Each Tuesday we feature audio or video of an SR Contributor reading their work. Today we’re proud to feature a podcast by Dick Allen.
Dick Allen received the 2013 New Criterion Poetry Prize for This Shadowy Place, his eighth poetry collection but his first in which are the poems all rhymed and metered. It will be published by St. Augustine’s in Fall, 2013. Allen is the current Connecticut State Poet Laureate, a position he inherited from John Hollander and holds until 2015. Allen’s new poems have recently appeared in or are forthcoming in Tricycle, Measure,The Hudson Review, Image, The Cape Rock, Able Muse.
Each Tuesday we feature audio or video of an SR Contributor reading their work. Today we’re proud to feature a podcast by Mercedes Lawry.
Mercedes Lawry has published poetry in such journals as Poetry, Rhino, Nimrod, Poetry East, Seattle Review, and others. She’s also published fiction and humor as well as stories and poems for children. Among the honors she’s received are awards from the Seattle Arts Commission, Hugo House, and Artist Trust. She’s been a Jack Straw Writer, held a residency at Hedgebrook and is a Pushcart Prize nominee. Her chapbook, There are Crows in My Blood, was published by Pudding House Press in 2007 and another chapbook, Happy Darkness, was released by Finishing Line Press in 2011. She lives in Seattle.
Each Tuesday we feature audio or video of an SR Contributor reading their work. Today we’re proud to feature this podcast by Barbara Crooker.
Barbara Crooker’s poems have appeared in many journals such as Yankee, The Christian Science Monitor, Smartish Pace, The Beloit Poetry Journal, Nimrod, The Denver Quarterly, The Tampa Review, Poetry International, The Christian Century, and America. She is the recipient of the 2007 Pen and Brush Poetry Prize, the 2006 Ekphrastic Poetry Award from Rosebud, the 2004 WB Yeats Society of New York Award, and others, including three Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Creative Writing Fellowships, 12 residencies at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and a prize from the NEA. A 26-time nominee for the Pushcart Prize, she was nominated for the 1997 Grammy Awards for her part in the audio version of the popular anthology, Grow Old Along With Me–The Best is Yet to Be (Papier Mache Press). Radiance, her first full-length book, won the 2005 Word Press First Book competition, and was a finalist for the 2006 Paterson Poetry Prize.
Each Tuesday we feature audio or video of an SR Contributor reading their work. Today we’re proud to feature this podcast by Steve De France.
Steve De France is a widely published poet, playwright and essayist both in America and in Great Britain. His work has appeared in literary publications in Canada, France, Ireland, Wales, Scotland, India and Australia. He has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize in Poetry in both 2002 and 2003. A few recent publications include The Wallace Stevens Journal, The Mid-American Poetry Review, Ambit, Atlantic, and The Sun. In England he won a Reader’s Award in Orbis Magazine for his poem “Hawks.” In the United States he won the Josh Samuels’ Annual Poetry Competition (2003) for his poem “The Man Who Loved Mermaids.” His play The Killer had its world premier at the Garage Theatre in Long Beach, California (Sept-October 2006). In 1999, he received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from Chapman University for his writing.
Each Tuesday we feature audio or video of an SR Contributor reading their work. Today we’re proud to feature this podcast by Brad Modlin.
Brad Modlin’s poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction have appeared in Denver Quarterly, Indiana Review, The Florida Review, The Pinch, and River Teeth, among others. His work has been nominated for several Pushcart Prizes. He holds an MFA from Bowling Green and is a PhD candidate in Creative Writing at Ohio University, where he reads for New Ohio Review. He just finished discussing modern-day panopticons with his students and looks forward to discussing less scary topics next term—Beowulf and Middle English Chaucer.
Each Tuesday we feature audio or video of an SR Contributor reading their work. Today we’re proud to feature a podcast by Michael Schmeltzer.
