Thursday, January 13, 2011

On New Things

There's only 2 copies of the book left on my shelf. I cannot adequately describe how grateful I feel to all of y'all who have ordered copies. Thank you. I hope you find something in the poems. Should have more copies in the next few days...


Killer first line of the moment:

"till the face of the oceans, plow wild"

from Jeanne Larsen's "Hurricane Gardens"
(Why We Make Gardens (& Other Poems), Mayapple Press, 2010)


Found out this morning that my book will be featured at the Small Press Distribution table at AWP. This is great news as NYQ Books won't have a table, so this way the book will still be available at the bookfair. The press website has also been updated with some sample poems and links to all the major online book retailers. Spooky.

Starting to get super-stoked about AWP. Very much looking forward to reading with Jeanne Larsen, Madison Smartt Bell, Jill McCorkle, and David Huddle to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Hollins University program in Creative Writing. Just as much looking forward to reconnecting with old friends, encountering blogfolk, and discovering new poets and ways to look at poems. Who's going? Who do y'all want to see? (Me: Terrance Hayes, Sandra Alcosser, Stephen Dunn, Junot Diaz, Charles Wright...)


We will hear much talk in the weeks to come of the Lone Gunman, an archetype useful to those of us who wish to absolve ourselves.

Sober news people will soberly shrug their shoulders and whisper into microphones about the mysteries of the human heart. It will be as if there was no motive for the crime, as if the murderer were a machine that malfunctioned rather than an American who mistook sadism for an expression of his beliefs.

The more hysterical reactions will come from those who feel themselves implicated, who fear the great con of their professions exposed. They will react with absurd rituals of denial, as if, after all their violent agitation, they are the ones being fired upon, the victims of some vast and unending conspiracy.

This operatic indignation is what I meant when I spoke, a few months ago, about the American descent into a shame culture.

It has nothing to do with politics. It has to do with the capacity for moral self-reflection. What happens when a large and well-armed portion of our citizenry can no longer apologize? When humility becomes another form of humiliation? Their heroes exhort them: Never retreat. Reload.

-Steve Almond (I'm not sure there's a more cogent and eloquent writer/thinker, when it comes to social commentary)


We need to face up these new challenges-- not just as individuals or separate interests, but as a nation with a national purpose. The world of the next generation will change too rapidly for political parties to focus too narrowly on the next election. And the 21st Century can be another American century-- but only if we restore a larger sense of responsibility and replace the clattering cacophony of the perpetual campaign with a wider discussion of what is best for our country.

via The Washington Post

What I thought was a truly excellent speech by John Kerry, regarding our nation and the dire dangers we face as a society if we continue in this polarized political state. Watch it at the link.



There's so much amazing music in Seattle right now. Macklemore and The Head and the Heart are both doing incredible things, and it seems as though the rest of the country is beginning to notice. Feeling incredibly fortunate to be living in this city right now, and proud to call myself a Seattleite. Go Seahawks!

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