Acoustic music and poetry

If you were to match a musician with a poet for an evening of culture and entertainment, who would they be?

A month ago I noticed this ad:

An evening of acoustic music and spoken word/poetry at Pepperdine University

An evening of acoustic music and spoken word/poetry at Pepperdine University[1]

Who wouldn’t want to attend this event? Two great artists on one stage for one evening. Makes sense to me.

Acoustic music and poetry fit together. Nearly a decade ago, I participated at a bookstore café event with musicians.[2] It is something I really enjoyed doing. The marriage of poetry and music resonates with an audience—especially an audience who does not know that they might enjoy poetry.

A few years ago, the Rooftop Poets (somewhat legendary) roof garden book launch and poetry performance featured jazz to accompany an evening of poetry.[3]  Three poets and two musicians joined for a lively evening of poetry, music and light refreshments.

What about you? As a poet, who would you love to work with for an evening of acoustic music and poetry? I have my wish list. What about you?

NOTES: [1] An evening of acoustic music and spoken word/poetry
[2] Malaprop’s Music/Poetry Gig Meditations
[3] A poetry reading and jazz show on the Roof Garden of the Battery Park Hotel

Advertisements

Keep calm and write something

Back in January I submitted more than 50 poems to various publishers. So, how many poems have been accepted? or rejected? More on that later….

[read more]

UPDATE: This blog post is available as part of an audio podcast.

Listen here:

Or listen on:
PodOmatic: coffeehousejunkie.podomatic.com
SoundCloud: soundcloud.com/coffeehousejunkie

E-book: How long does it take to write a haiku?: and other stories

Purchase the e-book Kindle Edition for $0.99!

What do you think about when you see a stack of books? In this short collection of stories you will also learn what a creative director thinks of when he sees a stack of books. Who is the audience for your poems? Is possible to write in your sleep, or not?

50 poems in 30 days

Over two months of writing a poem a day

Photo courtesy of coffeehousejunkie.

More than 50 poems were sent to publishers in January. Encouraged by another poet who submits somewhere in the neighborhood of 60 poems a month, I thought it would be a good discipline as well. It’s exhausting as well.

A few years ago, I was encourage not to post my poems on this blog (or Facebook), because a lot of small press publishers consider those poems “published.” So, I’ve been writing offline and sharing the new poems at private salons, a poetry festival and with friends. But I have not pursued publication until this year.

Talking with Al Maginnes after his recent reading at Malaprop’s, he told me how is first poetry submission was accepted immediately. Encouraged by this, he submitted more poetry to publishers. He said it was years before anything else was published.

So far, two publishers replied with rejection notices. That’s alright. I will submit those poems to other publishers.

Interview: Luke Hankins on Poems of Devotion

Poems of Devotion

Luke Hankins is Senior Editor at Asheville Poetry Review and the author of a collection of poems, Weak Devotions, a chapbook of translations of French poems by Stella Vinitchi Radulescu, I Was Afraid of Vowels…Their Paleness and editor of Poems of Devotion: An Anthology of Recent Poets. This Sunday, December 9 at 5 p.m., at Malaprop’s Bookstore/Cafe, Luke will read selections from Poems of Devotion: An Anthology of Recent Poets along with other featured contributors: Malaika King Albrecht, Richard Chess, Morri Creech, Richard Jackson, Suzanne Underwood Rhodes, and Daniel Westover. Luke agreed to a quick interview to discuss the recently published Poems of Devotion.

Coffeehouse Junkie Blog

Tell me how the anthology, Poems of Devotion, developed from concept to final printed book.

Luke Hankins

In my final year of graduate school, I took an independent study course with the superb poet and teacher Maurice Manning, which essentially meant that I chose an academic/creative project and he offered input on and evaluation of it. I have had a strong interest in spiritual poetry for many years, so it was natural that I would choose a topic that reflected this passion. The essay I wrote for that class was an examination of a particular set of qualities that characterized many of my favorite spiritual poems, qualities which, in my mind, constituted a distinct mode of composition. The essay was an early form of what is now the introductory essay of the anthology, examining what I call the devotional mode in poetry. When I first wrote it, the idea of editing an anthology hadn’t occurred to me, but as I continued to revisit and revise the essay after graduate school, I felt increasingly that the compiling “poems of devotion” would make for a superb collection of poems. As an experiment, I began gathering poems that I would include in a theoretical anthology, and that’s when I began to feel a real impulse — a “call,” if you will — to bring these poems together in an anthology. I sent out a proposal to several publishers, and I eventually signed a contract with Wipf & Stock Publishers.

