Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Wick Poetry Center 2012 Open Chapbook Competition

My dad used to say ‘Super!’ – I suppose he stole it from the hipsters of his day, and once your cool word is co-opted by the p-units, it’s not as shiny. But somehow that word has made it into our jargon du jour, and there’s so much reason to use it.

Thank you Kent State Press and judge Kathleen Flenniken for selecting my prose poem manuscript [working title] I Left My Wings on a Chair. It is a huge honor to be in such prestigious company of writers, and I so look forward to meeting Judge Kathleen. The chap will be in hand in spring 2013.  

As if that weren’t enough happiness, the reading for this contest will coincide with Wick Poetry Center’s 30th anniversary in fall 2014, including three days of poetry by past judges and authors, and next year’s contest judge Mark Doty. Since I went through the Northeast Ohio Master of Fine Arts, I know many of the good people who run this wonderful foundation, and I’m thrilled they’ve been turning the wheel for thirty years. During my MFA, I was awarded a Wick fellowship to Bisbee, Arizona, where we were hosted by sculptor and benefactor Bob Wick. Through workshops, scholarships, fellowships, publications and readings, the Wick program is a place where poetry connects with the message of peace, and the idea that we’re all in this together. That poetry matters.

I also want to thank Conte for including my poem "My Song Springs" in their latest issue, available here. Check out the whole issue, and past issues too. It’s a delight, and I’m so happy to be in it.

And while I have you on the line, if you’re anywhere near Cleveland, I hope you can make it to see Vaughn Wascovich’s incredible images of the bridges of Cleveland at the new Transformer Station. The building itself is a lesson in repurposing and protecting historical structures, right in the heart of vibrant Ohio City, in the thick of reinventing itself. Award winning Wascovich took the images with a pin hole camera he made, and then he messed around with the developing process so they’re visually textured and so beautiful. Open-mouth beautiful. 

It was great to see Vaughn, whom I met at Texas A&M-Commerce when I was there a few years ago as a visiting writer. He’s one of those guys who laughs like he means it, and he’s a professional hugger, too. He’s a local boy, originally, and we’re all proud. His friends are a kick; we all hung out over draughts of Guinness at one of those great old bars on W. 25th.

On top of all that, last night’s terrific discussion with poet Karen Kotrba on her collected She Who is Like a Mare, and tomorrow’s classroom visit with poet Nin Andrews. I would have to say this week is super. Just super.

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