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Indie Lit Award Poetry Winner: Catalina by Laurie Soriano

Indie Lit Award Poetry Winner Catalina by Laurie Soriano, which was selected unanimously as the winner and also is published by Lummox Press, is a cohesive collection that maintains more than one theme throughout and simultaneously.  The narrator travels from east to west coasts and from innocence to corruption and recovery; the journey is bumpy and fraught with obstacles and stumbles.  Soriano uses imagery that jolts readers to the heart of her themes; parts one and two focus on how the narrator grows up in an abusive home with an alcoholic parent, while the final two sections focus on parenthood and how the past can shape us, but should not rule our actions.

There are some satiric qualities to these poems as well, like in “Betty’s Dive,” where a young woman takes on a dare and pays the ultimate price, and those issuing the dare laugh at what they think is her mock “dead-man’s float” until realization slowly creeps over them.  There is a great sense of irony in some of Soriano’s poems as well, such as the “no dogs” sign that is clearly the subject of many dogs’ walks in “Venice After Work.”

In addition to the deft use of these literary devices, the poet also clearly ties her poems together as a story unfolds, and it is most prominent in the movement from “Red Wine” to “Crash.”  In “Red Wine” (pages 44-5), the narrator is descending into the alcoholic abyss of her father: “. . . My hands/grip the flesh of their waists as I stumble/further toward the land of my father,/the shifting land of regret and soggy laughter./” and “I ask daddy if we want win.  He fills/our glasses like love, daddy never loved me/like wine, and we start thinning our blood/with this red stuff, our words flow/like liquid, we laugh fit to bust, and/we walk home arm in arm,/like we never did.//”  In “Crash” (pages 46-7), the narrator has followed the path of her father with her drinking and now driving along, experiences the worst kind of regret and shock:  “the effect of all our causes,/you and I shuttle separately to the spot//where our masses would marry/and your blood would stain the street./For a moment, one of those out of time,/we hung in the air, as breathless as sweethearts,/before we came together, your motorcycle/tearing a path through my car,/as your body flew/three car-lengths forward.//”

Soriano’s poetry is highly emotional, leading readers into tumultuous memories and through happier times, and in many ways, her poetry reminds me of the poetic prose of Beth Kephart.  Each writer’s words are chosen carefully and it shows — quiet little powerhouses of emotion that grab the heart strings and do not let go, though they may release their stronger grip for a moment or two depending on the mood of the poem.  In Part three — “Being Here” — Soriano emphasizes the “in-the-moment” nature of experiencing new life and parenthood, which can include struggle and joy.

Catalina by Laurie Soriano is more than stunning; it’s luminescent.  It’s a collection that will stay with readers long after reading, and will share a space on the shelves with those books that you’ll want to re-read again and again.  One of the best collections of the year, and unconventionally, this review is going to end with my favorite lines:

From "To the Attacker" (page 42-3)

You've slashed apart the ripe
abandon of my trust, torn away
the quietude I wore like a dress.
I am left with what is in the box.

Other Indie Lit Award Poetry Panel Reviews:

Diary of an Eccentric
Necromancy Never Pays

Poet Laurie Soriano

About the Poet:

Laurie Soriano is the author of Catalina (Lummox Press 2011). Her writing has appeared in Orange Room Review, FutureCycle Poetry, Flutter Poetry Journal, Gloom Cupboard, Heavy Bear, and West/Word, among others. She is also a music attorney, representing recording artists and songwriters and others in the music industry. She lives in Palos Verdes, California with her family.

Please also check out her interview for the Indie Lit Awards.

 

***For Today’s National Poetry Month blog tour post, visit Mr. Watson.***

 

 

 

This is my 30th book for the 2012 New Authors Challenge.

 

 

 

This is the 12th book for my 2012 Fearless Poetry Exploration Reading Challenge.

Interview With 2011 Indie Lit Awards Poetry Runner-Up Edward Nudelman

What Looks Like an Elephant by Edward Nudelman, published by Lummox Press, was the runner-up in the 2011 Indie Lit Awards Poetry category.  I reviewed the collection yesterday as part of the National Poetry Month Blog Tour, and today, I’ve got a special treat — an interview with the poet himself.

Please give Edward Nudelman a warm welcome.

1. Could you explain the process of selecting the poems for your collection and how it felt to be nominated and then to be the runner-up for the 2011 Indie Lit Award?

