Archive for February, 2010

Snow & Celebrations

Here in Western New York we escaped most of the snow that hit the Northeast.  We got a few inches, and the roads have been slick.  The world has been very gray lately.  Still, when I opened up the Yahoo news today, and saw all the headlines (Chile, etc..), I have no complaints.

Today is Anthony’s birthday.  So besides celebrating Stealing Dust’s one year anniversary, we will be having cake and ice cream.  Thanks to all who requested a copy of Stealing Dust through my email.  Your copies will be sent out this week.




Happy B-Day, Stealing Dust!

One year ago, I was at the NeMLA conference in Boston, and I was having dinner with Mary.  We talked about many things that evening, but the one thing that I remember joking about was that my copies of Stealing Dust, my first chapbook, were on their way to my doorstep in Western New York (people who preordered my chapbook, saw the final copy before I did).  Yes, it’s true — Stealing Dust’s birthday is tomorrow, and here at The Scrapper Poet blog we are celebrating by giving away three copies!

Here is how you can get your copy: Please drop me an email at to request your copy.  Do not leave a note on my blog; use email.  You don’t have to tell me much in the note.  I am interested in why you are requesting a copy, (you read my blog, you like workingclass literature, you are one of my students who silently reads my blog but you don’t know how to get a copy of my chapbook, you have always wanted my book but are on a budget, you think that I am one of those evil poets that David Alpaugh talks about in the now infamous article “The New Math of Poetry,” etc….).  Also, include your address.

For all its flaws, I am proud of this chapbook.  It has its readers, both local and nationally.  It has been used in college classrooms.  I have talked about it at conferences.  While I still believe that a full length collection is a long way in the future, I believe Stealing Dust is a wonderful start.  Thanks to all of you out there who have blogged about my chapbook, recommended my work to others and written formal reviews of the poems.  Thanks so much!


Erika Meitner at Anti-

Erika Meitner is Anti’s featured poet #38.  Until this morning, I had never read any of Meitner’s work, but these two poems have me intrigued.  I have added her book, Inventory at the All-Night Drugstore (Anhinga Press) to my wish list.

Three Books

I see three books in my near future (probably library books — I have put myself on a budget). 

First is The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot. I first read about Henrietta Lacks on Nancy’s blog, and I have been interested in Lacks’ life (and her life after her death) since.  I have enjoyed Skloot’s works in various science magazines, so I have a feeling that this book is going to be really good.

Second, I have always been interested in the dark true story behind Alice in Wonderland.  So Melanie Benjamin’s Alice I Have Been is intriguing.  Reviews have been mixed — but I’m still curious.

Finally, I don’t understand how I had to learn from Entertainment Weekly  that the great Dan Simmons (who penned such personal favorites as Drood and Terror), has another book out.  Black Hills promises to be another great read.

That’s the good thing about winters in Western New York.  One does not have to feel too guilty about staying inside and reading.

Wow. Buying a House

I haven’t written about this on my blog, but I wanted to relay that Anthony and I are making our way (slowly) towards becoming first time home owners.  The process has been frustrating.  I consider myself an educated woman — survived the years of financial aid forms, taxes, car ownership, but holy cow!  This is crazy.  I spent three hours on the phone today wading through papers, mistakes, more papers, and numbers.  Yes, we have made an offer on a house, but right now things are up in the air.  I’m a “right now” sort of person, so all this paperwork is driving me crazy.

Yes.  This is a small rant.  If you are a houseowner, words of wisdom would be helpful.  Before I lose my sanity.

And no.  I’m never going to get a good poem out of all of this.

The Unthinkable at Rattle

A few years ago, poet Maggie Anderson recommended the work of Irene McKinney to me — and I have been in love with McKinney’s work since I picked up a used copy of Six O’Clock Mine Report (at the time the book was out of print).  I was happy to see that Red Hen Press has published a collected works of this wonderful poet.  I talk a little about Unthinkable: Selected Poems 1976 – 2004 in a brief review over at Rattle — I have to admit that talking about a collected works is a bit different than reviewing a brand new book with brand new poems.  But it’s a great collection, and one I am glad to have on my own personal bookshelf.

RIP: Lucille Clifton

Like many of you, I woke up to the sad news of Lucille Clifton’s passing.  I have so many of her poems running through my head — especially the ones that celebrate a woman’s body — but I think I will simply link to The Academy of American Poets website and her poem, “blessing the boats.”

Hobble Creek Review

The new Hobble Creek Review is now live!  Since poetry and place is one of my special interests — I always enjoy reading the new issues of the Hobble Creek Review. This issue includes work by poets Jason Irwin (Western New York native), George Moore, Jeff Newberry, and Angie Macri (among others).  Stop by and enjoy.

CFS: Tin House and Class in America

Be still, my blue-collar heart!  Tin House  is looking for submissions regarding class (not just working class) in America.   I saw this call for submissions on several blogs and websites, and couldn’t resist making mention of it here.  Take a look at the guidelines and submit!

Wait a Minute, Mr. Postman

The US Postal Service has been kind to me this week. First, I received my contributor’s copy of Copper Nickel — and it’s a great issue (I am not just saying that because one of my poem is found within its pages).  There’s work from Mary Biddinger, Karyna McGlynn, Jericho Brown, Jessica Jewell, R.T. Smith, and Alison Stine.  My favorite is Stine’s poem, “Canary” that opens this issue.   In this work, the poet proclaims:  “It’s not so bad, seventies/in March, coats off, daffodils opening/in a white blaze. But the polar bears/drowned, swum too far to look/for food.  The ice floes lost their edges; each shore sunk further out.  Frogs/the first barometers, on some banks/started exploding, blood turned.  My canary/shutters against the man I thought/I knew, the one who promised to love me.”

I also received my copy of Green Mountains Review.  Fans of The Scrapper Poet will know that I blogged quite a bit about Paula Bohince’s Incident at the Edge of Bayonet Woods on my old blog — and then I got the chance to write a more formal review of this great book for GMR.  If you haven’t picked up Bohince’s début collection yet, you really should.

Finally, last year I was honored with a chance to judge the Keystone Chapbook  Award from Seven Kitchens Press, and Soot by Jeff Walt was the winner.  This chapbook arrived in the mail.  What did I say about Walt’s poems?  “Jeff Walt’s collection is filled with dirt, grit and dust.  These tough poems squint in the bright light but focus, fear both real and imaginary dangers but still fact the day, fall but get up to brush themselves off and move on….”

When I connected to the Seven Kitchens Press website,  I discovered more good news.  Seven Kitchens Press is planning a big year with chapbooks! RJ Gibson’s Scavenge will be released soon (you have to check out that cover).  Plus, two of my favorite Pennsylvania poets will also be publishing with Ron Mohring’s micropress.  Gabriel Welsch’s chapbook, An Eye Fluent in Gray  and Todd Davis’s chapbook Household of Water, Moon, and Snow are both due out later this year.   More good reading, ahead!  I know that times are tough, and that if you are a poet and/or blog reader, you are always being asked to support the poetry community.  I can say that Seven Kitchens Press is one of the best places for poetry!

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