All posts tagged: poetry

Musings & Meanderings: Lauren Camp on TOOK HOUSE, tips for reading more in 2023, how to read literary journals, stock images, playlists, book recommendations, interviews with authors, more

By Leslie Lindsay A curated newsletter on the literary life, featuring ‘4 questions,’ reading & listening recommendations, where to submit, more Leslie Lindsay|Always with a Book ~MUSINGS & MEANDERINGS~ Hello 2023, Friends! Many folks ask how I read so much in a year. Trust me, there are others who read far more than I! My goal for the last couple of years has been 80 books a year. That’s roughly a book-and-a-half a week. It would be disingenuous not to say that reading is part of my job; I treat it as such. I have a pretty active lifestyle–and mind!–and so I sometimes struggle to keep up. In fact, this last year, I was scrambling to get all 80 books in before the end-of-the-year, but I did it! Here are some gentle tips and encouragement, if you need it: Carry a book with you at all times. It doesn’t have to be a physical book, but maybe something on your Kindle or phone. You never know when you might be ‘stranded’ somewhere without something to …

Musings & Meanderings: A shout-out in P&W, houses of artists, where to submit, upcoming workshops, retreats, reading recommendations, manuscript consulting, more

By Leslie Lindsay A curated newsletter on the literary life, featuring ‘4 questions,’ reading & listening recommendations, where to submit, more Leslie Lindsay|Always with a Book ~MUSINGS & MEANDERINGS~ Hello 2023, Friends! I’m writing this from a snowy-ish Chicago and reflecting on the year that just passed while gearing up for 2023. It’s a slower pace, and I welcome that. My plan is to clear up the flurry that became my December office as we were preparing for an International trip, the holidays (my birthday is tossed in there, too…my daughter’s is next week…the celebrations just don’t stop!), and all of that year-end stuff. I find liberating to let the past year settle, yet there’s a collusion of seasons that make for a mess. I’m in that collusion stage. Surrounding me–on my desk–at least fourteen books, one literary journal, and some poetry chapbooks. I have notes from a book I am reading (whichis in the other room, next to my reading chair), on my desk with the intention to look up things I read about–you …

Musings & Meanderings: Taking risk with your art, going hybrid, planning your 2023 writing year, classes and workshops, where to submit, author interviews, reading recommendations

By Leslie Lindsay A curated newsletter on the literary life, featuring ‘4 questions,’ reading & listening recommendations, where to submit, more Leslie Lindsay|Always with a Book ~MUSINGS & MEANDERINGS~ Hello, Friends! I shall now tell you an embarrassing story about myself. You may know this, but I am a Type A Personality. I am also very stubborn. I usually have my reasons. [If that doesn’t sound stubborn!]. Listening to others is important because I like to consider lots of alternatives, because, also: I am an overthinker. Most of the time I ignore these thoughtful folks and do what I want anyway. I am a grown woman and responsible for my own life, right? Often I lead with my gut–my heart–my intuition, and it turns out swimmingly. Sometimes not. I’m totally okay with that, I would regret not trying or doing or saying something. You might be wondering what the thing was that I did…and while it doesn’t really matter, it made me pause. Did I do something wrong? No. This person and I are just …

Musings & Meanderings: Beverly Armento’s memoir SEEING EYE GIRL about her blind, mentally ill mother, summer doldrums, reading recs, poetry to inspire writing, and last chance to nab a copy of SPEAKING OF APRAXIA

By Leslie Lindsay A curated newsletter on the literary life, featuring ‘4 questions,’ reading & listening recommendations, where to submit, more Leslie Lindsay|Always with a Book ~MUSINGS & MEANDERINGS~ Hello, Friends! Is this a season of withdrawal, regrouping, reassessing…from your art? Even though it is summer and full of bounty, I am feeling…taxed. I have a dear friend who is much like a mother and a mentor and always so wise. She gives me what I need the most when I need it. Here’s her advice: So many things unfold when we give ourselves adequate space. And don’t doubt yourself so much. Doesn’t that sound lovely? Do you relate? I’m often jam-packing my days (and brain) with facts, tasks, trivia, ideas…so many ideas…that I forget to just BE. I met with other friends for coffee recently and so much of our conversation revolved around our vision–and this can be interpreted broadly: how we see ourselves, how we see others? What is your vision for the rest of the summer? The conversation was about recognition, being …

