Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Reminder: Beauty is Everywhere...

...Sometimes you just have to make it yourself!


Saturday, June 13, 2015

New Workshops Coming This Fall!

I am very pleased to be putting together lesson plans for new workshops I will lead this fall:

How to Make a Living as a Copy Editor
Begins: 7 September 2015  (5 weeks) via "Women on Writing"
Do you love to point out typos on restaurant menus? Are you the one your friends and family members turn to with grammar questions? Have you ever considered a career as a copy editor? This five-week workshop will help you understand the role of the copy editor, the marketplace for copy editing jobs, how to gain experience now in order to move into this field, and what it takes to set up shop as a freelance copy editor. Themed lessons will be posted weekly. Participants will be expected to respond to weekly assignments, including sample copy editing exercises. The link for more information, or to register, will be posted on my website when it is available. US$150.00.

Writing About Place
Begins: 26 October 2015  (4 weeks) via "Women on Writing"
What role does “place” play in your writing? How can you effectively evoke a place in your writing – be it poetry or prose? How is your writing informed by where you live or spend your free time? How do you write about your interior spaces? Themed lessons will be posted weekly, featuring example poems, articles, essays, and links to additional reading. Participants will submit drafts weekly for thoughtful, individual feedback from the instructor. The link for more information, or to register, will be posted on my website when it is available. US$100.00.

In addition to the above workshops, I will again lead the “How to Establish Your Online Presence” group workshop, and “The Art of Revision in Poetry” workshop through The Writer’s Center.

The schedule is online now at http://www.bernadettegeyer.com/OnlineWorkshops.html, along with information about the individual 4-week tutorial I am now offering for those who want to set up an online presence, but who can’t participate in the group workshop for some reason.

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Fairfax County (VA) Invites Applicants for Artist Residencies in Middle Schools


The Arts Council of Fairfax County invites professional artists of all disciplines interested in conducting a teaching artist residency to respond to the FY16 Artist Residencies in Middle Schools Request for Proposal.  The program is a collaboration between the Arts Council of Fairfax (Arts Council) and the Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) for artist residencies that engage students in cross-curricular learning through education in the arts.

b2ap3_thumbnail_acfc-logo.jpgI'm passing along this important opportunity for artists, musicians, and writers in Virginia. Applicants must reside, work, or have a studio in Fairfax County, Fairfax City, or the City of Falls Church.


---------------------------------

Request for Proposal FY16 Artist Residencies in Middle Schools


Application Deadline: May 22, 2015.

  • Artists selected to participate in the FY16 Artist Residency in Middle Schools Program will be paid $1,000 for attending the 4-day Artist Residency Seminar (9/22-25/2015).  
  • Artists whose Residency Program are placed in a school will receive a payment of up to $5,000 for providing the Artist Residency.  
  • Your residency program will be published in our artist directory.
  • The number of Artist Residencies awarded will vary depending on the number of applicants and available funding.


This is the program’s second year.

Visit the following link for application guidelines and criteria.


Monday, May 04, 2015

Contests for Already Published (Poetry) Books - Updated

Because this list still gets a lot of page views, I'm updating it with new links and new awards. If anyone knows of additional contests for already published books (or galleys), please post a comment and I will add to the list.

--------------------------------

Recent additions: Updated Foreword Review

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BOOK AWARDS FOR POETRY BOOKS

Note: advice of most of these contests is to submit book as soon as possible during submission period.

