Wednesday, October 31, 2007


Halloween is my favorite holiday, it requires nothing of us—except imagination. And the ability to enjoy candy and apples. Also pumpkins. Also, the scary things aren’t really scary. Everything is a false fear. Thrill up the spine. Surprise of ghosts on the street, vampire teeth. Wax lips and fake blood. I like it when we parade all our fears and all our ugly out into public. It’s kind of like being a poet.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Reading Recap:

Shanna & Jen were wonderful. They arrived after an eight hour drive from Niagra Falls. Here's Shanna. I was laughing too hard when Jen was reading to take a pic!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Reading Tonight! Jennifer "El" Knox & Shanna Compton

You should come out and buy everyone a drink, just to be nice.

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 26 at 8 p.m.

for Earshot @ The Lucky Cat
245 Grand Street (btw. Driggs & Roebling)
Brooklyn, NY
$5 includes a drink

And happy full moon. Be careful, you can tell it's up to no good or
really good, but it's up to something.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

It's good to go..

to the sea with a bunch of writers you adore. And dress up. And watch two wonderful people get married. And then dance so much that you can barely walk today. It's good to do that. I want to run away. More often.

So, I only took bascially two photos. This one turned out a bit "gossip girl," but I snapped it running out the door. And I think I look like my grandma for some reason. So here's for grandma:

This morning I was caught writing. And the girls all teased me that I write too much. Anyway, here's what I'm working on. It's something about patience. Getting there, maybe.

{poem was here}

Friday, October 19, 2007


On NPR this morning they were talking about War and Peace, the new translation, and the woman reporting said, in her closing thoughts, "I'm going to finish this book." While that book in particular may be long, I thought, why are we so hell-bent on "finishing" everything. What is it that makes us so geared to win the race? I just think if she said to herself, "I'm really going to enjoy this book," she might look forward to picking it up a little more, yes?

On the walk to the train this morning, a young mother with two children were going to my neighborhood school. The two kids were shouting and she was speaking to them in nice low tones about how not to shout and how some people, like doctors, were still sleeping. They got real quiet and looked around at the windows. The mother said, "some people have worked all night and there is no need to shout and wake them up." And the smallest girl in the world, with the tiniest glasses cocked her head to me walking next to her and in a whisper said, "Are you sleeping?"

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Still Life with Poetry & Bird: Drunk By Noon is HERE!

Jennifer L. Knox's second book is here. It's wonderful. On Monday we had a tiny little welcome home dinner for it. It was Jen (her finger pictured here), Me (behind the camera), Ichi the Killer (posing), one unpaid utility bill and...two books! Magic.

Do you think that

By Stacia Brady (my mama)

THESE are the "olive trees" he means when, in the middle of this Wolf Parade song,.. he mentions the olive trees that he says he'll give (to me)? I think so.

I'll Believe in Anything

Give me your eyes
I need sunshine
Give me your eyes
I need sunshine
Your blood
Your bones
Your voice
and your ghost

We've both been very brave
Walk around with both legs
Fight the scary day
We both pull the tricks out of our sleeves

but I'll believe in anything
and you'll believe in anything
said I'll believe in anything
and you'll believe in anything

If I could take the fire out from the water
I'd share a life and you'd share a life
If I could take the fire out from the water
I'd share a life and you'd share a life
If I could take the fire out from the water
I'd take you where nobody knows you
I'll Believe In Anything Lyrics on
And nobody gives a damn
said nobody knows you
and nobody gives a damn

and I could take another hit for you
and I could take away your trips from you
and I could take away the salt from your eyes
and take away the spitting salt in you
and I could give you my apologies
by handing over my neologies
and I could take away the shaking knees
and I could give you all the olive trees
oh look at the trees and look at my face and look at a place far away from here

Give me your eyes
I need sunshine
Give me your eyes
I need sunshine
Your blood
Your bones
Your voice
and your ghost

We've both been very brave
Walk around with both legs
Fight the scary day
We both pull the tricks out of our sleeves

but I'll believe in anything
and you'll believe in anything

If I could take the fire out from the water
I'd share a life and you'd share a life
If I could take the fire out from the water
I'd share a life and you'd share a life
If I could take the fire out from the water
I'd take you where nobody knows you
And nobody gives a damn
I said nobody knows you
and nobody gives a damn
I said nobody knows you
and nobody gives a damn either way
About your blood
your bones
your voice
and ghost
because nobody knows you
and nobody gives a damn either way

and now I'll believe in anything

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

More Readings!

