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! BOOKS !

Hello from the middle of June, dear reader!

This is quite a week in a poet’s life—because a review-in-conversation I have love-labored over since November 2021 now appears in The Capilano Review, and a poem from The Long Now Conditions Permit now appears in Concision Poetry Journal. Ta da!

Yes, being published is exciting, especially after the butt-in-chair love-labors of transcribing recordings and editing responses, whether those conversations are between two poets or between a poet and the world as it unfolds during a walk-poem. And, beyond being in print, there exists the possibility of connection and communion with other writers and readers, who by the grace of the Poetry Gods, may shake hands and rub shoulders with my words.

Allow me to court that possibility of connection with you right now!

You are most cordially invited to read: On Then Now: A Conversation with Daphne Marlatt, featured in The Capilano Review | See to see— column.

On Then Now: A Conversation with Daphne Marlatt, featured in The Capilano Review | See to see—

What you will read is an edited-to-two-thousand-five-hundred-word version of the twelve-thousand-word transcription of four recorded 20- to 30-minute meetings that took place via Zoom in November 2021 when Canadian poet Daphne Marlatt and I met to talk about the thinking behind and making of her most recent book, Then Now (Talonbooks, 2021). Kaboom!

A special-to-me aspect of my conversation with Daphne, which unfolded during the editing process of our review-in-conversation, focused on maintaining the tone and energy of our live conversation once it was on the page. We agreed that despite any wish to have been more or differently articulate in the moment, the meaning, awkward though its syntax may be, is clear. So, we left the accompanying awkwardnesses associated with thought coming to articulation as is. Within the conversation, Daphne talks about not wanting to “tamper” with her father’s voice in the text of her book; at another point, she says writing is “a matter of hearing, learning to hear the various levels in language.” This ethos informs our desire and commitment to leave the idiosyncrasies of our speech intact. With that, thank you for joining the conversation!

Read! On Then Now: A Conversation with Daphne Marlatt in The Capilano Review | See to see—

Daphne Marlatt

Daphne Marlatt is important to me. I love her as a person and poet. Something juicy special takes place when we talk together about the possibilities of words and meditation! In addition to poetry, we also share an interest in Buddhism, birds, and trees. I am grateful to Daphne for talking with me through her poetry, over coffee, and by offering words of support to The Minuses. I wrote more about the ways Daphne has inspired and supported me in the September 28, 2020 post.

Back to wooing you, my dear reader, and the possibility of connecting with you right now! You are most cordially invited to read:Before, a Study of Suspension,” a poem in Concision Poetry Journal, Issue 2.2, Summer 2022 published today (!).

In this issue, you have the possibility of receiving the words of my poem, a reflection on some of the poem’s influences, and my book recommendations. While you are visiting with my poem and accompanying reflection and recommendations, consider yourself welcomed to the poems and accompaniments by the other fifteen poets, also included in the issue.

I first heard about Concision Poetry Journal from the community of women/women-identified writers who I referred to in my May 2022 post. In that posting, I share the publication news of two other poems from The Long Now Conditions Permit and a bit about my practice of sending writing out for consideration. This community of writers: supportive, generous, and much more!

Haley Lasché

Haley Lasché, an experimental poet and the wonderful editor of Concision Poetry Journal, is part of that marvelous community. I have come to regard Haley as an editor who is kind, thoughtful, inclusive, and visionary. What a pleasure corresponding with and getting to know her is!

Here, I give you the opening lines of “Before, a Study of Suspension“—

Read! “Before, a Study of Suspension,” a poem in Concision Poetry Journal, Issue 2.2, Summer 2022.

Right now, as I write this sharing, I realize that I am delighting in beginnings—the idea of talking with Daphne Marlatt about her book Then Now, the coming to language of a poem, the introduction to Concision Poetry Journal, an experimental poetry journal—and where those impulses and sparks of attention lead—to an expansive conversation with a beloved poet, to a deepening relationship with the imagination of a poem, to a new experimental poet friend—Haley Lasché, to the possibilities of connection with readers. With you!

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The Pluses!

+ Thank you bows (continuous!) to you, dear reader, for the gift of your attention!

+ Thank you bows to my community of women/women-identified writers for their generous, loving support, inspiration, and encouragement.

+ Thank you bows to Daphne Marlatt, beautiful person, poet, and friend, for talking with me!

+ Thank you bows to Jacquelyn Zong-Li Ross, an editor at The Capilano Review for supporting the conversation-in-review project through its publication.

+ Thank you bows to Haley Lasché, an experimental poet and the wonderful editor of Concision Poetry Journal, a triannual online literary magazine, she started in “2021 by looking to promote work that excites her.I am grateful for Haley’s excitement, care, and vision. 

+ Thank you bows (continuous!) to my publisher Stephanie G’Schwind, and Mountain West Poetry Series editors Donald Revell and Kazim Ali, et al interns at the Center for Literary Publishing (CLP) for making The Minuses (2020) with me.

