! 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 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 on a kernel of some poems written during the three-and-a-half-year spell. Once the poems were revised, there was the decision process of which to include, then onward to order 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 closed. 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 the manuscript is gratifying and thrilling feedback, especially for a poet whose first book took ten years to find a publisher. 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, 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 all-women print issue

And, she selected another poem from the manuscript for the 2021 all-women print issue.

Interim, 2021 all-women print issue

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 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!

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+ 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!

! BOOKS !

Happy April!

Hurrah dear reader, you are here!

In these monthly ish dispatches I share with you my writer’s and reader’s experiences—about my books, about the books of others, about my writing practice, and my reading practice.

Happy National Poetry Month!

“April is the cruellest month, breeding” is the line that opens “The Waste Land” by T.S. Eliot. Ninety-nine years after the publication of the seminal, Modernist poem that opening line is the prompt for the celebration of the twenty-fifth annual National Poetry Month in the United States of America. Since 1998, Canada has also been celebrating poetry during April; this is the 23rd annual celebration of National Poetry Month across the ten provinces and three territories in Canada.

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In March, my during-the-pandemic-published poetry collection, The Minuses (Center for Literary Publishing, 2020), celebrated its first year anniversary. What a year! The pandemic has left me reeling. The tremendous amount of loss—of precious lives and of the smaller stuffs of my normal way of life. With the grief and reckoning ongoing, I’m finding it harder to take pleasure and feeling lethargic. Of course, that’s playing a role in my sense of being in flow with my writing and reading practices, and in my sense of productivity and accomplishment.

And. Through this stream of loss and lethargy flows some “pluses” around The Minuses. What are “the pluses”? Reviews, interviews, and events I and my poems have been lucky to receive. In this post, I share with you excerpts from the review Lacy Aul, aka Claudia Keelan, offered The Minuses in Interim. Though the review was published late December 2020, I’ve been revisiting it as a lethargy-booster, to remind me of what I seek in language. Below, I also share with you the YouTube link to the year anniversary reading I gave for the Tucson-based poetry group POG. And, I take account of some of the books I read in March, the third month of my fourth annual personal Big Read:  #mypersonalBigRead2021.

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What Is Missing Lives in What Is Found: On The Minuses by Jami Macarty—a review by Lacy Aul, aka Claudia Keelan

The Minuses is a collection of poems that locates origin in the ongoing energy of the physical world. Dedicated to “The One who renders this ground known and unknown,” The Minuses renders such a ground by showing how the phenomenal nature of wind, trees, birds, plants—in essence all vegetable, mineral and nonhuman entities—exist in parity with the contingent nature of their function in time. Indeed, while even human-made-things—such as doorways, windows, and public parks, also provide insight in the transparency of their use value—human beings in The Minuses are often dependent upon an a priori understanding of existence, which hinders them from observing their likewise conditional roles on the earth we share.” —from What Is Missing Lives in What Is Found: On The Minuses by Jami Macartyby Lacy Aul

Lacy Aul, Claudia Keelan‘s penname, offered The Minuses a review that made birds fly out of the top of my head in Volume 36: Issue 5 of Interim, the all women’s 2020 print issue, whose publication is supported by the English Department at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and by the Beverly Rogers, Carol C. Harter Black Mountain Institute

Interim, edited by Claudia Keelan, gave a home to two poems from The Minuses: “Reverse of Shadow” appeared in Volume 27 / Number 1 & 2 / 2009. “You Is to Door as I Is to Door” (retitled: “Door Ratio”) appeared in Volume 30 / Issue 1 & 2 / 2013.


The presiding spirit of inquiry in The Minuses would make such a world where oppositions parlay to form a whole… The urge towards completeness in the book finds itself in constant combat with a counter spirit whose innate, if cowardly, function is to further divide—human from earth, self from other, man from woman, body from soul—into the ultimate opposition that is war. The proponents of subtraction deals in the language of one to one comparison: “I cannot say who you are without saying who I am” (21, “Reverse of Shadow”). Unstuck in time where impossibly “The past increases within the present,” (30, ”Equals Rain”) and “What you say is our future / is your future” (31, “Door Ratio”), the protagonists of opposition bully those whose loyalty towards the possibility of the “all” insures their victimization and silence.—from What Is Missing Lives in What Is Found: On The Minuses by Jami Macarty by Lacy Aul

Interim and Claudia Keelan have been wonderfully, indispensably supportive to me and my work. Claudia also wrote a generous, sweet something for the back cover of The Minuses.

