Wednesday
Jul092014

A few updates

A beautiful sunset I glimpsed on my drive home from work. 

 

It's been a busy few months! I'm teaching a summer class, and the accelerated pace means the summer feels like it is zooming by. Here are a few things of note going on in my literary life:

Ocho published three of my poems from my third book manuscript, Bloom & Scruple: "Warmest day of the year," "When walking through old cities," and "This is nothing like New York." You can read the issue online here, or buy a print copy from Amazon.

 

One of my favorite poets, Kristen Stone, gave me a little shout-out in her interview at Entropy Magazine. It's an excellent interview, well worth reading.

Quarterly West published an insightful and very kind review of Mysterious Acts by My People, reviewed by Claire Wahmanholm.

"Parchment—and poetry—can be perfect where the hand is flawed, can be whole where the body is wounded. This is another mystery that Wetlaufer leaves us with—perhaps the mystery that the book has been circling all along. Though we are inhabited by blight, poetry like this can still swing us toward something like deliverance, like escape, like, in the final words of “Anatomy,” “hollow bones & flight.”"

 

My book, Mysterious Acts, along with two other SRP titles, JOY EXHAUSTIBLE, edited by Seth Pennington and Bryan Borland, and Megan Volpert's ONLY RIDE, was nominated for the American Library Association's Over the Rainbow list of recommended LGBT reading.

Pre-Orders are now open for the anotholoy The Queer South (edited by my Lambda retreat buddy Douglas Ray, and featuring my poem "Southern Comfort," which I wrote on the eve of my departure from Tallahassee to Salt Lake City.

 

Other than all of those exciting things, I've been busy teaching, editing the third issue of Adrienne, drinking lots of cold brew iced coffee, and trying to enjoy the rare moments of sun between vicious thunderstorms here in Iowa.

Wednesday
Jul092014

Reading in Ames, Iowa

On June 28, I drove a few hours west to read with a few other Iowans, including Meg Johnson, who published the title poem of my collection in Dressing Room Poetry Journal. 

 

Despite the stormy weather, it was a lovely reading. 

Monday
Jun022014

Midwest Small Press Festival

This weekend, I traveled to Kansas City, MO to represent Sibling Rivalry Press at the 3rd annual Midwest Small Press Festival, where I also read with three colleagues from my Utah days.

At the Saturday bookfair, I represented Sibling Rivalry Press, and sold quite a few books!

 

We read from our recently-published or forthcoming books at Prospero's Books.

Brenda Sieczkowski reading from her book LIKE OYSTERS OBSERVING THE SUN (Black Lawrence Press 2014).

 

 

Stacy Kidd reading from her forthcoming book.

 

Barbara Duffey reading from her book I MIGHT BE MISTAKEN (Word Poetry 2015).

 

And, finally, me:

It was wonderful to make connections with so many other Midwest writers and editors, and reconnect with friends!

Tuesday
Apr292014

NPM Day 29 & 30

Today's suggested book is the anthology When We Become Weavers: Queer Female Poets on the Midwestern Experience edited by Kate Lynn Hibbard and its counterpart Among the Leaves: Queer Male Poets on the Midwestern Experience edited by Raymond Luczak.

 

I will admit upfront that I am biased because I have poems in When We Become Weavers, but I think these anthologies are so important. The Midwest--and rural areas in general--have such a negative reputation in terms of their treatment of queers, and while there is some good reasons for that,  also think it's dangerous to see things so narrowly. It's important to see the wide variety of experiences, and the ways in which identites of race, class, gender, and sexuality intersect with issues of regionalism. These poems highlight not only some fantastic poets from or currently residing in the Midwest, but a variety of experiences. 

Both anthologies are fantastic additions to the poetry landscape.

Monday
Apr282014

NPM Day 28

Today's recommended book is Whelm by dawn lonsinger (Lost Horse Press 2013)

 

I've been a fan of dawn's work since I read and reviewed her dancing girl press chapbook The Nested Object. It's a thrill to have her first full-length collection to savor. dawn is an exciting, challenging, beautiful voice on the poetry landscape.

Winner of the 2012 Lost Horse Press Idaho Prize in Poetry, Whelm is part wildness and part witness, part love song and part lament. It is an elegy to former times and selves that admits fear of a future where humanity, community and strangeness are lost to manmade systems. It is also an ode to oddity and intricacy. These poems attempt to understand how difficult it is to be a thinking, feeling, speaking being in a largely impenetrable world--both wordless and written over with various conflicting narratives. In this book, people are engulfed by immense forces, from natural disasters to love, and equally overwhelmed by their own feelings, desires, and ideas. A central concern is figuring out how to live an authentic life or have real intimacy in a world that rapaciously wants to name, categorize, and commodify us. Herein, language becomes an intervention, is textured and complex in a way that frees us from abbreviation and generalization. This book suggests that there is violence in the ideal, that cruelty often arises out of category-become-hierarchy, and that perhaps the only conceivable solution to our flooding is flooding . . . to resist being capsized by giving into the roiling mess of our hearts and minds by admitting the endless cataclysms of our love, our inimitable eccentricities, and the ineffaceable plurality of being.