My prose poem/lovesong to the Lookout Arts Center, “Arrival of the Circus,” appears in Volume 5 of Winter Tangerine Review, an electric journal out of Brooklyn.
You can download Volume 5 for free! (Don’t be scared of the payment page, just give them your addy and then enjoy page after page of wild art and poems.)
While at WWU for my MFA, I took a class from Brenda Miller on autobiography and photography, which led me to hand-make an accordion book covered in maps, juxtaposing NASA Landsat images of the Mississippi River with family photos and memory vignettes. The WWU MFA program has a “multi-genre” focus, meaning lines usually drawn to separate types of writing and art break down. Bellingham Review, the grad literary journal at WWU, recently opted to open hybrid submissions. As WWU English TAs, we asked our students to expand their concept of a “text.” (Our word “text” comes from the Latin for “to weave”—texere.) Students asked questions about how design and juxtaposition and delivery affect their understanding of a work as a whole.
Earlier this year, Brenda asked me if I might be interested in designing her latest book from Judith Kitchen’s Ovenbird Press, An Earlier Life. As a graduate of the MFA program she helped found, with its focus on hybridity and form, I care even more deeply about words, and I have also come to care deeply about the book or vessel that allows these words to meet their readers.
I read and reread Brenda’s manuscript, and months later I’m still stunned by An Earlier Life‘s accumulation of wild places, sacred moments, aches, and questions. Her book is beautiful, and I was honored to set it to the page. Come celebrate Brenda’s book launch Friday night, 4/15, at Village Books, 7:00 p.m!
Oh, and I’ll read poems Thursday night, 4/14, at Village Books, 7:00 p.m. for Noisy Water‘s almost-final poetry month mega-reading.
This Saturday, poets will descend on the Lummi Island Library as part of Whatcom poetry anthology Noisy Water‘s no-town-left-behind reading series. I’m delighted to read alongside Luther Allen (co-conspirator with JI Kleinberg of this community poetry extravaganza), and my former professors Suzanne Paola and Bruce Beasley, as well as a few other wonderful poets.
Reading starts at 7:30!
For more information, check out Other Mind Press’s Noisy Water site.
An epithalamium is a bride’s poem written to celebrate the bridal chamber. The thalamus is the part of your brain that perceives pain. Epithelium includes the surface layer cells of your body, the layer that has contact with the outside world.
And with those definitions, I invite you to read my poem “Body Removal” in the fabulous Redivider 13.1, out of the Emerson College MFA. This poem is an elegy, a farewell, and it is decidedly not an epithalamium, though it is about bed chambers and chambers of the heart.
Yesterday, this arrived in the mail:
Camas is a beautiful journal out of the University of Montana. They represent, to me, the intersection of ecology and art, which is where I always want to be in poetry. Their Winter 2015 issue is themed around movement.
Anyway, tucked between a David James Duncan story and a photo by Julie Biando Edwards, you’ll find a poem of mine. “Knot” is about the movement of energy and matter through time and about different kinds of knots (tangles, trees, and wedding rings).
I’m flying to the midwest today, and I’ll gladly bring this gorgeous journal with me to read while I’m moving through the air toward home.
I know almost everyone travels this time of year. Or, if you’re like me, you might find yourself donning pajamas once the sun goes down. (Does it ever come up?) Just in case you’re in Bellingham, and just in case you’ve been feeling like hearing poetry in a golden mead hall might do you some good, you can come to Write Riot, this Thursday, 12/17 at Honey Moon. It starts at 8:30, though if you want to read, come at 8:00.
The talented Jessica Lohafer hosts Write Riot each month. I’ll be featured this time! Maybe I’ll read a trio of deer poems. Maybe a sequence of poems about dark and night, since we’re pre-solstice and steeped in dark and night. Maybe I’ll read a poem, which you’ve never heard before because I just wrote it, about light.
Long ago, I offered to make the chapbooks for our local poetry contest because I was newly enamored with book arts; even formatting felt exciting to me. JI Kleinberg, a welcome force on any committee, herded me through rounds of proofing after she had passed me the winning poems. Last summer, she and Luther Allen tapped me to design the book for their Whatcom poetry anthology project through Other Mind Press. They call the collection Noisy Water, after the Lummi word,”Xwotʼqom”, from which “Whatcom” is derived. At the end of last month, we finished shepherding their manuscript of 101 poems into a beautiful book.
Working with each poem, noisy in a different way than the last, tuned me in to linebreaks and line length and stanza length and other formal choices. It was a real gift to spend so much time with every poem, calling up the poet, a friend or at least a neighbor, in my mind as I moved through the design file. I think the result is that each poem has some room to breathe. I hope you find, as you make your way through this book’s pages, that you don’t even notice the design, that you can fully immerse yourself in each poet’s poem.
It’s a stunning collection. You can buy one here, or come to the Village Books reading this Thursday, December 10th, at 7:00 p.m.
I won’t be reading, but many other of our community’s poets will be. If you can’t make it Thursday, Other Mind Press has set up a poetry tour, with no less than six more readings in the new year. No-town-left-behind! (Since one of my poems appears, I’ll read at the Lummi Island reading on February 20, and again at Village Books on April 14.)