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New Interview

I’ve got a new interview up at Talking about strawberries on the art of writing, and reading.

Categories: Uncategorized.

Not Musing

I have written a few poems, a handful, since fall. Mostly I am in the body, or reading. When the muse doesn’t bite like a swarm of deerflies, I’m content.

I know I’m in a natural state, brought on by pill brain chemicals that keep me level and not strung to a squeak anxious.

I have assembled a few poems from phrases that accumulate, from images I want to mull, from mental exercises towards deadlines after reading my fill.

I composed a few poems scaffolded to other poems a couple years ago.  I think they are uncommonly good. That doesn’t seem to be the general take. 5 test readers have given them a meh and said they are less good than my usual. I think they are different, less pressed, frenetic, less sad and clenched. But people want what they expect they want. Or maybe they are just head poems.

In any case I like them but have basically not written to any degree for 3 years or so. First I was too busy and then too concussed.

So, today I had the sensation of writing a poem, of the words falling out. I’d forgotten that feeling. As easy as unravelling knitting or shelling a bucket of peas. A familiar motion. A sense of being lifted. Of time stopping. A flow state. A sense of release.

As Kevin Spenst shared on twitter, coincidental with my reading Audre Lorde again, “I used to speak in poetry. I would read poems, and I would memorize them. People would say, well what do you think, Audre. What happened to you yesterday? And I would recite a poem and somewhere in that poem would be a line or a feeling I would be sharing.” – Audre Lorde

I’ve been blasé about poetry, frustrated with its impasses and repetitions, tropes, pretension, postures, slack romanticism, performativeness and clumsiness for five or six years. It wasn’t nourishing anymore. To find a kernel caused allergic reaction to all the chaff.

Maybe I needed time away. Maybe I still do.

It is perhaps a relative measure. Poetry gave better quality connection than people. Now people give a better ratio of connection than words.

I read more fiction, more non-fiction, more essays. I’d rather read about poetics than hear poems.

Partly I get full up easier. All I want is a sweet phrase. Give me a whole stanza and I’m good for weeks. A whole book worth reading takes ages to process. I overflow. And maybe that’s fine. I don’t have to take it all in.

I don’t have to share or condense everything either. Things can flow through me unseized. It’s fine. I don’t need to micromanage my thoughts, feelings, perceptions, pass judgement, direct, correct, make it all do athleticism.

I’d rather move stones, garden, cook, chat, listen to podcasts. Is this what civilian non-poets live like?

Categories: Mulling.

Haiku and How to Read

It’s curious going through a thick pad of haiku in journals and without reading the names, 2 poems called out to me by people I was already fond of. The individuality comes out in so few syllables, and the perspective on the world that clicks is still there, even remotely. Interesting.

Poetry matters more when you care about the person making it.

Two others got third reads because they are people I care about. Looking at the poem and their known parts of life, with more empathy than before I knew whose it was.

We need that in reading. If a person puts their heart out there, risks some show of self, why categorize it first a poem, not poem, quality of writing. It is something from the person. Even if the creation is imaginative fiction like Norman Rockwell feeling the ugly so making what he wanted to see, even if the creation is quaint attempts at wildly chaotic from a safe ordered position.

There’s the reader in the perceiving. There’s the writer in the perceived.

As much as I try to make a gap between myself and “what I produce”, the model is faulty. The Buddhist insistence of removing ego and that one can’t be hurt if one one has non-attachment, the Christian idea that one is disconnected, in the world but not of the world, separate from the body, the workshop idea that there is divide between created and creator. They are all binary ideas.

reading The Truth About Stories: A Native Narrative by Thomas King (CBC Massey Lectures Series, Anansi Press, 2003) has me pondering the underlying givens.

What would a collaborative model that doesn’t put self against self, self-against other, other against self look like?

What is reading as a collaborative, community act?

Conversational acceptance, curiosity, kind questioning into, less rule-based, more exploring for truths or exploring for its own sake?

 

Categories: Mulling.

News/updates

For those of you not on Facebook, twitter or my mailing list

 

I had two articles out recently:

Writing After a Concussion: at the QWF blog.

Writer on Wellness Feature in Writing & Wellness.

