On March 2, I announced plans to again read and blog a book or chapbook of poetry a day throughout April. Many thanks to all who sent review copies (and if I promised a copy of Odes to Tools in return, I’m planning a trip to the post office soon!).
A number of people expressed interest in my regimen, but understandably, only a couple indicated they might be following suit. Today I want to invite y’all to join me and Kristin Berkey-Abbott in a somewhat more modest undertaking: to read and discuss just four books of poetry next month, one a week. Here’s what we’ll be reading:
We welcome participation in any form, but we encourage you to borrow or purchase all four books and read them at your leisure. Kristin and I will both be blogging our responses (which may or may not resemble traditional reviews), and if you’re a blogger, we encourage you to do the same, and let us know about it so we can interlink. Discussion can take place in multiple blog comment threads. Critical responses are welcome as long as they are constructive, not snide or dismissive.
Kristin and I will also be interviewing each of the four poets by phone for the Woodrat Podcast, insh’allah. If you are able to read the books in advance of our phone calls, we’d welcome suggestions of what to ask and which poems to have them read on the podcast. So here’s when we’ll be doing that: April 9, Diane Lockward; April 13, Luisa A. Igloria; April 23, Ren Powell; and April 25, William Trowbridge. Also, I could be persuaded to include one more person in those conference calls, so let me know (bontasaurus[at]yahoo[dot]com) if you want in on any of them.
A word on how we selected these four. I emailed Kristin the complete list (as of a couple weeks ago) of books I was planning to read next month, and we went back and forth about it. Obviously we are both guilty of bias in favor of friends and poets who are active online. Some friends didn’t get considered because we didn’t learn about their new books soon enough. But I will be looking for podcast guests long after April… including, I hope, my co-conspirator in this, who is a wonderful blogger, poet, and theologian, and seems remarkably sane for a Floridian.
Finally, for those of you who can actually contemplate parting with favorite poetry books, I want to echo Kristin and put in a plug for a Poetry Month-related initiative by Kelli Russell Agodon which I strongly support in theory if not in practice: the Big Poetry Giveaway 2011.
Basically, bloggers give away 2 books of poems at the end of April. The first can be your own book, and the second is to be a FAVORITE book of poems of your choosing.
People will come to your blog and leave a comment saying they’d like to win your book and at the end of the month, you randomly choose two winners and mail them out the books.