the smoking poet

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This week brings the newest issue of The Smoking Poet, with poems by James Valvis, Christopher Barnes, Marguerite Keil Flanders, Dana Guthrie Martin, and Gail C. Flanders. Plus interviews, reviews, A Good Cause, and more. Check it out, and if you want to submit for the next issue, see the guidelines.

Also new this week, Floating Bridge Review. Last night, I attended a packed launch reading at Jack Straw. So much poetry! (I have two poems in this year’s issue.)

What’s next?

During the past couple of months, Jeannine Hall Gailey has written some thoughtful posts about considering what’s next. Now I find myself in that same situation. The rhythm of my days during the workweek has changed almost completely. I still get up and go to the gym, but I don’t set my alarm for 5:00 or 5:30. I ride a different bus home, work on my resume, submit job applications, free write, revise, add to my novel (I’m up to 45,000 words, finally). I still have stacks of artwork that I brought home (where to hang it?) and boxes to unpack. I still have a rocking chair in the back of my car (do you want a rocking chair?). I’ve been looking for cover art (close now!) and planning an author photo shoot for my forthcoming book, reading a friend’s novel manuscript, trying to catch up some on editing. Always wondering: What’s next?

I’m not great at transitions. Usually way to manage change is to charge through it as quickly as possible. Temporary isn’t my style (which doesn’t explain the aforementioned stacks of stuff). I’ve lived in the same house for 15 years, married for 16 years, and worked at the same company for 17 years (including two years of contract work). I show up. But I’ve received this time, and in the middle of uncertainty, I’m working to use this gift, to show up for it, if that makes any sense. And keeping my eyes and ears open for opportunities–or even ideas of opportunities. Those glimmers.

What’s next for you? How do you move through change?

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The Spring issue of The Smoking Poet is now live. You’ll find art, art with poetry, and more poetry–poems by Paul David Adkins, Mercedes Lawry, Sierra Golden, David D. Horowitz, Raul Sanchez, and more. Plus TSP’s fiction, nonfiction, and interviews. A packed issue.

How do you balance work and poetry?

On May 10 (next Friday), 10 of us will gather at The Good Shepherd to talk about how we juggle the day job and our writing lives. We’ll also read poems about work?

I had a moment of panic–poems about work? Have I ever written about work? My job is not romantic (I’m not lofting bales of hay for horses on cold mornings) or heroic (I’m not a night nurse) or even really scientific (not in the analyzing samples of river water science way).

Then I remembered the prose poems–that winter we were testing our new internal content tools and feeling discontent, and I’d write Russian surrealism-inspired prose poems on the bus and then print them out and tape them to the wall outside my office. I was a one-poet morale machine. So I’ll read some of those.

I hope you can join us,

Friday, May 10, 7:00 PM, The Good Shepherd Center, 4649 Sunnyside Avenue North, Seattle, WA

and here’s the list of all of us:

J. Glenn Evans
Victoria Ford
Murray Gordon
Rebecca Hoogs
William Kupinse
Kristen McHenry
Dobbie Norris
Douglas Schuder
Michael Spence
me

and moderated by David D. Horowitz.

Speaking of prose poems

I have two myth-inspired prose poems up at Pirene’s Fountain, along with Jeannine Hall Gailey, Rustin Larson, Jane Yolen, and many more.

 

 

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Two palms picture

"Two Palms" by Jeff Abshear

Live for your online reading pleasure, the Fall/Winter issue of The Smoking Poet! A beautiful palindrome poem by Martha Vallely. Poems by Miriam Sagan, Michael Jones, and more. Including a poem by Jessica Morey-Collins that references SharePoint. How often do you find SharePoint in a poem?

That’s just the tip of it. You’ll also find fiction, nonfiction, interviews, reviews, and this issue’s A Good Cause (“Why Atheists Are Right”). And a wide range of art by Jeff Abshear.

I mentioned wine, didn’t I? This issue serves up a glimpse of harvest and crush at Cloudlift Cellars, with a bit of reflection on wine and writing.

Our deadline for Spring issue submissions is February 28. In the meantime, I hope you’ll enjoy these pages.

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black and white photograph of a truck and driver

"Real"--photography by Ellen Bennett, in The Smoking Poet

It’s here. This summer, The Smoking Poet brings you a feature on Alaska–with poetry, fiction, and nonfiction.

You’ll also find poetry by J.P. Dancing Bear, Marjorie Manwaring, Changming Yuan, and more–as well as photography by Ellen Bennett.

The Smoking PoetAnd that’s just the dog’s nose.

To submit for our Fall issue, check out the guidelines.

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