Monday, June 15, 2009

Is that an echo? (an echo?) (an echo?)

Seems every time I accumulate a little material and a plan for a series of postings, my schedule comes and piddles all over my plans. Ah well; let's try this again.

Received a lovely email from an artist I've mentioned a number of times in this space. I'll withhold names (I figure if she wanted her reply to be public, she'd have replied publicly), but I will say that it's someone I have a ton of respect for, so seeing her name at the top of my inbox was a boost to say the least. And it's someone important not only to me, but to my kids as well, so not only do I get a little validation of this space and a chance to correspond with someone I admire, but I get a couple "cool dad" points, besides.

Writer's Digest has released its annual 101 Best Website for Writers. One of them is a Flash stopwatch. Please, WD, you've got to do better than this. I accept that the poetry forums that also made the list are appropriate for most of WD's readers (though they're not really useful for anyone who has read much contemporary poetry from non-vanity publishers or taken even one serious class), but a stopwatch and a tagline like "Have trouble getting motivated? Use this free online countdown clock to get your rear in gear"? Ugh.

By contrast, AAP has launched a Poetry Resources for Teens page, with writing resources, "Poems Teens Like" etc. Not surprisingly, when AAP says "teen", they seem to be thinking about the the 6 months leading up to the 20th birthday; the references are pretty sophisticated (most seem to be links to content already on the site for adults), but I'll happily share this with my daughter with the expectation that she'll be looking for help in understanding. Better to stretch her than to expose her to online fluff that lacks an awareness of the art.

A stopwatch? Really?

Should hear from the chapbook contest within 3 weeks. As always, I hold back the name until the results are known. And as is typical for me, I decided to enter this one 60% based on the magazine, 40% based on the judge. More soonish.

Still waiting on one confirmation before I announce the next season at DeBaun. I really think we're again setting a new standard for diversity in style, content and experience.

And now, from the parcel o' the past as promised, here are the closing lines of Florence McGinn's "New Jersey", from the long-defunct New Jersey Review of Literature.

Ocean currents and salt marshes
raise the call of seasons as the damp sand

drag of horseshoe crabs, mating eager
and belly heavy with eggs, beckons
gray waves of sandpipers, screeching
shifts of gulls, and the hunting silence of cranes.

And always, the moving headlights
of motored commuters, glare and dim
on travel's liquid currents to curtained,
softly glowing windows of home

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