Foreword Reviews INDIEFAB Book of the Year Awards – poetry category
sponsor: Foreword Magazine
cost to enter: $79 (before Sept.1), plus 2 copies of book
prize: publicity of being first, second or third place in category. Money only awarded to one best “fiction” and one best “non-fiction”
submission/entry by: publisher or author
POD or self-publishing restrictions: self-published are eligible
deadline: January 15
https://indiefab.forewordreviews.com/

Levis Reading Prize (1st or 2nd book of poetry)
sponsor: Virginia Commonwealth University, Dept. of English
cost to enter: 1 copy of the book
prize: $1000 & expenses paid to give reading at VCU in Richmond
submission/entry by: author or publisher
POD or self-publishing restrictions: no vanity presses
deadline: January 15
http://www.has.vcu.edu/eng/resources/levis_prize/levis_prize.htm

The Eric Hoffer Award for Independent Books (includes poetry)
sponsor: The Eric Hoffer Project
cost to enter:  $50.00
grand prize for independent books: $1,500; other awards & distinctions given as well, including the da Vinci eye award
submission/entry by: publisher, author or others
POD or self-publishing restrictions: none
deadline: January 21
http://www.hofferaward.com/

The Balcones Poetry Prize
sponsor: Austin Community College
cost to enter: 3 copies of book plus $20 nomination fee
prize: $1,000
submission/entry by: publisher, author or others
POD or self-publishing restrictions: none
deadline: January 31
http://acccreativewriting.com/category/balcones_poetry_prize/

Paterson Poetry Prize
sponsor: The Poetry Center at Passaic County Community College
cost to enter: 3 copies of book
prize: $1,000
submission/entry by: publisher
POD or self-publishing restrictions: minimum press run of 500 copies
deadline: February 1
http://www.pccc.cc.nj.us/poetry/Prize/2005/2006_Paterson_Poetry_P.html

Devil’s Kitchen Reading Award in Poetry
sponsor: Southern Illinois Univ. Carbondale & GRASSROOTS
cost to enter: $15.00 plus one copy of book
prize: $1,000 & reading at Devil’s Kitchen Fall Literary Festival
submission/entry by: publisher or author
POD or self-publishing restrictions: no vanity press or self-published books
deadline: February 1
http://grassroots.siu.edu/dkawards.html

Library of Virginia Literary Awards (VA writer)
sponsor: Library of Virginia
cost to enter: 4 copies of the book
prize: $1,000
submission/entry by: publisher or author
POD or self-publishing restrictions: none
deadline: February 5
http://www.lva.virginia.gov/public/litawards/index.htm

Milton Kessler Poetry Book Award (book in previous calendar year)
sponsor: Binghamton University
cost to enter: 3 copies, plus entry form
prize: $1,000
submission/entry by: publisher or author
POD or self-publishing restrictions: minimum press run of 500 copies
deadline: March 1
http://www2.binghamton.edu/english/creative-writing/binghamton-center-for-writers/binghamton-book-awards/kessler-poetry-awards.html

Independent Publisher Book Awards (IPPY)
sponsor: Jenkins Group Publishing Services
cost to enter: $75/title/category (early entry), plus a copy of the book
prize: Gold, Silver, and Bronze medals in each of 72 categories
submission/entry by: author or publisher
POD or self-publishing restrictions: none
deadline: March 15
http://www.independentpublisher.com/ipland/ipawards.php

Grub Street Book Prize (for a 2nd, 3rd or beyond book)
sponsor: Grub Street, Inc.
cost to enter: copy of book, CV, synopsis of proposed craft class, $10 fee
prize: $1000, reading/book party in Boston, all-expenses paid trip to Muse and the Marketplace conference to lead a craft class for Grub Street members.
submission/entry by: author or press
POD or self-publishing restrictions: none
deadline: March 15
http://www.grubstreet.org/index.php?id=24#bookprize

Debut-litzer Prizes (for a first work of fiction or poetry)
sponsor: Late-Night Library
cost to enter: 2 copies of book plus $25 application fee
prize: $1000 plus featured appearance on Late Night Conversation; winning books will be discussed on Late Night Debut.
submission/entry by: author, agent, publicist, or publisher
POD or self-publishing restrictions: published in North America in English
deadline: April 30

