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Showing posts from June, 2016

In the Works! A Book Release Party!

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I'm excited (And a little nervous) to announce that I'll be putting together a book release party for my good friend, Edward Vidaurre, in early August at Schneider's Gasthaus. My neighbors recently purchased the restaurant from the previous owner (who also allowed me to host readings there from time to time), and have been asking me to put together an event with the local poets since day one. Being a little preoccupied with life, I'd been putting it off, until a couple of weeks ago, while sitting on the Gasthaus patio enjoying a beer, the owner approached me again with a frown on his face. "You ever going to bring your poet friends, Katie?"
...
Ok, ok, ok, you twisted my arm, not that it really needed much twisting.
Depending on how this reading and release party goes, I'm toying with the idea of making this a semi-regular thing. Maybe a Books and Beer quarterly reading, celebrating new books released by local authors. Dunno. I get super busy and during …

Laughs with Friends

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On Saturday, I was fortunate enough to attend a little gathering with two poet friends, Julieta Corpus and Rodney Gomez, to write and chat about humorous verse. These are two poets whose work I admire greatly, and it was a wonderful opportunity to just chat, write, and maybe most importantly, laugh together.

Our discussions got me thinking a little bit on the idea of humorous verse, so I'll share some thoughts here just for the sake of recording them. First of all, Julieta, who organized the little get together, said that, in her little research for our workshop, she'd found that there was really a dearth of humorous poetry written for adults. A lot of the silly poetry was written for a younger audience. Secondly, humorous poetry tended to be more formal in that it adhered to conventions of rhyme and meter more strictly than more serious poetry, in general of course.

Julieta was left wondering -- why don't more poets write silly poetry, get in touch with their silly side?…

Open Mics... Keepin' it Real

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A couple of days ago, I had the pleasure of attending an open mic poetry event in Harlingen at The Prelude. This venue was totally new to me, and in the end, I'm really glad I took the plunge and headed out.
I typically don't do open mics -- they often are an odd assortment of readers, and you never know what kind of tone or environment you're stepping into as a poet. The opposite of an open mic, I suppose, is a curated poetry reading with poets invited by a specific host who sets the tone, theme, and mood. Open mics are a mixed bag, a chance, but the result can be really wonderful (or really shitty for that matter).
This event, though, was far more on the wonderful side of the scale. It was hosted by Julieta Corpus, who is a good friend of mine from back in my MFA days. I was feeling pretty lousy that day -- I know this is becoming a constant on my blog, but I'd been struggling with some health issues again this week. Harlingen is also about an hour drive from where …

Journals that Pay for Poetry Book Reviews

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Aside from being a poet, I also write book reviews. I think reviewing poetry collections has helped me to see how they work, how they come together, what makes them gel and maybe not gel. So it makes me better at what I do.

In the past, I've written reviews for Inside Higher Ed, and it was a paying gig. That's kind of dried up, but I've continued writing book reviews for free, mostly to just finish up any commitments I'd made to review certain books. And plus, I read a lot anyway, so this practice of reviewing helps me to not only plow through books, but also reflect on them. It slows me down.
And plus, it's good literary citizenship. And maybe I get karma points?
Anyway, aside from all of this, it's time consuming. To think about what a book DOES and how it works doesn't just happen. I'm not that smart, people (I know, I know, big shock right?). To write a decent review, I typically have to read a book at least twice, and I have to mull it over, agoni…