I have a new chapbook out of 20 years of my best haiku, senryu & tanka. Not Quite Dawn can be yours for $10 plus $2 postage.

I read 2 poems at the Virtual Reading Series at reading 3 of periodicities : a journal of poetry and poetics with Adeena Karasick, Pearl Pirie, Paul Brookes, Manahil Bandukwala + Margo LaPierre.

I also updated my author site with recent and upcoming poem publications.

 

Categories: Link Dump.

poetry is

I have said for years I like poetry but what I mean by that is observations from a curious, alert, agile mind, with an eye for compression. The mind that is self-critical and with a sense of humour. It could be other forms. A nimble, generous conversationalist, an astute playful piece of sculpture, ink-stamped marks or song lyrics. It is a paying attention and living with loose limbs but practiced gestures and not reinforcing what the person already believes.

 

Poetry is less likely than a novel or article to ramble on in its own ruts at length. But sometimes it does until it finds a new path.

Categories: Poetics.

Currently reading

I have probably 50 recently bought books unread. Probably 6 books pre-ordered. Probably 12 underway and partly mislaid. So far this year in 5 weeks, I’ve finished 6 books. Rather less than my usual 2-3 a week but my body has been evil and I have physical projects of sewing and construction.

  • Finn Family Moomintroll by Tove Jansson, trans by Ernest Benn Ltd (Square Fish, Macmillan, 1958)
  • The Vagina Monologues by Eve Ensler (Villard, 1998)
  • Gogo Monster by Taiyo Matdumoto Translated by Camellia Nish (Viz Media, 2009)
  • The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish by Neil Gaiman and illust by Dave McKean (Harpers Collins, 2006)Zen Guitar bt Philip Toshid Sudo,
  • Mooninland Midwinter by Tove Jansson, trans by Thomas Warburton (puffin books, 1958)
  • The Howls of August: encounters with Algonquin Wolves by Michael Runtz (Boston Mills Press, 1997)

Underway, Charlotte Gray’s Murdered Midas, Essays in Idleness by the Tsurezuregusa of Kenkō, collected plays of Euripides, Drawing the Right Side of the Brain by Betty Edwards,  …the silent Zero, in search of Sound…an anthology of Chinese poems from the beginning through the sixth century, translated by Eric Sackheim (Grossman Publishers, Japan, 1968), and probably other things in other rooms buried under other books.

I also belatedly realized I truncated my fav of 2019 reads list in a copy and paste error. It’s properly expanded.

Categories: 95books, Currently reading.

Poetry to Come Out to Look Forward to

Of course there’s the couple dozen, or fifty, books I have but haven’t opened yet. Still, the appetite is strong.

I look forward to Ghost Face by Greg Santos after having read his last two books. And a full book from Natalie Hanna.  Since I’ve liked every poem I’ve seen from her, I look forward to holding the first collection by Connie ClaytonWe Shed Our Skin Like Dynamite (ordered).

I loved Eduardo C. Corral‘s first book so look forward to Guillotine. Postcolonial Love Poem by Natalie Diaz is maybe finally out this year. (Pre-ordered.)

Bookland Press is releasing Sandscapes by Eric Charlebois any week now (pre-ordered). Likewise Dale Tracy’s above/ground chapbook.

David Groulx won the Newlove Award so I look forward to what he does next in his Bywords chapbook. Each book is a new thing with him. I don’t feel i’ve read one book therefore read them all. His material gets thicker not more abstract with time.

And I want a collection from Manahil Bandukwala.  I hope to see another David Blaikie collection in print. And from David A Epstein’s first chapbook. After reading another chapbook from Michael Sikkema (I have to get a book or three of his.) And a book from Marilyn Irwin.

At the Tree reading, Sarah Feldman had a striking comic timing, and humility about her poems in her first poetry collection, The Half-Life of Oracles. Hearing her read, I’m not sure if it was the poems or the patter that I found compelling. Eventually I’ll find the book and find out, but I guess that’s a couple years old now. Curious about Curtis LeBlanc’s Birding in the Glass Age of Isolation.

As I muddle about, not reading, I see Gwen Benaway’s day/break is already out, kinda (pre-ordered). Want that too.

