...In-between sets from poet Cynthia Schwartzberg Edlow

December 23, 2013

Wouldja Believe...Oh How Happy You Have Made Me

I've been reading some blogs written by various poets and writers. Jeez, some of these people are masters at the art of self-promotion without making it sound like they're promoting a book, or a reading, or they want to cozy up to "so-and-so," so they drop that person's name a few (many-few) times -- or on facewatch, that's krazy with a "k," it's like they're actually licking the screen where the person's name and their little "deer markings" appear. No, you "fill in the blank." 
Everybody has their own curious tone, usually kind of a side-hush-wink-nod kind of thing. Hmm. I have the promotion etiquette of a mule. I just plunk it down in front of you and say, Hey, well, here's this and this is happening next year, and oh look here, this is comin' up, and I got asked special to do this -- that sort of thing. I'd call it "sobering" because it feels unnatural. 
Example! If I said, "Boy, I wish William Matthews lived next door." Well, aside from the fact that the man has passed, see, it's my way of saying I love the man's poetry, I love how he conducted himself, and I wish (yeah, if he were alive) he would pay some attention my way. Which means I wish he'd lick the screen when my name appears. That sort of thing. 
Engineers, on the other hand, especially aerospace engineers, remain uninvolved and extremely objective when they write. They have to because of their business, or some such folderol. Here's their trick: bullet points. Here's how it would look if a poet did it --
  • I've been asked to give an encore poetry performance at the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art. The work I've written about is from Julianne Swartz's exhibition, HOW DEEP IS YOUR, and the private reception will include the artist herself in attendance. She'll be giving a talk about her work prior to the reception, and I believe there might still be availability to attend her presentation, by RSVP to the link below. That's starting out the new year with a genuine thrill for me. Yessiree!  http://www.smoca.org/calendar/artist-talk-julianne-swartz
  • Next up, I've got new poetry coming out in February from Minor Arcana Press. They will be publishing a fantastic anthology I'm proud and excited to be a part of. It's called DRAWN TO MARVEL: POEMS FROM THE COMIC BOOKS. I can pretty much assure you there won't be any boring, self-important, blah-blah-blah poems in this anthology. Just the fine stuff. It's what makes superheros fly! You can pre-order the anthology here.
  • Next, next up, I'll be the "Featured Poet" in a stunning literary journal in Spring 2014 which I cannot yet name, because they haven't made the announcement yet. This will be the first time I've been the featured poet for a literary journal and I'm just thrilled over this honor. As it happens, poet and major hunk-a-lunk Chris Campanioni, winner of the 2013 Academy of American Poets Prize for Poetry, is also a contributor to the Spring issue. Now that's company! {More news to come on this as it is released.}
  • Next, next, next up, I am beside myself with elation that a series of poems will be coming out in mid-to-late Summer 2014 from a spectacular press. I'm so excited that if I don't stop typing about it this instant I'll give it away, I know, I do not own a poker face, that's a given...except to say this: these new poetry developments aren't said to tease, but rather, when a publisher or editor graces me with acceptance of my work, I make it a personal rule that they then have the privilege to make the initial announcement. {So again, even more news to come on this one as it is released.} I want to share it with you so much!
  • I'm loving these bullet points. Keeps you on track. But in an oh-so-serious, "hey, we're having a conference here" kinda way.
  • 2014 can't get here soon enough. This is going to be a wondrous new year. I'm ready, and there's a seat right here for you!

December 10, 2013

Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art and "Art Out Loud" Poetry in the Galleries

Didn't we have a time!! 

The SMoCA reading was an immense experience and delight, and filled with a kind of "holiness." I use that word because, to read within the confines of a museum, beside and surrounded by artwork created by visual artists, in addition to the dim mood lighting specifically hued to highlight the exquisite artwork alone, and, in addition to that, the packed, standing hushed crowd of people...all giving their undivided, powerful attention to each poet reading their poems on a personally selected artwork --gracious, it was a truly unforgettable evening. I feel blessed to have been invited to participate in this event.

Here is SMoCA's link to the event, and when you click on the circles within the "speakers" photo, you'll see further photos of the poets who read that night: Logan Phillips, Allyson Boggess, Pinna Joseph, Sally Ball, and me. Mark Haunschild and Myrlin Hepworth also read, but apparently they were camera-shy enough not to supply a head shot.

Very few photos were taken inside the gallery as most of the artwork remains unauthorized for capturing in private use. However, Martha Schulzinger, a wise, clever, wonderful woman did happen to capture a photo of me reading beside artwork created by Julianne Swartz. In this photo, my chosen piece of artwork is, in fact, the lidded box at my feet, just to the right of me. That was the piece I selected, and I'm so happy I did. The piece is called "Open," and when you open the lid, something striking and marvelous is heard. 

My poem is called "In Which Case I Could Stay/Open." 

That's another Swartz artwork behind me, multi-colored wands that almost touch, but don't. Very delicate, very tenuous, hardly storm-proof.

And this is Julianne Swartz. A superb artist.
I'm looking forward to meeting her personally, in January.

And so it goes! Again, I have wonderful poetry publication news from a variety of fronts, Yes!, which I can't disclose just yet, but I will be able to do so after the new year. Stay tuned for all these fabulous announcements! I'll keep writing poetry, as I turn my attention now to the deep blue tones I love so well. I'll be venturing into the "corrals" of a few creatures of great charisma and unpredictability, both the 4-legged and 2-legged sort. As more than a few folks know, I've never been one to play it safe.

It feels as if December is running away with itself -- the pecan leaves are dropping off the trees in great cascades of amber and sticky brown. Soon the limbs themselves will be completely bare, with only the pods of pecan nuts as ornaments. Because this is indeed a holiday season. Be merry. The ride so brief, the view so beautiful. Glad tidings to all of you!