friday roundup: new ventures, poetic adultery, and “love leaking out unguarded”

Hestery Prynne, that famous literary adulteress. When it comes to poetry, I am guilty as charged.

Hestery Prynne, that famous literary adulteress. When it comes to poetry, I am guilty as charged.

Happy Friday, Reader. It’s a cool, grey day in the P-town. We need rain, so everyone is hoping for that. Meanwhile, I fear my children are becoming Californians: Mom, will you drive me to school today in case it rains? Um, no. But Papa is a softie and did agree to give a lift to Eldest on his way out of town.  My parting words: “Take your rain jacket with you because you’re walking home.” His reply, “I know, Mom, I know (insert heavy sigh here).”

Now for the roundup:

new ventures  I was excited to find out about two new poetic ventures this week. The first is a new journal that Kelly Davio and Joe Ponepinto are launching, the Tahoma Literary Review, a journal of short fiction and poetry. As Kelly writes on her blog:

Tahoma Literary Review isn’t just another literary magazine project. We’re not following the existing publishing, editing, or business models, but are trying a new approach altogether. We took time to truly listen to writers’ and readers’ wants and concerns as we planned  TLR, and took time to consider how we might reframe the discussion about what functions a journal should serve.

To read more about this new venture, and the specific ways in which TLR is not just another lit mag, go here.

In other news, Two Sylvias Press is opening soon for its first chapbook contest. After having read Two Sylvias’ e-anthology Fire on Her Tongue, I’m looking forward to seeing what else they’ll put out in the world through this contest. Details are here.

poetic adultery  This is just a quote from Vera Pavlova that seems very apropos to my life right now, and maybe to some of your lives as well:

Poetry should be written the way adultery is committed: on the run, on the sly, during the time not accounted for. And then you come home, as if nothing ever happened.

~ Vera Pavlova

love leaking out unguarded  Well, you’ve probably heard by now that Maxine Kumin passed away yesterday. It feels like a lot of poetic giants are passing from the earth these days, no? (Denise Levertov, or as I like to think of her, D-Lev, has a poem about this from back in her day: here it is). One of my favorite pieces of writing about writing is Kumin’s foreword to The Complete Poems of Anne Sexton. If you’ve never read it, go get you some.

I read once that before a journal agreed to publish one of Kumin’s early poems, they required her husband to vouch, in writing, that she had indeed written it herself. Can we just say we’ve come a long way (#virginiaslimsmoment), but maybe not far enough yet because that was only about 50 years ago.

At any rate, when I first began to study poetry seriously, Kumin’s poem “Family Reunion” made an impression on me for the subtlety of emotion it communicates — that poignant love of a parent for her adult children — and for its beautiful language.

Here it is.

Happy Friday, and thanks for reading! And don’t forget to send me your favorite bad poem — or if “bad” seems too drastic, let’s say “less-successful.” Details here.

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