Tomorrow! Poetry reading on April 24th

(and I’ll be part of it. I’m excited!)

The Poetry of Mortality

How to join the Zoom Meeting:

Sunday, April 24 3:00-4:30 EDT–2:00-3:30 CDT–1:00-2:30 MDT–12:00-1:30 PDT

Since Gilgamesh lamented the death of his companion Enkidu, and Homer sung of heroes dying in battle, poetry has served as elegy. We look to poets when we reflect on the brevity of life and mourn those who have died. J.S. Absher, Joyce Compton Brown, Michael Gaspeny, and Jane Wiseman (clockwise from upper left) will interpret the theme according to their lights in the seventh themed reading hosted by Joan Barasovska. The order of readers is Joyce, Michael, Jane, Stan, and there will be time for a Q&A at the end.

Setting another amazing poem to music

Edmund Waller’s GO, LOVELY ROSE

HUGE THANKS to Stan Absher for posting this on his Facebook account, which is where I ran across it. Here’s Stan’s own poetry website: Visit his page to read some of his own fabulous poetry and find out how you can get more.

Virtual meeting: Writers for Democratic Action

I recently received an email from North Carolina poet friends about Writers for Democratic Action.

The email, from the North Carolina branch, encourages poets–and all writers–to support voting rights and build a state-wide network within the national organization. If you are in NC and want to learn more, Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill is hosting a virtual discussion on Oct. 16, 2021, at

Poetry goes to the movies

Great poetry recited beautifully (or sometimes not so much) in some ordinary and some extraordinary movies. In no particular order (and there MUST be more–will add them if I think of them, and mention any in the comments, please!):

“Brown Penny,” William Butler Yeats, as recited by Christopher Plummer in the rom-com Must Love Dogs

The last stanza of e e cummings’s “somewhere I have never travelled,” recited by Barbara Hershey in Woody Allen’s Hannah and Her Sisters.

Part of “Do Not Go Gentle into That Night,” Dylan Thomas, recited surprisingly effectively by Rodney Dangerfield (it’s pretty funny, too–how could it not?) in the comedy Back To School.

Allen Ginsberg’s “Howl,” recited by James Franco in the movie also titled Howl, about Ginsberg’s obscenity trial, directed by Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman.

“Funeral Blues,” by W. H. Auden, recited by John Hannah in the romantic comedy Four Weddings and A Funeral, directed by Mike Newell.

It’s impossible to include all the great passages from all the Shakespeare recited in all the great filmed Shakespeare out there. Here’s only one:

Discover some North Carolina poets

They are all members of Poet Fools (and. . .okay. . .a few of the Fools are from Virginia). They’ve produced some fine chapbooks. Here they are, in alphabetical order:

Two by Joan Barasovska

Birthing Age, from Finishing Line Press:

Carrying Clare, from Main Street Rag:

Poetry from Barb Brooks, including her chapbooks

Joanie McLean’s chapbook, Every Single Thing, from Homebound Publications

Iris Tillman’s chapbook, All This Happened Long Ago–It Happens Now, from Main Street Rag

more about Iris:

The Fools claim Stan Absher, too. Go to his blog to find out what he’s written and how to get it. . .his chapbook Mouth Work, and more:

Is this toad trying to tell me something?

When I look on my site via my desktop computer, or on my phone, I see what I expect to see. On my iPad, however, I see an enormous toad covering up a third to a half of every page. I hope you see the normal web site. On the other hand, if you see the toad instead. . . Maybe that’s a sign from the great virtual Beyond that you should rush right out, create an imaginary garden, and lure that toad into it. I know that’s what I plan to do.

Recently attended a poetry conference

. . . and of course it was on Zoom, the times being what they are. But I got a lot out of the workshops. If you’re thinking of one to attend, contact the organizers, SOMOS of Taos, New Mexico, to get on their mailing list:

One of the reasons I was so glad to find this conference is my years-long habit of attending the Taos Summer Writers’ Conference, which is now defunct after a brief move to Santa Fe. It was sponsored by the University of New Mexico, and I think the conference organizers still do some online workshops through UNM’s continuing education program: