The folks at Mass Poetry have been kind enough to spotlight Split the Crow in this feature on their website. The piece includes a pretty in-depth interview about my newest collection and my life as a poet in general. There’s also an audio reading of one poem and text of a different poem, both from Split the Crow. It’s a nice Monday gift to be featured by the largest poetry organization supporting poets in Massachusetts. Thanks Mass Poetry!
Paula Cary of the blog Poet Hound has kindly written and posted a review of Split the Crow. For all of you who don’t eat, sleep and breathe poetry or agonize over such things as reviews, selling a few books, and giving a reading once in a while, let me tell you, getting a review for a book of poetry seems as challenging as convincing a six-year-old to visit the dentist. No, I’m not comparing reviewers to six-year-olds, but it is tough out here in the trenches.
Two poems from Split the Crow are in the current issue of the literary journal Dogwood. One is up on their site, the other only available in print.
Just a reminder that I’ll be the ‘Celebrity Mentor’ this week (April 20-26) on the Tethered by Letters forum. I’ve already posted a poem by Traci Brimhall to get the ball rolling. Bring your poetry questions, discussion, pet peeves, word preoccupations, etc. and we’ll talk shop. I’ve been fascinated lately with words that have origins in Gaelic, old English, Celtic, Welsh, many are nature oriented. These words somehow sound beautifully sharp and thin (lots of s, n, th, r) while also carrying a heft of meaning. If that makes sense. Anyone with more knowledge in these things than I have is welcome to start a discussion, and educate me, about the etymology of the region. I’m considering learning Gaelic, a language my Scottish Highland ancestors would have spoken. I’m that much of a history/etymology/genealogy geek that I’d learn a language because it probably sounded beautiful spoken by my 11th great grandmother. I better get busy, I also have Portuguese, Greek, and French ancestry.
The week of April 20-26 I will be the guest ‘celebrity’ mentor on the Tethered by Letters forum. I’ll be popping in to field questions and engage in dialogue about writing, publishing, the suffering inherent in both. Come on over and we’ll chat about poetry. We can chat about fiction too, I’ve written that, I’m just not as good at it. Plot, dialogue, conflict, character development…. oh look at the pretty bird, the bird died with its wings outstretched, I wonder if there’s a word for that arched bone, or maybe it’s a muscle…. You get the idea. In the comments’ section of my elementary school report cards, all my teachers wrote ‘daydreams too much’. What the hell! I was working!
First off, I’d like to send a heartfelt ‘Thank You’ to all who came out for my book launch and reading on Monday night. The subject matter of Split the Crow is solemn, sad, at times disturbing, but important to bear witness to and acknowledge. Thank you all for your willingness to share the stories with me. It was so nice to meet some of you, I wish we’d had longer to chat.
I have been asked to fill in for another poet in the Collected Poets Series which takes place this Thursday, April 2, 7 p.m. at Mocha Maya’s in Shelburne Falls. The poet Laura Foley will also be reading, 20 minutes each. I’ll read a handful of poems from Split the Crow and some girl/women-centric poems, completely different in tone, from a new manuscript I’ve just finished. The Collected Poets Series is super fun and intimate, coffee-house-style poetry reading with the coffee! Yay! And Thursday’s weather looks to be sunny and “warm”.
****UPDATE***** I won’t be attending the Berkshire Book Expo on Sunday. A recent cold has run me down and I want to be in strong reading condition for my book launch on Monday night (see below). Book launch is still happening!
A reminder for anyone who will be in my neck of the woods, western Mass., on Sunday and/or Monday. On Sunday, March 29th from 1-5 pm I’ll be at the Crowne Plaza in Pittsfield for the Berkshire Festival of Women Writers first book expo. I will have my three books for sale, all $14, along with three original 19th century diaries belonging to Esther Small (pictured above) on display for you to get a look at; her published 1886 diary, which I transcribed, researched and explicated, appears above. The Diary of Esther Small, 1886 won this year’s New England Book Festival Award for Regional Literature. I’m donating copies of Split the Crow and The Diary of Esther Small to the expo auction, all money will benefit future festivals. I’ll also be signing books. I should probably come up with a standard ‘message’, but, alas, me being me, they all end up a little different, a little strange. And my signature is never the same twice….
On Monday March 30th at 7 pm, I’ll be at Amherst Books launching Split the Crow with a reading and signing. This is also my honorary reading for winning the 11th annual Anne Halley Poetry Prize given by The Massachusetts Review for poems published in the previous year’s issue. I’ll read for about 45 minutes, interspersing some history with the poems, and I would love to talk to some kindred spirits afterward: that will be my reward for being the one at the lectern. Truly, it would be great to meet some of you. And though the Emily Dickinson Museum, located further down the same road, is closed on Mondays (boo) you can at least get a look at her house. And, if you turn left after ED’s house, and drive about 1/2 mile, you can visit her grave. Dickinson is buried beside her sister Lavinia, her mother and father. Bring a trinket to leave because, if you’re like me, when you find yourself standing before her grave you’ll be moved to make some kind of gesture. My 15-year-old made a short film starring me as the transparent ghost of Emily Dickinson, with footage of the gravesite. It lasts as long as the short ED poem I recite. Come on Monday and we’ll talk about that too. And maybe I’ll let you know where you can see the film!