Saturday, March 24, 2012

Break Time

I know it's hardly been a week but I've decided I need to take a small break from blogging. I will continue to read all the blogs I love, but I've been experiencing an overwhelming feeling to listen to to world instead of talk to it. I'm going to do that for a while. I also have a writing retreat coming up in May I need to prepare for!

See you soon! Andrea

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Almost Invisible and Other Good Finds

Mountain Biking Upper Loop Trail, Crested Butte, CO, USA
Image by via Flickr

Mark Strand has a new book out! I need to order Almost Invisible. It's on my wish list for now because I have too many books in the pile, but I may just have to skip over a few and come back to them! My poem for the week is Strand's "Harmony in the Boudoir" from this new collection.

A few other good finds from this past week:

Another book I can't wait to get my hands and eyes on: Jack Gilbert's Collected Poems 

"How to write a letter to a fan" by Roald Dahl

I love this flash fiction story by Tawnysha Greene in Dogplotz: "Woman Things"

What's going on in your world? What are your good finds of the week?

I'll conclude this post with a tweet that made me stop and reflect on my writing life (I need to listen more!) from Poets House:

We sit together, the mountain and me,
until only the mountain remains.
                      -Li Po

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Notes from a Workshop with Ralph Angel

Ralph Angel reads a handful of poems

Going through some old journals this weekend, I found a sheet titled "Workshop Notes - Ralph Angel!! 4/21/07." The excitement I felt at finding these notes is similar to what I felt walking into that workshop with a writer I adored. I was so nervous, I can't remember half of the workshop, so thank goodness for these notes:

Anytime you can, use the pure noun and verb.

Vagueness never conveys vagueness.

If you have a heavy-handed subject, you cannot treat it heavy-handedly. (See Cesar Vallejo's "Weary Rings)

Poetry: language for a language that cannot be articulated. Art exists because it cannot be said.


What do you think about Angel's explanation of why art exists? 

Monday, March 12, 2012

Tomatoes and Other Good Finds

Tomato 1
Tomato 1 by sfxeric via Flickr
Sorry I'm a day late with this post. My husband built me a small garden to plant in and we took advantage of the sunny Sunday we received. All in all, we've four tomato plants, two jalapeño, two cilantro, two basil, one rosemary, two strawberry, and one zucchini.

Because I'm still floating on new gardener air, I wanted to find a poem on gardening, or more specifically, tomatoes, and though this poem for the week isn't specifically on gardens or growing tomatoes, it does mention tomatoes in a dark yet touching sense: "Early Cascade" by Lucia Perillo.

Some other good finds:

How to be left alone to read while traveling (I got a good chuckle out of this write-up! I almost felt as if I was reading my own writing)

New video version of Taylor Mali's poem "What Teachers Make" via Jessie Carty

A favorite blogger of mine, Natalia Sylvester, on The Importance of Fictional Truths

Some Thoughts on the Lost Art of Reading Aloud via The New York Times - Do you read aloud anymore?

How was your week? Any good finds to share?

Happy Monday! Andrea

Thursday, March 8, 2012

First Moment of Existence

March is National Women's History Month. Whom do you celebrate?

"For a long time I believe my first moment of existence is when I jump over a broom. I remember a house. I remember sunlight through a window..." - from Caramelo by Sanda Cisneros

For me, this window is my Grandma's small kitchen window, a weeping willow peeking in from it's left corner while we are kneading dough for flour tortillas in our hands, her hands twice the size of mine. She walks over to a drawer and pulls out a miniature rolling pin, the first gift I can remember her giving me. This moment one of the greatest.

Grandma in my kitchen many years later doing what she loves to do and cooking my favorite Thanksgiving meal!

Three generations in the kitchen: Grandma, Mom, and Me

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

One With Others Pairing

I've been fortunate enough to join a poetry group via a few friends on Twitter. In two short months, I've read poetry collections that have buried themselves in my soul. C. D. Wright's One With Others is a what the writer herself defines as a "hybrid form." Wright artfully and gracefully weaves news reports, interviews, stories, and personal experience into a collection that breathes the history of her mentor, V, and the Civil Rights movement in Arkansas. I don't know that I will ever read a book that will move me more than this one. In the video below she talks a little about One With Others and reads a few of my favorite passages:

In arriving at the section in the book detailing the students walking to the all-white school and bravely linking arms together while singing "Like A Tree Planted by the Water," I stopped to google the song because I couldn't recall ever hearing it. After listening to the video below, I sat in silence with an aching yet hopeful heart. There are so many things we never learn in history class, and I am forever grateful for C. D. Wright and her poetry that articulates "the cruel radiance of what is."

What is the most important book you feel you've read in your life and why did it touch you as it did?

Sunday, March 4, 2012

A Moment to Believe In and Other Good Finds Sunday

The Purple-Leaf Plums are blooming in my backyard

I've selected Anne Sexton's "The Expatriates" as the poem for this week. " was a moment/ to clutch at for a moment/so that you may believe in it..."

Other good finds from this week:

It's Women's History Month! How are you celebrating? Here's a poetry pairing for it!

I want to go for a ride with Terrance Hayes - fabulous poetry article! 

The back story for my poem "Flying Ant" is now up on Rose & Thorn Journal's blog

A lovely music video to inspire you: "Did Skies Divide" by Leora Caylor

What has inspired you? What are you looking forward to this week?

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Mailbox Candy

 More works of art from Karen Gielen! The top one is my favorite! Such a delicate image.

 Two more! Look at the detail in the top one. And I have a slight obsession with bird images, so the second one is just my cup of tea. The poem accompanying it is perfect.
And last but not least, I received the postcard "Tea" by Henry Matisse from my sweet friend Kristin who's in Virginia with a few notes about Virginia Woolf's To The Lighthouse and daydream of us having a fancy tea in a garden years from now. I cannot wait. It's been too long since I've seen her.

The lovely postcard with the oranges is from my new pen-pal Caren and carries a touching note about picking oranges from her grandmother's trees growing up. I look forward to more stories such as these!

This month of letters has touched my soul. There is much kindness and beauty in the world!

What's delighted your heart and eyes recently?