In Which One Things Leads to Another

Part One, In Which One Thing Leads Clearly To Another

I got Austin Kleon’s Show Your Work from the library because someone on Facebook or somewhere posted his great “How to Support an Artist You Love” list and then I googled him.

[Go look at it then come back.]

[Welcome back. It’s great, right?] 

I liked Show Your Work, which is to say I agree, it seems pretty smart about trying to be an artist in that which is our now, how to get out there, how to connect, how to show your work. (Also, he quotes Dan Chaon, Alison Bechdel, Cyndi Lauper, and John Le Carre, so what’s not to like.)Continue reading “In Which One Things Leads to Another”

Rimbaud/Rambo Essay & Poem Are Up!

RamboRimbaudBookshelf copy

So delighted to be a part of The Operating System’s 30/30/30 Poetry Month project, an always fascinating series of essays by a variety of artists about poets who have inspired them. New essays are posted each day of Poetry Month ( frequently including art directly inspired by that poet) and mine went up today — so you can read about my unconventional relationship with 19th century French bad boy poet Arthur Rimbaud and 1980s bad action hero Rambo, as well as my poem “Filling Station (Rambo & Rimbaud, Proprietors)” here.

Continue reading “Rimbaud/Rambo Essay & Poem Are Up!”

Poetry Month Favorites: A Recap

Each day in April, on account of National Poetry Month, I tweeted a tidbit about a poem that means something to me personally (not just that I admire or recognize the greatness of).

It’s funny how often in a conversation with a stranger (or in last week’s case, a barista) in which it comes up that you write poetry the stranger (or barista) says something about not knowing anything about poetry and not understanding it at all, but then a few beats or a bit later, inevitably, the stranger (or barista) remembers a poem they really liked. In a high school class, say, or from college, or heard read at a wedding or funeral that stuck with them. Every time it seems the first reaction is backing away, but then there’s always at least one that they remember, that means something to them. Does poetry just have the worst marketing ever?  That everyone’s first reaction is to back away? (Until they remember there was at least one time they didn’t have to?)

Anyway, I thought maybe I’d see some style thread running through them all, other than a basic love of words, but I think that analysis might be for someone farther removed to pull. But here’s how those 30 stand in relationship to me.Continue reading “Poetry Month Favorites: A Recap”

National Poetry Month

It’s April, which means more people than usual are talking about poetry. And I’ll be talking about it more than usual on Twitter, linking each day to poems that mean something to me personally—poems that for whatever reasons I just love. With a tweet-length bit about why. (To be followed I imagine by a post at the end of the month looking at those 30 all together in some fashion.)

Poetry Month = Poetry Everywhere

The thing I like about having a National Poetry Month is of course that poetry’s visibility gets raised. At least a little if you’re not looking for it, and quite a bit if you are.

Here are some links to a few of the cooler poetry-related things I’ve seen this week:

Many bookstores do Poetry Month sales (Powell’s is having a 15% off all poetry books all month sale) but a bunch of independent presses (including some of the major independents) are offering a twist on the usual BOGO — Buy One Give One: buy one book of poetry, get one free to pass on to someone else. A great way to spread some great  contemporary poetry around. Presses include Tin House Books, Coffeehouse Press, Archipelago Books, BOA Editions, Copper Canyon Press, Milkweed Editions, Red Hen Press, Sarabande Books, and YesYes Books. Details and links to all those presses on Tin House’s blog.

The Knopf Doubleday Poem-A-Day: you can sign up to get their poem-a-day in your inbox every morning this month, and they are always excellent poems (and include links to audio recordings, the book from which the poem came, and more info about the poet). I was especially pleased to see my former professor David Young’s translations of Basho on the first day.

Pulitzer Remix: poems made from text pulled from the pages of various Pulitzer Prize-winning novels (you can sign up to get emails of all poems, or just of poems from specific books). I like collage-y projects like this.

The Sonnet Project, takin’ it to the streets —Continue reading “Poetry Month = Poetry Everywhere”