Cirque Calder poems at New Orleans Review

A mentor showed me this film last February, and I spent that spring in slight obsession with Alexander Calder. I read and watched and looked and wondered and then wrote too many poems about him, especially his circus. New Orleans Review features two: “Cirque Calder Encore, 1970” and “Curiosities of Cirque Calder, 1927 on.”

If you’d like to get obsessed with Calder too (and haven’t already), I’d suggest visiting the Whitney Museum’s Calder page.

I made a film!

Susan J. Erickson has red cowboy boots and impeccable diction. She’s a poet hero of mine who I met back in the land of Douglas fir, though we’re both ladies of the 10,000 lakes.

Sue won the Brick Road Poetry Press prize last year, and her book, Lauren Bacall Shares a Limousine, is out now. Her collection of lady persona poems is tonally diverse, smart, and powerful.

Sue asked me to make a book trailer for her. We chose to work with her poem “Rapunzel Brings Her Women’s Studies Class to the Tower” partially because I now live near a giant bell tower and tracts of forest, but mostly because this poem is a linchpin poem. Rapunzel is trying to “relinquish the rib of victimhood.” She pushes back against the story we tell about her. She tells her class “your voices are searchlights that can sweep the horizon to reveal fault lines and illuminate passage.” What a good lesson.

“Recovering” in The Hopper

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Once, I lived alone in a house by the sea for free. I thought the place was haunted in a good way. Deer in the meadow visited often. I couldn’t drink the water so I didn’t think much of the well, until I found out it was uncovered. I found out because a deer fell in.

“Recovering” dreams an ending for that doe.

I’m in love with The Hopper. A talented group publishes beautiful pieces, all with an ecological focus. I hope you get lost in their archives and check back often.

Image: Deer in the Forest I | Franz Marc | {PD-US}

“After Leaving, Before Arrival” in The Quieting

Friends, I’ve finally entered the letterpressed world. Platypus Press just finished pressing and sewing these beauuutiful books called The Quieting: an anthology of softness and light — ten poets, ten poems. I’m in love with the compression/lightness/texture of this project, and I’m beyond grateful to have been included, and to have received my copy in my mailbox today. My poem “After Leaving, Before Arrival” is about leaving home with my love to head east this summer, about decisions, precipice, and faith.

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If you love art, poems, and/or gorgeous objects, I recommend you buy one of these 50 books. They’re $5, and the book will cross an ocean to be yours.

Earlier this year…

front-cover-full-for-web-or-screen-1-200x300While at WWU for my MFA, I took a class from Brenda Miller on autobiography and photography, which led me to hand-make an accordion book covered in maps, juxtaposing NASA Landsat images of the Mississippi River with family photos and memory vignettes. The WWU MFA program has a “multi-genre” focus, meaning lines usually drawn to separate types of writing and art break down. Bellingham Review, the grad literary journal at WWU, recently opted to open hybrid submissions. As WWU English TAs, we asked our students to expand their concept of a “text.” (Our word “text” comes from the Latin for “to weave”—texere.) Students asked questions about how design and juxtaposition and delivery affect their understanding of a work as a whole.

Earlier this year, Brenda asked me if I might be interested in designing her latest book from Judith Kitchen’s Ovenbird Press, An Earlier Life. As a graduate of the MFA program she helped found, with its focus on hybridity and form, I care even more deeply about words, and I have also come to care deeply about the book or vessel that allows these words to meet their readers.

I read and reread Brenda’s manuscript, and months later I’m still stunned by An Earlier Life‘s accumulation of wild places, sacred moments, aches, and questions. Her book is beautiful, and I was honored to set it to the page. Come celebrate Brenda’s book launch Friday night, 4/15, at Village Books, 7:00 p.m!

Oh, and I’ll read poems Thursday night, 4/14, at Village Books, 7:00 p.m. for Noisy Water‘s almost-final poetry month mega-reading.

 

Noisy Water Reading at Lummi Island Library

WPA Cover FINAL for media 300 dpiThis Saturday, poets will descend on the Lummi Island Library as part of Whatcom poetry anthology Noisy Water‘s no-town-left-behind reading series. I’m delighted to read alongside Luther Allen (co-conspirator with JI Kleinberg of this community poetry extravaganza), and my former professors Suzanne Paola and Bruce Beasley, as well as a few other wonderful poets.

Reading starts at 7:30!

For more information, check out Other Mind Press’s Noisy Water site.