THIS BLOG IS NO LONGER OPERATIONAL. PLEASE ENJOY WHAT IS HERE, AND DO LEAVE A COMMENT IF YOU WISH. NORTH CAROLINA'S NEW POET LAUREATE IS CATHY SMITH BOWERS. SHE WILL SOON HAVE HER OWN WEBSITE THROUGH THE NORTH CAROLINA ARTS COUNCIL SITE. I WILL BE SHIFTING MY ATTENTION TO HERE, WHERE I AM, (SEE SIDEBAR)USING IT TO DRAW ATTENTION TO WRITERS WHOSE WORK DESERVES ATTENTION. I INVITE YOU TO VISIT ME THERE. For a video of the installation ceremony, please go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0xAk6fOzaNE.
Go to http://www.yourdailypoem.com/, managed with finesse by Jayne Jaudon Ferrer, who says, "Our intent is to make visitors to Your Daily Poem aware of the joy and diversity of poetry."
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Souvenirs of a Shrunken World, by Holly Iglesias
Kore Press First Book Award Winner 2008
Souvenirs of a Shrunken World Holly Iglesias 104 pages, 6 x 7" paper Price: $13.95 ISBN 13: 978-1-888553-26-0 (korepress.org)
Kore has been publishing women’s literary art as an imperative since 1993, after choosing a name which symbolizes the idea that women are agents of change. Kore (kor-ay) is Greek for "daughter" and another name for Persephone—the goddess taken into the underworld whose re-emergence above ground caused the changing of seasons. We hope the writings we bring to light elicit change, both for writer, reader, and the bigger, collective public mind. By providing this forum for established and emerging voices, as well as writers fundamental to history, we are seeking to keep alive change-making expressions of literary passion, experiment, and collaboration.
------------------------- Holly Iglesias is the winner of the 2008 Kore Press First Book Award. She is a poet and translator whose work has appeared in Prairie Schooner, The Prose Poem, Arts & Letters, Barrow Street, Margie, Crab Orchard Review, Massachusetts Review and Spoon River Poetry Review. She has been awarded fellowships by the Massachusetts Cultural Council and the Edward Albee Foundation. She is the author of two chapbooks, Hands-on Saint and Good Long Enough, winner of Thorngate Road’s Frank O’Hara Prize. A critical work, Boxing Inside the Box: Women's Prose Poetry, was published by Quale Press. She teaches at University of North Carolina-Asheville and at Warren Wilson College.
"This moving mosaic of the 1904 World's Fair carries the poignancy of an old family album, a presence at once here and gone. Through the poet's pitch-perfect ear and keen eye for the voices, vantages and scraps of the actual, come souvenirs of real lives transfixed in the glare of a triumphant technology's artificial light." Eleanor Wilner Samples from the book:
RUNNING FOR THE FAIR, A STEREOGRAPH
Shaken from a dream about hoboes, a boy hightails it through the garden toward the tracks, his stride lengthening with the pace of escape—hen house, slop pot, ice box, cheese cloth—past and future neck and neck.
Air expanding with yeast in the kitchen, a girl cools her pulse at the pump and stares at the rhubarb, the peas, the sausage casings in a basin. She hears the train, bolts to watch it pass, cars strobing the corn fields into a picture show.
Her mouth led her here, her milky mouth, her souring in the sun mouth. And where will it all end with the Incubators closed for the day? Half faint, she had hoped to see the infants behind glass, the porcelain cases warmed to the temperature of a womb. To stand behind a velvet rope and guess which among them might be hers. Fifteen, tomorrow remote as the moon, she moves on, her shoe glancing against a soap-baby souvenir, dusty as a mulatto and just the size of her pocket.
SWAN BOAT GONDOLIER
Embarking, they mouth soft words to the ladies—lagoon, woozy, wop—men with eight bits and an hour to kill. I am to sing as we float along, a quaint air to soothe the nerves of these princes of shoe leather and liver pills, these brewmeisters with old money stuffed into new pockets. They have paved their streets with the bones of our backs, scorned our saints and old-country hats. Walking home from our Saturday baths, we spit on the gates of their private streets, scowl through the grates at their children who are pale as dolls.
I roamed the grounds for days like an Arab in the desert, searching for something just right for my wife, stuffing my pockets with buttons, pins, calendars you could lose in a breeze, till I tossed them in the rubbish. Each trinket felt smaller than experience, too cheap for the weight of our time apart or the cruel quiet of her confinement. Twelfth birth in ten years and who can say if the tiny soul will make it to winter, or when she might allow him a name. I would heap the mantel with souvenirs of a shrunken world to amuse her—gunboats, telephones, geisha girls, canoes—but I fear she is beyond diversion. My present hope fits in my hand, a silver-plate walnut with a clasp, inside a fan of vistas reduced to a bearable size.
I've lived in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina since 1968, though I'm a native of SW Georgia. My paternal grandmother was born in the Blue Ridge, and I grew up wanting to live here. Where I am.
I've published five collections of poetry, the most recent 4 being with LSU Press, and have published poetry in magazines ranging from The Atlantic Monthly to Appalachian Heritage. But I also hike, bang pots and pans around in my kitchen, and love several dogs who leave fur all over my carpets. I write poetry because it's my way of singing back to the world both within and without.