Lasts, like this day, December 31 of the year, 2017, point me toward reflection and acknowledgment, so here I am with the intention to take stock of my year in poetry and to bow to those who joined and supported me.
This seems the time to announce the manifest arrival of Mind of Spring (b. October 16, 2017), the winner of the 2017 Vallum Chapbook Award.
Written across borders—both visible and invisible—between homelessness and home, estrangement and intimacy, lyric and language, Mind of Spring, a long poem, in three parts, contains what I call weirded aesthetics. To illustrate my meaning, here’s an excerpt:
“palo verde blossoms
speed no different
covering making unknown this ground
yellows y y e l l o ws ggaalore”
See those doubled consonants and vowels, the expanding spaces? I mean them as a hybrid of emphasis, mantra, stutter and… These are some of the ways the aesthetics in Mind of Spring are weird. May you read Mind of Spring and walk with me in a desert borderland, as I contemplate social, cultural, environmental, and personal mechanisms of war. Mind of Spring can be purchased in the online store at Vallum (click and see second book on list).
Mind of Spring is the second chapbook of mine published this year. At the announcement of its publication, a colleague called me “prolific.” I laughed. As if. This poem was composed in 2012; it took five years to see it to publication. I’ve been writing writing writing for a long while and with not always that much recognition in the form of publication, for the weirdnesses, such as Mind of Spring that I write, and so I am super super grateful to Vallum and the hard-working, thoughtful Eleni Zisimatos and Leigh Kotsilidis for selecting Mind of Spring for the Chapbook Award and for seeing it to publication. Such confidence and enthusiasm for my work sures my foundation.
If Vallum sures my creative foundation, then the land on which that foundation stands is Finishing Line Press (FLP), publisher of Landscape of The Wait. The marvelous, artist-friendly team, lead by Leah Maines and Christen Kincaid are beyond-the-call, generous poetry mothers! Like I hold just-out-of-the-box Landscape of The Wait above, I feel held and supported by and ever grateful to FLP, Leah, and Christen for their confidence in my work. Read more about Landscape of The Wait and purchase it by clicking here: Finishing Line Press.
Poetry books take a village: editors, endorsers, readers, reading series, audiences… Behold the beloved villagers of Mind of Spring and Landscape of The Wait!
Beloved endorsers: Landscape of The Wait and I bow to you, bow to you, bow to you : Kazim Ali, Rusty Morrison, and Forrest Gander; Mind of Spring and I bow to you, bow to you Annie Guthrie and Erica Mena-Landry.
Beloved readers: (some of whom show their beautiful faces with Landscape of The Wait) Martin, Henry, Birgit, John, Barbara, Louise, Penelope, Theresa, Carol, Ann, Helga, Linda, Andrew, Moss et alia thank you, thank you, thank you for supporting my books by buying and reading them. You know THE way to make a poet happy!
Beloved readers: (some of whom welcomed Landscape of The Wait into their home, artistic, and travel landscapes) from Florence, Italy to Tucson, Arizona to Galiano Island, British Columbia to Prague, Czech Republic to a New York City bookcase (Sean Singer’s) to Minneapolis, Minnesota to Montreal, Quebec to Vancouver, Washington to Toronto, Ontario (with scotch!) to Sudbury, Massachusetts, and beyond…. Thank you, thank you for bringing my words into your landscapes. You make a poet happy!
Beloved reading series and organizers: (who hosted me, allowing me space to offer my words) Thank you, thank you, thank you Vancouver Writers Fest, SFU Lunch Poems, The Paper Hound, Gatsby Books, Librairie Drawn & Quarterly, Pandora’s Collective, Dominion Reading Series, Word Vancouver, Dead Poets Reading Series, and the mover-shakers, who helped make the readings happen, especially, Jill McCabe Johnson, Bonnie Nish, Candie Tanaka, Kim Koch, Leigh Kotsilidis, Sean Moor, Rachel Rose, Renee Saklikar, Karen Green et alia and the beloved audiences who listened. How happy and grateful I am for your generosity.
And, thank you, thank you, thank you to interviewers, Jay Ritchie and Cason Sharpe; reviewers Cristina Tranpani-Scott, Andrea Walker, Jeff Santosuosso, and Panoply, and to those who offered their reading responses: Joe Ezzo, Don Gray, Elizabeth Frank, Virginia Chase Sutton, Andrew Felmar, Jane Antanucci, et alia. Happy, happy you have made a poet.
Such glorious abundances of love-opportunities all of the above mentioned and visible have bestowed on me! And, to those invisible and unmentioned, also, you, my dearests, have been everything love as these books and I come into the foreground of poetry. Thank you one and all for these glory days of poetry sharing.