Monday, December 10, 2012

Hunger Mountain's 10th Anniversary Issue

Hunger Mountain's 10th Anniversary issue, Labyrinths, is out now and it is gorgeous. It's hard to believe it's been ten years!


The 10 Year Anniversary Feature-Past editors and contributors took ten minutes to write down a list of ten things: birds, sounds, candy bars, things not to eat while reading and more.

Fiction- Kirsten Clodfelter's "How to Prepare for a Disaster"; Pushcart Prize Nominee Emma Komlos-Hrobsky's "Vishnu Floating on the Cosmic Ocean" , Clarence Lai's "Start Here"; Donald Quist's Pushcart Nominated  story and runner-up for the Howard Frank Mosher fiction prize, "The Ghosts of Takahiro Okyo"; and Richard Adams Carey's "Ruby Thursday."

Poetry includes three Pushcart Nominees: Suzanne Parker's "Viral," Jesse Damiani's "Instructions for Discarding Dreams, or How to Be Happy," Kwame Dawes' "The Separation/Retention," the winner of the 2011 Ruth Stone Poetry Prize, Ellen LeFleche's "Mirror, Mirror," and other great pieces.

Pam Houston's NonFiction piece, "Corn Maze," rounds out Hunger Mountain's Pushcart Nominees.

Of course, there is the Young Adult and Children's Literature featuring the Maurice Sendak tribute and the winner of the Katherine Paterson Prize for Young Adult & Children's Writing; a screenplay by R. E Bowse; drawings by Samuel Rowlett and photography by Jen Morris.

Grab a copy here to see who else made the 10th Anniversary Issue!

Be sure to check the site! There's a great tribute to James Baldwin with essays from Kim Dana Kupperman, Robert Vivian, Sion Dayson, Carole K. Harris, John Proctor, Marita Golden, Baron Wormser, and Liz Blood. E. Kristen Anderson brings us The Sci-Fi Children's Lit issue.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Montpelier, Vermont on the Ploughshares Blog

Vermont College of Fine Arts
Montpelier has been getting a lot of press lately for a small town. There's The New York Times article  that just came out in the Travel section, 36 Hours in Montpelier,Vt, and the accompanying slideshow.
My article on Montpelier as a Literary Borough went up on Ploughshares yesterday. For a small town like Montpelier, that is a lot of press-huge press-in a short amount of time.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Books Read in 2006-9/2012

The Fact of a Doorframe: Selective Poems 1950-2001, Adrienne Rich

The Wolf Gift, Anne Rice
Could have skipped this one. Rice seems to have lost her edge.

Mother Was a Tragic Girl, Sandra Simonds

April 2012 POETRY issue

The Sea Is My Brother, Jack Kerouac

Let Them Eat Vegan!, Dreena Burton

Unsinkable: the Full Story of the RMS Titanic, Daniel Allen Butler

Top 10 Cookbooks in My Kitchen

Hunger Mountain 10 year anniversary issue.

(Find the 2011 List Here)
(Find the 2010 List Here)


Sweet! From Agave to Turbinado, Mani Niall

Hate List, Jennifer Brown


Between the Covers: The Book Babes' Guide to a Woman's Reading Pleasures, Ellen Heltzel and Margo Hammond

The Letters of Allen Ginsberg,

Vegan Lunch Box, Jennifer McCann

Persian Girls, Nahid Rachlin

Mamarama: A Memoir of Sex, Kids and Rock 'N Roll, Evelyn McDonald

Emotionally Healthy Twins, Joan A. Friedman

The Second Nine Months: One Woman Tells the Real Truth About Becoming A Mom. Finally., Vicki Glembocki

The Price of Reconciliation, Ronald W. Walters

No Evil Star: Selected Essays, Interviews and Prose of Anne Sexton, Edited by Steven E. Colburn

Dadditude: How a Real Man Became a Real Dad, Phillip Lerman

The Unraveling Archives of Sylvia Plath, Edited by Anita Helle

Pushed: The Painful Truth About Childbirth and Modern Maternity Care, Jennifer Block

