Friday link roundup

March 2nd, 2018

We’re back from Canada. My son’s team got knocked out in the third round, partly because illness swept through the team, but including exhibition matches they ended up playing nine games on North American ice against some high quality teams and in spite of the early out, a good time was had by all. Even by the kids who got sick. And by the parents who got sick. And by the coach who got sick. Like I said, illness swept, it swept like a gold medalist curler. I ended up with mild pneumonia but am back on my feet now (mostly). Here’s some of what I’ve been inspired by, when I haven’t been coughing up a lung and sweating through my sheets:

Ordinary Beast by Nicole Sealey.

Bettering American Poetry vol 2 arrived while I was away and all I can say is, wow. Wow, there are some powerfully good poems here.

The poem “Mostly I’d like to be a spider web” by CT Salazar up at Cotton Xenomorph. Many of the poems up at Cotton Xenomorph, actually.

Fifteen poets on revision, from The Millions.

At Literary Hub, new poetry by indigenous women, a new series curated by Natalie Diaz.

This list of literary podcasts from Electric Literature. Some, like Between the Covers and fiction/non/fiction, I was already familiar with but I’m excited about so many new-to-me options like Lit Up, AAWW Radio by Asian American Writers’ Workshop, and Overdue.

And unrelated to writing at all, this bird’s-eye view of Nashville Predators goaltender Pekke Rinne is my new go-to talk to the hand video for people who think goalies “just stand there.”

Friday link roundup

January 19th, 2018

Some of what’s inspiring me this week:

I can’t remember the first poems that made me aware of Chelsea Dingman’s work, but I do remember reading them and immediately adding her name to a running list of “poets to keep an eye on” I have. My heart does a little leap each time I find a new poem by Chelsea, and this week’s find is this stunner, “Notes on Inheritance,” in Guernica.

If you want more poetry than I can possibly throw at you, follow Kaveh Akbar on Twitter (@KavehAkbar) (if you’re a Twitter user. If you’re not, it might be worth setting up an account just to follow him, it’s that good.)

Only Bread, Only Light by Stephen Kuusisto.

Love Poem Without a Drop of Hyperbole in It” by Traci Brimhall in The New Yorker – the link goes to directly to The New Yorker so if you’re not a subscriber it will use up one of your free allowed monthly articles, but I say it’s worth it. But I wanted to give everybody a fair head’s up.

The poem “Stings” by Sylvia Plath.

This interview with Jericho Brown at New Letters On The Air. His generous spirit comes right through my speakers, I think I’d be blown over flat if I ever got to be in the same room as him. (GOALS!)

Even Pines Have Crowns” by Hannah Vanderhart in Cotton Xenomorph.

I’d very much like to attend a writers’ residency this year, so this article at Brevity on how to prepare for a future residency is very helpful right now. You should read the whole thing (and follow their fantastic links to more advice) but some big take-aways are: even if you don’t have anyplace in mind yet, get your CV and list of publications up to date and start formulating an artist’s statement. That way if you suddenly find a great residency with an application deadline rapidly approaching, you’ll have the solid basics of an application in decent shape already.

 

Friday link roundup

January 5th, 2018

Just some of what I’ve been reading, listening to, or thinking about this week:

The Beauty of the Husband by Anne Carson.

Via Kelli Russesl Agodon’s Twitter (@KelliAgodon), this blog post by Marilyn McCabe on putting together a poetry manuscript.

Of Those Who Can’t Afford To Be Gentle” by Chelsea Dingman at wildness.

This great big list of poets who are getting back into blogging in 2018, inspired by Donna Vorreyer and Kelli Russell Agodon, generously put together by Donna Vorreyer.

Paying to Play: On Submission Fees in Poetry Publishing” by Rachel Mennies at The Millions.

Micro-reviews of poetry over at One Great Things.

Reading Jane Kenyon

April 8th, 2017

I’ve been reading Jane Kenyon’s Collected Poems lately; I have something to learn from her, from how she wrote out of her quiet life poems that spoke to and beyond that life. For example, “Afternoon in the House” with its final stanza –

“The house settles down on its haunches
for a doze.
I know you are with me, plants,
and cats – and even so, I’m frightened,
sitting in the middle of perfect
possibility.”

The house is quiet, the cats and plants too, and so is the speaker. She turns on a radio but then turns it off again, wanting no noise but that of “the sound of a voice reading a poem.” Kenyon is attentive to the position of the cats, the tilt of a flower, the quality of sound or silence in the room. She’s not afraid to write a poem that stays in that room, that seems small – but isn’t, of course, because it extends out into that final moment of “perfect / possibility.” It’s frightening, the possibility, the going out of the quiet room, but Kenyon lets the poem open to the possibility. The quiet certainly of the room rubbing up against the expansiveness of possibility charges the poem. Kenyon’s quiet is deceptive, the way the stillness of a woman, in writing or in life, is often deceptive. I’m trying to take apart her poems and see how she performs that balancing act.