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Publication News: 2 Poems in Bourgeon

My poetry workshop group has a range of voices and advice on poems, and I’m grateful to them for their help in refining two poems — one about bullying and one about gun violence.

Bourgeon and the wonderful editor, Gregory Luce, were kind enough to select them for publication this week. This magazine is a good resource for all things art in D.C.

You can read my poems, here.

I’ve been published by this online magazine before — my Pergola poem about my vova. I’m ecstatic to be published here again.

Search for a Poet Laureate in Montgomery County, Md.

Interested in having a

POET LAUREATE

in Montgomery County, MD?

 

Join us on Monday, May 20 at 7 pm

at The Writer’s Center, 4508 Walsh Street, Bethesda (see writer.org for directions)

A discussion of how we can establish a Poet Laureate position in Montgomery County.

Organized by an ad hoc committee of local poets

Discussion will include: Why do we need a Poet Laureate? What would the duties of the Poet Laureate be?  How would the Poet Laureate be selected?  Would there be compensation or would this be an honorary position?

Reservations for this meeting are not required, but we want to be sure we have enough seats .

Please RSVP to [email protected].  Thank you!

Book Fairs Around the World

As book lovers nothing gratifies us more than a book in hand. When we’re at book fairs surrounded by books, authors, publishers, and fellow book mongers, well that’s pure bliss.

If you’re looking for a book fair, check out this colossal searchable list International Book Fairs 2019 by the folks at the Kotobee Blog.

No matter where you are in the world, this list will help you locate the nearest book treat to you. Here’s a little snippet I took for the calendar of book fairs in North America (posted here with permission from the Kotobee Blog).

 

Giveaway: Love_Is_Love: An Anthology for LGBTQIA+ Teens edited by Emma Eden Ramos

This anthology contains a wide range of art from essay to poetry (including 3 of mine) to story, as well as drawings and other art to spread a message of love and hope.

Each sale of Love_Is_Love: An Anthology for LGBTQIA+ Teens edited by Emma Eden Ramos are donated to The Trevor Project.

We are hosting a giveaway sponsored by editor Emma Eden Ramos. Learn more below:

Love_Is_Love is a  collection of poems, short stories, and visual art for LGBTQIA+ teens. All of the proceeds will be donated to The Trevor Project, an organization that has been saving the lives of LGBTQIA+ teens since 1998.

Painting on wood by Natascha Woolf

It is our hope that Love_Is_Love will help lend support to LGBTQIA+ teens who are struggling to deal with today’s pervasive homophobic and transphobic rhetoric that can make the world feel like a terrifying and unsafe place.

In addition to dedicating this collection to The Trevor Project, We would also like to dedicate Love_Is_Love to the young adults whose lives were cut short because of bigotry, cruelty, and ignorance. Matthew Shepard, Brandon Teena, Lashai Mclean, Paige Clay, Mollie Olgin, Tiffany Gooden, Gabriel Fernandez, and countless others, these words are for you.

The editor of Love_Is_Love will be giving away three copies of this new anthology!

To participate, please type a message of support you’d like to extend to a struggling LGBTQIA+ teen. While only three contestants will win, all of the posted messages will go out to the LGBTQIA+ community via Twitter.

Thank you so much for participating!

Deadline to enter will be Feb. 14, 2019 — a day of love.  Spread the love, everyone. Leave comments below.

Martin Luther King, Jr., Holiday

Take this time to reflect on the freedoms we have in this country, and how there was a lot of sweat and blood that went into making them a reality.

Also take a moment to think about how precious those freedoms are and what you are willing to do to keep them.

Finally, imagine a world (like now) in which you need to take action to actively preserve those rights.

What would you do, if you were Martin Luther King, Jr.?

War Reading Challenge 2019

Yes, I have another reading challenge to announce! Anna and I decided that 2019 would be another year of reading about any war you wanted in nonfiction, fiction, poetry, and other genres.

We hope you’ll join us and share your reviews and thoughts.

Here’s the post to link up.

Poetry Reading Challenge 2019

wordcloud

It’s that time again when everyone makes lists of books they want to read. We’ve already seen a lot of First Books for 2019, so I’m interested to see what poetry books everyone will be reading this year.

I’m always on the hunt for new poetry read, and I hope you are to. Stop by, join the challenge, let us know how many poetry books or poems you plan to read this year.

When you post about poetry, review a poetry collection, or want to talk about a poem that was powerful, feel free to leave a link below:

No pressure in this challenge, just a lot of sharing.

First Books 2019

Sheila at Book Journey always hosts the First Book event. Here’s this year’s post.

My daughter and I decided to participate this year, so we hope you’ll check out the post and join us today.

We had some errands earlier in the day, so this post is a bit late.

My daughter chose to read a debut children’s book by Cristina Hanif today.  We met her through her soccer team, and I helped her find a publisher and get her words into print. We’re very excited to help her in a small way reach her goal of publishing Logan and Luna Find the Magic Tree.

I chose to read The Night Circus, which many have already read and enjoyed and which Anna bought me ages ago.

Best Books in 2018

I read fewer books this year, but some of them were fantastic. A lot of the best books I read were poetry. I did read some really great children’s books, too.

I’ve decided to keep the list short this year to only those books that stayed with me long after reading them. This does not mean the other books I rated five stars or four stars were any less fantastic.