Mama, Ph.D.: Women Write About Motherhood and Academic Life, Edited by Caroline Grant and Elrena Evans

The Maternal Is Political, Edited by Sheri McDonald Strong

Healthy Child, Healthy World, Christopher Gavigan

The Liar's Diary, Patry Francis


A Woman In Berlin, Anonymous

Virginia Woolf: An Inner Life, Julia Briggs

Le Divorce, Diane Johnson

The Daring Book For Girls, Andrea Buchanan and Miriam Peskowitz

Lady Chatterley's Lover, D. H. Lawrence

Getting Unstuck Without Becoming Unglued, Susan O'Doherty

What Mothers Do, Especially When It Looks Like Nothing, Naomi Stadlen

The Reincarnationist, M. J. Rose

Mama Knows Breast: A Beginner's Guide to Breastfeeding, Andi Silverman

Death Warmed Over: Funereal Food, Rituals and Customs From Around the World, Lisa Rogak

Deceptively Delicious, Jessica Seinfeld (Recently Reviewed on Mother Talk)

Catherine the Great: Love, Sex and Power, Virginia Rounding

In Which I Catalog Books I Own (2006). Yes, I have read all of them:
My Own Library, part 1
My Own Library, Part 2
My Own Library, Part 3
My Own Library, Part 4
My Own Library, Part 5

Friday, July 20, 2012

Poetry Box Poem in Portland, Oregon

Photo by David Cooke

My poem, "Let's Call This What It Is", previously published in Literary Mama, is part of a Poetry Box display out in Portland, Oregon.

Many thanks to David Cooke!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Poem in Literary Mama

I have a poem in Literary Mama for the June 29th issue....Many thanks to everyone at Literary Mama! 

Check out what they're about here 

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Poems in The Barefoot Review

I have two poems in The Barefoot Review for its Summer 2012 issue. Thanks to the review, and enjoy!

The Barefoot Review is a new online journal exploring "physical difficulties". From the site:

The Barefoot Review publishes original written work by people who have or have had physical difficulties in their lives, from cancer to seizures, Alzheimer's to Lupus. It is also a place for caretakers, families, significant others and friends to write about their experiences and relationships to the person. They are a vital part to being able to live with an illness.

Monday, April 16, 2012

The April 2012 Issue of POETRY

2012 marks Poetry Magazine's 100th anniversary. One way they are commemorating the occasion is using a variation of the iconic Pegasus on the cover of each month's edition. They have also introduced two special sections: From 100 Years & Poets We Have Known.

Since it is National Poetry Month, I wanted to take a look at the April '12 issue. In every issue they have an "In Memoriam" spot on the inside of the front and back covers. This issue is particularly saddening to me because they chose to include two phenomenal poets the poetry community lost, Eleanor Ross Taylor (1920-2011) and Wislawa Szymborska (1923-2012).
I have long read these women's words and have always come back to them at various points in my life. Such sad news to hear of their passing. I imagine Adrienne Rich will hold a strong place in next month's issue.

The issue starts out with their regular feature of poems. A couple that stood out to me were Kathy Nilsson's "Little Ice Age" & "Still Life," Tara Bray's "Numbered," Sandra Simonds' "You Can't Build A Child," and Yusef Komunyakaa's "Snow Tiger" & "Omens."

From the Poetry site on "From 100 Years" & "Poets We've Known":

"In the course of reading poems to include in an upcoming centennial anthology of work from our pages, we found ourselves appreciating more poems than could be included in the book. Throughout the coming year, we will feature selections from past issues that illuminate current content, but won’t appear in The Open Door: One Hundred Poems, One Hundred Years of Poetry Magazine. What follows are poems and letters that dovetail with “Poets We’ve Known.” "

I loved this section. Here, we get to revisit poems spanning from the 30s to the 60s by such greats as Gwendolyn Brooks, Muriel Rukeyser, Howard Nemerov, Geoffrey Hill as well as correspondence from William Empson and Geoffrey Grigson. It's interesting to see how poetry itself has evolved in publishing over such a broad time period. I find the poems from this section to be quite strict in form and language, almost stifling, in comparison to what is being published today.

