! BOOKS !

Greetings from late August, dear reader!

I am here to share with you some publication news! Two poems from my second manuscript The Long Now Conditions Permit now appear in VOLT Literary Magazine Volume 26, and another poem that is an outlier to that manuscript, but may be pointing to what is next, appears in TIMBER Journal.

In TIMBER, my poems are joined by poems by Shira Dentz, Michelle Murphy, and Marie Kressin, among fire others; in VOLT, my poems are joined by poems by Julie Carr, Eléna Rivera, giovani singleton, and Page Hill Starzinger among wonder others. When my poems rub shoulders and canoodle with other poets’ poems, there exists the exciting prospect of connecting with readers and the wondrous possibility of community. Connection and community!

VOLT Literary Magazine Volume 26 front and back covers

The appearance of my poems “Across the Path That Is Not Mine” and “October Effect” in VOLT 26 marks the third issue of VOLT in which I have been lucky enough to have some of my poems published. Poems from The Minuses appear in Volume 15 (2008) and Volume 12 (2006). For me, this series of appearances signifies the building of community—VOLT‘s, mine, and me and my poems as part of VOLT‘s community. Expanding concentric circles of community. That is what I seek. I want to make lasting connections and build true friendships within the poetry and literary arts communities.

VOLT Literary Magazine Volumes 26, 15 & 12

Jane Miller, one of my graduate school poetry teachers at the University of Arizona, first introduced me to VOLT. What year was that—1992? That makes sense because according to VOLT‘s history, the magazine “was created on an unusually sunny afternoon in San Francisco in 1991.” The issue that Jane shared with me would have been VOLT Volume 1; I remember Jo Whaley’s Atomic Tea Party on the cover and inside, along with Jane’s writing, the poetry of Ralph Angel, Jane Hirshfield, Claudia Keelan, Yusef Komunyakaa, Donald Revell, and C. D. Wright, among gorgeous others. I was immediately captivated. The revving V-V-V of the magazine’s name, intuitively and instinctually connecting me to the seed sound or bija mantra of the sacral chakra, the energy center of creativity. The dimensions—9 x 12—embodying a material substance. There was a felt sense of the substantial even before opening the volume. Then, within: Because poems appear in the issue as they do on 8.5 x 11 paper, they are given their full visual and spatial expression. Hurrah! Plus, poems appear alphabetically, according to the poet’s surname; that organizing principle makes each issue an abecedarian. I love that! Because the issues do not contain editorial introductions or author biographies, they signal a primary focus on the poems. VOLT takes seriously being a poetry magazine.

Gillian Conoley

That’s because VOLT was brought into being by terrific poet and person Gillian Conoley! Gillian and I go back a ways and in time. Loving and mutually good friendships in poetry, and really all other realms, take time and trust. I had the chance to meet and spend time with Gillian in 2003 when she was one of the guest poets at Tucson Poetry Festival (TPF) XXI, which celebrated the connections between poetry and film. I was then the Executive Director of TPF, and XXI was the second in a five-festival series I conceived and directed that celebrated poetry’s relationships and connections to other artforms. During the 2003 Festival’s long weekend, Gillian and I hit it off; she’s warm, fun, and bold. She liked the introduction I gave before her TPF reading enough to ask me for a copy. A thrill and a delightful compliment.

Gillian has been a champion of my poems. First in VOLT, where she gave early homes to poems when I was just starting to send my writing out for consideration. Second on the back cover of my poetry collection The Minuses, where she offered the following words of support:

In these quiet, careful, though searing and poignant poems, Jami Macarty turns her considerable powers toward the dissolution of a romantic relationship in a desert landscape that is at once sustaining and doomed. Here, a body is at one with earthly extinction and failed romance: ‘I am your time to go now.’ These poems are as full of heart as they are of a keen intellect. Exquisitely honed and crafted, The Minuses provides testament to poetry’s ability to speak the unspeakable, to not only survive but to carry on: ‘she’s off-trail but knows her direction.’ This is a beautiful book of courage and the power to live fully, and on this planet, through heartbreak and hard-won joy.

