So, somehow, some way, our household of two cats has become four! Welcome to Bennie (short for Benedetta) and Loki (Yes, named after the trickster in mythology!). How are Ali and Charly adjusting to the new kittens? Ali loves them, treating them like her own kittens -- washing them, wrestling with them, teaching them how to get into trouble. Charly, on the other hand, wants to pretend they don't exist. In her mind, she is still Queen of this castle!
The newest issue of Storm Cellar is here! I have a short nonfiction prose piece titled, "Phoebe Cates's Bikini" in this issue, which joins great work by writers Jeff Burt, Andrew Cox, Sarah Sloat, Jim Davis, and Stacy Graber (just to name a few).
This issue also features a fascinating art portfolio, titled Barbie Falls on Hard Times by Kari Gunter-Seymour. Editor and Publisher, Sidney T. Sheehan describes Gunter-Seymour's work: "Change is all too real. Suppose Barbie were a real young woman, stuck with her own impossible beauty ideal and a life’s many disappointments: Kari Gunter-Seymour’s photo portfolio won’t let us look away. How familiar she is! We even feel for her a little…" The artist herself talks a bit about her work here.
Copies of Storm Cellar may be purchased here, through Etsy.
Last week, when I started my advanced poetry workshop under poet Shara McCallum, she talked a little about Love That Dog by Sharon Creech, a thin children's book that describes a small boy named Jack who does not want to write poetry because "poetry is for girls." The book then follows Jack as he learns to love the art of poetry through both the works of some famous poets and his own writing.
I loved this book so much so that I may buy copies of this book in bulk next Christmas and give it to every child I know. It's not just that the book was such a good story; it also said a lot about the poetry world and poetry writing in general.
In our class these past two weeks, we have spent a lot of time with form -- exploring forms that I already knew, forms I knew but never have accomplished, and forms I never really thought about before. I'm happy to report that in the last two weeks, I wrote two sestinas, a form I teach, I read, but have never managed to finish. Now, I have to admit that neither sestina is especially any good, and indeed, one is probably going to be revised into a more open verse form, but I'm still happy that I managed to finish them. I also managed to revise three other poems and are working on two others. So, this poetry break was good for me and my writing.
In other news, Rochelle Hurt spent some time on the Best American Poetry website this past week talking about many poetry topics, but certainly one that is near and dear to my heart: a Rust Belt poet's relationship to their home and their work. Read "The Aesthetics of Ruin" for a discussion of this relationship as well as some notes about poets who write about debris.
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.