Selecting poems for a collection is an important process, dictated not only by the quality of the poem, but also its cohesiveness with respect to the book’s theme and tone. I started with about 100 poems and then tried to select those that fell into one of several criteria I had predetermined to be important. In What Looks Like an Elephant, I was interested in comparing elements of experience dealing with certainty and doubt, the often contradictory and counterintuitive process of both finding comfort in what we know (or feel) to be true versus the angst of coping with the fear (or dread) of what we don’t know. Also, for me, not only is the selection process important, but also the ordering and presentation of the poems so that a story is told with the unfolding of the poems.

It feels great to be nominated and then be runner-up for The Indie Lit Award. To be more specific, the feeling falls somewhere between having a root canal without Novocain and winning the Lotto for 250 million dollars.

2. What events, books, or teachers turned you on to writing and/or inspired your writing? Would you count Robert Frost as an influence (particularly given your poem “Something There Is That Doesn’t Love a Garage”)?

Although I read a good deal of Frost in my younger years, and one teacher said I was a “Frost-incarnate,” I can’t say that he has been a major influence on my development, though probably to some degree. The poem you cite does riff off of one of Frost’s great poems, but that’s about all it does in association with Frost. Of course, like everyone else, I love Frost’s storytelling and his deeply committed allegiance to locality; I suppose I draw on that by default.

3. Tell us a little about your career as a scientist and how it finds your way into your poetry?

I have been a scientist in the field of cancer biology for over 30 years. It’s been a wild and fun ride, both immensely rewarding as well as frustrating and often demoralizing. I have had the fortune of being mentored by a twice Nobel nominee and have been able to publish over 60 papers in top-tier cancer journals. I only mention this because it’s important for those reading my work to know that I’ve been immersed in the field, and, as a poet, I’m often trying to bring to the reader certain elements of this world (i.e. the scientific community, scientific method, etc.) in an accessible and hopefully alluring fashion. I’m interested in exploring topics of fear, separation, temporality, loneliness as well as triumph and exhilaration. I find fascinating parallels in what I do as a scientist, and what I struggle with experientially.

4. Poetry is often considered elitist or inaccessible by mainstream readers. Do poets have an obligation to dispel that myth and how do you think it could be accomplished?

Well, I come from the land of elitism (the science world), so I’m well versed in its rules and regulations. However, I think if you look for it, you can find examples of elitism in practically every vocation. In poetry, you can find enclaves of elitism, but I don’t think it’s as big problem as sometimes reported. How does one define elitism? Making oneself inaccessible? Do poets really do that intentionally? I doubt it, and if they did, they wouldn’t write very good poetry.

Interpreting or even enjoying poetry often takes considerable effort, and perhaps this is interpreted by some as being elitist (why don’t they just come out and say it!). But, I think the issue and the resolution more relates to education. And we’re getting better at explaining what poetry is, what it aims to do, and what it never purports to do (i.e. be self-defining). So, in short, I’m not too worried about whether a particular poem or poet is considered elitist. Actually, I’m more worried about the opposite: the dumbing-down of poetry and the resultant acceptance of mediocrity.

5. Poetry is often solitary, more so than other art forms on occasion, because it is deeply personal, but there are efforts like the Split This Rock Poetry Festival and others that attempt to bring poetry to the masses and to bring about a social connection and call attention to a particular cause. Do you feel the need to do the same in your work? If so, why or why not? What do you think of these poetic movements?

Poetry movements are fine and serve a purpose I suppose, to punctuate any particular time or place something that needs to be brought into focus, into awareness. Poetry can do this, I think, in a way in which no other written medium can accomplish. Poetry has had a long rich history in the halls of social referendum and the people’s cry for change either from the street, the pulpit or in the workplace.

However, poetry should never be railroaded into a certain raison d’etre. If you do that, you begin to etch away at its power, which is the explosiveness of a single voice. [see the latest uproar over Gunter Grass' critique of Israel in poetic form]

For me, it is that personal expression that pleases, that keeps me going back through my mind and emotion to form words in a language I’m just beginning to understand.

