Two weeks ago saw the launch of my first book of poetry, and events with inimitable wordsmiths Kat Howard (at Main Point Books), Theodora Goss (at The Ivy Bookstore), Sam Miller (at Northshire Books), and Malka Older (at Adventure Bound Books)
I loved talking with these four writers so much, especially for how different each conversation was.
While social media seems to be aiming for perfection — that perfect filter, the perfect staging — poetry is so much more about connection.from Fran Wilde & Theodora Goss’ in conversation event, August 26 at The Ivy Bookshop
Kat and I talked about “Why poetry?” (little did she know that I had Muriel Rukeyser’s The Life of Poetry by my side for luck. It allowed me to open with the citation of Rukeyser’s evacuation from Spain, when everyone is talking and someone asks “where is there a place for poetry?” that ends with Rukeyser’s powerful invocation, “and then I began to say what I believe.” I love that passage.
We talked too, about the interrelated aspects of word and image, and I got to explain why there’s a narwhal in the book, as well as some other drawings.
Dora and I read monster poems to each other, and if you haven’t heard or read her “Medusa Gets a Haircut,” go check it out at Uncanny Magazine. We talked as well about how, while social media seems to be aiming for perfection — that perfect filter, the perfect staging — poetry (in my mind at least) is going more for connection.
Sam and I talked about the public artist poems in the collection, in particular “Breakfast Poolside at the Lafayette Hotel,” which documents a pool built by Tarzan. Yes, really. And then we launched into a discussion of Tallulah Bankhead, because both of us think she’s fabulous, and also about how writers sometimes meet and become friends in the slush pile (like Sam and I did!). Check out Sam’s zoom background game. It’s exquisite.
Meantime, Malka and I explored (with the help of a very cute mini-Malka) the ways in which poetry lets us connect with the larger world. During the course of our conversation, she read “The Unseen Line,” and I read “The Unseen.”
Throughout, the support of the independent bookstores who hosted the first weeks events was incredible and I’m still replaying the booksellers’ introductions to Clock Star Rose Spine in my head.
I hope, as you read this, you are getting a little FOMO… only a little though, since next week is another (and last!) chance to be a part of this amazing series of events.
First up, on Thursday, September 16, Amal El-Mohtar and I will be talking poetry at (virtual) WORD bookstore — sign up / RSVP here! Who knows what will come up! You don’t want to miss it.
Then on Saturday, September 18, Claire Cooney and I will magically appear at Quail Ridge Books (virtually) at 4pm for one last event… there will be much poetry and possibly singing. Sign up or RSVP here!
I hope to see you at one of these events! Meantime, I’m so grateful that people are sharing their excitement and saying nice things about the collection — that means so much.
Also last week: the paperback release of His Hideous Heart, the most fun I’ve ever had retelling Poe’s The Fall of the House of Usher, and Ellen Datlow released the full, incredibly exciting table of contents for 29 Tales of Monsters and The Monstrous (out next year).
I hope to see you this coming week at WORD and Quail Ridge! For more information about Clock Star Rose Spine, as well as other excellent Lanternfish Press Books, click here!