November 27th: For d.a. levy lives series at ACA Gallery, on W. 20th Street for Big Game Books
January 28th: St. Marks for Poetry Project
January 31st: KGB Bar for Barrelhouse
February 29th: LEAP YEAR at Pete's Candy Store for Pete's Big Poetry

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Friday, October 12, 2007

Greg Pardlo's Book Party! Tonight!

Hey, you should come to this. Because Greg is a wonderful poet and person. And because poetry is the coolest.

You are invited to the Book Release Party for Totem, by NYU Creative Writing Program alumnus Gregory Pardlo. The event is on Friday, October 12 at 7 pm at the Lillian Vernon Creative Writers House, 58 West 10th Street, close to 6th Avenue, Manhattan.

Totem is the debut poetry collection by Gregory Pardlo and the winner of the 2007 American Poetry Review / Honickman First Book Prize chosen by Brenda Hillman.


Thursday, October 11, 2007

Reading Report-University of Rhode Island

Well, we had a blast. Everyone came out. Michael was just a wonderful person to read with. We are all very excited for his new book. Peter Covino, you are a generous and brilliant host. Two of Peter's students introduced us with introductions that were far too kind and incredibly well written. We talked so much about poetry. I'm dizzy with poetry. Wonderfully dizzy with words.

Thank you, beso, beso.

Here's a blurry photo. Lord I love the blur.

And then a bright bold student wrote an article about us and here it is!

Visiting poets share stories of friendships, romance, hip-hop

Lisa McGunigal

10/11/07 - Poets Ada Limon and Michael Cirelli read selections of their poetry last night at the second installment of the URI English department's Read/Write program in Independence Hall. Limon explored memories of her brother and friends through her poems while Cirelli's poetry focused on hip-hop culture and romance.

Limon's first poetry book, "Lucky Wreck," won the 2005 Autumn House Poetry Prize. Her second poetry book, "This Big Fake World," won the 2005 Pearl Poetry Prize.

In Limon's poem, "A little distantly, as one should," she recalls her childhood visits to Lake Tahoe, where her friend, Jake, died in a car accident.

"You really can't stop going places because you're frightened," Limon read.

"This Big Fake World" centers around four main characters: the hero, the hero's wife, the woman who works at the hardware store, and Lewis. Limon read the prologue poem to the book during the program.

"Let the man in the gray suit be our hero for once," she read.

In the book, Lewis writes poetry to Ronald Reagan, commiserating how pretty girls will be the death of him and probably Reagan as well.

Limon said she writes everyday.

"It's an obsession. But it's a healthy obsession," she said.

Another of Limon's poems she wrote while thinking of her deceased friend, Jessica.

"It's hard to admit we're alive sometimes," she read.

Another poem Limon read was inspired by a friend's challenge to write something sexy. Titled, "The City of Skin," Limon read, "This brilliant mess. Yes. Let's."

Cirelli said he prefers keeping his poetry short, once limiting himself to write poems that had just 14 lines or less. Much of his work attempts to connect the world of hip-hop to the world of academia. He also has background experience in slam poetry and was an individual finalist at the National Poetry Slam.

One poem of Cirelli's developed from his experiences in attempting to get published.

"The money that sea-sawed like tides," he writes in "Beat to Print."

