Frederick Smock, author of The Deer at Gethsemani: Ecologues, is the new Poet Laureate of Kentucky! The Kentucky Arts council made an announcement on Tuesday, April 18. Smock will officially be inducted on Kentucky Writers’ Day, which is May 1, 2017.
A new Poet Laureate is picked on every odd-numbered year. The honor of Poet Laureate has been held by a few Accents-published authors including George Ella Lyon, Frank X Walker, and Richard Taylor. The current Poet Laureate is George Ella Lyon.
A new collection by Nettie Farris has been released from Dancing Girl Press. The Wendy Bird Poems continues the short-line style we saw in Communion (Accents Publishing, 2013). Here are some comments about the chapbook by Jeremy Paden and Katerina Stoykova-Klemer:
Indeed! I simply adore these slender poems. Farris knows how to spin and craft and shape the smallest of poems, how to turn the word as on lathe to shave away all that is unnecessary. It is not that she has grown accustomed to the diminished size, it is that she works with the tension between what is said and unsaid, with the tiniest of head nod and wink, and in the smallest of spaces she lays bare great psychological drama that opens up into insight. Do not think because the line is minimal and the poem short that you can skim across the surface of these words.
Author of ruina montium
(Broadstone Books, 2016)
The Wendy Bird Poems is a truly unique book, and Nettie Farris is a truly unique poet. The collection encompasses a tender love story, so delicate, that it needs to be told not in sentences, not in words even, but in syllables. The content is distilled to such an extent that we need to be aware of the importance and the weight of every sound. Nettie Farris gives us a huge gift with this book – not only does she present a new kind of poetry, but also she teaches us to read in a new way, to see poems anew. Dear reader, enjoy this work, read it slowly and multiple times. These poems will teach you about sound, lineation, intention.
Senior Editor/Founder Accents Publishing
Black Bone is an exhibit at Transylvania University’s Morlan Art Gallery that will run from January 13th through February 14th. This Thursday, January 19th, will be a public reading and book release party with several Affrilachian Poets, including Accents published authors Jeremy Paden and Bianca Spriggs. (more…)
According to Rich Copley of the Herald-Leader, Frank X Walker and Lamin Swann are organizing Kentucky artists to meet in Danville. According to the article, Frank said, “I’m crazy enough to believe Kentucky has more artists and writers than horses and distilleries. Yet our arts/artists still seem to be one of our best kept secrets. Given the current political climate in the country, I think its important for artists to be proactive and not reactionary.” (more…)
Founder and Senior Editor of Accents Publishing, Katerina Stoykova-Klemer, will be hosting a workshop this weekend in Danville, Kentucky focused on health, beauty, protection and connection to spirit.
Here is information from Katerina:
Would you like to learn a series of time-tested and widely-used methods and recipes created and used by the Bulgarian people? What are some typical spiritual rituals and traditions? What are some things Bulgarians do when they need to boost their immune system, get over a cold, take care of their skin, protect from negativity, get rid of a headache or heal from an emotional shock?
This one-day workshop is taught by the Bulgarian-American Katerina Stoykova who was born and raised in Bulgaria and has lived in the USA for over twenty years. Workshop is offered on Saturday, the 14th of January 2017 and Sunday, the 15th of January 2017, so choose the day that works best for you. We will start at 10 am and will finish at 2pm, with a short lunch break in between. Cost is $50.00, and it includes a delicious, authentic Bulgarian lunch.
If you would like more information about specific locations, dates, and reservations, please fill out the following contact form, which will send an email directly to Katerina.
The recording begins with music. At about 3m24s, it cuts to a coffee shop interview with Matthew Haughton. At one point, Rachel Short interrupts the interview to say that traffic is heavy and that Bianca is on her way.
At 9m45s, Bianca’s interview begins. They chit-chat about not being a morning person even though she’s a school counselor at an Elementary School. (more…)
Accents Editor Christopher McCurry interviews Jeremy Paden about his newest collection, ruina montium (Broadstone Books, 2016), which uses poetry to tell the story of 33 miners in a Chilean mine who survived for 69 days before being rescued.
Christopher McCurry: How do you approach disaster/tragedy in a poem?
Jeremy Paden: I approach disaster carefully. Actually, I avoid it. I avoid it and avoid it and avoid it until I can’t. And, I think the only way to answer this question is in the specific way I responded to this unique tragedy. This singular event.
Tragedies and disasters all share pain, all unfold according to a script of grieving and mourning, of anger and loss, of faith and loss of faith. So in that sense they seem universal—everyone has known loss—and our response to tragedy seems also scripted—whether the gawking, or the schadenfreude, the fear and helplessness, or the money given to charities, even the quick forgetting. But each and every one is singular and unique.
As this disaster unfolded, a colleague and good friend of mine kept telling me I should write about it. At the time, and for several weeks, I felt that the most disrespectful thing to do would be to write about it. I thought it would be a form of ambulance chasing, and I wanted nothing to do with ambulance chasing because that seems so self-involved.
But the days dragged on. And contact was established. And letters and food and videos were sent back and forth. And then on the night of October 13 they were brought up one by one. I didn’t write a poem that night. But, when I saw Byron, the son of the foreman, breakdown crying as his father stepped out of the capsule, I started voraciously reading all I could about the men and about the rescue. And I began to write, compelled. It was that hug. That young boy sobbing in his father’s arms told me, you can write about this, about them, just stay true to that moment. (more…)
Boston’s NPR news station, WBUR 93.9FM, recently asked a few book experts about their choices for the Best Books of 2016, and included picks by Lexington’s own Ron Davis. Ron Davis, one of the owners of Wild Fig Books & Coffee, recommended Christopher McCurry‘s Nearly Perfect Photograph (Two of Cups Press, 2016) and even read a poem from the collection!
Ron describes Christopher’s book as “hilarious and profound”, calling Christopher a “very good writer”. You can find the recording by clicking here. Ron Davis begins at around 9m18s and he talks about Christopher McCurry at the 17m50s mark.
Ron Davis owns Wild Fig Books & Coffee with Crystal Wilkinson, author of the novel The Birds of Opulence (University Press of Kentucky, 2016). Ron Davis sometimes goes by the pseudonym “upfromsumdirt” and is the author of the poetry collection Caul & Response (Argus House Press, 2015).
Christopher McCurry: Let’s start with this. I see this first question as a version of the “origins and influences” but take it where you want of course:
As a multi-genre and medium artist what does poetry do for you?
Bianca Spriggs: That’s a complicated answer. Poetry does a number of things for me. It is not my first art-form, but it is the terrain where I am at my most confident. I use poems to create problems that require solving or to process abstract concepts, obsessively at times, sometimes over the course of years. I think about every other genre or discipline through the lens of a poet. And what I learn from other areas informs how I think about how many, many ways there are into a poem—it’s not always through the front door. Sometimes I get it in through the second story window. Sometimes I’m coming up through the floorboards.
Poetry also reminds me not to take myself or my work so seriously that I don’t continue to experiment and play and recognize failure as an integral part of the process. I believe that for artists, you stagnate when you think you have nothing new to learn. So, in writing poems, I learn to balance process and product. In an attempt to fit what I have to say into a container, for lack of a better word, I’ve learned through poetry, to remain in an interrogative state, to surrender or get out of the way of what a piece wants rather than impose my own will, and to not ever despair during a drought. I either work through the “bad” pieces because even they have something to teach me, or I remember that even drought is part of it—just because I’m not actively creating what I want at the moment, doesn’t meant that my subconscious isn’t working on it, so I’ll go do something else and wait for synchronicity to weigh in. (more…)