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Tag Archives: poet

About small presses and journals

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maine lighthouse photo

reading at the beach

Beach weather is here at last in Maine. After the harsh, protracted winter we had, we’re basking in it.
I’ve been thinking about small poetry presses and literary journals in Maine, and how hard/expensive it is to keep one going. Wonderful ones that are now defunct include Animus, from east to west, Monkey’s Fist and Wolf Moon Press Journal. Brave journals that persist: Café Review, Off the Coast, Beloit Poetry Journal, The New Guard Review, the Aurorean. (Forgive me if I am leaving any out.) Poetry presses in Maine that I know of: Alice James Books, North Country Press, Deerbrook Editions, Islandport Press. (And of course Moon Pie Press, going strong in year 11!) Talk about a labor of love. I’ve fantasized about having a journal, but it’s way too much work to juggle that and a press, and I’m happy to keep publishing poetry books now that I’ve finally figured out how to break even every year. I love doing it and am about to start working on book #80. Hope you will support small presses and journals by buying their books and magazines once in a while.

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New Year

blanket-of-snow

Here is a lovely poem by Moon Pie Press poet Ellen Taylor about that bittersweet task of putting away the holiday decorations. I’m done with the job at my house, after three days that featured a lot of snow shoveling, too. Our weather has certainly been conducive to getting a lot of reading done. May your 2014 be peaceful and prosperous and include the joy of poetry.

UNDECORATING

Alone I unhook the glass bulbs
from needly fingers of pine,
wrap them in folds of newsprint.
Wooden ornaments require less care.
They lie together in shoeboxes
where they will spend the year nestled
with attic mothballs and mice.
Strings of lights fall like strands of pearls,
and except for wisps of tinsel
the tree is green once again.

The crèche is packed away with tissue paper.
All through Advent, baby Jesus has been moving
from manger to apex of the stable roof
because my nephew, almost five, has decided
that if Jesus is God, then he should fly.
Now the angels lie down with the shepherds,
the sheep, the donkey, and the Holy Family
are put to rest for another year.

No one will help with the undecorating,
I remember my mother saying. She is right.
Perhaps it is a ceremony of one,
one custodian sweeping up
after the final performance,
still humming the tune
of the night’s final song.