GHOST WEEK: Doireann Ní Ghríofa’s A GHOST IN THE THROAT is a tremendously dark and varied and authentically raw exploration of contemporary motherhood married with archaic morals, plus a writing prompt, more

By Leslie Lindsay ~WRITERS INTERVIEWING WRITERS~ GHOST WEEK ALWAYS WITH A BOOK|FICTION FRIDAY Featured Spotlight: A GHOST IN THE THROAT by Doireann Ní Ghríofa Doireann Ní Ghríofa is a poet and essayist. In addition to A Ghost in the Throaf, she is the author of six critically acclaimed books of poetry, each a deepening exploration of birth, death, desire, and domesticity. Awards for her writing include a Lannan Literary Fellowship, the Ostana Prize, a Seamus Heaney Fellowshop, ad the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature. ABOUT A GHOST IN THE THROAT: “When we first met, I was a child, and she had been dead for centuries.” So writes Doireann Ní Ghríofa in A GHOST IN THE THROAT, a “…female text, a chat, a keen, a lament, and an echo,” and I love everything about it. On discovering her murdered husband’s body, an eighteenth-century Irish noblewoman drinks handfuls of his blood and composes an extraordinary lament. Eibhlin Dubh Ni Chonaill’s poem travels through the centuries, finding its way to a new mother who narrowly avoided her own …

GHOST WEEK: An Examination of Poetry from Maggie Smith, featuring GOLDENROD, THE WELL SPEAKS ITS OWN POISON, & GOOD BONES

By Leslie Lindsay Gorgeous, ancestral, matrilineal collection of poetry with a focus on nature. ~WRITERS INTERVIEWING WRITERS|ALWAYS WITH A BOOK~ GHOST WEEK Featured Spotlight: THE POETRY OF MAGGIE SMITH Maggie Smith is the author of Keep Moving (Simon & Schuster, 2020), Good Bones (Tupelo Press, 2017), The Well Speaks of Its Own Poison (Tupelo Press, 2015), Lamp of the Body (Red Hen Press, 2005), and three prizewinning chapbooks. The recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Ohio Arts Council, and the Sustainable Arts Foundation, Smith is a freelance writer and editor. ABOUT THE COLLECTIONS: I have been on a poetry kick lately because reading it always makes me a more insightful, deliberate writer–in whatever genre. GOOD BONES (Tupleo Press 2017), I’ll admit to following in love with based on the title alone, might be my favorite collection from Maggie Smith and I’ve read GOLDENROD as well as THE WELL SPEAKS ITS OWN POISON )both good, but GOOD BONES just spoke more tenderly to me, resonated in a way I was not expecting. For me, a collection of poetry ‘works’ when the themes and motifs are …

IF THE HOUSE…an arresting collection of poetry that begs the questions of obsessions, motifs, memories, flaws, and so much more–MOLLY SPENCER ON this plus how poems ‘talk’ to each other

By Leslie Lindsay  IF THE HOUSE…a lyrical and emotive collection of poetry about the most basic structures of creation and recreation. ~WRITERS INTERVIEWING WRITERS|ALWAYS WITH A BOOK~ POETRY FRIDAY Well-known spaces of homes are examined with lush and precise prose in IF THE HOUSE by Molly Spencer (University of Wisconsin Press, 2019), and being a ‘house person,’ I found myself completely absorbed. Here, we navigate the experiences of land and home, person and family, the cycles of nature, as well as ordinary and extravagant things–a kitchen table, a memory, the sky. It’s complex, it’s metaphorical, it’s all things good poetry should be. And like all good poetry, it is best savored and read aloud, and revisited–like an old homestead–often. Molly Spencer’s poetry has appeared in various well-known and recognized literary journals. She is a poetry editor for Rumpus and this collection won the 2019 Brittingham Prize in Poetry. Please join me in welcoming the lovely and talented Molly Spencer back to the author interview series. Leslie Lindsay: Molly, welcome back. I so loved IF THE HOUSE and HINGE (see …

Poet MOLLY SPENCEr talks about her astonishing, award-winning collection, HINGE; serious illness, the body, growing up in orchards, how obsessions can often lead us to our writing material, PLUS the structure of roofs.

