Wednesday, September 03, 2014

SOME BOOKS WORTH MENTIONING

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Today I thought I'd give a shout-out to several books I've recently read, or am reading now, or am about to read. After that I'm offering some excuses about why I may not be blogging for the next month or so.


Joanne Arnott, who I met at the Cascadia Poetry Festival, is a wonderful poet. Her latest, Halfling Spring, is a delight. It chronicles, as is suggested in the subtitle, a relationship that began in cyberspace.

poem-centric

it may not be perverse
but it is certainly inverse
& perhaps obverse, as well

any poem-centric relationship
is bound to be verse
of some kind


Dianne Hicks Morrow is Prince Edward Island's poet laureate. Met her in La Manzanilla last winter. The poems in Long Reach Home are as warm and inviting as the house on the cover. They examine relationships — parent/child/parent; husband/wife — with perception and humour.

Thirteen

Nearly six feet tall, totally cool:
shock of dark hair flopped over forehead,
styling gel firmly in control,
designer jeans casually topped by
Red Eraser shirt, sleeves rolled
just so.

Mirror-approved for departure
he steps into his hundred dollar
size twelve sneakers. Big-man
hands reach to tie laces
the bunny-ear way he learned
when he was three.


E.E. (Elly) Nobbs is another PEI poet. (Wonder if she and Dianne know each other?) I've subscribed to her blog for ages, can't remember what took me there in the first place, but a month or two ago I dropped in again and decided to order her chapbook. It won the Doire Press 2nd Annual International Poetry Chapbook Competition in 2013. Love the poems in this one. For example:


Documentary

At the end, we see
the blue whale and her calf. Breaching —
               their two tails punctuate
the ocean's clean slate,
their motion like mime
or signing. Perhaps they know
               we're deaf.             


Fishing for Mermaids is Nanaimo poet Mary Ann Moore's first book of poetry. She's been published in several chapbook anthologies that come out of the Patrick Lane workshops on Vancouver Island. That's how I first met her, back in 2007. So great to see some old familiar poems in this collection, as well as new ones. See if this one doesn't make you want to go eat something!

Oregano

If I were asked
to praise something
I would choose 
oregano,
its sagey greenness,
pungent bouquet,
its aliveness on the feta,
in memory of Sappho's prayers
to Aphrodite,
the Lesbos circle,
Greek odes
accompanied by the lyre,
goat bells on the hill,
dancing, arms entwined,
hibiscus in our hair.

Cover illustration by Alun Hollyman

Four Small People in Sturdy Shoes is Vancouver Island poet, Linda K. Thompson's first chapbook. She begins:

   (from Stand Up for the Wallflower Words)

I am somewhat afraid of poems
I do not wish to wrestle belligerent ones into submission.
Nor do I wish to flood them with klieg lights to get to 
    the guts.
A poem like that, I find it sensible to avoid.
In fact, I would march myself right out of that cell,
and even as the lifers are rattling their stanzas on the      
    bars,
I will be looking for an outside door.

This poem and the ones that follow bask in the gentle light of keen observation. No klieg lights here. Four Small People in Sturdy Shoes is published by Hot Tomato Studios.

Middle Child of Summer is a sweet little chapbook from Leaf Press. It's very dear to my heart because it contains 31 poems that originated as postcard poems, and readers of this blog will know how much I enjoy that particular discipline!

Untitled, Day # 23

Even goodbye sounds
inviting from under
a Stetson —
the shade and dust of it
the bent crown and tattered band
as believable as anything.

It's when you squeeze it
into the sideways dawg days
the trouble starts.

Finally, drum roll, Jennifer Craig has been brewing a new novel and you can get it here. Jenny is one of the funniest writers I know. Can't wait to dive into this one!

I am leaving in a few days for Toronto where I will be visiting old friends, then carrying on to Barcelona where I will, in the company of my sister and two more friends, take a plane or a train or something, and wind up in or near Hermanillos, and then start walking. The Camino. Half of it, or so. Which is still a whole lot of miles, and I'm not sure I'm physically capable, and I'm a bit nervous, and so on and so on, but I'm also getting really excited. Not sure if I'll be able to efficiently and effectively update my blog while I'm away as I won't have my laptop; traveling light is a basic requirement for this trip. I'll try, though. (Hate trying to type on tiny-screened devices). Here are a few pictures of where I've been walking around here. Training, as it were.


On the Kinnaird bridge, looking at lower Ootischenia. 
On the Robson bridge, looking north up the Columbia River, the pulp mill in the background.

On the Robson bridge, looking south on the Columbia. 

On the old Doukhobor bridge at Brilliant. They were setting up for a wedding.
From the old Doukhobor bridge at Brilliant, looking at the "new" bridge, which, I might add, is a scary one to walk over. It really shakes! (This is why you haven't seen a picture taken from it yet).

Panorama shot from the pathway beside the airport, looking back towards Robson.
And that's it for now. See you when I see you!

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4 comments:

Rebecca Bradley said...

Coffee and poetry: best way to start the day. Thanks for those wonderful tasters.

Carla Braidek said...

thanks for these suggestions Linda. I especially like the title "Middle Child of Summer".
Enjoy your Camino walking. I'm sure you will have success.

Maggie Patti Barbara Frankford-Shapirol said...

breathe taking nature images and lovely verses.

Maggie Patti Barbara Frankford-Shapirol said...


Dear Poetic Friends: or poetry writers:


How do you do?


It has been a while without running poets rally for free verse, today, when we celebrate Thursday Poets Rally 5th year anniversary, we invite you, a poet who blog and support poetry, to participate,



To join our rally, or submit one or two poems to our poetry prompt,
Click on the link below:

http://promisingpoetsparkinglot.blogspot.com/2015/01/thursday-poets-rally-week-79-january-14.html



Happy Rally….
Thank you in advance!