My poem, “In Hospice,” was one of six finalists for the 2020 Prime Number Magazine Poetry Award. My daughter took a photograph of the event that inspired the poem, my mother’s first meeting of her great granddaughter as my mother lay dying.
The Midwest Quarterly, out of Pittsburgh, Kansas, had rejected 16 batches of my poems going back to 2005. Yesterday, editor Lori Martin accepted two poems, “Storm” (about a shell-shocked Iraq war veteran during a thunderstorm) and “Insomniac’s Lullaby,” a disguised pantoum, for an upcoming issue. Missourians are supposed to be stubborn, but Kansas-born poets also can be hard to discourage.
I am honored to be reading with the Swedish-American poet and translator Malena Mörling online on June 19, 2020 at 5:30 PM. Malena Mörling has received Guggenheim and Lannan literary fellowships. The online event is sponsored by SOMOS (somostaos.org).
Saturday, June 20, 2020, from 10 am to 1 pm, I will be conducting an online workshop on the ghazal form under the auspices of the Society of the Muse of the Southwest (SOMOS). The ghazal (pronounced “guzzle”) is a centuries-old Arabic couplet form that has become popular in American contemporary poetry. To register, go to:
M. Scott Douglass has been publishing Main Street Rag out of Charlotte, NC, for almost a quarter century (1996). Although I have entered his chapbook contest more than once, the poem he accepted, “House,” was my first submission to the magazine. He also offers a full book prize and has his own press and offers book design and printing services. The one thing he states he won’t do is repair bibles. At the moment, he’s got quite a rant on his Bulletin Board.
I was honored to be asked again to partner with a Vivo Contemporary Gallery artist for its Giving Voice to Image exhibition. The project is a collaboration of art and ekphrastic poetry. For my part, I visited Tracy King’s studio and selected a painting of hers to compose a poem about. (The resulting poem is called “Dolphin Thought.”)The show opens in March, and on April 3 at 5:30 pm will be the first of two readings where the poets and the artists present their work. The show will be commemorated in a publication. Among the other poets I am proud to be among in this project are Diane Castiglioni, Gary Worth Moody, Barbara Rockman, and Jeanne Simonoff. The second reading will be May 1 at 5:30 at Vivo, 725 Canyon Road in Santa Fe.
I don’t know how editor Edward Byrne does it, as I’m sure his well-known journal is as inundated with poetry manuscripts as any other, but he usually renders a decision within a fortnight of my sending. Mostly, for me, it’s been rejections, but this time he accepted “Apple Tree–” for the Summer 2020 issue of Valparaiso Review. The name of this journal for me conjures a few days spent last year in Chile’s picturesque seaside town of this name with amazing murals climbing the hills. However, this magazine’s Valparaiso is a small college town in Indiana, many miles from any ocean.
The poet Brian Daldorph, a British native and long time editor of Coal City Review, has honored me with the publication in issue 43 of a poem and a super review of my book, Previous Lives, by Maryfrances Wagner. The poem is a pantoum about man who compulsively steals subway trains. The review says lots of positive things. To find out more about Coal City Review, go to: https://coalcitypress.wordpress.com/about/
The distinguished magazine, Stand, edited on both sides of the Atlantic and produced out of Leeds University, Great Britain, accepted a poem I’ve been working on quite a while. “Getting the Right Tone” has its roots in a European train trip, and has evolved from lined verse to a prose poem. I hope to see fellow Sandy Point Writer Resident Mary Gilliland’s work in the same issue, as I know her poem(s) also made it past the first cut on this side of the Atlantic.
Happy was I to find in my black mailbox my contributor’s copy of the 13th Edition of the I-70 review! This Kansas City, Missouri-based magazine, is edited by Gary Leichliter, Greg Field, and my friend, Maryfrances Wagner, who also did the surreal cover art collage. This edition is chock full of my poet friends. There’s prolific Walter Bargen, Woodley Press’ Al Ortolani, and, from Emporia, Kevin Rabas (currently serving as KS poet laureate). Also, poems by William Sheldon, who edited my book Horsetail, and his talented son, Tyler Sheldon are included. Alarie Tennille from The Writers’ Place is in it as well is my BGSU MFA program classmate, Phil Sterling. The poems of mine in this journal are atypical–one is a prose poem, one is about leaf-cutter ants with a veiled reference to the moving forest in Macbeth, and the 3rd has purple lemurs and clueless scientists.