6. What are you reading now in poetry and what poetry would you recommend others read and why?

Lately, I’ve been reading a good deal of Denise Levertov, a poet who interestingly (as per above), wrote poems early on in her career addressing political problems (Vietnam, women’s rights, etc.), calling forth public action over individual apathy. In her later years, however, her poetry evolved into a much calmer voice that I really love, dealing with more fundamental and universal issues in a refreshing way. I’m also reading Simic, Bishop, W.C. Williams, Wallace Stevens.  These are contemporary poets I read and like on a day to day basis and most are fairly well known:  David Yezzi, A.E. Stllings, Stephen Edgar, Jane Hirshfield, W.S. Di Piero, Daisy Fried, Ange Mlinko, D.A. Powell and Sasha Dugdale as well as a host of modern poets whose names you might not readily recognize.

Thanks, Edward, for answering these “probing” questions.

About the Poet:

Edward Nudelman is a poet, scientist and literary critic from Seattle.  He has two poetry books and his latest collection was runner-up for book of the year.  Check out his Website.

***Today’s NPM blog tour stop is at Bookalicious.***

2011 Indie Lit Awards Poetry Runner-Up Review: What Looks Like an Elephant by Edward Nudelman

What Looks Like an Elephant by Edward Nudelman, published by Lummox Press, was the 2011 Indie Lit Awards Poetry Runner-Up.  Initially, readers may fear the collection’s use of math and science, but Nudelman’s poetry makes these concepts accessible in most cases.  Broken down into four sections, the collection explores the known and the unknown, that which we fear and that which we do not.  There is a tension throughout the collection that will push and pull the reader with each poem’s exploration of the human condition steeped in nature imagery, math concepts, and scientific analysis.

In some instances, Nudelman uses the scientific method to carry readers through a series of images and questions about what we know to be true and what we think is true.  Like Socrates, the scientific method ensures that hypotheses are tested with experiments or examples and counter-examples to uncover the truth or guiding theory.  Beyond the use of math and science, Nudelman’s observation skills as a scientist still shine without them, like in “Arrival” (page 18),  “Outside, a dog wants in./Inside, a soul wears slippers and sips iced tea.//” and in “The Corners of Rooms” (page 35), “On sultry evenings while mosquitoes squeeze/through screens, you remain safe in the vertex/of walls.  Better to dazzle in a little gray light/than crisp-up in the middle of the oven./”

Beyond the science, the math, and the poetic observation, there are pieces of the great poets here, including Robert Frost in “Something There Is That Doesn’t Love a Garage.”  Nudelman is tackling the seen and unseen in his poems from what death looks like and how his touch affects us every day in “Trump Card” to “Gorilla Flower,” which revisits the old saying if a tree falls and no one is there to hear it, did it fall? — though in this case, it is the existence of a purple bloom in the midst of a white jungle, an anomaly that shouldn’t exist and yet does.  Themes and topics run the gamut here, and one of the gems is “Tracing Roots,” which is a tongue-and-cheek look at genealogy through the eyes of a scientist.

What Looks Like an Elephant by Edward Nudelman is looking into the heart of the matter, human matter.  He seeks the truth in poems through science, math, nature, and philosophical discourse, trying to make sense of the world and how it works.  While his narrations acknowledge finding the truth is often a futile endeavor, the journey . . . the experience is worth doing and sharing.

Poet Edward Nudelman

About the Poet:

Edward Nudelman is a poet, scientist and literary critic from Seattle.  He has two poetry books and his latest collection was runner-up for book of the year.  Check out his Website.

Stay Tuned for my interview with the poet on April 19. Also, here’s a video with Edward Nudelman reading from the book:

***For Today’s National Poetry Month Blog Tour Post, visit Diary of an Eccentric for The Girl’s post.***

Other Reviews of What Looks Like an Elephant from the Indie Lit Awards Panel:

Diary of an Eccentric

 

This is the 9th book for my 2012 Fearless Poetry Exploration Reading Challenge.

 

 

This is my 27th book for the 2012 New Authors Challenge.

2011 Indie Lit Awards Short-Listed Poetry Review: Sonics in Warholia by Megan Volpert

Indie Lit Awards 2011 short-listed poetry title, Sonics in Warholia by Megan Volpert is highly experimental with poetic form meshing together pop culture and prose with lines from songs and other elements many will recognize in a homage to the conundrum that was Andy Warhol (most famous for the Campbell’s Soup Can).  An interesting thing to note is the red “SIN” in the title, as well as the use of “Sonics,” which could be a reference to the garage band, The Sonics, from the 1960s.  The images of Volpert in the background remind readers of Warhol’s famous Marilyn Monroe paintings and the rows of knives.