Without further ado, here’s my list of the best reads from my year in reading:

1. The Hunger by Alma Katsu is my favorite kind of horror book — based in reality, elements of the supernatural, and deep tension.(my review)

2. Crumb-Sized by Marlena Chertock readers will be immersed in the narrator’s life of debilitating daily pain and how to cope and turn negatives in positives. (my review)

3. Nevertheless, We Persisted, with a foreword by Sen. Amy Klobuchar is a phenomenal collection of essays from those who have endured darkness and seen the light at the end of the tunnel. (my review)

4. Louisiana Catch by Sweta Vikram is fiction that exposes real life dangers that face many of us in the 24/7 social media world we’ve created. From catfishing to abuse, Vikram has developed a multi-layered novel of survival and strength. (my review)

5. Creepy Pair of Underwear! by Aaron Reynolds, illustrated by Peter Brown is the one children’s book that my daughter reads over and over when she wants to read before bed, during the day, or any time really. Rabbit lead character with an active imagination. (my review)

6. How to Love the Empty Air by Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz is a love letter to the past and the passing of a mother. Told beautifully, Aptowicz examines the anxieties we all feel when loved ones do not assuage our fears that they didn’t arrive home safely and explores the empty spaces in between when we say “see you soon” and when it is too late to see them. (my review)

What books are on your best of 2018 lists?

Happy Holidays

I want to wish everyone a happy holiday season. May you all receive the books you desire.

I’ll post the Best of 2018 list before the end of the year, so keep an eye out.

In the meantime, enjoy your family time.

2018 Poetry Gift Guide

Usually at this time of the year, I’m reading to meet my goal on GoodReads or just trying to finish up the dozen books I’m reading at the moment.Not this year, since I met my goal already.

In the middle of that, I’m usually scrambling to find a meaningful or needed gift for friends, family, and others. I love giving gifts to those who don’t expect them.  I also love sharing some of my favorite books in bookstores and on the Metro, and pretty much anywhere where books can be discussed.

In that spirit, I wanted to provide you with a short list of poetry books I love and why I think you should share them — I’ll even give you a couple hints as to who might love them, even if they say they don’t read poetry.

For the Kids:

1. Ada Twist, Scientist by Andrea Beaty, illustrated by David Roberts, is a perfect introduction to rhyme and poetry, as well as a strong girl who loves science and can do anything. The book will inspire children to get the discovery bug and want to find out for themselves how the world operates and what is going on around them. (my review)

2. Fly with Me: A Celebration of Birds Through Pictures, Poems, and Stories by Jane Yolen, Heidi E.Y. Stemple, Adam Stemple, and Jason Stemple is more than just poetry; it’s a collection and celebration of words and image. This is a collection for bird lovers, young kids learning about nature and birds, and the whole family. Through words and photographs and illustrations, kids can learn about birds in their area, migration, and so much more. (my review)

3. Poe: Stories and Poems by Edgar Allan Poe, adapted by Gareth Hinds, is gorgeous! Any one who knows Poe’s poems and stories will want this in their collection. The graphic novel brings the poems and stories to life. These classics become vibrant, and it will be a great way to show younger readers the gruesome and haunting lines of Poe come to life. (my review)

For Dog/Animal Lovers:

1. Dog Songs by Mary Oliver brings to life the familial relationship people have with their dogs and other animals. There are moments of pure joy and moments of deep sadness. Her poems always carry a universality, and she reminds us that dogs are sentient beings as well. (my review)

For Science Fiction/Science Lovers:

1. Field Guide to the End of the World by Jeannine Hall Gailey is the best collection for those who love science fiction, zombies, apocalypse survival movies, and its a guide written in accessible, fun, and funny poetic verse. You cannot go wrong with this one. Even my book club enjoyed it, and many of them are not poetry readers. (my review)

2. Crumb-Sized: Poems by Marlena Chertock is a pint size collection with a powerful punch that uses science, humor, and space exploration to examine some deep issues, including body image and disability. These poems will have readers looking at space exploration in a more grounded way. (my review)

Grab Bag — Collections for the Adventurous:

1. Saris and a Single Malt by Sweta Srivastava Vikram is a deeply emotional collection about loss and a tribute to a mother gone too soon. Through the various stages of grief, the poet shares her most intimate loss and the anger, sadness, and confusion she felt. Cherish those closest to you. (my review)

2. Story Problems: Poems by Charles Jensen is a creative collection that brings a new level of interactivity to poetry. Open-ended questions about world and self-examination in a collection with the cover of a composition book from school. A collection that deals with identity and loss, and so much more. (my review)

3. Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine is so powerful that even three years after I’ve read it, I still think about all the cultural and racial questions it raises. The essays, poems, etc. blur the line between I, she, he, etc. to make it a much more universal commentary on how we are all human and connected to each other. (my review)

4. Point Blank by Alan King brings to life the rhythm and funk of life as a young boy growing up black in America where the color of your skin still taints how you are perceived and treated. Although there are some fun moments and great pop culture references, there’s a great deal to think and discuss with others about race in America. There’s a frankness to these poems that cannot be ignored. (my review)

If you have someone who’s hard to buy books for, perhaps they need something like poetry this holiday season.

If you need a different recommendation, feel free to leave a comment and I’ll do my best to offer a collection that would be suit.

I’d love to hear about what books your buying friends and loved ones, too, even if they’re not poetry.

Happy Thanksgiving