(Just kidding with that first post... let me try again.)
Greetings, Lieblings. Just over a week ago I attended (for the third year in a row) the West Chester University Poetry Conference. For those who are less familiar with this conference, it is an gathering of poets in America who write in (or with attention paid to) traditional forms, regular meters, and rhyme. There are readings and workshops and one-day seminars and all sorts of productions offered to participants. The directors have also built into the program ample time for socializing, for hobnobbing, for getting to know a little better people you perhaps have only ever known from afar. Some of the names of the faculty or presenters might ring familiar to BAP readers, as they have been featured here as guest or permanent bloggers-- Moira Egan, H.L. Hix, Ernest Hilbert, David Yezzi, Amy Lemmon, Lisa Williams, etcetera and beyond.
Here is a two-part video I made the last night of the conference. Below the videos, you will find links to either the poet's books or their websites. I encourage everyone to visit them and seek out some of this old-fangled poetry we've been hearing so little about about...
*A note on the video-- it was very loud in that Holiday Inn conference room. I had to get way up in people's faces. Sometimes tops of heads get cut off. C'est ma faute, yo.
I'm the Joan Rivers of the American Formalist Red Carpet.
Also, I CLEARLY have an annoying laugh.
Part The First:
Part The Second:
List of and Links to people interviewed in the video on the next page...
From time to time an idea, like a thorn from a pyracantha shurb, works its spinous barb underneath my skin. And much like the ensuing allergic reaction to the fireweed, the consequence of the idea burrowing into my brain is an itch. An itch that must be scratched.
Several years ago, I went on a sonnet kick. I gave myself the goal of writing 100 sonnets in a year (did it).
This itch ain't half as classy as that one.
If you know me, then you know that I love me some puns. Don't we all? Punning is the most joyful of all the word plays. At its best, it's clever and sincere. At its worst, it's ribald or saucy or silly. These are all qualities that I admire and, if I can be so frank to admit this, strive for.
I have given myself the assignment of coming up with 500 puns in the next year. I will post some of them here.
I will do my best to cover new ground,but if I invent for myself a pun that's already been turned-- mea culpa. I just want it to be clear I'm not googling for them.
As of today, day 2 of my discipline, I've come up with five.
Here are puns 6, 7, 8.
Thank you in advance for putting up with me.
6. Why were the curds late for the gala ball?
Because it took whey too long to get dressed.
7. Why wouldn't the jack-in-the-box pop up when the boy turned the handle?
Because it was cranky. (Ok, this one was lame.)
8. "Papa, this Hawaiian food tastes like cyanide!"
Though Craig himself has not been recovered, the amazing expert trackers of 1SRG have been able to make themselves and us certain of what has become of Craig. His trail indicates that after sustaining a leg injury, Craig fell from a very high and very dangerous cliff and there is virtually no possibility that Craig could have survived that fall. Chris will pursue what he can about getting specialists to go down into the place we know Craig is so we can bring him home, but it is very, very dangerous and we are not yet completely certain what that will require. The only relief in this news is that we do know exactly what befell Craig, and we can be fairly certain that it was very quick, and that he did not wait or wonder or suffer.
I cannot express again the profound gratitude I feel to everyone who has loved and honored Craig with their goodwill, their immense efforts and energy, and their overwhelming generosity. I believe that where he is, Craig knows.
There will be further occasion to celebrate Craig, and when I know more I will post it.
For my part, I love Craig beyond the telling of it and will always love him as immeasurably, as enduringly, as steadfastly and as unconditionally as I do now and have done these past six years. In leaving our family Craig, in a manner absolutely characteristic of his own vast generosity and capacity to inspire, brought us all closer together than we perhaps have ever been. I feel his presence, loving and understanding and funny and deeply feeling, at all times. I hope you do, too.
Today is Ash Wednesday. This you can deduce from the people walking up and down the avenues all smudged on their foreheads looking Lynette Fromme-ey (it's a mark of contrition, not a show of Manson Family solidarity, Folks). It is the day that many Western Christians begin the the great fast of Lent. Lent is a time of abstinence, a period of reflection, a season of meditation on our need for a savior. It's when we are called to recall that we are all but ash, and it is to the ashes that we shall return.
If the thought of that bums you out, then remember: it's supposed to.
Many practicing Christians make sacrifices during Lent. The sacrifice is intended to leave a hole, a vacuum that you are then supposed to invite the holy awe of God and all His mercies to enter into. Some people give up a favorite food-- chocolate, meat, sweets of all kinds, liquor. Other Christians give up habits. One Lent I made it a priority to refrain from backbiting. That was hard to do, and I'm not even all that much of a snarly bitch. Sometimes, it's not a tangible that is given up, but rather a practice that is taken on-- daily prayer, charity work, eucharistic devotion.
This year, I am giving up something for Lent that I'd be embarrassed to tell you about, if I didn't know that many of you did it already TOO.
A catalogue of who I got to see, talk to, drink with, grope, fondle, praise...
(Thursday-Sunday, in no particular order.)
Jessica Piazza, Reb Livingston, David McDonald, Amy Lemmon, Kim Addonizio, David Yezzi, Ernie Hilbert, Dan Nester, Jehanne DuBrow, Laura Van Prooyen, The Barrelhouse Boys (Dave Housely, Aaron Pease, Mike Ingram, Matt Kirkpatrick, Dan Brady), Tod Goldberg, Evie Shockley, Craig Arnold, Van Jordan, Bruce Snider, Josh Rivkin, Mark McKee, Alex Lemon, Lynn Domina, Mike Peich, Anne Bayse, Rebecca Wee, Bruce Covey, Ken Rumble, Lee Ann Roripaugh, Brent Goodman, Steven Schroeder, Olena Kalytiak Davis, Eric Bourland, Amy Guth, Carly Sachs, Lea Graham, James Arthur, Rauan Klassnik, PF Potvin, Susan Sommers-Willet, Ian Stanssel, Kyle Semmel, Tarfiah Faizullah, Allison Amend, Jane Hertenstein, Jill Baumgaertner, Sandra Beasley, Scott Cairns, Barbara Crooker, Paul Shepherd, Hugh Behm-Steinberg, TA Noonan, Danielle Pafunda, Lara Glernum, Ravi Shankar, Cody Todd, Nicky Schildkraut, Bill Coyle, Jill Rosser, and surely a hundred other people I am totally leaving off the list.