What followed was — well, let’s just say a year of very hard work! Gathering the poems I wanted to include was one aspect: reading widely, taking recommendations, spending long days in the library or in coffee shops with large stacks of books. But all of that, though difficult, was full of pleasure and felt deeply rewarding. The other aspect was obtaining — and paying for! — permission from copyright holders to reprint the poems. That process was often labyrinthine, frustrating, and, not least of all, expensive. But it was worth it. I’m very excited about the finished anthology, and am moved and challenged anew each time I read it. Truly.

Coffeehouse Junkie Blog

Maurice Manning is becoming one of my favorite living poets. At the public library, I discovered his book Bucolics and then had an opportunity to attend one of his lectures at Warren Wilson. But I digress. You beat me to the second question which is what did you learn most? Seems like the whole publishing side of the anthology was quite a classroom of experience. If you will, highlight one moment during that year long process that “felt deeply rewarding” for you.

Luke Hankins

I think approaching the copyright aspect of the anthology with a certain level of naivety in many instances worked to my advantage. People were more inclined to take mercy on me and my minuscule budget! But there were a few publishing houses who were absolutely unmovable, and I had to pay out my teeth, so to speak, to include poems I felt were necessary to the anthology. So I learned to rejoice in small mercies where they came, and to practice stoicism about what I saw as exorbitant pricing from some of the major publishing houses.

Regarding your second question, I wouldn’t want to try to single out one moment that felt rewarding. I’ll just say that the process of discovering poets I came to love, whose work I had never read or had only read cursorily, was one of the most rewarding aspects. Re-reading poets whose work has been very impactful for me was another aspect. Also, there was an overall sense of being blessed to be able to dedicate myself to an undertaking that felt like an important fulfillment of who I am. I felt that I was working with real purpose. I felt that I was doing what I was meant to do.

Coffeehouse Junkie Blog

One final question, what’s the biggest thing you hope readers take away from Poems of Devotion?

Luke Hankins

I hope that readers — whether religious or non-religious, theistic or non-theistic — come away with a conviction that the devotional mode is a powerful, ongoing, vital mode in literature. I believe in these poems and their ability to do just that.

Rebecca Baggett, Joseph Mills & Nan Watkins

Poetry, December 2, 2012

Poetrio, December 2, 2012, 3 P.M.

Join poets Rebecca Baggett, Joseph Mills, and Nan Watkins for Malaprop’s monthly reading series Poetrio, Sunday, December 2, 2012, 3:00 p.m.

From Malaprop’s Bookstore’s Virginia McKinley news release:

Rebecca Baggett…. earned a bachelor’s degree in classical languages at Salem College and is the author of two previous chapbook collections…. GOD PUTS ON THE BODY OF A DEER, the poetry collection Rebecca Baggett will present on December 2, won the 2010 Main Street Rag chapbook contest.  Sarah Gordon has this praise for GOD PUTS ON THE BODY OF A DEER: “Rebecca Baggett’s strong collection…. The voice in these lyrics is original, the imagery fresh and vital, the subject matter compelling….  Throughout these poems the poet emerges as a soul leaning, leaning toward the light.”

Joseph Mills has…. has published fiction, drama, and criticism, as well as four books of poetry from Press 53…. Poet Anthony S. Abbot offered this enthusiastic response to Joseph Mills’ most recent book: “SENDING CHRISTMAS CARDS TO HUCK & HAMLET… is one of the most original collections of poetry I have ever encountered — original because it treats the whole world of books, poems, stories, fairy tales not only as being somehow more real than reality itself but as our most important lifelines to reality itself. There is about this book a sense of everything happening for the first time, even those literary events that seem to happen over and over.  What a pleasure this book gives the reader.”

Nan Watkins is a writer, translator, and musician who lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina. She holds degrees in German from Oberlin College and Johns Hopkins University, with further study at the University of Munich and the Academy of Music in Vienna…. Nan Watkins’ DREAMWOOD is the first English translation of Traumkraut, the final (and posthumously published) poems of Yvan Goll (1891-1950).  Goll is considered one of the finest European poets of the twentieth century.  He was born in Alsace-Lorraine and was bilingual in French and German.  In addition to writing as a poet, he became known as a novelist, playwright, translator and publisher who produced collaborations with Chagall, Dali, Picasso, Leger, Weill, Joyce, and others. Among those he published during his exile years in New York were W.C. Williams, Breton, Patchen, and Henry Miller.  In New York he also published his own book in English, Fruit From Saturn.  Poet Neeli Cherkovski has written of DREAMWEED, “This collection not only brings forth… a great poet’s voice, but also stands as a remarkable achievement in the art of translation.”

Hope to see you there.

For more info, contact: Malaprop’s Bookstore/Cafe, 55 Haywood Street, Asheville, NC 28801 (828) 254-6734

www.malaprops.com

Kathryn Stripling Byer Poetry Reading & Booksigning

Sunday, November 11, 2012, 3:00 p.m., Malaprop’s presents a poetry reading and book signing for Kathryn Stripling Byer.

