Call for Poetry Book Donations & Looking for Tour Hosts

National Poetry Month 2012 is nearly upon us, with less than two months to go.  I’ve got a few great bloggers willing to talk about poetry and to host reviews and guest posts in April, but I’ve still got some open spots on the schedule.  Won’t you help me fill them in?

I’ve got a few guest posts coming in from poets that need blog tour hosts for them.  Just drop me an email if you want one and what day you want to host.

Also, if you’re a poet or a publisher of poetry, I’m looking for short guest posts from you about poetry for some fellow bloggers who want to join the tour but don’t feel they want to review a book.  I’m looking to help them out with a guest post form you.  Please email me with your ideas at savvyverseandwit AT gmail

Finally, anyone who would love to share the love of poetry through some giveaways in April, please sign up to donate books, poetry workshop classes, poetry journals, literary magazines, and any other poetry-related items.  Send me an email to savvyverseandwit AT gmail with your donations and if you prefer I run the giveaway or you’d like to run it yourself.

OK, that’s it.  I hope everyone can help out.  See you for the big tour in April.

Curiosity Quills Blog Tour Continues…

Hello everyone.  I just wanted to let you know that my crazy obsession with poetry is spreading to another blog this week.  Today, I’m guest posting at The Hopeful Librarian as part of the Curiosity Quills Blog Tour.  I hope you’ll check out my essay, which includes quotes from some of my favorite writers — Beth Kephart, Charles Jensen, and Sweta Srivastava Vikram.

Please stop by and let me know what you think.  Also, you can check out my guest interviewer for the tour, here.

Reason to Drool Over Poetry

I’ve read a number of posts over the years from fellow bloggers about their love/lust of authors from the Book Lady’s Panty Throwing to bloggers like Hey Lady! Whatcha Readin?’s spotlights on the books she’s drooling over.  I know that we all drool over actors and various book series and more, but when it comes to poetry, many people shy away or turn their backs.

I’ve got a little incentive for you to consider reading poetry or looking at the poets who make the poems.  Have you heard of the Naked Muse 2012 Calendar? If you follow my Facebook/Twitter updates, you may have when I shared the Huffington Post article on this little gem.

(I want to formally thank Anna since she sent it to me at a time I was struggling on what to write about for my first poetry post)

I really love that these poets decided to bare all for a good cause — see poets aren’t always purposefully confusing and there to just drive you crazy with seemingly incongruous allusions and metaphors.  In fact, their meanings can be as plain as the skin that they bare to the camera.  I’d love to see some American poets get in on this little project.

I like the idea that 100% of the profits will be used to help those with Type 1 Diabetes through research at JDRF.

What contemporary or classic poets would you like to see in a naked calendar?  What is your poetry post about today?

I hope you’ll consider joining the 2012 Fearless Poetry Reading Challenge.

For those in the challenge who already have reviewed poetry volumes in January, please put your full links in the Mr. Linky below:

The Gauntlet Has Been Dropped: Monthly Poetry Event

Lu, Kelly, and Eva have talked about reading more poetry in 2012, and they want us all to join in.  Stuck for a list of enjoyable poetry books, check out the Indie Lit Awards 2011 list and Lu’s list.

This challenge is open to everyone — from those who love poetry already to those just starting out or returning to poetry — and you don’t even have to read poetry, but post about poetry.  You could post about your favorite poet, why you hate poetry, why you want to read poetry, different poetic forms, something you remember about poetry from school, and anything else you can think of as long as it is about poetry.

This is the schedule for posting ONCE per month:

Poetry: Read More/Blog More – A Monthly Event!

January 31st
February 28th
March 27th
April 23rd
May 29th
June 26th
July 31st
August 28th
September 25th
October 30th
November 27th
December 18th

Once you’ve posted, visit Lu and Kelly’s blogs to put your link in the Mr. Linky!  Once you have your sign up post ready, link up here.

I’ve picked up the gauntlet, will you?!

Guest Review: Delights & Shadows by Ted Kooser

Today’s guest review of Ted Kooser’s Delights & Shadows is by a good friend and blogging pal of mine, Anna from Diary of an Eccentric.  It didn’t take too much arm twisting to get her to participate in Celebrating Indie & Small Press Month; All I had to do was give her a book to read.  She also gets to count this one for the Fearless Poetry Reading Challenge I’m hosting . . . see how diabolical I am?!

