Jul 31, 2015

2 poets among writers at UIndy's Kellogg Writer Series lineup for 2015-16

Poets Shonda Buchanan and Adrain Matejka will visit the University of Indianapolis campus as part of the Allen and Helen Kellogg Writers Series.

  • Shonda Buchanan, who last visited Indianapolis at the Eiteljorg Museum on July 29, will return to the city on Wednesday, Sept. 23. Poet, memoirist, and fiction writer Shonda Buchanan is a culture and literary arts ambassador whose presentations, workshops, and lectures demonstrate her passion for exploring gender, ethnicity, family, heritage, landscape, environment, and ancestry. She edited 
      the poetry anthology 
      Voices from Leimert Park, and her poetry collection Who’s Afraid of Black Indians? was nominated for the Library of Virginia Literary Awards and the Black Caucus of the American Library Association Literary Awards. She has contributed to the Los Angeles Times, L.A. Weekly, The Writer’s Chronicle, and American Public Media’s Marketplace, and has been featured on National Public Radio’s Tell Me More. She is an assistant professor of English at Hampton University, where she teaches writing and editing.
    • Shonda Buchanan
    • Adrian Matejka, winner of an Indiana Authors Award, will visit Wednesday, April 13. Adrian Matejka was born in Nuremberg, Germany, and grew up in California and Indiana. His first collection of poems, The Devil’s Garden, won the 2002 New York/New England Award from Alice James Books. His second collection, Mixology, published by Penguin Books in 2009, was a winner of the 2008 National Poetry Series and a finalist for the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literature – Poetry. His most recent book, The Big Smoke, received the 2014 Anisfield-Wolf Book Award and was a finalist for the 2013 National Book Award, the 2014 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, and the 2014 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry. He has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the Lannan Foundation, and his work has appeared in leading journals and anthologies. He teaches at Indiana University in Bloomington and is working on a new collection of poems and a graphic novel.
      Adrian Matejka

    Both readings are free and at 7:30 p.m. in the Trustees Dining Room of Schwitzer Student Center, University of Indianapolis, 1400 E. Hanna Ave.

    For complete lineup of writers, go to http://news.uindy.edu/2015/07/14/kellogg-series-to-feature-acclaimed-writers/

    For information, contact Kevin McKelvey at 317-788-2018.

    Q&A with Marianne Boruch, winner of a $10,000 Indiana Author Award

    From the Purdue Exponent:

    Mariann Boruch

    Marc Hudson in Santa Fe, N.M.

    News from New Mexico:

    Teatro Paraguas has become a popular venue for poetry readings in Santa Fe. On the average two poetry readings happen each month, as well as the open-mic poetry event hosted by Santa Fe Poetry Trails the first Monday of every month. New Mexico Literary Arts, a non-profit arts organization, recently awarded Teatro Paraguas the 2015 New Mexico Literary Arts Gratitude Award.

    In August. Teatro Paraguas is proud to host two readings, featuring poets from Oklahoma and Indiana.

    On Sunday, August 23, Oklahoma poet Ken Hada will be joined by two Santa Fe poets, Gary Worth Moody and Argos MacCallum.

    Ken Hada's recent poem "Homecoming" was a finalist for the 2015 Spur Award. He is the author of Margaritas and Redfish (Lamar UP, 2013), The River White: A Confluence of Brush and Quill (Mongrel Empire, 2011), with artwork by Duane Hada, Spare Parts (Mongrel Empire, 2009)' Winner of the 2010 National Western Heritage Award, The Way of the Wind (Village Books Press 2008) and two ebooks: Contour Feathers and The Way of the Wind. A professor at East Central University in Ada, Oklahoma, Ken directs the annual Ada Scissortail Creative Writing Festival.