By Leslie Lindsay  Myth, legend, landscape…lush and razor-sharp lines…HINGE is exactly that: revealing and concealing–sometimes squeaky–moments in time. ~WRITERS INTERVIEWING WRITERS|ALWAYS WITH A BOOK~  POETRY FRIDAY Aside from the arresting cover, HINGE by Molly Spencer (Crab Orchard Series in Poetry, 2020) is a gorgeous meditation of motherhood, the passage of time, a stunted world–in terms of all–land, home, marriage, and body. There’s a great deal of tension and then well-earned release, the world and imagery rich in details and texture, about creation and recreation, told in a simply elegant, yet mournful voice. I have a wealth of images trapped in my mind from the words–and worlds–created within these pages. It’s about space and homes and how they all tie together, but also seasons and cycles and interiority. HINGE is the perfect read for the bleaker days of late fall, into winter, as we naturally fold within ourselves. Molly Spencer’s poetry has appeared in various well-known and recognized literary journals. She is a poetry editor for Rumpus, and this collection won the Crab Orchard Series Open Competition in Poetry 2019. Please join me …

Can we break the cycle of trauma and abuse? Kristi Carter talks about this, the twilight of spring, Southern identity, the struggles that make up womankind, and so much more in this luminous collection of poetry in ARIA VISCERA

By Leslie Lindsay Such a gorgeously dark and ruminative collection of poetry focusing on one’s thick, oppressive familial heritage, and yet, a compelling light to break the cycle. ~WEDNESDAYS WITH WRITERS|ALWAYS WITH A BOOK~ With a title like ARIA VISCERA (April Gloaming Press, May 5 2020), I could hardly resist this collection by Kristi Carter. In music, aria is defined as a singular voice, self-contained, and it also brings to mind great expansion, an origin I am not familiar with etymologically, but maybe. And of course, viscera represents the internal organs. Being a writer with a background in medicine, this collection spoke to me, quite literally, but once I dove into the pages, I discovered there was another calling: it’s about a scarred past, and how scars don’t exactly go away, but fade; it’s about finding one’s own light in dark times, of escaping the cycle of abuse, neglect, of breaking away. Divided into four sections, ARIA VISCERA focuses on birth, names, anatomy, mothers and daughters, fathers and sons, brothers, life cycles; it’s also about myths and monsters (literal and …

Poet John James talks about how he doesn’t think we ever truly leave childhood, plus his father’s death, how humanity is ensconced in the natural world, technology, more in THE MILK HOURS

By Leslie Lindsay Pensive but inquisitive, THE MILK HOURS is a debut poetry collection about loss, the intimacy of art and dreams, and the vulnerable space of new life.  What does it mean to live in a state of loss, when the two are nearly imcompatible? That’s the overarching question in THE MILK HOURS: Poems, a debut collection from John James (Milkweed Editions, June 2019). Populated with living, grieving things, THE MILK HOURS is scattered with roots, bodies, and concealed histories. There are cemeteries and the milky breath of babies. We taste art and geography, and crunch on gravel, and are moved through dream sequences and religious myth and story. James takes science and nature and cleaves it into something new, something at once beautiful, but destructive. How do we make meaning in this world–to whom do we turn? Each other? Can those boundaries collapse? THE MILK HOURS is sparsely, yet densely written. It’s at once lush and stark, full of metaphor and unsettled-ness. James has such a fabulous and unique grasp of language, a shifting perspective on nature, fecundity, and decay. This …