Friday, November 13, 2015

VIDA Voices & Views - Rita Dove Interview

I'm thrilled to announce that I'm hosting a new video interview series for VIDA-- VIDA Voices & Views. The program is an interview podcast designed to call attention to a plurality of voices by interviewing writers, editors, publishers, series curators, anthologists, awards committee members, and other dedicated members of the literary community about their own work, vision, and concerns, as well as topics at the forefront of literary activism. The program seeks to foster a better understanding of the literary landscape and the issues facing artists of both genders, as well as to provide nuanced conversation about gender parity, race, disability, LGBTQ, economic, and other crucial issues impacting writers today. 

The executive producer of digital media for the program is the very talented RJ Jeffreys, who created a beautiful look for the series. You can read more about Jeffreys and the program here:

My first conversation is with the wonderful human and poet Rita Dove. She gives a marvelous reading of her poems "Parsley" and "Claudette Colvin Goes to Work" and discusses topics ranging from literary bias masquerading as objectivity to sharing poetry with preschoolers. You can read more about Rita Dove and the episode here:

As well, these are some of my favorite Rita Dove quotes from the episode: 

“My most radical pronouncement, if I were queen or something, would be that anywhere where there is more than one child together—any kind of group, if they have a schedule for the day—to end the day with a poem… sort of like pledging allegiance to the flag.”

“There is not going to be any change unless we can begin to talk about any little fear, any little hatred, any little bias that we might have and to admit that all human beings have them.”

“I wasn’t looking to lard [The Penguin Anthology of 20th Century American Poetry] with rainbow colors. This is just the way it happened. These were the poems that were being published, and it made me feel hopeful. I said, ‘Look, look! Things are changing here.’”

“I remember what it was like as a child when I was reading poetry and couldn’t find anyone who had my life, who looked like me, who had the same kind of experiences, and how lonely that was …”

“Pulling someone into the spotlight, out of the shadows … I don’t feel that it casts aspersions on those who are already in the sunlight. It’s more like there can never be enough poetry, and there can never be enough heroes.”

“As a writer I couldn’t exist not being honest, totally honest, with the world, and with myself.”

Monday, September 14, 2015

"Respect" Translated into Gujarati

What a delight last week to discover one of my poems translated into Gujarati by Dr. Vivek Tailor. Here's the translation, along with a link to Dr. Tailor's site, which includes both the poem in its original English version and Dr. Tailor's wonderful comments:
કેમકે એનું શરીર ગુફા ભીતરનો શિયાળો છે
કેમકે કોઈકે ત્યાં આગ સળગાવી
અને હોલવવાનું ભૂલી ગયું છે
કેમકે નિદ્રાકાળ એક કિલ્લો છે
જે તેણી પોતાની ભીતર બાંધી રહી છે-
જાળીબંધ દરવાજા
અને ધુમ્મસભરી બાલ્દીઓથી
કેમકે જ્યારે તમે જતી કરો છો
ગબડી પડે છે કરાડ પરથી અને
પતંગિયામાં પરિવર્તિત થાય છે
તળિયે પછડાતાં પહેલાં
કેમકે એમની ખરીઓ મધરાત્રિના લિસોટા છોડી જાય છે
કેમકે ઠાંસી ભરેલાં સસલાંઓ
રહસ્યો ગોપવી રાખવા માટે બહેતર છે
અટકાવી રાખતા હાથ કરતાં
કેમકે જ્યારે દુનિયા
એની ભીતર ઘુસાડી દેવાય છે
એ કેગલ બૉલની જેમ
એને ચુસ્ત પકડી રાખે છે
અને વિસ્મિત થાય છે
એ સંઘર્ષથી
જે એટલસે કરવો પડ્યો હતો
આવડી નાનકડી ચીજ
પીઠ પર ઊંચકવામાં
– મેલિસા સ્ટડાર્ડ
(અનુ. વિવેક મનહર ટેલર)

Friday, July 31, 2015

Interview on Gypsy Poet Radio

So excited to be interviewed tonight by Sophia E. DiGonis​ for Gypsy Poet Radio!! I'll be reading some poems too. It's at 10 PM CST live, and on archive thereafter.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Catskills Poetry Workshop

Reclaiming Eve, Lilith, Medusa & Kali:
Poetry as Pandoric Praxis



DATE: AUGUST 8, 2015 



The feminine encounter with beauty, love and self-sacrifice is typically depicted in a positive, nearly angelic light. However the feminine encounter with self-knowledge has often been depicted as a negative event, bringing the fall of man and worse: a disastrous ruination from the female’s lofty beatific birthright into ugly monstrous creatures who plague all of humanity. This denigration, seen repeatedly in literature from earliest myth to the latest social media headlines, is reductive, and serves to separate all genders in restrictive ways.  
What if the feminine encountering knowledge, self and otherwise, could be an alchemical event that forged new ways of seeing for everyone?  What if the energy of these grotesque creatures could actually be powerful enough to break down the walls that separate the genders?

Join us for a myth-shattering poetry workshop in which we explore the redemptive mode of embracing the "monstrous ugly" to unveil and broaden the scope of our own "monstrous selves"! Through apostrophe, ekphrasis and collaboration, we will break taboos and touch the seedy underbellies of our inner monsters & hyenas, put pressure on the political and personal divide, and discover what might emerge when we - men and women alike - bring together our collective feminine selves and use poems as tools to claw our way out of cliché, reclaim our power, and find value in the refuse left in our uprising.



Thursday, May 14, 2015

Indiewire Review of Dan Sickles’ Film Adaptation of “I Ate the Cosmos for Breakfast”

Amazing, amazing, glorious beauty. Via Indiewire, here is Dan Sickles' lush, primeval, sensuous film interpretation of my short poem "I Ate the Cosmos for Breakfast," shot on location in Puerto Rico. And huge thanks to the good folks at Motionpoems & VIDA: Women in Literary Arts for making this happen!