Thursday, March 23, 2017

Index of Women Poets

From the Poethead blog, here is an Index of Women Poets.

Among my favorites are Seed by Paula Meehan and Self Portrait as She Wolf by Breda Wall Ryan.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Getting Back to Blogging

It's been awhile, yes, a year since I have blogged. That's the thing about doing a degree. You end up working on the degree itself until you finish (which I will this month). It's been a major endeavor and has certainly re-lit the travel bug in me.

Before the degree, I had traveled to writing programs in rural Maine (from not quite as rural Maine), to the Adirondacks (every July for many a July), and internationally to Campobello Island (right across the bridge from down east Maine).

During the degree I made a trip to Ireland for one of my MFA residencies and two trips to Nova Scotia for my studies of the poet Elizabeth Bishop. I'm celebrating my graduation with a trip to Ireland for The Cork Poetry Festival next month. I'll also go to the Adirondacks again and possibly back to Campobello or even to Iceland. Though, I'm not sure about those last two for this year.

There are many opportunities for a writer to travel to meet like minded people and here is a list of them, nicely gathered by Aerogramme Writers' Studio. I'm planning to apply to at least a few.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Otherwise Unseeable by Betsy Sholl

Otherwise Unseeable
by Betsy Sholl
The Univesity of Wisconsin Press $16.95 (paper)

Former Maine Poet Laureate, Betsy Sholl, has seven collections of poetry. Her most recent, Otherwise Unseeable, is the winner of the 2014 Four Lakes Poetry Prize.
Assembled in three sections, the collection seems to start off locally mainly on the east coast of the United States. In “The Clam Diggers” written in ten couplets, we read “Through grit thicker than coffee grounds,/ they tend to look for what bores in// and spits air bubbles out.” By Section II we have traveled farther, to “Russian Bells” and then on to “U.S. Clamps Down on Pianos to Cuba”, written in sixteen tercets. “To get donated Steinways and Baldwins/ into Havana requires cranes, a cargo ship,/ . . . //which aren’t on the dock when the ship arrives./ So the young American who’s risking / arrest to break this sound barrier// worries and phones, paces and waits.” By Section III, we are happily almost anywhere as in “Bass Flute” “No talk here of Meaning, it’s all ing,/ raw urge that nudges the wall between/ music and noise.” The collection is both local and widely geographic. The style, while mainly short stanzas in relatively poems also includes one prose poem, “Wood Shedding” and a few that are as original in form as well as content. That last category would include “Shrines” presented in five parts with dialog offset in italics and time and place changes from Ireland back to a prison art room back to Ireland, at the foot of a statue of a saint. “where a stone Saint Colum was surrounded by// a yellow cigarette lighter, a key ring with green gremlin, a rain-swollen/ missal, toy train, crumpled cigarette pack, inhaler, cassette tape, a small/ heart-shaped stone ...// and we wondered what the saint made of all this.”