Brockman-Campbell Book Award (poetry book by NC-born or NC-resident poet)
sponsor: North Carolina Poetry Society
cost to enter: 1 copy of book, bio, $10 for non-members, free for members
prize: $200 plus invitation to read at fall meeting of NCPS
submission/entry by: author
POD or self-publishing restrictions: none
deadline: May 1
http://www.ncpoetrysociety.org/bcaward/

James Laughlin Award (2nd book)
sponsor: Academy of American Poets
cost to enter: 4 copies of the manuscript
prize: $5,000
submission/entry by: publisher
POD or self-publishing restrictions: published by a press with at least 4 previous books of poetry
deadline: May 15
http://www.poets.org

Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize
sponsor: American Academy of Poets
cost to enter: $25 & four copies
prize: $25,000
submission/entry by: author
POD or self-publishing restrictions: minimum press run of 500; self-published not eligible
deadline: January 1-May 15
http://www.poets.org/page.php/prmID/108

Oscar Arnold Young Contest for the Book (NC resident or former resident)
sponsor: Poetry Council of North Carolina
cost to enter: 2 copies of book plus $10 entry fee
prize: 1st Place: $100 plus trophy w/name engraved to keep for one year; 2nd Place: $50
submission/entry by: author
POD or self-publishing restrictions: none
deadline: May 22
http://poetrycouncilofnc.wordpress.com/

Thorpe Menn Literary Excellence Award (not only poetry books) (must reside in greater Kansas City area – Jackson, Cass, Clay, Lafayette and Platte counties in Missouri; or Johnson, Leavenworth and Wyandotte counties in Kansas)
sponsors: American Association of University Women-Kansas City Branch and the Kansas City Public Library
cost to enter: 2 copies of book
prize: $500 check, certificate of recognition, and listing on the library’s website
submission/entry by: anyone
POD or self-publishing restrictions: No text books, guide books, or how-to manuals. Previous winners not eligible.
deadline: June 1

National Book Award
sponsor: National Book Foundation
cost to enter: $100
prize: $10,000 top prize for poetry book; $1000 to each finalist
submission/entry by: publisher
POD or self-publishing restrictions: self-published is okay only if the "author/publisher also publishes titles by other authors"
deadline: June 14
http://www.nationalbook.org

Pulitzer Prize
sponsor: Pulitzer
cost to enter: $50.00
prize: $10,000
submission/entry by: author
POD or self-publishing restrictions: none
deadlines: June 14 (for books pub’d 1/1-6/15); Oct 15 (for books pub’d 6/15-12/31)
http://www.pulitzer.org

Housatonic Book Awards (for five categories, including poetry)
sponsor: Western Connecticut State University MFA program, in conjunction with the MFA Alumni Writers’ Cooperative
cost to enter: $25 plus a copy of the book and a completed entry form
prize: $1,000 for appearance at MFA residency in January, plus $500 travel stipend and hotel stay
submission/entry by: publisher, author, agent, or legal representative of author
POD or self-publishing restrictions: none
deadline: June 15

Towson University Prize for Literature (for book by Maryland authors)
sponsor: Towson University
cost to enter: copy of the book
prize: $1,000
submission/entry by: author
POD or self-publishing restrictions: no self-published books
deadline: June 30 (submit nomination during June)
http://www.towson.edu/english/7.1%20Towson%20Prize%20for%20Literature/index.asp

Great Lakes Colleges Association New Writers Award (1st books)
sponsor: Great Lakes Colleges Association
cost to enter: four copies of the book
prize: All expenses paid trips to several of the GLCA colleges, each of which pays an honorarium of $500
submission/entry by: publisher
POD or self-publishing restrictions: no self-published
deadline: July 25
http://www.glca.org

PEN New England Awards (poetry is one of several categories for New England-based writers)
sponsor: PEN New England
cost to enter: n/a
prize: n/a
submission/entry by: publisher, author, agent, or publicist
POD or self-publishing restrictions: n/a
deadline: Guidelines will be posted in August/September 2014

