Poetry reading list for National Poetry Month, part two

Asheville’s Beanstreet coffeehouse, circa 2005.

As stated previously, the poetry reading list for National Poetry Month is designed to encourage you to seek out the influence of living poets — where they live and and where they read. Allow me to introduce you to a few of the living poets I met at the open mics and coffee dens of Asheville, North Carolina.

One of those souls is an editor, poet, journalist and friend, Pasckie Pascua.[1] He has published several chapbooks and collections of poetry and prose. We first met at a coffeeshop in West Asheville and later haunted Beanstreets and other places from North Carolina to New York City. He left the back door to the poetry scene open for me and allowed me to grow and mature as a poet and writer. He also published many of my early writings. Lines from his poems still echo in my mind, like this one:

“The color of my poem

is also the color of my brother’s soul,

the color of my friend’s heart.”[2]

Another poet I wrote with and read alongside is Jessica Newton.[3] She facilitated a writers group when I first moved to Asheville. We gathered at the UNCA library or other spots around Asheville to write and read our compositions. Sometimes she brought writing prompts or other sources of inspiration. We shared prompts and poems. One night Mara Leigh Koslen[4] brought examples of haibun.[5] She introduced the poetic form and then we wrote. It was that night that I composed the first draft of a poem that would later be published.[6] Several other poets and writers visited the writers group.

My poetry reading list is really an introduction to friends and poets who I have met face-to-face. We read and wrote poetry together. We drank coffee at sidewalk cafés until dark-thirty. We shared wine after a moonlit poetry reading. Met in cafés and coffeehouse, taverns and art galleries, bookstores and basements and rooftop ballrooms. We did life together.

When I introduce you to poetry, I introduce you to friends.

I’ll continue the reading list, introductions throughout this month. [7]

NOTES:

[1]Learn more about Pasckie Pascua from this Rapid River Magazine article. http://www.rapidrivermagazine.com/2015/red-is-the-color-of-my-night/
[2]Read the full poem, “Red is the color of my night” and other poems. http://pasckiepascuawords.blogspot.com/p/poetry-red-is-color-of-my-night.html
[3]Jessica Newton is published in several literary journals. The last time we read together was at the Asheville 100 Thousand Poets For Change event. https://coffeehousejunkie.net/2013/10/03/100tpc-quote-jessica-newton/ Jessica was also a finalist in the Mountain Xpress poetry prize: https://coffeehousejunkie.net/2011/04/07/who-will-be-the-winner-of-the-2011-mountain-xpress-poetry-prize/
[4]Mara Leigh Koslen bio: https://palimpsestgarden.com/about/bio/

 

 

National Poetry Month, weekend edition, part one

Poems well composed haunt readers. Like an old injury, they return with an ache during inclimate weather. It is April. Yet snow covered the ground earlier this week. Along edges of many fields near Whitewater, small mounds of unmelted snow still remained.

It is National Poetry Month. Like the season, it is time to celebrate in spite of the frosty conditions.

An open mic I visited this week featured one young poet amid a variety of singer songwriters. The poem shared was morose, hurried and full of mixed metaphors. Nothing wrong with that. I dare say a lot of my early work resided in that landscape. I hope to hear more of her work.

A prominent poetry publication arrived in the mail a couple weeks ago. I read nearly midway through the publication searching for a memorable line or image. Nothing. A lot of doleful activism and academic rubric. Maybe it was the reader’s fault. Maybe after more rest I will pick up the publication, reread the poems and find something notable.

This weekend, while rearranging a bookshelf I noticed a stack of books, newspapers and magazines. Included were old issues of The New York Times, books of poetry translations, a couple American poetry books and a copy of the May 2011 edition of Poetry magazine.

The publication featured a Dana Gioia poem with a haunting opening line “So this is where the children come to die, . . .” How can you not keep reading this poem? It is so good. In the second part of the poem, the speaker reflected, “I’d lost one child/and couldn’t bear to watch another die” and ended that part of the poem with “But there are poems we do not choose to write.” From the first line of the first part of the poem to the last line of the third part, the poem “Special Treatments Ward” was exceptional.

