Showing posts from January, 2013

Atomic Age

As Month One in this year of poetry , January is a month primarily dedicated to generating new material: WRITING. My poetic meditations this cold month have been on the implications of a certain fun, little homophone:  atom = Adam So naturally, my thoughts have been on the gaps and surprising bridges between world creation and mass destruction, Christianity and chemistry. I'm sure that does not sound very poetic, but these linguistic explorations have led to some very interesting conclusions and possibilities.  Note: Objects not drawn to scale. In February, I will be polishing these new poems and deciding where-oh-where to submit them. Here's hoping I stay on track.

Be my (Olivetti) Valentine

This past week I made my third custom typewriter cozy , commissioned through Etsy marketplace. Today I took it to the post office and wished it well on its flight to Zurich. Yes, the one in Switzerland.  When it arrives, it will be snuggling up to one of these pretty red Valentine typewriters made by Olivetti. And if the customer is as pleased as I hope he will be, I will be making two more for him. Because this typewriter-lover has THREE of those pretty red Valentine typewriters: one for home, one for the office, and one for the other office. Makes perfect sense to me. I really love  making these custom cozies for fellow typewriter-lovers. Want one? Just follow the instructions here  and I will make one for you, too!

Typewriter tune-up: household cleaner edition

DISCLAIMER: I am not , by any means, a professional typewriter restorer or repair(wo)man. I am just an enthusiastic and practiced amateur. And I am honing some self-taught skills. First, go to the office and fetch that most efficient electronics duster -- the compressed air canister. If you don't actually have one of these lying around the house, well, you should. The detachable, narrow straw-nozzle blows powerful gusts of air into the tiny nooks where dust collects but fingers cannot reach. The compressed air canister is the perfect companion for basic typewriter maintenance because that collected dust can cause some rather frustrating sticking and jamming of keys and carriage and other things. They are complicated beasts underneath. Then, go to the bathroom for the nail polish remover. The acetone in nail polish remover, an organic alcohol compound, is a very effective solvent.    ***SECRET KNOWLEDGE OF A FORMER LIBRARY ASSISTANT: when the gross books landed on my des

Another book review: Red Army Red, by Jehanne Dubrow

Little Red: a book review A review of the new poetry collection from Rose O'Neill Literary House Director, Jehanne Dubrow. Red Army Red from Northwestern University Press, 2012. Before I begin, I should admit to my biases. I like Jehanne Dubrow. She is a kind and intelligent person with a wonderfully irreverent sense of humor (that is very similar to mine) and I consider her a friend. But I am also a poet, and in this capacity, I have been following Jehanne’s work since the release of her first collection, The Hardship Post , in 2009. Each collection of hers is a poetic study, a project. String the poems together and you will see a loose narrative formed there in between. In Red Army Red , Cold War’s Communism appropriates all shiny things for propaganda the way a teenage girl accessorizes. They are magpies at heart. Dubrow, in turn, collects these glimmering metallic details and nests poems in them. Of course, not all of these details are beautiful but t

LibraryThing Early Reviewers: Swallowing the Sea, by Lee Upton

Swallowing the Sea: On Writing & Ambition, Boredom Purity & Secrecy ,   by Lee Upton  Lee Upton's essays explore the sequence of emotions that torment every writer. It is more a book of writers' therapy by way of intelligent reflection than a book of advice for writers, which I found rather refreshing. Don't most of us prefer commiseration over being preached at? Upton's tone throughout is humorous and sympathetic and commonsensical. Swallowing the Sea is also full of fun literary references, so you always feel you are in good company.                 I gave it 5 stars.

Something old, something new

Highlights of the Year 2012: I simultaneously landed my dream jo b and escaped the grueling 7-day workweek that is having two jobs. On September 20, I became the new Assistan t Director of The Rose O'Neill Literary House at Washington College and I haven't looked back.  I got up the guts and hosted my first-ever type -in and letter -writing social with my good, good friend Ann ie of Scribbling Glue on December 7. It was a blast! And we are already receiving offers for hosting future type-ins. I love creative collaboration! I saw my second tiny batch of poems published in the wide world of lit mags. Read them here in the Fall 2012 issue of The Doctor T.J. Eckleburg Review ! I successfully completed my poetry version of Na NoWriMo in November: writing a poem a day for 30 days. A beautiful project emerged about a week into it and I love what I ended up with. I have just submitted select parts of this project to Mu zzle Magazine , decomP magazinE , and Paper Darts . C