    New Mexico poet Gary Worth Moody is a falconer (between hawks) who lives in Santa Fe with the artist and writer Oriana Rodman, two dogs, and hopefully this autumn, a passage ferruginous or red-tail hawk. Gary has worked as a forest-fire fighter, cowboy, farrier, horse trainer, and various jobs in the construction industry, which included a year in Siberia in 1993 building a town for coal-miners. He is the founder of the 1980s Lost River Poetry Workshops.
    Marc Hudson

    On Sunday, August 30 at 5:00 pm, Indiana poet Marc Hudson will read from his latest works. Marc Hudson taught for many years at Wabash College in Crawfordsville, Indiana, where he resides. He has published a translation of Beowulf as well as three books of poetry: Afterlight, Journal for an Injured Son, and The Disappearing Poet Blues. His book length manuscript, Swimming the Acheron, was a finalist for the 2014 National Poetry Series. His awards include an NEA Fellowship in Poetry, the Juniper Prize, the Strousse Award, and the Allen Tate Prize. His poems have appeared in Poetry, The Sewanee Review, Poetry Northwest, Poet Lore and many other journals.

    UPDATE: Butler's Visiting Writers Series 2015-2016.

    According to Butler University's website, the 2015-2016 lineup of the Vivian Delbrook Visiting Writers Series will include Nikky Finney, Gerald Stern, and Anne Marie Macari. Denis Johnson, who also writes fiction, will appear. No dates announced.


    UPDATE: Fall 2015 lineup announced:


    Jul 29, 2015

    Jenny Kander update

    Jenny Kander
    Some of you know that Jenny Kander was recently hospitalized, and she moved into Bell Trace Senior Living Community. At first, doctors thought she had a stroke, She was even diagnosed with Parkinson's. But both diagnoses were wrong. Jenny did report having migraines, one after another. She's doing fine now, but she's selling her three-level  condo on Winding Brook Circle.

    She has sent invitations to friends to visit her at her new digs from 2:30 to 6 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 1, at 800 N. Bell Trace Circle, Apartment 203, Bloomington 47408. Drop her a line.

    A poem about Eric Garner by IU prof Ross Gay

    From PBS:

    A detail you may not have known about Eric Garner blossoms in poem

    July 20, 2015 at 11:09 AM EDT

    Listen to Ross Gay read “A Small Needful Fact.”

    One year and three days ago, Staten Island man Eric Garner told officers “I can’t breathe” 11 times while in a chokehold by Officer Daniel Pantaleo — his last words.

    These words and the protests that followed Garner’s death are the backdrop for “A Small Needful Fact,” a poem by Indiana University professor and poet Ross Gay. The poem drew a wide audience online, garnering thousands of shares on Facebook and Twitter. Gay, whose book “Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude” was published by the University of Pittsburgh Press this year, said the poem was based on a fact about Garner that he read in an obituary.

    Much of the press surrounding Garner has focused on the violence of his death, while the poem puts a needed spotlight on his life, Gay said. “What that poem, I think, is trying to do is to say, there’s this beautiful life, which is both the sorrow and the thing that needs to be loved,” he said.

    A Small Needful Fact
    Is that Eric Garner worked
    for some time for the Parks and Rec.
    Horticultural Department, which means,
    perhaps, that with his very large hands,
    perhaps, in all likelihood,
    he put gently into the earth
    some plants which, most likely,
    some of them, in all likelihood,
    continue to grow, continue
    to do what such plants do, like house
    and feed small and necessary creatures,
    like being pleasant to touch and smell,
    like converting sunlight
    into food, like making it easier
    for us to breathe.

    Ross Gay is a poet, professor at Indiana University and author of the collection “Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude.”

    Jul 28, 2015

    Who's Afraid of Black Indians?, a SkyBlue article by Chi Sherman

    This is the SkyBlue article, which previewed her July 29 visit to the Eiteljorg Museum::

    Who's Afraid of Black Indians? 

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    Jul 27, 2015

    Book fair opportunity Oct. 17 at Greenwood Public Library

    From Greenwood Public Library:

    Greenwood Public Library will be holding an author fair on Oct. 17th 2015, from 2-4 pm.  We are seeking authors who would be interested in participating.  The library would provide a table at no charge.  Authors would be responsible for creating any displays or decorating and selling their own books.  If think you might like to participate, please reply to this message and further information will be forthcoming.  If you have any questions, please feel free to ask.  You may also contact Valerie Moore by email at vmoore@greenwoodlibrary.us, or either of us by phone at 885-5036.

    IU prof discusses poetry as a weapon by militant Islamist groups

    From Biz.news.com

    A new weapon of militant Islamist groups is … poetry?