—Gillian Conoley

Gillian’s words wow me in their understanding. It is really and truly something special to my heart when someone I admire gifts me with their attention and felt response. Every time I read “hard-won joy” in Gillian’s offering I shake my head. How did she know that?

VOLT 26 w/cover art by Hawley Hussey, incl my poems

Gillian tuned into joy again when reading the poems I offered for her consideration for VOLT 26. Here’s some of her response to the poems:

Loved reading these. Can I please have “October Effect” and “Across the Path that is Not Mine” for Volt 26?

Really lovely poems— I loved how they played and inter-played with language and politics/aesthetics all interwoven with colors— so striking! And the motifs of not owning— the relief and knowledge of that— the joy of it, too––

—Gillian Conoley

Reading and taking to my heart Gillian’s words elicits in me the feeling of running into the street and jumping for joy! Whoo hoo! Gillian “gets” my poems. Gets. There may be no greater feeling of connection than this between two people, between poet and reader… I am deeply grateful to Gillian for standing with me and my poems. Her presence means everything to my life and to me as a maker of poems.

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Timber Journal logo

If memory serves, I was first introduced to TIMBER Journal via the community of women/women-identified poets with whom I congregate and talk about reading, writing, and publishing poetry. Hurrah that community and their generous sharing of knowledge and resources!

At the helm of TIMBER Journal are the MFA candidates at the University of Colorado-Boulder. What attracted me to TIMBER is the editorial focus on “work which pushes against boundaries: genre-bend, build or break form, confront the rules and voices of the canon.” Yes, please; thank you! Then, there is their invitation and challenge: “If you’re not flirting with failure or writing risky, it’s probably not for us.” Rah rah “flirting with failure or writing risky”! Upon reading these words, I gathered together and sent for consideration some poems that flirted and risked. That was March.

TIMBER Journal Issue 12.2 Summer 2022

I mention time because writing and all things related to itmaking, revising, sending out, awaiting reply, etc.occur in time. Sometimes time is long, the process protracted; sometimes there’s a sense of quick turnaround and immediacy. Just four months later in July, I received a response from Rachel Franklin Wood, Poetry Editor and the poetry readers at TIMBER:

We loved your work and would like to include “Goddess Explains How to Bird to an Orphaned Daughter” in our upcoming issue!

—Rachel Franklin Wood, Poetry Editor and the poetry readers at TIMBER

Such love! This precious connection with readers makes me feel giddy with the possibilities of… well, of a poemto bring us to one another. As I think about it, so much has to take place in order for this small miracle of connection to zing between poet and reader. And, it could so very easily go the other away way. O, the crucial moments when we risk love!

You’re cordially invited to read “Goddess Explains How to Bird to an Orphaned Daughter” in TIMBER Journal Issue 12.2 Summer 2022!

Though I am just getting to know TIMBER Journal, I am filled with the excitement and promise the getting-to-know-you phase holds. I bow to Rachel Franklin Wood, Poetry Editor, the poetry readers, and staff at TIMBER Journal for their kind and generous attention to my writing. I look forward to reading future issues, and with the good shine from the Poetry Gods, maybe to find a home for some other of my failure-flirting, risk-taking poems. A poet has hope for more crucial moments of love!

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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 and love to Gillian Conoley, special-to-me person, poet, and, pal, for her continued support of my poems!

+ I bow to the existence of VOLT Literary Magazine and am grateful for its innovative design and content!

+ Thank you bows to Rachel Franklin Wood, Poetry Editor, and the poetry readers at TIMBER Journal for taking a chance on and publishing my poem.

+ 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 !

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 !

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 !

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!

& Making Space (2)

Hello, dear reader! As 2019’s 11th month nears end, I’m thinking about space—being made for my poems and me—and those who generously made it .

I’ve offered this before and I’ll offer it again:                                                                                  Making space for makers is a community-minded, inclusive action of high order!

Gratitude all around to those generous souls who have made space for my poems and me the months of this year in their readings series, at their microphones, around their fires, in their ears, in their eyes, in their bookshelves, in their imaginations, in their conversations, in their publications…

Come with me on this tour of gratitude for makers making spaces for me, my poems…

In reading series–

Most of the readings I offered and participated in this year took place in October and November, and of those, two took place on islands.

