Friday, March 30, 2012

The Big Poetry Giveaway Has Begun Again!

It's that time of year again - National Poetry Month.  A time when many of us poets get frenzied and start doing crazy things like writing a poem a day, handing out poems to random passersby and giving away books of poetry.  This year, I'll be doing all three!  More on the poem-a-day project and poem in your pocket efforts later.  Today's post is about The Big Poetry Giveaway.  Kelli Russell Agodon over at her blog The Book of Kells has been organizing this giveaway for the past three years.  Last year I gave away a copy of my chapbook Inheritance and a copy of Gertrude Stein's Tender Buttons.  This year, I'll be giving away a copy of the wonderful anthology I'm a part of, What the Redwoods Know  along with a book of poems by Amy Lowell.  
As many of you know, Amy Lowell has been an important part of my journey to becoming a poet.  I wrote my dissertation on her influence on modern lyric poetry.  I'd be happy to give away a copy of Lowell's Selected poems edited by the lovely poet Honor Moore in hopes of getting more people to read Lowell.  In case you haven't read Amy Lowell's work, below is one of her short lyric poems from Two Speak Together.

July, Midnight
Fireflies flicker in the tops of trees,
Flicker in the lower branches,
Skim along the ground.
Over the moon-white lilies
Is a flashing and ceasing of small, lemon-green stars.
As you lean against me,

The air all about you
Is slit, and pricked, and pointed with sparkles of lemon-green flame
Starting out of a background of vague, blue trees.

What Redwoods Know was an extraordinary book project I was a part of this past summer.  As many of you might know many of our state parks in California are facing permanent closure.  In response to this terrible threat, the Sonoma County poet Katherine Hastings organized hikes for poets in Annadel, Sugarloaf and Jack London State Park.  On these hikes we wrote and spoke about the places we were in.  This anthology is a result of the creative work that came out of these hikes.  Below is one of my poems which is included in the book.  It's about Jack London State Park -- the place where I discovered I was a writer on a six grade field trip many years ago. 

At Wolf House

This time, I walk directly to the back steps. 
No circuitous journey.  No wide gaze
accumulating the destruction of this place.
This time, in full light, I meet the gaze of your ghost.

And the world drops away leaving only
flies orbiting, a tether of bird song, distant, tenuous,
a heat that rises from the earth like a promise.
O fairy ring of Redwoods sprung from fiery tongue,
open the blue box of heaven you gate with green fingers. 
There are two wills at work here:
that which will destroy and that which will stubbornly remain. 
Stone ruins rise, half-shadowed and covered in moss. 
A few iron girders propped to hold up walls.

But the breath of wind, that velvet tongue, licks the place clean as bone. 
Spirit and story are what keep the fire-washed stones in place,
that keep the stones lifted off tongues.  What reflects back isn’t recordable:
it grows in you—seeds to places unknown. 

If you are interested in entering to win a copy of Amy Lowell's Selected Poems, or a copy of What the Redwoods Know, all you have to do is write a comment below that contains your contact information.  On April 30th, I'll randomly draw a name out of a hat and send the books to you!  Good luck!


Renee said...

i'd love to win either book, amy lowell is a poet i've been meaning to read more of

SSCarpenter said...

Both books sound lovely. It's nice to be in touch with you briefly. What wonderful projects you're doing!

Mary said...


Laura E. Davis said...

I'm excited! yay!

laura davis

lauraelizabethdavis at gmail dot com

(I'm doing one too!)

Erin at Being Poetry said...

Count me in. I'm participating as well.

Allyson said...

Hi, Iris! Nice to meet you!

Allyson Whipple

Tara Mae said...

Count me in!

Tara Mae Mulroy

Lisa said...

All the books you are giving away sound great, and I would love to read more poetry before I start my MFA. Thanks so much for doing this!
Lisa McMurtray

Susan Rich said...

Thank you; count me in -- I am participating as well at

Faerie Moon Creations said...

Iris, it's great to meet you. Happy National Poetry Month!!! I'd love to win either of the books you've referenced here. Thank you! Sincerely, Theresa (theresamacnaughtonatgmaildotcom)

Karen J. Weyant said...

We miss you in Western Pa, Iris!

Count me in and stop by my blog.

Karen Weyant

Tawnysha Greene said...

Would love to enter! I am having a free giveaway at my blog as well!

Molly said...

Please add me to the drawing - thanks!

mollycspencer at gmail dot com

and come on over to my blog to enter my drawing if you like:

Jin Kaps said...

Happy National Poetry Month!

Jin Kaps

Molly said...

Oh these both sound so good! (And I saw you are in The Mom Egg--I'll be in their upcoming issue! Woo!)

molly.sutton.kiefer at gmail (the rest)

Andrew said...

Thanks for doing this!

Andrew Ty
eldritch00 at gmail dot com

jpilgrim said...

I enjoyed reading your poem. Please enter me in the contest. Thank you.

Nandini said...

Thanks for doing this. Please count me in! Nandini

Stephen S. Mills said...

I'd like to enter.

Stephen S. Mills

Shawnte Orion said...

11th Hour, as always.

Justin said...

Happy Poetry Month!

Justin Carter