During April, I only blogged poetry in my weekdays-only NaPoWriMo effort and during May, I took an unintentional vow of blogging silence (here anyway) and posted pictures of the local wildflowers. Now it’s June and there are many things I meant to link to and write about so here’s a dump of sorts since I’m a little short of time right now.
NaPoWriMo ended and, alas, so did Big Tent Poetry just a year after Read Write Poem closed. Is there something about NaPoWriMo that burns out prompt sites? It’s sad to see the Big Tent fold, but thanks (many many thanks) to Deb, Carolee and Jill for running the site and providing so many wonderful prompts that led me to writing a number of poems that I still like. Now, after giving so much to the poetry community Deb, Carolee and Jill are blogging together at A Fine Kettle of Fish where they’re taking well-deserved time to focus on their own poetry. Go check it out.
Nic Sebastian published her collection Forever Will on Thursday. It’s a fine read, deserving of a longer review here at some future time. I’ve read it online and intend to order the book because I’m a paper kind of guy. One thing that’s unique about her publishing process is her philosophy of delivering poetry in multiple formats, several of them free, which means you can read Forever Will End on Thursday as an e-book, pdf, paper book, website or listen to her read it online as a download or on a CD. I really admire this approach and may emulate it when I get around to publishing my short collection.
Speaking of fine reads deserving of their own posts (perhaps later when I have time), Mark Stratton’s collection Tender Mercies is out now. Mark asked me to give some feedback on the manuscript, and then he kindly sent me a copy of the finished book, which I enjoyed even more in final form. Many of the poems first appeared on his blog, Aggaspletch, and they combine nicely into this debut collection. I’m especially fond of “Tender Mercy 12F,” which you can read on Mark’s blog.
Yesterday, I got my copy of The Book of Ystwyth: Six Poets on the Work of Clive Hicks-Jenkins. I haven’t read it yet, but good lord, it’s one of the most beautiful books I own. It’s full of excellent reproductions of Hicks-Jenkins’s paintings alongside the poems they inspired. I’d read Dave Bonta’s “The Temptations of Solitude” series on his blog, and it’s great to see his work alongside the images that inspired it. Also, a joy to discover five other poets whose work is new to me. Actually, I have read one poem in the book, “Pegasus” by Catriona Urquhart. I flipped it open and that’s the one I came to. It floored me and I wanted let it settle before diving in. Hell, I might read the whole book just by flipping through. That’s how I often do my first read of a poetry collection.
The blogosphere is changing as more and more links are shared through Twitter and Facebook, and it seems that the venerated blog carnival I and the Bird has run its course. I contributed off-and-on since 2006 and even had the privilege of hosting it once (in ghazal form). The final installment was over at Twin Cities Naturalist. It’s sad to see it go, but there’s still loads of great bird blogging to be found.
My video of Howie Good’s “Fable” took 3rd place in the Moving Poems video contest. Do check out the various entries. It’s interesting to see how different videomakers interpret the same poem. Thanks, Howie & Dave!
Qarrtsiluni‘s latest issue, “Imprisonment,” is off to a powerful start. Make sure you check out “My Cellies.” I’m honored to say that I’ve got a poem that will be appearing later in this issue. Also, while we’re on qarrtsiluni, the chapbook contest deadline is June 15.