News see also: News Archive
- "Icelandic Picnic," inspired by a painting by Louisa Matthiasdottir, will be part of editor Robbi Nester's proposed anthology of ekphrastic writings based on art work from their collections that museums made available on line during the 2020 pandemic.
- New Bern's sole indie bookstore is starting a literary magazine—kudos to proprietor and author Michelle Flye for daring and sharing in a troubled time. My poem "Once Upon a Time in a Pandemic" will be included, as well as work by dear writer friends Diane de Echeandia and Jo Ann Hoffman.
- The North Carolina Poetry Society has announced that my poem "River in Your Living Room" was a finalist for the Poet Laureate Award in the society's 2020 contest. "Goodbye and Keep Chilled"―a take-off on Frost's "Good-bye and Keep Cold"―placed second for the Katherine Kennedy McIntyre Light Verse Award.
- The Main Street Rag Spring 2020 has a few of my poems in its pages: "That Last Holiday," "'What are the rules?'", and "Robert Mueller's Doorman." The 2020 anthology Pinesongis dedicated to Main Street Rag publisher and managing editor M. Scott Douglas. Congratulations, Scott!
- Glad that one of my fun poems found a home: The Poeming Pigeon's upcoming issue dedicated to "popular culture" will include "Getting on TV," which is a sort of tongue-in-cheek how to.
- Reed Magazine has announced that my poem "Intimacy at the Blue Moon Café" was chosen as a co-winner of The Edwin Markham Prize, along with a poem by Rodrigo Toscano of New Orleans. More details are on Reed's web site, including an interview with Anne Cheilek that got me thinking about "process."
The NCPS Awards Day on May 9, 2020: readings online.
Detail from the image "Nurse, Remedios, Cuba," which will be included in the summer edition of Iris Literary Journal. I shot this photo in March 2019, just before new travel restrictions were imposed by the U.S. (restrictions placing a stranglehold on the prosperity of ordinary Cuban citizens, with whom we share many personal and cultural relationships.)
Quotations for writers
“You arrive to each poem, each era of yourself different than you did the last. I write when I feel called to language. When I haven’t felt called for a while, I show up anyway to see what happens. I used to write every day. Not anymore. I try to touch words, mine or others, every day. That’s often books and poems and interviews. Sometimes it’s writing, sometimes reading, sometimes editing, sometimes listening. As long as I am actively living in or alongside language, I think I am in process. Sometimes the task at hand is to live, to witness. Sometimes “the work” looks like getting the rest of your house in order so you can focus on the writing at hand. Sometimes “the work” is rest. It’s all about learning to pay attention to yourself, your own wants and needs, your own definitions of discipline and exploration. What I mean is: I don’t always have momentum. No one is always inspired. But I have invited words into my life. I pay them mind even when I feel stuff and grey, and even when I don’t have the time for words, I trust that they will forgive me when I return.”
—Danez Smith, January 2020
More at Quotations for Writers
...they gaze outside the frame,
wondering what our dull galleried world
could possibly offer í staðinn: instead.
—from "Icelandic Picnic,"
by Jeanne Julian