+ Thank you bows (continuous!) to Beth Svinarich et al at University Press of Colorado for their beautiful support to me and The Minuses.

+ Thank you bows (continuous!) to monsoon storm chaser and marvelous professional photographer, Liz Kemp whose monsoon photograph storms the cover of The Minuses.

+ Thank you bows to Nomados Literary Publishers, Meredith and Peter Quartermain for making my chapbook Instinctive Acts with me.

+ Thank you bows to Vallum Chapbook Series and editors Leigh Kotsilidis and Eleni Zisimatos for making my chapbook Mind of Spring with me.

+ Thank you bows to Finishing Line Press and editors Leah Maines and Christen Kinkaid for making my chapbook Landscape of The Wait with me.

+ Thank you bows (continuous!) to Vincent K. Wong for his friendship, creative collaboration, and for taking my author photos.

+ This bears repeating: Thank you bows (continuous!) to you, dear reader, for the gift of your attention! If you have any questions or comments, write me! I would love to hear from you!

! BOOKS !

Dear Readers, Dear Readers,

Here I am at May’s end to share with you two poems from my second collection, The Long Now Conditions Permit (awaiting a beloved publisher), that have been recently published, and to talk a bit about my practice of sending my writing out for consideration.

Jet Fuel Review #23; Cover Art: Terrarium with Heart of Amateur Mycologist, by Karyna McGlynn

Jet Fuel Review first came to my attention within a community of women/women-identified writers who share their publishing yeses and nos. Yes, also the nos. Because receiving a no is an indication of taking the time and making the effort to research magazines, prepare a batch of writing, and send it off for consideration. That is, a no is not feedback on its own, but it is a sign that the writer is committed enough to her writing to share it with editors, publishers, and readers. So, our community celebrates the nos. In fact, we challenge each other to send our writing out into the world enough in order to reach the yearly goal of receiving one hundred nos. This is a intersectional feminist literary action meant to confront especially the gender imbalances in the literary landscape.

Terrarium with Eve and Split Durian, by Karyna McGlynn

A few of the women writers in this community shared that they had received a yes or a no from Jet Fuel Review. After the name of the magazine appeared in the field of my attention a few times, I felt called to take a closer look. What first captured my attention when I visited the Jet Fuel Review website: the artwork! I found it to be a beautiful blend of the provocative and evocative, speaking a visual language resonant with my imagination and writing. Then, upon reading the writing, I found much to react for and against—both ranges of responsiveness are important to me as a reader. Respecting what I saw and read, I sent the editors a batch of my poems.

They said yes to “Splitting Lesson,” a poem from The Long Now Conditions Permit. Whoo hoo!

l am grateful to everyone who makes Jet Fuel Review (JTR) a vibrancy; I appreciate being included in the JTR community. How dear and special to be in conversation with careful and thoughtful editors.

Sweetening the pot of this yes: That sister writers from my community brought Jet Fuel Review to my attention; That my poem shares space in the magazine with writing by some of those sister writers; That my poem rubs shoulders with poems by poets new to me, including poet and artist Karyna McGlynn whose art is featured in the issue. I dig her marvelous collages!

Queen of Melting Ice, by Karyna McGlynn

In our writing community, we not only share yeses/nos, we share our experiences with magazines, bringing to the fore: Those new or lesser known; Those receptive to particular styles of writing; Those with/out artist-friendly editorial practices; Those magazines to approach with trust or caution; Those to avoid. This sharing—rather than coveting—of experience, knowledge, information, and resources is the precious stuff of a supportive community that expresses not scarcity, but abundance. This ethos strengthens our community and broadens it, bringing more writers together with writers and readers. Simply grand!

Of course, the practice of sending writing out for consideration is also, in part, a numbers game. One cannot win unless one plays. As the wisdom goes. And, the way laws of averages work, the more writing a writer sends out for consideration, the more chances there are for it to receive a yes. I am engaged in this practice of sending my writing out for consideration, because I want to learn what there is to learn from the process. But I know this is not a practice for every writer. For me, it is a question of do I want to keep my writing to myself or share it? I want to share it! And, in the process, I am building my tolerance for no. I have come to understand that much about being a writer is about building tolerances for various aspects of the writing practice that are beyond my control. And, I imagine eventually being unshaken by nos… 

And, in the same way, being unshaken by yeses, though shaking with despair at the nos and delight at the yeses may not be helped.

One flavor of yes that emerges from the practice of sending writing out for consideration is the opportunity to build a positive relationship of mutual respect, trust, and meaning with the editorial team of a literary magazine in which my writing appears. Those qualities are surely, brilliantly alive in my relationship with the editorial team at Vallum: Contemporary Poetry.

Vallum: Contemporary Poetry 13:1 “Open Theme”; Art: Matt Crump

The lovely, good people at Vallum have been enormously supportive to me and my poems. “Helicopter” and “Nor’easter,” two poems from The Minuses (Center for Literary Publishing, 2020), appeared in issue 13:1 “Open Theme.”

