Sunday, February 28, 2010


I had intended to head down to the studio on Saturday and work on some books, but since I wasn’t sure my toner would have arrived, it would have pointless to go all the way downtown if it hadn’t. Instead, I stayed home, slept very late, then watched horror movies and wrapped a ton of flasks for the shop in all sorts of pretty japanese papers. I was going to work on some new organza flower hairclips, but realized I couldn’t find a sewing needle in the apartment anywhere, odd since I usually stick them in random places so I can easily find them. (which probably means I will find them with my foot at some inopportune time.) Otherwise, there was tea and chocolate and the days were pretty gray. There are rumblings of discontent in the romantic arena though I haven’t yet voiced them exactly to the intended party. Today, I cleaned the kitchen within an inch of its life which took most of the afternoon. Tonight I sent off a couple submissions and played with a new poem. I am glad it's going to be March, I am tired of being cold all the time. The lake these days is a wicked, merciless sort of blue.

Friday, February 26, 2010

fashion friday: greenery

Either it's a desperate cry for spring or the impending St. Patrick's Day festivities, but I am obsessed with green this week..pale mostly..a color that reminds me both of green tea ice cream and grasshoppers (the beverage, not the bug, but maybe that too.)It seems to be jumping out at me more than any other color these days. I have a love affair with pale aqua, but this may come in a close second..

Thursday, February 25, 2010


I’m actually not sure whether this essay is beating the “too many poets” horse or the “academic stranglehold” horse, but I am not sure it matters. No one is destroying poetry by loving it and writing it, “best” is all relative to who you are talking to, and the distribution of publishing power to a wider number of venues—how can that be a bad thing? But really, I think the thing I most disagree with here is this:

Still, when it comes to the major awards and premier publication essential for wide readership, there seems to be little room at the top for independents.”

I think it’s the “wide readership” here that throws me. Is there such a thing as “wide readership” or again does it depend on who you ask? Mary Oliver, yes, definitely wide readership, but beyond that..? I’ve looked at a lot of lists, both those kept by SPD and Amazon of best selling poetry titles and seen a whole lot of independents on there (perhaps not as many as I’d like to see , but at least a good showing). I don’t think “major” awards and “premier” publications are reaching anymore readers than, say, your more popular independent (Graywolf, for example, or Coffeehouse.) . Granted there are bigger and littler fish (like dgp), but the pool of possible readers and the technology possible to reach those readers, is just as large as a university press (many of which are struggling now financially anyways and trying to adapt to the things all of us independent publishers were touting all along—blogs, social networking, POD.)

Also, where is the “top”? Billy Collin’s definition of top is going to be highly different from Ron Silliman’s . Various groups of poets all have different poetic gods. Even my ideas about the “top” has changed over the years. (Actually it just sort of collapsed in on itself). I don't think the world will be overrun by mediocre poets anytime soon any more than it will be overrun by mediocre golfers (I, for one, suck at golf and won't be going pro anytime soon.).

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

new things

Things are a bit too hectic in the chapbook arena for any real sort of entry at this point (well beyond the usual blah-blah things are busy, I hate winter wah-wah**), but in the interest of a mid-week update, I direct you to all the new little things I've been adding to the shop over the past couple of weeks--new soaps, some necklaces I made on Sunday, the herbal candles, and all sorts of other goodies.

(The strawberry chamomile soap is HEAVENLY, btw. I took a shower twice in one day on Tuesday just to use it again. For reals.)

**I wrote an entry, the gist of which was this very sentiment, but I was bored even with myself at that point.

Friday, February 19, 2010

fashion friday: spring thaw

Okay, maybe not quite yet, there's still a helluva alot of winter left but with the balmy upper 30 degree temps, I can almost convince myself of it. Both yesterday and today have been sunny, clear, and very drippy. I can see a little green in spots peaking through the snow, and am thinking it won't be all that long til I can get rid of this damn winter coat. I'm hoping the weather holds throught the weekend so I can open my windows a crack and not get hypothermia.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

now available from dancing girl press

The Boom of A Small Cannon
Mary Ann Samyn
dancing girl press, 2010

buy it here

Mary Ann Samyn is the author of several other collections of poetry, most recently Beauty Breaks In (New Issues Press, 2009). She teaches in the MFA program at West Virginia University.

Elpenor Falls
Elizabeth Barbato
dancing girl press, 2010

buy it here

Elizabeth Barbato is an English teacher at a small private school who lives with her husband and her dog, Maggie, in central New Jersey. She has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize three times, as well as for Best of the Net 2009. Her recent publications include poems in Little Red Leaves, elimae, and the anthology Eating Her Wedding Dress.

Melinda Wilson
dancing girl press, 2010

buy it here

Melinda Wilson is Managing Editor for Coldfront Magazine ( Her poems have appeared in Diner, The Lumberyard, Arsenic Lobster, WOMB and Verse Daily among others. She lives in New York City.

