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Monday, April 20, 2015

Word soup

Reconnecting with Beauty
for our Common Life.
Poems in the world

I've been a bit lazy about submissions but have poems out or coming out in print journals Artemis ("The Dawn Horse," a poem about Leonora Carrington) and Trinacria ("God and the Mandrake Root," the weird biography of a mandrake root.) Thanks again to editor Joseph Salemi for a Pushcart nod for "The Nuba Christians," which he describes as "a blank-verse lament, in the voice of a displaced refugee, over the Islamic Sudanese government's campaign of genocide."

Thanks, Cooperstown museums--

Thank you to Sue de Bruijn for a lovely lunch today. I was a surprise guest for the Fenimore Art Museum and Farmers Museum shops staff, and I had the privilege of talking about my life and books, as well as reading some snips of poetry and fiction.

American stories in the news

Like many, I recall "duck and cover" in third grade and a sick childhood fear of Russia's bombs. Now the emerging tales of what went in Wisconsin with police home invasions, material seizures, and families with scared children awakened by armed police standing over their beds gives me the same frisson of unrest that I felt as a little girl, crouched under my desk. How anguished would any of us feel, herded into a room with our little children at night? This sad series of narratives is not about right and left but about right and wrong, and it grieves me that representatives of the people in my own country should have done such things to families and children.

We have had too many terrible stories lately, too much overreaching of power, too much destruction of the innocent. Let us bare the truth and bear the truth of these and other recent tales, and let us also strive to have better stories told of us and of our public servants soon. The world is listening to our stories.

At Cairn in June

Evidently I will be serving as Fujimura Institute Fellow and poet-in-residence for the day at Cairn's culture care conference in Philly in June. I'll be doing readings and talking about some of the ideas that have been leafing out from Makoto Fujimura's initial seed of thought--the desire to care for culture and produce beauty, generative work that is worthy of enduring in time. I'll post more about events later on.


--from Joseph S. Salemi, "The Rebirth of Copia" (Trinacria, Fall 2014)

Copia means abundance. In classical rhetoric, it is the capacity of a writer to fill his work up with plenty of words, usually via repetition and variation, but also by judicious manipulation of tropes and figures, and the expansion of his sentences into colonic subordination....

Every ancient rhetorician, whether Greek or Roman, knew that copia was an essential tool of literary composition, and more crucially, that it was the manifestation of one's command of language. Once you were trained in it, you were never tongue-tied. That peculiarly modern problem, writer's block, was unknown or rare. Can you imagine Cicero or St. Augustine or Thomas Nashe not being able to crank out prose at will?


  1. Wonderful news! I am glad Artemis took your poem. They didn't take mine.
    I have had a nonstop streak of rejections, with only two breaks, since December.
    Am awaiting more.

    1. Mary Bullington made me! I need a good kick to send out--really don't like submitting much.

      Luck to you!


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.