SpeakEasy 27: A Spiritual Thread engaged five poets in what turned out to be a nine-month poetic conversation. The resulting series of linked poems was presented in five Zoom readings.

To complete SpeakEasy 27, audience members were invited to submit their own poems inspired by and directly linked to specific ideas or language in the 25-poem series. Round 6, on Sunday, March 28, 2021, at 7:00pm Pacific, will feature response poems by Sarah Brownsberger, Lauren Camp, Nancy Canyon, Bev Darnall, J.I. Kleinberg, Eric Kosarot, Rachel Mehl, Peter Messinger, Jory Mickelson, Don Mitchell, Kevin Murphy, Bethany Reid, Sheila Rosen, Paul Sarvasy, Betty Scott, Carla Shafer, Sheila Sondik, Allie Spikes, and Nik Warren.

Additional information and video of the previous readings is available on the Other Mind Press SpeakEasy 27 page. The reading is free on Zoom (Zoom link available from the participating poets or by sending an email to othermindpress AT gmail.com). Please join us!

equinox

March 20, 2021


Spring!

Happy Everything

December 25, 2020

Poetry Karma

October 7, 2020

This is a guest post by
Dayna Patterson

Do you have a poem or book of poetry you’d like to promote, but feel like doing so in the midst of social injustice, climate catastrophe, and pandemic would shrivel up your soul like a spider on a hot stove? How can you garner attention for something you’ve worked so hard for without feeling like you’ve become one of Voldemort’s horcruxes, or Freddy Krueger’s cousin, or the demogorgon from Stranger Things? Well, let me tell you about Poetry Karma.

First of all, I just made that up. Poetry Karma is not a real thing, except in my head, and maybe soon it will live in your head, too. Poetry Karma is a way I’ve been framing my interactions with the poetry world for going on a decade now, and I’ve found it especially helpful when so much is transpiring in the world.

You already know what karma is. When you do good to others, you acquire good karma, like an angelic nimbus that trails you wherever you go. When you harm others, your karma begins to resemble a storm cloud, heavy with potential lightning that could strike back at you at any given moment.

Poetry Karma, then, is the kinds of energy you draw toward yourself based on your interactions within the literary community of readers, writers, editors, and publishers. Do good to others, and your poetry karma will hold onto that good like a warm coat in winter.

We all know or have heard of folks in the literary community who have bad Poetry Karma: they only promote their own work; they take, take, take; they tear down other writers; they don’t earnestly engage with the work of others; they are attention-seekers; they misappropriate and/or plagiarize, inconsiderate of the harm they inflict; their Poetry Karma is ravaged by ego.

So how can you influence your Poetry Karma for good? To my mind, amassing positive Poetry Karma can involve many different approaches:

  1. Write book reviews. If you want folks to write reviews of your books, start building up your good Poetry Karma right now by setting a book review goal for yourself. How many books can you reasonably review in a year? A month? Alternatively, you could interview another poet for a literary journal about their new book.
  2. Share and promote the work of others on social media. Chelsea Dingman and Nicole Sealey are wonderful examples of poets who strengthen community by encouraging folks to read and share the work of others. When you’re sharing, examine your intentions. If you’re sharing just to be noticed by a prominent poet or poets, that action can actually damage your Poetry Karma rather than enhancing it.
  3. Volunteer your time to read or edit for a literary journal (or start your own!).
  4. Volunteer your time to help run or organize local poetry events, conferences, festivals, etc.
  5. Engage in a collaborative writing project, which will help to suppress that ravenous beast Ego.
  6. Celebrate the achievements of others. Be liberal with your sincere praise.
  7. Start a poetry blog where you share news and submission information (props to J.I. Kleinberg, Trish Hopkinson, Derek Annis, and others who are doing this kind of work!).
  8. Volunteer to teach a poetry workshop (maybe for your kid’s class, or for inmates, or for your neighbors, or . . . ).
  9. Start a writing group and be generous with your feedback and encouragement.
  10. [Fill in your own idea here. I’m sure you’ve got plenty. You’re a poet, after all!]

Will it still feel weird to promote your book or poem or literary event? Yes. But you can engage in activities to strengthen your good Poetry Karma. You can publicize your stuff and balance those look-at-me moments by boosting and uplifting others.

. . . . .

Dayna Patterson’s first collection, If Mother Braids a Waterfall (Signature Books, 2020), was released around the same time COVID struck the U.S. She’s been trying to publicize the book while not feeling like a jerk all of the time. She is also the founding editor of Psaltery & Lyre, an online literary journal dedicated to publishing literature at the intersection of faith and doubt. More at daynapatterson.com.

