memorial for a brilliant woman

Monday, October 31, 2005

FlashPaperPoetry is updated for November-
of course, I add things all month as I find out about them-

Sunday, October 30, 2005

I am so proud- my daughter (picture from last year when she was not a blonde) was named to the All-Star Cast for the Virginia Theater Association High School Competition! Fifty schools, a record number, participated.

As I mentioned below, since Henrico High won last year, they were not eligible to compete, but individuals could be named for other awards- AND SHE WAS!!!!!!!

Is this cool or what?

Me? I spent the aftrenoon at a drumming workshop- it was fun. Umm, mostly. It seems to be a very upper middle class middle-aged woman kind of thing- I'm sure the guy who came to 'teach' us has to be wondering about exactly what it is he does- He seems really really nice and probably doesn't have a cynical bone in his body (unlike myself, who could market my blood as something called Cyn-ni-cale). I pondered all the way home why white women have no rhythm.

But we're terribly earnest.

Speaking of which- last year I helped the school with a Poetry Jam- it was fantastic, these were great kids- some of whom had kids themselves, some who had family members murdered or in jail for murder, a couple of whom were normal city-type HS kids- anyway- the yearbook insert came out and there's my picture on the front with the caption "Shann Palmer carefully reads her poem."

Maybe someone told them to use more adverbs.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Must be Friday-

check this out: The Madonna in Me and this from Poets & Writers.

How many of these people will be writing in ten years? How many have a single poem that will be remembered in five years?

It must be pop-culture day- here's a poem by Chris Carrier from Readactions

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

How to fit it all in?

I'm going to miss Hal Crowther at the Virginia Museum tomorrow night- have to- the daughter has a parent meeting at the school for the kids going to VTA. They won (top 2 rows, middle 2 my daughter, with flower) last year (Songs from Bedlam by Doug Jones) so can't compete for a place, but they can go and compete for other awards. She's in a short play and entering a costume plot for Tartuffe. It's up in Reston, so I get TIME TO MYSELF (particularly since hubby & the son have a game weekend)

Getting to events is becoming more difficult as the choices increase- Richard Peabody of Gargolye will also be here tomorrow at Chop Suey bookstore with Liz Canfield- all this activity is going on in a five mile radius of where I live and I'll be at the high school because that' s where I want to be right now-

as corny as it sounds, the poets will always be there- I've only got one daughter.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Good news for poets- another venue, this time at the Richmond Public Library. The Soul Cafe/Lyric Avenue folks had a sweet two hour block in the reading room, with prizes and food (thank you to Catering by Jill Inc, 8574 Sanford Drive Richmond VA, 804-262-5787).

There were almost thirty people, fans and fellow writers- from in town (shout out to T. S. Prunier)and out (Nathan Richardson who reads in Chesapeake at the Java Junction)- THE NEXT ONE Saturday November 12, 2-4pm - mark your calendars- I just did.

Check FlashPaperPoetry for more info, I hope they'll send me more.


In the meantime, I drove down Main St. to go home, through VCU past Monroe Park. There was a line of people, neatly single file, in front of a table. On the table were bowls and bread (I think) and one oversize crockpot. As I zoomed by, I though- I hope there's more coming because they'll never serve all those folks with that one pot.

What if they could serve them all with that one pot? A loaves and fishes scenario for the 21st century- There were more coming, too. A scruffy man with a jammed backpack was heading that way, another was crossing at the light.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

well, that's never happened- I wrote a great blog and it blipped out of existence-

It would've changed the world- yeah

Here's some thoughts on blogging from C. Dale Young from Kelli Russell Agodon-

Personally, I have stopped going to workshop sites, preferring to blog- being interactive has worn me out-
the comments I received on poems were of little value except for a small few who knew the craft (and no, they didn't all gush over my brilliant poetry)

I really like to link, besides-

Speaking of linking- does anyone else grind their teeth at the "Where you at?" commercial?
I know it's a song lyric- in fact, that's what booted me off the page- i tried to link on two different sites to the lyrics and my computer was ambushed by adware- the protection program I have shut me down for safety-


Monday, October 17, 2005

I have been at the high school for the arts all day, playing piano- the Vocal Music Theater classes are doing a show at the Virginia Holocaust Museum . They're doing many things, but I am only playing on songs from "Fiddler on the Roof" . I spent some of the day helping them with a little Yiddish- as if I'm an expert- and trying to get them to say "schnapps" correctly-

later.... there WILL be more

Thursday, October 13, 2005

I have been holding this news for a week!! Here's my hot off the press (well, no press actually- so I get to let it out, thanks for nothing local newspapers!)