Several of Cirelli's new poems focus on rap stars engaging in simple pleasures, such as eating out at a seafood restaurant, or other activities that are part of rap stars' private personas. The collection, titled "Lobster with Old Dirty Bastard," includes poetry about legendary rap artist Notorious B.I.G.

n "Buy You a Train," he highlights a son and his mother riding in her new, shiny white car and listening to a hip-hop song. The mother thinks the song lyric reads:

"Buy you a train," and while the son knows this is wrong, he stays quiet and decides he will one day buy a train for his mom as Cirelli read "a choo-choo for you."

Cirelli then read some romantic poems, including "Cigarette Love" and "Kissing Turtles." "Cigarette Love" examines the different types of love from "candy love" that is so sweet it leaves your tooth sharp with a cavity to "cigarette love in its slow drag."

Cirelli explained how in writing poetry, "a lot of simple similes change the tone of the poem."

Limon appreciates how poetry has the power to control time and place.

"You can travel so far in a poem," she said.

Both Cirelli and Limon offered advice for young poets who want to publish their writings. Cirelli encouraged the writing of chapbooks and said it helps if other poets and professors support you. Limon recommended reading literary journals.

"Make sure your work is a match for that journal," Limon added. "Sending out many of your poems allows a better chance for success."

In the meantime, Limon said, "Write everyday."

But then I had to get up really really early and catch the train. And the whole day felt like this:

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Poetry Salon 1

So, last night was the first poetry salon at my house. If you weren't invited, don't worry, odds are you will be soon. I had to start small. The last time I decided to do this 50 people came over. And we didn't talk about poetry one bit.

So here's the few steps to making your own poetry salon.

First: Invite no more than 5 people

Second: Go to the farmer's market

Third: Make enchilades with tomatillo sauce

Fourth: Have a quick drink with a friend

Fifth: Talk poetry with your beauties

Topics covered:
Slam Poetry
Paul Muldoon as the new poetry editor of the New Yorker
Poems in form
John Hollander
Some gossip/NO NAMES HERE
Willie Nelson
Joni Mitchell
Other forms
Endings of Poems
The WORK of poems
New books
Jason's gorgeous manuscript
Jen Knox's new book
Small Publishers
Different publishers for different books
Possible titles for my new manuscript
Marion's great new work
Balancing work and work
Oh and much much more
And music
Manguso I owe you a CD!!

Friday, October 05, 2007

Anyone want to go to Rhode Island?? Anyone IN Rhode Island want to come out and play?

All events are free, open to the public, and followed by a reception!
Independence Hall, Hoffmann Room 154, Upper College Road, Kingston, RI 02881; Phone: (401) 874-5931

University of Rhode Island English Department
Fall 2007

Wednesday, October 10, 2007, 4-6pm
Poets, Michael Cirelli & Ada Limón

Michael Cirelli is a poet and educator originally from Providence, Rhode Island. He has been an Individual Finalist at The National Poetry Slam and was the only person to make all three Bay Area slam teams in the same year, winning the finals in both San Francisco and Berkeley. He has performed his work all over the United States and Canada and has taught writing workshops up and down the West Coast and in NYC. While in Los Angeles, he was the director of PEN Center West's Poet In The Classroom program. He is currently the Associate Programs Coordinator for Urban Word NYC through the Teachers and Writers Collaborative and has an MFA from The New School University. He has been published in numerous journals and anthologies and has self-published seven chapbooks; a full-length collection appearing from Hanging Loose Press in 2008. He currently lives in Brooklyn, NY.

Ada Limón is originally from Sonoma, California. A graduate of the Creative Writing Program at New York University, she won the Chicago Literary Award for Poetry and has received fellowships from the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center and the New York Foundation for the Arts. She works as the Copy Director for GQ Magazine and is teaching a Master Class for Columbia University’s MFA program in Spring 2008. Her first book, lucky wreck, was the winner of the 2005 Autumn House Poetry Prize. Her second book, This Big Fake World, was the winner of the 2005 Pearl Poetry Prize.