Lucy Design in the Papal Flea
Renee Angle
dancing girl press, 2010

buy it here

Renee Angle works at the University of Arizona Poetry Center. Her poetry can be found in EOAGH, Practice: New Writing + Art, Sonora Review, Diagram, and others.

View from My Banilla Vanilla Villa
Eva Schlesinger
dancing girl press, 2010

buy it here

Eva Schlesinger is the author of the chapbook, Remembering the Walker and Wheelchair: poems of grief and healing (Finishing Line Press, 2008). Her poetry has also received the Literal Latte Food Verse Award and been published in Cricket Magazine. She lives in a banilla vanilla villa in Berkeley, California, where she reads voraciously, plays magical flute melodies, draws wildly colorful, whimsical animals, and writes.

Picking Cherries in the Espanola Valley
Leah Browning
dancing girl press, 2010

buy it here

Leah Browning is the author of three nonfiction books for teens and pre-teens (Capstone Press) and a chapbook, Making Love to the Same Man for Fifteen Years (Big Table Publishing, 2009). Her fiction, poetry, essays, and articles have previously appeared in a variety of publications including Queen's Quarterly, 42opus, The Saint Ann's Review, Tipton Poetry Journal, Blood Orange Review, and Autumn Sky Poetry, as well as on a broadside from Broadsided Press, on postcards from the program Poetry Jumps Off the Shelf, and in several anthologies. In addition to writing, Browning serves as editor of the Apple Valley Review. Her personal website is located at

My Imaginary
Laura Madeline Wiseman
dancing girl press, 2010

buy it here

Laura Madeline Wiseman is the recipient of the 2009 Academy of American Poets Award from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where she is a doctoral candidate and teaches English. Her second chapbook, Ghost Girl, is forthcoming from Pudding House. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Feminist Studies, MARGIE, Arts & Letters, and elsewhere. Other awards include the Mari Sandoz Award in fiction, the Will Jumper Award in poetry, and five Pushcart Prize nominations. She is co-editor (with Christine Stewart-Nunez) of the forthcoming anthology Women Write Resistance: Poets Fight Gender Violence, (Finishing Line Press).

This Room Has A Ghost
Stephanie Goehring
dancing girl press, 2010
ships on 3/1

buy it here

Stephanie Goehring writes and paints in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

general busyness

with the next batch of books (the last of the 2009 titles and the first 2010 one) which are turning out fabulously, as well as getting out orders, sale batches, and general shop stuff, which is moving at a brisker pace lately (at least for February, perhaps the economy is on the upswing after all.) There has even been time for a handful of poems, possibly KD additions, in there amazingly and some sort of semi-organization of the living room bookshelf over the weekend. Sunday night was a soap making marathon, finally having obtained the right mold for the herbal soaps (rosemary mint and cucumber lemongrass), as well as a huge batch of vanilla sandalwood for the more "manly" line of soaps (though this one is actually completely girl friendly as well-actually they all are.) I also needed to restock the grapefruit and the gardenia, and managed to perfect the jar candle packaging. So far I've only made lemongrass ones in the larger jars, but I will be trying more as soon as I get more wax. I'm also waiting on some new pewter charms for new necklaces. Keep an eye on the shop this week for them.

Friday, February 12, 2010

fashion friday: lavender & brown

Since I don't get to play on Polyvore nearly often enough (and because the last two posts were oh so serious and literary,) I think I shall declare every Friday a rather frivolous Fashion Day (mostly since I have to get up early and don't like to think too hard that day).. Lately, this is one of my favorite color combinations. It makes me think of violet pastilles and delicate chocolates. Sumptuous leather and frilly underthings in all shades of lavender and lilac. There's a dusty lavender shade bordering on taupe the slips have been turning out that's so pale and lovely it's almost a neutral...

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Oh Sylvia,

I nearly forgot it was Annual Sylvia Plath Bake Off Day-- odd since just last week I was reading through Ariel slowly before I went to bed. I remember devouring every single peice of info, every bio, every journal ten or so years ago, and indeed, in the early days, she was my sole poetic model, not only in writing, but how to BE a poet. (in those, naive pre-internet days when I knew no actual living poets or really even what that meant). Still, it's odd to think that she never made it even to the age that I am now, that her talent never fully grew and ran it's natural course. It makes me especially sad to think what might have been possible even five, ten yearls later, given how amazing Ariel is. 30 seemed so old once, now it seems so young and unfinished. When I first encountered the Bell Jar at age 17 (and only because I was hunting Gone with the Wind in the JHS library and recognized the title as a Bangles song on their Everything album) admittedly I was nonplussed and couldn't figure out what the fuss was. Two years later, you would have had to pry the book from my hands. I think of other poets of roughly her generation who managed not to off themselves--Denis Levertov, Adrienne Rich, and while I enjoy their work very much, and would say the same about Anne Sexton, they lack that thing. I don't know what to call it--a certain fever, a fire, a certain spark, hell, maybe even genius..