Announcing a new prize- Carole Weinstein gives $10,000 annually to a poet or poets from Central Virginia with strong ties to this area and significant recent contributions to the art.

The inaugural winners are Ron Smith and Elizabeth Seydel Morgan

Here's the Official Web Page with more info. Congratulations, you honor us all!
Check out Good Guests by Vern Rutsala. He's one of the finalists for the National Book Award for poetry-

Here's the rest: (two links for each poet)
John Ashbery -- Where Shall I Wander
Frank Bidart -- Star Dust
Brendan Galvin -- Habitat
W S Merwin -- Migration
Vern Rutsala -- The Moment's Equation (scroll down)

There's at least one friend of mine who will say- why do you care about these academic nothings? And I say, I don't but it's interesting- I'm torn between Ashbery (whom I adore) and Merwin (who is stunning)- Bidart and Galvin I know less- Tony Hoagland just got a big fat award- good for him- so I guess he didn;t get to make the double dip-

What separates the wheat from the chaff other than a lot of wind or a good shake?

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Amazing how two days slip by- the show (Five Girls Follies- see Oct 4) was wonderful, the girls raised about one-third of the hotel money they need for New York-

I played piano-

time stopped, as usual.

Music was what led me to first question the concept of linear time. When I am playing or singing, performing- I have noticed, or not noticed as the case may be- that time suspends for me- if I am doing a poetry reading it happens occasionally, but usually only if I am doing a solo reading of 15-30 minutes. In music it happens all the time.

Speaking of reading- Moveable Feast this friday- at 1708 Gallery on Broad Street. Can someone advise about the spelling of 'moveable-vs-movable'? I see both all over the web.

Anyway- time- maybe it's not time, maybe it's a trance state. sometimes I write that way, or the poem/short story emerges when it happens/or does the creative activity dictate the state?

I heard a new statement I like- I'm 'studying' to become a musical comedy improv accompanist- yeah- but here's the quote- "Craft liberates genius"- in the book it is attributed to Dick Grove but it sounds like something that has probably been said many times before-

Why don't teachers point this out more often to poetry students?? I am tired of the 'I write it this way because it comes from my heart and you can't edit genuine emotions' Oh yes I can.

Maybe we don't have enough time- or maybe we have too much. Makes me want the life of a Tralfamadorian- now THAT would solve a few of my time issues.

Monday, October 10, 2005

So today I did many things- the priest preached about joy- so I played "Joy to the World" for the recessional. It instantly made everyone smile and laugh, an unexpected pleasure on a dreary day. (did I mention I'm a Episcopal organist/choir director?)

I read my poems and someone who had never heard them before sat and listened and told me how much he emjoyed them- he was not a poet, nor has he ever been.

I had Crab Rangoon and General Tso's chicken with three lovely young women who make me laugh out loud- two of them have terrible things going on around them right now but they glow with youth and talent-

I didn't dance today. I laughed and played a lot of music-

Saturday, October 08, 2005

I have problems with people named Brian- no offense meant if I don't know you - but it's a true fact.

However- David's and Doug's have all been fine and dandy. Douglas Adams in particular- I loved the books and loved the movie Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy- even with the imperfections-

Then there's Douglas Coupland- how can you not like Legos and Price Club?

Of course, I need to bring up Kathy Acker- but that is definately a different color horse-

what do all these people have in common??

Friday, October 07, 2005

This just in:

CONTACT: Kim Roberts
Beltway Poetry Quarterly is accepting poems for two upcoming special
issues. Please help us spread the word widely!

For a special issue due to be published online April 1, 2006, guest
editor Sarah Browning seeks recent poems on the war in Iraq. Topics
might include, but are not limited to: the impact on the Iraqi people,
American servicemembers, military families, and/or the American people;
Abu Ghraib and the American archipelago; opposition movements of all
kinds; the effect of war policy on life at home; personal survival in
dark times; imagining a way forward. All approaches and styles, with a
preference for poems one page and under.

Poets must live or work in the mid-Atlantic region in Washington DC,
Maryland, Virginia, Delaware, or West Virginia. Please send up to three
poems in the body of an email to: by December
15, 2005. (If your poem is chosen for publication, you will have a
chance to send a hard copy or an attachment, to preserve formatting.)
Previously published OK; please give publication information. Poets
previously featured in Beltway Poetry Quarterly are eligible. There are
no entry fees.

