Wednesday, April 25, 2012


My book is up on Amazon!

I found a really cool Amazon-ian thing this time around too.  They have created "author pages" now that are really fun and interesting.  An author can go in and add material about his/her book (descriptions, etc.), make sure the books under his/her name are correct, and check all the information.  But even more fun is the data--it allows you to see how many books have been sold, where they are sold, and how your sales look across the months.  Right now only one book has been sold on Amazon, so I have this grey map of the US with a lovely blue square for New Mexico.  Thanks person in New Mexico who bought my book!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Food Writing

I'm going to teach a creative writing workshop in the fall on "food writing."  I've always loved food fiction and I thought it would be fun to explore food poetry and non-fiction as well.  One of the best parts of my job is getting to read books that I might teach, and I spent all winter reading foodie books to get ready.  It was such fun getting into this genre.

Yesterday in class I had my students write a haiku in two minutes.  I sat down to do it too (I always try to do the exercises I assign) and all that food reading must have been on my mind.  Here it is:

My Mom’s Old Recipe Box

I slide out a card
and flavors explode on my
tongue:  Love.  Longing.  Regret.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Poetry Between the Lines

I have a month to go in the semester, and I've hit that inevitable moment I hit every semester when my writing takes the backseat to grading.  Every semester it seems to happen right about this time, and as much as I swear I'm going to not let it go, I do. The massive, tilting, guilty stacks of student papers take over and I lose all will and motivation to write.

This week I've been delighted by how many friends and writers are posting poems or parts of poems on Facebook for National Poetry Month.  This morning I've been wondering if there's a way to slip a little poetry into my life in these times when it's impossible (ok, not impossible but clearly difficult) to sit down and write.  Most writers I know go through periods like this when we just can't get it done.  And we miss it terribly. 

So, here is my brainstorm list for how to get a little poetry in between the lines of my life. I'd love to hear your ideas too:

1.  Poem in Your Pocket.  I bought this sweet book at AWP this year put out by the Academy of American Poets.  It's a "book" that's really a large tablet full of poems. You rip one out and put it in your pocket and carry it around all day.  How perfect is that?

2.  Hand Poetry.  Write one line of a poem you're working on on your hand.  Preferably the back.  Just think about that line all day, tinker with it, read it aloud often.

3.  Poem Flow App.  I found this great app for my phone called "Poem Flow"  It gives you a new poem every day.  

4.  New Word.  Yesterday on Facebook Terry Tempest Williams asked everyone to post their favorite words.  She got everything from "moss" to "spatula."  Find one new word and play with it in your head all day.  How would I use that word?  Could I open a poem with it?  What are all its derivations?

5.  Daily Haiku.  I have to confess I adore haiku.  I'm thinking if I set myself the task of writing one haiku, that would feel less daunting than a longer poem. I could take all day. I could work on one line at a time.  But I'd write one haiku every day for, say a week.  Or a month.  However long I need to get back to my regular writing time.  It might be kind of fun to work on a theme for the haiku of that period.  Birth haiku?  Coffee haiku?  Cat/Dog haiku?

So now I'm lecturing myself back into writing, in some way, every day.  Please do post your ideas and thought--I'd love to see them!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Book Preview, Part 2

It's been a crazy week for this I'm going to take the easy road and offer up another poem from Liveaboard.  

Our bridge of sighs
is a metal ramp with foot holds:

on one end, the wooden
dock, the green river, sweet with grasses.

On the other, a parking
lot, an industrial complex, a highway.

We traverse ours
every morning, the ring of boots

a gavel striking
another small pock in our bodies.

But every night
we reverse the journey as well,

stepping from oily asphalt
onto the ramp that sways a little

with our good weight.  We step
through air, across water,

back into the quiet cells
where we live our nights, trying

for some kind of pardon
for the way we spend each day.