The Big Poetry Giveaway 2011

Here we are again, one week before March closes out, and one week away from April. And you know what that means…National Poetry Month, the one time during the year when I can be guaranteed to have someone ask me, “Why on earth did you get an advanced degree in writing poetry? Isn’t poetry dead?”

Kelli Agodon started a lovely rejuvenating practice last April called The Big Poetry Giveaway, where folks all around the country posted two poetry collections that they would be giving away to celebrate the month. If you want to take part, she has the directions here.

This year I will be giving away two books by two of my favorite women poets who are also very generous and giving. These two poets rank very high in my poet pantheon. Not only are they wonderful people, but they are both amazing poets. When I consider the way that I’d like to be in the world, these two poets spring to mind.

So, here are the two books that I’ll be giving away:

Gnawed Bones by the amazing Peggy Shumaker. This book has the most striking imagery and voice. Anyone who has heard Peggy read knows how mesmerizing her poems are aloud, and they are just as captivating in print. Filled with loss and awe, Gnawed Bones is my go-to book to give to friends. So, friend, please leave a comment and you might have Peggy’s book winging its way to your home at the end of April.

Annie Finch’s book Calendars is also filled with vivid images and mastery of voice and diction. Like Peggy, Annie is fearless when exploring the body and the emotions that inhabit it. Her work unabashedly explores the myths and ethos of the feminine. I return to this collection again and again to ground myself in the musicality of the line and way word choice can swing a poem in multiple directions.

Once again, in order to have a chance at winning either of these lovely books, all you need to do is leave a comment on this post. If you don’t link to your own blog, make sure that you leave your email so I can contact you for mailing information if you win.

Viva la poesia!

51 Replies to “The Big Poetry Giveaway 2011”

  1. I love that you are “being poetry” these days. Your soulful reflections and the lovely poems you’ve shared make for a wonderful complement to my morning coffee in Ohio.

    Congratulations on that big LEAP you’ve taken–I’ve done it twice, left my teaching job to write and only write. It’s scary, but it’s worth it to your writing life. I have been hoping to get a blog going–I’ve created it but am holding it “offline” until I’m convinced I can be a steady poster. You’ve been really good about that, and it’s helped to keep me a steady reader.

    So, I’ll probably wait until I’ve finished up my coursework at RWW because right now THAT takes my writing energy. So, for sharing poetry, this month I’m reading C.D. Wright’s new book ONE WITH OTHERS and Natasha Trethewey’s NATIVE GUARD, both awesome and both happen to deal with both the personal and the political sides of racism in the south. I’m not really fishing for another book, but LOVE LOVE LOVE the give away idea for National Poetry Month. Just your recommendations have already “given” the books to me–so I guess I’m just returning the favor by posting the two titles. I do love Peggy’s work and have been hearing quite a bit about Annie Finch these days. I enjoyed hearing her speak on an AWP panel. A friend recently gave me THE BODY OF POETRY: Essays on Women, Form and the Poetic Self. So, I guess the world is telling me that A Finch is in my future–ah, spring is coming!

  2. It is indeed a great idea.

    Please put me in the bowl.

    (and you can drop by my place, I will offer three women books, perhaps you will be interested).

  3. Thanks everyone who has entered so far. I’m glad that folks are as excited by these books as I am.

  4. I love the sound of your books! I shall look forward in participating next time, or perhaps I can still do it now. I will wait and see! Thanks for offering this giveaway.

  5. Please count me in! I entered my email in the form here. I don’t want to leave it for all to see in case of automatic spammers. Deborah

  6. I already have a copy of Calendars but would like to be included in the drawing for Gnawed Bones.

    And I hope you’ll come by my place and sign up for my giveaway too.

  7. Both of these books seem very intriguing. I love finding out more poetry to check out even if I don’t win anything :-). Thanks for doing this giveaway!

  8. Memoriam

    Anne Michaels
    From: The Weight of Oranges / Miner’s Pond. McClelland & Stewart, 1997.

    In lawnchairs under stars. On the dock
    at midnight, anchored by winter clothes,
    we lean back to read the sky. Your face white
    in the womb light, the lake’s electric skin.

    Driving home from Lewiston, full and blue, the moon
    over one shoulder of highway. There,
    or in your kitchen at midnight, sitting anywhere
    in the seeping dark, we bury them again and
    again under the same luminous thumbprint.

    The dead leave us starving with mouths full of love.

    Their stones are salt and mark where we look back.
    Your mother’s hand at the end of an empty sleeve,
    scratching at your palm, drawing blood.
    Your aunt in a Jewish graveyard in Poland,
    her face a permanent fist of pain.
    Your first friend, Saul, who died faster than
    you could say forgive me.
    When I was nine and crying from a dream
    you said words that hid my fear.
    Above us the family slept on,
    mouths open, hands scrolled.
    Twenty years later your tears burn the back of my throat.
    Memory has a hand in the grave up to the wrist.
    Earth crumbles from your fist under the sky’s black sieve.
    We are orphaned, one by one.

    On the beach at Superior, you found me
    where I’d been for hours, cut by the lake’s sharp rim.
    You stopped a dozen feet from me.
    What passed in that quiet said:
    I have nothing to give you.

    At dusk, birch forest is a shore of bones.
    I’ve pulled stones from the earth’s black pockets,
    felt the weight of their weariness – worn,
    exhausted from their sleep in the earth.
    I’ve written on my skin with their black sweat.

    The lake’s slight movement is stilled by fading light.
    Soon the stars’ tiny mouths, the moon’s blue mouth.

    I have nothing to give you, nothing to carry,
    some words to make me less afraid, to say
    you gave me this.
    Memory insists with its sea voice,
    muttering from its bone cave.
    Memory wraps us
    like the shell wraps the sea.
    Nothing to carry,
    some stones to fill our pockets,
    to give weight to what we have.

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