Eugene Paul Nassar Poetry Prize (for book of poems by an Upstate New York poet)
sponsor: Utica College
cost to enter: entry form, CV, plus two copies of the book
prize: $2000, reading at Utica College, meeting with students in master class
submission/entry by: publisher or author
POD or self-publishing restrictions: no self-published or vanity press
deadline: August 31

Kate Tufts Discovery Award (for a 1st book)
sponsor: Claremont Graduate University
cost to enter: 5 copies of the book
prize: $10,000
submission/entry by: author
POD or self-publishing restrictions: none
deadline: September 15
http://www.cgu.edu/tufts/

Kingsley Tufts Award
sponsor: Claremont Graduate University
cost to enter: 8 copies of the book
prize: $100,000 and 1-week residency at Claremont
submission/entry by: author, publisher, or agent/rep
POD or self-publishing restrictions: none
deadline: September 15
http://www.cgu.edu/tufts/

Hurston/Wright Legacy Award (books by writers of African descent, various genres incl. poetry)
sponsor: Hurston/Wright Foundation
cost to enter: $30, plus four copies of the book
prize: announcement at the annual Gala fundraiser
submission/entry by: publisher (self-published authors may nominate themselves)
POD or self-publishing restrictions: none
deadline: November 12

Drake University Emerging Writer Award (1st books, 2013 is novels; check future for poetry)
sponsor: Drake University Writers & Critics Series
cost to enter: $15 plus a copy of the book, cover letter
prize: $1000 plus travel and lodging for a reading at the University
submission/entry by: author or publisher
POD or self-publishing restrictions: no vanity presses or self-published books
deadline: November 15
http://artsci.drake.edu/english/WritersandCritics
Send to: Drake University Emerging Writer Award,  c/o Nancy Reincke, Writers and Critics Series,  English Department, Howard Hall,  Drake University,  2507 University Ave,  Des Moines, IA 50311
email: nancy.reincke@drake.edu

UNT Rilke Prize (for a mid-career poet with at least two previous books of poetry)
sponsor: University of North Texas
cost to enter: two copies of book and completed entry form
prize: $10,000 plus travel expenses for trip to Texas to give readings at UNT and at The Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture
submission/entry by: author or publisher
POD or self-publishing restrictions: no self-published books
deadline: November 30
 
Lambda Literary Awards (LBGT content relevance, not based on orientation of writer)
sponsor: Lambda Literary
cost to enter: $35 plus a copy of the book
prize: award and ceremony
submission/entry by: author or publisher
POD or self-publishing restrictions: none
deadline: December 1
http://www.lambdaliterary.org/awards/

National Book Critics Circle Award
sponsor: National Book Critics Circle
cost to enter: 1 copy of book to a board member, if they're interested, they will request one for each board member
prize: fabulous publicity, awards ceremony in NYC
submission/entry by: publisher
POD or self-publishing restrictions: no self-published
deadline: December 1
http://www.bookcritics.org

Thomas and Lillie D. Chaffin Award for Appalachian Writing
sponsor: Morehead State University
cost to enter: five copies of a book
prize: $1000
submission/entry by: publisher or author
POD or self-publishing restrictions: none
deadline: December 1
http://www.moreheadstate.edu/content_template.aspx?id=4944

Pushcart Prize (for individual poems from published poetry collections)
sponsor: Pushcart Prize
cost to enter: none (up to six entries from a single publisher)
prize: publication in annual Pushcart Prize anthology
submission/entry by: publisher
POD or self-publishing restrictions: none
deadline: December 1
http://www.pushcartprize.com

Minnesota Book Awards (various genres, including poetry books by MN writers)
sponsor: The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library
cost to enter: $45, plus 5 copies of the book
prize: invitation to awards gala, unclear if there is a monetary award
submission/entry by: author, publisher, or agent
POD or self-publishing restrictions: none
deadline: December 5

