Wednesday, October 26, 2005


The Land-Grant College Review, a journal of short fiction out of NYC, has just published its third issue. I heard about LGCR early in its existence: I had just started planning year 2 of my reading series about the time the editorial team at LGCR was pulling Issue 1 together. We had a good fit, since I was determined to include literary forms other than poetry in my series and they were interested in showing off their wares in as many places as possible. Only thing is... I failed to produce an audience for them. It was early in both our life cycles, for sure, but LGCR procuded three readers, and I only turned up two for the audience. Counting me. They were very gracious about the whole thing.

Anyway, LGCR has continued to grow. There are many stories available in their archive and feature pages, which I encourage you to visit. Blogger
Laurel Snyder is credited as an editor-at-large and had an interview in Issue 1.

And it Josh, Dave or Tara is reading this - our audiences now typically number larger than 3 if you're interested in stopping by again!

Friday, October 21, 2005

Poet of the Light, I Am

Courtesy of Wil Wheaton in Exile, I have learned I am Yoda.

A venerated sage with vast power and knowledge, you gently guide forces around you while serving as a champion of the light.

Judge me by my size, do you? And well you should not - for my ally is the Force. And a powerful ally it is. Life greets it, makes it grow. Its energy surrounds us, and binds us. Luminescent beings are we, not this crude matter! You must feel the Force around you, everywhere.

This is from the "What Fantasy Sci/Fi Character Are You?" Quiz over at John Hubbard's TK421's Post. The geekiest of Star Wars geeks may get the reference, the rest of you should go here.

Ordinarily, I don't post my results of things like this, but hey: this one nailed me. Right? Right?

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Pieces and Bits

A few things you might be interested in:

  • The fine folks at JMilligan Design have a recently revamped website that features their rather impressive graphic and web design skills. And I'm not just complimenting them because....
  • ... the latest update of has reached the screen with updated pub credits and such. But the more useful info for those who are interested is a set of links I've posted in the Reading Room that will take you to tools and resources of value to teaching artists - particularly those teaching at the grammar school level.
  • Frank 'n' Furter fans be advised: Richard O'Brien's The Rocky Horror Show hits the stage in Hoboken this Friday night! The Center for the Performing Arts at DeBaun Auditorium invites you to attend in costume and be part of the fun. The link also takes you to post-show deals available in Hoboken when you visit.

And one think I'm sure you're not interested in, but I feel obliged to post anyway, is an apology to AJ at The Daily Mojocrat, whose Bills stuffed my Jets in spite of my trash talking. As an aside, can you call it trash talking when it's in the comments to a blog? Ca-ca-commenting, maybe? Putrescence-posting?

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Just read over in Aimee Nezhukumatathil's blog that David Citino has died. Citino is one of those poets I've come across many times in my readings but whose works I've never found the time to really dive into. Too bad it's always something like that this that makes me make the time.

Shivers in the trees, a stirring
of birds. The crickets chant

their names until my presence
quiets them. I hear the silence
of eternity. They'll sing again
only when I've gone home.

from "The Last Cricket in Ohio Sings a Song of Wilderness". Go to Verse Daily for the rest.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Friday Quirkinalia

A few random bits today, just because.

James Lileks' day job has gone daily. If you can't pick up the Minneapolis Star-Tribute at your corner store, you can read his humor column

If you're not already on the
100 Blogging Poets bandwagon, you have some catching up to do. There may be a more eclectic mix somewhere, but there's no other single list that captures this much creative writing energy.

Wil Wheaton is operating an
auxiliary blog while he contemplates repairs to the primary. The state of WWdN is not stopping Wil from hosting his own poker tourney, nor I suspect from participating in the first (that I know of) poker tournament exclusively for bloggers!

In someone's comment field recently, I noted that I only frequent online journals that give me something print cannot, otherwise I prefer the tactile feel of the book. Fairfield Review's hypertext treatment of the table of contents fits the bill there.

Finally, and completely out of character, I'm going to see a real movie in a real theater this weekend. Are you?

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Credential Check

What's the difference between "Studied with" and "Sat through a 1-hour seminar by"?

Sunday, October 09, 2005

The Reader Writes About Her Reading

Newark Star-Ledger columnist Kathleen Shea, who was (along with her son JT Aregood) this month's featured reader in the Spoken Word Series, had this to say about her experience with us.

Thursday, October 06, 2005


Deborah Ager challenged her readers thusly:

...identify those themes, imagery, elements, phenomena that reappear in your life and/or dreams and/or writing.... Whatever it is, let this guide you to write the poem. Use the "thing" as your title.The poem is due one week from today....

I immediately thought back to my first friendly contact with an editor whose name I unfortunately forget. Old Hickory Review was in the process of folding, and therefore returning my submission, but she took time to read and comment on them, and she noted to me how prominent rivers and rain were in the (I think) 5 poems I sent her. A quick perusal of my portfolio 15 years later confirms that water in all many forms has indeed shown up a lot. More recently the recurring metaphors have involved hands, but that's another exercise.

So here, just 11 minutes late (I know, I know -- too literal, too literal), is my effort:


Follow the water -
blessing from birth,
growing child of gravity -
do the souls it sustains
know their place in the line?
Do the lies it conceals
know the danger of depth?
In the absence of clouds
all the lakes lose their life,
In the hurricane's pounding
plenty, the same.
Follow the water,
like fear, like food,
a partner, a pretender,
a tool we always use,
a place we hate like home.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Wow. That's it. Just: "Wow".

Well, don't say I didn't try to tell you. The Warren County Poety Festival was a great success, and kudos to BJ Ward and his team for the effort. There's way too much to tell about, from the workshops to the panel discussions, from Gerald Stern singing Dylan to Adrian Louis ironically lamenting the end of his subversive impact on the world. One thing in particular I wanted to write about here: The impact of meeting Hayden Carruth.

I admit, I knew only a smattering of his work before I saw him on Saturday. But between my first impression of him and my last of the day, my admiration has gone through the roof.

First impression: I was asking the fine poet Joe-Anne McLaughlin to sign my copy of her book JAM when Mr. Carruth happened to walk past, and Ms. McLaughlin used something I just said to introduce me to him - and he graciously stopped, turned, and shared a few minutes with me. OK, he was listening to his wife, but still.

More impressively, as the last reader of the night, Carruth read well past his 30 minute allotment, at one point asking the audience if we'd "had enough" (we hadn't). Not even on-stage maintenance work on the oxygen tank he pushes around slowed him down. I think he read for about an hour; I don't know for sure, because it didn't occur to me to look at my watch. If we hadn't had to be out of the auditorium in time for late-night cleanup, we might still be there.

Maybe it shouldn't, but it amazes me how generous poets of such accomplishment can be. For the time my audiencemates and I were in his presence, it's as if there was nothing more important to him than presenting himself to us - poems, stories, recommended reading...

The great teachers are always teaching. I wish I could learn at the same pace.