Cover of Mind of Spring; Cover: James Bremner, Jr.

Mind of Spring,” my long, three-part poem won the 2017 Vallum Chapbook Award and was subsequently published with a cheery yellow (the color of palo verde blossoms) cover, in a limited edition chapbook (sold out in print, but available digitally).

Vallum: Contemporary Poetry 18:1 “Invisibility”; Cover: Antoine Janot

Also, my Vallum darlings have published two poems from The Long Now Conditions Permit. “Lustrous Fugitive” appears in issue 18:1 “Invisibility.”

Vallum: Contemporary Poetry 19:1 “Bridges”; Cover: Nora Kelly

I like and admire and respect the editors at Vallum very much, and I like the art and writing that the magazine publishes. Not all of it of course, but most of it and that’s something, because I can be a picky and picayune reader. We each have our preferred chords and flavors and such. “Is Occurring,” another poem from The Long Now Conditions Permit, seems to have struck a chord with the editors of Vallum 19:1 “Bridges,” where it appears. Whoo hoo!

Hurrah bridges!

Poetry Bridges!

Community bridges!

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The Pluses!

+ Thank you bows (continuous!) to you, dear reader, for the gift of your attention!

+ Thank you bows to my community of women/women-identified writers for their beautiful, generous, loving support, inspiration, and encouragement.

+ Thank you bows to Simone Muench, Faculty Advisor, Cassidy Fontaine-Warunek, Managing Editor et al who make Jet Fuel Review a vibrancy; I appreciate their professional and stream-lined editorial production methods, and now that I am taking in issue #23, I am appreciative of their collective, inclusive, expansive editorial vision and artistic direction. 

+ Thank you bows to Eleni Zisimatos, Co-Editor-in-Chief & Poetry Editor, Jay Ritchie, Managing Editor et al at Vallum: Contemporary Poetry for including me and my poems in your sustaining, important, and beautiful presence of and for poetry and art in Montreal, Canada, and internationally.

+ Thank you bows (continuous!) to my publisher Stephanie G’Schwind, and Mountain West Poetry Series editors Donald Revell and Kazim Ali, et al interns at the Center for Literary Publishing (CLP) for making The Minuses (2020) with me.

+ Thank you bows (continuous!) to Beth Svinarich et al at University Press of Colorado for their beautiful support to me and The Minuses.

+ Thank you bows (continuous!) to monsoon storm chaser and marvelous professional photographer, Liz Kemp whose monsoon photograph storms the cover of The Minuses.

+ Thank you bows to Nomados Literary Publishers, Meredith and Peter Quartermain for making my chapbook Instinctive Acts with me.

+ Thank you bows to Vallum Chapbook Series and editors Leigh Kotsilidis and Eleni Zisimatos for making my chapbook Mind of Spring with me.

+ Thank you bows to Finishing Line Press and editors Leah Maines and Christen Kinkaid for making my chapbook Landscape of The Wait with me.

+ Thank you bows (continuous!) to Vincent K. Wong for his friendship, creative collaboration, and for taking my author photos.

+ This bears repeating: Thank you bows (continuous!) to you, dear reader, for the gift of your attention! If you have any questions or comments, write me! I would love to hear from you!

! BOOKS !

National Poetry Month commenced in the United States in 1996 when the Academy of American Poets brought to the foreground this appreciation and celebration of poetry; Canada joined in the fun in 1998. Why April? That has to do with the opening line to T. S. Eliot’s 1922 poem “The Waste Land”: “April is the cruellest month.”

I get where Eliot is coming from, it being muddy, sluggish spring and all, but instead of getting into whether or not April is cruellest month of all and why. Or, vying for December’s rank. I will offer that no month is any crueller than another and get on with sharing with you my recognition and acknowledgement of my writing practice, especially where it pertains to the making of my second collection of poems and to celebrate and appreciate poet and editor Claudia Keelan and one of her special editorial projects: Interim: A Journal of Poetry Poetics.

On my way there, allow me to share with you a poet’s dream scenario and a bit more about my second collection of poems, The Long Now Conditions Permit. I wrote the majority of the manuscript’s poems in ninety-five days, which consisted of a five-day writing spell in January 2020 and three thirty-day writing spells in July 2020, October 2020, and January 2021. Realizing my intentions to write five poems in five days and thirty poems in thirty days (three times) proved to me again just what I am able to accomplish when I am determined, passionate, serious, and persistent.

I say “again” because starting in July 2013 and for the next three-and-a-half years ish, I wrote just about a poem a day. The math: something like 1,300 poems. Talk about a writing practice that puts into perspective the valuation of “good” and “bad” and balances that duality with simply intending to write and accomplishing the writing of a poem each day. Day by day the poems mount, and as they do the poet becomes less precious and fetishistic about what poems are and more playful with what they can be and can do via diction and form, image and association. Plus, that daily word-play over an extended period taught me about the meaning of aiming for the target, gaining experience, and getting to know the poems I make and myself as a poet.