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.
—from Claudia Keelan for the back cover of The Minuses.

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POG Arts Tucson Reading, March 20, 2020

Jami Macarty lives and writes very much in the world you and I occupy, one in which we entangle with each other, have mutual responsibilities, give incredible gifts, yet don’t always treat the other or even oneself so well… There is no avoidance of the world in Macarty’s work, that world which may be disgraced and marked by serial killing, and be in need of painkillers. Yet there is also a mind intent on salvaging what is of use, a practice that will bring us tiger stamina to survive, a certainty that we are and can be though perhaps “a burning fragment,” still a fragment, “in the menagerie of the surviving world.” Macarty understands the wonders of place… One constant in her writing which seems to embrace her sense of place, literal and metaphoric, is a persistent dwelling in and within the sounds of language, sometimes expressed in a marvelous consonantal barrage of alliteration… I think we are fortunate tonight to walk our ears and minds in her particular “circus circumstance.” from Charles Alexander‘s introduction

On March 20, 2021, I celebrated the one year anniversary of The Minuses by giving a reading with Jeanne Heuving for the people of POG: Poetry in action! This is the second time I’ve read for the Tucson-based poetry group. The first reading was in 2005, a month or so before I moved from Tucson to Vancouver. For that reading I was live and in person, standing at a microphone at Cushing Street Bar in Downtown Tucson. For this second reading, fifteen and a half years later, I offered my poems over Zoom from my apartment in Vancouver. Jeanne Heuving zoomed in from Seattle, our hosts from Tucson, and forty souls joined us from locales in between.

Jeanne Heuving and I had been trying for a reading together for a while, so I was happy to finally roost at POG with her and her marvelous poems from Mood Indigo.

Listen to the POG Arts Tucson reading on YouTube!

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What I read in March: #mypersonalBigRead2021

Now, allow me to share with you what I read during March. Because March is Women’s History Month and because I had not yet read a single chapbook, I read mostly chapbooks and mostly volumes by women during the third month of the year.

In the photos above are some of the chapbooks I read in March. Let me fill in the blanks of the peeking titles at the edges. In the third photo: on the left edge, Paper Work, by Matea Kulić, and on the right edge maybe, basically, by Tracy Waide Boer, both published by Anstruther.

Other wonderful chapbook publishers of the above: Effing Press, Finishing Line Press, Frog Hollow Press, Hallie Ford School of Graduate Studies Press, Madhouse Press, Nomados Literary Publishers, Omnidawn Publishing, Porkbelly Press, and SpeCt! Books.

Among the women writers above who most inspire me: Nicole Brossard, Daphne Marlatt, Hoa Nguyen, Dayna Patterson, Emily Pérez, Christine Stewart, and Lissa Wolsak; I thank them for their ongoing support and inspiration and conversation.

Chapbooks! I used to think lesser of them. That is, that they were lesser forms of publication. I think I picked up that judgment from the prevailing winds within poetry… Over time and reading, my attitude evolved… Then, between 2017 and 2018, three chapbooks containing my work were published; I found that process completely gratifying. Now I feel the complete opposite; “lesser than” has morphed to “more than”—enough. I find chapbooks special and exciting and enchanting. I respond especially to the short but intense spell they cast. Right now, with my mushy ish, hard-to-keep-interested-brain (what others are calling “pandemic brain”), the length, intensity, and ephemerality of chapbooks are a perfect match. They are a manageable read, and that makes me feel like I can accomplish some reading. Hurrah chapbooks!

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

+ Thank you bows to poet and reviewer and horizon Claudia Keelan, for her expansively attentive, made birds fly out of my head, generous review of The Minuses, and to Interim for ongoing support of my poetry.

+Thank you bows to Charles Alexander et al at POG for making space for me to read my poems; to Charles again for his charming introduction, and to Jeanne Heuving for sharing her poems and the Zoom stage with me on March 20, 2020.

+ Thank you bows to the writers and publishers who brought their grand accomplishments of chapbooks and books into the world for keeping me company and inspiring me in March.

+ 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 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!