    In the West, the pen is ‘mightier than the sword’. In the East, the pen and the sword ‘are one’. Islamist extremists probably have no idea they are tapping into ancient Eastern wisdom with their latest recruitment tool – poetry. Given the barbarism behind these groups’ activities, it can seem like a hideous oxymoron and torture of language even to talk of their words as they attempt to glorify violence, savagery and death as ‘poetry’. Here, Prof Asma Afsaruddin, chair of the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures at Indiana University, Bloomington, looks at the literary tradition militant Islamist groups are appropriating for, as she succinctly puts it, ‘their own inglorious ends’ . They are increasingly turning to poetry, using the richness beauty and mesmerising effects of the Arabic language to lure young men into their ranks. Not surprisingly, I haven’t read any ‘poetry’ emanating from these sources that approximates anything close to memorable literature. – Marika Sboros

    Islamic militants
    Picture: YouTube

    The Conversation – Militant Islamist groups have a number of strategies for recruiting vulnerable young men to their cause. They produce videostap into social media andwrite fiery pamphlets with overblown rhetoric.
    But they’re also increasingly turning to poetry: with its rich vocabulary, the Arabic language lends itself easily to rhyme and rhythm, which can have a mesmerizing effect.
    Poetry is also deeply ingrained in pre-Islamic and Islamic Arab culture, and it’s this literary tradition that contemporary militants hope to mine as they attempt to lure new members into their ranks.
    The tone and tenor of militant poetry mirrors verses from the period known as the Jahiliyya, in Arabic, which refers to the era before the rise of Islam in the seventh century.
    Pre-Islamic tribes often had their own special poet – a sha‘ir, in Arabic – who was believed to be endowed with magical verbal powers, and whose poetic virtuosity could be used to defend tribal honour. Their poems sought to vilify the enemy, while praising and lifting the spirits of their own tribes.

    Jul 22, 2015

    Call for collaborative poetry (ISFPC members only)

    The following is from a blog by the Indiana State Federation of Poetry Clubs. Complete website info is here: http://www.isfpc.org/blog/join-in-a-collaborative-poem

    A callout to all ISFPC Members from Mary Couch, Premiere Poet:

    For our Fall Rendezvous this year, we have the pleasure of Joyce Brinkman as one of our guest presenters doing a program on Collaborative Poetry. 

    Joyce and I have decided to do a collaborative poem with the ISFPC Membership prior to the Rendezvous to be read on Friday night as a taste of what can be accomplished by a group of poets. (This poem may also be part of the Bicentennial Birthday Book that Brick Street Poetry is preparing for 2016) 

    If you are interested in being part of this poem (whether you are attending Rendezvous or not), please send your name and email to either Joyce Brinkman at joycebrinkman@yahoo.com or Mary Couch atmacouchpoet@att.net  no later than July 31st. Once we have a list of those wishing to participate, we will send you the information as to the theme, form  and where your part in the poem will be located. This should be a fun project and also give everyone an inkling as what to expect on Saturday when Joyce presents her program.  

    Thanks to everyone who wants to join in the project.

    IndyGo and poetry

    The following article appeared on WFYI's website on July 21, 2015. The implication for poets and/or spoken-word artists is murky. Details are lacking on how they can participate. Note: I made the fifth paragraph bold for emphasis.

    IndyGo On-Board With Art

    Could a poem appear in this space?
    Using public spaces to engage people in the arts is the goal of IndyGo’s new Art in Transit program.  Over the next decade IndyGo will partner with the Arts Council of Indianapolis finding and funding art pieces that connect transit and culture.
    Bryan Luellen, IndyGo director of public affairs, says IndyGo wants to take advantage of its current growth with projects that will make a mark.  
    "We’re building infrastructure and we want to demonstrate to the community that we want to use this infrastructure to both transport people and make an impact on the community." said Luellen.
    Luellen says the program will explore alternative art projects like performance as well as traditional ones like murals.  
    "It could be spoken poetry, it could be written poetry," explained Luellen, "the Arts Council has been doing a great job over the past couple years to really double down in their commitment to all types of art, not just visual art."
    Earlier this month, the IndyGo board of directors approved $500,000 in transit advertising revenue for the initiative.  There are also plans to apply for local and national grant funds to support the program. 