Anyhow, since I can't bake to save my life, I will just post a poem:


Stasis in darkness.
Then the substanceless blue
Pour of tor and distances.

God's lioness,
How one we grow,
Pivot of heels and knees! -- The furrow

Splits and passes, sister to
The brown arc
Of the neck I cannot catch,

Berries cast dark
Hooks --

Black sweet blood mouthfuls,
Something else

Hauls methrough air --
Thighs, hair;
Flakes from my heels.

Godiva, I unpeel --
Dead hands, dead stringencies.

And now I
Foam to wheat, a glitter of seas.
The child's cry

Melts in the wall.
And I
Am the arrow,

The dew that flies
Suicidal, at one with the drive
Into the red

Eye, the cauldron of morning.

poetry related randomness

In the past couple of weeks, I've sent the girl show manuscript off to a couple of small presses whose books I really like, but am also considering sending out a trimmed down version that is leaner and meaner to a couple of my favorite chapbook publishers and let the chips fall where they may. The length was skirting the low end of the full-length requirement anyway, even when GRP was going to publish it, so I just cut a couple pieces and consolidated. It's weird being forced to engage the work again after so long (I tried to avoid looking at or reading the poems in public it the past two years, figuring I'd be sick of the poems by the time it came out. Now looking at them, it's almost like a stranger wrote them. The work since has been so different both in impulse and style, and yet oddly, I feel more protective and mother-hen like over the newer work than I ever did over anything else I've written in the last 15 years or so. I've also been looking at the new manuscript and wondering if it doesn't need some trimming. I seem to do better with shorter projects than long lately and find myself fluffing instead of working more organically. in the bird museum was longish, but only because it's made up of smaller pieces.

I have started sending individual poems out again, though making time to do it and mustering the energy seem to be the hardest challenges. It's hard switching back and forth between editor/publisher and writer modes these days, let alone the more visual oriented & design projects I work on for the shop. I really don't I have to make myself write these days when it's so much easier to slack and read design blogs or watch bad 80's videos on YouTube. Then there is the siren song of the Etsy forums where many an hour has been wasted. As busy as I am, I always feel there is more that could be doing and more efficiently at that. Meanwhile, I have been sleeping far too much, a cure for the winter blues that seems to be working along with ridiculous amounts of chocolate I only seem to crave in the winter. I think it's a seratonin thing. The days are noticeably lengthier which always brings a tremendous sigh of relief.

Saturday, February 06, 2010

dgp 2010 line-up

Yes, kittens, this is it. Not counting the slight backlog of 2009 books that will be out in the next two weeks, this is what we have on tap for 2010. It's a lot of books, but I couldn't possibly let any of them go, and in the next 12 months you will see why. We'll be kicking off the year with Mary Ann Samyn's book in the next week or so (I was so happy when she sent it I nearly fell out of my chair.)We will also have 2009 books from Elizabeth Barbato, Melinda Wilson, Eva Schlesinger, Stephanie Goehring, Leah Browning, Renee Angle, and Laura Madeline Wiseman, all of which are ready to print and will make their debut around Valentines Day (depending on how much time I get to clock in the studio this week.


The Boom of a Small Cannon / Mary Ann Samyn

EMUseum / Ariana Sophia Kartsonis & Caleb Adler

Dear American Lovechild, Yours, The Beautiful Undead / Robyn Art & Robin Barcus

Dear Darkest Sky: Postcards / Jessica Bozek


from The Doll Studies / Carol Guess

Mesmer / Joanna Penn Cooper

Ship-On-Land / Julia Cohen and Brandon Shimoda

Between the Devil and the Deep / Lindsay Bland

The Madre Bones / Amy Fetzer Larakers

Dear Minimum Wage Employee: You Are Priceless / Emilie Lindemann

(al)most delicious / Cati Porter

Silver Roof Tantrum / Naomi Buck Palagi

Something Real / JoAnna Novak


Light Sweet Crude / Cynthia Barounis & Claire Leeds

Easy Beat / Brittany Ober

Houses / Nora Almeida

Birds of Tokyo / Nicole Steinberg

If Made into a Law / Jennifer Fortin

Chrysanthemum Oratorio / Grace Marie Grafton

309.81 / Rachel Mallino

Experiments in Light and Ether / Alexis Vergalla

About birds / Stacy Kidd


Elective Affinities / Kara Dorris

American Lit / Rebecca Guyon

The Bulk of the Mailable Universe / Jules Gibbs

Signs Point to Yes / Lindsay Bell

The Market is a Parasite that Looks Like a Nest / Susan Briante

Planetary Mass / Kat Dixon

Wreckage: By Land & By Sea / Gretchen Henderson

Great America / Trina Burke


Small Hollering / Jamie Kazay

S / Sarah V. Schweig

Field Notes / Linda Leu

Lock, Means / Kristina Jipson

The Art of Exporting / Christina Querrer