The collection consists of eight long poems that play on musicality and surrealism, engaging readers in a back-and-forth, push-and-pull of ideas, much like Warhol himself, who remained cryptic about his process and his influences.  In many ways, Volpert’s work resembles that cryptic nature.

From “Portrait of a Mix Tape” (pages 7-12), “. . . Thus, Andy, please/enjoy your 58 years boiled down to fifty-seven minutes and fifty-/one seconds.//” the poem is homage to Andy through lyrics in popular music appearing from the time of his birth to beyond the time of his death to illustrate the influence he had on the narrator and the world, especially the world of pop culture.  In many of the poems, the narrator speaks directly to the ghost of Andy Warhol, but on some occasions readers will be left adrift if they are not as familiar with Warhol or the other images and pop culture events discussed.

“For the Love of Good Machines” (pages 13-19) begins with reference to Warhol’s relationship with Lou Reed as lead lyricist of The Velvet Underground, and again Volpert is combining music with her poetry as she speaks about the internal rhythms of songs vs. their external lack of speed and vice versa in the image of the stationary motorcycle, which she equates to the creativity of the mind — whether among poets, musicians, or artists.  Even though little may be produced outwardly, these creative spirits are always creating inwardly.  An ambitious collection of just eight poems oscillates between sublime and ridiculous, deftly providing a portrait of Warhol and all he gave to the world.  However, the style in which it is written could cause readers to take each poem in small chunks rather than as a whole and require some “googling.”

Sonics in Warholia by Megan Volpert has moments of sheer insanity and surrealism that many readers will either detest or love, and while the form is experimental, it does have poetic qualities of allusion, narration, and imagery that draw out themes and comparisons between all art forms and the often “hidden” quality that they all share — that which makes the affectations of that talent either succeed or fail in the eyes of the public.

Please check out other reviews from the Indie Lit Awards Panelists:

Necromancy Never Pays and her interview with Megan Volpert.

Poet Megan Volpert

About the Poet:

Megan Volpert is a poet and critic from Chicago who has settled in Atlanta with her wife, Mindy. Volpert holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Louisiana State University and is a high school English teacher.

Sonics in Warholia is her fourth collection of poems (Little Rock: Sibling Rivalry Press, 2011). The other three are The Desense of Nonfense and Face Blindness (Buffalo: BlazeVOX Books, 2009 & 2007), and Domestic Transmission (San Antonio: MetroMania Press, 2007). She is currently editing This assignment is so gay: LGBTIQ Poets on the Art of Teaching (Little Rock: Singling Rivalry Press, 2013).

***Today’s National Poetry Month Blog Tour stop is at The Indextrious Reader.***

 

This is the 7th book for my 2012 Fearless Poetry Exploration Reading Challenge.

 

 

 

This is my 25th book for the 2012 New Authors Challenge.

2011 Indie Lit Awards Revealed

2011 Indie Lit Awards Plain PoetryAs many of you already know, I’ve been working with the Indie Lit Awards for 2011 on as director of the Poetry panel.  This was the first year for an award in the poetry category, and I think the team picked the right two collections for the winner and runner-up slots.

This year’s winner is:

Laurie Soriano for Catalina (also available for Kindle), which was published by Lummox Press.  Please check out these videos of her reading from the collection.  Stay tuned to the Indie Lit Awards for our interview with Laurie.

The runner up in the poetry category was Edward Nudelman‘s collection, What Looks Like an Elephant, also from Lummox Press.

For the list of Fiction, Bio/Memoir, GLBTQ, Mystery, Nonfiction, and Speculative Fiction, please click on the Indie Lit Awards button in this post.

Congrats to all the winners, including Aine Greaney for Dance Lessons, which I reviewed here and who offered a look at her writing process after the novel is published, in the fiction category.

Seuss and More

I’ve dropped all reading today

because today is Dr. Seuss’ birthday

or so they tell me

those bloggers I see.

Let’s celebrate

his wit and fate

to entertain children and adults

with whimsical words to exult.

He’ll be 108

isn’t that great.

Come share your rhymes

on Twitter; we’ll have good times.

Hashtag #SeussDay

Come and Play.