I’m curious about Lauren Turner’s The Only Card in a Deck of Knives. I’m curious to look at Murmurations by Annick MacAskill, out with Gaspereau this Spring. Gordon Hill is a new press about, and their essays with poets this fall could be good. I’d like to get Roxanna Bennett’s Unmeaningable because her chapbook blew me away and got at least 4 rereads. Crow Gulch from Gooselane came out at the end of the year by Douglas Walbourne looks interesting.

Of course I look forward to footlights from Radiant Press, coming by October 2020. It’s been such a good experience working with them that I’d gladly do another book or few with them. Gerry Hill’s latest will be with Radiant this fall too.

I wonder if Micheline Maylor has anything out soon. (I find I missed a book so I can do that in the meantime.) Standing orders for whatever she, Rae Armantrout, Chuqiao Yang, David O’Meara, Monty Reid, or Stephen Brockwell put out. (Did I dream word that Stephen Brockwell likewise had another accepted somewhere?) I feel like Jamie Sharpe is due a book out, but I can’t recall if that’s 2020, or 2021.

rob mclennan has something with Anstruther Press soon. Kirby’s What do you want to be called is with Anstruther Press. Ellen Change-Richardson’s Unlucky Fours is out now. Want to get that too. Amy Leblanc has a title out with them this year too. No, wait, last year. Still, the press is on fire in the best possible sense.

I have to make a list of all I want or I forget. Even still, I know I’ve already forgotten a few.

Like Gil McElroy’s Long Division (pre-ordered).

John Elizabeth Stinzi’s Junebat from Anansi  (pre-ordered).

Russell Carisse’s Nomography. (ordered).

How did I not hear before 49th Shelf’s spring book list that Michael Dennis comes out with Low Centre of Gravity in June.

Body Count by Kyla Jamieson focusses on post-concussion. Should be interesting to peek.

” Meredith Quartermain’s Lullabies in the Real World (April) is a sequence of poems about a train journey from West Coast to East Coast that invokes a patchwork of regions, voices and histories.”

In rushes from the river disappointment (May), a meditative, musically attentive collection exploring the confounding nature of intimate relationships, stephanie roberts’ poetic expression is often irreverent, unapologetic, and infused with humour that can take surprisingly grave turns.

OO: Typewriter Poems (April), by Dani Spinoza, is a collection of feminist visual poetry that rewrites avant-garde poetic history.

Hmm, could be good. Could be an expensive year.

 

P.S. March:

Revery: a year of bees by Jenna butler (summer)

On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong

To Speak for the Trees by Diana Beresford-Kroeger (non-fiction)

A Reverence For Wood by Eric Sloane (older non-fiction)

The Union of Smokers, novel by Paddy Scott.

The Gospel of Breaking by Jillian Christmas.

Beloved Revolutionary Sweetheart by Beatriz Hausner

 

Categories: PSA, Poetry.

Favourite reads of 2019

Generally what lights me up are novels and memoirs that let me suspend disbelief and drop me into a timeless space. That’s magic to transfer mental images through squiggles. It’s not the subject but the resonance. Stories that model community and friendship caught me this year, accepting and rolling otherness into an us.

 

Novels:

  • Binti: The Complete Trilogy by Nnedi Okorafor (DAW, 2019) is an amazing trip through the universe as a girl comes of age as an extraordinary leader with intergalactic stakes, and forming her family of choice
  • The Allspice Bath by Sonia Saikaley (Inanna, 2019) is about living in a conservative Lebanese family and trying to find your own path despite being marriageable age.
  • Journey of a Thousand Steps by Madona Skaff-Koren (Renaissance Press, 2015) is a spy story with a protagonist fighting her limits with MS.
  • Amusement Park of Constant Sorrow: a novel by Jason Heroux (Mansfield Press, 2018) is absurdist in a way that’s realistic. Oddly it like Skaff-Koren’s novel also involves unwelcome home security systems.
  • No one can pronounce my name by Rakesh Satyal (Picador, 2017) follows a few people moving from isolation to connection, confession and to community
  • The Kennedy Moment by Peter Adamson (Myriad Editions, 2018) was a compelling thriller of how to drawn government funding to immunization.
  • Fish in a Tree: a novel by Lynda Mullaly Hunt (Penguin, 2015) where a special teacher sees through the coping strategy of a funny kid to the dyslexia beneath.
  • Son of a Trickster by Eden Robinson (Alfred k Knoff, 2017) is inside the world of urban indigenous and trickster magic
  • Sister-Mine by Nalo Hopkinson (Grand Central Publishing, 2013) was an absorbing ride through twists of magic and myth
  • Grave Importance: A Dr Greta Helsing novel by Vivian Shaw (Orbit, 2019) like a lot of supernatural fiction has a core community of support within the strange contexts. It’s the strongest piece in the trilogy.
  • The Uninvited by Geling Yan (Faber & Faber, 2006) follows a poser who accidentally enters the world of newspaper food critic /socialite and lavish eating in an otherwise impoverished neighbourhood. Hooting social criticism but at the same time elicits rooting for characters.

Memoir and non-fiction:

  • Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters’ First 100 years by Sarah L Delany and Elizabeth Delany with Amy Hill Hearth (Dell book, 1993) is a memoir of transcribed interviews of 2 unique and spirited strong women who lived through a century of change for black women in the U.S. There’s a power to oral histories in print in their own voices.
  • Becoming by Michelle Obama (Crown, 2018) which is a story of acting for change to give a hand up to make equity and empowerment happen. By audio book hearing it in her own voice was particularly powerful and heartening.
  • Love lives here: a story of thriving in a transgender family by Amanda Jetté Knox (Viking, 2019) Is a memoir of a family’s journey as 2 come out as transgender and one as queer. It made us cry and laugh as my partner and I read it all aloud.
  • The Howls of August: Encounters with Algonquin Wolves by Michael Runtz (Boston Mills Press, 1997) because he has a thrilled passion for his subject and deep knowledge.
  • Brave: Living with a concussion by Kanika Gupta (Language of Growth, 2019) is a brilliant illustrated book on understanding and navigating concussion. See images here: https://www.bykanika.com/brave.html

For Poetry:

  • Eleven Elleve Alive: poems by Stuart Ross, Dag T Straumsvag & Hugh Thomas (Shreeking Violet, 2018)
  • The day the moon went away by Marilyn Irwin (above/ground, 2019) is an economical chapbook but with an impact that doesn’t get less with rereads
  • Espesantes by Stuart Ross (above/ground, 2018)
  • Concealed Weapons/Animal Survivors by Natalie Hanna (above/ground,2018)

Note, embarrassingly enough I accidentally truncated list in copy and paste and didn’t notice. (Feb 7, 2020)

More favourite poetry from the year:

  • On forgetting a Language by Isabella Wang (Baseline Press, 2019)
  • Calling Down the Sky by Rosanna Deerchild (Bookland, 2019)
  • Choose your own poem by Laura Farina (above/ground, 2019)
  • Blood Memory by Neile Graham (Buschek Books, 2000)
  • These are not the potatoes of my youth by Mathew Walsh (Icehouse, 2018)
  • Welcome to the last earth show by Michael Sikkema (where is the river, 2018)
  • Dirty Laundry by N.R. Pillai (battleaxe, 2019)
  • A season in Lowertown by David Blaikie (manuscript, 2019)
  • The Way of Haiku by Naomi Beth Wakan (Shanti Arts LLC, 2019)
  • Rommel Drives on deep into Egypt by Richard Brautigan (A Delta Book, 1979)
  • You are enough: love poems for the end of the world by Smokii Sumac (Kegedonce Press, 2018)
  • In the Silhouette of your silences: poems by David Groulx (Now or Never Publishing, 2916)

Categories: 95books, Currently reading.

Year in Review: books read in 2019

I generally read a lot of memoir and science, but novels have foregrounded lately and poetry has dropped to less than half of my titles read in 2019.

In my total I include chapbooks (27/111 titles) and YA and lids books, comic books, graphic novels and audio books. Still it adds up to over 18, 300 pages of completed. (I have a couple dozen partly read books as the year closes.)

After the list are graphs of where I found books & the demographics read. Another post will highlight my favourites.

1 Gros Morne National Park by Michael Burzynski (Breakwater Books, 1999)
2 Towers by Frances Boyle (Fish Gotta Swim Editions, 2018)
3 The Way of Tanka by Naomi Beth Wakan (Shanti Arts LLC, 2017)
4 Petit-Bleu et Petit-Jaune by Leo Lionni (lutin poche de l’école des loisirs, 1970)
5 Spherical Harmonic by Catherine Asaro (TOR, 2001)
6 Yellow Crane by by Susan Gillis (Brick Books, 2018)
7 Diamond Star by Catherine Asaro (Baen, 2009)
8 Raising Goats Naturally: The Complete Guide to Milk, Meat and More by Deborah Niemann (New Society Publishers, 2013)
9 The Night Chorus by Harold Hoefle (mqup, 2018)
10 A Season in Lowertown By David Blaikie (unpublished)
11 The Invention of Hunger by Rae Armantrout (Tuumba 22, 1979)
12 27 canadian sail craft by Daniel f Bradley (unarmed, 2018)
13 Carnelians by Catherine Asara (Baen, 2011)
14 The Second time by Marco Fraticelli and Philomene Kocher (King’s Raod Press, 2004)
15 The Way of Haiku by Naomi Beth Wakan (Shanti Arts LLC, 2019)
16 The Windigo Chronicles by David Groulx (Bookland, 2016)
17 The Little Book of Hygge: The Danish Way to Live Well by Meik Wiking (Penguin, 2016)
18 Calling Down the Sky by Rosanna Deerchild (Bookland, 2015)
19 Sunrise Alley by Catharine Asara (Baen, 2006)
20 Asleep by Banana Yoshimoto, translated by Michael Emmerich (Grove Press, 2001)
21 Pooh’s Workout Book by Ethan Mordden (Dutton, 1984)
22 Living Starts with Love: Learning To Make Your Life Shine by Lesley Strutt PhD
23 We, Old Young ones by Dominik Parisien *Frog Hollow, 2019)
24 Sister-Mine by Nalo Hopkinson (Grand Central Publishing, 2013)
25 I’ve been meaning to tell you: a letter to my daughter by David Chariandy (M&S, 2018)
26 Yardwork: A Biography of an Urban Place by Daniel Coleman (Wolsyk & Wynn, 2017)
27 When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times by Pema Chödrön (Shambhala, 1997)
28 Keep Moving: And other tips and truths about living well longer by Dick van Dyke (Hachette Books, 2016)
29 The Inner Life of Animals: Love, Grief and Compassion: Surprising Observations of a Hidden World by Peter Wohlleben, trans by Jane Billinghurst (Grestone, 2017)
30 The Reason you Walk by Wab Kinew (Viking, 2015)
31 Dead as a Doornail by Charlaine Harris (Ace, 2005)
32 Choose your own poem by Laura Farina (above/ground, 2019)
33 Beautiful Stupid by John B Lee (Black Moss, 2018)
34 All Together Dead by Charlaine Harris (Ace, 2005)
35 You’re going to have to keep this up Forever by IAN MARTIN (AngelHouse, 2018)
36 Trauma Head by Elee Kralji Gardiner (AnvilPress, 2018)
37 Bob Snider: on Performing, or how to break a leg (Gaspereau, 2008)
38 from Turtle Island to Island Gaza: poems by David Groulx (AU press, 2019
39 Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters’ First 100 years by Sarah L Delany and Elizabeth Delany with Amy Hill Hearth (Dell book, 1993)
40 Dirty River: A queer femme of colour dreaming her way home by Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha (Arsenal, 2015)
41 Who Fears Death, by Nnedi Okorafor (DAW, 2010)
42 Rommel Drives on deep into Egypt by Richard Brautigan (A Delta Book, 1979)
43 Con/tig/u/us by Kevin Heslop (Blasted Tree, 2018)
44 No Tv for Woodpeckers: poems by Gary Barwin (Buckrider, 2017)
45 Water by Bapsi Sidhwa (key porter, 2006)
46 Make Contact: Contributive Bookselling and the Small Press in Canada Following the Second World War, thesis by Cameron Alistair Owen Anstee (U of O, 2017)
47 a hole in the light: the red moon anthology of English language haiku of 2018: ed by Kim Kacian (red moon, 2019)
48 This is where I get off by Kirby (Permanent Sleep press, 2019)
49 Witness: poetry and prose of Joanne Page by Stan Dragland (A Fieldnotes Chapbook, 2014)
50 Am a Skin Too by David Groulx (anstruthervpress, 2018)
51 Fireborn by Keri Arthur (Penguin, 2014)
52 Dear Kestrel by Khashayar Mohammadi (K | F | B, 2019)
53 At the water’s edge, edited by Devin Harrison and Mike Montreuil (HaikuCanada, 2019)
54 The Golden Shovel Anthology: New Poems Honoring Gwendolyn Brooks, edited by Peter Kahn (University of Arkansas Press, 2017)