A poem that possesses a reader like Dana Gioia’s poem “Special Treatments Ward” will survive long after the April snow has melted.

Poem Four: Never look a doughnut dealer in the eyes

Never Look A Dealer in the Eyes

NOTES:
1) Originally published April 5, 2011, https://coffeehousejunkie.net/2011/04/05/poem-never-look-a-doughnut-dealer-in-the-eyes/
2) This is a rough draft and includes typos, erroneous grammar and other literary warts. In this case, perfume is intentionally misspelled to represent a unique American accent.

Poem Three: Loneliness visits

DSCN5435[basic-lomo-sangria]

Loneliness visits, was published in ISM Quarterly.

Poem Two: Reading “My American Body”

DSCN5421[bsc-lomo-dusk]

Reading “My American Body” by W. K. Buckley
by Matthew Mulder

Fireflies sparkle
outside. I see them through the
living room window.
It’s the time between
times as I
examine a new hole in
my jeans and consider
“Picking up their shreds
to the tangled light.”
Condensation rolls down
St. Pauli Girl who
makes me sparkle
inside.

NOTES:
(c) Matthew Mulder. All rights reserved.
Originally published in Rapid River Arts & Culture Magazine, October 2005

Poem One: The Last American Chestnut Tree on Forest Street

The Last American Chestnut Tree on Forest Street

The Last American Chestnut Tree on Forest Street, was published in The Blotter.

Poetry reading list for National Poetry Month, part one

The best way to share poetry with people — who do not know that they may like poetry — is to start by reading the works of living poets. That is the basic idea of my poetry reading list for National Poetry Month.

Most books lists of are just lists. Promotional bullet points. Usually there is an image of the book or photo of the poet, a brief description or summary, sometimes even a list of credentials and awards, and a hyperlink to the poetic work or an online retail store. That is an approach I will try to avoid.

I read recently that the ancient Greeks and Romans enjoyed literature in a very different way than our modern culture — where we silently read books. The ancient poets read and/or recited their work out loud to a public audience.

So, my poetry reading list for National Poetry Month is designed to encourage you to seek out the influence of living poets — where they live and and where they read.[1]

NOTES:

The Annual Poetry Marathon is next weekend

The 24th Annual Poetry Marathon Benefit Reading for Milwaukee’s Woodland Pattern Book Center is next weekend, Saturday, January 27, 2018.

The time slot between 9 PM – 10 PM is when I’ll be reading some poetry. Others reading during that segment include: Patrick Branum, Andrew Cantrell, Nick Demske, Dan Godston, Sara Goodman, Marcy Rae Henry, Jennifer Karmin, Kimberly Lyons and Blake Nemec.

Please consider supporting the effort. Contact me for details. Or visit the links provided. Much gratitude!

Thursday Great Lakes blues

Thursday Great Lakes blues

Lake Michigan. Last week. As viewed from the the Milwaukee Art Museum’s Baumgartner Galleria. Glass sculpture.

The Annual Poetry Marathon is just weeks away

Woodland Pattern Book Center, 720 East Locust Street, Milwaukee, WI 53212

The 24th Annual Poetry Marathon Benefit Reading for Milwaukee’s Woodland Pattern Book Center is this Saturday, January 27, 2018.

Five reasons to support the poetry marathon:

  1. over 25,000 small press titles represented
  2. book titles include poetry, chapbooks, fine print materials, broadsides, and multicultural literature
  3. money raised supports Woodland Pattern’s 2018 programming in literature and the arts, including an after school program and youth summer camp
  4. enjoy 15 hours regional poets, writers, and lovers of the arts
  5. 150 poets and writers from Milwaukee and surrounding areas

If those five reasons are not enough, I will be reading during the Annual Poetry Marathon. Please consider supporting the effort. Contact me for details. Or visit the links provided. Much gratitude!