Friday, August 25, 2006

Ens and Odds

My review of Alvin Ens’s prize-winning book of poems (category: 'Special') I Am the Poem is now up here.

My bootmaker friend Charlie has a poetry blog. You'll love the sense of place his poems evoke.

To all aspiring, novice and as yet unpublished poets - you have less than a week to get your entries into the mail for this contest.

I was honored to be named Utmost Christian Writer’s International Poet Laureate earlier this year. Thank you to the person who nominated me, to Nathan Harms and to Utmost’s Board of Directors for making this happen!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

End of blank card blues

A Birthday
by Christina Rossetti

My heart is like a singing bird
Whose nest is in a water’d shoot;
My heart is like an apple-tree
Whose boughs are bent with thickset fruit;
My heart is like a rainbow shell
That paddles in a halcyon sea;
My heart is gladder than all these
Because my love is come to me.

Raise me a dais of silk and down;
Hang it with vair and purple dyes;
Carve it in doves and pomegranates,
And peacocks with a hundred eyes;
Work it in gold and silver grapes,
In leaves and silver fleurs-de-lys;
Because the birthday of my life
Is come, my love is come to me.

I’m usually stumped when it comes to knowing what to put inside blank cards. Yesterday I was preparing one for a wedding. What to say?

On the Poetry Foundation site I recalled seeing a Poem Finder. So I decided to give it a try. I chose 'by occasion' and then ‘wedding.’ This page appeared. I picked the above poem for inside the card. Now I’m thinking, with this handy gadget at my fingertips, maybe those days of the blank card blues are over.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Poetry contest for the novice

Are you a Christian poet – as yet unpublished? Do I have a contest for you! is running its first annual poetry contest for novice / unpublished poets. From Nathan Harms, Utmost’s webmaster in an email I got today:

We are in the final 2 weeks of our first annual Novice Christian Poetry Contest. We decided to sponsor this contest due to a great number of requests for a contest that would be more suited to unpublished Christian poets, but the number of entries is lower than expected to date.

If you qualify as an unpublished Christian poet, we encourage you to consider this contest. The total prizes that will be paid are US$1750 cash. There is no restriction on subject matter.

Poets, this is serious cash!

Utmost's home page has links to rules and entry form.

Entries must be posted on or before August 31/06.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

This afternoon

I'm going to a poetry reading by this woman, who is presently teaching a one-week course at Regent College, and has written this poem and this and this.

Catch you later...


The reading was wonderful! She read mostly from her last book, A Deed to the Light, as well as a few new and as yet unpublished poems. I liked the way she introduced each poem telling us the circumstance of its writing, sometimes giving anecdotes about the people in it. The 40-minute reading was over too soon. (And of course I came away with the goods!)

A walk along the beach at Spanish Banks with hubby and a stop at White Spot for a burger on the way home rounded out a perfect afternoon.


Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Poetry prompt # 5 - adapted nursery rhyme

Remember the finger play (toe play really) "This little pig went to market"? Today’s poem in the Writer’s Almanac "Counting the Mad" by Donald Justice, is a clever take-off on that. It begins:

This one was put in a jacket,
This one was sent home,
This one was given bread and meat
But would eat none,
And this one cried No No No No
All day long.

(Read entire)

Which reminds me – it’s high time for another poetry writing prompt. I think Mr. Justice’s idea of growing a poem from a child’s a nursery rhyme or finger play would be a fun and interesting exercise. And so that’s my challenge to myself this week: Write a poem based on a nursery rhyme or children’s finger play.

You’re welcome to join me if you like!

(Links to more poems by Donald Justice here.)