For the LOVE of Seuss

In all Seussiness, please join us and share your Seussian memories, favorite books, favorite rhymes, politics, and more today.  I’ll tell you that my love of poetry started with Seuss’ Cat in the Hat, which he didn’t have published until 1958!  If you have no idea why Seuss (Theodor Seuss Geisel) is so fun, you should check out Seussville where you can learn about the author, his life, his politics, and just have fun creating your own Whoville character!

In a twist on Necromancy Never Pays‘ weekly trivia game, I’ve crafted a set of Seussian lines for you to check out and tell me which book they came from.  A Seussian prize will be given to the winner who will be drawn at random from those who get all the answers right.

1.  “UNLESS someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better.  It’s not.”

2.  “They kept paying money.  They kept running through until neither the Plain not the Star-Bellies knew whether this one was that one . . . or that one was this one or which one was what one . . . or what one was who.”

3.  “‘I will not let you fall.  I will hold you up high as I stand on a ball.  With a book on one hand! And a cup on my hat!  But that is not ALL I can do!’”

4.  “I hate this game, sir.  This game makes my tongue quite lame, sir.”

5.  “I’m sorry to say so but, sadly, it’s true that Bang-ups and Hang-ups can happen to you.  You can get all hung up in a prickle-ly perch.  And your gang will fly on.”

My daughter’s room is homage to Seuss in his books, his famous quotes, his color palette, and his characters.  I wanted her to be secure in her imagination, and I think that room will help her see that imagination can be

instrumental in success and happiness.  What I always loved about Seuss — besides his poetic rhymes — was the limitlessness of his imagination in the worlds and characters he created.  Worlds I just wanted to jump into and lose

myself in as a kid.  He showed me that life was full of possibilities as long as I was willing to grab onto opportunity or create it where there was none.

For some fun with kids older than mine, you should check out the Seuss crafts on CoffeeCupandCrayons (Mulberry Street, One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish, Oobleck)!

***Also today, I wanted to let everyone know that the judging process is still going for the Indie Lit Awards, and that the winners will be announced this month.***

Mailbox Monday #159

Mailbox Mondays (click the icon to check out the new blog) has gone on tour since Marcia at A Girl and Her Books, formerly The Printed Page passed the torch. This month’s host is the At Home With Books.

Kristi of The Story Siren continues to sponsor her In My Mailbox meme.

Both of these memes allow bloggers to share what books they receive in the mail or through other means over the past week.

Just be warned that these posts can increase your TBR piles and wish lists.

Here’s what I received this week:

1.  What Looks Like an Elephant by Edward Nudelman, which I’ll be reading and discussing as part of the Indie Lit Awards short list titles.

2.  Sonics in Warholia by Megan Volpert, which I’ll be reading and discussing as part of the Indie Lit Awards short list titles.

What did you receive?

2011 Indie Lit Awards Short List

After all the prodding and poking my team and I did on Facebook, Twitter, and our blogs, the nominations for poetry rolled in with over 200 nominations coming in for a variety of poetry.

But there were some clear favorites in the voting, with one short listed nominee collecting more than 70 votes alone.

I want to take this moment to thank the judging panel — Diary of an Eccentric, Necromancy Never Pays, 1330V, and Regular Rumination — for all of their help.  And as you know, with the announcement of the short list, your jobs are not over.  It is now time to read and discuss the short listed titles below.

  • Beyond Scent of Sorrow by Sweta Vikram (Modern History Press)
  • Catalina by Laurie Soriano (Lummox Press)
  • What Looks Like an Elephant by Edward Nudelman (Lummox Press)
  • Three Women: A Poetic Triptych and Selected Poems by Ramos, Emma Eden (Heavy Hands Ink)
  • Sonics in Warholia by Megan Volpert (Sibling Rivalry Press)

Luckily, the individual presses of these books have kindly offered to send copies of the books to all the panelists.  I wish all of the poets luck.

Please visit the Indie Lit Awards Short List for the nominees in Fiction, Biography/Memoir, Nonfiction, Mystery, Speculative Fiction, and GLBTQ

BBAW Community Connections & Giveaway

Building community connections among book bloggers takes time, no matter if you are a blogger whose been on the Internet for one minute or three years.  From commenting on other blogs to participating in memes or in reading challenges, book blogging is time consuming, exhausting, and daunting, especially when you first start out.

Imagine being a reader, writer, and lover of poetry and wondering where to find all the poetry bloggers? That can be difficult, just as its difficult finding readers in the “real world” who read poetry.

