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 Recap

I’ve been reading a poem a day for April’s National Poetry Month! My caveat this third time around has been that I have to own the physical book so I can “show it,” and select a signature poem each morning. Here is the recap since my last blog:

April 14th, I read Justin Marks from The Comedown (Publishing Genius): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KG4eBQW9HxI

April 15th, I read Kelli Agodon’s “Sketchbook with an Undercurrent of Grief” from Hourglass Museum: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7pvLBdzTW3w&t=8s

April 16th, I read Rogan Kelly’s “Withers Street, Next to the Greif Trucking Company” from Demolition in the Tropics: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2DYVY-7rXJY

April 17th, I read Katherine Seluja’s “The Psychiatrist Said” from Gather the Night: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JppUE3mTYu8&t=8s

April 18th, I read Philip F. Clark’s “Learning” from The Carnival of Affection: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=piwHuL9CPVs&t=3s

April 19th, I read Ruth Awad’s “Lessons in Grief” from Set to Music a Wildfire: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1EfSJ0Vu2lc

April 20th, I read Adam Clay’s “Immortality for Mary Ruefle” from To Make Room For The Sea: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jWyItu22nPQ&t=4s

April 21st, I read Dorianne Laux’s “The Shipfitter’s Wife” from Smoke: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=djj1nhLvUY0&t=28s

April 22nd, I read Kaveh Akbar’s “Fubu” from Calling A Wolf A Wolf: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7DrgSGWpiJM

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On the Bending Genres website, we have several new projects, including a new column curated by MicroViews editor, Jonathan Cardew called “My Fave Five.” His first contributor, Jude Higgins, adds her selections: https://bendinggenres.com/2020/04/16/my-fave-five/

Also, we will be rolling out some of our Bending Genres Anthology contributors, like Jayne Martin, who kicks off our new reading series “Bending Genres Presents”: https://bendinggenres.com/2020/04/21/bending-genres-presents-jayne-martin/

We have our next Bending Genres Weekend Workshop, Found in the Forest, with stunning writer/ teacher Wendy Oleson, April 24- 26: https://bendinggenres.com/our-online-workshops/

Thanks BG staff: Meg, Len, David, Samuel, Davon, Sara, Corey, Connie, Emily, Jonathan, Adam, and KJ. You rock my world.

And finally, please hold the ones you love even more dearly. We lost a dear college friend this week, and the world appears slightly upside down. Be bold, let those you love know how important they are to you. Stay safe, and healthy.

 

National Poetry Month Recap

One of the many reasons I adore April is because it’s National Poetry Month. And for the third time, I am reading a poem a day. This time, my caveat is I have to own the book in which the poem I choose daily is published, and also, that I have read, or re-read the poem within the past twelve months.

Here are the poems I’ve read since last Monday, April 6th:

4/6/20: I read Ocean Vuong’s “Untitled (Blue, Green and Brown): oil on canvas; Mark Rothko: 1952” from Night Sky with Exit Wounds (Copper Canyon Press): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JFkWKFz_XMk&t=4s

4/7/20: I read Jules Archer’s “How to Love a Monster with Average-Sized Hands” from Little Feasts (Thirty West): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZhAzftRDM60&t=11s

4/8/20: I read Nico Amador’s “Self- Portrait with Cropped Hair (after Frida Kahlo) from Flower Wars (Newfound Press): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6sESlflVKSs

4/9/20: I read Hala Alyan’s “Ordinary Scripture” from The Twenty- Ninth Year (Mariner Books): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=md856nWuDms&t=3s

4/10/20: I read Joe Wenderoth’s “First Impression” from It Is If I Speak (Wesleyan University Press): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NTii-0_C29k&t=7s

4/11/20: I read Kim Addonizio’s “The Work” from what is this thing called love (W.W. Norton): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u3ZaenvwU80&t=2s

4/12/20: I read Patrick Johnson’s “Transubstantiation (AWOL)” from Gatekeeper (Milkweed Editions): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kWCkqyJfcTA&t=11s

4/13/20: I read Mary A. Koncel’s “When the Babies Are Missing Again” from you can tell the horse anything (Tupelo Press): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ugAL6b7wq7w&t=4s

Thanks for watching! And thanks for all of the wondrous poetry that you are all writing. Stay safe and take care of each other.

