Blatant Bibliophile Blog

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Archive for April, 2008

Blatant Bibliophiles Welcome Author Kelly Bingham!

Posted by blatantbibliophiles on April 25, 2008

shark

Don’t forget, bibliophiles, on Monday, April 28, and Tuesday, April 29, The Unquiet Library will host author Kelly Bingham, author of Shark Girl, for a discussion and workshop on poetry writing! Here’s a brief synopsis of Shark Girl:

On a sunny day in June, at the beach with her mom and brother, 15-year-old Jane Arrowood went for a swim. And then everything – absolutely everything – changed. Now she’s counting down the days until she returns to school with her fake arm, where she knows kids will whisper, “That’s her – that’s Shark Girl,” as she passes. Poems, letters, telephone conversations, and newspaper clippings look unflinchingly at what it’s like to lose part of yourself – and to summon the courage it takes to find yourself again.

For more information about Kelly, visit readergirlz, where she is this month’s author. There’s a live chat with Kelly TONIGHT AT 9:00 PM on the readergirlz MySpace Forum. There’s also a round table discussion between Miss Erin, Little Willow, and author Lori Ann Grover on Little Willow’s cool book discussion site, bildungsroman. Need more? Check out the great interview on Cynthia Leitich Smith’s blog, Cynsations.

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More Poetry!

Posted by blatantbibliophiles on April 21, 2008

mummy

Today’s Poem-a-Day from Poets.org is from Thomas James. Thomas James’s Letters to a Stranger – originally published in 1973, shortly before James’s suicide – has become one of the underground classics of contemporary poetry. According to reviewer Garrett Doherty in Contemporary Poetry, Letters to a Stranger is a book full of solitude and isolation in places where one would not like to be left alone. The speaker is often reaching out to someone, God or otherwise, who is not there. These letters were not necessarily written for us and we do not know who they were truly for. In addition, we do not always get the full story. Perhaps it is fitting that we also do not really know who these letters are from. The letter writer is as much a mystery as the intended recipient. It is up to us to find meaning, without any hints from the sender.

Mummy of a Lady Named Jemutesonekh
XXI Dynasty

by Thomas James

My body holds its shape. The genius is intact.
Will I return to Thebes? In that lost country
The eucalyptus trees have turned to stone.
Once, branches nudged me, dropping swollen blossoms,
And passionflowers lit my father’s garden.
Is it still there, that place of mottled shadow,
The scarlet flowers breathing in the darkness?

I remember how I died. It was so simple!
One morning the garden faded. My face blacked out.
On my left side they made the first incision.
They washed my heart and liver in palm wine—
My lungs were two dark fruit they stuffed with spices.
They smeared my innards with a sticky unguent
And sealed them in a crock of alabaster.

My brain was next. A pointed instrument
Hooked it through my nostrils, strand by strand.
A voice swayed over me. I paid no notice.
For weeks my body swam in sweet perfume.
I came out Scoured. I was skin and bone.
Thy lifted me into the sun again
And packed my empty skull with cinnamon.

They slit my toes; a razor gashed my fingertips.
Stitched shut at last, my limbs were chaste and valuable,
Stuffed with a paste of cloves and wild honey.
My eyes were empty, so they filled them up,
Inserting little nuggets of obsidian.
A basalt scarab wedged between my breasts
Replaced the tinny music of my heart.

Hands touched my sutures. I was so important!
They oiled my pores, rubbing a fragrance in.
An amber gum oozed down to soothe my temples.
I wanted to sit up. My skin was luminous,
Frail as the shadow of an emerald.
Before I learned to love myself too much,
My body wound itself in spools of linen.

Shut in my painted box, I am a precious object.
I wear a wooden mask. These are my eyelids,
Two flakes of bronze, and here is my new mouth,
Chiseled with care, guarding its ruby facets.
I will last forever. I am not impatient—
My skin will wait to greet its old complexions.
I’ll lie here till the world swims back again.