Ok, on with the review:

Former U.S. Poet Laureate Ted Kooser won the Pulitzer Prize for Delights & Shadows, which was published by Copper Canyon Press in 2004. Kooser’s poetry is what one would call “accessible” because it doesn’t take much deciphering or pondering to get at least a surface understanding, though some of his poems go much deeper.

Delights & Shadows is a collection of quiet poems touching upon such themes as memory, aging, death, and nature. Kooser obviously spends a lot of time observing his surroundings, and many of his poems bring ordinary objects or simple moments to life. When Kooser looks at the world, he sees things that many of us would miss, and the descriptions of what he sees are fascinating. In “Tattoo,” Kooser describes an old man browsing a yard sale and contemplates his past after he sees a tough-guy tattoo on his arm. In “A Rainy Morning,” he compares a woman pushing herself in a wheelchair to a pianist, writing “So expertly she plays the chords/of this difficult music she has mastered” (page 15).

Kooser manages to say so much in just a line or two. In “Father,” in remembering his father’s illness, he writes “you have been gone for twenty years,/and I am glad for all of us, although/I miss you every day” (page 36). In “Horse,” he calls a horse “the 19th century” (page 56), which calls to mind civilization’s past dependence on the animal. Other poems compare a pegboard to ancient cave drawings, describe the moment in which a bike rider pedals off, and use a spiral notebook to conjure memories of the past.

Delights & Shadows also includes a couple of narrative poems, poems that tell a story in verse. In “Pearl,” Kooser talks about visiting his mother’s childhood playmate to tell her that his mother has died. My favorite poem in the collection is “The Beaded Purse,” about a man taking home the coffin containing the body of his daughter, who’d left home to pursue an acting career and hadn’t been home in years.

Kooser is a master of quiet observation and finding the extraordinary in the ordinary. In Delights & Shadows, he describes the delights in these simple things, as well as the shadows of the past that these objects and observations conjure up.

Delights & Shadows was published by Copper Canyon Press, which was founded in 1972 and publishes only poetry. The company’s pressmark is the Chinese character for poetry, which stands for “word” and “temple.”

Disclosure: I borrowed Delights & Shadows from Serena to review for Independent and Small Press Month. I am an IndieBound affiliate and an Amazon affiliate.

Thanks, Anna, for participating in Celebrate! Indie & Small Press Month!  Seems to me that you really enjoyed this collection.  What other Kooser books will you be reading?

When I guest post at The 3 R’s Blog…

I’ve already announced our good news about the coming baby girl to our family, and when Florinda at The 3 R’s Blog asked for guest posts to cover her recovery from surgery.

I jumped at the chance to share my good news with a wider audience, and of course to solicit book recommendations from her readers.

I hope you’ll stop by her blog today and check out my guest post, A Year of Change & Poetry.  Don’t forget to leave comments; I’ll be watching… 🙂

eBooks Mess With Poetic Intent

eBooks continue to receive a lot of press, particularly when James Patterson becomes the first to sell more than 1 million ebooks and Kindle ebooks have outsold hardcovers.  But are ebooks the best option for all genres and will they translate into sales for short stories and poetry.

One poet — Billy Collins — has taken issue with ebooks.  The recent translation of his book, Ballistics, into an ebook was a disaster.  In one poem, a word was pushed onto a new line, creating a four-line stanza rather than the three-line stanza of the original poem.  According to a recent Associated Press story, ebook distributors and publishers cannot guarantee that the integrity of poems will be maintained once in electronic form.  Large indentations and other styles will likely lose their integrity in ebook form, creating new poems that are different than the poet envisioned or than the originally published poem.  These changes do not only apply to new poems, but also for the poems of older, dead poets.  Think of what [raise the shade] by e.e. cummings would look like in an ebook.

Collins says, “The critical difference between prose and poetry is that prose is kind of like water and will become the shape of any vessel you pour it into to. Poetry is like a piece of sculpture and can easily break.”  He’s right, and there are many other poets who are wary of providing their books electronically, even though it would behoove them to do so if they hope to sell more books.

Poets by and large do not earn a lot from their work, but the integrity of each poem is highest in their thoughts and actions when they produce, read, and sell those poems to the public.  However, poetry is available electronically across the Internet from online literary journals to other resources.  The question is how long will it take ebook publishers to get the poems right, especially when other online poetry magazines are ensuring the integrity of poems.