Thursday, May 22, 2014

I love this city~

Organic, non GMO, gluten free Portlandia
Happy to revisit my first home in the Pacific Northwest. Thanks to The Rumpus for posting about our class at In Other Words Community Center and Bookstore  (Women and Women First if you watch Portlandia).

Monday, May 19, 2014

I Am in Love With This Image

I can't get enough of these clouds as if from another galaxy and the white trees wildly bright against the fog of reeds. No matter how long I watch the birds moving like phantoms over the water, I can't help wanting to be with them. This boy (I imagine) in his long wooden boat must feel the same way I do, at least I like to think so. May this photograph elevate you this Monday morning --- and may the force of art be with you.

Monday, May 12, 2014

How lovely to find a review from out of the blue ...

Masters of Poetry! Even the title has a lovely and slightly ironic ring.

Thank you to Will Slotts Jr. for this lovely review and pairing me with James Baldwin and James Franco --- not to mention the famous Barbara Hamby. I am thrilled! You can read the review in the Third Coast Daily right here. He also has an interesting take on the state of poetry today and where e-books fit. This may be especially interesting in the age of the quick review.

Or if you want just a little taste of what Will says on:


The sale of poetry in all its various formats amounts to millions of dollars every year. Anthologies outsell individual writers; the dead poets beat the living. The majority of sales are to schools and libraries, but many of us buy poetry on a regular basis. Sales continue to rise, with the greatest increase in electronic formats. Some believe that e-books and audio books now make up 10 percent of the total sales each year. (Four of the six volumes I’m reviewing were read in e-book format, for expediency’s sake.) The majority of poetry today is published by small, independent presses. Buying poetry is a great way to support them!


Susan Rich, author of Cloud Pharmacy (White Pine Press, 2014), is also new to me, although this is her fourth book of poetry. Her publisher, however, is not a stranger. Because I have always enjoyed the poetry they put out, I follow their authors. This, I call “camp following” because I will buy whatever they produce. Ms. Rich does not disappoint. Her verse is lean and colloquial and her subjects vary widely, from paintings and photographs to travel and travail. Especially haunting is the sequence entitled “DARK ROOM.” These poems are all based on the photography and life of Hannah Maynard, a turn-of-the-century woman living in Victoria, British Columbia. As she works out the grief over the death of a teenage daughter, Hannah’s photos (and these poems) illuminate and develop ever more depth.

What a lovely way to begin a Monday!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

And the Winners Are... And an Interview of the Surreal

Congratulations to the winners of the Big Poetry Giveway:

Brian Wong

Lesa Medley


Please do get in touch if you are Brian, Lesa, or Andrea!

I've been on the road and so catching up now. Thank you to all who participated! Over 70 poets left their names and emails at my blog --- A pleasure to be part of Kelli Russell Agodon's cool project.

Thanks also to poet Michael Wells who was kind enough to ask to interview me about my new book, Cloud Pharmacy. As life has been rather busy lately, I responded to Michael's questions after midnight each night for a week, it's strange to read the answers now in daylight. Here's just a bit of what we talked about:

MAW: I could not help but notice the words alchemically speaking in the title poemCloud Pharmacy. Given your repetitious use of alchemist between two of your poetry collections I have to wonder if you don’t feel as a poet you have to practice a bit of such chemistry to arrive at your destination as a writer. Can you tell us about the connection between your writing and alchemy?

SR: When I was a Senior in high school I read, no I devoured, 100 Years of Solitudeby Gabrielle Garcia Marquez. I was in love with his imagination. This novel was like nothing I had encountered before. The part of the book I remember best was the story of the alchemists. This sense that men mixed potions not only to find the recipe for gold but also to further their knowledge of themselves appealed to me – a sense of inner and outer discoveries paired together.

Only with Garcia Marquez’s recent death did I make this connection back to my first encounter with alchemists. So I don’t claim that poetry is the only alchemy --- I believe it is the work of many writers --- as well as visual artists and musicians.

To read more, click here!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

A Poem About the Rain by Geraldine Mills

 I love this poem by Geraldine Mills. As I sit at my friend Hilary's house in Somerville, Massachusetts, the rain is on pause for a moment. Last night for my reading with Jennifer Markell at Porter Square Books, the umbrellas were out in full force. "Precipitation" brings me back to an appreciation of these days when the world is all oatmeal sky and the roadways a map of streams and pools. Thanks to Peter Moore for this beautiful Irish rain and mountain image.