When I come home the garden will be budding,
White petals breaking open, clusters of night flowers,
The far-off music of a tambourine.
A boy will pace among the passionflowers,
His eyes no longer two bruised surfaces.
I’ll know the mouth of my young groom, I’ll touch
His hands. Why do people lie to one another?

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Book Divas Welcomes Cecilia Galante

Posted by blatantbibliophiles on April 21, 2008

Cecilia Galante

Book Divas is looking forward to having Cecilia Galante, author of The Patron Saint of Butterflies, visit their site,  Book Divas from April 21- April 28. They invite you to stop by and ask Cecilia questions all throughout the week about her stunning debut novel, inspired by her own experiences of growing up on a religious commune. This story is a powerful tale of faith, friendship, and the true meaning of love. If you haven’t received a free, advance copy of The Patron Saint of Butterflies make sure you pick up a copy because it is bound to be enjoyed by all! You can start leaving your questions in Cecilia’s forum on Book Divas now!

Here’s some info from Book Divas about The Patron Saint of Butterflies:

Agnes and Honey have always been different, but the older they get, the more they are growing apart. Born into Mount Blessing, a religious commune with stringent rules and guarded secrets, the girls are complete opposites of each other. While Agnes has made it her life’s purpose to become a saint, Honey wants to get as far away from the commune as possible. When Agnes’s grandmother Nana Pete unexpectedly visits, she discovers one of the commune’s most sinister secrets. Fearing for their safety, Nana Pete takes the girls and flees Mount Blessing.

During their journey from the commune toward what Honey hopes will be a normal life, the girls test the bonds of their lifelong friendship, and Agnes struggles to hang on to the life she had. Only when the biggest – and most dangerous – lie is finally unearthed does Agnes realize she must find the courage to make her own future.

And here’s some info about author Cecilia Galante:

 

Cecilia Galante grew up in a religious commune in upstate New York until the age of 15. Being able to draw on her childhood memories and experiences helped shape The Patron Saint of Butterflies. But it wasn’t the only thing; and it wasn’t even the most important thing. The most important thing was getting the characters, who, while figments of her imagination, are still very much their own people. What matters most to her as a writer is to create characters that people will care about long after the last page has been read. Cecilia is currently a high school English teacher, and lives with her husband and three children in Kingston, PA.  Her favorite kind of pie is peach. But if there are no fruit pies available, she will lick the plate clean of a peanut butter pie.

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Keep That Poetry Coming!

Posted by blatantbibliophiles on April 18, 2008

Cherry Tomatoes

It’s still National Poetry Month, courtesy of the Academy of American Poets. Today’s poet is Sandra Beasley of Washington, D.C., a recent recipient of the 2008 Maureen Egen Writers Exchange Award. The award, sponsored by Poets & Writers— the nation’s largest nonprofit organization serving creative writers— provides two writers with an honorarium and all-expenses-paid trip to New York City in October to meet with agents, editors, publishers, and other members of the New York literary community. Beasley won the 2007 New Issues Poetry Prize for her book Theories of Falling (New Issues Poetry & Prose, 2008), selected by Marie Howe. Her poems have also been featured in Verse Daily and Best New Poets (Samovar Press, 2005) and in journals such as 32 Poems, Barrow Street, Blackbird, RHINO, and SLATE. Awards for her work include the 2006 Elinor Benedict Poetry Prize from Passages North and fellowships to Vermont Studio Center, Virginia Center for Creative Arts, and the Millay Colony. She serves on the editorial staff of The American Scholar. You can learn more about her at her website.

Cherry Tomatoes
by Sandra Beasley

Little bastards of vine.
Little demons by the pint.
Red eggs that never hatch,
just collapse and rot. When

my mom told me to gather
their grubby bodies
into my skirt, I’d cry. You
and your father, she’d chide—

the way, each time I kicked
and wailed against sailing,
my dad shook his head, said
You and your mother.