The issue closes out with their usual Comment section with Sven Birkerts' Emerson's "The Poet"-A Circling and Vera Pavlova's Heaven is Not Verbose: A Notebook, translated by Steven Seymour.

They also have something called "Back Page" where they feature artwork, words, etc., from the past 100 years.

At the site, there is a Discussion Guide concerning this April issue. Check it out.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Poetry, Links & Other Relevant Things

-April is National Poetry Month, in case you didn't know. How are you celebrating?

-Interview with Phayvanh Luekhamhan (Executive Director of Montpelier Alive) talking about Poem City in Montpelier, Vermont. 

-I have a poem at the Kellogg-Hubbard Library for this event. It'll be there all month.

-How To Read Poetry Today, David Kirby, New York Times Sunday Book Review-David takes a look at David Orr's book Beautiful and Pointless: A Guide to Modern Poetry
"The teachers thought that my poem said one thing but meant another, and that it’s the reader’s job to figure out what the poet is really saying. No wonder poetry doesn’t have a bigger audience. All that code cracking. Who has the time? David Orr, that’s who — though in “Beautiful and Pointless,” his new guide to modern poetry, the most important thing he reveals about codes is that there aren’t any."

-The Beauty and Difficulty of poet Nikky Finney

-My guest post is up over at Metre Maids-The Spaces In Which We Write: On Poets' Preferred Writing Spots.
Special thanks to E. Kristin Anderson, and all those who shared their spaces: Patrick Ross, Jill Crammond, Jodi Paloni, Anatoly Molotkov & Michelle Singer.
Check out Metre Maids for new poetic-type content throughout the whole month of April!

My space.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Easter Eggs Dyed Naturally-An Experiment

Last year, we decided to dye our eggs naturally for Easter. It turned out pretty great. In fact, even better than PAAS. Yes, I said it!! The only thing I wish we had done differently is use white eggs instead of the brown.  This was a sort of experiment for me. Feel free to adjust the amount of dyes to your liking.  Start with a dozen eggs, boiled then cooled.

All the dyeing ingredients: Vinegar, Pomegranate Green Tea, Chili powder, Tumeric

Chili Powder
 Two Tbsp. of Chili Powder, three cups warm water, Two Tbsps vinegar. Stir till just boiling and dissolved.
Pomegranate tea
 Here, I used about 11 or 12 bags of tea with three cups of warm water. Add three Tbsp. of vinegar. Stir just till it boils.  This was one of my favorites! It produced such a pretty color.
 I added about two tbsp of tumeric to three cups of warm water. Stir it until it dissolves. Then add three Tbsp of the vinegar. Stir until it just boils.
Eggs soaking in the natural dyes
 Pour the dyes in some sort of glass or stainless steel container-bowls worked for me. I suppose you could also use Mason jars-it would probably be a bit cleaner. Leave them in there to soak for about 20-30 minutes.

Finished Product!
Look at these! The finished product. When the eggs have reached their desired color, stick them back in the carton to dry. Refrigerate till you are ready to use them.

What does this have to do with books, reading, writing, etc.? Nothing, really. Just a fun side track.

There are many ways to dye your eggs naturally. Here is a site for more ideas on what to use for dyes and different processes. Here, too.

Monday, April 09, 2012

Sandra Simonds' Mother Was a Tragic Girl

Mother Was a Tragic Girl
Sandra Simonds
March 6, 2012
Paperback, $15.95
Cleveland State University Poetry Center
ISBN: 978-1-88-0834-96-1
74 pgs.

Sandra Simonds so graciously sent this along.
First impressions:

My daughter saw it on the table, among a growing pile of books, and exclaimed: "Mom! Turn that book over! It's yucky!" Hey, she's seven. She just says whatever she thinks. The cover is a piece by Ivan Albright-Into the World There Came a Soul Named Ida-it's housed at the Art Institute of Chicago.

