1) My first published poem of 2015!
2) Links to the published books of my autobiographical pentalogy.
[Book II, v.2 of the poetry (trilogy within a trilogy) “A City of Trees” will also be published this spring by ALL CAPS Publishing.]
Book I (memoir)
How a survivor of the 1990s race, class, and gender wars in academe transformed into a middle-aged writer and small-press publisher.
Book II (poetry)
Inspired by the poetry of Charles Bukowski.
Book III (novella)
A love story for people with brains.
3) I’ve finished my novella (Ramshackled), which is more of a novelette, and will be publishing it along with 26 microfiction tales about 26 women (working title: Rosebud).
4) I forgot. I did a lot of bookmaking last year. Exhausting! But it’s nice to see it all booked up this year.
I’ve been busy with final edits on my memoir; HCP contest’s impending close (deadline is Wednesday). Check out MA October highlights on my New England arts site (an extension of this blog) Words Happening?!
Here’s my newest bookworm photo.
Well, the NaPoMo poems have turned into a chapbook! I’ve been very busy fighting my aching back/neck to do a lot of typing (30 poems plus editing volume three of the poetry trilogy to mail by May 1st); standing and sitting at readings.
So, pictures being worth the thousands words I haven’t posted this month, here are a few thousand words for you 😎
Mignon Ariel King singing “Dream On” (March 10) in honor of Stephen Tyler’s birthday (March 26) – from the poem “gone girl” in What Good‘s a View of the Charles…? (ALL CAPS Publishing, 2013).
photo by chad parenteau
SURPRISE! I read two poems in the Feature portion at the BPL, Copley for the Boston National Poetry Month Festival. Read two on the open mic too.
With the Co-host of PTAOW (and my pal) Rene Schwiesow. The features Timothy Gager and Chad Parenteau and the open mic were amazing!
April 13, 2014, Plymouth, MA
Happy National Poetry Month! I’ll be writing 30 poems in the next 30 days, posting some of them here. As an added challenge, I’m doing 26 Massachusetts-related poems in alphabetical order. Cuz that’s the kinda Masshole I am!
It isn’t Brookline. Nor Brighton. Between the A-Line
-used-to-be-here streets, fine Swiss sweets or plain
Dunkin crullers. Food from West India. Brazil. Italy.
“Funky” write-ups from new locals on Yelp. Used to be
an embarrassing zip code but full of one-bedroom steals.
So close to Harvard, now: solar-powered condominiums.
I forgot my Feb. post. What’s to say? The pinched nerve in my back recovery and the chronic neck strains are better than one might expect in winter, so maybe I can get back to semi-regular walking (still dodging snowstorms here in New England 🙂 ). At least I’ve gotten in some typing, edits on the memoir -so it might be done in March. In general I have problems if I sit at a table instead of lying on 4 pillows to type. Typing lying down doesn’t work! Frustrating as heck.
1. Somehow I’ve managed to squeeze out two of my goal three books so I can publish in 3 genres in 12 months to celebrate the big 5-0! Instead of re-posting everything, here it is on HCP: http://hiddencharmpress.com/
2. I have a feature of the poetry on March 10, 2014. 8-10pm Stone Soup. $5 cover. My book will be $10 (if I have any left by 9pm, usual feature time). And I’m doing a radio show in spring. Perhaps the memoir will be out then too.
I’m feeling pretty good about 2013, my year of prose and transitioning to more Publishing, behind-the-scenes work. But I’m psyched to read. I haven’t read at all since August, haven’t featured since May? June?
The long -awaited (well, I was on the edge of my seat anyhow) second volume of poems from Book II of my autobiographical trilogy has been published. Many thanks to Marian Kent of ALL CAPS Publishing!
Cover image by Hans Engelman (Dutch, 1981). Thank you very much to his daughter for letting me use it! Engelman began painting Black nudes in the ’60s, so there’s no telling when this beautiful sister actually posed for the first sketches and paintings vs. when the artist finished and signed it.
There isn’t much to report in the bookmaking world. It’s no secret that a lot of small-press publishers have taken a beating in this economy. But, more disturbing, is how crabby and nasty some writers have gotten. We’re all poor, but some folks are more bitter about it. No small victory goes unpunished. So, here’s to writers, editors, publishers, book designers, et al. who are making it work somehow. Scale back where you must, but keep going!
This is actually the bad news section of my post. I started Hidden Charm Press in 2011 with hopes of pumping out 2-3 books per year. So far, Extra MoJo! (Feb. 2013) stands alone. I’m determined to publish my memoir 2013-2014, but I’ve given up hope of having a poetry chapbook contest this year. My goal is to keep the fee low yet be able to offer a cash prize as well as publication. Perhaps next year.
