Sunday, July 29, 2012

magnolias with their eyes wide open

take a look this new york times photo gallery / article about mississippi -

this, too, is america. i wish more people were aware of the situation here - minds need to be blown. and changes need to be made.

if you want to know even more about what folks here are struggling with, try to get your hands on a documentary titled "lalee's kin" - about a school in mississippi.

Friday, June 8, 2012

new US poet laureate

natasha tretheway was just named as the new us poet laureate - congratulations! this is especially exciting seeing that she's from gulfport, mississippi, which is literally an hour from here. she's number 19 - and just so you can impress your friends with random trivia, here are the other 18, courtesy of wikipedia:

1986–1987: Robert Penn Warren 
1987–1988: Richard Wilbur 
1988–1990: Howard Nemerov 
1990–1991: Mark Strand 
1991–1992: Joseph Brodsky 
1992–1993: Mona Van Duyn 
1993–1995: Rita Dove 
1995–1997: Robert Hass 
1997–2000: Robert Pinsky 
2000–2001: Stanley Kunitz 
2001–2003: Billy Collins 
2003–2004: Louise Gl├╝ck 
2004–2006: Ted Kooser 
2006–2007: Donald Hall 
2007–2008: Charles Simic 
2008–2010: Kay Ryan 
2010–2011: W.S. Merwin 
2011–2012: Philip Levine

Friday, May 11, 2012

new poems

so it looks like i survived the usual end-of-semester madness fairly well. :) all my grading is done, all assignments and papers are handed in, and summer is upon me.

there are two new poems of mine you can now read online:

(click to go to product homepage)

product is a journal put out by the center for writers at usm, and while i was one of the poetry editors for this issue, let me assure you that all entries were democratically selected by independent readers. :D

working on product was fun, especially reading all the submissions from usm's students, graduate and undergrad. i hope you enjoy what we selected!

Friday, April 20, 2012

chapbook! yay!

friends and frenemies,

the time has come, my chapbook - the five parts of love: confabulating sappho - is now available from dancing girl press! so head right over to their site and take a look, and check out some of the other chaps they have in stock.

here is one sample poem from the collection, just to whet your appetite. the words in italics are surviving fragments of sappho's poetry, namely fragment number 7, taken from the translation by anne carson (if not, winter).

i'm excited this has finally taken physical shape, and what better time for it than poetry month! i hope you'll enjoy my adventures with sappho, - please comment / let me know either way!

p.s. - in case you couldn't tell:  *wink

Monday, April 16, 2012

for more ekphrasis / all the pretty pictures

the bridesmaid, by millais

when i got an email at the end of march inviting me to join our center for writers' poetry marathon, i decided to give it a go. the idea was (is) to write one poem every day in april (poetry month) and share it with the rest of the marathon writers before midnight that day. miss a day and you're out. i didn't think i'd last long, but today is the 16th and i have not missed a day yet! which means, yes, i have 16 new poems and will have a couple more before the end of the month. granted, some of them are not very good, but practice makes perfect better. :)

a few weeks ago, my poetry professor mentioned there ought to be more ekphrastic poetry, and when i was stuck for a topic / trigger for a poem about a week ago, i remembered and went to googleartproject and took a good, long, close look at my favorite painting, millais' bridesmaid. and wrote a poem about it.

my poem for today is also ekphrastic, - i explored some of the many collections google art project contains and found another painting that tickled me. it's this:

the girl i left behind me, by eastman johnson

i didn't read up on the painting, the historical context or the artist, because as i was looking at this scene, i had an immediate response. click on the picture for a larger view.

in any case, the point of this post is that maybe there really SHOULD be more ekphrastic poetry, so why not give it a shot! any poem that describes or enters into a painting can be considered ekphrastic. if a picture captures you or draws you in, that's all you need. well, that and the willingness to sit down and write it out.

google art project is a nice starting point - you can browse through so many works of art, modern and ancient, things you know and things you didn't know existed, from museums all over the world. what i particularly like is that you can zoom in on the images. with some of the paintings that means you get as close a look as you would if you almost touched your nose to the canvas (which does not exactly elicit a lot of enthusiasm from the people who work at the museum, take my word for it.) so, my suggestion is, look and write.

Friday, March 30, 2012

sneak peek :)

here is a sneak peek at our cover design for "the five parts of love" - the chapbook will be available shortly from dancing girl press. watch this space. or their website. or your email inbox if you've given me your email address. :)

more soon!

Monday, February 27, 2012

librophile animation

i just really wanted to share this. it made my day.
the fantastic flying books of mr.morris lessmore.