It's January and It's Raining Good News.


January has started out with an incredible windfall of good news.

First I got a letter from Random House in the UK, offering to pay me to publish one of my poems in an anthology of villanelles. I got an email today listing the authors selected to be in the anthology which was compiled and edited by Annie Finch and Elizabeth-Marie Mali. It will simply be called Villanelles,

I hopped over to Amazon and read the following:

"The first of its kind–a comprehensive collection of the best of the villanelle, a delightful poetic form whose popularity ranks only behind that of the sonnet and the haiku.

With its intricate rhyme scheme and dance-like pattern of repeating lines, its marriage of recurrence and surprise, the villanelle is a form that has fascinated poets since its introduction almost two centuries ago. Many well-known poets in the past have tried their hands at the villanelle, and the form is enjoying a revival among poets writing today. The poems collected here range from the classic villanelles of the nineteenth century to such famous and memorable examples as Dylan Thomas's "Do not go gentle into that good night," Elizabeth Bishop's "One Art," and Sylvia Plath's "Mad Girl's Love Song." Here too are the cutting-edge works of contemporary poets, including Sherman Alexie, Lorna Dee Cervantes, Rita Dove, Seamus Heaney, Paul Muldoon, and many others whose poems demonstrate the dazzling variety that can be found within the parameters of a single, strict form."

When I looked at the table of contents I was gobsmacked! They even included villanelles from James Joyce, Eugene O'Neill, not a bad round-up. This evening, I received an email from Ursula Le Guin, she has also been included and we are on facing pages. Such august company. We are setting up readings ere I type.

Next, I got an email from the Goodwin Library in New Hampshire. They want 4 of my poems and a short prose piece for a book of poetry they are publishing on the subject of LOVE. One of my favourite topics for sure! From a Google search, I learned The Goodwin Library is a privately endowed institution serving the town of Farmington, New Hampshire and several surrounding communities. With a staff of eight, the library is open six days per week to serve the community. Their webpage continues to give a brief history, "The Public Library Association was formally organized on December 8, 1890. In 1927 the land on which the present library stands was purchased from E.T. Wilson. George Goodwin of West Milton was persuaded to build a library and thus provide not only a source of learning for the youth of the community but to create an enduring memory to his name. The corner stone was laid on August 23, 1928, the Goodwin Library was dedicated on May 10, 1929 and was opened for business the next day. Today the library contains approximately 17,000 volumes and has a circulation of 20,000."

I have offered to come out and do a reading after my next book is published in the spring or when their anthology is ready which ever comes first.

As if that wasn't enough, I got another e-mail telling me that my poem Lorca will be included in the San Diego Poetry Annual 2011-2012. This is my 4th year in a row. It is a beautifully put together book. One of my favourtie poets Lois P. Jones is also included. She posted a link on Facebook. Lois is co founder of Moonday Poetry where I featured in October. She also has a KPFK radio interview show.

On January 6th had my first poetry reading of the New Year at the Rapp Saloon in the Youth Hostel in Santa Monica. Built in 1875, it is the oldest brick building in Santa Monica and derives its name from one of the builders. I learned from an article in the Los Angeles Times dated July 6, 1986, "The Rapp Saloon, a 900-square-foot brick building, was built by William Rapp in 1875. It was a saloon until 1888 when it became Santa Monica's city hall. It was later used as a kindergarten and a building for the Salvation Army.

From 1911 to 1914 it was part of Vitograph Studios, one of the first movie studios in the Los Angeles area. Since 1914 the building has either been used for storage or has stood empty.

The building was threatened with demolition when the previous owner decided to sell it last year. (1985.) At that point the city looked into moving the building to another site at an estimated cost of $120,000 to $200,000. Then about nine months ago American Youth Hostels expressed an interest in the property and the building.

We had a great turn out. It is rather refreshing to be able to face the audience and say. "Thank you so much for coming." and to not have to follow with, "Both of you" One of the nice things about it, which was commented on by the host Mani Suri, we had more listeners then poets in the audience; so the open mic portion didn't drag on. I made a nice little bank roll from book sales and honorarium for being the featured poet. We all went to the Kings Head Pub afterward.

Today I got news from my Canadian publisher, WynterBlue Publishing Canada, Inc. She called to tell me that 4 of my poetry collections will be available on Kindle before the month is out. One of the books is already up.

I got an invitation to the 86th Annual Poets' Dinner (Which is actually a luncheon) up in the Bay area and I have been invited to bring books for sale. They sell them for you and at the end give you an envelope full of cash! There is also a poetry competition. I mailed my four poems a couple of days ago. The theme is "Balance" with sub-themes. I chose Balance, Love, People, and Humour. Last time I was up in that area we stayed with IceOwl and the blonde-haired girl. That trip also contained most of those themes!

Having just been nominated in December, for my 5th Pushcart Prize, I am thinking of looking into some residencies. One which appeals to me greatly is Hawthornden, a castle in Scotland. Hawthornden comprises a 15th century ruin and a 17th century house attached.

I got two more bookings. One in San Diego, in Seaport Village at Upstart Crow Bookstore and Coffee House for June 20th. Another at the The Church in Ocean Park, 235 Hill Street, Santa Monica, CA 90405 for June 17th. Also had a request to present my poetry with the Quill and Parchment Poets at the Community Centre on Point Roberts in Washington on April 14th. You have to cross the Canadian Border at Peace Arch for this one, drive across Surrey, then drop back down across another U.S. manned border to Point Roberts. Last years solo reading was very successful. We'll also bo featuring at fogdogpoetry on the 12th of April in Arlington, WA.

Last night I received an invitation to present my poetry at a future Drama West reading of stage plays at the Edendale Library in Echo Park.

It seems as if one success births several more!

My new mantra: "Keep the ball rolling , Keep the ball rolling, Keep the ball rolling...Please."

Wonder what February will bring.


Sources:
Amazon.com http://www.amazon.com/Villanelles-Annie-Finch/dp/0307957861.
The Goodwin Library http://www.goodwinlibrary.com/.
SanDiego Poetry Annual http://sandiegopoetryannual.com/2011-12-poetspoems-list/
Los Angeles Times July 6, 1986 quotes from Louise Gabriel.

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