For a variety of reasons, my poetry has ground to a halt. I chose to focus on my neglected genre, fiction, this year and will be self-publishing my first novella within months via Tell-Tale Chapbooks (TTC). Of course, sacrifices had to be made – the biggest being the online journal U.M.Ph.! Prose; it will become an anthology via TTC (in collaboration with Stone Soup Poetry host Chad Parenteau) … hopefully next year. So I’ve produced two decent poems this year. It’s been a lonely summer without poetry, not something I can explain unless you’re a poet too 🙂 .
Now for the good news. This month, as I enthusiastically await the publication of my second book of poems What Good‘s a View of the Charles…? (ALL CAPS PUBLISHING), I’m also trying to prime the pump and get into poetry writing for the winter by writing 14 poems in November. A lot of people are writing 30. Hurrah to them, but not my goal! My point here is simple. We’re all struggling; we’re all discouraged. But we who are lucky enough to have words are holding onto them. We’re doing what we can, no matte rhow small or large, to keep the written word relevant, important. We need words…and they need to be written…and a lot of people are still comforted by reading them.
July was such a lousy month I almost forgot my August post. High points: my oldest and dearest friends are priceless. Typing/editing Rosebud… is still happening. I have covers for two books, blurbs for the novella. I’m getting physical therapy for my neck (displaced vertebra? ouchie) so I don’t clonk out at 4pm from muscle relaxers then lie awake til 4am. That totally sucked.
It’s an excellent prose jag, but I miss poetry. There’s a reading, with the theme “Place” at the JP library* on Sedgwick next Thursday, August 15. 6:15 sign-up for the open mic. The reading is 7-8ish. Hosts: Beatrice Greene and Carolyn Gregory (both JP poets!).
*Orange Line to Forest Hills, then hop the #39 bus – it’s only a few stops. There’s a big brick municipal building on the corner of Sedgwick and South St. Failproof method: When the bus starts to curve onto Centre St, ring the bell and walk back.
[Sorry about the format. Have to stay as is for now.]
April was the cruelest NaPoMo ever here in Massachusetts for some obvious reasons, some personal ones. But poetry always adds some bright spots to my life. So I’m just going with two poems, kinda Best of Times/Worst of times instead of an entry. The first is here; the second is published in a special Boston Marathon 2013 tribute issue of my online journal of city narrativesU.M.Ph.! Prose. God Bless Us, Everyone!
A Love Song for Moby
I’ve tried so hard to share the ambiance,
revealing why your tail’s transfixed so long.
It’s lulled me, like a babe, into a trance,
and I alone must sing the white whale’s song.
I want to lure you too up from the deep
– so you can write a line or two for me!
And dreaming of your tale (when I need sleep),
I write pelagic tableaux that I see.
I’ve read your book four decades in the past
and never felt a need to log critique.
But now I must synopsize what I grasp
– my memory is growing so oblique.
Land’s sake, I’ll have to finish all alone, for
yellowed pages don’t list your hydraphone.
[April 23: My annual Shakespearean sonnet]
Well, it’s really only Feb. 27 at 3:30am, but close enough. So my back and neck are still protesting having to sit still for 3 hours Monday night, and the cold I refused to let get the best of me until Tuesday is wiping me out…BUT it was totally worth it.
The launch of Hidden Charm Press with its first title Extra MoJo! at the Stone Soup Poetry reading in Central Square, Cambridge, MA on Monday night was fantastic! The open mic was great. My sisters-writers were an outstanding feature, making poems from the anthology leap off the page. It was truly enthralling! I couldn’t be prouder.
Hidden Charm Press (HCP) was created in July, 2011. It took until July, 2012 to put together a first draft of the Extra MoJo! anthology. By Winter, 2012 I had a cover artist and layout artist on board to make the manuscript into the book that the 20 writers deserve.
Hurrah to my co-features Toni Bee and Robin White; kudos to Denise Washington whose poem is on the back of the book; woo hoo to cover artist Jessica Grundy and to my football buddy, layout artist Steve Glines, for making a pile of papers into a gorgeous book!
The Press’s inventory for the evening sold out, so now I can afford a new computer battery, the HCP website purchase, and incidentals like food all at the same time 😀
photo of Robin White, Mignon Ariel King, and Toni Bee by chad parenteau
OMG! The water main broke, so we have to boil water here in Beantown before drinking it. It tastes nasty as hell boiled! Well, technically, it tastes like absolutely nothing. Boston water, even with the too-much chlorine and other junk added since I was a kid drinking the good stuff, is like its architecture. It has Chahm! I don’t even care that I brushed my teeth in the iffy back-up reservoir water before getting the FYI on that; I just care that the water tastes too pure, like unspoiled woodland or rainforest water. This is the city, baby. Give me some rust.