Norma Farber First Book Award (for a first book)
sponsor: Poetry Society of America
cost to enter: $20
prize: $500
submission/entry by: publisher
POD or self-publishing restrictions: "standard edition"; no self-published
deadline: December 22
http://www.poetrysociety.org/psa/awards/annual/individual/

William Carlos Williams Award
sponsor: Poetry Society of America
cost to enter: $20
prize: purchase prize between $500-$1000
submission/entry by: publisher
POD or self-publishing restrictions: "standard edition"; no self-published
deadline: December 22
http://www.poetrysociety.org/psa/awards/annual/individual/

American Book Awards
sponsor: Before Columbus Foundation
cost to enter: two copies of the book
prize: 10 to 18 awards
submission/entry by: anyone
POD or self-publishing restrictions: none
deadline: December 31
http://www.beforecolumbusfoundation.com/

Griffin Poetry Prize
sponsor: Griffin Trust for Excellence in Poetry
cost to enter: four copies of a book
prize: $65,000 (Canadian); $63,250 (American)
submission/entry by: publisher
POD or self-publishing restrictions: no self-published
deadline: December 31
http://www.griffinpoetryprize.com

Julie Suk Prize for Best Poetry Book
sponsor: Jacar Press
cost to enter: two copies of book, plus $10 reading fee
prize: $500, and invitation to North Carolina for a reading and workshop
submission/entry by: anyone
POD or self-publishing restrictions: independent, non-major presses only
deadline: December 31
http://www.jacarpress.com/submit/

PEN Center Book Awards (poetry is one of several categories, writers west of the Mississippi River)
sponsor: PEN Center USA
cost to enter: 4 copies of book, plus $35 fee, plus application form
prize: $1000, one-year membership in PEN Center USA, invitation to annual Literary Awards Festival
submission/entry by: authors, publishers, agents, or publicists
POD or self-publishing restrictions: no POD or self-published books
deadline: December 31


Wednesday, April 29, 2015

SAND Launches Issue #11 in Berlin

On 25 April 2015, SAND: Berlin’s English Language Journal held its Issue #11 launch party at 1820 Bar in Berlin. The event was co-hosted with The Reader Berlin, an organization that offers workshops and other services for writers in the city.

Will Studdert
The new issue of SAND features the winner of The Reader’s Short Story Competition, Will Studdert, who read from his prize-winning story, “Horst-Wessel-Stadt.” Studdert recently completed a history PhD at the University of Kent, exploring the ways in which Britain, Germany, and the US used jazz music in propaganda broadcasts during World War II. He lives in Berlin.

from Horst-Wessel-Stadt

Queer thing about the blackout is how the eye is so quick to make friends with it. I can detect now infinite shades of black & someday shall perhaps get around to naming them. I could see apartment rooftops inked jagged against the turquoise of the night’s canvas & even make out the corner building close to the Atlantis, a grand Bohemian-looking affair.

The second reader of the evening was Utz Rachowski, who was born in 1954 in East Germany. In 1979, he was arrested for “subversive agitation” and expatriated, and then released to West Germany through Amnesty International in 1980. Rachowski taught for a semester at Gettysburg College, in Pennsylvania. SAND includes both his German poems alongside their English translations, as translated by Michael Ritterson. Rachowski read his poems in German, while the English translations were read by SAND’s Editor-in-Chief/Poetry Editor, Lyz Pfister.

Utz Rachowski
from The Cold War Is Long Since Over

My heart was already a bullet
of ice and I set off again
for Checkpoint Charlie
where every day the Russians stand
with matryoshkas babushkas
and wristwatches
because their time has run out
I asked if he had a Makarov
and dropped my eyes and looked
at that single strip of bronze
where once the wall had stood uneasy
the Russian said konyezhno sure!

adrian nichols
adrian nichols – who studied dance at the School of American Ballet and law at the University of Virginia and now lives in Berlin – read from his series of poems which are written “in accord with john cage in his manner of operation.” nichols’ poem “no. xi” appears in the new issue of SAND.

from no.xi

0’00”   poetry
0’05”
0’10”
0’15”   is concerned with pleasure
0’20”
0’25”   and pain
0’30”
0’35”                           not happiness or unhappiness

The final reader of the evening was fiction writer Kasia Juno van Schaik, who studied literature and creative writing at the University of Toronto and at Concordia University in Montreal. She lives in Berlin and Montreal. van Schaik’s short story “Highwayman” is included in the new issue of SAND.