First island hop, Gabriola Island 

Macarty-Feuchtwanger E-Flyer (1)

Nice poster! Right? Poetry Gabriola asked if they could use the cover image, taken by Vincent Wong, and the title of my 2018 chapbook Instinctive Acts for the poster. How could I refuse?

Hosted by Poetry Gabriola at the Roxy on Friday, October 4, 2019 at 7:30 p.m., Lawrence Feuchtwanger, a terrific poet, former student, and new resident of Gabriola Island opened our joint reading to a beautiful poetry audience of ~40 souls with attentive ears and big hearts. Lawrence read from his collection Refugee Song  (Signature Editons, 2014) and from newer work. For my part of the evening, I read poems from Landscape of The Wait and Instinctive Acts, followed by a handful of poems from The Minuses. I loved how Lawrence’s and my poems conferred, sometimes joining , sometimes diverging—and it was heart-gratifying to be in conversation with Lawrence and his poems again.

Lawrence, I hasten to add, not only invited and hosted me for the Poetry Gabriola reading, he and Deb, his partner, also put me up at their marvelous wood-frame house in the woods. O, the quiet! The fire place! The bright, open space where I offered the workshop the next day was absolutely perfect for our conversation about radiances—the brilliances of light, heat, emotion, etc.—within poems. Lawrence even baked gluten-free brownies to provide nourishment to me and workshop participants. I returned to Vancouver from my 24-hours on Gabriola, feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.

Thank you Lawrence, Deb, The Poetry Gabriola Society, The Roxy, and the lovely, welcoming residents of Gabriola Island for hosting me!

Second island hop, Orcas Island

Macarty Babcock Salon Series 20191116

This warm and warming poster is designed by Jill McCabe Johnson. As well as being a graphic designer, Jill is also a terrific poet (we’re Finishing Line Press sisters), an editor, and with her good partner Charles, an innkeeper of Kangaroo House B&B.

Hosted by Artsmith on Saturday, November 16, 2019 at 7:00 p.m., Debra Babcock opened the salon by reading two excerpts from her memoir-in-process, focusing on her relationship with her mother, a polio survivor and hearty soul. I read poems from Landscape of The Wait and Instinctive Acts, followed by a handful of poems from The Minuses. Surrounding Debra, me, and our words were the warmth and light from the fire, and the open and welcoming attention of listeners. Following our readings, the audience joined us in a special conversation that got at the core of writing impulses, subjects (especially related to family), and connections between writing, ecology, and spirituality. Then, we supped on delicious potluck fare and continued our delving conversations.

Not only did Jill and Charles host me for the salon series reading and potluck, they hosted me and John for two nights in their B&B, Kangaroo House. We were very well taken care of; these two whip up three-course breakfasts! We loved the quiet, the hottub soak in the rain, and the king-sized bed. We returned to Vancouver with our hearts filled. Images: John R. Welch

Thank you Jill, Charles, Artsmith, Kangaroo House, Debra, and the salon’s generous audience for sharing word-love with me! Images: John R. Welch

In celebrations of diversity and language–

with Tasai Collective & Soramaru Takayama

Hosted by Tasai on Saturday, July 20, 2019 from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. at Vancouver Art Gallery,  the second annual perfomance of the poem “Tower of Babel” by Soramaru Takayama took place. Once again this year, it was my honor to participate in this powerful, heart-expanding poetry reading and performance that seeks to honor diversity in a city of immigrants who live on the unceded lands of First Nations peoples. I gave my voice in American English to the poem, just as the speakers of 15 other languages gave their voices and first languages to celebrate diversity in Vancouver on a hot summer’s day.

