Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Publishing News and Views from the Farm

My short story "No Such Luck" is online. Received an email the other day and the anthology Eating the Pure Light, poems honoring Thomas McGrath, edited by John Bradley, Backwaters Press was released earlier this year, but they had difficulty notifying me. Soon, a copy of the anthology will be mailed to me. Can't wait to see and read it.

Have read quite a few blogs about the Newsweek article, e.g. poetry is dead. I have read this same article since the early 70s. Actually it comes out once or twice a decade and is more or less the same petulant smear. Poetry is song and song is revolutionary in its ability to connect and move people. Poetry and song, when it's really, really good, can circle the world and change point of view.

It's quite powerful. Just think of Mark Johnson's Playing for Change project, which I hope all of you have bought the CD to support the building of music schools in impoverished communities. See Bill Moyers Show for his interview with Johnson. Very inspiring. Poetry has been know to shake it up too. Always, it's person to person, which makes it intimate and significant.

So many or is it so few want to keep things Status Quo? Just think about control. When we write a poem, it's our attempt to still the chaos for just a moment, then release it. A successful poem holds that stilled moment for anyone who enters it. It can be a true relief, a lesson, a
wink and a wave hello. It can stay with the reader long after it's put down.

I told my workshop class (8-12) the story of my parents' first date. They rode in a horse drawn wagon and lit the streelights. The kids said, " Wait, how old are you, M.J. " I said, " As old as Yoda." They roared. They are a terrific group of young writers and more important, hand on heart, good human beings. More of our future competition. Ha!

I put up another batch of strawberry jam, with small berries called Juliettes. They are sweet and tart, whereas the first batch was another berry which was sweet, sweet. We're going to do cherries today.

I have to go and teach. Have a great day. And, the sun is shining.

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