Saturday, July 19, 2008

More discoveries

The Page!!!

Links to all things poetry -- articles, zines, reviews, new work by major poets, essays and interviews. All neatly organized and click-through-able. Links to articles on poets and poetry begin with a quote and the author and magazine in bold, so you get a quick sampling of what's available and can click through to the full text. Left and right sidebars link to publications and new work. Of course, it's mostly the usual suspects, Poetry, The Atlantic, The Guardian and The New Yorker, etc., but they go so far into the small press world as to link to Silliman's blog and Every Other Day. It's a useful site, if heavily skewed to the establishment.

Today I received in the mail Paul Hostovsky's excellent chapbook Dusk Outside the Braille Press. I'm not going to review it here, but I will say I had high expectations and it does not disappoint. You would not be sorry to order it.

I've also been re-reading Barbara Crooker's poignant and joyful new book, Line Dance. And having delicious advance peeks at the manuscripts of two friends. I really recommend manuscript swapping. It's an intense and educational process, considering a work that's still in progress and asking yourself what you might comment on that could be useful. I'm still working on my comments (you know who you are -- if you're reading this blog, you'll be hearing from me soon) because I want to offer ideas that will honor these beautiful books-in-the-making.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Slow responses

No, not my reflexes. The dearth of answers I've received to date for a fleet of poetry submittals I sent in spring. Buoyed by ever-expansive spring thoughts of cracking new markets and bouncing off my flock of poems generated by the poem-a-day writing exercise of April (National Poetry Month), I sent out sheafs of paper. That was more or less four months ago.

Even my April and May email subs have yet to garner responses! Is there something about my work that just makes editors thoughtful? Or makes them fold up the pages and sail paper planes out the window?

Or is it the state of spring submissions -- the glut that heavies editorial desks from coast to coast, clogs in-boxes and generally slows down the gears?

I even have some things sent in February outstanding. I'm guessing it's not just me, but the state of poetry publishing.

And yet I find it a hopeful sign that so many people are writing poems. Who wouldn't want to live in a world where every other person you meet has a notebook or two full of poems?

In other news, I've just discovered a poet new to me whose work I find stunning: Paul Hostovsky. Check out this sampling of poems from our very own Umbrella, in the spring 2007 issue. I've ordered a book. Watch this poet -- big things ahead, in my opinion.

Monday, July 14, 2008


Over at Diane Lockward's Blogalicious, a three-part article on print magazines that read in the summer. But if you can summon the energy to submit in July, you're a more ambitious writer than I.

Karen Weyant at Scrapper Poet in her "After the Fourth" entry laments summer's general lack of literary industriousness.

And here I am blogging, when I should be licking stamps. Or editing. Or typing up all those poems on scraps of notepaper at the bottom of my purse. Or at least doing some work for my clients.

But bloghopping this morning I discovered Marie Ponsot and Paul Muldoon, two poets with high attention to sonics and the degree of compression combined with clarity I really like in poetry. And best of all, thanks to Jilly Dybka's Poetry Hut blog, I discovered Marilyn Chin, who has all that plus humor and who is a finalist for California Poet Laureate. I hope she wins.

Poetry ringtones and the Semi-Colon

Over at the FS&G blog, Best Words Best Order, I listened to poetry ringtones, including one recorded by former Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky. I would be embarrassed to have his growled ringtone going off in my purse in the dressing room at Nordstrom, though I admit I would feel fine in the same situation at the hearing Paul Muldoon's alluring Irish brogue. But where is Louise Gluck's poetry ringtone? Naomi Shihab Nye's? Is this just a guy thing? Would the women poets be too wordy?

I would stop my hectic day to listen to a long, complicated ringtone from Billy Collins.


Modern life has killed the semi-colon, Slate opines. The April Fool's hoax that started the discussion was to me less entertaining than the question of what the semi-colon can do that the dash cannot. But if the disappearing semi-colon perturbs you, check this out:



well g/g c ya

If you can't read the above, you are in much bigger trouble than any semi-colon can fix. I can find a place where you download a ringtone of online-speak so you can practice. Or maybe you'd just like a text-message ringtone?