Thank you bows to gracious hosts: Tasai Collective, Steve Frost, Yurie Hoyoyon, Soramaru Takayama, Vancouver Art Gallery, and the people of Vancouver who joined their voices with ours! Images: John R. Welch

with Nomados Literary Publishers, Meredith Quartermain, & Peter Quartermain

Hosted by Nomados Literary Publishers, Meredith Quartermain, and Peter Quartermain at People’s Co-op Bookstore on November 14, 2019 at 7:30 p.m., a community of writers and readers gathered around Meredith and Peter Quartermain and their 51-title publishing endeavor, Nomados Literary Publishers. The evening opened with a slide show, featuring the Nomados’ titles’ covers, most authors, the printers, the publishers, and everyone else who contributes to the success of the chapbook series, including Rolf Maurer, who runs People’s Co-op Bookstore, where the readings by Nomados authors typically take place. After the slideshow, Meredith Quartermain offered her humble remarks, followed by those of humourously askew Peter Quartermain. Then, Judith Penner, Jacqueline Turner and I, offered a pop-up panel on nomadism. Images: Meredith Quartermain

My comments focused on the flâneuse, walking in the poems of Instinctive Acts, my chapbook published by Nomados (November 2018). This walker is a woman, considering home, violence, and belonging in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. Flâneur, from the French, meaning “stroller,” “lounger,” “saunterer,” or “loafer” (Merriam Webster), has long been seen as a man’s role…, but what, I asked in my five-minute comments, about the transgressive work of the flâneuse? She is every bit the wanderer, wondering. “Sometimes she would like to be a settler, but curiosity, grief, and disaffection forbid it” (Deborah Levy, Swallowing Geography, Penguin, 2019).

Thank you to Meredith, Peter, Nomados Literary Publishers, my press colleagues, including Joanne Arnott (#50), Renee Rodin (#16), and Fred Wah (#25), who offered the evenings readings, plus John Welch and SFU’s Archeology Department for the loan of the projector screen, Rolf and People’s Co-op Bookstore. Images: Jami Macarty

In publications

Lucky I have been this year to have poems and an essay accepted for publication. Published in 2019: Autumn in the EastThe Journal 43.3;  Inexorably Tangled, a collaborative poem written w/Jacqueline Turner / The Capilano Review 3.39; Who The Strummer in Vallum 16:1 (digital extras); three poems from A Body in Liberating Strife in Another Way RoundForthcoming: The Daughter / Dusie Blog; Cultivated Aftermath of Posts & She-Civilian in Tiny Spoon; Letter in Name of Country in Global Geneva; The Shelter in The Rumpus: ENOUGH column; Memory Predator & Neighbors in EVENT; Digging for Heart, a chapter in Archaeologies of the Heart.

Thank you to editors Molly Brown and Robert J. Schumaker, Jr. at The Journal; to Juliane Okot Bitek and Matea Kulic at The Capilano Review, to Eleni Zisimatos and Leigh Kotsilidis at Vallum, to Edward Wells at Another Way Around, to rob mclennan at Dusie blog; to C. M. Chady and Stephanie Hempel at Tiny Spoon; to Carla Drydale at Global Geneva; to Marisa Siegel at The Rumpus; to Joanne Arnott at EVENT, and to Kisha Supernant et al. of the volume Archeologies of the Heart for their support of and confidence in my work.

In ears, eyes, reviews, & bookshelves–

Kevin Spenst offered to Instinctive Acts a brief, but salient review in subTerrain #81 “Chuffed About Chapbooks” column…

Dr. Martin St. Andre gave Landscape of The Wait 5 out of 5 stars, and in November on Amazon, offered the poems a full, most thoughtful, expansive, and most special to me review. I include it in its entirety here…

“Jami Macarty wrote this collection of poetry in honor of her nephew William who was hospitalized in an Intensive Care Unit after sustaining multiple physical and neurological injuries following a car crash. Her series of poems conjure up the harrowing experience of accompanying a loved one during a coma episode: the inability to validate any form of communication with the person, the enforced passivity, the entrapment in a highly technological environment, the dependency on a dazzling number of healthcare professionals, the repetitive attempts to create a coherent trauma narrative, the exhaustion, the resurfacing of family tensions–and solidarity–in the midst of forced hospital cohabitation, the sense of time unfolding and yet somewhat stagnating.

