Tuesday, May 31, 2016

A Reading for The Doll Collection

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Last week a group of poets whose poems appear in The Doll Collection held a reading at the Mystery to Me Book Store in Madison, Wisconsin. Andrea Potos, Susan Elbe, Robin Smith Chapman, Alison Townsend, and Karla Huston arranged the reading and the book store supplied the books. Each poet read her own poem along with two others from the book. From all reports, it was a wonderful reading. Although I couldn't be there due to distance, one audience member, Martha Jackson Kaplan, took some photos. It was a pleasure for me to see those poets reading from and holding The Doll Collection, the first book from my new press, Terrapin Books.

Here are some photos to give you a hint of the evening.

Robin Smith Chapman waiting to read

Robin Smith Chapman reading "Puppet World"

Susan Elbe reading "Colleen Moore's Doll House"

Karla Huston waiting to read

Karla Huston reading PliƩ

Andrea Potos reading "Every Body She Carries"

Alison Townsend reading "Madame Alexander's Amy"

Here's one of the poems read that night. It's by Cecilia Woloch who wasn't able to be there but the poem was read by Susan Elbe.

Burning the Doll

I am the girl who burned her doll,
who gave her father the doll to burn—
the bride doll I had been given
at six, as a Christmas gift,
by the same great uncle who once introduced me
at my blind second cousin's wedding
to a man who winced, A future Miss
America, I'm sure—while I stood there, sweating
in a prickly flowered dress,
ugly, wanting to cry.

I loved the uncle but I wanted that doll to burn
because I loved my father best
and the doll was a lie.
I hated her white gown stitched with pearls,
her blinking, mocking blue glass eyes
that closed and opened, opened and closed
when I stood her up,
when I laid her down.
Her stiff, hinged body was not like mine,
which was wild and brown,
and there was no groom—

stupid doll,
who smiled and smiled,
even when I flung her to the ground,
even when I struck her, naked, against
the pink walls of my room.
I was not sorry, then,
I would never be sorry—

not even when I was a bride, myself,
and swung down the aisle on my father's arm
toward a marriage that wouldn't last
in a heavy dress that was cut to fit,
a satin dress I didn't want,
but that my mother insisted upon—
Who gives this woman?— wondering, Who takes
the witchy child?

And that day, my father was cleaning the basement;
he'd built a fire in the black can
in the back of our backyard,
and I was seven, I wanted to help,
so I offered him the doll.
I remember he looked at me, once, hard,
asked, Are you sure?
I nodded my head.

Father, this was our deepest confession of love.
I didn't watch the plastic body melt
to soft flesh in the flames—
I watched you move from the house to the fire.
I would have given you anything.

                     —Cecilia Woloch

Monday, May 23, 2016

The Crafty Poet Now in a Revised Edition

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This is an update about my craft book, The Crafty Poet: A Portable Workshop. Many of you are already familiar with this book as it now approaches its third birthday. You already know that it includes work by such poets as Kim Addonizio, Kathryn Stripling Byer, Sydney Lea, Jan Beatty, and Baron Wormser. You know that the book includes Craft Tips, model poems, prompts based on the model poems, sample poems written to the prompts, and Q&As with poets. However, I want to let you know that I am now carrying this title with Terrapin Books which will also publish the sequel, The Crafty Poet II, sometime this summer.

I also want to let you know that Terrapin Books has just issued a Revised Edition of the original book. This edition includes a full table of contents which includes titles of all poems, including the sample poems, and all the poets' names. Another significant change is the addition of an Index at the back of the book. The Index includes the names of all poems, poets, and craft tips. The Index should be especially handy for teachers using the book in a class.

For this revision I switched to white paper from cream for enhanced readability. I also moved page numbers from the center bottom to bottom right and left for easier paging through the book.

Other than those changes, the book remains the same. If you already have the original Crafty, you don't need the new one. All pagination and content remain the same. However, if you don't have the book and were planning to get it, get the revised edition. If you are planning to use the text for a course or a workshop, you will want the revised edition. And of course, if you're planning to give the book as a gift, you'll want the revised one.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Book Launch Invitation

If you're in New Jersey this Sunday, May 22, please come to this book reading. 
Would love to see you there.
There will be homemade cookies.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Win a Free Copy of The Uneaten Carrots of Atonement

There's a Giveaway running now until May 22 for a single copy of my new poetry collection, The Uneaten Carrots of Atonement. You have to belong to Goodreads in order to enter, but if you're not already a member, it's easy to become one. It costs nothing to join Goodreads or to enter the Giveaway. Somebody has to win; it might as well be you.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Uneaten Carrots of Atonement by Diane Lockward

The Uneaten Carrots of Atonement

by Diane Lockward

Giveaway ends May 22, 2016.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

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