++The Minuses ++

Welcome, Dear Reader! I’m very glad to have your fine company here, where I share information about my books and the books of others.

During these last few months, I’ve been offering posts, focusing on what I’m referring to as the constellation of “pluses” congregating around my during-the-pandemic-published poetry collection, The Minuses. These pluses are in the form of supportive reviews, interviews, and readings my poems and I have been lucky enough to receive. In the spirit of addition, I’m aiming for something grander here, too: To celebrate the wondrous generosity of strangers, the special magic of collaboration, and the creative powers of community.

Susana Case epitomizes the tag, “generosity of strangers.” As far as I’m concerned, she holds a special throne in that kingdom. This year, she has made possible for The Minuses and me several readings and the gift-connections that accompany them. I’ve sung her praises before, and I will do it again! My gratitude to her is ongoing. This post focuses on a December reading Susana helped to make possible for me and others. Here’s the short of it.

Six months ago, Susana wrote to me and Dayna Patterson to let us know: “Sandy Yannone is inviting you to both read in her open mic slots on Cultivating Voices…” When I reached out to Sandy, she offered me a chance to read on December 13 with Dayna. Dayna and I had already communed during an interview and an event she, Susana, and I were planning, so I thrilled at another chance to be with her and the terrific poems from her poetry collection, If Mother Braids a Waterfall. When Sandy asked me to recommend a third reader, I offered: Page Hill Starzinger. I had read, loved, and written about Page’s first and second poetry collections Vestigial and Vortex Street. Since being in touch with Page, I had been hoping for some way to spend more time with her and her poems.

Generosity and hope—that’s how Dayna, Page, and I came together on Sunday, December 13 to read in the Cultivating Voices Live Poetry New Books Showcase hosted by the very good poetry citizen and a very thoughtful person, poet Sandy Yannone, with warm and calm technical support from poet Donald Krieger. Through the pandemic, Sandy and Don have been running the Cultivating Voices reading series for poetry books that were published in 2020, a hard time for all things, including bringing a poetry book into the world.

The reading took place live on Facebook. Some people joined us via Zoom and many others via Facebook live, while still others took in the recorded reading in their own time. I’m grateful to my special people who showed up live. I want to maintain my pals’ privacy, but let me offer a bow to Eleni Zisimatos, the editor-in-chief of Vallum Magazine, where two poems from The Minuses were published; Vallum is also the publisher of my chapbook Mind of Spring, which won the 2017 Vallum Chapbook Award. It was an honor to have Eleni et al join us. Thanks also to all for the lively chat throughout the reading. Bows all around.

Listen to the December 13

Cultivating Voices Live Poetry New Books Showcase

with Dayna Patterson, me, and Page Starzinger

here.

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+ Thank you bows to Susana H. Case for her generosity and for making spaces for me and my poems.

+ Thank you bows to Sandra Yannone and Donald Krieger for hosting me at Cultivating Voices Live Poetry New Books Showcase.

+Thank you bows to Dayna Patterson and Page Starzinger for sharing themselves, their poems, and the poetry stage with me.

+ 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 with me.

+ Thank you bows (continuous!) to Beth Svinarich et al at Unversity 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.

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

++ The Minuses ++

Welcome, dear reader! I’m thrilled to have your company here, where I share information about my and others’ books. Topics such as my reading and reviewing practice, my composition methods, writing and publishing process are taken up here.

Recent posts have focused on what I’m referring to as “the pluses” around my February 2020-published poetry collection The Minuses. A plus (+) sign in the shape of a book award has added the shine of positive light and sprinkle of sparkling stardust to the constellation of plus signs congregating around The Minuses.

This post brings to your kind and interested attention a Whoo Hoo! Plus:

The Minuses

is

2020 New Mexico/Arizona

Book Award

– Poetry Arizona –

winner!

To take in my very fine company of other award winners, visit the New Mexico/Arizona Book Award site.

That’s it! Short. Sweet. Now, I’m going to go dance in the street!

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+ Thank you bows to the readers and judges at New Mexico/Arizona Book Awards for the gift of their attention and the honor of being selected for this award.

+ 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 with me.

+ Thank you bows (continuous!) to Beth Svinarich et al at Unversity 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.

+ Thank you bows to you, dear reader, for the gift of your attention! If you have any questions or comments, write me!