I would love to provide other poetry lovers with a space they can use to share their poetry recommendations, reviews, and questions.  Wouldn’t that be fun?  I’ve met a few wonderful readers of poetry, but there are certainly more out there.

So if anyone has some tips they’d like to share to bring this part of the community closer together, feel free to leave it in the comments.  I’m all ears.

Beyond finding your own like-minded readers, its also good to participate in community events like BBAW and the Indie Lit Awards.  The Indie Lit Awards are particularly important because readers and book bloggers are gaining a voice, and in an effort to make that voice more powerful, the awards will be given to those books that WE feel are worthy of recognition.

I’m chairing the Poetry committee this year, and love getting the word out about awesome poetry books.  We’re looking for some great 2011 nominations, and hope that you’ll stop by between now and the end of the year to nominate your favorite poetry books published this year.

Now, for today’s giveaway.  I have 1 copy of Women Know Everything! by Karen Weekes, which I received from Quirk Books and want to pass along to someone else to enjoy. 

You must be a blogger to enter and leave your blog link in the comments.  Deadline is Sept. 16, 2011, at 11:59PM EST and is open internationally.

Nominations Are Open!

***This is a Sticky Post***

Today is the first day of nominations for the Indie Lit Awards. What are the Indie Lit Awards? 

The Independent Literary Awards are book awards given by literary bloggers. Lit bloggers write about books and literary related items. They are the fastest growing form of publicity in the literary world, though most are still independently run and do not receive compensation for their reviews or recommendations. All directors and voting members for theses awards are completely independent and do not receive compensation for reviews nor their work on the award board.

The categories seeking nominations include:

Several of these are new categories for the 2011 year, including Poetry.

In order to nominate please refer to the following:

  • Books nominated must have a 2011 release date.
  • You may nominate a book that has already been listed (the books with the most nominations will be what we add to the Long List).
  • You may nominate books in more than one genre, up to 5 per genre.
  • Nominations are open to all readers who do not make their income through the sales of books (i.e. not authors, publishers, or publicists) — hence “independent” from the publishing industry.
  • Nominations are open midnight PST September 1, 2011 – 11:59 PST December 31, 2011.

If you haven’t read any poetry or want some suggestions, I’ve got a running list up and ready for you to visit.

I’d like to make the Poetry category a success this year with a wide range of nominations beyond the popular titles, like Caroline Kennedy’s She Walks in Beauty

I know that there are many of you out there who can make that happen, especially since each of you has the opportunity to nominate up to 5 poetry titles from 2011.

***Please scroll down for today’s review one of the best pieces of fiction I’ve read in a long while.

Poetry Books 2011: Indie Lit Award Suggestions

Although official nominations for the 2011 Indie Lit Awards will not be accepted until September, I wanted to start collecting recently published poetry titles for consideration.  I’m borrowing this idea from Eclectic/Eccentric, who created a running list for her category, speculative fiction.

Also, if you want a handy tutorial on how to search for the latest poetry books, please visit Regular Rumination.  I couldn’t have explained it better.

To access this list at any time, please click on this icon in the right sidebar.

So, here’s a ever-growing list of poetry books published in 2011; please feel free to leave titles in the comments and I will see that they are included:

Cormorant Beyond the Compost by Elisavietta Ritchie (published January 2011)

Something’s Wrong With the Cornfields by Margaret Randall (January 2011)

Imagining the Self by Laverne Frith (published January 2011)

After the Ark by Luke Johnson (published January 2011)

The Book of Men by Dorianne Laux (published February 2011)

The Book of Ten by Susan Woods (published February 2011)

Money Shot by Rae Armantrout (published February 2011)

The Little Office of the Immaculate Conception: Poems by Martha Silano (published February 2011)

Head Off & Split by Nikky Finney  (Published February 2011)

The Broken Word by Adam Foulds (published March 2011)

Culture of One by Alice Notley (published March 2011)

Together:  Stories and Poems by Julius Chingono and John Eppel (published March 2011)

Crack Willow: Poems of Transformation by Shelby Allen (published March 2011)

Ethics of Sleep by Bernadette Mayer (published March 2011)

Space, In Chains by Laura Kasischke (published in March 2011)

The Chameleon Couch by Yusef Komunyakaa (published March 2011)

Invisible Strings by Jim Moore (published March 2011)

In A Beautiful Country by Kevin Prufer (published March 2011)