I first came across Simonds' work in Poetry a few years ago-Landscape Made From Egg and Sperm, specifically-and became hooked because of the language (it's always the language or images). There was something else, too, as I read more of her work-a coarseness, a brash kind of  "yeah, I said it, so what" attitude.

The poems in the book are urgent, but not in the I-need-to-get-them-out-now! sort of way. More of I-have-so-much-to-say-and-I-don't-know-if-it'll-fit-on-just-one-page! type of thing. In other words: wordy and wandering, yet precise, somewhat contained, breathless. They are by no means "traditional," yet they have shape, they are real; they are rooted in real life.

Great titles-these made me say, YES, that's it- "Used White Wife", "DNA Woven From Lasers in the Jungle" ,"Solipsism as Maternal Instinct" , "You  Can't Build a Child" (in the current Poetry-April '12).

The book is divided into three parts: Beehive; Strays, A Love Story; Made From Scratch. Interesting note on Strays: A Love Story-it's composed of about twelve parts, some of those in acrostic form using lines from George Oppen and William Blake.

See more at:
Sandra Simonds' website
Mother Was a Tragic Girl

Thursday, April 05, 2012


I'm always reading something! Most likely, several things at once. In honor of Adrienne Rich, I wanted to revisit The Fact of a Doorframe: Selected Poems 1950-2001.

The Wolf Gift came in at the library. I doubt I will finish this in the two week check out time frame. I do hope it is good, though. I can't remember the last great Anne Rice book I read.

Still working through this list.

Sandra Simonds. I just got a copy of her book, Mother Was a Tragic Girl (thanks for sending that along!). I first came across Sandra in POETRY, I think, a few years ago. I was so caught by the way she used language and the way she made motherhood so accessible.

Last thing is the April 2012 Poetry Magazine. Since it's National Poetry Month, there is a special discussion guide.

I've been making my rounds in town for Poem City as well-poems everywhere!

Within the next few weeks, I'll be posting a full review of POETRY Magazine and Sandra Simonds' book. Hopefully, some pictures of Poem City events too!

Monday, April 02, 2012

PoemCity'12 Poem Displayed at Kellogg-Hubbard Library

"The Last Pregnancy" at the Kellogg-Hubbard Library for PoemCity'12

The Last Pregnancy

Couldn't name it.
Nothing more than molecules,
Clustered, on the screen.
It couldn't be anything more.
Still, the tenderness came,
Wanted or not,
And a particular craving
Immediate and intense.
After a time, it all quickly faded:
The tenderness.
The craving.
The Baby.

(Please do not reprint without permission)

Monday, March 26, 2012

PoemCity 2012, Celebrating National Poetry Month in Montpelier, Vermont

PoemCity2012 (previously PoetryAlive!) will be happening this April in celebration of National Poetry Month in conjunction with the Kellogg-Hubbard Library, Vermont College of Fine Arts, Montpelier Alive and several other local businesses.

They will have exhibits, a full text display of nearly 200 poets throughout town at various stores, readings, workshops and poetry related events the entire month of April. All events are open to the public and free of charge. You can find a list of events and other information here.

I am pleased to have a poem at the Kellogg-Hubbard library!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

New Books In (March '12)

The Sea Is My Brother, Jack Kerouac-The Long Lost Novel.
(Da Capo Press)
Just out earlier this month (march 6), this book has garnered lots of press already. I'm looking forward to reading this.

Let Them Eat Vegan!, Dreena Burton
(Da Capo Press)
Great looking book inside and out! Great place to start if you're just getting into veganism. She breaks everything down into very simple terms in the introduction.  There's also a metric conversion chart in the back, great tutorial on cooking beans, a whole section on smoothies and much more.

"Unsinkable" : the full story of the RMS Titanic, Daniel Allen Butler
(DaCapo Press)
This was originally published in 1998 by Stackpole Books and DaCapo will release this edition with a new forward and postscript April 15. Just in time for the 100 anniversary of the sinking of The Titanic.

