Thursday, February 25, 2016

Poetry Update: Chapbook, Marge Piercy, Haiku, etc.

It's way past time to update the old blog, especially since I've directed a few new poetry friends to check it out. So here are some updates and news:

1. My chapbook, Hits and Sacrifices, is still pending publication - the original release date was January 8 but was pushed back by Finishing Line Press due to some printer problems, and I suspect a backlog of publication jobs. A few fellow poets have told me they have also experienced delays recently. I did get final galleys just today, but they still need a couple of minor corrections. I'm hoping now that the book will be out to coincide with baseball's Opening Day.

2. I recently signed up for, and was accepted for, an intensive three-day workshop with Marge Piercy this October in Cape Cod. This will be the second time I've had the opportunity to work with Marge - I took a week-long workshop with her back in the summer of 2012. She's a great teacher and a fascinating woman, so I'm looking forward to it.

3. Not much going on submission-wise, partly due to my own laziness.  I'm waiting to hear from my friends Nancy Posey and Jane Shlensky to see if any of my three poems submitted will appear in their planned anthology of narrative poetry, The Well-Versed Reader.  

4. I didn't make the cut this year for the Poetic Asides Poem-a-day Challenge anthology, Poem Your Heart Out, even though I did get a poem in last year's edition.  I did have four poems make the daily list of top 10 finalists, though, and a few friends also made it into the book, like my aforementioned friends Nancy and Jane, as well as Joseph Harker.  Oh well, at least now I can shop my better poems from that month elsewhere.

5. I mentioned in a previous blog entry that three of my poems that were accepted by the Art of Poetry project at the Hickory (NC) Art Museum. Here's a link to their website which features one of the three poems and the photo that inspired it. I was unable to make the live event, but my friend Nancy Posey read the poem for me. I was also happy when I sent a copy of that poem to my friend and mentor Jane Hirshfield, and she loved it.

6. I have been writing a haiku a day this month for National Haiku Writing Month (NaHaiWriMo), and participating on a Facebook page run by haiku poet Michael Dylan Welsh. He gives us daily word prompts and has been running through the alphabet (a letter each month). This month's letter is Z, which makes for some intriguing word prompts. I'll post a few examples of mine below.

7. I've been invited to participate as a featured poet at this year's Collingswood Book Festival here in NJ in October. It's a one-day street fair (weather permitting) that features local, regional and national authors and poets, booksellers, kid's activities, and so forth, and is always a great day out. This year's headliner is Gregory Pardlo, recent Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and South Jersey native.  There's a "poetry tent" that offers poetry-related activities all day, and I will be part of a group who will be reading poetry about baseball.  (My chapbook should be out be then!)  Here's a link if you want to know more about it. (Last year's events still appear there, but they give you an idea of what it's all about. Last year's special guest was Matthew Quick, who is another South Jersey native, and the author of Silver Linings Playbook.)

As promised, here are some samples of the haiku/senryu I have written this month:

[Feb. 2 prompt: zazen]

melting snow
forms fog on the hill -
morning trance

[Feb. 7 prompt: zenith]

sniff in brightly-lit snow -
hunger moon

[Feb. 11 prompt: zest]

grating lemon zest
for the cake icing -
her smile

[Feb. 12 prompt: zeugma]

icy morning -
my plans frozen
with the car door lock

[Feb. 15 prompt: zinfandel]

my respect for you -
like a wine connoisseur
for white zinfandel

[Feb. 22 prompt: zodiac]

you the lion
versus me the bull -
we make it work

[Feb. 26 prompt: zucchini]

neighborhood gardens -
there's always someone who brings
surplus zucchini