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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

On the road, days 8-11

Photo by Rebecca Beatrice Miller, August 2013
After a splendiferous time in the Triangle, I toddled off to Cullowhee, where I am staying with my mother on top of a mountain with wonderful views. Yesterday we went to Asheville to see the little house where my eldest son is living--the place buried in flowers--and went out to dinner at Tupelo Honey.

I am especially excited about tomorrow's reading at Malaprop's in Asheville because Paul and Lynn Digby are coming all the way from Ohio to attend; Paul has made videos for my poems, and the three of us are working on a collaborative project involving poetry, music, and painting. Further, it will be fun to meet Nathan Ballingrud, who is my co-reader, and his friends. And I'll see lots of others, including my son and my wonderful high school English teacher, Nancy Potts Coward, who with always predicted a grand future in words for me--so sweet!

Now I have to figure out how to shorten a reading down to 20 minutes, though... And plan frolics! Frolics!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

On the road, day 5-7

Photo by Rebecca Beatrice Miller. August 2013.
NEXT UP: Reading with Nathan Ballingrud at Malaprop's, Asheville, 7 p.m., August 28th.

I had a pleasant, relaxed time in Raleigh, where I stayed with friends Bob Mosher and Jo Sumner for several days--thanks to them. Memorable moment: walking in the dark past thalictrum and sweet ginger lilies and then sitting on the patio at Boylan's Brewery, watching the sheet lightning playing in the clouds...

Back in Chapel Hill, I had a reading at McIntyre's in Pittsboro, visited with writers, and also went to several wonderful dinner parties with artists and writers and a composer--old friends and new--and all quite jolly. It seems quite wicked to namedrop, so I'll just say that I loved seeing them all. (And thanks to David and Laura Frankstone for putting up with me!)

And that's all the detail you get because I must go to bed in order to be off to western North Carolina tomorrow...

Friday, August 23, 2013

Next up: reading at McIntyre's on Saturday, August 24th, 2:00. Fearrington, Pittsboro.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

On the road, day 4

Sketch from Laurelines, the blog of Laura Murphy Frankstone
August 21 

In the morning I had a wonderful time looking at the vigorous, intense acrylic paintings (shooting volcanic fire, roads rocketing over muscular Icelandic land masses, strange moons rising) of Laura Murphy Frankstone--all new paintings for her upcoming show at The Horace Williams House. So glad I slipped in just before they went to the framer.

After considerable stoppages and traffic and getting lost, I landed in Raleigh with my hosts, Jo Sumner and Bob Mosher. So happy to find their little green alley and park and jump out!

Marly, August 2013
Photo: Rebecca Beatrice Miller
And went on to a great crowd at Quail Ridge Books, where I read from The Foliate Head, Thaliad, and A Death at the White Camellia Orphanage. I was glad to see poet William Harmon and his wife Anne. I've been interested to see facebook friends show up at readings--Mamie Lewis Potter at Quail Ridge, Laura Giovanelli at Flyleaf.

At Quail Ridge, thanks to Tim and Tony and the other booksellers, and to longtime owner Nancy Olson, who has contributed so much to the literary life of the Triangle. She gave me the most beautiful introduction. I'm very happy to think that A Death at the White Camellia Orphanage was her favorite book of 2012, as she is such a wide reader and so perceptive. Luck and health to her in retirement.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

On the road, days 1-3

Mary Bullington, School Bus Geography
Aug 18-19  Drove to Roanoke, and stayed two nights with painter Mary Bullington. On the 19th we spent much of the day with wonderful potter Steve Mitchell, visiting his home and wandering about to look at his studio and kilns.

Unfortunately my camera had tumbled out of my bag back at the house, so no pictures of the marvelous pottery dump or the beautiful pots or the big kilns.

August 20  A lovely reading with a former neighbor from old Carrboro, Jay Bryan, with a good Flyleaf crowd on Airport Rd. in Chapel Hill. Great to see old neighbors and poet Jeffery Beam and heaps more. Lovely friends David and Laura Frankstone are putting up with me! And putting me up...

Tomorrow: I'm looking forward to seeing Laura's new paintings. Then I head off to Raleigh, where I will read at Quail Ridge Books, 7:30 pm.

Steve Mitchell

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

August 20-28 book events: an invitation

Here is the facebook invitation to my four August events in North Carolina; feel free to share, post, invite friends, etc.