    Jul 15, 2015

    A brief history of the Indiana Poet Laureate

    INDIANAPOLIS – You don’t have to rhyme your words to be the state’s next poet laureate.
    But you do have to travel near and far, as a modern day bard, promoting the values of verse.
    That and perhaps be willing to risk a little disrespect from the legislative body that created the job in the first place.
    If you let me explain, it will cause you no pain.
    Last week the Indiana Arts Commission issued a call for Indiana's next official poet laureate, to be named in January, and invited anyone to submit a nomination.
    The two-year gig is currently filled by George Kalamaras, an English professor with a wonderful, web-based magazine, The Wabash Watershed.
    The site offers an online tutorial on Indiana poets, a chronicle of Kalamaras' lyrical tours of the state and details of his poetry contest whose winners get a prize paid from the small stipend that comes with the title of laureate.
    An added bonus are videos of his at-home poetry readings with his beagle, Bootsie, in tow.
    “I want my poems to say welcome, welcome, welcome,” Kalmaras says, noting the universal appeal of a poetry-loving dog.
    He's the state's fourth official poet laureate.
    The first was Joyce Brinkman, a longtime lover of politics and poetry who served in the General Assembly for a decade.
    In her tenure, she closed the legislative session by reading poetry written in homage to retiring lawmakers. When she left the Legislature, she was declared poet laureate by affirmation of her colleagues.
    She was flattered but underwhelmed. For decades, lawmakers handed out the title willy nilly.
    “It would just happen when anybody had a whim to do it,” she said.
    Brinkman brought some rhythm and rhyme to the process.
    In 2005, she convinced legislators to pass a law turning over the task of selecting the poet laureate to the Arts Commission. And she got them to attach this mission to the title: To advance the appreciation of poetry statewide.
    Her successors - all well regarded, published poets - have done so in impressive ways.
    One of them, Norbert Krapf, pushed for collaboration among poets, artists and musicians. With courage and candor, he wrote poetry about the sexual abuse he suffered, while growing up in southern Indiana, at the hands of a Catholic priest.
    Another poet, Karen Kovacik, traveled the state to boost the Poetry Out Loud program, urging high school students to give voice to poetry they loved. She came up with a humorously titled blog, No More Corn, to feature accomplished poets who’ve sprung from this farm-fields-filled state.
    Kalamaras has carried on the tradition of making poetry feel relevant. His latest contest invited people to write about history and social justice, and what those notions mean to them as Hoosiers.
    At this year's Arts Day at the Statehouse – when advocates hope to convince lawmakers of the importance of the arts in Indiana – Kalamaras was invited to address the General Assembly with a poem.
    He’d picked “Gray Barn Rising”, a poem so clearly about Indiana which begins, “Somewhere inside me, a gray barn is rising.”
    Only, the reading didn’t happen.
    He was crowded out by other legislative business, his poetry slammed.
    “They forgot about him,” Brinkman said.
    She wants to make sure Indiana doesn’t forget its need for a poet laureate. She asked me to make sure I direct readers to the Indiana Arts Commission's website - www.in.gov/arts - for details on how the next one will be picked.
    The choice likely will be a published poet, with a depth of experience in educational program development. But, Brinkman insists, the title isn’t meant to be exclusionary.
    “My feeling is that everybody can be a poet,” she said. “We’re the only creatures that write. We are the scribes of the world.”

    Maureen Hayden covers the Indiana Statehouse for CNHI's newspapers and websites. Reach her atmhayden@cnhi.com. Follow her on Twitter @MaureenHayden

    Indiana Authors Award 2015

    From the Eugene and Marilyn Glick  Indiana Authors Award website:

    Poets Marianne Boruch and Adrian Matejka to receive national and regional awards from Library Foundation, three Emerging Author finalists selected

    INDIANAPOLIS — For the first time, two poets have been selected as winners of the Indiana Authors Award. Purdue University professorMarianne Boruch is the winner of the $10,000 National Author prize given by the 2015 Eugene & Marilyn Glick Indiana Authors Award.Adrian Matejka, Lilly Professor/Poet-in-Resident at Indiana University-Bloomington, has been named the Regional Author winner, earning him a $7,500 prize. The National and Regional winners, along with finalists in the Emerging Author category, will be honored at the seventh-annual Indiana Authors Award Dinner on October 10, 2015, at the Central Library in Indianapolis.

