April is just around the corner -- which means we all should be celebrating National Poetry Month! Here are some ways to remember the importance that poetry should play in all of our lives.
1. Buy a poetry book. Heck, buy two or three.
2. Give a poetry book to a friend, especially a friend who says she or he doesn't understand poetry.
3. Write a poetry book review. It doesn't have to be a formal review, although many, many journals would welcome more reviews. Instead, post your thoughts on your blog, Goodreads, or Amazon.
4. Reread some of your old favorites. (For me, that would be The Palace of Ashes by Sherry Fairchok and Incident at the Edge of Bayonet Woods by Paula Bohince. However, I am also planning on revisiting work by poets Jane Springer, Todd Davis, Carrie Fountain and Keith Ekiss)
5. Take part in the Big Poetry Giveway where poets across the blogging world post free copies of poetry books. I have had fun with this for years and have discovered many new poets! Poet Kelli Russell Agodon coordinates this event every year and you can check out the guidelines here. Stay tuned for my Giveaway which I will post sometime at the start of April.
After weeks upon weeks of freezing weather, we are finally melting. I am seeing patches of grass after months (no kidding, months) of snow. The local creek is rising, with spring melt and rain and ice jams, but luckily the cold water is staying within its banks. This morning, I saw my first robin.
The official first day of spring is a few days away, but I want spring now. It's been such a long winter.
In the meantime, I am reading the latest issue of Whiskey Island which features two of my poems, "To the Girl Who Wanted to Be a Roadside Weed" and "The Girl Who Parted Mill Creek With Her Toes." This issue also has great work by Melissa Broder, Adam Day, Kristina Marie Darling, and John Gallaher.
I just finished reading the latest issue of The Naugatuck River Review which contains all the winning poems from the journal's annual contest. This year's contest was judged by Monica Hand. I'm thrilled that my poem, "The Girl on the Fire Escape" was a finalist!
I'm excited to announce that my poem, "Yellowjackets" is the featured poem in this week's American Life in Poetry column.
American Life in Poetry is a weekly column for newspapers and online publications featuring a poem by a contemporary American poet. Poems are chosen by former Poet Laureate Ted Kooser, who also writes a brief introduction for each work. My poem joins other archived work by some of my favorite poets including Todd Davis, Gabriel Welsch, Jim Daniels, Peggy Shumaker, and Amy Fleury.
"Yellowjackets" was born at Chautauqua Lake a few years ago when I was trying to find a more lyrical voice in my writing. I introduced this poem during a poetry workshop and was surprised (but pleased) by the feedback I got from my peers. It was originally published in Poetry East.
The latest issue of Blue Lyra Review features my review of Justin Hamm's Lessons in Ruin. Stop by and read my review. Then, take a look at the rest of the great work found in the issue! (There is a review of Jamaal May's Hum, a book that I just have to read!)
Here, on the home front, I have posted a review of The Arranged Marriage, the latest collection by Jehanne Dubrow. I have been a great fan of Dubrow's work for years now, and do I dare say it? This latest collection may be my favorite yet! You can read what I have to say under my Book Picks link.
I am a poet and professor from rural Pennsylvania. This page is dedicated to my publishing news and events; for book reviews published online go to the Reviews tab above. For my own personal reviews, explore the Book Picks tab.