Friday, July 4, 2014

Weeding the sidebar

Folks, I try to make my poems readily accessible as possible. However, the "Index to my published poems" on the sidebar now contains over 100 links, with more to come. I have therefore decided that, with the exception of a few poems that have only recently become available online, I will shortly delete the 40-some links to poems in my 2011 collection Unglobed Fruit. This book, which contains 75 poems in all, is available for $11 at as well as at Lulu also offers it as an e-book for $4.99.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Featured poet in KIN Poetry Journal

Walter Ancarrow, one of the editors at KIN, approached me last summer about being a featured poet. It was supposed to happen in November, but was postponed due to my husband's illness.

It has finally come together, beginning with an interview. Four poems are to be published this month; the first, Oxydoxes and paramorons, is up. It intersperses the lines of John Ashbery's "Paradoxes and oxymorons" with Ogden-Nash-style rhyming prose lines. The others - "A day in the life of....", "Once in a fit of abstraction", and "Whistle like a bird" -- will be added to the sidebar as well as to my author page at KIN.

KIN has published several other poems of mine as well since I last reported: Bootstrap of the genie, a variation on the Oulipian S+7 technique; Gallery opening, a sort of permutation poem; Les six: Concert program notes, a sestina; and Hucksterism 101, a rondel prime. I pretty much owe all this to Walter, who saw "Les six" on Eratosphere and invited me to submit it to KIN.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Oulipo, NaPo and me

In January, Janice Soderling posted a call for submissions on Eratosphere for Sein und Werden's forthcoming Oulipo issue. I sent three poems, and received an acceptance within hours.

The Oulipo (Ouvroir de Littérature Potentiale) was formed in France in 1960, as reaction against the surrealists' emphasis on the aleatory and the subconscious. It aims to invent constraints for generating literature as an alternative to received forms. Perhaps the best known are the lipogram (leaving out one or more letters of the alphabet) and S&7 (originally replacing all nouns in a text with the seventh noun following it in the dictionary). Oulipo also "adopted" pre-existing constraints such as the sestina (and worked out the mathematics of the quenina, a generalized form which can be adapted to a variety of stanza-lengths).

Upon perusing an online French list of constraints and the 2005 edition of Mathews & Brotchie's Oulipo Compendium - the best resource on The Oulipo available in English - I discovered that, in addition to the Oulipoems I had written knowingly, I had unwittingly written many others. Some constraints I had taken from prompts I encountered here and there without knowing they were oulipian; others I had arrived at independently.

I then decided that Oulipo would be my focus during National Poetry Writing Month. This was the eighth year I did NaPo and it was by far the easiest; I had a list of things to try and a clear focus, and only found myself at a loss once or twice; it was even easy to make up what I had missed by being out of town for five days. It was an added encouragement that folks who were also doing NaPo on The Waters were at times inspired to try some of the constraints.

I will provide links to some of my Oulipian efforts in a future post.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Back again, I hope

I haven't been able to give much attention to poetry this past year. Starting last summer, my husband had a serious bout with cancer, and lost an eye as a result. We were blessed to have good support during this time, from family and friends and from the wonderful doctors and staff of Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. We hope we are out of the woods, at least for now (at our age one is never out of the woods completely).

Several new poems have been published in the meantime. I am now updating the sidebar. I was able to participate in National Poetry Writing Month in April – more about that later.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Recent publications: The Ghazal Page

The June 2013 issue contains three of my ghazals:
The Cosmos,
Out of context, and
To be light.

Altogether it's a great issue, with contributions that push the boundary of the ghazal in this way and that. I was particularly intrigued by Karla Linn Merrifield's fractal/ghazal hybrids. As always, Gene Doty adds his comments on each poem.

You can find more about The Ghazal page and my contributions to it in the post for May 30, 2010. It contains links to all of my ghazals previously published there. (Published later but never noted here in a post was Change. In that one, I maintained the monorhyme but rung changes on the radif.)

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Recent publications: Disembodied Text, KIN, Danse Macabre

Disembodied Text is a fledgling themed zine which has recently changed from weekly to monthly. The editors see it as a sort of gallery space where literary, visual and auditory works around a given theme can interact. Issue 5, "Disembodied animals and abstraction," includes my poems "Leave thy low-vaulted past" and "Perspective".

KIN, aka Kin Poetry Journal, is a form-friendly zine with an adventurous spirit. Issue VIII includes my rubliw, Dispatch from the Kremlin. The form was invented by Richard Wilbur and named by Lewis Turco ("wilbur" backwards).

Danse Macabre is a quirky zine in more ways than one. Their new server apparently doesn't allow them to link to individual pages within an issue, so I can't post links to individual poems on the sidebar. Issue 68 contains three poems of mine on the theme of unwanted communications: "From the circular file," "From the spam folder," and "The unknown caller." If you're feeling tntrepid enough to seek them out, the above link should take you to the issue home page (Heimat / Cosmos). Clicking on "Poetry" at the pink menu to the left should produce a turquoise menu. Click on the 4th one down, "Tre entro tre". There's a cameo NNW of the picture on the right, at the top of a light-colored vertical bar. That's the scroll bar. If you drag the cameo thing about 3/4 of the way down the picture frame you'll come to my first poem.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Recent publication(s): Chain ghazal: Chickens

I've been in a dry place and haven't been writing much poetry lately. I hang out now and then at the Sunset Beach section of The Waters – where, besides participating in NaPoWriMo, one may write 7 poems in 7 days at any time in the company of a small but nurturing group of people who cheer each other on. In January I tried a 7/7 and lasted three days. One of the three poems was an attempt at a hybrid ghazal/pantoum, though it came out more like a blues. The first draft had 3-line stanzas; the later version has four, with the third unrhymed to give it the feel of a ghazal's first two shers.

Gene Doty published it in the March issue of The Ghazal Page, and notified me a few days later that Carol Rumens, who writes a weekly column in The Guardian, had asked to use it as her "poem of the week." It appeared there on March 18; when last I looked there were over 200 comments, including many imitations and parodies. On March 20 it was posted on 3quarksdaily, which I'd never heard of, but my son says Azra Raza is his friend's wife's friend's cousin, so obviously it was a put-up job.

I'm feeling somewhat overwhelmed by all this. I had intended to give NaPoWriMo a miss this year, but now I am energized and will be participating – for which I am immensely grateful to Gene and Carol.