Monday, March 29, 2010

April Showers Bring... Poetry Readings!

Time to blog again! I just wish I had the time to do this more often. Sometimes I do, but then I rationalize by saying, “Nah, my life’s too boring for people to read about every week.” I shouldn’t worry though – I’m sure there are a lot more blogs out there more boring than mine.

April is around the corner, and it looks like it’s going to be a busy poetry month for me. Not only do I plan to do the Poem-a-day Challenge again, but I’ve got a handful of readings and other events lined up in April and into May: April 11 I host my poetry group, the Quick and Dirty Poets, for our monthly meeting. On April 18 Anna Evans and I will read at a place called ABC No Rio in NYC; on April 23 our group reads for the Mad Poets Society at the Big Blue Marble in Philly; and April 30 we have our regular reading series at the Daily Grind in Mt. Holly NJ, featuring poet and Schuylkill Valley Journal editor Bill Wunder. Then on May 2 is the launch party for the new issue of Schuylkill Valley Journal, and on May 16 Kendall Bell and I read at the annual NJ journal festival in Warren County organized by Diane Lockward. I have events coming up in July and December too – more on those later.

I attended the launch party yesterday for US 1 Worksheets at the Princeton Public Library. This is their 55th issue – they’ve been publishing their anthology since 1972. It’s a handsome perfect-bound edition of over 100 pages of excellent poetry – Nancy Scott and the other editors and staff do a fine job every year. (The new issue isn’t on their website as of this writing, but you can still visit them at .) I read my poem from the issue, “Trivia”, and got an enthusiastic response.

We also had our own launch party for our journal, Up and Under: The QND Review, at our regular haunt, the Daily Grind. It was rather sparsely attended, partly because there were other poetry events going on the in area, but we still had a good time. Again, we don’t have this latest issue (#5) on our website yet, but you can visit us by clicking the link on my sidebar.

I got a package of indie music from Amazon which included three new releases: Teen Dream by Beach House, Vol. 2 by She & Him (Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward), and the self-titled album by Broken Bells (James Mercer of The Shins, and “Danger Mouse”). Of those three, my strongest first impression is of Beach House, a really fine collection of dream-pop songs. At times they remind me of The Swell Season without Glen Hansard’s sometimes histrionic singing. Other times they remind me of no one else. Broken Bells is an interesting project and has some occasionally catchy hooks, but I’m still having trouble really warming up to it. She & Him is pleasant if not exceptional – Zooey wrote most of the songs herself this time out, and she deserves credit for that, but some of them are frankly forgettable.

I also got my first ever Chuck Berry collection (the “Definitive Collection” from Chess Records – 30 songs including all of the hits). I was inspired by my son’s school project, in which he was supposed to suggest a modern pop song as a new National Anthem. I suggested Berry’s “Back in the USA” and he ran with it, but it also spurred his interest in the artist as well. He was surprised to learn that two songs by another of his favorite artists, the Beatles (“Rock and Roll Music” and “Roll Over Beethoven”) were not Beatles originals, but covers of Berry songs.

Poem of the Blog: Here’s the one that is in the new issue of US 1 Worksheets:


Who was the first
How many
What is the word for
Who won
When did
Can you name the
Who is the only
In what year did
Where would you find
Which of these is
How many times
Where in the world did you
When did you think
What is the matter with
Why in God’s name
What kind of question
How dare you
Do you expect me
Why should I
How am I supposed to
Who do you think you are?

1 comment:

Nancy said...

Bruce, Is there somewhere I could find your email address? I'd like to ask a couple of questions regarding your experience with publication. NP