Kay Ryan sits very near the top of contemporary poetry’s list of “must-read” writers. Sure, recommending a two-term former Poet Laureate and Pulitzer Prize-winning author should come as no surprise. But Ryan is also a poet to present to those who have no relationship with poetry.
Her work has many layers, and perhaps only seasoned readers will reach the deepest ones. Yet, the first surfaces of her poems are touchable. By no means facile, her work is quick to convey a mood. This might be due to the fact that, as she’s said in the past, her poems develop “the way an oyster does, with an aggravation.” And everyone can relate to aggravations.
For me, the poem below conveys the suspense of a move. In a few lines, it narrates the small household chores one focuses on before a move so as to ignore the finality of leaving. One counts the forks and the spoons, but doesn’t envision getting the bed down the stairs.
There are charms
that forestall harm.
The house bristles
for stasis: refolding
the linens along
their creases, keeping
the spoons and chairs
in their right places.
Nobody needs to
witness one’s exquisite
care with the napkins
for the napkins
to have been the act
that made the fact
This post was originally published as part of Zeteo Journal’s Zeteo is Reading Section.
I spent the afternoon preparing to submit a Spanish poetry book that I wrote a few years ago to various contests. Right when I finished and laid out the entries on the table above, a huge ray of light shone into my living room.
Cannot think of a better way to spend my last Saturday living in Bogota.
Only eighteen days left to submit to The Drugstore Notebook’s first ever “Poem of the Month” call for submissions. Send up to three poems to firstname.lastname@example.org. The selected poem will be shared with our nearly 6,000 followers!
While in Los Angeles last year I found a great book at the LACMA bookstore written by Italian poet Adriano Spatola titled “majakovskiiiiiiij.” It is definitely an art/poetry book. A small edition to be cherished and stored.
No doubt, it is coming with me as I move from Bogota, Colombia to Miami next week.
After two rejections, Smoking Glue Gun Magazine finally accepted one of my poems, “Paco,” above.
Thrilled to be included in their catalog of well-crafted work.
After a full day of packing my bookshelves still seem pretty full. It’s final, I cannot part with any of these books.
It’s hard enough to part with the bookshelves I built with the help of an architect friend.
In two weeks, my husband, son Lorenzo and I move from Bogota to Miami. Tick, tick, tick.
Getting published is hard, unfriendly work. As a result, I feel immense gratitude toward every outlet that has agreed to publish my poems. But, I wasn’t sure what to do with all this gratitude until the obvious answer became, well, obvious.
Starting today The Drugstore Notebook is open for submissions! My goal is to start a “Poem of the Month” series in which I select the strongest poem I receive during the previous month.
While I am quite aware that getting published here by no means represents literary success, I do hope it’s an interesting way for aspiring writers to share their work.
So, please send me your best poems, three at a time, in the body of an email to email@example.com.
Submissions close on September 30th for October’s “Poem of the Month.” I will publish the selection sometime in mid-October and promote it as best I can.
Looking forward to reading your work,