

And slithered glibly through.

 

He crawled across the moated wall,

He climbed the mango tree,

And when his keeper scrambled up,

He nipped him in the knee.

 

To all of you a warning

Not to wander after dark,

Or if you must, make very sure

You stay out of the park.

 

For the Spangled Pandemonium

Is missing from the zoo,

And since he nipped his keeper,

He would just as soon nip you!

I figure Perry imagines himself as the Spangled Pandemonium, wanting to nip all of us if we go after him after he breaks out of his cage and the shelter.

*I tried to look up Palmer Brown and although he wrote five books for children and apparently lived from 1920-2012 I couldn’t even find an obituary for him!

90 Comments

Filed under Cats and Other Animals, Children's Literature, National Poetry Month, Poetry, Poetry reading, Writing

Reading from The Book

On Sunday, I gave a poetry reading in Redlands, California, at the State Street Deli and Cafe. It was organized by Carla McGill, who did a fabulous job of it. Before I read, Carla read some of her own poetry, as did two other poets. After the event, I was able to sell and sign some copies of Doll God. Although I get nervous speaking in public, I really do love reading my poetry aloud. Actually, I love reading poetry aloud, period.

You know what I notice in this photo? How messed up my scarf got. What a shallow mind.

Here are a couple of clips of the reading. In the first I read “American Girl,” “Effigy,” and “Calculating Loss”–all poems from the book.

and in this clip I read a new poem about my great-grandmother.

60 Comments

Filed under #AmWriting, Book promotion, Books, California, Doll God, Dolls, poems about dolls, Poetry, Poetry book, Poetry Collection, Poetry reading, Writing

Such Sad Beauty

My daughter lives in New York City now, not far from the financial district. When we visited her this month, hubby and I accompanied her to the 911 Memorial.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Hubby and daughter reading the names at one of the twin reflecting pools.

The flowers

The towers reflect also

Magnificent

Look closely: a chilling reminder

Did you see it? Up in the sky, looking quite tiny? Click on the photo and zoom in . . . .

The memorial was quite the experience, and I have no words to talk about it except in the small and personal: makes me a little queasy having my daughter living so close.

###

Are you a GOODREADS member? If so (or if you want to join) please vote for DOLL GOD as a write-in nominee for the Book Choice Award. If it is one of the top 5 write-ins it will become an official nominee!!! It could be your good deed of the day haha. If you’re a member, CLICK TO GOODREADS AND SCROLL DOWN TO WRITE IN

To join Goodreads, go to GOODREADS MAIN PAGE

News flash, I’m the featured poet at a poetry reading in Redlands, California, on Sunday, November 8 (300 E State Street). That’s THIS Sunday. 3-5 PM. Also reading will be two other poets, including my dear friend Carla McGill. If you recall, Carla wrote this beautiful post on here about “Poetry, Loss, and Grieving.

36 Comments

Filed under #AmWriting, History, Inspiration, Nonfiction, Poetry, Poetry reading, Sightseeing & Travel, Writing

Help Wanted: Reading Ideas

I’ve started pulling together poems to create a poetry manuscript. If I’m going to do it, I’m going to do it with bravado, if not confidence, so I won’t talk about how I feel about this event.

But I will venture into my worries about reading my poetry aloud. If I have to read someone else’s words aloud, I am an excellent reader. I rarely make a mistake, and my voice delivers the goods with correct expression and a pleasing sound.

Unfortunately, I just can’t get it right when I read my work. Part of the problem is I hate the “typical” cadence many poets adopt when reading their work aloud. It’s very fashionable, but I think it’s boring. Sometimes I approximate that style without succumbing entirely. Sometimes I try to read as I feel the material. What I can’t get down at all is reading like an actor, which is what I would like to do.

Here is one poem in a reading I did in Los Angeles in 2010. This was my heartfelt style, and I got a lot of compliments for the reading that night, though I can see much room for improvement.

And here are a couple of audio versions I recorded this year for the literary magazine A Clean Well-Lighted Place: “Calculating Loss” and “From Both Sides.” Here I tried to compromise, but I’m very unsatisfied.

https://soundcloud.com/lightedplace/sets/volume-iv

The other poets in this magazine do a much better job reading their poems.

Practice doesn’t seem to work for me because I feel as if I am floundering about how to read aloud.

So should I go back to my heartfelt style? Or is there a 3rd and better way of reading? Any ideas on what I can do to improve my reading?  I’m hoping you have some fabulous ways to decide how to read and then how to go about doing so.

28 Comments

Filed under Essay, Nonfiction, Poetry, Research and prep for writing