I have mixed feelings about this upcoming anniversary. They are re-releasing the movie Titanic in 3-D this April (Warning: Music on that site). There's even an offer to sail on a Titanic Memorial Cruise. I have always loved reading about The Titanic-the history of it, what transpired to its ultimate fate, but  the cruise is kind of strange to me. True to our current culture, it is so commercial-a huge moneymaker. If you want to know more about The Titanic, read the book :)

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Hunger Mountain at AWP Chicago

Hunger Mountain, the VCFA journal of the arts, will be at Association of Writer's & Writing Programs-Chicago this year! Look for Editor Miciah Bay Gault with the VCFA crew at booth #417. Are you going? Stop by and say hello!

Follow Hunger Mountain (Twitter , Facebook) &  Vermont College of Fine Arts  (Facebook & Twitter) for updates and pictures!

Here is a list of AWP Panels With Vermont College of Fine Arts Alumni and/or Faculty

Patrick Ross (VCFA MFA student)  will also be tweeting &  posting "AWP Nuggets" on his blog.

Edited to add:

Patrick's first AWP post is up!

Caitlin Leffel (VCFA alumnae) is blogging at the VCFA blog, 36 College Street!

Erika Anderson @ErikaOnFire is blogging events at AWP-follow her!

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Writing Prompt From the Hunger Mountain Essay, Corn Maze by Pam Houston

There is a fantastic essay over at Hunger Mountain-Corn Maze by Pam Houston-on the dividing line between fiction and creative nonfiction.

Within this essay is a very simple, to the point writing prompt. Read the essay first to see what context it is in, then see what you can do with the prompt:

 "Write down all of the things out in the world that have arrested your attention lately, that have glimmered at you in some resonant way. Set them next to each other. See what happens."

Sunday, January 29, 2012

The Top 10 Cookbooks I Use In My Kitchen

I love to cook and bake. I love being in the kitchen and making something delicious from scratch. There have always been those basic cookbooks to work from; then there are the specialty cookbooks that are so much fun. Then, there are those specialty magazines that come out in the fall and winter holidays: Fall Baking, Holiday Baking, Christmas Cookies  from Better Homes  & Gardens and Taste of Home. So yummy! Great if you want to indulge a bit!

Is ten too many cookbooks for one to have? The fact that this is the Top Ten implies that I have more. Yes, I have more, but not that many more. Probably.

How many, and which ones, do you use on a regular basis?

-Better Homes & Gardens New Cookbook, 14th Edition (2006)

-Betty Crocker New Edition (2005)

-The New Basics Cookbook, Julie Russo & Sheila Lukins (1989)

-Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker Cookbook, Beth Hensperger (2004)

-Make It Fast, Cook It Slow, Stephanie O' Dea (2009)

-Spanish Cooking, Parragon Books (2004)

-How To Cook Everything Vegetarian, Mark Bittman (2007)

-Wildly Affordable Organic, Linda Watson (2011)

-Better Homes & Gardens New Cookbook, 9th Edition (1981)

-Anjum's Eat Right For Your Body Type: the Super-Healthy Detox Diet Inspired by Ayurveda, Anjum Anand (2011)

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Books I Read in 2011

LIFE, Keith Richards (Little, Brown & Company)
Amazing. He was always crazy and bad-ass! Seriously, though, an excellent book. I was laughing most of the way through in incredulity. I mean, do I really need to say anything more? Read it. You'll love it.

Grimm's Tales for Young and Old, translated by Ralph Manheim (Anchor)
I read some of these to my 7 year old daughter. She asked me to!! I kept telling her that these stories are not like the movies; that Cinderella is not in a sparkling blue dress and Disney-fied. Still, she wanted me to read, and I thought-well, OK! She freaked out a little when I came to the wicked step-sisters, the golden shoes and the blood.....I read the rest of the book to myself.

Culinaria: Hungary; Spain (HF Ullman)
I love these books-so pretty, so delicious. There are many more in the series.

