National Poetry Month Recap

The end of April is always a sad occurrence for me, because National Poetry Month closes. This doesn’t mean poetry can’t be read throughout the year, of course. But the focus on poetry, and poems, especially given the current state of our world, has been such a boon. Here is how I wrapped up the last three days of my National Poetry Month readings:

On April 28th, I read Nick Flynn’s “Emptying Town” from Some Ether (Graywolf Press):

On April 29th, I read Mary Ruefle’s “Little Golf Pencil” from My Private Property (Wave Books):

On April 30th, I read Joy Harjo’s “Remember” from Academy of American Poets:

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And at Bending Genres, we wrapped up our “Found in the Forest” weekend workshop led by Wendy Oleson. So many incredible, innovative pieces were developed, and the support was off the charts. Join us on May 22- 24 when Tyler Barton will teach his “Artifact Lit” weekend workshop: https://bendinggenres.com/product/tyler-barton-artifact-lit-may-22-24/

Also, our fiction editor, Meg Tuite, kicked off a new project called Bending Genres Productions. She selected a poem by Colin Pope from his stunning book, Why I Didn’t Go To Your Funeral. Meg chose “Still Life with Casket in the Distance,” and with a cast of 15 or so writers, a videographer Brian Mihok, they captured this haunting, evocative experience: https://bendinggenres.com/2020/04/30/colin-pope-video/

Get outside. Be safe. Take care of yourself and of each other. Life is precious.

National Poetry Month Recap #3

I love April! The gentle unassuming rain, buds forming on surrounding trees, birds arriving from their Southern climes. And poetry, yes… poems! It’s National Poetry Month, so daily I have selected a new poem, and read it aloud on my YouTube channel. Here is a recap of the last few days:

On April 23rd, I read Sara Comito’s “Pristine Creatures” from Bury Me In The Sky (Nixes Mate): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ubGY1db5om8

On April 24th, I read Matthew Olzmann’s “To the One at the Bottom of Loch Ness” from Mezzanines: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KvY48o7da28

On April 25th, I read Ellen Bass’s “The Long Recovery” from Indigo (Copper Canyon Press): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zVy2FpsH-ww&t=4s

On April 26th, I read Mark Doty’s “Hungry Ghost” from Deep Lane (W. W. Norton): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-2gVdIoPXxk&t=28s

On April 27th, I read Marie Howe’s “Low Tide, Late August” from Magdalene (W. W. Norton): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QUaJvqv1YZ8&t=28s

I’ll post the links to my last three National Poetry Month selections in a day or two. Thanks everyone, who has let me know what these poems/ readings have meant to you. I hope you are all taking good care of yourselves and loved ones.

The world recently lost a remarkable man, and honorable friend, my pal Robby Browne. We met in the early 1990s and became good friends. And although I eventually left New York, any time I visited Robby eagerly invited me to social engagements. He was one of the most social and well loved friends that I was fortunate to know. R.I.P. sweet, brilliant Robby.

Anyone who is interested in learning more about Robby, his friend Jeff Dupre made a monumental video dedicated to Robby’s life and legacy: https://www.robbybrowne.com.

And at Bending Genres, we have launched our “Bending Genres Presents” reading series, in which Authors read their selected pieces from our new Bending Genres Anthology, and Tara Campbell reads her poem, “The Fish.”

 

 

National Poetry Month 2020

Happy National Poetry Month! This year, to coincide with hunkering down at home, I decided to revamp my poem a day project on YouTube. I did this previously in 2013 and 2014. Every day, I select a poem with one self-imposed guideline… this year, I have read, or re-read each poem within the past twelve months. And so, each week, I will re-cap the poet, poem, book and link to my reading on Youtube.

On April 1st, I kicked off National Poetry Month with poet Molly Brodak, and her poem “Going Back to Sleep,” from her chapbook a little middle of the night (University of Iowa Press): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kq2uHJRXz44.

On April 2nd, I read Charles Jensen’s “H. Himbo” from Nanopedia (Tinderbox Editions): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=55lgxUqLhwg.

On April 3rd, I read Katie Schmid’s “The Boys of Midwest 5” from her Split Lip chapbook, forget me hit let me drink great quantities of clear, evil liquor: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e0GbGrF0gqI.

On April 4th, I read Luke Johnson’s “Liner Notes to Benjamin” from :boys (Blue Horse Press): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yYNNiB0KVjw.

On April 5th, I read Alina Stefanescu’s “But How Did He Look When You Told Him?” from stories to read aloud to your fetus (Finishing Line Press): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ouMY5hhjGbE

Join me tomorrow when I will be kicking off an entirely new week with all new outstanding poets, poems of intrigue, hue and glow, and the alluring sounds, smells and tastes of a new dawn.

