Oh man, it’s that time of year again…
Susan Rich is hosting the Big Poetry Giveaway this year, in which many a blogger give away collections to the lucky readers, and I will be participating once again. And what books are on order, might you ask? Well, one of them will be my own collection, Greeks Bearing Gifts (see the sidebar of this blog for the link to more deets about that book!), and one will be James Brush‘s Birds Nobody Loves: A Book of Vultures & Grackles. James is a staple of the poetry blogsophere with one of the keenest eyes towards nature in all of its forms, particularly the aspects that are often ignored (hence the grackles). His verse is clipped, pithy, and multi-layered, having a haiku-like sensibility that I enjoy. The collection really does feature those maligned birds in every poem, but often they are simply the touchstone or gateway for something deeper. Here are a few snippets:
It was hard to imagine anything
more perfect for a Texas morning.
That day, we believed in forever,
even as we passed the vulture tree…
I always thought they’d like death metal,
but I have it on good authority
vultures prefer smooth jazz…
…God skipping church that day
just to ride thermals with the angels.
Also, there are these cool little bird illustrations throughout the book. I’ve gotten a lot of love out of the collection, and I hope you will too. If you have any preference for one or the other (of course, I hope you’ll like mine too!), you’re welcome to mention it. In any case, to participate, leave a comment on this blog post with your name and email, and come May 1st (or thereabouts) I will announce the two lucky winners. And if you have books to giveaway as well, please visit Susan’s page to sign up; I’d be happy to leave my information on your blog in turn. :) Part of the charm of this contest is to interconnect the blogosphere a bit more, too.
Meanwhile, after some due consideration, I will be doing daily prompts in April. (Yeah, yeah, twist my arm.) Along with NaPoWriMo.net and Miz Quickly and Poetic Asides, I think the dailies will be pretty covered if you’re looking for challenges. I hope that our prompts will be variegated enough that there will be options for you; if you’ve been reading the Reveries and the Refinery posts, you know that I’m a fan of prompts with lots of moving parts; we’ll see if I can keep that up. Look for the Recursions tag starting April 1. The Refinery will also continue through April, if I have enough grist for the mill.
(I might keep a running list of prompts on here, too; does anyone know what other sites will be running daily prompts in April? I suspect Margo does, or might already be keeping such a list.)
And finally, I hope we’ll all be reading as well as writing, to keep ourselves sharp and immersed in the poetry world. There’s a big stack of chapbooks I have to get through, and I expect I’ll be picking up even more from Bryan Borland and company at the Rainbow Book Fair, so stay tuned. I miss the days of ReadWritePoem when there were these constant reasons to stay connected and develop relationships with other poets; maybe, if we can all shake off the winter malaise in time, this will be the month we re-awaken that sensibility. But if not, at least we’ll all drive ourselves into mad frenzies of activity, right? I look forward to tumbling down that path with you fine people!