All posts tagged: poetry

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 …

A magician with words, poet Sarah Blake wows the world with her her debut fiction, based on the ancient re-telling of Noah’s ark from his wife, NAAMAH’S, POV

By Leslie Lindsay  Exquisitely rendered, astonishing read about the mother of all great disasters–the Great Flood–NAAMAH is as gorgeous as it is frightening. Teeming with allegory, metaphor, and more.  Named one of the most anticipated books of 2019 by THE RUMPUS,  THE WEEK,  READ IT FORWARD,  THE PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER,  and more ….And Blake is named one of BOOKPAGE’S  FIFTEEN WOMEN TO WATCH IN 2019 This book. This book. THIS BOOK!! I am in awe. I can’t stop thinking about it. NAAMAH (Riverhead, April 9th) is a stunning foray into one of the oldest and most well-known Bible stories–that of Noah and the Ark, but this telling is from the POV of Noah’s wife, Naamah. In the Bible, she is unnamed, but in Sarah Blake’s hands, she is truly actualized. She’s a wife, a mother, a mother-in-law, a lover, a caretaker, and she has worries– struggles on what it means to be a woman, faith, her purpose, and so much more. Sarah Blake’s background as a poet is evident. Her prose is lush but stark, weaving in plenty of lyricism, but make no mistake, NAMMAH is …

Elizabeth Garber talks about her relationship with her architect father, Modern architecture, mental health, & how poetry shaped her as an author

By Leslie Lindsay  Propulsive, poetic, and courageous, Elizabeth Garber’s IMPLOSION is the best kind of memoir: you experience right along with her and leave it feeling a sense of renewal.  But that’s not to say everything in IMPLOSION (SWP, June 2018) is glorious; it’s not. This is a subtle, intense exploration of a young woman’s survival through psychological oppression, as she (and her mother and two brothers) are raised in a glass house, a prison, constructed of her father’s mental illness. Woodie Garber was a famous Modernist architect, designing structures that would rise from the earth resembling glass cubes. He builds the family’s home–a glass house–in a privileged area of Cincinnati in the 1960s. The family leaves behind the 1870s Victorian where the Garber family has resided for many generations. But it’s not all sunshine and mirth in that glass house. At first, Woodie just seems eccentric. He’s brilliant and bursting with ideas. He loves jazz records and good wine, racing cars, and art. Elizabeth has a connection with her father–they share many of the same interests and she so wants to …

Gorgeously stark, yet lush poetry collection about homes, architecture, design, & more by Middlebury College President Laurie Patton

By Leslie Lindsay  A deeply moving and stirring collection of poems about houses and homes inspired by Gaston Bachelard’s 1958 classic, THE POETICS OF SPACE. Houses, homes, dwellings…they all have a mystical experience for me. They may be composed of timber and hardware, plaster and bricks and glass, but they hold truths deeper and darker still. A house may live only once, but it encompasses many lives.  HOUSE CROSSING (Station Hill, May 2018) is a “simple poetry of houses,” as author Laurie Patton says. Ultimately, she was inspired by the “geometry of intimacy” in urbane, basic architecture–a corner, the end of a hallway, a window, the attic. While the 32 short poems in the collection are a study in brevity, they pack such a soft-focused punch, going deep and leaving the reader with a disquieting contemplation. Titles are simple, but oh how they had me swooning: eaves, cupola, well, demolition, grave.  I don’t mean to be glib when I say these poems are haunting. Patton’s work dwells in the white space, the what-might-have-been. One reads the words and imagines a scene, but …

Write On, Wednesday: Poet & writer Patrice Vechhione talks about her book STEP INTO NATURE, no such thing as a non-creative, teaching poetry to kids, & so much more

Absolutely spellbinding, timely and topical for today’s society. As we’re bombarded daily by technology, multi-tasking, and man-made devices, we often forget to commune with what’s in front of us: nature. STEP INTO NATURE is a beautifully written guide to help you replenish your connection to the natural earth, while at the same time sharpening your creative skills and inspiring motivation. It’s almost like THE WAR OF ART (Pressfield) on a natural high. Vecchione will take you on a personal journey of reflection with her practical advice laced with her poetic narrative. When you empty your pockets at the end of reading, I am almost sure you’ll find a sparkly rock, a feather, and tiny grains of sand when you do. I’d like to say I’m sitting next to her listening to the waves crash at Big Sur—my personal song—but alas we are separated by miles, a different time zone, and an entirely different climate. Leslie Lindsay: Patrice, thank you so very much for being with us today. The back cover blurb goes something like this, …