Back to the coming-into-being of my second manuscript. Each day in December 2021 by method of butt-in-chair, I revised all of the poems written between January 2020 and 2021, which included some deep recasts/revisions, drawing also on a kernel of some poems written during that three-and-a-half-year spell. Once the poems were revised, there was the decision process of which to include, then onward to ordering those poems into a book. There were a few rounds of those two steps as the book honed. Et voilà! On December 30, 2021, I sent the manuscript to Interim Test Site Poetry Series for consideration.

Even so, the book was not quite at its resting place. Here and there, a few points of precision within lines, images, and words still gave me hesitation and were not yet satisfying. So, after three days away from the manuscript, I continued tuning, honing, and shaping on my own, considering comments I received from a trusted editor. After another two weeks, I arrived at a resting place for the manuscript and got on with sending poems from it out for consideration and reading from my stacks. O, the stacks!

Then on February 21, Claudia Keelan, Editor of Interim Test Site Poetry Series notified me that my manuscript was a semi-finalist and still under consideration. A thrill for the poems and the poet! On March 6, Claudia wrote again to notify me that my manuscript was one of fifteen (1/15) finalists. More excitement! Kissing and dancing upon Earth. Tra la! Tra la!

Test Site Poetry Series Finalists!

Claudia and Interim’s associate editors’ belief in and embrace of my manuscript is gratifying and thrilling feedback, especially for a poet whose first book took ten years to find a publisher. For me, this near to immediate, positive feedback bodes well for the life of this book. O, Poetry Gods! Though The Long Now That Conditions Permit was not crowned winner, in recognition of being a finalist, Interim: A Journal of Poetry & Poetics, selected and published five poems from my manuscript.

Interim, where Test Site Finalists’ poems appear

This second manuscript continues and furthers the ecofeminist focus and positioning of my first book, The Minuses (Center for Literary Publishing, 2020) The selection of poems in Interim will orient you to how the poems engage the various conditions and systems that prevent the freedom of women who desire the liberty to walk Earth as they are, wounded but free. You are cordially invited to read the poems! Here’s an excerpt from “Bardo Friend and I Belly Up to Smattering Stars.”

Interim: A Journal of Poetry & Poetics and Editor Claudia Keelan have been enormously and gorgeously supportive to my life and the lives of my poems. She published two poems from my first poetry collection The Minuses and offered the book these wonder words:

The poems in Jami Macarty’s devotional collection swing upon a hinge that is the recurring site of the poet’s perception in time, where what is seen shows the inherent connection of each thing to its other: ‘honey given / honey taken.’ The Minuses’ brilliance lives in what the poet is able to give up for the possibility of finding a wholeness that is ongoing: ‘I come and go / from myself as I am / I will not return.’ A seer is, after all, one who sees. Jami Macarty is one who sees.”
—Claudia Keelan

And, Claudia has been equally, vitally supportive to the poems in my second collection, The Long Now Conditions Permit. She selected six poems from the batch of poems I wrote during July 2020 (some of which are in the second manuscript) for publication in the all-women print issue of Interim 2020. Plus, in that issue she offered a review (under her penname Lacy Aul) of The Minuses that made birds fly in my heart.

Interim, 2020 with Gretchen Gales’ art on the cover

And, she selected a poem from The Long Now Conditions Permit for the 2021 all-women print issue.

Interim, 2021 with Despy Boutris’ cover art.

You see what I mean? Claudia: Enormously, generously supportive. A dream-come-true of support for, belief in, and embrace of me and the poems I write. Claudia’s is a consciousness on Earth I would not want to be without in mind or spirit.

And, on that note, allow me to take a bow and my leave. But, before I do, thank you dear readers, for the gifts of your time and attention as I share with you what I have been appreciating and celebrating in my writer’s life.

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The Pluses!

+ Thank you bows (continuous!) to you, dear reader, for the gift of your attention!

+ Thank you bows to Claudia Keelan, beautiful poet, special friend, and generous editor.

+ Thank you bows to Interim: A Journal of Poetry & Poetics, Andrew S. Nicholson, Assistant Editor, and Kathryn McKenzie, Managing Editor.

+ Thank you bows to Interim Test Site Poetry Series and the editorial team for your unique attention to my poems.

+ Thank you bows (continuous!) to my publisher Stephanie G’Schwind, and Mountain West Poetry Series editors Donald Revell and Kazim Ali, et al interns at the Center for Literary Publishing (CLP) for making The Minuses (2020) with me.

+ Thank you bows (continuous!) to Beth Svinarich et al at University Press of Colorado for their beautiful support to me and The Minuses.

+ Thank you bows (continuous!) to monsoon storm chaser and marvelous professional photographer, Liz Kemp whose monsoon photograph storms the cover of The Minuses.

+ Thank you bows to Nomados Literary Publishers, Meredith and Peter Quartermain for making the chapbook Instinctive Acts with me.