Now, a city girl, I ease one
loose from its siblings,
from its clear plastic coffin,
place it on my tongue.

Just to try. The smooth
surface resists, resists,
and erupts in my mouth:
seeds, juice, acid, blood

of a perfect household.
The way, when I finally
went sailing, my stomach
was rocked from inside

out. Little boat, big sea.
Handful of skinned sunsets.

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It’s National Poem In Your Pocket Day

Posted by blatantbibliophiles on April 17, 2008

 

PocketPoem

Celebrate the power of poetry to both transport a reader and be transported by carrying a poem in your pocket all day on Thursday, April 17, the first national Poem In Your Pocket Day. Join celebrants across the country and share your favorite lines with friends, family, co-workers, and even strangers. Stop by The Unquiet Library to pick up a poem to carry in your pocketof download a selection of pocket-sized poems and poetry ringtones online. Carry the entire collection of over 2,500 poems on Poets.org in your pocket by simply going to www.poets.org/m from any mobile device.

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It’s a Poem!

Posted by blatantbibliophiles on April 16, 2008

birdseed

Are you following Poets.org Poem-a-Day for National Poetry Month? Today’s poem by James Tate is one of those where you can click on the poet’s name to go to the website and read his biography. As an added bonus, you can also hear the poem read aloud.

Father’s Day
by
James Tate

       My daughter has lived overseas for a number
of years now. She married into royalty, and they
won’t let her communicate with any of her family or
friends. She lives on birdseed and a few sips
of water. She dreams of me constantly. Her husband,
the Prince, whips her when he catches her dreaming.
Fierce guard dogs won’t let her out of their sight.
I hired a detective, but he was killed trying to
rescue her. I have written hundreds of letters
to the State Department. They have written back
saying that they are aware of the situation. I
never saw her dance. I was always at some
convention. I never saw her sing. I was always
working late. I called her My Princess, to make
up for my shortcomings, and she never forgave me.
Birdseed was her middle name.

Hear this poem

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Eddy for President?

Posted by blatantbibliophiles on April 16, 2008


Create your own FACEinHOLE

Huh? Have you tried FaceinHole? All you have to do is select a scenario from their collection, upload one of your photos, slide the photo around so that the face fits in the hole, then stretch or shrink it (don’t panic! It’s easy!) so that the head is the size of the “head hole.” Voila! In less than a minute you  have your own “FaceinHole.” It’s very addictive! You can email the pictures to your friends or embed them in your blog, web page, FaceBook, MySpace…the list goes on. They embed quickly and easily into numerous sites, or you can copy the code to save it to your website. The only problem I ran into was that for some reason, this one scheduled itself to wait five hours before publishing. Why? Who knows. But another one posted immediately. If you have this problem, check your dashboard or wherever to see if it’s somewhere waiting in the wings to go onstage, and then change its publication time. Something this wonderful deserves every minute in the spotlight it can get!

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A Poem a Day Keeps the Doctor Away!

Posted by blatantbibliophiles on April 12, 2008

Today’s poet, Gary Lilley, is originally from North Carolina, where he attended the University of North Carolina, Greensboro. He is now a reident of Washington, D.C. whre is is a member of the Writers’ Corps. He has been a recipient of the Washington Commission of the Arts Fellowship for Poetry. A member of the poetry group, The Black Rooster, his work has been published in African American Review, Drum Voice Review, Greensboro Review, and WPFW Anthology. Check out Poets.org, the website of the Academy of American Poets, for more great poetry, and to sign up to receive emails of their Poem-a-Day for the month of April.

Alpha Zulu
by Gary Lilley

I know more people dead than people alive,
my insomniac answer to self-addressed prayers

is that in the small hours even God drinks alone.
My self-portrait; gray locks in the beard, red eyes

burning back in the mirror, the truths of grooves
and nicks on my face, one missing tooth.

