Friday, March 12, 2010
Poetry Friday: A Chapbook!
My chapbook, Mountain, Log, Salt and Stone, has won the Clarinda Harriss Poetry Prize, sponsored by Baltimore's CityLit Project.
The book comes out for National Poetry Month. Here is the press release, which includes the ISBN.
Michael Salcman. After the contest was over, Michael generously helped me to fine tune my manuscript. I feel blessed to call him a mentor. What a gift!
Michael is a master of ekphrastic poetry. Today, I'm sharing one of his "Eight Eakins Portraits" -- "Portrait of Walt Whitman." It appears in Michael's book, The Clock Made of Confetti (which has a lovely series of ekphrastic poems).
PORTRAIT OF WALT WHITMAN (1887-1888)
You see me now as the fierce friend of my final years
saw me; though he painted me resting, I'm not at rest
my brain whirls with continents. My eyes are open,
thought death is limned in me like sweet drunkenness
and my cheeks remain ruddy. Around my head
and lips the gray hairs billow like wisps of smoke
or a final breath. On my shoulder, a flat collar flares
a white epaulet -- none owned by Falstaff nor painted
by Hals was ever finer though I'm hardly a gay toper
like them. Sorely vexed when first we met, he wrote
"My honors are misunderstanding, persecution and neglect,
enhanced because unsought." I think he caught me dreaming
of his resignation and bitterness; I never liked this likeness
much (not that I told him).
Posted with permission of the poet.
If you're in the Baltimore area, mark April 17 on your calendar. It's the CityLit Festival -- a day long, free event -- at the Enoch Free Pratt Library.
There are readings by poets, novelists, children's author Patrick O'Brien, and spoken word performers. The full line-up is here. In the afternoon, Michael Salcman is hosting a reading with me and Maryland Poet Laureate Stanley Plumly.
I hope you can make it! I'll need a big cheering section to calm my nerves.
Have a wonderful Poetry Friday, everyone. Our host is Becky at Becky's Book Reviews. Enjoy!