! 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 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!