Thursday, March 31, 2011

NaPoWriMo 2011

A month ago I said I wasn't going to do this again. I'm supposed to be writing a new novel and creating the next issue of Autumn Sky Poetry and revising two other novels so I can send them out and make piles of money (ok, just kidding about the $, unfortunately) and. . . well. You get the idea. But then I hit on this great idea: why don't I write poems that are completely self-indulgent? I mean, for years now I've been writing to figure something out (meter, sonnets, alliteration, etc.), or to prove a point (prose poems? hell yeah!), or to learn the discipline of writing every day. I did it. I learned a lot. But I'd never really written just because. What would happen if I did that? Hmm. You're not supposed to be self-indulgent when you write, everyone says. I can hear a little voice chiding me for it even now — uh excuse me for a moment. . .

[Shut UP stupid little voice, I spit on you! Ptew! *sounds of a scuffle* Take that!]

So! starting tomorrow I will attempt to write a collection of poems tentatively titled: Ballroom - a memoir. It's about dance (in case that wasn't obvious). I began taking ballroom dance lessons about two and a half years ago, and I love it in a way I never expected. It's not like I didn't already have an art that I loved, so I didn't really approach dance as anything other than a fun hobby, and then it reared up and bit me on the a**.

Anyway. We'll see what happens, yes?

I'll be posting at's Discussion Forums. Click here to see the poems, one per day all month long.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Big Poetry Giveaway! 2011

Kelli Russell Agodon started this nifty project where a bunch of poetry bloggers get together and give away poetry books for National Poetry Month! The idea was so cool I decided to participate. 

How this works:

1. I'm giving away two books. If you want to win these books, please leave a comment on this post with a link back to your blog/website OR leave your email address (if you don't have a blog/website). The giveaway runs from now until April 30. On May 1, 2, or 3, I will be randomly drawing one name from the list of people who commented and that person will be the winner! I will mail two poetry books to you for free!

Here are the two books I'm giving away:

Uncommon Refrains by Gregory W. Randall, published by The Lives You Touch Publications. Why this book? Because it's fantastic. I wrote a review of this book a little while ago—to read it click here.

Cloud Studies - a sonnet sequence by Christine Klocek-Lim (yeah, that's me), published by Whale Sound Audio Chapbooks. Why this book? Because Kelli says to give away one favorite book of poems, and then give away one of your own. This book is available free on the internet, but Whale Sound also published a print version and I'd like to give someone the opportunity to hold that in their hands. It's a book of sonnets. If you'd like to read Nic's process notes about my chapbook (she's the editor/publisher), click here.

2. A little note about myselfI'm a poet. I'm really terrible when it comes to writing about myself, so no clever bio here. I'd love to say that I've worked in the circus, been a professional surfer, or lived on the Appalachian trail for a year with no shelter, but alas, I've done none of those things because I'm afraid of heights, hate to swim, and there is no way I'm going to live in the woods with no access to a porcelain tub for longer than one night. However, I have been a technical writer, an editor, a proofreader, and a novelist. I've won a few awards and had some stuff published a few places. If you're really curious, click here for my bio and here for my list of publications.

Good luck!

BIG POETRY GIVEAWAY! The list is at Kelli's blog:

Link to the List of Blogs Participating... 


Here are the rules, via Kelli's site ~ Book of Kells:

"The goal is to share our favorite poets with others as well as to visit different blogs and see who others are reading. There is also a benefit for those who participate as it will bring people to your blog and share your work and/or the work of a favorite poet with them."

Wednesday, March 23, 2011's discussion forum is back!


I'm serving as the site admin again. Why not stop by? Post a poem or two for critique. Open a conversation. I've already set up the NaPoWriMo section for April's poem-a-day marathon and we're planning a great guest poet for April. Check us out! ——> Discussion Forum


Monday, March 21, 2011

Audio Chapbooks? Why yes. At Best American Poetry.

Nic Sebastian recently did a guest-blogger stint at the Best American Poetry blog. All of her posts are fantastic, but of particular interest to me is the one she wrote about audio chapbooks. Obviously, this idea is near and dear to my heart since Nic, editor of Whale Sound, recently published my sonnet sequence (Cloud Studies) as an audio chapbook, but in this blog post, she also discusses why it's a good idea to try something new with poetry chaps. How do you like your poetry served? is the question she has been asking herself and many others. The answers are varied, but one of them, audio, keeps popping up again and again at the top of the list. To read more, go check out her essay:

poetry out loud: audio chapbooks and other methods of poetry delivery [by Nic Sebastian] at Best American Poetry.

Lest you think all that Nic does is publish other people's poetry at Whale Sound, please to be clicking through to see her brand new poetry collection: Forever Will End On Thursday. Fantastic work Nic!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

First Crocus 2011

First Crocus

This morning, flowers cracked open
the earth’s brown shell. Spring
leaves spilled everywhere
though winter’s stern hand
could come down again at any moment
to break the delicate yolk
of a new bloom.

The crocus don’t see this as they chatter
beneath a cheerful petal of spring sky.
They ignore the air’s brisk arm
as they peer at their fresh stems, step
on the leftover fragments
of old leaves.

When the night wind twists them to pieces,
they will die like this: laughing,
tossing their brilliant heads
in the bitter air.

I wrote this poem in February 2006 and since then, it seems to have propagated across the web like wild. :-) It was first published by and remains on their site as part of their Spring Poems collection. The photos I took today, just a few minutes ago. Happy Spring!