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Posts Tagged ‘Small Press’

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Two of my poems have been included in Don’t Call Me Plath.  Edited by Jenifer Wills of Literary Mary, this is a beautiful project that highlights twelve women from the small press world.  It has been a pleasure to meet Jenifer.  I love her poetry and work as an editor.

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You’ll find excellent work in this edition by Lynn Alexander, Leah Angstman, Louise Beech, Aleathia Drehmer, Betsy Lindberg, Lans Nelson, Domeka Parker, Sana Rafiq, Rebecca Schumejda, Cheryl Townsend, and Jenifer Wills.

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You’ll see me on pages 22-25.  Yep, that’s my crazy face.  A couple of months ago, someone was screaming for a picture of me, so I took it in the bathroom mirror after grubbing in the woods all day.  I’m ready for the big time now.  The beautiful one on p. 25 is my Amber.  My poems are Big Barbie and Recipe For Poetic Genius.

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To read Don’t Call Me Plath, click HERE.

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Thanks for reading!

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Issue #3 of ouroboros review is out, and I’m tickled to death.   Translation:

I’m as happy as a little school girl.   If you are a regular reader here, I’m sure

you’ve heard me talk about how beautiful ouroboros is.  This issue is no

exception.  It is outstanding.

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Ouroboros Review is edited by Jo Hemmant and Christine Swint, two very

talented poets who have taken the small press by storm.   This edition

features the work of John Siddique and Denise Duhamel.  You’ll also

find excellent work by John Walsh, Susan Richardson, Louisa Adjoa Parker,

Michelle McGrane, Carolee Sherwood, Karen Head, Matthew Hittinger, and

many more fine poets and artists.  I always get nervous when I start naming

names, because I want to kick myself later.  I don’t mean to leave anyone

out.  It’s all fantastic.

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Also, be sure to check out the reviews and interviews.  Michelle McGrane has

a great interview with John Siddique.  Michelle is my friend from

peony moon.  If you haven’t checked out her blog, you’re missing a world

of great poetry.  Michelle also has a chapbook coming out via

Pindrop Press in 2010.  I can’t wait to read it.  Michelle is the author of

Fireflies & Blazing Stars (2002) and Hybrid (2003).

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Did I mention the art?  Yes, ouroboros review has beautiful art and

photography, too.  But I’ll try to stop glowing for a minute, so you can see it

for yourself.  Check out ouroboros review HERE.   If you would like to

purchase a print copy, click on “Bookstore.”  The print copies are beautiful,

and I love holding them in my hands.

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Congratulations and a big tip of the hat to Jo and Christine on ouroboros

review!

*****

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UPDATE:  The next reading period for ouroboros review has begun and

will continue until the end of August.  One change is the art– ouroboros is

now looking for black and white photos or paintings.

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Three of my poems are included in I Can’t Be Your Virgin And Your Mother.

You can read the poems by clicking HERE.

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This zine was the brainchild of Crystal Folz, editor of Shoots and Vines.

Crystal did a beautiful job of putting it all together.  It is an all-woman edition

and tells many different stories.  Crystal’s intention for doing the zine was

to showcase women in the small press world.  It is a celebration.  The poets

and writers in the issue are:

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Aleathia Drehmer,  Kristin Fouquet,  Wanda D. Campbell,

Constance Stadler, Katie Moore, Crystal Folz, Jessica Graustein,

Holly Day, Marie Gornell, and Misti Rainwater-Lites.

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I meant every word of the bio I included.  I am so happy to be among these

talented women.

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A limited number of print editions are available for purchase and are going

fast.  To request a print issue, email info@shootsandvines.com.  Print copies

are $3 each and limited to two per person. For more information, click

HERE.  Crystal has learned Chinese bookbinding techniques, and this edition

will be hand sewn.  I can’t wait to hold it in my hands.

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Thanks for reading!

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One of the great things about having this site is that I can share some of the books I love.  I always feel compelled to say that I’m not a reviewer.  I’m a fan.  I’m like the buddy who knocks on your door and says, You’ve just gotta read this one.

Since I’m trapped in this cyber pen, I’m even better than your buddy.  I can’t drink all your beer or stay at your house for a month.

So, please open the door!  Here’s a poet you’ve just gotta read.

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justin.barrett (aka Justin Barrett) is one of the best poets of our time.  Is it too bold to make that statement about one poet among thousands?  Nope.  I’ll say it again.  He’s one of the best.

justin.barrett is well known in the small press world, as well as on the internet.  He was nominated for a Push Cart and is very active (and is a featured poet) with the Guerilla Poetics Project.  You can see some of his publications HERE.

I recently had the pleasure of reading two of Justin’s books, which have been published by Propoganda Press:  (untitled) and nowhere, UTAH.

Both books are equally beautiful.  But for a bit of brevity in this quick-bloggy world, I’ll focus on (untitled).

I love the variety in this book, which is evident in all of Justin Barrett’s work.  There is humor.  But there is also tenderness and pain.  Regardless of style or variety, each poem always points back to the very real world of human beings.

I usually notice humor first, because I admire people who can make me laugh. Barrett’s poem, heredity, is one such example.  When recalling his mother’s words about how he could be anything he wanted to be when he grew up, the narrator assesses his life and concludes:

“i don’t ever recall

wanting to be

my Uncle Jimmy.”

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Justin Barrett’s humor has a deeper side, of course.  But I love a poet who can make me melancholy and make me laugh at the same time.

