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17 JANUARY 2016

Last night, my husband and I attended a convivial gathering of local poets, many of whom read aloud their original poems after a couple hours of consuming delicious food and engaging in friendly conversation. I recited from memory a triolet that I composed recently, ”At the Funeral Mass.” (thanks to T.VH. for this photo)




7 JANUARY 2016





This is my poet’s version of author/lecturer Michael Pollan‘s advice to anyone who is seeking a sustainable, healthy diet: “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” (see the PBS documentary based on his book, In Defense of Food)

To anyone seeking a sustainable, healthy vocation as a poet, I advise:

1) Unfurl your tongue — Pay attention to your own physical voice canal, and also to your own “on-mother’s-knee” birthright language. Exult in your natural human metaphors, in your own family’s rhythms, and in your own neighborhood’s idioms. Record and listen to the texture of your own voice. Learn about the tongue as a muscle; then learn about the larynx, pharynx, soft and hard palate (the roof and floor of your mouth), gum line, teeth.

2) Not too quietly — Don’t whisper your poems alone in your room. Leave behind the seated, silent solitude. Stand up, straighten your back, take a big breath. Speak your poetry to an audience (even a digitalized audience on a screen), because a sense of public community will restrain your excesses, keep you honest. And don’t be afraid to be heard. Stand on your own two grounded feet, speak out with your eyes open.

3) Mostly with wonder — Root your tongue, and your feet, in a middle-ground of moderated wonder. A wonder that both beholds without question, and probes with endless questions. During your human life, you will experience horrors as well as halos. The horrors will overcome you with wondering, wandering lamentation: oh, how can I go on for even one more hour? The halos will overcome you with wondrous gratitude and praise: ah, how can I keep going forever and ever? 

Go forth, and poem yourself.




4 JANUARY 2016

Today I put some finishing touches on the poetry manuscript I will submit tomorrow to the fourth annual Frost Place Chapbook Competition sponsored by Bull City Press.

1 JANUARY 2016



I am one of the co-features reading at tonight’s prose/poetry open mic. Elizabeth Gordon is my better half.

New World Writers Night, 7pm, New World Home Cooking, near Woodstock, New York.

Thanks to the poetry host Leslie Gerber for inviting us.

Kathleen Driskell on Aug. 27th


Kathleen Driskell will be reading from her new book of poems, Next Door to the Dead (The University Press of Kentucky, 2015), and signing copies.
Thursday, August 27, 2015
7 pm to 8 pm
Joseph-Beth Booksellers
161 Lexington Green Circle B1
Lexington, Kentucky

26 AUGUST 2015

to which I will be submitting my new manuscript


Gold Line Press, Chapbook Competition
31 August 2015

Comstock Review, Jessie Bryce Niles Chapbook Contest
31 October 2015

Concrete Wolf, Chapbook Contest
30 November 2015

Slipstream Press, Annual Poetry Contest
1 December 2015

Evening Street Press, Helen Kay Chapbook Prize
31 December 2015

Bull City Press, The Frost Place Chapbook Competition
1 October through 31 December


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