Saturday, May 24, 2014

Ragged Sky Press: Blanket Stories Project

The Blanket Stories Project is based on the following fable: 
 Five siblings inherit a blanket. They lie beneath it, together, to stay warm.
But arms and legs stick out and the siblings squabble and tug. They do
not realize that they would all fit if they just moved closer together.

The project initially put a call out to poets, artists, and musicians to respond to the fable. The results consist of a gallery of poems and art, as well as a print anthology to be published by Ragged Sky Press. I'm pleased to have a poem in the project. My poem “Blankets, a Childhood” is exhibited in the gallery and will later appear in the anthology.

Here is my poem, displayed in the online gallery.

In June there will be a launch for the project:
Blanket Stories Launch
Friday, June 6 at 5:00pm
Macy Gallery, Teachers College, 525 W 120 Street, NYC

Congratulations, Ragged Sky Press!

Magnolia Gardens Poetry Contest

This spring Magnolia Plantation and Gardens offered its Garden of Romance poetry contest, and one of my poems won second prize. Naturally I'm thrilled. The winning poems are posted on Magnolia's website and Facebook page.

Here are the results for the adult division. The judges selected poems that “best emulated the sensibility of romantic poets and described Magnolia as an idyllic "garden of romance."
  • Pam Stewart, Summerville, "O! Magnolia," first place, $500
  • Susan Laughter Meyers, Summerville, “Morning Meditation,” second place, $300
  • Warren Slesinger, Beaufort, “White Blossoms,” third place, $200
  • Frances J. Pearce, Mount Pleasant, “Magnolia-on-the-Ashley,” honorable mention, $50
  • Liz Rose Dolan, Rehoboth Beach, Del., “Even If It Rains, I Will Wait in the Garden,” honorable mention, $50
  • Davi Walders, Chevy Chase, Md., “May Light,” honorable mention, $50

The results for the youth division are also posted on Magnolia's website.

May 16 - 18: Last weekend's SC Book Festival

Last weekend’s 18th annual SC Book Festival drew its usual crowds, and I was delighted to be a part of it:

May 16-18
Columbia Convention Center
Columbia, SC
Sunday, May 18, 1:30 p.m. panel: "Diverse Verse"
with Gil Allen, Barbara Hagerty, Susan Laughter Meyers & Marjory Wentworth; Ed Madden, moderator
free & open to public

I especially enjoyed hearing Nikki Giovanni talk and read a couple of poems in her session. That session was one of only two poetry events offered at the Festival. So the other events there that I attended featured writers of other genres. Sessions I sat in on included Christopher Buckley, the keynote speaker; novelist Gail Godwin; and a roundtable by Pat Conroy and his siblings.

Those of us on the poetry panel were happy to see the room filled with about 50 poets and friends of poetry. Gil read a couple of poems from his new book Catma; Barbara from Twinzilla; me from My Dear, Dear Stagger Grass; and Marjory from her New and Selected. (Ed will be reading from his new book, Nests, at next year’s Festival.)

Barbara Hagerty and I would like to say a big thank you to the wonderful Hub City Press booth for carrying our books: her Twinzilla (The Word Works, 2014) and my own My Dear, Dear Stagger Grass (Cider Press Review, 2013).

The Poetry Society of SC and LILA shared a booth in the Festival’s exhibit hall—with members taking turns to be at the booth. Among them—Debbie Scott, outgoing president of PSSC; Frances Pearce; Barbara Hagerty; Linda Annas Ferguson; and me. Linda was my guest for the weekend, giving us a chance to catch up on all things poetry and non-poetry. Such a fun-filled weekend!

May 4 reading: Sundry Poets at Quail Ridge Books & Music

The early part of the month gave me another chance to be in my old home state of North Carolina:

Sunday, May 4
3 p.m.
3522 Wade Avenue
Ridgewood Shopping Ctr.
Raleigh, NC
Three poets: Susan Laughter Meyers, Maureen Sherbondy, John York
free & open to public

What a great opportunity, to have been a part of the Sundry Poets series, headed by Jo Taylor. It's a series at Quail Ridge Books & Music in Raleigh, NC, offering quarterly readings. Maureen, John, and I had the pleasure of reading from our latest books. Not only did I enjoy reading with them, but I also loved having an opportunity to see new and old NC friends there.

And—yes, there’s more—I got to visit all weekend with my long-time high school/college buddies, Fran and Jeff. How many more reasons could a person think of for a great trip to NC!