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.