Kasia Juno van Schaik
from Highwayman

Paul passed a man by the side of the road, a hitchhiker who didn’t even bother lifting his thumb. The wind had risen, and sand was flying off the dunes into the road. The west beaches were empty at this time of year. The water’s surface, darkening occasionally with clouds, reminded Paul of a whale-watching trip he’d taken with Judy. It was years ago now, before the women’s groups and the separate bedrooms…

The evening ended with a few hours of dancing. The editors really know how to throw a launch event!




For more information on The Reader Berlin and its workshops and other services for writers, visit www.thereaderberlin.com.

SAND’s next submission period opens 1 May 2015. For more information on submissions, visit their website at www.sandjournal.com.



Monday, April 13, 2015

Isn't Everything Poetry? - At Curious Fox Books

What would National Poetry Month be without attending at least one poetry reading, even if it is in a country that does not celebrate April as National Poetry Month?

Though I am not writing a poem-a-day as part of NaPoWriMo, I did want to attend as many literary events as I could. This first one of April being the monthly “Isn’t Everything Poetry?” night at Curious Fox Books in the Neukölln neighborhood of Berlin.

Jason Francis Mc Gimsey
The first reader of the evening was Jason Francis Mc Gimsey, co-editor of the Paris-based literary journal Paris Lit Up, in celebration of the launch of the journal's second issue, which includes two writers familiar to me – Margo Berdeshevsky and Lesley Wheeler. Jason read a powerful short story of his and talked about the origins of the journal, which publishes poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, translations, and art. The annual journal grew out of the open mic organized by the Paris Lit Up writing community. Jason also brought copies of Flying Home, the first book published by Paris Lit Up Press. Flying Home is an artistic collaboration pairing 55 works of art by Sig Bang Schmidt with poems by Steve Dalachinsky.

Alistair Noon
The event’s second reader was Alistair Noon, a U.K.-born poet and translator who has lived in Berlin since the 1990s. Alistair read from his translations of poems by Osip Mandelstam, one of which is published in the new issue of Paris Lit Up.

From ‘Out of the gypsy tents…’

Through the gypsy tents on the darkening street, I’ll dash
after the withered cherry branch inside the black carriage,
after the snow-filled bonnet and the noise like a millstone.

All I recall was how they misfired, those chestnut locks
so smoky with bitterness—or was it ant’s acid?
Their amber dryness will stay on my lips.

Nisha Bhakoo
Nisha Bhakoo performed her work as the third featured reader. Nisha is a poet from Brighton, U.K., who has lived in Berlin for about a month. Her rhymes had a hip-hop edge to them and poem titles included ‘Half Human,’ ‘About Living above a Sex Shop,’ and ‘This Toothless Night.’

From ‘This Toothless Night’

This toothless night
has a playful clock—
you hear the tick
but miss the tock.

The final featured reader, Rosie Allabarton, is also originally from the U.K. but now lives in Berlin. She is a graduate of the Birkbeck Creative Writing M.A. program. Many of Rosie’s poems were thematically linked by their attention to place, with titles including ‘Munich,’ ‘Budapest,’ and ‘Tempelhof,’ while other poems intimately addressed an unknown “you”.
Rosie Allabarton

From ‘Autumn #4’

… we watched the moon, a soft face
on the folding paper lake
our hands heavy and still on the tracks:
would the Autumn
be so inclined as Summer
was obliging?

