Monday, December 5, 2011

Some Good Poetry News

1. Verse Wisconsin has accepted two of my poems, "Ghosts" and "Downsizing", for a future issue, probably next fall because of their seasonal subjects. I met the editor, Sarah Busse, at the West Chester Poetry Conference last summer and she's a fine person who runs a fine journal, which exists both in print and online. I'm happy to be part of it.

2. I just found out today that I have been accepted into a week-long intensive workshop run by poet and author Marge Piercy, next June on Cape Cod. I'm excited because she is one of my favorite contemporary poets. We may make a family vacation out of it, and she's one of my wife's favorite poets too, so maybe she'll get to meet her as well. I'm honored because only twelve people will be selected for the workshop.

3. My friend Anna Evans, who has worn several editor's hats, had to suspend her excellent online formal poetry journal The Barefoot Muse, but she just finished compiling a print anthology of the best of the journal, and my poem "Your Missing Piece" (a sonnet about my wife's breast cancer surgery) will appear in it. It promises to be a really good collection of poetry - here's the link if you are interested:

4. My poem "Six-word Spoilers" appears in the January 2012 issue of Writer's Digest, in Robert Brewer's column "Poetic Asides". The poem is a series of short three-line poems called "hay(na)ku": the first line has one word, the second line two words, the third line three words. That's it. For space reasons, they printed only the first four stanzas of the eight in my poem, which was okay, since it's really a series of ha(nay)ku, but for the record, here's the whole thing:

Six-word Spoilers

Kane’s sled -
who’d have thought?

tells Luke:
“I’m your father.”

slashes folks
dressed as Mom.

finds ruined
Statue of Liberty.

Dr. Malcolm,
is a ghost.

night shocker -
Dil’s a man!

suspect – Verbal
is Keyser Soze.

Soylent Green?
Yuck! It’s people!

And here's a bonus poem. I just discovered a blog called The Sunday Whirl, where they do a weekly writing prompt based on "Wordle", a writing exercise where you're given a word bank and instructed to use as many of those words as you can in a poem. I love doing these kinds of prompts, and several of my friends from the Poetic Asides blog participate, so I thought I'd give it a shot. Here's my first attempt (the underlined words are from the word bank). Pardon the double-spacing - my settings suddenly got a little goofy and I didn't know how to fix them:


December, you subtle beast,

you corner us on the precipice

of winter before we have an inkling

of what's happening, then surprise us

one morning with vanilla-crusted ground

and trees laden with frosting.

You may wish us to tremble in awe,

but we won't genuflect to your power.

We're made of thicker bark than that.

We'll hunker down when real winter comes.

it's our mission to make the most of it -

a hot pot of tea on a trivet,

an amorous evening before the fire.