Update: Winners announced here
BIG POETRY GIVEAWAY
For National Poetry Month, I am participating in a giveaway of my favorite stuff, poetry. By the end of April, you can win one of three books, just by posting a comment here at my site. While I hope that my poet and writer colleagues will post, I'd very much like to hear too from old and new friends who don't much read poetry. Here are the three titles (ta-dah!), followed by info and links to each book
***Crossing State Lines: An American Renga
***The Trouble Ball
***The Places We Find Ourselves
***Crossing State Lines: An American Renga (hardback)
Edited by Bob Holman and Carol Muske-Dukes
I've been fascinated by the online collaborative work at renga over on the Cleveland Poetics this past autumn raging into and through winter. So I am hoping that some of its poets might be interested in this hardback collection edited by the inimitable Bob Holman and Carol Muske-Duke. It includes fifty-four poets "responding to ideas of America-- and to one another. Among them are Heather McHugh, Adrienne Rich, Phil Levine, Cleopatra Mathis, and David Baker (who lives in Granville, Ohio).
The Trouble Ball (hardback)
by Martin Espada
This book reflects on the lives of prisoners, Latin Americans (including my favorites, Nicaraguans), immigrants, and other heroes, as well as Espada's own life from childhood to his work as a tenant lawyer and legal advocate to his current work as poetry professor at U Mass Amherst.
For my money (and I have bought two copies), this Espada's best book to date. He is reading in Northeast Ohio for National Poetry Month, and with luck, I will get this hardback copy of the book signed for you.
The Places We Find Ourselves, is my third chapbook of poetry, spread across my 30+ years as a poet. During those years, I worked teaching, with the most years, nearly 20, at The University of Findlay, where I started a creative writing program that included a writers series both on campus and in prison. After that, I taught for a decade at Bentley University in suburban Boston, and currently, I am back in my hometown of Canton, teaching sporadically as I help to care for my father. Some places in my book are on the map, such as first poem set in Ohio, and the last set in Massachusetts. (Also there is a wonderful place just outside of Cleveland in the great cover photo by Steve Cagan.) But the book is more about the places in our heart these places leave, as the Irish poet, Seamus Heaney wrote, standing at his mother's grave:
And we all knew one thing by being there
The place we stood around had been emptied
Into us to keep.
Here is the last poem in the book written after I had moved to the East Coast following the death of my sister after her two year struggle against cancer.
I came to this point three years ago.
Last winter, early morning on the beach,
I heard dog walkers argue how it looked.
One swore a chunk had moved, or a new one, risen.
The other said no, old outcrop: he’d bet a quarter,
staking his claim on Egg Rock’s being
“stable, solid, everlasting,” the way the poetssaw it in the first one hundred fifty years
of Egg Rock poetry now on the net.
Plath must have stared long at it, too,
from south of here in Winthrop, and she
used this site twice as backdrop for a suicide,
seeing a stony godlessness that doesn’t
give or take the riptide, just sits it out.
I can’t weigh in with her certainty or on the walkers’
wager--or Pascal’s. I’d like to know
I could cash in my chips as gamblers do these days
on “Horizon’s Edge” casino cruises pulling into harbor.
Then I view two centuries of online Egg Rock art,
and from the antique paintings, I’d have to say
the rock still looks the same. Oh, I know
the lighthouse keeper’s dog Milo and the near drowned
toddler in Landsmeer’s famous Saved are gone—
or as my friend Marion, who survived cancer says,
say it: are dead—along with swimmers who didn’t survive,
but the rock, I mean, the rock still looks the same.
Art tends to make me feel more hopeful
than life without art would—in fact, sustains me,
but from my second story window this rock itself
could be a new grave, cairn, or egg. Low rider,
close to this earth, it could go under any moment
in a nor’easter or a blast. Lovely loaf in the Atlantic,
it glitters and streams the light’s uncertainty,
Leave a comment here on my blog (see below) and you will be automatically entered in the Big Poetry Giveaway. I'll draw three names on May 1st and announce the winners shortly after that. You needn't have your own blog to enter, just a comment! I will mail the books to the winners, free, no postage, no catch.
Interested in more poetry give aways? Check out the lot of them here:
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