+ Thank you bows to Vallum Chapbook Series and editors Leigh Kotsilidis and Eleni Zisimatos for making the chapbook Mind of Spring with me.

+ Thank you bows to Finishing Line Press and editors Leah Maines and Christin Kinkaid for making the chapbook Landscape of The Wait with me.

+ Thank you bows (continuous!) to Vincent K. Wong for his friendship, creative collaboration, and for taking my author photos.

+ This bears repeating: Thank you bows (continuous!) to you, dear reader, for the gift of your attention! If you have any questions or comments, write me! I would love to hear from you!

! BOOKS !

Happy New Year and Happy February to you, dear readers!

Let us tall about books. The reading, reviewing, and making of books…

I want to share with you what this poet accomplished during January: I read 26 books and chapbooks. Mostly poetry, of course! I loved books by Kazim Ali (Sky Ward), Ralph Angel (Twice Removed), Margaree Little (Rest), and C. D. Wright (Deepstep Come Shining & Rising, Falling Hovering), among other wonders. And, reading aloud a story or two most days, I arrived to page 596 in The Stories of John Cheever. What a writer!

I offered my reader’s response for five of the books I read and posted them on Facebook, Goodreads, and Amazon. I appreciate the challenge to bring to words my take on a book I have read. Take a peek!

I sent out on the breaths of candle wishes (20+) batches of my poems and my second manuscript of poetry for consideration, and I applied for a residency. This sending of my writing out, is for me, a gesture of engagement with what it means to be a writer and is also an engagement with hope for conversation.

Such a hope-conversation emerges in TinFish 22: INARTICULATE FUTURES in which “I am walking without looking,” a poem from my second manuscript, is included. The looking up, looking down, looking elsewhere issue cover image (above), by Olivia Kailani Marohnic, inspires the temporal thinking within the issue. I am grateful for the conversation with what it means to be an experimental writer who lives in proximity to the Pacific Ocean. I am quite taken by the writing of the other seven other contributors…

You are most cordially invited to read the articulations of the impossible future within the issue of TinFish. Accompanying the poems by each contributor is a short audio clip that contextualizes the future-thinking from within the poems. They are fascinating! Come, bring your ears, your eyes to our poems!

Hurrah! This bright, shiny, new Year of the (water) Tiger is off to a smashing start.

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+ Thank you bows (continuous!) to you, dear reader, for the gift of your attention!

+ Thank you bows to each of the writers whose books, chapbooks, and stories I read in January; your efforts inspire me to bring my words into the light.

+ Thank you bows to TinFish editorial team Jaimie Guzman Nagle, Zoë Loos, and Donovan Kūhiō Colleps, whose care and attention brought forth my poem and its companions in TinFish 22: Inarticulate Futures.

+ Thank you bows (continuous!) to my publisher Stephanie G’Schwind, and Mountain West Poetry Series editors Donald Revell and Kazim Ali, et al interns at the Center for Literary Publishing (CLP) for making The Minuses (2020) with me.

+ Thank you bows (continuous!) to Beth Svinarich et al at University Press of Colorado for their beautiful support to me and The Minuses.

+ Thank you bows (continuous!) to monsoon storm chaser and marvelous professional photographer, Liz Kemp whose monsoon photograph storms the cover of The Minuses.

+ Thank you bows to Nomados Literary Publishers, Meredith and Peter Quartermain for making the chapbook Instinctive Acts with me.

+ Thank you bows to Vallum Chapbook Series and editors Leigh Kotsilidis and Eleni Zisimatos for making the chapbook Mind of Spring with me.

+ Thank you bows to Finishing Line Press and editors Leah Maines and Christin Kinkaid for making the chapbook Landscape of The Wait with me.

+ Thank you bows (continuous!) to Vincent K. Wong for his friendship, creative collaboration, and for taking my author photos.

+ This bears repeating: Thank you bows (continuous!) to you, dear reader, for the gift of your attention! If you have any questions or comments, write me! I would love to hear from you!

! BOOKS !

Well, my dears, my friends, soon December and 2021 will be a wrap. Here I am one more time this year to say hello and share of myself and my practices of writing and reading books.

I took December entirely off from any other word-work (as editor, mentor/teacher) to make way for my own at-home writer’s retreat. During the month, I planned to work with the poems I wrote between January 2020 and January 2021—about 120 of them or about 150 pages—with an eye on assembling a second manuscript of poetry. I made the time and space and set my intentions. Even so, I did not know what I would get done.

A lot got done! The reason I know about how many poems and pages I have is because I compiled, read, and revised all of them. Some poems arrived at more wholeness than others, some were set aside because they did not inspire me to further engagement, some are resting after word-surgery. I am saying I worked on all of the poems to one extent or another, arranged them in groups according to where they are in the “done” continuum, and now have a working draft of a new manuscript. What a marvelous month of devotion to my imagination it has been. Tra La La!

Thank you so very mucho to everyone who supported me during the days and weeks of words this month, especially JRW.

