#PoetryMonth – #Review: Unfinished Ink, by Joanne Marlowe

Poetry Month FB Banner

Line curvyFor those familiar with my reviews, reviewing poetry isn’t something I feel I’m great at. I read it. I enjoy it. After that comes the explanation of my reaction and I normally feel I don’t have adequate words to express how the poetry has touched me or the analytical words for the technical elements of a collection. But, since I do try every now and then, I’d like to attempt another review of a poetry collection.

fancy lineresize

11425784_1632520186959947_7843836748199341152_o

Title: Unfinished Ink
Author: Joanne Marlowe
Rating: 4/5 stars

“Unfinished Ink is a unique collection of poetry about love, lust, loneliness, liquor and letting go.  Ms. Marlowe highlights the ups and downs of love with flirty connotations and paints haunting portraits of desperate souls.  Beautiful and tragic, her words will take you on a powerful and emotional journey that will leave you thirsty for a lover and another glass of wine.” (Description from Goodreads)

fancy lineresize

Joanne Marlowe’s collection Unfinished Ink, which you were introduced to earlier in the month, is just what the description says it is. To quote a few words, it’s beautiful, tragic, and emotional. All the other words in that description apply, as well, but most of all these words are key.

When reading this collection, you know that Marlowe isn’t holding back. All-out honesty and emotion is what I look for in poetry. Marlowe delivers. Whether the poems are word-for-word accounts of real-life events or embellished upon for the sake of the poem (neither is an issue, of course, and great poetry tends to blur the lines), Marlowe’s words ring true and would be hard for readers not to get drawn in by.

This collection was filled with many gems and will be worth a reread (and many more to follow) down the road a bit. If a poetry collection makes me want to do a reread to enhance the first reading’s experience, it’s a poetry collection I can get behind. Marlowe’s work will be on my shelf for years to come.

fancy lineresize

If you’d like a copy of this collection, you can order it directly from the Marlowe’s site:

Order Book Here

Line curvy

About the Author:

Joanne Marlowe was born on June 3rd, 1975 in Montreal, Quebec.  Joanne currently resides in Hamilton, Ontario where she is continuing to work on her writing, developing new screenplays and publishing poetry.  She strives to help promote local art and artists and encourages others to do so as well.

She is also the author of My Little Book of Randoms and self publishes her work under Strangegirl Publications.  Her style of writing is short and sweet and to the point, much like herself and her personality.  Her poetry can be playful at times but also tragic.  Powerfully raw and candid, her words will resonate with you.

Joanne is currently working on her third book of poetry and hopes that 2016 will lead to some big projects that include film and music.

Find out more:

#PoetryMonth – #LGBTQ Poets

Poetry Month FB Banner

Line curvy

Time for more book recommendations! I hope you’ve enjoyed them so far and maybe found your next favorite book. Just in case you missed those:

Today I’d like to bring a new list to your attention. You’ll notice a little bit of overlap with the last list. My college required poetry reading was a bit more diverse than the rest of my courses’ required reading lists. And looking back at this, I’m glad that was the case. But I also hope that things have changed a little in colleges. In the end, it all depends on the instructor.

The list I present you with today is a list of poets and collections from LGBTQ poets. I might have been able to make this list along, with extensive Googling and falling into rabbit holes so deep you wouldn’t see me until next April. I didn’t do that, though. Instead, Twitter helped with 98.7649% of this list and I thank them for that. Specifically, I’d like to than Dahlia Adler and her new creation LGBTQ Reads. Seeing Dahlia having a place for the type of recommendations I was looking for, I asked for some help. In turn, she asked her followers for some help and the magical machine of Twitter slammed me with recommendations within minutes. (I’m still a little nostalgic about the golden days when Twitter was social. This interaction brought back some of those memories.)

I could go into a lengthy reasoning for why I wanted to make this list. I could go into all the reasons I want to help spread lists of diverse books, whether it’s diversity of race, sexual orientation, gender, or any other non-“norm” categorization. I won’t though. If you’re still reading this, you probably know why it’s important. You know that the publishing world (along with most other aspects of life) is very white, male, and straight. Very boring and predictable. Lists like this one, and places  like LGBTQ Reads and We Need Diverse Books are aimed to help change that and make readers aware there are other things out there.

Please check out these poets. And comment with any I should add. There are so many names to include here that haven’t been. I’ll post a second list if I get enough input! I’d be more than happy to do so.

Book_17

Poems found in

Verse novels

Line curvy

Find something you might want to read? I hope so. Want to see another set of recommendations focused on a theme? Let me know what that theme is, and if you can help with some recs for it, include them in the message.

Happy reading!