From Malaprop’s news release:

Poetry reading and booksigning event with Kathryn Stripling Byer, former North Carolina Poet Laureate and another favorite here at Malaprop’s.  On November 11 she will read from and sign DESCENT, a collection of poems described as “navigating the dangerous currents of family and race,” in which Byer “confronts the legacy of southern memory, where too often ‘it’s safer to stay blind.'”

David Hopes, Holly Iglesias & Richard Krawiec

Malaprop’s presents Poetrio, November 4, 2012, 3 P.M., featuring David Hopes, Holly Iglesias and Richard Krawiec.

From Malaprop’s:

Richard Krawiec is an extraordinarily versatile writer who has published novels and short fiction as well as nonfiction (including textbooks on teaching writing), plays, and two books of poetry, Breakdown, and She Hands Me the Razor.  …AND LOVE… is the fifth anthology for which he has served in an editorial role, and this anthology includes his own poem “She Hands Me the Razor.”  The editors’ introduction to …AND LOVE… offers an enormous (and still not exhaustive) list of varieties and aspects of love, summarized, at least for the moment, in this way: “Whatever it brings, love is the only thing that makes everything else ring true.  And that’s what this collection is all about.  This burgeoning landscape of love, collected here, in the words of 125 poets.”

Holly Iglesias is well known to those who attend Malaprop’s poetry events regularly.  She last read at Malaprop’s for the October 2012 all-poetry Writers at Home event, and she has previously read on more than one occasion at Poetrio.  She has published several collections of poetry, the latest of which is Fruta Bomba (February 2012), and is the author of the critical study Boxing Inside the Box: Women’s Prose Poetry. Among her many honors is a 2011 fellowship in creative writing from the National Endowment for the Arts.  She teaches in the Master of Liberal Arts program at UNC-Asheville and contributed the poem “American Impressionists” (from her book Souvenirs of a Shrunken World) to the anthology …AND LOVE….

Poet David Brendan Hopes is also a prize-winning playwright, memoirist, and actor who lives in Asheville and is Professor of Literature and Language at UNC-Asheville.  His poetry has earned him the Juniper and Saxifrage prizes in poetry, and he continues his work as a playwright with a Lincoln trilogy for theater (the first two parts are completed), while working as well on a novel about Asheville.  He has published a number of poetry collections, and he read from his book Dream of Adonis at the Malaprop’s Poetrio event in 2008.  We are very happy to welcome him back for the presentation of …AND LOVE.., to which he contributed the poem “Before Supper.”

September 16, 2012: poetry at Malaprop’s

Writers at Home – Sept. 16th

This Sunday at the Malaprop’s cafe at 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, September 16, join the following poets as they read from their recent books: Holly Iglesias (ANGLES OF APPROACH), Sebastian Matthews (MIRACLE DAY: MID-LIFE SONGS), and Katherine Soniat (THE SWING GIRL). More details here. Link.

Poetrio, this Sunday, at Malaprop’s Bookstore

August Poetrio — 2012

This sunday, Malaprop’s Bookstore/Café continues the monthly poetry reading series, Poetrio, with Meta Commerse, Cassie Premo Steele, and Pauletta Hansel.

In an email from Virginia McKinley, of Malaprop’s, here’s a write up about August’s featured poets:

Meta Commerse. . . is the author of six books, including a novel intended to be a book of hope for middle-school-aged black girls.  That book began as her culminating project for the MFA degree in creative writing at Goddard College.  RAINSONGS: POEMS OF A WOMAN’S LIFE is her most recent book of poetry. . . .

Cassie Premo Steele’s poetry has appeared in numerous anthologies, magazines, and journals, including such publications as Sagewoman and Calyx. Her work has been nominated twice for a Pushcart Prize. . .  Her most recent book of poetry, THE POMEGRANATE PAPERS, is based on the Persephone/ Demeter myth and addresses the themes of mothers, daughters, creative cycles, loss, healing, and living in harmony with the seasons. . . .

According to Jackie Demaline of The Cincinnati Enquirer, Pauletta Hansel has been “an arts administrator and an unflagging arts advocate, [but] doesn’t like to talk about herself.”  Yet she seems happy to talk about the work she finds most interesting: “community organizing and community arts.”  . . . . Pauletta Hansel has published poems in . . . journals . . . and . . . has three previous collections of poetry, Divining, First Person, and What I Did There; at Malaprop’s she will read from her most recent book, THE LIVES WE LIVE IN HOUSES. . . .

Hope to see you Sunday, August 5, at 3:00 p.m. for Poetrio!

July Poetrio 2012

Sunday, at 3:00 p.m. at Malaprop’s Bookstore/café, the Poetrio series continues with three poets: James Davis, Kyle P. Harper, and Laura Walker.