To support my composing and revising and organizing, I read a bunch during the month—and throughout the year—and found a lot of good company. If you have been following me here, then you know this is year four of #mypersonalBigRead.

Drum roll… I did it; I read an average of one volume (full-length collection of poetry, chapbook, magazine, memoir, fiction) each day of the year. Actually, I read a smidge more than that; I read a total of 374 volumes in 2021! The four year tally: 1,185 volumes. Here are the stats…

Even as I tally the numbers there is a wafting of disbelief. Just as with my intention to take a personal writing retreat for December, I made the plan to read up a storm during the year. In doing so, however I have no idea what I will do or actually accomplish. I think that has something to do with who makes the plan and who sits in the chair at the desk. The difference between an idea and fingers to the keyboard or eyes to the page. Making the plan and then seeing what I can/will do feels like a big experiment. So, I surprise myself. The results of my efforts and labors surprise me. I like that. Surprise is special.

May the last few days of 2021 surprise you! And, may 2022 unwrap and unfold in surprise for all of us!

I send you my very best of everything for health, happiness, safety, and creativity.

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+ Thank you bows (continuous!) to you, dear reader, for the gift of your attention!

+ Thank you bows to all of the writers whose books, chapbooks, stories, and novel I read; your efforts inspire me to bring my words into the light.

+ Thank you bows to all of the editors whose support brought forth the books, chapbooks, stories, and novel I read in 2021.

+ Thank you bows (continuous!) to my publisher Stephanie G’Schwind, and Mountain West Poetry Series editors Donald Revell and Kazim Ali, et al interns at the Center for Literary Publishing (CLP) for making The Minuses (2020) with me.

+ Thank you bows (continuous!) to Beth Svinarich et al at University Press of Colorado for their beautiful support to me and The Minuses.

+ Thank you bows (continuous!) to monsoon storm chaser and marvelous professional photographer, Liz Kemp whose monsoon photograph storms the cover of The Minuses.

+ Thank you bows (continuous!) to Vincent K. Wong for his friendship, creative collaboration, and for taking my author photos.

+ This bears repeating: Thank you bows (continuous!) to you, dear reader, for the gift of your attention! If you have any questions or comments, write me!

! Books !

Dear Reader, Dear Reader!

October 15, 2021 was a rather grand day of publication in my life as an editor and a poet. The Fall 2021 of The Maynard, the online poetry journal I co-founded and at which I am the editor entered the world and four of my poems were published in the Fall 2021 issue of BlazeVOX. Tra la!

Here’s the fierce and fine cover of the Fall 2021 issue of The Maynard, “Tiger Orange” created by Clare Owen and a list of the issue’s poets.

The Maynard Fall 2021 issue represents six months of my work as an editor. From February 1 to July 31, 2021 300 batches of five poems each were sent in for consideration for the Fall 2021 issue. I read close to 1,500 poems from which 28 poems were selected for the issue. How long does reading 1,500 poems take? I clocked my reading rate at an average of 15 batches per hour, which is about 20 hours. From that first reading phase, I collected the poems I want to return to because there’s something about them… Then, I went back and read all of those poems more deeply and in repetition. Some poems slide away, some stick. Those poems that stick are shared with my colleague who has gone through a similar process. During two and a half hour meetings (four of them), we went back and forth reading to each other the poems on our long list. We become outrageous. We become passionate as we argue for the poems we most want, we are disappointed when a poem doesn’t hold up to our imaginations, but we relent, and finally we are giddy for the poems left on the table. First stage letters go out. From there, I conducted line edits on the poems. Second stage letters go out. Then, I take my findings, comments, and suggestions to an editorial conversation with each of the 24 poets. There was lots of email back and forth about commas and uses of this or that word and what Blake called “Minute Particulars”: “Labour well the Minute Particulars: attend to the Little Ones.” The “Little Ones” in this case being the details that are crucial to a poem’s full life. After the editorial phase arrives the proofreading phase. More email. The correction of the proof. More email. More email. Then, miraculously, publication!

Read the Fall 2021 issue of The Maynard!

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Welcome to the Fall 2021 issue of BlazeVOX where four of my newer poems appear! In his introduction, editor Geoffrey Gatza writes: “In this issue we seek to avoid answers but rather to ask questions. With a subtle minimalistic approach, this issue of BlazeVOX focuses on the idea of “public space” and more specifically on spaces where anyone can do anything at any given moment: the non-private space, the non-privately owned space, space that is economically uninteresting. The works collected feature coincidental, accidental, and unexpected connections, which make it possible to revise literary history and, even, better, to complement it.” Later in the introduction, Gatza writes: “These pieces demonstrate how life extends beyond its own subjective limits and often tells a story about the effects of global cultural interaction over the latter half of the twentieth century. It challenges the binaries we continually reconstruct between Self and Other, between our own “cannibal” and “civilized” selves.”

