Thursday, April 30, 2020

Interview up on MassPoetry regarding the Virtual Fridays Dire Literary Series, to benefit Independent Bookstores

UPDATE 5/4: I'm no longer accepting queries for being a feature.  Apologies in advance.

Today there is an interview up about Virtual Fridays Dire Literary Series So, I made a bunch of links with the history of the non-virtual event, and also the original announcement / ground rules of the new on-line venue

artwork by Peter Urkowitz, as he often does at readings

In 2018, I ended the Dire Literary Series, after 18 years of running it as a monthly series.

1. Here's a link about the number of Dire Series readings and their location - if you want add 6 virtual Dires to this total for = 217 runnings!
2. Here's a link about the last line-up
3. Here's a link to an interview about ending it all (just the series...drama!)
4. Here's a link to the New Virtual Fridays (I know, another fucking link!)

     So, if I was happily retired from this event, as I've stated, why do it. Well, because of "these challenging times," "these times of Corona," "these strange, weird, odd, (insert adjective of choice) times," and "in the time of a pandemic," people need something to do!

     So MassPoetry is running a series of interviews about on-line readings, and poet Frances Donovan asked to interview me.
  It's a great interview by Frances---a few things that might be different from the time the interview was conducted and now:

1. Maybe I'll keep this going past social distancing?
2. Affiliation of bookstores. What I like to say now is that no bookstores are sponsoring us, we are sponsoring them! My features pick their favorite stores and we mention the shit out of them. For example Marianne Leone loves IAM Books in Boston, and Newtonville Books if you were interested in buying Ma Speaks Up
4. I was tossing around a virtual hat for the features, but this isn't currently happening. I hate asking people for money, but I love when people buy books.
5. If you are just there to listen, the camera being off is fine.
6. To feature at the live retired venue, all you needed was a published book. Currently I am querying all the features, as I'm shooting for some really big names. So far I've booked Marianne Leone, Anna David, Kathy Fish, Nick Flynn, and Kim Addonizio.

Five New Poems in Muddy River Poetry Review

Zvi Sesling-Poet and Editor

    The Spring Issue 2020 is out, of the long standing, Muddy River Poetry Review, Zvi Sesling, Editor. Grateful to have five poems selected, and to be featured in this new issue. Thank you Zvi for your kind writing on the MRPR homepage. Below are the five new poems:

The other wonderful featured poets are:

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Poetry in the Bar Podcast, has two poems of mine.

To jump to podcast, scroll down, and the program guide, time wise, is listed below.

LIVE from Eaton Rapids, Michigan, the Poetry in the Bar Series, the third Sunday of every month, is recorded to be heard on their podcast.

Is now

NOT LIVE from all over the world, the Poetry in the Bar Series (now people's homes), the third week of the month, released on their podcast.  I am grateful to have two poems, Nine Lives, and Kleptoparasitic, )which you can read about HERE) 0n April 22nd's episode. You can listen to the podcast LINK HERE

     The series is hosted by Helen Bloom, produced by Gavin Broom, and here is the line-up on the podcast

0:53 Jeremy Hunt interview
10:15 Jeremy Hunt, Lansing Michigan, poems
37:00 Courtney Danes
38:55 Peter A
41:50 Cheryl Caesar
44:55 Cruz Villarreal, Lansing, MI
49:15 David McDonald
56:50 Timothy Gager
59:00 Found poem, Gavin Broom

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Kleptoparasitic published in Boston Literary Magazine, and the story behind the story (poem).

 I am happy to announce my poem, Kleptoparasitc was published in Boston Literary Magazine

To hear the poem, look further down this post.

So, let's review the story behind this poem.


A form of parasitism wherein an animal takes food or objects collected, caught, prepared, or stored by another animal

        On February 4rd, 2020. I finished a draft of a poem called Kleptoparasitic, which I was using spiders (teridiidae) as a metaphor for the parasitic relationships within death and the afterlife, both physical and spiritual. That night I went to the TD Bank Garden to watch the Bruins play among 17,000 or so others. As of that Monday there were only 11 known  cases of COVID19 under investigation in the United States. Our President thought this indicated nothing to worry about, and did nothing 
11 known cases
I attended a hockey game
          How times have changed. We all know what is happening, today, on April 15, which is no longer "Tax Day." The last two lines of the poem (below) which appears in The Boston Literary Magazine (use this link), seems to  predict the future, as presently people are dying alone in hospitals or in quarantine. 

unlike the Theridiidae, we beg
to hold the dying.
          Here is me reading the poem on March 22, (pre-self-inflicted-isloation shave) where  on this day 27,051 new cases were reported in the United States
Today, April 15, this is the look, and today there are a total of 609,000 confirmed cases in the United States. I am at home, and staying there. 

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

National Poetry Month, my publisher did some promotion!


  I know it's more like National Isolation Month, but for National Poetry month, my long-time publisher, Big Table Publishing, produced this twenty-second video for my book Spreading Like Wild Flowers along with a Q/A and sample. They did this also for many of their other published poets. I am very grateful to Robin Stratton of Big Table for all the work she puts out for her authors

     The question and answer I was assigned can be found below,

What was the hardest thing about writing Spreading Like Wild Flowers, or took guts to expose something about yourself?

I always worry about reactions, whether it’s the craft part (am I good enough?), or if I’ve exposed others, opened up one of their personal triggers—I worry about that kind of. Writing it, and even putting it on a page is kind of chicken, at least that’s how I feel ---hiding behind the pages, or the wanting to be heard without investment, or to be comforted. For me, that’s not guts. Within my work, and if I find myself doing that, I’m self-serving. By the way, as a writer you must have characteristics of being self-serving, but to avoid that philosophical debate, all I can say is I become emotionally drained right after I read such material in front of a crowd, while presenting that difficult subject matter. I don’t have that same visceral feeling when I’m sitting at my writing space…not even close.

Also from Spreading Like Wild Flowers, they released one of the poems.  


As sunlight squawked once more,
a rooster conned the night

again, waking to repulsion
of head from pillow.

Your eyes open like linen curtains,
with ‘how-long’ dust on the ruffle.

This morning’s hair
looks like a million

which-a-way blades of grass,
needing to be mowed today;

green, growing, enriched, withdrawal.
It is my lushness, of recollection.