As Always, Julia: the Letters of Julia Child and Avis DeVoto, Edited by Joan Reardon (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
This not only follows the evolution of one of the most popular cookbooks ever, but also gives excellent insight into 1950's/mid-twentieth century publishing. Yes, I watched Julie and Julia. I have to admit, I liked the part about Julia better. It was a good movie. Funny, that Mastering the Art of French Cooking was initially turned down by Houghton Mifflin. Oh well.

What to Tip the Boatman, Cleopatra Mathis (The Sheep Meadow Press) (poetry)
I heard her read at the VCFA summer residency and she was amazing. She read from this book and a few others.

Late Wife, Claudia Emerson (Louisiana State University Press) (poetry)
I heard her read at VCFA as well. Powerful presence. Powerful words.

Wildly Affordable Organic, Linda Watson (Da Capo Press)
Great book! Delicious recipes, great ideas for eating organic on a budget. I've cooked from it and the recipes are super easy to follow.

All-American Poem, Matthew Dickman (American Poetry Review, winner of the Honickman First Book Award)
I've seen this man read poetry. Such a showman. It's always a great show! I know they get compared all the time, but I do want to mention that he has a twin brother, Michael, who also writes poetry. I find it absolutely remarkable that they write so damn well, and their poetry is so very different.

Complete Book of Home Preserving by Ball (Robert Rose, Inc.)
I did a lot of canning in 2011. It was all good. Particularly the cranberry sauce with fruit and rum-yum!

Wicked Bugs/Wicked Plants, Amy Stewart (Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill)
Interesting, but kind of gross.

The Thanksgiving Table, Diane Morgan (Chronicle)
Great themed cookbook for the holidays-so delicious. She also has The Christmas Table.

Not Your Mother's Casseroles, Faith Durand (Harvard Common Press)
Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker, Beth Hensperger & Julie Kauffman (Harvard Common Press)
I use both of these quite often. The slow cooker book a little more, though.

Anjum's Eat Right for Your Body Type, the Super Healthy Detox Diet Inspired by Ayurveda, Anjum Anand (Da Capo Press)
This is in pretty heavy rotation in the kitchen. Recipes based on Ayurvedic practices. Particularly the beet/goat cheese/balsamic vinegar recipe. Yum.

Best Food Writing 2011, Holly Hughes (Da Capo Press)

POETRY Magazine
I read all issues from 2011

Hunger Mountain
Issues: Menagerie and At the top of the stairs (of course! :) )

Balance Your Hormones, Balance Your Life, Claudia Welch (Da Capo Press)
Women: you need to read this. There is just so much information in here about how hormones actually work, what to do to balance them out through diet and other things. There is a whole chapter dedicated to bio-identical/hormone therapies, what they do and how safe they actually are. Certainly worth the read. Very easy to read, despite heavy information.

Indiana Review-various issues

Bellevue Literary Review-various issues

Just Tell Me What to Eat! The Delicious 6-Week Weight Loss Plan For the Real World Timothy S Harlan, MD
(Da Capo/Lifelong Books)

 Loving this book! Not your basic, traditional weight loss/diet book. Delicious recipes, real, healthy food. Focusing on a more Mediterranean diet.

Safe From the Sea, Peter Geye
(Unbridled Books)
Unbridled Books seems to be putting out some amazing things lately (The Descent of Man/Kevin Desinger, for example). Check them out.

Sheepish: Two Women, Fifty Sheep and Enough Wool to Save the Planet, Catherine Friend
(Da Capo/Lifelong Books)

In Defense of Food, Michael Pollan
(The Penguin Press)

Potty Training Girls the Easy Way, Caroline Fertleman MD & Simone Cove
(Da Capo/Lifelong Books) *Potty training easy-yeah right!*

One Year to an Organized Life with Baby, Regina Leeds & Megan Francis

(Da Capo/Lifelong Books)

Check out other book lists!

Books I Read in 2010
Books I Read in 2013

Another List for Recommendation. I cataloged Books I Owned (2006). 
My Own Library, part 1
My Own Library, Part 2
My Own Library, Part 3
My Own Library, Part 4
My Own Library, Part 5