I am very glad for the opportunity to purchase a copy of the new issue of Paris Lit Up, which is now being stocked by Curious Fox Books. Since I couldn’t be at AWP to spend my year’s earnings at the Book Fair, I could at least pick up a literary journal close to home, and get to know some of the European writers with whom I am not familiar. You can find out more about the Paris Lit Up community, open mic scene, magazine, and press, at http://parislitup.com/.



Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Bang, Brady, and Stonecipher in Berlin

There are several English-language bookstores in Berlin, and a few of them host occasional readings by visiting or resident writers whose works or translations are published in English. I am fortunate to live within walking distance of Saint George's English Book Shop, in the Prenzlauer Berg neighborhood.

Andrea Brady
On Thursday, March 26, Saint George’s hosted a reading by three poets – Mary Jo Bang, Andrea Brady, and Donna Stonecipher. While I've seen Donna read in Berlin on previous occasions (and had the pleasure of being 'on the same bill' as her in January at Saint George's), I had never seen Mary Jo, nor Andrea, read from their work.

The store was packed when I arrived, so I snatched up one of the last remaining free seats. By the time the reading started, it was standing room only. Shane Anderson, an American writer and translator living in Berlin, organized the event and introduced the readers.

Andrea Brady started the evening by reading selections from several of her books, including her chapbook Dompteuse (BookThug, 2014), which is a sequence of poems in response to the photomontages of Hannah Höch. She ended her reading with sections from her book Mutability: Scripts for Infancy (Seagull Books, 2012), a collection of poetry and prose on the early years of motherhood. She teaches at the Queen Mary University of London and is the director of the Archive of the Now, an online repository of contemporary poets reading their work.

from Mutability

Your dark eyes fix the borders of light and shadow, mesmerized in a sticky fixation on contrasts, the first resolution you'll learn to make. It isn't devotion, fascination or dependency but a kind of regard which honours, the curve of chin into hair, seams. Generally you don't complain, even when we lift you from the bath, whitening your hand when you shake with primitive tremors: to make anything worse for you is only forgivable if we can wrap you up in adult fortitude after, singing to warm you.

Mary Jo Bang
The second reader of the evening was Mary Jo Bang, who read poems from her new collection, The Last Two Seconds (Graywolf, 2015). Mary Jo teaches at Washington University in Saint Louis, Missouri, and is temporarily living in Berlin on a fellowship from the American Academy of Berlin. She is the author of six previous books of poetry, including Elegy (Graywolf, 2009), winner of
the National Book Critics Circle Award.

from The Last Two Seconds

The Earthquake She Slept Through (excerpt)

                        She slept through the earthquake in Spain.
The day after was full of dead things. Well, not full but a few.
Coming in the front door, she felt the crunch of a carapace

under her foot. In the bathroom, a large cockroach rested
on its back at the edge of the marble surround; the dead
antennae announced the future by pointing to the silver mouth

that would later gulp the water she washed her face with.
Who wouldn't have wished for the quick return
of last night’s sleep?...

The final reader of the evening was Donna Stonecipher, who read from her new collection Model City (Shearsman Books, 2015). Donna is the author of three previous books of poetry, including The Cosmopolitan (Coffee House Press, 2008), winner of the National Poetry Series. Donna lives in Berlin and teaches poetry workshops through The Reader Berlin.

from Model City

Model City [50] (excerpt)
Donna Stonecipher

It was like walking past a building that had been built by one regime and then used by three regimes in succession, and thinking about the idea of ownership, of a building as an exoskeleton of a regime.

*

It was like thinking about the building that you call home as an exoskeleton you do not in any sense own, unlike a snail's exoskeleton; about the ownership of attachment, the attachment to ownership.

*

It was like remembering pulling empty snail-shells from wildflower leaves one summer, and remembering that even snails don't own their own homes, that one doesn't even own one's own skeleton.


Because there are not a lot of readings in the city by English-language writers, it felt very decadent to me to be able to buy three new books in one night! They will escort me into National Poetry Month (April!) quite nicely.