Friday, June 10, 2016

Academy of American Poets --- Thank You

Spring must really be the season of poetry. I feel like I've joined the grown-up poets --- at least for one day. My poem, Boketto, was published in the Poem-a-Day program today. I've been overwhelmed by the outpouring of emails I've received from dear friends and strangers.

The word, Boketto, is Japanese for staring without purpose. I tweaked the meaning --- as translation so often does --- to stare out windows without purpose. Thanks to January O'Neil for encouraging me to send (and re-send) my poems to Alex Dimitrov who curates Poem-a-Day.

Here are the first few lines and a link to hear me read the poem as well as a few sentences on where the idea came from.


Susan Rich

Outside my window it’s never the same—
some mornings jasmine slaps the house, some mornings sorrow.

There is a word I overheard today, meaning lost
not on a career path or across a floating bridge:

Boketto—to stare out windows without purpose.
Don’t laugh; it’s been too long since we leaned

into the morning: bird friendly coffee and blueberry toast. Awhile
since I declared myself a prophet of lost cats—blind lover

of animal fur and feral appetites. Someone should tag
a word for the calm of a long marriage. Knowledge

the heat will hold, and our lights remain on— a second

--- to read the rest of the poem tap here

Sunday, June 5, 2016

This Poem Was 40 Years in the Making - Thanks to Plume It's Here

I first met Paul on a bus. I was on my way from Boston to visit my sister in New York. Along the way, the bus broke down. No cell phones, no two way radios on board.  After awhile a blurry eyed Brit in the seat directly behind me woke up and said, "Hello." In the four extra hours we had by the side of the road a friendship formed. When I studied in England, Paul was already out of the country but his mother took care of me as if I were her own child.

Fast forward 40 years.

Thanks to the magic of FaceBook we reconnected.  This poem was inspired by a quick airport visit. This summer my partner and I will travel to London to see him and meet his family. Traveling by poem I'd call it.

Here is the poem thanks to Plume for publishing it!


I look back through the window of a Greyhound Bus
stopped by the side of the road.

Before the cell phone or CB radio—

I travel back to the boy and girl wrought golden
in this-moment-before-we-grow-old.

His earth brown eyes reveal
a passion for simple rock face,
the feel of striation beneath well-trained hands.

Along the shoulder of the Massachusetts Turnpike,
in an age before water bottles or sensible snacks,

Press here for Plume and the rest of the poem

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Fellowship Offered for Poets on the Coast: 3 Day Writing Retreat for Women

Join the poets Sept 9 - 11th
Kelli Russell Agodon and I are busy organizing the 6th Poets on the Coast for September 9 -11th at the Country Inn in La Conner, WA. From one good idea over a glass of wine we've created an annual gathering of poets who come to write, learn, share, and dream ourselves into the next best poem we can write.

Each poet has an individual session with Susan or Kelli to get whatever questions answered that they most need to ask. We go on a field trip to the oldest house in La Conner (Katy's Inn)  and out to the Northwest Museum of Art. What better way then to transition from summer into fall? We have two spots left!

This year we are also offering a Fellowship which allows one poet to attend the long weekend for free! (Accommodation is separate but one Fellow decided to camp last year and another shared a room at Katy's Inn.

To apply for this years POTC Fellowship you just send us three poems and a paragraph on why this Fellowship is what you need and why you need it now. Here are the details: on our website.  You can apply now until July 18th! To simply register now for one of our last two spaces go here!

We also have a Sacred Journal workshop on Friday afternoon (September 9th). If you want to just join us for the afternoon --- Contact us via the website and we will make it happen!