About the Guest Editor: Sarah Browning is coeditor of D.C. Poets
Against the War: An Anthology and coordinates the group of the same
name, which has been active since the first national day of poetry
against the war, February 12, 2003. Browning's recent poems have
appeared in Elixir, The Literary Review, and Beltway Poetry Quarterly.
She is the recipient of the People Before Profits Poetry Prize and the
Quadrangle Poetry Award. She lives in Washington, D.C., where she works
for The Fund for Women Artists, building public support for women
For a special issue to be published in July 2006, Kim Roberts and guest
editor Andrea Carter Brown seek poems celebrating Washington DC. Poems
must mention a specific location in the city by name, for example, a
street, neighborhood, park, building, or monument.
Poets living anywhere in the US are eligible; previously published
poems are acceptible if copyright has reverted to the author (author is
responsible for obtaining permissions). Poets previously featured in
the journal are eligible. There are no entry fees. Send up to 4 poems
of any length (maximum 10 pages total) by email only. Include a
one-paragraph bio. Poems must be sent in the body of the email;
attachments will not be opened. Deadline: February 15, 2006. Send to
About the co-editors: Kim Roberts is the editor of Beltway Poetry
Quarterly. Andrea Carter Brown is managing editor of the Emily
Dickinson Review, faculty member at Pomona College, and author of The
Disheveled Bed (CavanKerry Press). She lives in Los Angeles, CA.
Please see Beltway Poetry Quarterly at

Thursday, October 06, 2005

The Writing Life vs. The Real Life-

A well covered topic, yes? In every little lit mag or discussion group, it comes up. I think every panel I attended at the JRWC at least mentioned it - How do you find time to write? Submit?

The glib answer is- you make time. The usual answer is- you steal time-

I'm not sure about either one as a useful tool for poets. We have so many ways of writing- and the way we approach the art is probably as diverse.

I'm terribly tempted to take the easy route and list my own set of tips, but what I really want to do is kvetch about how tough it is- how frustrated I am right now, and how tired thinking about it makes me.

It's like making that doctor's appt (I need to do THAT too) I will do it, I want to do it, I need to do it. Just as soon as I get home from work.......

Here's a bit of inspiration - Wendell Berry

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Everybody be blogging, everybody be workshopping-

Here's an interesting one, if a little pricey Poetry at Sea or maybe the tried and true- in sweet Cape May - or maybe the Chincoteague Writers Conference So little money, so little time!

Time?? This isn't poetry BUT my daughter and four of her friends (all seniors at the Henrico Center for the Arts High School in vocal music theater) will be doing a showcase "Five Girls Follies" on Tuesday October 11 at 7pm at ComedySportz Improv Theater- $10 (raising money for a New York City trip) Please come! Call 266-9377 for reservations.

Monday, October 03, 2005

I'm still digesting the JRWC (see post before this one). It was a great time- I should be at work but the in-laws are coming next weekend, First Friday is coming up and I have to get to ABC license so we can sell wine and beer, and, frankly- I need a shower.

Here's some good news- hot off the press! From The Hook : Best news for Central Virginia poets: The Carole Weinstein Prize in Poetry will award $10,000 annually to poets with strong ties to this area and significant recent contributions to the art.

Imagine! Now $10,000 would not radically change someones lifestyle (though it would sure pay off a few bills and get the hole in the kitchen floor fixed, eliminate worry a little) but -wow- wouldn't that be a treat? I have a list of people I don't want to see get it- but only God can judge us truly- yes? And for that, I'm willing to wait.

L'shanah tovah to my many friends!

Saturday, October 01, 2005

The WRITEsmall contest officially begins today, though I will not throw out the entries I have already received (overachievers make the world go around).

I have spent the last two days at the James River Writers Conference an interesting assortment of activities for writers put on BY writers. The emphasis is definately fiction but with nods toward much more. Of course, I'd like to see more poetry- always- but that's just me.

Notables (among the notables): Reb Livingston of No Tell Motel, Ron Hogan of Beatrice, K. Lorraine Graham, and lots of locals I'm way too tired to link to right now.

Good panels on day job vs. unemployment, blogging (Hey!) and whatever we talked about yesterday. Got a totebag, too!

Recommended (with reservations- check out the panels to make sure what you might be interested in is there, it might be nice to have a 'craft class' and something for teachers- though since one whole day is on Friday it may not matter) On the whole, the staff (aka as JamesRiver Writers) and the folks at the Library of Virginia did a great job with the set-up- Major kudos for organization.

More on this stuff later-