The four poems of mine that appear in the Fall 2021 issue of BlazeVOX are from a series of thirty-one poems begun in 2014 during a time of intense contemplation of the War in Afghanistan, the nineteen-year, 10-month conflict that took place from 2001 to 2021. I was particularly focused on the stressful and traumatic effects of war on those who go to fight as well as those who stay home to wait. The poem titles: “If There Were Anywhere But Desert,” “Countenance,” “Who Bed Is This to Lie On,” and “O Beautiful for Post-Traumatic Stress.”

In August 2021 during the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan, maybe as a way to cope or as a way to answer the destruction of war with creative energy, I was called to return to this series of poems. I took a chance sending them out; a poet always enters the game of chance when sending work out for consideration. And, hurrah, editor Geoffrey Gatza liked them enough to offer to publish them all together. Hurrah! These are the first poems from that as yet untitled series that have been published. I’m grateful to Geoffrey Gatza and I am grateful that the poems are together.

Read my poems in Fall 2021 issue of BlazeVOX!

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+ Thank you bows (continuous!) to you, dear reader, for the gift of your attention!

+ Thank you bows to my colleague at The Maynard, and to the 24 poets and cover artist Clare Owen who trusted us with their art.

+ Thank you bows to BlazeVOX editor Geoffrey Gatza for his confidence in my poems.

+ Thank you bows (continuous!) to publisher Stephanie G’Schwind, and Mountain West Poetry Series editors Donald Revell and Kazim Ali, et al interns at the Center for Literary Publishing (CLP) for making The Minuses (2020) with me.

+ Thank you bows (continuous!) to Beth Svinarich et al at University Press of Colorado for their beautiful support to me and The Minuses.

+ Thank you bows (continuous!) to monsoon storm chaser and marvelous professional photographer, Liz Kemp whose monsoon photograph storms the cover of The Minuses.

+ Thank you bows (continuous!) to Vincent K. Wong for his friendship, creative collaboration, and for taking my author photos.

+ This bears repeating: Thank you bows (continuous!) to you, dear reader, for the gift of your attention! If you have any questions or comments, write me!

! Books !

Dear Reader! Dear Listener!

On October 1, 2021, Sabyasachi (Sachi) Nag at The Artisanal Writer asked me nine questions about the craft of writing and reading. And, I answered them!

The Artisanal Writer asked me these nine Qs:

  1. Each of your poetry collections seem to have been either triggered by or woven around a few central ideas e.g., The Minuses, around the relationships between women and nature; Instinctive Acts, around immigration and identity; Mind of Spring, around facets of personal and military wars; Landscape of The Wait, around your nephew’s car accident. Do you arrive at the idea first and then compose around the idea or does the idea emerge from the writing, informed by the obsessions at a given period of time?
  2. What are your primary concerns when constructing a poem? Are you like Frost trying to make each poem as different from the previous as possible? Or do you think that couldn’t be?
  3. In an interview with Colorado State University, you said “I tend not to bypass what’s present, but instead use it as the prompt from which to write.” In that context, how do you arrive at meaning, or do you consciously not and allow the reader to arrive at it? How important is intention in a particular piece within a themed collection?
  4. What made you a writer?
  5. What does it mean/suggest for you to think about your craft with each published work? If you were to associate an image with the development timeline of your writing craft what would that look like?
  6. In pushing your work beyond your first title what were you most conscious of? What were/are you trying to achieve?
  7. Are there any books that you keep visiting for inspiration?
  8. Do you train your subconscious in certain ways to deal with success or rejection?
  9. How do you deal with aspects of writing that provoke negative emotions such as self-doubt, failure, exasperation? Is there an emotional ritual/practice you follow to deal with that?

The Artisanal Writer editors bestowed upon my responses a lightening accompaniment.

Fulgur Conditum!

Read my nine responses here!

May you find lightening buried among them.

Within the interview, I offer a five-minute recorded reading from the poems of The Minuses.

(Find the recording after the ninth question.)

Listen to the reading here!

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+ Thank you bows (continuous!) to you, dear reader, for the gift of your attention!

+ Thank you bows to Sabyasachi (Sachi) Nag and The Artisanal Writer for the gift of inquiry and space to respond.

+ Thank you bows (continuous!) to publisher Stephanie G’Schwind, and Mountain West Poetry Series editors Donald Revell and Kazim Ali, et al interns at the Center for Literary Publishing (CLP) for making The Minuses (2020) with me.

+ Thank you bows (continuous!) to Beth Svinarich et al at University Press of Colorado for their beautiful support to me and The Minuses.

+ Thank you bows (continuous!) to monsoon storm chaser and marvelous professional photographer, Liz Kemp whose monsoon photograph storms the cover of The Minuses.

+ Thank you bows (continuous!) to Vincent K. Wong for his friendship, creative collaboration, and for taking my author photos.

+ This bears repeating: Thank you bows (continuous!) to you, dear reader, for the gift of your attention! If you have any questions or comments, write me!

! Books !

Dear Reader! Dear Listener!