Illinois, My Apologies by Justin Hamm (published April 2011 )

Horoscopes for the Dead by Billy Collins (published April 2011)

The Art of Angling:  Poems About Fishing by Henry Hughes (published April 2011)

She Walks in Beauty by Caroline Kennedy, Jane Alexander, John Bedford Lloyd, and Hope Davis (published April 2011)

Leavings by Wendell Berry (published April 2011)

Good Poems, American Places edited by Garrison, Keillor (published April 2011)

Sightseer by Cynthia Marie Hoffman (published April 2011)

A Black Girl’s Poetry for the World by Kimberly LaRocca (published April 2011)

Curses and Wishes by Carl Adamshick (published April 2011)

Words for You by Various Artists (published April 2011 — Audio CD)

purrrrrrr by Abraham Uravic (published April 2011)

Three Hours to Burn a Body by Suzanne Roberts (published May 2011)

Somewhere Over the Pachyderm Rainbow by Jennifer C. Wolfe (published May 2011)

Flies by Michael Dickman (published May 2011)

Spare Parts and Dismemberment by Josh Fernandez (published May 2011)

Life on Mars by Tracy K. Smith (published May 2011)

This Strange Land by Shara McCallum (published May 2011)

Soul Clothes by Regina D. Jemison (published May 2011)

Dhaka Dust by Dilruba Ahmed (published June 2011)

Of Gentle Wolves: An Anthology of Romanian Poetry translated by Martin Woodside (published July 2011)

FFing by Meg Frances (published July 2011)

Broetry by McGackin, Brian (published July 2011)

Come, Thief by Jane Hirshfield (published August 2011)

Clean by Kate Northrop (published August 2011)

Listen With Your Eyes by Strainj (published August 2011)

Transfer by Naomi Shihab Nye (published September 2011)

Three Women:  A Poetic Triptych and Selected Poems by Emma Eden Ramos (published September 2011)

Beyond the Scent of Sorrow by Sweta Srivastava Vikram (published September 2011)

Apologetic for Joy by Jessica Hiemstra-Van Der Horst (published October 2011)

Waking by Ron Rash (published October 2011)

The Glossary of Tania Aebi by Carolyne Whelan (published 2011)

Announcing the 2011 Indie Lit Awards

Ironically, following my idea to celebrate small and independent presses this month, I discovered the Indie Lit Awards online. However, I did notice that the awards did not have a poetry category, so I started inquiring about it.

This year, I was asked to take part in the 2011 Indie Lit Awards (click for the history of the awards) by Wallace at Unputdownables, and I agreed to be director of the newly added category — Poetry — because it was a natural fit for me, and I knew some great people who could participate as voting members.  Want to see whose on the team?  Check them out and the teams for Biography/Memoir, GLBTQ, Literary Fiction, Mystery, Non-Fiction, Poetry, and Speculative Fiction.  Poetry, Biography/Memoir, and Mystery are categories that were added this year.

Wallace explained the process of nominating books much better than I ever could, so please check out her explanation or refer to this portion below:

When do nominations open?

September 1, 2011- December 31, 2011.

Can I nominate?

Nominations are open to book bloggers who do not make their income through the sales of books (i.e. not authors, publishers, or publicists) — hence “independent” from the publishing industry. You must provide a blog address when nominating to prove that you have a currently running book blog.

I am a book blogger and I want to participate in nominating. How do I get books that were published in 2011 (I don’t want to spend all of my money on hardcovers)?

There are several ways. First, you can purchase new books on your e-reader of choice… these are usually $10-$15 cheaper than print versions. Second, you can borrow them from your local libraries. Third, you can contact publishers and let them know you are interested in reviewing their books. Lastly, we are hoping to open a list on our site that shows which bloggers review in which genres so publishers can more easily find who to send their newest books to. (Keep your eye out for that — it’s not available right now, but should be coming soon.)

There are other ways to support the awards as well, please check out the post from Wallace.

Please follow the updates from the Indie Lit Awards blog or on Twitter. There are some great buttons for the awards and the poetry nominations to display as well.

I hope that many of you, who should be participating in my 2011 Fearless Poetry Reading Challenge, will participate in the nomination process!

Also, please do not forget that next month, April, is National Poetry Month, and we’re hosting the annual blog tour here at the blog. I hope you’ll all be participating with guest posts and reviews!