 

Bending Genres update

We recently launched our July/ August issue of Bending Genres Journal: issue 10! It is our most full issue since we began publishing BG in January, 2018. We have 18 flash pieces, 10 poets (some with more than one poem included) and 6 CNF pieces. A total of 36 all together. And we also reached another high: we had 1,788 hits (reads) on Tuesday, the day we published, and another 1,100 hits yesterday. This is incredible, and I’m so grateful to every person who read, shared, or posted about our new issue. Also, so happy to have the best editorial and IT team assembled: Meg Tuite, David O’ Connor, Jonathan Cardew, Jessica Mehta, Samuel Fox, Davon Loeb, Corey Holzman, Adam Robinson, and KJ. To read our latest issue: https://www.bendinggenres.com.

Our next Bending Genres weekend workshop is August 23-25 with Nancy Stohlman. She is leading a workshop in Absurdity, and says “let’s get weird!” Only five more spots left, don’t wait to register for this stimulating and terrific course! https://bendinggenres.com/monthly-workshops/.

Also, Meg Tuite and I have scored a new location for our very first MIDWEST RETREAT in 2020! This is very exciting! So, in addition to returning to Synergia Ranch on May 10-16, we’ll also be at Cedar Valley in West Bend, Wisconsin on August 16- 22. We will have the Wisconsin webpage up and working very soon! http://retreat.bendinggenres.com. Also, will share some photos from Synergia and Cedar Valley in my next post.

A dear friend of mine is finally free today. Congratulations! It’s been quite a year. Janis Joplin said, “Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose.” Are you free? Truly? Do we ever really know?

Oh! What a WEEK

ISSUE 8, published on Tuesday, April 9. Filled with amazing, diverse flash fiction, stunning poetry and brave, insightful creative non-fiction, we had more than 1,200 hits the first day we published! A new feat!!! Thanks to our BG editors Meg Tuite, Jessica Mehta, Samuel Fox, David O’Connor, Jonathan Cardew, Davon Loeb, Corey Holzman, Adam Robinson, and KJ. And also thanks to our writers, and those of you who tweeted, added your own or your favorite stories to FB, IG, Tumblr, LinkedIn, and more.

Also, this week, the stories in Best Small Fictions 2019 were announced. And my piece, “Six Glimpses of the Uncouth” was included with many stellar authors like Lydia Davis, Amelia Gray, Michael Martone, Kim Chinquee, Ann Beattie and SO many more. I’m truly honored to be included, my second time (I also had a piece selected in the 2016 BSF). I wanted to mention that the particular piece which was selected truly had some serious legs. Originally it appeared in Bud Smith’s anthology, Uno Kudo. He ran this project (2012-2015) with many friends including Aaron Dietz, Erin Parker, Erin McParland, and Chuck Howe (RIP). Then, it was picked up by Metazen, an online journal which mined GOLD in its heyday. Then it was selected to appear in my third book, Addicts & Basements. And finally, last November, it was published at Hobart Journal, with four of my other short fiction pieces. The theme here is never give up on your work!

And then, Nancy Stohlman, dear friend and terrific writer, interviewed me about my latest book, FUNHOUSE, in her series, So You Wrote A Book. She asked some terrific questions and I so appreciate her verve and support of fellow writers.

We still have some openings at Bending Genres for online workshops May 24- 26 with Kaj Tanaka; and June 14- 16 with Sabrina Orah Mark. 

Also, consider joining us in Taos, New Mexico for our second week long writing retreat at   Mabel Dodge Luhan House! July 21-27. Incredible vistas, inspiring daily writing talks, roundtables to receive and give feedback, gourmet food. Want to change your writing life? Talk about a busy week… and it snowed all day yesterday. What the latest with you?  ]]>

Writing News

New Micros: Exceptionally Short Fiction, was published by W.W. Norton. This was expertly edited by Robert Scotellaro and James Thomas, and I was fortunate to have two of my pieces included, both formerly published in RIFT, my co-authored collection with Kathy Fish. Writer and Editor Tommy Dean is now conducting interviews about the craft, the construction, and ideas behind the pieces chosen for New Micros. I was so happy when he asked me to participate in his project, and our exchange was published at New Flash Fiction Review. Thanks, to everyone, for believing in my writing, both in the publishing realm, and in these kind editors like Tommy, who endlessly support writers and writing. Also, thanks to NFFR, who have a terrific team and publish innovative writing. Check out their journal and submit your best! In three short days, I head to Portland and AWP commences. I hope to see so many of you, my writing tribe. I’m both excited and terrified. And I have new Bending Genres postcards, thanks to Adam Robinson and his talents, so be forewarned. And last, here is a goofy office photo of me in rad shades. Future’s so bright?!! Happy Spring:  ]]>

