Welcome to the Poets Blogosphere - The Alchemist's Kitchen Kitchen Sink Philosophy

Welcome to the newly revised Blogosphere
If you are visiting today, dear reader, you may well have just joined or rejoined the Revival Tour of Bloggers organized by Kelli Agodon and Donna Vorreyer. Welcome home!

Today marks my 9th year of blogging; I never really left the blogosphere although in the last few years it did seem the neighborhood had become a bit quieter.

I began this blog as a way to write regularly in a form that isn't as high-stakes as writing a poem can be. My plan was (and still is): be useful to other poets. I planned to offer ideas on sending out submissions, poetic revision, preparing for readings, choosing cover art, and to provide a  little overall exposure to great poems and poets.

And yes, this is also the place to announce community projects I'm involved with and readings that I may be participating in --- but these are more snacks than the main meal.

At the moment my writing (and editing) focus is on putting a book of poems together. I am "almost" finished with my fifth poetry collection now titled, A Spy in the Afterlife, which I hope to get out into the world sometime soon. Right now it lives in a flip binder in my living room. Do you like the title? Would love to know your thoughts on this. When I chose my cover for Cloud Pharmacy, readers offered ideas for art and ultimately helped me make my choice of a cover.

Cloud Pharmacy the day it arrived at my home

I learned a great deal about what makes a good cover for a book of poems and I blogged about it here. I am a fan of quick and easy lists: here is what you need to know about cover art!

Looking deeply into cover art seemed a natural progression from my focus on ekphrastic poetry -- poems inspired by visual art. You can check out the Ekphrastic Review where you will see the surreal and stunning photographs of Carol Sawyer --- a  Vancouver, BC visual artist I met through her art.

Looking at art was also a way to find which journals I wanted to submit poems to. Can we tell a journal by it's cover? Here is a blog post that I wrote about the journal Antiphon --- a British journal that I remain quite fond of. New places to send poems is a great service poets can provide to other poets.

Book arts - how I would love book art based on poems

I think of the Poets Revival Tour as a kind of Alice in Wonderland for poets. A way to connect with people who may become dear friends --- the amazing January O'Neil comes to mind right away and as a way to extend the poetry community worldwide.

Finally, one snack: along with Kelli Russell Agodon I teach poetry retreats twice a year: poetry winter retreat Come in from the Cold in Seattle is coming up for the day on Saturday, February 10th (all are welcome) and a weekend retreat Poets on the Coast: A Writing Retreat for Women will be September 8th - 10th but the cheapest registration prices are happening right now only until January 3rd. Every year women who we have met virtually speaking come out to Seattle or La Conner, Washington to meet in person.

A bit of poetry advice (this week for cover art, a new journal to submit to, some new friends, and a small snack: that's a good example of what happens here at The Alchemist's Kitchen. I hope you'll drop by again soon.

Finally, I oftentimes do interviews with poets I love whose work I want to support. For this week, here is an interview that the poet/farmer/teacher, Jess Gigot, did with me for the Skagit River Poetry Foundation blog. It includes links to poems.  Thanks so much, Jess!


  1. A great post Susan. I just recently launched my debut collection. In terms of cover art I had the advantage of being married to an Artist and was able to get a couple of unique artworks incorporated in the cover design. The cover designers then came up with 5 options and the choice was made by consensus with my publisher (and my 2nd Grade class :D). We picked our favourites and chose the one that everyone agreed on.

    1. I love this method!!! Especially the input by your 2nd graders. Have you posted the winner yet?

  2. excited to reconnect via the revival. happy new year!!


  3. Happy New Year, and congrats on the new book, Susan! I like the title.

    Your reminder about what to look for in cover art is timely as I try to decide what to do for my next book. Such a difficult decision. Good luck!

    1. Hi Jan!
      I guess I'm jumping the queue a bit as I have not submitted my book anywhere yet --- I 'm just so thrilled to finally have a title. And I adore your new title: Re-wilding.Do I have that right? Something I so need!

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. I'm a fan of Antiphon, too! Thank you for all the links.

  5. Hi Anne,
    Thank you for stopping by! I try my best to be useful. Are you a poet in the Pacific Northwest or farther afield?


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