I’m a man who’s gathered too many addresses,
too many goodbyes. There’s not much money

or time left to keep on subtracting from my life.
Except for needs I can pack everything I have

into my old black sea-bag. To all the bloods
I’ll raise a bourbon, plant my elbow on the bar

and drink to the odds that one more shot
won’t have me wearing a suit of blues.

I’m so exposed, with you all of me is at risk,
and if that’s only one side of being in love

that’s the one deep down that proves it.
Here you are sleeping with me, narcotic as night,

naked as an open hand, and the skinny of it is,
what makes you think I am afraid of this

when I once lived in a cave, moss on the cold wall,
all my bones scattered across the floor.

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Need Some Poetry?

Posted by blatantbibliophiles on April 11, 2008

poetry

Today’s poet from the Academy of American Poets, Theodore Worozbyt, is a native of Atlanta. He has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Arts Councils of Georgia and Alabama. He teaches writing and literature at The University of Alabama, from which he holds an M.F. A. and a Ph. D. Theodore Worozbyt’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in Crazyhorse, Hotel Amerika, Kenyon Review, Kulture Vulture, Mississippi Review Online, New England Review, Ploughshares, Poetry, Poetry Daily, Prairie Schooner, Smartish Pace, The Southern Review, and Verse Daily. His manuscript, A Unified Theory of Light, won the 2005 Dream Horse Press chapbook competition.

Gnosis
by Theodore Worozbyt

Turns out the radiologist didn’t know thing one about radios. I stood there in my stocking feet and waited for the music to begin again. Being generally good with small motors I would mow and mow the lawn stoically with a white hand towel draped around my neck. I was stimulated by the reports of the optical scienteers. Because of the particular reflective and refractive qualities inherent in the molecular structure of the chlorophyll molecule, the wavelength perceived by the human eye as green is in fact repulsed by grass. Thus grass is all other colors. Impossible, impossible! was the catarrh violently discharging itself in the chambers of my thoughts. Grass and vert are green. Reading is black surrounded by white. If not, what? A barely perceptible hum underfoot that turns out to be electricity or some other invisible fluid? A basket heaped with unadjusted watches? The forests filled with white tigers. Fire came from god’s beard. The sun rolled, a chariot wheel flaring its treads across the clouds. Starlight: angelic punctuation on the carbon paper of midnight. New York City sewers crawled with titanic alligators before debunkers in rubber boots stepped in. President Somebody was smoking an Egyptian cigarette and several papers didn’t get signed before the prognosis began to resemble a trumpet: something gold around a hole.

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Poetry! Get Your Poetry Here!

Posted by blatantbibliophiles on April 9, 2008

poetry

Jennifer Chang is today’s poet from Poets.org. Jennifer’s poems have appeared in New England Review, The New Republic, The Virginia Quarterly Review, and the anthologies Best New Poets 2005 (Samovar Press and Meridian, 2005) and Asian American Poetry: The Next Generation (University of Illinois Press, 2004). She teaches creative writing at Rutgers University and is Communications Director at Kundiman, a non-profit organization that promotes Asian American poetry.

Pastoral
by Jennifer Chang

Something in the field is
working away. Root-noise.
Twig-noise. Plant
of weak chlorophyll, no
name for it. Something
in the field has mastered
distance by living too close
to fences. Yellow fruit, has it
pit or seeds? Stalk of wither. Grass-
noise fighting weed-noise. Dirt
and chant. Something in the
field. Coreopsis. I did not mean
to say that. Yellow petal, has it
wither-gift? Has it gorgeous
rash? Leaf-loss and worried
sprout, its bursting art. Some-
thing in the. Field fallowed and
cicada. I did not mean to
say. Has it roar and bloom?
Has it road and follow? A thistle
prick, fraught burrs, such
easy attachment. Stem-
and stamen-noise. Can I lime-
flower? Can I chamomile?
Something in the field cannot.

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