OK, here’s the big announcement at least seven of you have been waiting for. This weekend we conducted our highly scientific random drawing to select our winner for the Crafty Poet book giveaway.
Each entrant’s name was written on a slip of paper, folded up and tossed into a well-used AWP Boston tote bag. Much hand-mixing ensued and a lucky entry slip was drawn.
Our giveaway winner is DON ILLICH. Congratulations, Don!
Don recommends Matt Rasmussen’s book, Black Aperture, as the best book of poems he’s read this year. This is a book I
have on my (toweringly high) to-read pile… and will be moving it up to the top on Don’s recommendation.
Don, be sure to email me to claim your book. And stay tuned for more book giveaways to come...
Best-selling children's book author Deborah Diesen interviewed me for her Michigander Monday series on her blog, Jumping the Candlestick
: check it out
We had the chance to talk about all things Michigan, from the Cherry Bowl Drive-in to Schuler Books to the Hopwood Room and the ghosts of great bookstores of the past, like Jocundry's and Shaman Drum.
There's a very nice review of This Time Tomorrow by Claire Trévien in the new issue of The Warwick Review
. She describes the poems in the book as "leviathan poems, mingling past and present in their exploration of the world." I've added an excerpt to the "T3" page
on this site.
This is a special issue featuring "New Poetry from the US" and I'm happy to also have two poems featured there -- an excerpt from the book-length poem I've been working on, as well as a poem from the other new book project I'm starting to see the shape of. It's exciting (and humbling!) to have my work included here as representative of what's happening in American poetry these days.
I buried the lede below, so to reiterate...
Want to win a copy of The Crafty Poet: A Portable Workshop? Be sure to leave a comment on this post or the post below, with your name and the name of the best book of poems you read this year.
I'll pick one winner at random on November 17th.
I’m thrilled to be part of an exciting new anthology, The Crafty Poet: A Portable Workshop
, edited by Diane Lockward
and published by Wind Books.
This book really is a workshop for writers on the go, with writing prompts (and sample poems based on those prompts), craft tips and Q&As contributed by more than 50 poets – from Jeanne Marie Beaumont and Adele Kenny to Baron Wormser, Jane Hirshfield and Jeffrey McDaniel, to list just a few of the names that popped out at me.
The book was inspired by Diane’s blog, Blogalicious
, and her monthly poetry email newsletter, which regularly features poetry prompts and sample poems, craft tips and book recommendations. If you don’t receive her newsletter already, take a second to sign up via her blog (The sign-up box is on the right-hand side of the page).
I’m pleased to have my poem “Still Life,” from Every Possible Blue
, included in the anthology, along with a Q&A that Diane and I did about how I came to write the poem. BOOK LAUNCH IN WEST CALDWELL, NJ THIS SUNDAY
For those in the area, there will be a book launch reading and party this Sunday, November 10th at 2:00 p.m. at the West Caldwell Public Library (30 Clinton Rd., West Caldwell, NJ). Approximately 20 contributors will be on hand to read from the book and sign your copy. (Unfortunately I cannot be there, except in spirit.) WANT TO WIN A COPY OF THE BOOK?
For those who can’t make it to West Caldwell, I will be giving away a copy of The Crafty Poet: A Portable Workshop
at the end of this month. To enter the book giveaway, just leave a comment on this web post that includes your name and the name of the best poetry book you read this year.
(It doesn’t have to be a new book; I just want to know what I should add to my reading list.)
By the way, if I get a good number of responses I may have to make book giveaways a regular thing around here!
Thanks so much to North Chicago Review
and editor Jim Davis (no, not that Jim Davis
) for picking up my poem, "The Names," for their upcoming issue.
I'm especially glad to have found such a good home for this poem because it means a lot to me. I wrote it back in 2011 in response to There Is A Mirror in My Heart
, an exhibition at the Yeshiva University Museum by artist Sebastian Mendes. I wrote at the time about this exhibit
, which Sebastian Mendes created in response to his grandfather's heroic actions.
this poem is also part of the new manuscript I'm starting to work on, so it also feels good to see those manuscript poems getting placed in good journals. Thanks again, NCR
My poem "A Blessing"
was recently featured in the Virginia Quarterly Review's
Instapoetry series on Pinterest:
This little poem has had quite a life. It first appeared in 32 Poems
back in 2009, and was then republished in 2011 in a wonderful anthology of short poems called Bigger than They Appear
. Now here it is on Pinterest via VQR
. (And I think it might be part of a new book manuscript for which I'm slowly figuring out the shape and contents.)For me this was the proverbial "poem that almost wrote itself" -- two quick thoughts coming together and making a spark, and absolutely an occasional poem. I really was mouse-hunting in my apartment in Queens and had recently read this weird fact about cockroaches on one of those tear-off desk calendars that feature vocab words or trivia or cartoons. I wasn't conscious of it at the time, but in retrospect I like the echo of "May you live in interesting times" in the last line. It's definitely that kind of blessing.
Every Possible Blue
and This Time Tomorrow
have each been reviewed recently. I'm always grateful for reviews (positive or otherwise) because they mean someone has taken the time to give my work a close reading, to consider it and mull it over and try to say what it means to her or him.
Susana H. Case takes a close look at EPB
in Word Riot
"Part of the well-crafted nature of these poems is the attention to visual detail; color, yes, many blues, but more than color. He’s the square silver camera / that takes all this in.
(“Hokkaido Photo”) And despite the blues in the poems (the title a reference to Bonnard and the last few words of his
poem about Bonnard, “Still Life,” these are not “the blues,” but rather a music considerably more up-tempo. There is a jazzy resonance in this collection that makes the reader feel she is in a different time period when it was possible to borrow Max Beckmann’s tuxedo."
Check out the full review here
Meanwhile, over in the UK Nigel Jarrett recently reviewed This Time Tomorrow
. The review is not online, unfortunately, but here's a brief excerpt:
"...New Yorker Matthew Thorburn does offer the contemplations and consolations of travel, especially in places where existence is precarious and easily translated into the voyager's sense of impermanence."If all these kind words make you want to read the books yourself
, Amazon is currently offering a discount on Every Possible Blue
, while the best deal on This Time Tomorrow
is to order it directly from Waywiser Press
(free shipping!). You can also get signed copies directly from the author -- just check out the "Tomorrow" or "Blue" pages on this site.
Thanks so much to Verse Daily for featuring "Little Thieves"
as today's poem of the day.
This poem from This Time Tomorrow
has had quite a life online, previously appearing on Poetry Daily
. And it was first published in Memorious
, thanks to editor Rebecca Morgan Frank.