[Ed. note: Dayna Patterson will read from If Mother Braids a Waterfall as part of the 2020 Utah Humanities Book Festival on Tuesday, October 13, 2020, 7:00pm Mountain / 6:00pm Pacific. The reading is free but registration is required.]

. . . . .

Photo of Jain Temple ceiling ornament, Ranakpur, Rajasthan, India, by Shakti

Author photo by Mariana Patterson

amidst it all, remembering

September 11, 2020

remembering: other Septembers

September 1, 1939 ~ September 11, 2001
poem W.H. Auden ~ collage j.i. kleinberg

 

Dear reader,

July 6, 2020

In response to a question you didn’t ask, maybe because you’re too polite to inquire about a magpie mind, I will say yes, it is getting more challenging to find fuel to feed the furnace of daily posting during a pandemic.

Today, I started thinking about all of the plein air typewriter poets who earn a few bucks poeming on demand at festivals and farmers markets, now out of work. That line of thought led me to the wonderful oz.Typewriter, Robert Messenger’s act of love and obsession since 2011. Here you’ll find the mechanics, history, and lore of typewriters, richly illustrated and somewhat magpie-ish, too, from Canberra, Australia.

Following an oztypewriter link to Welcome to the Typosphere, I was prompted to read a recent article in The New York Times, “Snail Mail Is Getting People Through This Time.” That made me curious about the recent stamp releases from our beleaguered post office (above).

It also prompts me to remind you that there are still 12 days remaining to sign up for the August POetry POstcard Fest. It launched early this year, with plenty of postcards already exchanged, but as more people register, new groups (of 32 each) are forming and can begin sending poetry postcards as soon as they receive their list. Just another way to get through this time. (Earlier posts on PoPo Fest here.)

With thanks for your attention, Likes, and Comments, I remain your masked correspondent,
Judy

. . . . .
Voices of the Harlem Renaissance, Forever stamps, issued May 21, 2020

Earth Day

April 22, 2020


found poem © j.i. kleinberg
Happy Earth Day!

Poetry in Anacortes

February 23, 2020

The monthly poetry series at Pelican Bay Books & Coffeehouse continues on Friday, February 28, 2020, 7:00pm, with an evening of poetry and music with young Skagit poet Piet Anna Pruitt, featured poets Luther Allen and J.I. Kleinberg, and a musical set by Anacortes’ own Pearl Tottenham.

Luther Allen writes poetry and designs buildings from Sumas Mountain, Washington. He facilitates SpeakEasy, a community poetry reading series in Bellingham, and is co-editor of Noisy Water, an anthology of local poets. His collection of poems, The View from Lummi Island, can be found at Other Mind Press. His work is included in the recent anthologies WA 129 (edited by Tod Marshall), Refugium: Poems for the Pacific (edited by Yvonne Blomer), Poets Unite! LitFUSE @10, Weaving the Terrain (Dos Gatos Press), and For Love of Orcas (edited by Jill McCabe Johnson and Andrew Shattuck McBride). His short story “The Stilled Ring” was finalist in the annual fiction contest at terrain.org. He views writing as his spiritual practice.

Twice nominated for Pushcart and Best of the Net awards, J.I. (Judy) Kleinberg is co-editor of 56 Days of August (Five Oaks Press 2017) and Noisy Water: Poetry from Whatcom County, Washington (Other Mind Press 2015), and co-produces the Bellingham-based SpeakEasy poetry series. Her poetry has appeared in One, Pontoon, Pedestal Magazine, Psaltery & Lyre, December, and elsewhere, and more than 300 of her found-word collage poems have been published in print and online. She lives in Bellingham and posts frequently at chocolateisaverb.wordpress.com and thepoetrydepartment.wordpress.com and occasionally on Instagram @jikleinberg.

February 14

February 14, 2020


found poem © j.i. kleinberg

Read some love poems.
Happy Valentine’s Day.

On the second Thursday of every month, Angst Gallery in Vancouver, Washington, opens its doors to poetry. Hosted by Christopher Luna and Toni Lumbrazo Luna of Printed Matter Vancouver, Ghost Town Poetry Open Mic offers an evening of featured readers, open mic, plus food and libations provided by Niche Wine Bar.

On Thursday, January 9, 2020, Luther Allen and J.I. (Judy) Kleinberg will share the Ghost Town Poetry Open Mic feature spot. Open mic signups: 6:30-7:00pm.

On the gallery walls: Ninth Annual Celebration of the Male Form.

Lots to enjoy. Hope to see you there.

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