In anticipation of National Poetry Month kicking off tomorrow, April 1st, I am pretty damn pumped to say that I am participating in the 2014 Big Poetry Giveaway. Created by Kelli Russell Agodon, and started on her blogsite five years ago, the idea is that we honor, promote and praise poetry–our own writings, as well as collections we love.
Alright, so here is my Big Poetry Giveaway:
Book 1: Scrap Iron, by Mark Jay Brewin, Jr.
Winner of the 2012 Agha Shahid Ali Prize in Poetry, selected by Kathleen Graber (Author of The Eternal City and Correspondence). This is my first book. If you click on the above tab “Book & Anthologies,” you can find a description and book blurb from the contest judge (other reviews for Scrap Iron can be found on this website).
Book 2: About the Dead, by Travis Mossotti
Winner of the 2011 May Swenson Award, selected by Garrison Keillor (of the Prairie Home Companion kind…). Travis Mossotti writes with humor, gravity, and humility about subjects grounded in a world of grit, where the quiet mortality of working folk is weighed. To Mossotti, the love of a bricklayer for his wife is as complex and simple as life itself: “ask him to put into words what that sinking is, / that shudder in his chest, as he notices / the wrinkles gathering at the corners of her mouth.” But not a whiff of sentiment enters these poems, for Mossotti has little patience for ideas of the noble or for sympathetic portraits of hard-used saints. His vision is clear, as clear as the memory of how scarecrows in the rearview, “each of them, stuffed / into a body they didn’t choose, resembled / your own plight.” His poetry embraces unsanctimonious life with all its wonder, its levity, and clumsiness. About the Dead is an accomplished collection by a writer in control of a wide range of experience, and it speaks to the heart of any reader willing to catch his “drift, and ride it like the billowed / end of some cockamamie parachute all the way / back to the soft, dysfunctional, waiting earth.”
Book 3: Ghost Gear, by Andrew McFadyen-Ketchum (Though the giveaway only asks that I give away two books, I can’t help but want to share this gem since it just came out.)
Finalist for the 2014 Miller Williams Arkansas Poetry Prize. “Andrew McFadyen-Ketchum is not a poet of small ambition. He reaches after big subjects in the high style, and–mirabile dictu–he brings it off. There is something of Walt Whitman in McFadyen-Ketchum. He is a rhapsodist spinning words into a musical web. Line by line the poems pulse with verbal energy. His language is all meat and muscle. And yet at the heart of the poems, one finds not simply a literary performance but a tender alertness to the world.” –Dana Gioia (Author of Can Poetry Matter?)
This is how it goes: If any of these three collections interest you, and you’d like to enter the giveaway, leave a comment below with your name and email address. (As a note: I will put all contest entrants into a hat, and the first three I pick will get the three prizes; i.e. the first person picked wins the first book, second book for the second person drawn, and so on.) This contest is open from now until the last day of National Poetry Month, April 30th at midnight (Hawai’i Time), so comment before then.
The week of May 1st, I’ll name the winners and mail out the prizes. THIS IS THE SIMPLEST THING IN THE WORLD AND IT’S FANTASTIC.
Heck, if you are a poet with a book out, and you want to participate in this crazy awesome giveaway too, you can find all the information here. Please, help celebrate National Poetry Month! Click and share! Join the giveaway!