It’s April, and that means it’s time to celebrate National Poetry Month. Last year I don’t think any of us were in the mood for celebrating. Unfortunately, COVID is still with us in 2021… but at least I’m no longer in shock. Let’s make up for lost time. This month I have poetry to share, interviews with poets and some poetry news.
First, a little poetry news. I’m happy to announce that I’ll be taking over as editor for the annual HWA Poetry Showcase next year. Following in the footsteps of editor Stephanie M. Wytovich, she’s showing me the ropes this year as I serve as one of the judges. She did a great ‘meet-and-greet’ post for us judges here.
I’ve been submitting to the Showcase since the second year it began. Peter Salomon started it and many talented and amazing editors have followed, each lending their talents and time to promote dark poetry. I’ve submitted since volume 2 and have had my poetry included 5 times. It’s the best part of my April festivities. I’m so happy to be able to continue this tradition from another perspective.
I’ve also agreed to serve as poetry editor for a new magazine with a soft launch date of May. Called Savage Planets, “Where Dreams and Nightmares Collide.” I love that they boast “The Future of Science Fiction has Never Been So Bleak…” Sounds like a literary adventure. I’ll be handling poetry and two sentence stories for them. I’ve also written a story called “Destroy With Love” and a poem called “Savage Planets” for their first issue.
I’m also serving on the Missouri Writers Guild Board of Directors for Publicity. I believe in creating a better world by starting in my back yard and the best way I can see to do that is to help writers that are also my neighbors. Missouri writers of all genre and experience levels are invited to check out the MWG here. Member of the Guild can submit their work for recognition for the 2021 President’s Writers Contest from now until May 15 here.
A final announcement, and then some poetry. I recently went with local author and photographer Regina Daniels on one of her shoots in an abandoned school and did a reading of my poem “Riding the Exhale” from the HWA Showcase VII. “Riding the Exhale” is also a Rhysling nominated poem and will be in the forthcoming 2021 Rhysling Anthology, edited by Alessandro Manzetti.
That about sums up the main talking points (there are a few ahead I can’t quite talk about yet…) so now for that poetry. We can’t start April without that. In the spirit of April Fool’s, I’ll share one of my very first poetry readings. Warning: In this video, I’m terrified, I read too fast and my nerves scream at the audience. But we have to start somewhere, right? Today, I share this old reading from Say the Word Poetry Slam, Niceville, Florida on February 5, 2014.
The poem itself is much, much older. It was written for a writer’s prompt group, and I think the prompts were gallop, basket and cat. If I remember correctly, it won something. Because of this poem written somewhere around 2004, I have a fat cat on my desk as a lucky totem.
A Writer’s Wish
If I could pen a scribble here
To a buyer that would pay me dear
I’d slide up quick off my soft rear
And gallop to my computer where
My bony cat in basket sits
And eyes my work thru narrow slits
He eats not fish but old prune pits
For small I’m paid for written wits.
But say perchance, I could succeed
To lure the president to lead
Me thru his tale of slippery greed
And naughty things we want to read
I’d see success at my feet laid
My cat now fat and me well paid.