Tuesday 29 May 2012

Ten Months Gone

A dozen conversations, a baby burbling, an espresso machine's screech. Amid these a palpable silence, where once my consciousness chattered to yours.

In my hands I clasp the silence, turn it over: made of clay, yet throwing, hurling won't shatter it. Hardened, fired at a terrific heat. Months till it cooled enough to handle or, rather, till its touch didn't scald and briefly efface my fingerprints.

What if I had held it, while hot, to my face? Some days still I wish I had done it, wish everyone could see the scar of your loss. 

Sunday 27 May 2012

Catching Up / Current Issues

With my overwhelming workload this past academic year, I haven't had as much time to blog as I'd like, but with classes over, I hope to change that. It's been a long time since I've given an update on magazines, but now's a great time with a flurry of appearances. In the UK, poems are in the current or next issues of Domestic Cherry, New Welsh Review, The Rialto, Shearsman, Under the Radar, and The Warwick Review.  In the US, poems are forthcoming in the next issues of Hayden's Ferry ReviewNotre Dame Review, and The Same. 

Additionally, my series of prose poems for Sylph Editions' folio for Peter Coker's painting, "Sunflowers," is at the printer's now, I understand, and from the PDF I've seen, it appears beautifully produced. I also have a short essay on prose poetry coming out in the summer issue of Poetry Review.

Friday 25 May 2012

Divining for Starters "finely wrought and immensely sensual"

Some favourite passages from Sarah Jackson's thoughtful review of Divining for Starters in the latest issue of New Walk:

"Carrie Etter’s second collection demonstrates a remarkable ear and intelligence. Combining lyricism and experimentation, Divining for Starters is confident, poised, and at times quite startling."

"What I find so notable, however, is not simply the way that Etter represents the desire for starting over, but the manner in which these poems perform their own coming-into-being."

"...these poems are also finely wrought and immensely sensual – the poet ‘fingering my small store of words / held on the tongue’ (‘Divining for Starters (53)’). Even as closure is endlessly deferred, the poems are gathered together by a careful patterning of sound and sense."

"This is of course not simply the hypnotic dream of a train moving through the night, but the drift of language from any fixed reference point. And it is this carefully controlled and haunting slipperiness that makes Carrie Etter’s second collection so extraordinary."

Divining for Starters is available with free worldwide shipping from The Book Depository.

Monday 7 May 2012

The Other Room Anthology 4

The splendid poetry reading series in Manchester, The Other Room, publishes an annual anthology of its readers. I read there in April last year in the good company of Ken Edwards, Alec Finlay and by video link Derek Henderson, and with the year of readers in the anthology, the company increases to include Tim Allen, Andrea Brady, Alan Halsey, Colin Herd, Karen Mac Cormack, Steve McCaffery, Geraldine Monk, and Philip Terry, among others. Visit this page at The Other Room's website to purchase your own copy. 

Thanks to series curators James Davies, Tom Jenks, and Scott Thurston both for the invitation to the original reading and the impressive anthology. 

Wednesday 2 May 2012

NaPoWriMo: Done. Dusted.

In the thirty days of April, I wrote 16 independent, prose-poetry sections (of which we used 14) for the commissioned piece, "Meditations," on Peter Coker's 1958-9 painting, "Sunflowers," eight sections taken from the words of Esther Summerson's first chapter in Charles Dickens's Bleak House (I didn't realise till today I'd completed the chapter!), and five independent poems. Thus it turns out that for all my activity in April, I missed the 30 in 30 goal by one, but I'm nonetheless delighted. I think "Meditations" has turned out well (if not excellent, as I'd hoped) in spite of the time pressure I faced, I'm excited about the Bleak House project, and several of the independent poems I think are good. So hurrah! How did others fare? 

Thanks to everyone who joined me. Stories of your own experiences consistently encouraged me to strive for my best and to make the most of the time, and I dearly appreciate them. Thanks so much.