national poetry month, poetry

Aubade for Poetry Month

Another morning shifts into view like frost receding from rooftops, the unexpected cold of April’s end. The sheets are warm with your body, the imprint next to me where your hand pressed the mattress. Now entropy. I have to leave this space and wake the baby. I finger the edge of the comforter will-less to leave. You snort in your sleep. Our parting is the same every morning. In one motion I’m sitting on the edge of the bed and throwing open the curtains–the sun shouts GOOD MORNING on the walls and throws the light across your face. Your eyelids screw up because even in half sleep you can feel the light.

national poetry month, poetry, Prompts

National Poetry Month: Aubade

Happy earth day! Let’s talk aubade.

Also known as the dawn song, the aubade greets the morning with joy and grieves the loss of the night. It flows from the darkness into the brightness of dawn, remembering the togetherness of night between lovers.

The poem comes from as earliest as the twelfth century, but the dawn song transcends borders and can be found in many cultures.

Two great examples of aubade are “The Sun Rising” by John Donne and Emily Skaja‚Äôs “Aubade with Attention to Pathos“.

When you write an aubade, pay attention to the theme of passing from night to sunrise, and know that you don’t have to use the parting of lovers, just as Philip Larkin chose not to in his poem “Aubade.”

national poetry month, poetry

Ghazal for Poetry Month

Sliver of the icicle from a clogged gutter in April, wind like a spray // of water, biting raw our cheeks and hands held to pray.

A rolling over in my belly, again. You awaken like spring // should be. Up with the hyacinths and daffodils opening petals to pray.

Sticky fingers in my hair, ringing curls around your index // together we smell like peanut butter, a scent to teach me to pray.

When you climb the stairs alone, my back turned, your smile grows // like spring urgency or crocus bursting among new grass to pray.

Pray for sunshine. Golden hair as you run from me, a shriek as joyful as a prayer. // The robins scatter at your approach and you reach your hands out to pray.

national poetry month, poetry, Prompts

National Poetry Month: ghazal

The ghazal! An Arabic poetic form originating from the 7th century that relies on repetition and lingers between the pain of loss and the beauty of love despite the loss. It’s absolutely gorgeous, but incredibly difficult to pull off in English.

ghazals must have at least five rhyming couplets or bayts and can have as many as fifteen. The couplets are linked thematically but not necessarily in situation or story. ghazals thrive in the abstract. Each couplet ends with the same refrain, which rhymes with the first line of the first couplet (AA BA CA, etc.).

There are stringent rules for ghazal forms, but in English, poets often use just those mentioned above as guiding principles.

Agha Shahid Ali is a well known Kashmiri poet whose poem Ghazal can be found here.

A contemporary interpretation of the ghazal appears in Evie Shockley’s poem where you are planted here.

national poetry month, poetry

My Sonnet for Poetry Month

Bright cold sun of April, the northwest winds

whipping your cheeks red and spreading

the first of the season’s pollen. Shock of yellow

Daffodils holding on through sleet and snow cover

reminders of the coming warmth. You pick handfuls

of stems and spread them on the concrete

leaving trails of green against the composite

like the slick a snail leaves behind.

I love you in your discovery. This new world

you find, this bright cold place you embrace

as only a child could. The sky opens blue

and streaks with robins and you pierce

the noisy silence with your laughter. A temporary

moment I will hold onto forever.

national poetry month, poetry, Prompts

Poetry Month: Sonnet

The elusive sonnet. Shakespearean, Petrarchan, traditional or modern, love them or hate them. There’s so much scholarship out there about sonnets, but my favorite is definitely Stephen Fry’s section on sonnets from The Ode Less Travelled. Learning about ancient metered poetic forms from a comedian really does it for me! Here’s an excerpt:

Excerpt from Stephen Fry’s chapter “The Sonnet” from The Ode Less Travelled

So for a prompt, try a sonnet. Whatever that means to you. Could be traditional, metered, rhyming, or not. But keep the Volta! The beautiful turn in line nine (or thereabouts) that shifts the poem. That I think is true embodiment of a sonnet, in whatever form you make it. Oh and 14 lines of course!

Accolades

Individual Excellence Award 2022

So happy to announce that I have been awarded the 2022 Individual Excellence Award from the Ohio Arts Council! I am thrilled to be named among so many talented Ohio artists and so grateful for the recognition of the council for my body of work.

The poems that I submitted represent such a labor of love, trauma, and growth over the past couple of years. I cannot wait to show them to you this year!

Thank you, Ohio Arts Council!

Accolades, social media

Literary Artist of the Month

I’m happy to announce that Heights Arts has named me Artist of the Month: Literary for August 2020! Heights Arts is an organization I’ve worked with in the past located in Cleveland Heights, Ohio. This organization offers programming for the community that focuses on the arts and works to bring local literature, music, and art to the Northeast Ohio community.

I am happy to represent Heights Arts and their programming, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic.

You can find the announcement on Heights Arts’ website here!

In honor of this title, I am getting a reprinting of my chapbook, SPACE SPECTACULAR, and copies will be for sale as soon as they arrive. Stay tuned!