Michael Schmeltzer earned an MFA from the Rainier Writing Workshop at Pacific Lutheran University. He helps edit A River & Sound Review and is a two-time nominee of the Pushcart Prize. His work has been published in New York Quarterly, Los Angeles Review, Water~Stone Review, Hawaii Pacific Review, and Fourteen Hills, among others.
Kim Addonizio has been called “one of our nation’s most provocative and edgy poets.” Her latest books are Lucifer at the Starlite and a novel in verse Jimmy and Rita. Addonizio’s many honors include a Guggenheim and two NEA Fellowships, and Pushcart Prizes for poetry and essay.
Mesa Community College
Place: Southwest Reading Room
(3rd floor of the Paul A. Elsner Library)
Date: Tuesday, November 13
Time: 7 p.m.
Books will be available for purchase at the event.
Frances Lefkowitz is the author of To Have Not, named one of five “Best Memoirs of 2010” by SheKnows.com. It’s the story of growing up poor in San Francisco in the ’70s, going to the Ivy League on scholarship, and discovering the downside of upward mobility. Her stories and articles are published in The Sun, Tin House, Blip, Utne Reader, Good Housekeeping, Whole Living, Health, GlimmerTrain Stories, and more. She has received honorable mention twice for the Pushcart Prize and once for Best American Essays. Frances now lives, and surfs, in Northern California.
Let’s start with the obvious question. How can you call these things essays? They read more like prose poems or flash fiction.
I let other people decide what they are, where they should be shelved. I’m not trying to cause trouble or blur borders, but right now my writing is coming out in little blocks of text that tell a story and some of those stories are true and some are made up. The two pieces in this issue, “Mine Sounded Like an Earthquake” and “Thorns” are true stories, which, I guess is another way of saying “essay.” And since they’re about me, we could even call them “micro memoir” or “personal essaylettes” or . . . ?
Do you ever get accused of being a poet?
Occasionally, but I always deny it. Recently I read at an event with Ishmael Reed; he approached me afterward and asked if he could publish one of my “poems.” I was honored but confused. Part of the reason I don’t think I qualify as a poet is that I know so little about poetic forms, and the old-fashioned nitpicker in me feels that a real poet should be able to write a cinquain or villanelle—or at least be able to recognize them.
OK, enough about categories. Let’s talk about self-absorption. As the author of a memoir (To Have Not), numerous personal essays, these new micro-memoirs, and now an interview with yourself, how can you defend against this charge?
For the record, I would like to point out that at least my fiction is not thinly-veiled autobiography. When I make things up, they’re not about me. Otherwise, my defense is that I see myself as a sort of Everywoman. So it’s not that my hobbies or heartbreaks are more interesting or important than anyone else’s. It’s that they are in many ways representative. I never called my book a memoir (here we go again with categories) until the publisher labeled it so. But I still describe it as not so much about me as about my take on the world. I use myself as a guinea pig, to explore how money, say, or lust, or geology, or striving, or other facts of life play out on a person trying to make it in this world.
Nah, it’s just telling stories.
So you don’t set out to write about a social or psychological issue? In “Thorns,” for example, did you start with the idea to write about how love fades, and how the fight against that fading leads some people to extremes?
Not at all. I don’t start with an idea at all. I start with the urge to tell a story. Sometimes I don’t even start with that much; I just have a voice that’s demanding to speak, and the story unfolds as I let her speak. Later I can switch brains and see a theme or statement, but at the time I’m just following urgency. But the urgency is there precisely because the feeling or situation is universal and compelling, is much larger than myself.
Poet and Superstition Review contributor (Issue 3, Issue 7) visited Arizona State University this semester to read assorted selections from his poetry. You can see a video of the event below.
Ray Gonzalez is the author of 10 books of poetry and three collections of essays. His poetry has appeared in the 1999, 2000, and 2003 editions of The Best American Poetry (Scribners) and The Pushcart Prize: Best of the Small Presses 2000 (Pushcart Press). He is a full-time Professor in the MFA Creative Writing Program at The University of Minnesota in Minneapolis.