On July 8, 2021, I read poems from The Minuses (Center for Literary Publishing at Colorado State University, 2020) with Nigerian poet Saddiq Dzukogi, who read from his heart moving collection, Your Crib, My Qibla, (University of Nebraska Press, 2021) and Taos, New Mexico Poet Laureate Catherine Strisik, author of Insectum Gravitis (Main Street Rag, 2019), who read beautiful new poems.

Listen to the reading here! (passcode: m2eJp=C^)

Saddiq’s, My, and Catherine’s books nestled together!

One of the special, expanding benefits of reading via Zoom is that my community of beloveds from far and wide can be with. For the July 8th reading, my dear friends from Berlin joined us from their island vacation spot in Sweden via cell phone. In the year two thousand twenty-one, this can be! Plus, friends from Vancouver, BC any outlying areas could join. The photo below features Vincent K. Wong’s phone with the tree of Spanish Banks Beach listening in.

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+ Thank you bows (continuous!) to you, dear reader, for the gift of your attention!

+ Thank you bows to Catherine Strisik for bringing Saddiq Dzukogi, me, and her together in a sweet and delightful community of poets and listeners.

+ Thank you bows to the souls who joined us from all over North America and Europe!

+ Thank you bows (continuous!) to publisher Stephanie G’Schwind, and Mountain West Poetry Series editors Donald Revell and Kazim Ali, et al interns at the Center for Literary Publishing (CLP) for making The Minuses (2020) with me.

+ Thank you bows (continuous!) to Beth Svinarich et al at University Press of Colorado for their beautiful support to me and The Minuses.

+ Thank you bows (continuous!) to monsoon storm chaser and marvelous professional photographer, Liz Kemp whose monsoon photograph storms the cover of The Minuses.

+ Thank you bows (continuous!) to Vincent K. Wong for his friendship, creative collaboration, and for taking my author photos.

+ This bears repeating: Thank you bows (continuous!) to you, dear reader, for the gift of your attention! If you have any questions or comments, write me!

! Books !

Dear Reader, Dear Reader!

On June 24, 2021 my poem “Thin Attachment,” published first in Arc Poetry Magazine 71

and then within my poetry collection, The Minuses, was the featured poem on Poetry Daily!

Read “Thin Attachment“!

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Today, June 28, my poem “Lustrous Fugitive,” first published in the “Invisibility” issue (18:1) of Vallum magazine,

is Vallum Poem-of-the-Week!

Read & listen to “Lustrous Fugitive“!

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+ Thank you bows (continuous!) to you, dear reader, for the gift of your attention!

+ Thank you bows to Arc Poetry Magazine and editors Monty Reid and Shade Rhodes for their confidence in my work.

+ Thank you bows to Poetry Daily and the team at poems.com for their support to this poet, this poem, and for every step the Poetry Daily staff make in support of poets and their poetry.

+ Thank you bows to Vallum magazine, editor, Eleni Zisimatos, and managing editor Leigh Kotsilidis for their confidence in my work and for crowning my Poem-of-the-Week.

+ Thank you bows (continuous!) to publisher Stephanie G’Schwind, and Mountain West Poetry Series editors Donald Revell and Kazim Ali, et al interns at the Center for Literary Publishing (CLP) for making The Minuses (2020) with me.

+ Thank you bows (continuous!) to Beth Svinarich et al at University Press of Colorado for their beautiful support to me and The Minuses.

+ Thank you bows (continuous!) to monsoon storm chaser and marvelous professional photographer, Liz Kemp whose monsoon photograph storms the cover of The Minuses.

+ Thank you bows (continuous!) to Vincent K. Wong for his friendship, creative collaboration, and for taking my author photos.

+ This bears repeating: Thank you bows (continuous!) to you, dear reader, for the gift of your attention! If you have any questions or comments, write me!

! Books !

Welcome, Dear Reader!

How happy I am to have your fine company here, today

June 24, 2021 when my poem “Thin Attachment”—

from my during-the-pandemic-published poetry collection 

The Minuses

is the featured poem

on Poetry Daily!

: :

+ Thank you bows (continuous!) to you, dear reader, for the gift of your attention!

+ Thank you bows to Poetry Daily and the team at poems.com for their support to this poet, this poem, and for every step the Poetry Daily staff make in support of poets and their poetry.

+ Thank you bows (continuous!) to publisher Stephanie G’Schwind, and Mountain West Poetry Series editors Donald Revell and Kazim Ali, et al interns at the Center for Literary Publishing (CLP) for making The Minuses (2020) with me.

+ Thank you bows (continuous!) to Beth Svinarich et al at University Press of Colorado for their beautiful support to me and The Minuses.

+ Thank you bows (continuous!) to monsoon storm chaser and marvelous professional photographer, Liz Kemp whose monsoon photograph storms the cover of The Minuses.

+ Thank you bows (continuous!) to Vincent K. Wong for his friendship, creative collaboration, and for taking my author photos.

+ This bears repeating: Thank you bows (continuous!) to you, dear reader, for the gift of your attention! If you have any questions or comments, write me!