You thought I meant poetry readings, I’m sure, and yes, we will talk dirty to you in bookstores, classrooms, cafés, and other marginal spaces, for little or no compensation. But at the moment I’m referring to another kind of freebie. The wheel of the year has turned and it’s time to get Feral for National Poetry Month. At the prompting of verse alchemist Susan Rich I’m participating in The BIG POETRY GIVEAWAY (follow the link if you’d like to give away some books yourself). As she says in her invitation:
“Anyone with a blog can giveaway 2 books of poems. Anyone with an email address can enter any or all of the giveaways. Yes, poetry is that easy! You can give it away and you can also sign-up to receive it! You don’t need a blog to participate, you just need to visit different participating blogs.”
The two books I’ll be giving away at the beginning of May are my most recent poetry collection, The Receptionist and Other Tales, and Janet McAdams’ 2007 book Feral. Both have a slipstream vibe, occupying the littoral zone at the edge of speculative fiction. I like to call the long poem “The Receptionist” a feminist fantasy campus novella in terza rima; it’s followed by shorter poems involving revenants, hallucinations, zombie apocalypse, and other alarming lyric materializations.
Feral explores another kind of wildness—tales of feral children—although Janet McAdams also populates this intensely lyric book with fish girls, polar explorers, and others who hover between worlds. McAdams is a brilliant writer who teaches at Kenyon College in Ohio; other equally fabulous books include her novel Red Weather and her first poetry collection, The Island of Lost Luggage. She founded the Earthworks series for indigenous poetry at Salt Press.
If you’d like a chance to win these books, leave a comment below that includes a way to reach you. At the end of April I’ll develop some magical randomizing process for choosing a name. Like any of the participating bloggers, I’ll cover postage to any place in the universe. Here’s a teaser from Janet’s book.
What She Will Sing to You
My mother cast into the wave that nudged my birth
and I finned out with a slime-covered flipper
and learned a different kind of love:
this dorsal fin could cut you through like a razor.
You will learn to breathe here after all. Over these joined legs
are two fat breasts and a mouth, soft and open. A tongue to wrap
around the words I might whisper, through water, salt water.
Sailor, you can learn to breathe here. Come down, come
down. I was never human, not your fairy tale. I will teach you more
than breathing. I will make your body ache open with salt pleasure.
The work wants to be made
Writing from both sides of the brain
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I imbibe words and consume past minds. As a result, I often awake next to strange sentences and forgotten meanings.
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