That great beauty could emerge from such an apparently bleak landscape speaks of Macarty’s literary brio, exquisite observational skills, deep capacity to straddle ambiguity and appreciation of life as it is. The superb visual layout of words on the page creates intriguing associations and conveys the sensory choppiness of traumatic experience. The percussive alliterations, the reiterations and the stuttering quality of certain passages convey the attempts to transmute disparate sensations into words. The repeated references to scientific terminology illustrate our striving to overcome ignorance and to conquer reality; yet this very quest acutely shows how language is but an island in the midst of the unknowable.

This series of poems should join the expanding literature in narrative medicine and be  recommended reading for anyone involved in critical care medicine. For family members and friends of patients, this text could provide hope about creating meaning in traumatic circumstances. For writers, this series will demonstrate how technical breadth can be used graciously and purposefully. And for the rest of us readers, this series will have us marvel at the power of poetry for expressing the inexpressible.”

Thank you very dearly Kevin and Martin for offering my poems your special attention and thoughtful reader’s responses.

 

 

On day 334 of the year 2019 and all seven days of each week in these 11 months, dear reader, I thank you for welcoming the words of this blog, and thank you to those of you who have purchased my books and read my books, welcoming my poems and me into your ears and eyes and bookshelves. Thank you with my whole heart for your welcoming! Poetry Love! Love Love all around you!

& Instinctive Acts

As the sand drains to the bottom of December 31’s remaining hours, and just like the end of 2017, lasts, like this day, point me toward reflection and acknowledgment, announcement and celebration. In my previous post, I took stock of my year in poetry, bowing to those who joined and supported me. 

In this post, I announce Instinctive Acts, my third chapbook of poetry, published in October 2018 by Nomados Literary Publishers, edited by Meredith Quartermain and Peter Quartermain

Here’s Meredith Quartermain unveiling Instinctive Acts on October 19, 2018 at Nelson The Seagull (cafe). Instinctive Acts joins my other two chapbooks of poetry. 

In my first chapbook, Landscape of The Wait (Finishing Line Press, 2017), a poetic response to my nephew William’s car accident and year-long coma, the landscape is hospital and waiting rooms on the Atlantic coast in the Northeastern US, where I grew up and where my family still lives, and the conceptual landscape waiting carves in the minds and hearts of the waiters. In my second chapbook, Mind of Spring (No. 22 Vallum Chapbook Series, 2017), the landscape is the Sonoran Desert that surrounds Tucson, Arizona, and includes streets and neighborhoods (Barrios) of the city’s Downtown. This long poem in three parts also takes place in corporate America and oil-rich Middle Eastern countries surrounded by the Arabian Desert. 

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The landscape of Instinctive Acts is Vancouver, British Columbia’s Downtown Eastside and Gastown neighborhoods. In these poems, I’m writing to locale/dis/location; place/dis/placement; neighbor/neighborhood. The poems are written as taking place in the city and so by that association they are of a city. Weirdly perhaps, I do not think of them as commentary on city (the urban) or in contrast to the (suburban) small village I grew up in on the other side of the continent or to the desert. Place is important because of a feeling of exile, displacement, immigrant status, and, the loneliness that comes with being new and other in a place, especially one that tends to remind you of your otherness. 

Everyone has their pre/occupation. In these poems, mine is: How do I and my neighbors live together? What is neighbor/neighborhood? Who belongs–the geography of self? Who is inside/outside–figuratively and literally? How do we connect? Where do we find community? What is home? Where is it found? To what elements of deconstruction are connection, community, and home vulnerable? 

The vulnerabilities are revealed through: Woman walking. Violence–against women. Writing on the wall, as literal and metaphoric implication. Talking to walls. Speech. Communication. Listening/watching in order to locate. In order to be. In relationship. In community. With self, other, streets, alleys, restaurants, birds (nature), and rain. It wouldn’t be Vancouver without rain.

In Vancouver, rain is often a source of complaint, keeping residents inside. By contrast, in Tucson, rain is a cause for celebration, dancing residents into the streets. I’ve always loved the rain. Rain that washes but that’s not what it’s for. Rain that punctuates but that’s not what it’s for. Rain no matter what. Rain on everything. Rain indiscriminately. 

Rain–its absence or presence. Birds. Location. These are three constants in my work.

I want to tell you a bit about how the cover came to be.