This Writing Life

Hobart Journal last November. Bud Smith was the guest editor and he accepted 5 flash fictions, mostly all from journals that have gone out of publication. You can read them all here: http://www.hobartpulp.com/web_features/five-stories. I can’t share the “exciting news” part quite yet. Just know I am over-the-moon!!! Today was the beginning of Jonathan Cardew’s Ugly Real Beautiful: Let Your Characters Tell the Story. It’s our third Bending Genres weekend workshop of 2019, and all three (Meg Tuite in January; Alina Stefanescu in February) have been full so far. We only take 20 writers max, and our next opportunity, Sara Lippmann’s Mine What Matters, is more than half full already. So, don’t wait!!! More here: https://bendinggenres.com/monthly-workshops/. Today I also booked flights for Synergia Ranch, our first Bending Genres retreat on May 10-16. I am so excited for this! Also, we still have some openings for our second Bending Genres retreat at Mabel Dodge Luhan House in Taos, N.M. on July 21-27. Come write your heart out in the desert, eat gourmet food, laugh and dream with like-minded writers: http://retreat.bendinggenres.com And, I hope to see you in Portland at https://www.awpwriter.org, March 27- 31? I’ll be floating around the book fair needing a haircut, hiding in back booths at late- night readings, toasting friends like Bill Soldan, Karen Stefano, Len Kuntz, Jayne Martin and a plethora of other talents who have new books, or books being birthed soon. Please let me know if you have any signings or engagements. Happy writing! What are you reading lately?]]>

February 2019

Also, the innovative and wonderful Alina Stefanescu taught our most recent Bending Genres online weekend workshop, February 15- 17, “Subverting the Line Break.” We hosted 20 writers, and over 70 different pieces were created, workshopped, and given salient feedback. Most of these fit our BG model perfectly, some more prose than poetry, or vice versa. Many fit into those hybrid margins we so love.

We have more workshops forthcoming, including Jonathan Cardew in March, and Sara Lippmann in April. For more information on our upcoming monthly workshops, you can visit our website here: https://bendinggenres.com/monthly-workshops/

And, today at our Bending Genres blog, a new review of Kathy Fish’s Wild Life: https://bendinggenres.com/2019/02/18/some-field-notes-on-wild-life-collected-works-from-2003-2018-by-kathy-fish-in-randomized-order-published-by-matter-press/

Then last, but not least, we have filled our Bending Genres Synergia Ranch writing retreat, May 10-16, outside of Santa Fe!!! But we still have openings for our Mabel Dodge Luhan House retreat, in Taos, New Mexico on July 21-27. Here are some images from our two former workshops held at MDLH: There is more information about our BG retreats here: http://retreat.bendinggenres.com .  ]]>

Spring Has Sprung

Bending Genres issue two a few days ago: www.bendinggenres.com. We’ve had so many nice compliments but truly without our writers, we would not have anything to showcase. Also thanks editors Meg Tuite, David O’Connor, Samuel Fox, Jessica Mehta, and Jonathan Cardew. Thanks Adam Robinson for your IT wizardry, and KJ for your uploading and editorial skills. We are currently open for submissions, so send us your weird and best! Jonathan Cardew also taught our second Bending Genres online weekend workshop, “Flash: Wondrous & Weird.” It was well- attended and participants wrote some incredibly unusual (for them) pieces! We currently have two spots left for our May 18-20 weekend workshop; “Deep Leap/ Deep Sleep” and I will be teaching this! More information here: https://bendinggenres.com/online-workshops/. Also, Meg Tuite and I are preparing daily for our upcoming Bending Genres Synergia Ranch retreat!!! The new header image I selected is from New Mexico, and I’ll add more photos at the end of this post from September 2017, when we had our first experience at the Ranch. It’s phenomenal, spiritual, strange, clear, a gift to honor your own hard work if that appeals to you. We like writers of all levels, and varieties. In fact, we asked writer Lynn Mundell six questions about her experience at Synergia Ranch last September: https://bendinggenres.com/2018/04/08/bending-genres-q-a-with-author-lynn-mundell/ The upcoming dates are April 27- May 3, 2018. We currently have 12 registered writers and can take a few more. Here is our website to look further: http://retreat.bendinggenres.com. ]]>

Bending Genres Journal

Bending Genres started as the name that Meg Tuite and I gave to our week long writing retreats. We still plan to use this name for our two Bending Genres retreats in 2018: April 27- May 3: Synergia Ranch, outside of Santa Fe, New Mexico: http://retreat.bendinggenres.com: July 22-28: Mabel Dodge Luhan House, Taos, New Mexico:   Last Friday afternoon, we launched the first issue of Bending Genres Journal: www.bendinggenres.com: We have 31 incredible pieces, a winning combination of short fiction, prose poems, and creative non-fiction. Many are superb examples of hybrid, or cross-genre work. Our entire journal staff are so proud! Also huge thanks to Meg Tuite, David O’Connor, Samuel Fox, Jessica Mehta, and Jonathan Cardew. Also Adam Robinson for his genius design and input, and KJ for his IT finesse. We had an astounding number of hits over the weekend- close to 2,000!!! The third facet of the new Bending Genres empire is our all-new weekend workshops! We launched in January with Meg Tuite teaching Flash Fiction: Close to the Edge on January 19-21. We had a great turn-out, 21 writers registered, and amazing writing throughout the entire weekend, combined with great facilitating by Meg and participants. Our next adventure is March 23-25, with Jonathan Cardew teaching Flash: Wondrous & Weird.  More information, including how you can register (we are already half full) here: https://bendinggenres.com/online-workshops/. And so, send us your submissions! Register for a course! Attend a retreat! We’d love to have you join our Bending Genres family, as we continue to watch it grow. And grow.        ]]>