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A detail from Cyanotypes of British Algae by Anna Atkins (1843), courtesy of the Public Domain Review

Open Alphabet recently shared a short interview with Carey McHugh which covers everything from the daily writing practice to Robert Frank to rejection in one condensed form.

Open Alphabet: How did you come to poetry? At what point did you know you were a poet?

Carey McHugh: I distinctly remember, at age seven, receiving a rejection letter for a poem I had submitted to Highlights Magazine. This was the beginning of rejection, and so, perhaps the beginning of true poethood.

Head over to their website to read the interview in full and for more conversations with first-book poets.

More of Carey McHugh:

Author page

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tail

There are little words
that can fit in little places
if you say them small enough.

To fit a song into a pore
you have to be prepared
for the day it will sweat.

If words could stick on people,
if spoken, they would become
a different creature.

Blinded and you’re turned
five times around. Nothing
in you knows what it knew.

It’s the best part of the game:
Prick the girls you like best
while pinning on the donkey’s tail.

Arisa White is a Cave Canem fellow, an MFA graduate from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and is the author of the chapbooks Disposition for Shininess and Post Pardon. With funding from the City of Oakland, Post Pardon was adapted into an opera. Her full-length collections Hurrah’s Nest and A Penny Saved were published in 2012. Her debut collection, Hurrah’s Nest, won the 2012 San Francisco Book Festival Award and was nominated for a 44th NAACP Image Award, the 82nd California Book Awards, and the 2013 Wheatley Book Awards. Member of the PlayGround writers’ pool, her play Frigidare was staged for the 15th Annual Best of PlayGround Festival. One of the founding editors of HER KIND, an online literary community powered by VIDA: Women in Literary Arts, Arisa has received residencies, fellowships, or scholarships from Headlands Center for the Arts, Port Townsend Writers’ Conference, Rose O’Neill Literary House, Squaw Valley Community of Writers, Hedgebrook, Atlantic Center for the Arts, Prague Summer Program, Fine Arts Work Center, and Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. She is a 2013-14 recipient of an Investing in Artist Grant from the Center for Cultural Innovation, which funded the dear Gerald project, a regional representative for Nepantla: A Journal Dedicated to Queer Poets of Color, and a faculty member in the BFA Creative Writing program at Goddard College. Her poetry has been widely published and is featured on the recording WORD with the Jessica Jones Quartet. Arisa is a native New Yorker, living in Oakland, CA, with her wife, Samantha.

More on Arisa White.

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Albert Robida's Leaving the Opera in the Year 2000 (1902), courtesy of the Public Domain Review

Albert Robida’s Leaving the Opera in the Year 2000 (1902), courtesy of the Public Domain Review

The New York City Poetry Festival, now approaching its 5th year running, has become an important and much anticipated event for the poetry community of NYC. Hosted by The Poetry Society of New York, the festival gathers over 200 poets on Governor’s Island for readings and other poetry-related matters.

The festival is normally free for all who attend, including the vendors, poetry organizations, and general public. This is only possible due to the generous donations received from those who can afford to give them.

Unfortunately, there have been significantly less donations this year. And if the fundraising goal of $12,000 isn’t met by May 21st, this could result in the festival being notably scaled back. We therefore encourage all who are able to donate to do so. Please tell your friends and family as well.

To contribute to the the 5th annual New York City Poetry Festival, go to their Kickstarter.

You can also help spread the word through HeadTalker by allowing them to post to your Twitter, Facebook, or Tumblr on your behalf.

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From Owen Jones' Examples of Chinese Ornament (1867), courtesy of the Public Domain Review

From Owen Jones’ Examples of Chinese Ornament (1867), courtesy of the Public Domain Review

Parachute Literary Arts, an organization that celebrates the poetry community of Brooklyn, is hosting Poem-a-Rama on May 8th. The first poetry reading to ever take place on Coney Island’s Wonder Wheel, the event will feature over fourteen poets from New York City. While riding the wheel, they will read their works related to NYC, and more specifically, to Coney Island. The reading will serve as a benefit for Parachute Literary Arts’ writing workshops and for poetry libraries in the area.

Among the writers participating in Poem-a-Rama are Amber Atiya, Patricia Spear Jones, Ian Dreiblatt, Jen Fitzgerald, and Michael Broder. There will also be a performance by Soozee Hwang & The Relastics.

For the complete list of readers, visit Parachute Literary Arts’ website.

Tickets for the event can be purchased here.

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Robert Thornton's Temple of Flora (1807), courtesy of the Public Domain Review

Robert Thornton’s Temple of Flora (1807), courtesy of the Public Domain Review

The Federal Dust Reading Series is holding its twelfth poetry reading on March 27th. Hosted by Matthew Zingg, the event will take place at Litmore in Baltimore, Maryland. Poets being featured during this event include Paige Taggart, Niina Pollari, Michael Morse, and Will Schutt.

Paige Taggart’s poems have been published by Augury friend Joe Pan‘s Brooklyn Arts Press. Joe Pan’s poetry collection is forthcoming from Augury in 2015.

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From Shin-Bijutsukai (1901-1902), courtesy of the Public Domain Review

From Shin-Bijutsukai (1901-1902), courtesy of the Public Domain Review

Augury author Joe Pan will be leading Brooklyn Poets‘ Yawp on March 9th. A monthly event, Yawp consists of a writing workshop at 7 PM, followed by an open mic night at 8. The primary focus for this month’s Yawp will be the evolution of poetry throughout the writing process. It will take place at 61 Local, and admission is $5 for nonmembers.

To learn more about Yawp, visit the Brooklyn Poets website.

Joe Pan’s book, Hiccups, or Autobiomythography II, is forthcoming from Augury Books in 2015.

More on Joe Pan

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Taken at the Poison Pen poetry reading, courtesy of Writespace Houston

Taken at the Poison Pen poetry reading, courtesy of Writespace Houston

Augury Books’ Frances Justine Post recently read for the Poison Pen Reading Series, hosted in Houston, Texas on the 29th of January. Several poets were featured, including Scott Blackwood and Tony Hoagland. Post presented pieces from her most recent collection of poems, BEAST. As Tony was her professor and dissertation director, Justine felt the experience of reading together was “extra special.”

Writespace Houston wrote of Justine’s reading:

Taking us backwards through the book, Post began with the darkest poems and worked her way into the light. Poems like “Hannibal,” seethe with both emotion and devastation. Imagery of a body broken into pieces for eating is juxtaposed with lines like “How does it feel to be an object?” The self-portrait series, of which there are twelve in the book, feature titles like “Self Portrait in the Shadow of a Volcano,” “Self Portrait in the Body of the Whale,” and the poem which features the title of her book, “Self Portrait as Beast.”

Read the full article on January’s Poison Pen Reading Series here.

More on BEAST

 

 

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