We’re still more than a week away from Valentine’s Day, but I have an early gift for my husband: two different love poems that have received recognition lately.
First of all, “Mouth: To Say,” from Full Cry, will be featured on Poetry Daily on Saturday, Feb. 8. Two other poems from my first book have been chosen by the site in the past few years, and I’m eternally grateful to Diane Boller and Don Selby for their support.
“Mouth: To Say” first appeared in New South, which nominated it for a Pushcart Prize, and it was also translated into Spanish for a bilingual reading series by Manuel Iris, who noted that the sounds of words didn’t quite work in the same way in the Spanish. Amor doesn’t really start with “tongue against teeth and end on lips” the way the word love does.
In addition, a revised version of the poem I read my husband at our wedding, now called “Vows,” is part of a set of three poems awarded a prize by the Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Memorial Foundation. This amazing fund has been supporting young poets with large awards for the past decade, and while it will be partnering with the Poetry Foundation from now on, they will continue to support the work of hardworking poets in their early careers. I’m honored to be a prizewinner for a second year. You can see this year’s poems on the Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg website under “2013 Prizewinners.” (My previous win is listed under “2010 Prizewinners.”)
One more note: the final image of another poem from this year’s prize, “Felicity, OH,” was inspired by a Facebook photo of the daughter of friends of mine. Also named Felicity, she preferred to wear her swimsuit to Trader Joe’s one day…
It’s a great day! My book, Full Cry, is now available on Amazon.com. If you prefer to pay with a check, you can buy it through the website of the National Federation of State Poetry Societies.
I also heard last week that a poem of mine will be part of the Out of Sequenceproject sponsored by Upstart: A Journal of English Renaissance Studies. My poem, called “Weak Constitution,” riffs on the lines “My love is as a fever longing still / For that which longer nurseth the disease,” from Shakespeare’s Sonnet 147.
I’m also looking forward to returning as a contributor to the pages of the Notre Dame Review. Much thanks to Orlando Ricardo Menes for picking up two poems from my second-book manuscript.
Even more fun news! I’m honored to be part of the 2013-14 Observable Readings series in St. Louis. I’ll be reading on Monday, Oct. 14, at 7:30 p.m. with Ansel Elkins and Erika L. Sanchez at Llewellyn’s Pub in the Central West End. It’ll be good to reconnect with friends and family in St. Louis that weekend.
Finally, as a sort of summer wrap-up, I’d like to say thank you to all the great friends I made at the Sewanee Writers Conference last month. Thanks for being such a welcoming group, and thanks to the staff who worked so hard! I loved getting to hear what my peers were working on–as well as what the greats are up to. Readings by Robert Hass, Tim O’Brien, A.E. Stallings, Claudia Emerson, Mark Strand, and many more bowled me over–and in some cases, brought me to tears. The picture here captures the last morning there, when fog shrouded the graveyard where Allen Tate is buried.
This Saturday, I’ll be reading as part of a dinner at the convention of the National Federation of State Poetry Societies, in Albuquerque, New Mexico. I’ve never been to the Southwest, and I look forward to feeling what dry heat is like. Having lived mostly in swampy places or river valleys (St. Louis, Cincinnati, DC), I associate summer with air so thick you can chew on it. If you’re in the Albuquerque area and interested in coming to the reading, let me know, though I’m pretty sure the entrance price is steep because it’s a dinner. I’ll also be taking part in a signing around 4:30 pm on Sunday.
This convention is the debut for Full Cry; it should be available on Amazon soon, and I’ll announce it to high heavens when it is. If you can’t wait that long (and you don’t live in New Mexico), you can order it through the NFSPS. According to their website, you should send $15 plus $1.50 postage to Polly Opsahl at 270 Brewster Road, Rochester Hills, MI 48309-1507. Her email address is pollyannop [at] comcast [dot] net.
Also, on Wednesday, July 3, at 7 p.m., I’ll be reading at Horizon Books in Traverse City, MI, if any vacationers are headed to that area for the Fourth of July week and want to get their poetry fix.
And a St. Louis reading is also in the works for the fall!
My copies of Full Cry have arrived! Thanks to Polly Opsahl from the National Federation of State Poetry Societies for sending them, and to Diane Kistner, of FutureCycle Press, for the amazing design work. It was a pleasure to work with Diane on the book; I can’t thank her enough.
And I can’t wait to share the finished, physical product with you all sometime soon!
I want to thank Linnea Paskow for the great cover art for Full Cry—you can see her amazing art on her website. I met Linnea at a 2006 residency at the Ragdale colony, and we became quick friends. I knew that I wanted to use one of her collage pieces for my first-book cover (though the book itself was not much more than a twinkle in my eye) after seeing her work on Phantasmat Ragdale, and I loved that she described my use of images in poems as a kind of collage. I’m very grateful that she was willing to let me use “Disclosed” (here’s a full-size image). I can remember that our big dreams back in 2006 were (for Linnea) to have a solo show in New York and (for me) to have a book published. And here we are today!
And thanks to Ragdale for being such a nurturing environment for interdisciplinary conversations about art. Deadlines are January 15, May 15, and September 15, depending on the session you’re interested in.