 

 

National Poetry Month: April 11-15

 short stories, and I am thrilled for Sara: Dock Street Press http://dockstreetpress.com/portfolio-item/doll-palace/Doll Palace And now, for National Poetry Month! On April 11, I read “Clouds” by  Barbara Ras. I was introduced to this poem at Esalen Institute last summer, and it prompted me to write a poem called “Hummingbirds,” which is in Addicts & Basements: Barbara Ras▶ Robert Vaughan reads “Clouds” by Barbara Ras – YouTube On April 13, I read The Dead Woman” by Pablo Neruda. This poem, in various forms of translations from its original Spanish, is included in the masterful movie “Truly, Madly, Deeply” which I saw with my best pal, Andrea, on a rainy Amsterdam afternoon. We had no idea what we were in for! ▶ Robert Vaughan reads “The Dead Woman” by Pablo Neruda – YouTube On April 14, I chose Amy King’s “The Woman of Zero.” Amy is multi-talented, and such a whimsical, deep, unusual writer. Such scope! Amy King\ Robert Vaughan reads “The Woman of Zero” by Amy King – YouTube On April 15, I read Indigo Moor’s Tap-Root from his quintessential book of the same name. I had the great fortune of meeting Indigo and hearing him read his stunning work at AWP Seattle: Taproot Have you gone to a reading lately? Read a poem on the train or subway? Flown someplace exotic with a surprising book that changed your outlook? If not, what are you waiting for?  ]]>

National Poetry Month: April 9 and 10

Robert Vaughan and Breathless | The Mockingbird Sings For National Poetry Month, on April 9th, I read “untitled” by Marilyn Hacker from this poetry collection, all sonnets: Marilyn Hacker   And here is the poem: ▶ Robert Vaughan reads “Untitled” by Marilyn Hacker – YouTube Also, on April 10th (today) I read “Lullaby” by W.H. Auden: ▶ Robert Vaughan reads “Lullaby” from W.H. Auden – YouTube Tonight I will be on Bud Smith’s Unknown Show on Blog Talk Radio, and other guests include Michael Dickes, Janice Lee and Cort Bledsoe. Call in: The Unknown Show with Bud Smith 04/10 by theliteraryunderground | Writing Podcasts Also, check out the Wednesday Roundup recap at Entropy: Wednesday Entropy Roundup | ENTROPY And if that’s not enough links, then I don’t know what to say. Have fun, be safe.]]>

National Poetry Month: Simon Perchik from Hands Collected

handscoll   Over the years, I’ve had numerous conversations with other poets, and more than often, Simon’s name is mentioned. His poems are staggering in volume, unique in voice and perspective, jarring, earthly devoted, and remarkably lovely. As a nod to his oeuvre, I constructed a poem, utilizing only the first lines of a Simon Perchik poem, including the title (also, a Perchik first line). Here is the entire poem: They were reaching for their mother’s breath Wherever I turn the air needs water and in the dark my pillow, abandoned stone, stone, stone, not a drop again, the sky rubbing against my legs all the pieces must be found, make this cup half ecstasy, half adrift With those hefty walls a bank even this tree :a stranglehold And the dead can’t wait, they crouch as if its stream would slow What a long way- they know this bridge as if before its crash (all words excerpted from Simon Perchik’s Hands Collected: The Books of Poems (1949-1999) (only first lines used to construct entire poem, including title) And today, April 8th, I read Simon Perchik for National Poetry Month: Robert Vaughan reads Simon Perchik’s poem, * from Hands Collected – YouTube When is the last time you took a train? Had an unexpected picnic? Read a poem that took your breath away?        ]]>

National Poetry Month: April 6 & 7

Unknown I read the title poem, which I find so playful, humane, and deep simultaneously: ▶ Robert Vaughan reads “Sun Bear” by Matthew Zapruder – YouTube On April 7 (today), I read Natasha Tretheway’s “At Dusk” by Natasha Tretheway. This poem is in her collection called Native Guard: Unknown-1 ▶ Robert Vaughan reads “At Dusk” by Natasha Tretheway – YouTube Do you ever wonder who you are calling home? Do you ever take the time to be called? If so, to whom? How so?  ]]>

National Poetry Month video: "Woman in a Bar" by Dorianne Laux

Red Dragonfly Press: THE BOOK OF WOMEN by Dorianne Laux lg_laux_cover-1326776205   Dorianne, for those who don’t know her, is a wizard! She is simply one of the best poets I know, and I consider myself so fortunate, my life has transformed as a result of every interaction we’ve had. Happy Poetry Month to you, DL, and may you always feel loved. Here, then, is “Woman in a Bar” and enjoy: Robert Vaughan reads “Woman in a Bar” by Dorianne Laux – YouTube Have you ever been in a bar? How about Fozzie’s? Boy Bar? King Tut’s Wah-Wah Hut? When is the last time you sat in a bar, and were completely captivated by someone else? What happened?  ]]>

National Poetry Month: April 3

The Frog.” Hopefully you will enjoy it! I love and miss you, Andrea and David! Today, for National Poetry Month, I am going to read Rigoberto Gonzalez’s “The Strangers Who Find Me in the Woods.” (Perhaps this is why those latino towns in California came to mind?) Enjoy! ▶ Robert Vaughan reads “The Stranger Who Finds Me in the Woods” by Rigoberto Gonzalez – YouTube Do you like getting lost in the woods? What did you find last time? Was Hansel or Gretl with you? Did you come across a wicked witch?    ]]>