As with the other two chapbooks, I wanted a photograph for the cover. Meredith Q. was hesitant, so I was in the process of accepting a text only cover for Instinctive Acts when I had a dream in which a photo of the gargoyle, as I call it, in an alley near where I live became the cover of the chapbook. The next morning, I contacted Vincent Wong, my friend and a wonderful photographer to see if he’d come take the gargoyle’s picture. He agreed! 

Here are some of Vincent’s beautiful captures of the day.

Once I had Vincent’s wonderful photographs, I selected the one (bottom left) and mocked up a cover for Meredith to see. She loved it, and when I told her about my dream, the new cover was born! 

What a joy it was to collaborate with Meredith and Vincent on the book! I bow to them, and to Joanne Arnott and Wayde Compton, who offered their endorsements for the poems. Terrific artists all, who make Vancouver’s arts and my community more vibrant.

With the book all together, it was time to celebrate! 

Rolf, the owner of People’s Co-op Bookstore, where we gathered to celebrate Instinctive Acts welcomed us. First up: Jacqueline Turner, a new friend and wonderful poet read from her new work forthcoming from ECW Press. Next Jacqueline and I read part of a poem we wrote in collaboration for Pandora’s Collective Poetic Pairings reading (October 30, 2018). Then, it was my turn! I read 10 poems from Instinctive Acts. The reading closed with Japanese poet, Soramaru Takayama and I reading two more poems from the chapbook. I read in English, Sora read his translations of my poems in Japanese; then, we read the poems in our respective languages simultaneously (Go to this post on my Facebook page to listen to Sora’s and my performance).

There’s another chapbook of my poems into the world. Tra la! Will you read it and then share with me your response? That’s a poet’s hope! Happy All Year!

 

 

& MAKING SPACE

November. The 11th month of 2018 during which I’m thinking about space–being made for my poems and me–and those who generously made it.

Making space for makers is a community-minded, inclusive action of high order!

I am deeply grateful to those who have made space for my poems and me the months of this year in their readings series, at their microphones, in their ears, in their eyes, in their bookshelves, in their imaginations, in their conversations, in their publications…

Come on this tour of gratitude-filled maker spaces…

In reading series–

  1. Phoenix Poetry Series: Finishing Line Press Poets 

Fri Jan 26, 2018 at 7pm | Phoenix College, 1202 W Thomas Rd, Phoenix, AZ

A panel-style craft talk about the challenges of writing familial trauma by three Finishing Line Press (FLP) poets: Jami Macarty (Tucson), Virginia Chase Sutton (Phoenix), and the co-host of PPS, Rosemarie Jeana Dombrowski, followed by a reading of our poetic works. Thank you pro hosts Rosemarie Jeana Dombrowski and Nadine Lockhart!                Images: John R. Welch

2. Casa Libre presents…

Sat Mar 24, 2018 at 7pm | Casa Libre Reading Room, 228 N. 4th Ave, Tucson, AZ

With a much compromised voice, I read from Landscape of The Wait and Mind of Spring, with admired Tucson poet Joni Wallace, who read from her Kingdom Come Radio Show and some new work, followed by a Q & A to an audience of intimates at Casa Libre en la Solana. Thank you intrepid host: Sally Roundhouse! Images: Eleanor Kedney

3. Poets Corner Reading Series

Wed, Jun 20, 2018 at 7:30p | Massy Books, 229 E. Georgia St., Vancouver, BC

I read from Landscape of The WaitMind of Spring, and new poems with lovely Vancouver poet Daniella Elza, who read from her new work, followed by a Q & A to a receptive audience at Massy Books. Thank you smiling hosts James Felton and Franci Louann! Images: Deb DeJong

4. Dominion Reading Series #16

Fri, Jun 29, 2018 at 6:30p | BC Artscape Building, 268 Keefer St, Vancouver, BC

With special colleagues and poets Bonnie Nish and Cythia Sharp, I breathed poems–from Landscape of The Wait, Mind of Spring, and a new collection–into the rarified air of the monthly reading series, taking place in Vancouver’s Chinatown. Candie Tanaka, the coolest, is the host of this literary salon and conversation where each writer gets 20 minutes:  10 mins for a reading, 5 mins for discussing their creative process, 5 mins for talking about a hobby or something else of interest, and an extra couple of mins for questions. Plus, Candie offers the best snacks and refreshments. Thank you, host extraordinaire: Candie Tanaka! And, for the images: Bonnie Nish! Listen to my reading!