Please scroll down to prior posts for more information about upcoming events and current happenings. (You may also go to the Events page (tab above) to see more, or ferret out the individual bookstore site--Flyleaf in Chapel Hill, Quail Ridge Books in Raleigh, McIntyre's in Fearrington/Pittsboro, and Malaprop's in Asheville.)

I shall be quite mad with house repair (a carpenter, painters, an electrician, and a washer/dryer repairman--is that enough yet?) and camp ferrying and packing busyness for the next few days, but please leave a note if you have a question; I'll show up eventually!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The Foliate Head going into second printing--

I've already talked about this with facebook and twitter cohorts, so this may be redundant, but... I shall tell it all over again!

Only this morning I realized that the limited hardcover edition of The Foliate Head had gone out of print. And only just now I found out from Pete and Nicky Crowther that it's going into second printing. It is the first Stanza Press book to have a reprint.

I'm very pleased, and remain grateful for the beautiful art by Clive Hicks-Jenkins and the immaculate design by Andrew Wakelin. I'm also grateful for the generosity of publisher Pete Crowther in trusting us and letting us play with the Stanza Press template and do our very own collaborative thing. In addition, I'm also thankful to Pete for asking me for a manuscript in the first place; when somebody asks to publish a book of poems, it's time to celebrate.

If you desire a first edition (though the second will be just as beautiful), you need to scramble around and grab one before they're all gone. They are more widely available in the UK, but I noticed that there are at least four left at Amazon on this side of the water. Not sure where else in the U. S.


Oh, and please scroll down to find news about book events in August in the Triangle region of North Carolina and in Asheville.

Monday, August 12, 2013


The Foliate Head (UK: Stanza Press, 2012)
Recently I did something I've never done before--put a poem in the Eratosphere Sonnet Bake-off. I don't tend to submit to contests, often because they seem a mug's game, particularly when they have fees. But Eratosphere's friendly competitions are free, and lots of poets who write formal poems hang out there, or used to hang out there, or now and then hang out there.

Well,  a large number of sonnets were submitted--339, I think it was--and mine was one of ten finalists and a judge's choice. All very nice. I received an astonishing amount of commentary in the forums, some of it contradictory advice.

And I discovered something in the whole process. Perhaps it was something I already knew, but it was definitely something that I knew afresh, at least. I spent days fooling with the poem, writing innumerable versions of lines, solving tiny cruxes, and so on. I addressed every possible problem.

But in the end, I preferred the earlier, flawed version for the most part. I ended by feeling even more strongly something I already knew: that a flawed, powerful poem is superior to a perfected, tidy, all-problems-solved poem. Sometimes a poem is de-natured by too much polishing and refining.

Hc/pb Thaliad (Phoenicia, 2012)

Thursday, August 08, 2013

Small question for my readers--

I now hold rights to ebook publication for Catherwood, The Wolf Pit, The Curse of the Raven Mocker, Ingledove, and Val/Orson--that is for five out of my seven novels, including the two that were marketed as "young adult / crossover." I will also hold ebook rights for my two upcoming novels, Glimmerglass and the pulpily titled Maze of Blood. And I'll be keeping ebook poetry rights in the future as well.

I'm much too busy right now with some judging stints, a book tour, a move for one of my children, etc. But in October I have a little window where I want to work on putting one of the novels into ebook format. Any recommendations which one should be first?

Please scroll down to see upcoming August events in North Carolina. (I'll be in South Carolina for more events in October.)

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

August book events

August 20-28 North Carolina readings 
in Raleigh, Chapel Hill, Pittsboro, and Asheville    

August 20th 7:00 p.m. Reading with my former Carrboro neighbor, Jay Bryan, who has a new chapbook! Last year I read from A Death at the White Camellia Orphanage at Flyleaf, now out in paperback, and this year I'll focus on the other 2012 books, The Foliate Head and Thaliad. I'll bring the novel in case anyone wants to hear a bit from that one as well... Flyleaf Books, Chapel Hill. 

August 21 7:30 p.m. Reading at Quail Ridge Books, Raleigh Sampler reading from all three 2012 books, The Foliate Head, Thaliad, and A Death at the White Camellia Orphanage. 

August 24 2:00 p.m. Sampler reading from all three 2012 books, The Foliate Head, Thaliad, and A Death at the White Camellia Orphanage. McIntyre's Fine Books and Bookends Fearrington Village Pittsboro, North Carolina

August 28 7-8 p.m. Reading at Malaprop's, Asheville Also with Nathan Ballingrud, reading from his first book! Sampler reading from all three 2012 books, The Foliate Head, Thaliad, and A Death at the White Camellia Orphanage.