Tuesday, February 24, 2009

If Poetry Journal Seeks Poems for Third Issue

If Poetry Journal is now seeking poetry for its third issue. The theme is tentatively "music," though I'm interested in seeing a variety of poetry about any subject. If you would like to submit 1-5 poems, please e-mail them to me (Don Illich) at ifpoetryjournaleditor at gmail dot com. No attachments, please put your poems in the body of your e-mail. Basic cover letter preferred. No previously published poems. Each contributor will receive one contributor's copy. The deadline for poetry submissions is April 25, 2008.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Dear Anais by Diana M. Raab -- Review

Diana M. Raab's collection Dear Anais covers an entire, varied life, from Woodstock revels as a teenager to the travails of late middle-age. Mixed in with the biographical material are musings on writing poetry, the ups and downs of romantic love, and lists of words/phrases that give a vision of a woman's life. The closes comparison for this volume are collections by Linda Pastan or Sharon Olds, but Raab doesn't quite have the same linguistic spark. A poem like "My Father" ends "I shall forever be warmed by you" without giving a complex enough picture of the father. In some poems Raab goes for the easy description, such as "dark poems" and "happy tears," like in "Prisms of Mind." Overall, though, the accretion of detail adds up to a good novel as much as a poetry collection. She is particularly fine in relationship poems, like "Crossword," which shows how Raab came to write poetry and offers strong details about her first date with her future spouse doing crosswords. Although there are no pyrotechnics, Dear Anais is a clear-sighted and sometimes romantic picture of a life lived and experienced deeply.
To learn more about Diana Raab and her work, visit her site at www.dianaraab.com.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The Snide Ethic by Jessy Randall

You're having a lot of fun while the rest of us die off around you. Giggling in the back row while we decompose in the front.

Jessy Randall's collection of poems A Day in Boyland (Ghost Road Press, 2007) was a finalist for the Colorado Book Award. Her poems and other works have appeared in Asimov's, Coconut, Many Mountains Moving, McSweeney's, and No Tell Motel. She has a young adult novel forthcoming in 2009, and her website is http://personalwebs.coloradocollege.edu/~jrandall.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Mark Halliday's Keep This Forever

One of the recent poetry collections I'd recommend is Mark Halliday's Keep This Forever. Some of its so prose-like, that it doesn't really read as poetry at all. But I would say that he's a good storyteller and a great examiner of poetry and its place in the world/with the author/and among readers. His satirical humor is also something I like in his work. What's different about this collection is it's a little more heartfelt, including some wonderful poems about his father and his father's death.
Keep This Forever:

Friday, January 16, 2009

Ways to Practice Poetry

I'm going to get back to posting poems, trying to review books, and continue this site as soon as I can. For now, I really enjoyed this this blog post's (see the link below) five steps to practicing poetry, and they could serve as a good guide for any poet. Revision/humility and gratitude are hardest for me, but I think they're really necessary. Please check this post out on Poetry's blog site.


Wednesday, December 17, 2008


I might be going on a break over the holidays, returning in early January. Have a good time.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

breathing schedule by Buck Downs

mega mega

restless action
and it does not fix --

sleeping in the rain

leftover travel

leftover dazzle

easy does it over

A native of Jones County, Miss., Buck Downs works in Washington DC. He distributes his poetry primarily in the form of postcards, available through free subscription. To subscribe to the postcard list, visit this site: http://buckdowns.com/postcards/