Friday, July 4, 2014

Weeding the sidebar

Folks, I try to make my poems readily accessible as possible. However, the "Index to my published poems" on the sidebar now contains over 100 links, with more to come. I have therefore decided that, with the exception of a few poems that have only recently become available online, I will shortly delete the 40-some links to poems in my 2011 collection Unglobed Fruit. This book, which contains 75 poems in all, is available for $11 at as well as at Lulu also offers it as an e-book for $4.99.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Featured poet in KIN Poetry Journal

Walter Ancarrow, one of the editors at KIN, approached me last summer about being a featured poet. It was supposed to happen in November, but was postponed due to my husband's illness.

It has finally come together, beginning with an interview. Four poems are to be published this month; the first, Oxydoxes and paramorons, is up. It intersperses the lines of John Ashbery's "Paradoxes and oxymorons" with Ogden-Nash-style rhyming prose lines. The others - "A day in the life of....", "Once in a fit of abstraction", and "Whistle like a bird" -- will be added to the sidebar as well as to my author page at KIN.

KIN has published several other poems of mine as well since I last reported: Bootstrap of the genie, a variation on the Oulipian S+7 technique; Gallery opening, a sort of permutation poem; Les six: Concert program notes, a sestina; and Hucksterism 101, a rondel prime. I pretty much owe all this to Walter, who saw "Les six" on Eratosphere and invited me to submit it to KIN.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Oulipo, NaPo and me

In January, Janice Soderling posted a call for submissions on Eratosphere for Sein und Werden's forthcoming Oulipo issue. I sent three poems, and received an acceptance within hours.

The Oulipo (Ouvroir de Littérature Potentiale) was formed in France in 1960, as reaction against the surrealists' emphasis on the aleatory and the subconscious. It aims to invent constraints for generating literature as an alternative to received forms. Perhaps the best known are the lipogram (leaving out one or more letters of the alphabet) and S&7 (originally replacing all nouns in a text with the seventh noun following it in the dictionary). Oulipo also "adopted" pre-existing constraints such as the sestina (and worked out the mathematics of the quenina, a generalized form which can be adapted to a variety of stanza-lengths).

Upon perusing an online French list of constraints and the 2005 edition of Mathews & Brotchie's Oulipo Compendium - the best resource on The Oulipo available in English - I discovered that, in addition to the Oulipoems I had written knowingly, I had unwittingly written many others. Some constraints I had taken from prompts I encountered here and there without knowing they were oulipian; others I had arrived at independently.

I then decided that Oulipo would be my focus during National Poetry Writing Month. This was the eighth year I did NaPo and it was by far the easiest; I had a list of things to try and a clear focus, and only found myself at a loss once or twice; it was even easy to make up what I had missed by being out of town for five days. It was an added encouragement that folks who were also doing NaPo on The Waters were at times inspired to try some of the constraints.

I will provide links to some of my Oulipian efforts in a future post.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Back again, I hope

I haven't been able to give much attention to poetry this past year. Starting last summer, my husband had a serious bout with cancer, and lost an eye as a result. We were blessed to have good support during this time, from family and friends and from the wonderful doctors and staff of Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. We hope we are out of the woods, at least for now (at our age one is never out of the woods completely).

Several new poems have been published in the meantime. I am now updating the sidebar. I was able to participate in National Poetry Writing Month in April – more about that later.