It’s also interesting to note that Justin works as a chemist.  I’m always impressed by people who can live in both the scientific and the creative world.  That is really how it should be.

The scientific side of Barrett can be seen in (untitled).  The voice is not the stereotypical cold voice we often associate with science.  It is beautiful.  It realizes the larger picture.  It places us as members of this awesome and strange place we call the universe.

These thoughts go hand-in-hand with the narrator’s relationships to the world of love and human beings.  In his poem, the Big Crunch, the narrator hopes the universe will contract back to a singularity:

“where every place in

the universe

will once again be

the same

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and

where you

and I will have

no choice but

to be together

again.”

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Another awesome poem in this book is theory of everything.  A poet who couples scientific theory and love is tops on my list.

The voice that speaks of the narrator’s love is genuine.  It is one of real relationships. We can all relate to the themes in (untitled).  Barrett portrays the joy, tragedy, and loss of being human.  Just like life, the emotions I feel when reading this book are varied.  The same poet who makes me smile with a “husband and wife” poem called red boxer briefs also breaks my heart with a poem about suicide called hoping for an answer.

I admire these surprises in Barrett’s work.  He sees comparisons that many people (even  many poets) don’t see.  In it’s kind of like being a poet, the narrator compares a poet’s life to a surfer between waves.  The best part are the lulls

“in between the

waves

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when

it is only

he

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his board

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and the infinite

gallons of

sea

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beneath him.”

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That should be required reading for all new poets.  The best times are not when we receive applause or go to events.  The best times aren’t even when we’ve just written the “masterpiece” of our lives.  The best times are the lulls, the times when we’re alone with the keyboard or pen, floating in that infinite ocean, trying to catch the next good poem.

justin.barrett catches many great poems.  He has a keen eye for detail.  His lines are sharp and professional.  Yet they breathe.  In what matters most, Barrett brilliantly sums up a poet’s life.  When William Carlos Williams noticed a red wheelbarrow, what matters most isn’t the fact that Williams was in a room with a young patient who just died.  What matters most is the fact “that he noticed.”

You can check out (untitled) by justin.barrett HERE.  Believe me, I know the economy’s rough.  But it’s very affordable and well worth the low price.

Nowhere, UTAH is a small art book.  By small, I mean it is two inches by three inches in size.  But here’s one time when size really doesn’t matter.  The words inside pack a huge punch.  I truly mean it when I say it is as beautifully written as (untitled).  I was blown away by the poems inside, and I recommend it highly.  Plus, for $3.00, even grunts like me can scrape up enough change to order.  You can see Nowhere, UTAH by clicking HERE.

You can also check out some more samples of justin.barrett’s work by clicking on his website HERE.

Both Nowhere, UTAH and (untitled) are published by Propoganda Press.  leah angstman is the editor and does excellent work.  Check out her entire catalog of work by clicking HERE.

Thank you, Justin, for allowing me to talk about your work.  I’m glad you’re around to notice the world.  I’m glad you’re around to share this beautiful, crazy ride with us all.

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It’s been an extra good week for me, because I also have a new poem at      Rusty Truck.   How’s that for a cool title?  In my opinion, rusty trucks are the best ones of all.  I love the header picture and layout, too.  The work over there has been blowing me out of my seat since Rusty Truck began.

Many people already know the editor of Rusty Truck.  Scot Young is an excellent poet, and you can find his work at his blog, Be Not Inhospitable To Strangers.  Scot also has amazing interviews and reviews of some great poets.  Take some time to flip through his blog archives to see what he has done.

You can read my poem either at the link above or HERE.  Be sure to check out all the awesome work and bookmark Rusty Truck for future reads.

I like rust.  And I think Scot’s truck is going to keep running for a long time.

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I’m very excited to be this weekend’s featured writer at Shoots and Vines.  Six of my poems will be posted on February 13, 14, and 15.  You’ll see good old Aunt Aggie and also a newer poem, Snake Handling.

While you’re there, please stick around to read all the excellent writing and see the artwork.  The editor is Crystal Folz, who is an amazing writer.  You can see her work (and everyone else’s) by pulling down the names on the contributors’ sidebar.  My friend, Scot Young, was the first feature writer.

At the risk of sounding like a gushing fan (again), I am so thrilled to have met a talented editor like Crystal.  Shoots and Vines is a beautiful site, and her concern for showcasing writers and poets is obvious.

The first print edition of Shoots and Vines is available at Penny Lane Coffee House in Evansville, Indiana.  When you’re on the Shoots and Vines site, check out the editor’s notes to learn more about publications and collaborations by Shoots and Vines writers.

If you happen to be in the Evansville area, stop by the Penny Lane Coffee House.  I’m adding them to the list of places I will go when I head back to the area for visits.  To hell with Starbucks!!

If you’re a poet or writer who’s struggling to get published in this crazy world, don’t give up hope.  There are very cool editors out there like Crystal Folz who truly care about writing and art.  And there’s some excellent work going on in the small press world.

What impresses me about the editors I have met in the small press world is that they are also writers, poets, and artists.  They are right there in the trenches with us.  They don’t lock themselves away in some lofty ivory tower.

The Shoots and Vines site has moved to a new location, but I changed that link here also.  Submission information is also on the site.  Why not give it a try?

Click HERE to check out Shoots and Vines.  Stick around and give the contributors some positive feedback.  Link them up and tell a friend.  The small press world depends on folks like us.

Thanks so much to Crystal for this exciting opportunity.  And thanks so much to everyone here who continues to encourage me.  Your support is most appreciated!

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