55 These Wings by Kim Fahner (Pedlar, 2019)
56 Sasanka by Doris Fiszer (Bywords, 2018)
57 China Suite by Julie de Belle (Éditions Vaudreuil, 2018)
58 The Kennedy Moment by Peter Adamson (Myriad Editions, 2018)
59 Paperdoll by Manahil Bandukwala (Anstruther, 2019)
60 Babymouse: our hero by Jennifer L Holm & Matthew Holm ( RandomHouse, 2005)
61 Still No Word by Shannon Webb-Campbell (Breakwater, 2015)
62 Flesh, Tongue by Yaya Yao (Mawenzi House, 2015)
63 The Orville: New Beginnings, part 1 of 2, by David A Goodman (2019)
64 Binti: The Complete Trilogy by Nnedi Okorafor (DAW, 2019)
65 In the Silhouette of your silences: poems by David Groulx (Now or Never Publishing, 2916)
66 Hiraeth: Tercets from the last Archipelago by Eileen R. Tabios (Knives, forks & spoons press, 2018)
67 Forest Primeval: poems by Vievee Francis (University of Illinois, Triquarterly, 2015)
68 You are enough: love poems for the end of the world by Smokii Sumac (Kegedonce Press, 2018)
69 The Spaceship Next Door by Gene Doucette (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2018)
70 An Aorta with Branches, A Travelogue by Deborah Wood (Sunnyoutside, 2017)
71 Machina by Nina Jane Drystek (& co collective, 2017)
72 Welcome to the last earth show by Michael Sikkema (where is the river, 2018)
73 Ninety Tiny Poems by Stuart Ross (above/ground, 2019)
74 The Orville: New Beginnings, part 2 of 2 by David Goodman (Blackhorse, 2019)
75 Algonquin Wild: a naturalist’s Journey through the seasons by Michael Runtz (Fitzhenry & Whiteside, 2019)
76 Probability Moon by Nancy Kress (Tor, 2000)
77 The Allspice Bath by Sonia Saikaley (Inanna, 2019)
78 Rose-water syrup: a poetry collection by Maha Zimmo (Cyberwit, 2019)
79 Hard work cheering up sad machines by Jason Heroux (Mansfield, 2016)
80 The accidental chef: a memoir by Caroline Ishii (2016)
81 The Orville # 3: the Word of Avis, part 1 of 2 by David Goodman (Blackhorse, 2019)
82 If I were born in Prague: poems of Guy Jean, trans by Katie Farris and Ilya Kaminsky (Argo Books, 2011)
83 Grave Importance: A Dr Greta Helsing novel by Vivian Shaw (Orbit, 2019)
84 Side by Side: a novel by Anita Kushwaha (Inanna, 2018)
85 On Forgetting a Language by Isabella Wang ( Baseline Press, 2019)
86 Spells for Clear Vision by Neile Graham (Brick Books, 1994)
87 No one can pronounce my name by Rakesh Satyal (Picador, 2017)
88 Fish in a Tree: a novel by Lynda Mullaly Hunt (Penguin, 2015)
89 What looks like crazy on an ordinary day by Pearl Cleage (Avon, 1997)
90 The day the moon went away by Marilyn Irwin (above/ground, 2019)
91 Hymnswitch by Ali Blythe (icehouse, 2019)
92 Maze by Hugh Thomas (invisible books, 2019)
93 These are not the potatoes of my youth by Matthew Walsh (Icehouse, 2019)
94 The cat who said cheese by Lilian Jackson Braun (Jove, 1996)
95 Frying Plantain by Zalika Reid-Benta (Anansi, 2019)
96 The Fly in Autumn by David Zieroth (Harbour, 2009)
97 Blood Memory by Neile Graham (Buschek Books, 2000)
98 The Kabir Book: 44 of the Ecstatic Poems of Kabir, versions by Robert Bly (Beacon Press, 1971)
99 Slip Minute by Anne-Marie Turza (Baseline Press, 2018)
100 Od Magic by Patricia A. McKillip (Ace, 2005)
101 Love lives here: a story of thriving in a transgender family by Amanda Jetté Knox (Viking, 2019)
102 Brave: Living with a concussion by Kanika Gupta (Language of Growth, 2019)
103 Son of a a Trickster by Eden Robinson (alfred k knoff, 2017)
104 The Lost Ones by Sheena Kamal (Harper, 2017)
105 A Thief, A Spy, and the corpse who rode shotgun by Adam Thomlison (40-watt spotlight, 2019)
106 Annie John by Jamaica Kinkaid (Farrar, Strauss & Giroux, 1983)
107 The Landscape that isn’t There by Mary Lee Bragg (Aeolus House, 2019)
108 Amusement Park of Constant Sorrow: a novel by Jason Heroux (Mansfield Press, 2018)
109 Journey of a Thousand Steps by Madona Skaff-Koren (Renaissance Press, 2015)
110 Cluster by Souvankham Thammavongsa (M&S, 2019)
111 Becoming by Michelle Obama (Crown, 2018)