    “I am grateful to be invited into the company of previous Indiana Authors Award winners such as Susan Neville, Barbara Shoup, Michael Martone, Helen Frost and many others,” said Boruch. “Thanks to the late Eugene and Marilyn Glick for bringing attention to writing and reading as an art and act of courage and invention, and for honoring the ancient notion of the library —  a lightning bolt and beloved storage unit for human culture.”

    Marianne Boruch
    This annual award program recognizes Indiana authors’ contributions to the literary landscape in Indiana and across the nation. The Eugene & Marilyn Glick Indiana Authors Award is a program of The Indianapolis Public Library Foundation and is funded through the generosity of The Glick Fund, a fund of Central Indiana Community Foundation.

    Award nominations were submitted from across the state in early spring. Any published writer who was born in Indiana or has lived in Indiana for at least five years was eligible. An eight-member, statewide Award Panel selected the National and Regional winners and the three Emerging Author finalists from the pool of publicly nominated authors.

    National Author – $10,000 prize: A writer with Indiana ties, but whose work is known and read throughout the country. National authors are evaluated on their entire body of work. This award recipient will also designate a $2,500 grant for the public library of his or her choosing.
    2015 winner: Marianne Boruch

    Adrian Matejka
    Regional Author – $7,500 prize: A writer who is well-known and respected throughout the state of Indiana. Regional authors were evaluated on their entire body of work. This award recipient will also designate a $2,500 grant for the public library of his or her choosing.
    2015 winner: Adrian Matejka

    Emerging Author – $5,000 prize: A writer who has published no more than two books during his/her lifetime. The title(s) must have been published within the last 10 years. Emerging authors were evaluated on these specific works. The award recipient will designate a $2,500 grant for the public library of his or her choosing. The Emerging Author winner will be named at the Oct. 10 Award Dinner.

    The only other poets to win Indiana Authors Awards are Norbert Krapf (Regional 2014), Miocah Ling (Emerging 2011), and helen Frost (Regional 2011).

    Note that the Emerging Artist Award will be announced later. One of the finalists, Skila Brown, specializes in novels in verse.

    Skila Brown
    BrownSkila Brown is the author of “Caminar,” a novel in verse set in 1981 Guatemala, about a boy who survives the massacre of his village and must decide what being a man during a time of war really means. Forthcoming books include the picture book “Slickety Quick: Poems About Sharks” and the verse novel “To Stay Alive: Mary Ann Graves and the Tragic Journey of the Donner Party,” all from Candlewick Press. She holds an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts. She grew up in Kentucky and Tennessee, lived for a bit in Guatemala, and now resides with her family in Indiana.
    For more information, visit www.skilabrown.com.

    Jul 9, 2015

    Seeking Submissions: Poetic Portions. Deadline Aug. 15, 2015.

    This message from Norma Gardner:
    Norma Gardner and Mary Godsey editors of…
    "Poetic Portions"
    We are now accepting submissions of 4 to 5 poems for Poetic Portions to be published by Raindrop Press.

    Send poems that best represent you as a poet.

    There is no specific theme.  Rhymed and free verse and all forms and styles will be considered.  Simultaneous submissions and previously published poems are acceptable. (Please indicate the publication for proper credit.)   Send immediate notice of a poem under simultaneous submission becoming unavailable.  The author retains all future rights to poems following publication.  Payment is one contributor copy.
    We accept submissions by postal mail or electronically by e-mail.  Paste each poem into the body of the e-mail.  Always type your name, address, phone, E-mail address at the top of each page.  E-mail your submission to njgardner2@att.net  and godseymary@att.net  You may also send via postal mail to:  Attn: Norma Gardner, PO Box 664, Greenwood, IN 46123. Always keep a copy of your work.  Deadline for submitting to our launching edition is August 27, 2015.
    Please forward this message to
    anyone  who writes poetry.