Kelli Agodon has started a wonderful celebration of National Poetry Month on her blog Book of Kells. The premise is simple – poets give away a book at the end of National Poetry Month to two different people who have left comments on their blog. If you’re interested in taking part in this project, go to this post to learn more. The goal is to share our favorite poets with others as well as to visit different blogs and see who others are reading. There is also a benefit for those who participate as it will bring people to your blog and share your work and/or the work of a favorite poet with them. You simply comment on this post, and if you’re chosen, I’ll send you a book.
So, I’m in.
Here are the two books that I am offering. The first is Sharp Stars by Sharon Bryan (Boa Editions). This collection of poems bursts out of the gate, examining such diverse subjects as biology, astronomy, philosophy and popular culture. Those familiar with Bryan’s work will not be disappointed as she has pushed her usual finely-honed diction and word play up another notch. These poems which seem so accessible on a first read, demand a second and a third as they unfold in meaning.
Here’s a sample:
Big Band Theory
It all began with music,
with that much desire to be
in motion, waves of longing
with Nothing to pass through,
the pulsing you feel before
you hear it. The darkness couldn’t
keep still, it began to sway,
then there were little flashes
of light, glints of brass
over the rumbling percussion,
the reeds began to weep and sing,
and suddenly the horns
tore bigger holes in the darkness—
we could finally see
where the music was coming from:
ordinary men in bowties and black
jackets. But by then we had already
danced most of the night away.
The second book that I’ve chosen to give away is a copy of The Cormorant Hunter’s Wife by Alaskan poet, Joan Kane (NorthShore Press). This book is Kane’s first, but you’d never know it. Her work is redolent in fresh sounds and fresh visions of the Alaskan landscape. Kane is a 2009 Whiting Writers’ Award winner. Although her education took her far away from her Alaskan home, a bachelor’s degree from Harvard College and an M.F.A. from Columbia University, Kane has come home to her roots in this magnificent collection. I have returned to it, time and again to marvel at her depictions of the emotionally charged and haunted landscapes these poems inhabit.
Here’s a sample:
A new angle of light this evening,
West, shadows cast upwards bough upon bough
Also in disagreement. Another
Would mutter green
Amidst the black scrag of dense limbs
But already the light is fading
Instead of out, I am in,
Trying at the old habit of imperfect definition
As well as the less familiar,
Between falling gold
Trees I have learned not to name
And gold pulled
Of the sun as it fails.
If you’d like to be entered into this drawing for these 2 books of poems, just leave a comment on this post and you’ll be entered! If you do not have a blog, please include your email address so I can contact you. I will be paying postage, so don’t worry about that.
I will be choosing the winners on May 1st, 2010, so leave a comment by April 30, 2010 11:59 pm AST. (Yep, that’s Alaska Standard Time – one hour later than Seattle).
I’ll use the same random number generator as Kelli to choose a winner.
Yay for National Poetry Month and thanks Kelli for starting this off.