In radio Interviews–

5. Wax Poetic (Listen on CFRO 100.5FM)

Wed, Jun 20, 2018 at 2-2:30p | Co-Op Radio, 370 Columbia St, Vancouver, BC

wax poetic.png

In this interview (prerecorded on May 29 at 3:30pm), I joined hosts Pamela Bentley and Kevin Spenst, allowing each poem I read–from Landscape of The Wait and Mind of Spring–to guide us in conversation at the confluence of the words the world inspires. Thank you thoughtful hosts: Pam and Kevin. Listen to the interview!

In artistic collaborations–

6. Tower of Babel

Sat, Jun 2, 2018 at 1-3pm | Vancouver Art Gallery, 750 Hornby St, Vancouver, BC

In this outdoor public poetry reading, Japanese poet’s Soramaru Takayama’s “Tower of Babel,” was delivered in 20 voices, giving breath in 20 languages, to celebrate Vancouver’s diversity. I had the honor of reading the English parts of the poem. Thank you bows to gracious hosts Tasai Collective, Steve Frost, Yurie Hoyoyon, and Soramaru Takayama! Images: Manto Nakamura

7. Sustenance Anthology Reading

Sun, Jun 17, 2018 at 11am-1pm | Farmer’s Market| Dude Chilling Park, Vancouver, BC

Sustenencae reading Dude Chilling Park June 2018

Fresh local poets who contributed to the anthology Sustenance: Writers from BC and Beyond of the Subject of Food, were paired with produce at the BC Farmers Market. Proceeds from the sale of Sustenance go to support the BC Farmers Market Nutrition Coupon Program. Purchase a copy and help provide a family in need with local, fresh food, all the while supporting BC farmers, ranchers, and fishers. My poem, “Hunger” is at this meal of writing, and I acquired and edited 10 other voices also included in the word feast. Thank you to hosts Rachel Rose and Anvil Press!

8. Pandora’s Collective: Poetic Pairings

Tues, Nov 30, 2018 at 6:30pm | Britannia Library| 1661 Napier St, Vancouver, BC,

This is one of my absolute favorite events in Vancouver, programmed by Pandora’s Collective executive director Bonnie Nish, wherein two poets are paired for approximately three months during which time they put their imaginations together and arrive at a collaborative response to concerns of their own creative design. This is the second time I’ve had the good fortune to be included in these most fascinating proceedings, and this time I worked with wonderful Vancouver poet Jacqueline Turner on a two-phase poem, each of six parts, concerning itself with risk the saying as antidote to demands of silence related to violence against women. Thank you to respectful host: Mary Duffy! Images: Wendy Bullen Stephenson

In publications–

9. Celebration of SFU Authors, Contemporary Verse 2 (CV2), EVENT, Light – A Journal of Photography & Poetry, Otoliths, and The Paddock Review (a Finishing Line Press project)

My 2017 good luck publications Landscape of The Wait and Mind of Spring were recognized at the annual Celebration of SFU Authors in March 2018. The literary journals: Contemporary Verse 2 (Canada),  edited by Sharapal Ruprai and Jennifer Still accepted two poems; EVENT (Canada)edited by Joanne Arnott accepted one poem; Light – A Journal of Photography & Poetry (United States), edited by Manny Blacksher accepted five poems and appointed me a Featured Poet (!) of the issue, Otoliths (Australia), edited by Mark Young, accepted six poems and The Paddock Review (United States), edited by Leah Maines accepted one poem. Each editor took a chance on my poems (15 in total); their confidence in my work is a life spark. I am deeply grateful to these editors for their support.

In ears, eyes, & bookshelves–

10. You!

On day 310 of the year 2018 and all seven days of each week in these 11 months–thank you for welcoming my poems and me into your ears and eyes and bookshelves. Thank you with my whole art heart for your welcoming! Poetry Love!