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Sunday, May 24, 2015

The Ninth Letter of Hunger Mountain is U!

I'm pleased to have my poem "On Hearing of Your Hearing Loss" in the Spring/Summer 2015 Issue of Ninth Letter. Thanks to editors Jodee Stanley, Michael Madonick, Sarah Fan, and the rest! And congratulations to Corey Van Landingham, G. C. Waldrep, Claire Donato, and others whose work was also selected.

Also, two poems, "The Fold" and "Theories of Flow," are in the Body Issue of Hunger Mountain, which came out this spring. Thanks to editors Miciah Gault and Karen Cygnarowicz! I haven't been able to find much evidence of the issue online, though here it's mentioned at New Pages. Click on that link and you will learn that it has "spectacular (and controversial) cover art," which may be why its web presence is so limited. My contributor's copies were sent (by my request) to my parents' home (I often do this to save journals overseas postage), and my father was upset by the art and wanted to destroy the copies, by my mother wouldn't let him, and apparently she hid them. Anyway, it goes without saying, I have yet to see it (well, I found it online at the website of the designer, Laura Rossi Garcia, if you want to see what the fuss is about, but controversial it is, so consider yourself warned).

So, there's that. And that's all the good news for now. Yay.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Looking for Structural Elements

I'm working on finishing up the manuscript I've been writing the past (almost) two years. Most of the poems are done, so now I'm trying to come up with an order of poems and a manuscript title. To that end, I've been busy re-reading articles on both issues.

For what it's worth, here's a quick list of the resources on these topics I've mentioned in the past:

Katrina Vandenbergs' Putting Your Manuscript in Order: The Mix-Tape Strategy (Poets & Writers)
Jeffrey Levine's On Making the Poetry Manuscript (his own blog)
April Ossman's Thinking Like an Editor: How to Order Your Poetry Manuscript (Poets & Writers)
Albert Rios's Organization Strategies (his own website)

Albert Rios's Titling a Poem, Titling Anything (his own website)
Amy Fleming's Expanding Your Poem Through a Great Title (Through the Third Eye)
Annie Neugebauer's Titling Poems (her own blog)
Matthea Harvey's "If You Agree, Won't You Change the Title for Me? (Poem Present)

So after going through all these, it was serendipity that I put on my headphones to listen to the podcasts I've downloaded recently only to hear Radiotopia's Tim Key's Suspended Sentence, about a novelist trying to come up with a good first line. A little different than what I was thinking about, but definitely using the same muscle. Enjoy.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Knocked out by Noctua

I just received my contributor's copy of the new issue of the Noctua Review (out of Southern Connecticut State University's MFA program). It also includes a terrific pantoum by Sean B. Igoe, and a strong poem by Derek Graf, among other fine pieces.

Thanks, editor-in-chief Lori DeSanti, for including my work!

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Certainty is Overrated

In the end it all comes down to this you have a choice (or more accurately a rolling tangle of choices) between giving your work your best shot and risking that it will not make you happy, or not giving it your best shot -- thereby guaranteeing that it will not make you happy. It becomes a choice between certainty and uncertainty. And curiously, uncertainty is the comforting choice.  ~David Bayles & Ted Orland in Art & Fear: Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking


Moral certainty is always a sign of cultural inferiority. . . .All human progress, even in morals, has been the work of men who have doubted the current moral values, not of men who have whooped them up and tried to enforce them. ~H. L. Mencken


Despair is a kind of of certainty that the future will be like the present.  ~Rebecca Solnit


Uncertainty is an uncomfortable position. But certainty is an absurd one. ~Voltaire


Heisenberg’s “uncertainty principle” has comic potential, besides being the best formulation of the comic spirit.  ~Charles Simic, The Monster Loves His Labyrinth


Uncertainty is where things happen. It is where the opportunities — for success, for happiness, for really living — are waiting.  Martha Nussbaum

Friday, May 8, 2015

Thanks: May Update

Thanks to editor Peter LaBerge and reviewer Derick Edgren at The Adroit Journal for reviewing Mendeleev's Mandala. The review is not yet available online, so I'll link to the review once it is. Other books reviewed in this issue include Claudia Rankine's Citizen, Ansel Elkins' Blue Yodel,  Richard Siken's War of the Foxes, and Christina Stoddard's Hive so it'll be worth your time. Plus poems by Nicole Rollender, and more.

Also, I talk about sound for The Poets Studio. Thanks to Liz Whiteacre for the invitation. Also look for tips from poetry pros like Rebecca Foust and Todd Davis.

Finally, thanks to Straight Forward Poetry for including all three of my books on their 2015 Poetry Shopping List.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Wakening, for Nepal

With the loss of life so high in Nepal, and especially with the loss of so many climbers on Mt. Everest, Nina Romano of Bridle Path Press has decided to re-post my poem "Wakening" on the press's Poet's Corner. "Wakening" originally appeared in Rattle.

I hope this poem can be of some comfort to someone during this crisis, and the aftermath, which lasts for so much longer than those of us whose daily lives are unaffected can imagine.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Straight Forward

Somehow I missed this, the posting of my straightforward answers to some questions about my favorites in poetry, asked over at Straight Forward: A Poetry Publisher, as part of their April Poetry Month goings-on. Thanks to Lindsey Lewis Smithson for including me!

And the Winner Is . . .

Thanks to all 31 people who participated in my drawing for the Big Poetry Giveaway 2015. I'm happy to announce that the winners are:

1) Guy, who will receive a signed copy of my book, Mendeleev's Mandala;

2) and Juliet Carpenter, who will receive Cynthia Arrieu-King's People are Tiny in Paintings of China.

Congratulations to Guy and Julia; I will contact each of you by email to make arrangements to send your prizes.

And thanks to everyone else for playing. I hope you were winners in some of the other drawings sponsored by other poets as part of the Big Poetry Giveaway 2015.