This post is for all the poetry fans out there. (But the rest of you are more than welcome to read it too. After all, we lovers of poetry are a very open and accepting crowd, always happy to add a few more members to our club.)
I have a few pieces of poetry-related news I’m excited about and I want to share them with you.
First, I have a poem in this year’s Texas Poetry Calendar. It’s on the August month-view page, so if you’re flipping through looking for the date when the temperature is finally going to become reasonable again (somewhere around mid-September, hopefully) don’t forget to pause and read “August in Texas.” It won’t cool you off, but it will at least remind you that, yes, it’s this hot every year and, no, the heat won’t last forever.
Next, I also have a poem in this month’s issue of The Texas Observer. My haiku appears on page 42. I’m excited to be published in this magazine, but I’m even more thrilled that my favorite poet, Naomi Shihab Nye, is the person who selected my little poem. I first heard Naomi speak when I was a senior at UT in 1998, and I have loved her work ever since. I own over a dozen of her poetry books, as well as her novels for young readers and her books of essays. My favorites are Fuel (poems), Never in a Hurry (essays), and This Same Sky (poems she selected from around the world). Any book that has her name on it is worth a read. Her introductions breathe life into all the collections she edits, and she has an amazing gift for connecting with people via podium, page, or in person. Naomi is the poetry editor for the Observer, and she always includes a short message about the poems she chooses. Her sweet comments about my haiku mean so much to me.
Last, but definitely not least, I’m on the board of the Austin Poetry Society, which is about to kick off a new season of monthly meetings and contests. We have some great guest speakers lined up this fall, so if you live in the Austin area and you’re one of those people who likes poetry, consider joining our society. You’ll get access to our newsletter (cleverly named the Museletter) as well as eligibility to enter our monthly and annual contests, where you can earn cash prizes for your work.
And even if you’re not a member of APS, you can still be a part of The Poetry Caravan of Austin, a new and very worthwhile program where volunteers give free poetry readings at senior homes, memory facilities, and shelters in the Austin area. Our fall schedule is now online, and it’s easy to sign up. If you’re curious, check out our Facebook page to learn more and hear from some of our volunteers.
Well, that’s about it. Thanks for letting me plug my news, as well as the poets and organizations I love and believe in. Oh, and just so you know, if you made it to the end of this blog post, you probably are a fan of poetry, at least on some level. (Come on, admit it.)