Help Keep Families Together

For anyone trying to figure out how to combat the Trump Administration’s deplorable “zero-tolerance” immigration policy, I found this list of charitable organizations, courtesy of Daily Kos and ActBlue, to be very helpful!

It’s unacceptable to rip children away from their parents as punishment. And in my mind it’s Reason #501 why the ignorance and cruelty of the Trump Administration must be opposed….

George Takei: At least during my internment, I was not taken from my parents

Laura Bush: Separating children from their parents at the border ‘breaks my heart’

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Happy Birthday, MooseLips!

So many wonderful memories!

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Goodbye, Carrie

The Force is with you. Always.

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Time Lost and Found

Kudos to Anne Lamott for this great piece of advice! It also reconfirms my decision last year to get rid of my smartphone!

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Poet and Comic Book Lore

The nights are still cold, and the Indians are one game under .500, but I’m feeling a little Spring renewal with the publication of four new poems and the inclusion of an “oldie but goodie” in a brand new anthology.

First up is the new issue of Poet Lore (Vol. 109, No. 1/2), which contains my new poem “Visit”. This is the second time my work has appeared in Poet Lore. The first time was in 2007 (Good God! Has it been that long!!??) when the editors published my poems, “Amelia Avenue”, “Before Supper” and “Potholes” in Vol. 102, Nos. 1 & 2.

Todd Moffett and the good folks at the College of Southern Nevada also have published three more new poems — “Sundays”, “Homework” and “Gossip” — in Red Rock Review, No. 33. This is my second go-around with Red Rock. My poem “Class” appeared in RRR No. 27, spring 2011.

But perhaps the publication that has me most geeking out is the inclusion of my “superhero” poem “Tongue-Tied” in the anthology Drawn to Marvel: Poems from the Comic Books. Fresh off the presses from Minor Arcana Press, this collection is the first and only of its kind to feature decades of new and old poems inspired by the comic books and funny pages. In here you’ll also find poems by Sherman Alexie, Rae Armantrout and my fellow runner-up for the 2012 Paterson Poetry Prize, Dorriane Laux.

Happy spring, and many thanks to all the editors and staff that made these new publications possible!

The Indians will start hitting. I know it.

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Connexting in the Lehigh Valley

After taking a little bit of time off from the road, I will be the guest and featured poet at Connexions Art Gallery in Easton, PA, on Saturday, Sept. 14. In addition to hosting poetry readings, Connexions is a beautiful space featuring paintings, sculpture and other great works of art within the Lehigh Valley.

Planning on reading five or six poems from Mud Cakes in addition to a couple of new poems not in the book. The event starts at 7 pm! Come one, come all!

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Poetry Reading April 6

Thanks to the kind folks at the Poetry Center at Passaic County Community College, Mud Cakes has been selected as a Finalist for the 2012 Paterson Poetry Prize. To commemorate winner Dorriane Laux for her book, The Book of Men, and my fellow finalists, the Poetry Center will host a reading on Saturday, April 6, at 1 pm, at Passaic County Community College as part of its Distinguished Poets Series.

For those who might be interested in attending, the address of the venue is Hamilton Club Building, 32 Church Street, Paterson, NJ 07505.

Free Parking is also available for the event in the Passaic County Community College parking lot #3 on College Blvd. between Memorial Drive and Church Street.

Click here to check out a complete listing of all finalists and other information about the Paterson Poetry Prize.

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New Review on The Scrapper Poet

Thank you Karen Weyant for making Mud Cakes the February Poetry Pick for The Scrapper Poet. I am touched by the selection and your very generous review!

A professor at Jamestown Community College in New York, Weyant’s first chapbook, Stealing Dust, was published by Finishing Line Press. Her second chapbook, Wearing Heels in the Rust Belt, won Main Street Rag’s chapbook contest and was published last year. Weyant also holds a poetry fellowship from the New York Foundation for the Arts and was honored with the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities.

For a look at some of her poems, I highly recommended checking out her blog. The precision of her language is both remarkable and inspiring. Among some of my personal favorites are “The Union Steward Tries to Quit Smoking” (originally published in the Minnesota Review) and “Advice for All the Rust Belt Cassandras” (which first appeared in Blast Furnace).

Always good to know I’m not alone in my love of the Rust Belt.

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Fateful Phone Calls and Spring Training

Thank you Melissa Reeser Poulin for your wonderful write up for Bespoke Truckee on my experience publishing with Bona Fide Books! It’s little loving gestures like these that help keep the world of small press literature alive and well.

And speaking of baseball — Smooth transition, right? But only 19 days until pitchers and catchers report… just sayin’ — Sport Literate went and did a cool thing by posting one of my newsest poems, “Early Exit,” on its Web site. My loving tribue to Indians great Mike Hargorve, the poem won top honor in Sport Literate‘s 2012 Best Poem Contest.

Now, let us pray, 2013 is the year the Tribe wins a few things.

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Winter Reading

A major congratulations to fellow Melissa Lanitis Gregory Poetry Prize winner Lexa Hillyer, whose first book of poems, Acquainted with the Cold, is now available from Bona Fide Books. Jeanne Marie Beaumont says the “greatest gift of this book is that it makes me feel more alive as I read, like a crisp, clear winter day.” This is precisely what I like about Hillyer’s collection. These poems, which are bound together by images of ice and rain and snow, feel physically sharp. Hillyer is a master craftsman. Her poems feel raw and spontaneous, but they are finely tuned pieces of art.

Lexa Hillyer received her BA in English from Vassar College and her MFA in Poetry from Stonecoast at the University of Southern Maine. She was the recipient of the Inaugural Poetry Prize from Tusculum Review and the First Prize in Poetry from Brick & Mortar Review, and was named one of the “Best New Poets of 2012” by Matthew Dickman. Hillyer worked as an editor at both Harper Collins and Penguin, and is co-founder of boutique literary incubator Paper Lantern Lit. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and a very skinny orange tree.

Acquainted with the Cold is available online through Bona Fide Books and Amazon, and in select bookstores.

The Melissa Lanitis Gregory Poetry Prize was created in memory of Lake Tahoe artist Melissa Gregory, the inspiration for Bona Fide Books. The prize is awarded annually for an unpublished collection of poetry. The winner receives a cash prize, publication, and a reading at Lake Tahoe.

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