Queen of Cups’ second issue, featuring poet Jeannine Hall Gailey, went out last Wednesday to 357 subscribers. Besides our weekly tarot card and writing prompt, this week’s issue will feature poet Carol Edelstein with two micro fictions. Under the title after Sarraute, Edelstein’s Tropisms were inspired by the vignettes of the same name written by Russian born French writer Nathalie Sarraute in the 1960s. Tropism is defined as ‘the response of an organism to an external stimulus by growth in a direction determined by the stimulus’. Sarraute’s and Edelstein’s Tropisms are small character sketches, brief depictions of relational dynamics, family tableau, vignettes rich with detail. Edelstein’s Tropisms delve into that terrain where an organism, in this case a person, is shaped by external stimuli in the form of environment and other people. Queen of Cups will feature two of Edelstein’s Tropisms, both lush with sensual detail, focused on a moment or string of moments, and somewhat mysterious. Flash or micro fiction, it seems to me, can’t operate on the same principles as the average short story, can’t achieve the same ends. There’s not much room to develop character and plot. Something has to go, the whole must be compressed. Micro fiction is the love child of the narrative poem and the short story, but like all children, has its own quirky personality, leading its parents to shake their heads and say ‘I don’t know where she came from’. Edelstein’s Tropisms contain this mix of heredity and unmistakable originality. You’re in for a treat!
Last night’s poetry reading at the APE Gallery with three amazing woman poets was a huge success! There were well over 60 people, all chairs taken, many standing, with several wandering in off the street. It didn’t hurt that Northampton was in full summer weekend revelry. It was like a block party down there. I may have to rethink my bias against reading first, it was a great slot. The audience was enthusiastic and putting out some great energy. The variety of tone, subject matter and style of the poems, coupled with the short 15 minute readings made for one of the best readings I’ve ever been to, let alone been part of. I’d like to thank photographer Kate Way for her photography, Susan Kan for pulling together such a successful event, my fellow readers Carol Edelstein, Amy Dryansky and Michelle Valois, all talented, smart, kind and supportive. And a big thank you to the audience for choosing a poetry reading over all the other exciting, more fun, things you could have been doing on a warm night in August. You bolstered my spirits!
I got word yesterday that my proposal for a workshop, titled: The Found Poetry Workshop was accepted for inclusion in this fall’s Amherst Poetry Festival. The workshop will be 1 to 1.5 hours of prompts that give the poet a little something to start with, or, in the Cento’s case, the entire poem cribbed from other sources. I taught a (much) longer version of this workshop early in the summer and was amazed at the stunning poems my poet/students produced. They were a little amazed too. The Amherst Poetry Festival takes place the first weekend in October. More to come on the time, place and particulars of my workshop.
Join me and fellow poets Carol Edelstein, Amy Dryansky and Michelle Valois for a summer reading at the APE Gallery (126 Main Street) in Northampton, MA. We are reading in conjunction with an exhibit by photographer Kate Way. The event is August 7th at 7:30 p.m. Each poet will read for 15 minutes and I’m kicking things off so come on time if you want to hear me read some new work! Wine, snacks and your opportunity to peruse books and photos will follow. I want to thank Susan Kan of Perugia Press for organizing this event and inviting me to read. Perugia Press has been dedicated to publishing poetry by women since 1997. And the work is truly important, especially with the loss of presses like University of Akron Press, edited and led by women.
Perugia poets have won the PEN center USA award, PEN New England Award, and the James Laughlin Award, to name a few. I love Perugia books! This, from the website: “And when confronted with the statistics about gender inequality in publishing, it’s clear we have work to do. Some people believe the reason for discrepancies between men and women is that men are simply writing better books. At Perugia Press, we are convinced otherwise and are doing our part to tip the scales into balance.
Pulitzer Prize for Poetry: 73% male winners, 27% female winners
Nobel Prize in Literature: 89% male winners, 11% female winners
National Book Critics Circle Award: 65% male winners, 35% female winners
Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award: 70% male winners, 30% female winners
Poets Laureate of the United States: 75% men, 25% women”