In the year my poetry reading dropped by more than half of total. I didn’t do as much classics as I planned reading half that were published within 2 years. I binged on a couple novelists. I did more audio books than ever.

Most books from the library, followed closely by new from bookstore, used from bookstore then from press fair or festival table.

Most books: from the library, followed closely by new from bookstore, used from bookstore then from press fair or festival table.

50% of books read were from 2018-2019, 30% from the decade before and 18% from over a decade but less than half a century.

50% of books read were from 2018-2019, 30% from the decade before and 18% from over a decade but less than half a century.

 

55% of books that weren't poetry were novels, memoir 20% and essays 16%

55% of books that weren’t poetry were novels, memoir 20% and essays 16%.

13% were by GLBTQ2+

13% were by GLBTQ2+

9111 were from indigenous writers and 28 from POC.

9/111 were from indigenous writers and 28 from POC.

dissatisfaction only 1% of books, 2 star for 5% of books and was blown away by 16% of books read.

I dropped more books, persisting to 1 star dissatisfaction only 1% of books, 2 star for 5% of books and was blown away by 16% of books read.

 

Most ends of year book list have ones I’ve heard of. Or ones I own, but haven’t read, and some I’ve read but most I’ve never heard of although I’m pretty bookish. Some lists are contained to books of 2019, or books that moved, or a genre or a geography. What amazes me of end of year enjoyed books lists is how few overlaps there are, which underscores how many books there are. Here are lists of others: derek beaulieu, Kerry Clare, Vicki Ziegler, rob mclennan, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Jonathan Ball,Nick Moran, CBC, Esquire, 49th shelf poetry, and all the #95books people on twitter, and weekly regulars of Michael Dennis and Jessica Drake Thomas.

 

Categories: 95books, Currently reading, CWILA.

Short poems and editing poems classes

Want to get your poetry mind in higher gear this year? Have poems at an impasse that you want out the door before New Years? The classes have forums to share with fellow poets (closed to the public) and in each class you can send me 6-10 poems for direct feedback. As well, each has readings and exercises to bring up your game.

Register for Editing poems
https://pearl-s-school-a933.thinkific.com/enroll/433123?price_id=453218

Week1 : Translating You: Cento, Golden Shovels, and writing what only you can
Week 2: Recut: line work. Focusing on the structure of the poem
Week 3: You do you: writing from where and who you are.
Week 4: Ending it: ending lines, ending poems

$138 U.S./$180 Canadian
open for 9 weeks

Register for Brief poems
https://pearl-s-school-a933.thinkific.com/enroll/580995?price_id=613704

$138 U.S./$180 Canadian
open for 9 weeks

Week #1: Write Tighter: Muscular poems
Week #2: Haiku and Senryu: The aesthetics of small
Week #3: Short Lyric: What can you do in under 12 lines?
Week 4: Minimalism: Subtraction for the sake of focus

A third class on feelings in poetry may be added before January.

Categories: PSA, Poetry.