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Monday, April 08, 2013

War of art round-up

Phoenicia in April: a reminder

Phoenicia Publishing full-length poetry books are on sale to celebrate poetry month. And that includes my wild, mythic adventure in verse, Thaliad, decorated profusely by Clive Hicks-Jenkins, with lovely design work by Beth Adams. I notice that the press has added a quote from Nathan Ballingrud to the Thaliad page: "It is brutal and gorgeous, and like nothing else out there." (Nathan is author of the forthcoming North American Lake Monsters.) Here's my page for the book, with quotes and excerpts.

Quote for the day 
We fear discovering that we are more than we think we are. More than our parents/children/teachers think we are. We fear that we actually possess the talent that our still, small voice tells us. That we actually have the guts, the perseverance, the capacity. We fear that we truly can steer our ship, plant our flag, reach our Promised Land. We fear this because, if it’s true, then we become estranged from all we know. We pass through a membrane. We become monsters and monstrous." Steven Pressfield, The War of Art
Lady Word of Mouth

Just a reminder that a new Lady Word of Mouth book announcement post appeared over the weekend. It features Melanie McCabe's History of the Body.

2nd Quote for the day
Reading this morning about the attacks on a Christian funeral at the Coptic cathedral in Egypt and a cleric's threat of genocide against the Copts (and pondering how such things barely ruffle our surface, here in the West) and about my New York as the worst "nanny state" in the country for imposing laws for absolutely everything (earbuds? the Big Gulp?), this much-shared quote was brought to mind: "In advanced civilizations the period loosely called Alexandrian is usually associated with flexible morals, perfunctory religion, populist standards and cosmopolitan tastes, feminism, exotic cults, and the rapid turnover of high and low fads—in short, a falling away (which is all that decadence means) from the strictness of traditional rules, embodied in character and enforced from within." — Jacques Barzun
Embodied in character, enforced from within.

Quote of the day
The most important thing about art is to work. Nothing else matters except sitting down every day and trying.  Steven Pressfield, The War of Art


  1. We fear this because, if it’s true, then we become estranged from all we know. We pass through a membrane. We become monsters and monstrous.

    I am nowhere near the Promised Land, but I do find it increasingly difficult to talk about my writing with anyone, even myself. It is as if I've awakened to find myself a foreigner here. Sort of. And also--though this may sound arrogant and presumptuous--the more closely I hew to my artistic vision, such as it is, the more courage it requires as my work resembles less and less all the other stuff being published right now.

  2. Resembling less and less is usually a good thing for the work and the culture, insofar as the culture sees what is "less and less . . . the other stuff."


Alas, I must once again remind large numbers of Chinese salesmen and other worldwide peddlers that if they fall into the Gulf of Spam, they will be eaten by roaming Balrogs. The rest of you, lovers of grace, poetry, and horses (nod to Yeats--you do not have to be fond of horses), feel free to leave fascinating missives and curious arguments.