Instead of a poetry social life

This week, I’m suffering from a bout of cabin fever (life stuff, eh).  Just about everyone in the poetry world is sharing the love at Verve Poetry Festival (or so it seems, as social media serves to fuel my envy).  I’ve also missed two Midlands poetry open mic nights and Saturday’s South Leics stanza meeting.

I’ve not been totally bereft of a poetry social life, though.  Thanks to the kindness of a fellow Soundswriter who gave me a lift, I attended our poetry reading/discussion/workshopping meeting on Tuesday.  And there have been ‘injections’ of poetry to sustain:

A Valentine’s Day gift from my husband (okay, I did drop a very specific hint about this one):

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I was pleased to find this sassy little number includes Jo Bell’s ‘The Shipwright’s Love Song,’ which I think I first experienced as a film poem, a few years ago.  (It might have been this one).

The latest e-newsletter from the Academy of American Poets comprised a themed selection of love poems; among them, Wislawa Szymborska’s ‘Love at First Sight.’  I love the narrative that belies the title of this poem – the premise that Chance has been toying with them/now for years. I’ve copied the last four lines into my notebook, to savour:

Every beginning
is only a sequel, after all,
and the book of events
is always open halfway through.

I always get a poetry kick out of coming across another unfamiliar/new poem by one of my favourite poets.  Liz Berry’s poem, ‘The Republic of Motherhood’ is the subject of writer and book vlogger Jen Campbell’s latest (Dissect a Poem) video.  Berry’s poem is a journey through the unmapped territory of new motherhood; there’s a pervading sense of detachment and isolation right up to the last line’s turning point of this rite of passage.

Current reading also includes issue 58 of The North (I know, I’m really behind with my reading of poetry mags).  I nearly punched the air on reading Anthony Wilson’s ‘I Come to Your Shit’  Hell, yes! (If nowt else, I hope I’ll be remembered as a supporter).

Whatever you’re reading, I hope it nourishes the parts etc 🙂 x

 

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New Year, New Reading, News

The Christmas decorations have been re-packed into their boxes; all that remains of the festive goodies is the remains of a tub of Celebrations; life is returning to (what passes for) normal.

In the post-Christmas decompression chamber that is January, I look forward to those ‘happy pills’ that pop into my inbox in the form of poetry e-newsletters and notifications with links to new reading.  This week’s include:

  • The POETRY magazine newsletter’s selection of poetry, prose and audio from the January issue.  I was enjoyed ‘The Hermits,’ a poem by Karen Solie.  Since first ‘discovering’ her work a few years ago, this Canadian poet has become a firm favourite of mine.
  • The Academy of American Poets (Poets.org) newsletter: a selection of poems for the New Year, by Kim Addonizio, Naomi Shihab Nye and others.
  • The SlowPo version of my favourite MOOC (ModPo) beginning the year with a series of mini courses, discussing individual poems by Bernadette Mayer and John Ashbery, with others to follow.
  • This morning’s weekly Brain Pickings, by the indefatigable Maria Popova, which I vow I’ll explore, rather than allowing it to sit in my inbox, opened but largely unread.
  • Josephine Corcoran’s latest blog post includes a heads-up to a growing list of poet bloggers who aim to blog weekly during 2018.  I look forward to discovering new favourites.

This morning, I received some good news about one of the poems I entered for a competition.  I can’t say any more about it, just yet.  Suffice to say, I’m chuffed!

I’ve been busy diminishing my poetry TBR pile, too.  After a couple of rather unsatisfying reads (we’re individuals, with our own particular tastes, right?), Peter Sansom’s The Last Place on Earth (Carcanet, 2006) restored my faith.  My current read, the  Forward Book of Poetry, 2018, is a gripping one.  I’ve already page-marked a few favourites, including Richard Georges’ ‘Oceans’ and Ocean Vuong’s ‘Notebook Fragments.’  Next up is Pascale Petit’s Mama Amazonica – I can’t wait!

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Happy New Year, and happy poetry reading! 🙂