#PoetryMonth – Unfinished Ink, by Joanne Marlowe

Poetry Month FB Banner

Line curvy

What’s a great way to celebrate National Poetry Month? Easy, by reading more poetry! How do you read more poetry? By buying more poetry and supporting great poets in the process. It’s good to support poets (authors, and all artists) so we can keep putting out more work for you to read.

Today I’d like to share a collection that you may have seen on the blog last year when it came out. It’s by Joanne Marlowe, a fellow poet who’s so supportive of the arts. She deserves a bit more exposure, and I’m here to help do that. I hope you consider spreading the word about her collection, as well. If you’ve already read it, it’s not her only collection. Click that order link below and you’ll find other work by her!

Now, before I let you go off to read some more poetry, here’s a little bit about Marlowe’s collection Unfinished Ink. There may even be a poem or two down there to tease you.

fancy lineresize

11425784_1632520186959947_7843836748199341152_o

Unfinished Ink is a unique collection of poetry about love, lust, loneliness, liquor and letting go.  Ms. Marlowe highlights the ups and downs of love with flirty connotations and paints haunting portraits of desperate souls.  Beautiful and tragic, her words will take you on a powerful and emotional journey that will leave you thirsty for a lover and another glass of wine. 

fancy lineresize

Windows

I had a dream last night
That I was on the other side of the world
And I saw the most beautiful sunset
I took a picture of it to send to you
But then I realized that I took this picture
Through a window
I also realized that you weren’t there with me
We should have shared this moment together
Outside
It made me sad
Then I thought
I shouldn’t be watching the world
Alone
And through a window
I should be outside
Breathing in the fresh air
And that I should be here
Seeing the world
Experiencing it
So I stayed there
Forever
But not alone
I turned around
And someone else was there
That person took my hand
And we went outside
We watched every sunset together
And I never looked through another window again

Copyright © 2015 by Joanne Marlowe and Strangegirl Publications

fancy lineresize

Hipster

You over there, smoking your cigar
20 year olds don’t look cool smoking cigars
You’re trying too hard at something
It doesn’t work for you
I see you looking around to see
Whose watching you
You get the occasional look
But not in agreement
Too young to be a hipster
Too old to be cute
And spare us your story of
How you began your love affair
With cigars and Castro
And stop using the word “stoked”
I hate that word
It doesn’t go with your cigar anyway

Copyright © 2015 by Joanne Marlowe and Strangegirl Publications

fancy lineresize

If you’d like a copy of this collection, you can order it directly from the Marlowe’s site:

Order Book Here

Line curvy

About the Author:

Joanne Marlowe was born on June 3rd, 1975 in Montreal, Quebec.  Joanne currently resides in Hamilton, Ontario where she is continuing to work on her writing, developing new screenplays and publishing poetry.  She strives to help promote local art and artists and encourages others to do so as well.

She is also the author of My Little Book of Randoms and self publishes her work under Strangegirl Publications.  Her style of writing is short and sweet and to the point, much like herself and her personality.  Her poetry can be playful at times but also tragic.  Powerfully raw and candid, her words will resonate with you.

Joanne is currently working on her third book of poetry and hopes that 2016 will lead to some big projects that include film and music.

Find out more:

#PoetryMonth – @MariaHaskins on Translation

Poetry Month FB Banner

Line curvy

Maria Haskins is on the blog today for her second Poetry Month contribution! She’s sharing another poem from her collection ‘Cuts’. This time it’s a little bit different. Maria is sharing both the Swedish (original language the poem was written in) and English versions of a poem. If you remember last week’s post with the audio for S.M. Boyce’s poem A Life for Sale, I talked about how interpreting a poem can differ between reading text and listening to it. Another way a poem can change is through translation. In may ways this can be more drastic.

Before I start rambling on about this, I’ll hand the blogging reigns over to Maria. She’s more qualified to talk about translation than I am anyway. But this post has challenged me to read more work in translation, along with the original languages…even if I can’t speak them. At least I can understand some of what Lorca writes (thank you high school and college Spanish!)

fancy lineresize

‘Bird-Cloak’ is from a collection of poetry called ‘The Third’. It was originally written and published in Swedish in 1995. I was already living in Canada, but still writing in Swedish. When I self-published my new collection of poetry ‘Cuts’ in 2015, I translated my three previously published Swedish collections of poetry and included them with that release.

It was a bit of a nightmare to translate my own poems. I am a certified translator, and fluent in both English and Swedish, so I have the linguistic skills, but translating poetry is a bit like trying to embroider while wearing a blindfold and ski gloves. You just feel horribly clumsy and inadequate. Poetry relies so much on the precise meaning, the sound and rhythm of words. Poetry also plays with, and uses, the way words often mean (or imply) more than one thing: infusing a poem with resonance and depth beyond the surface of the words. All these shades and nuances can’t always be captured in another language. Whatever you do, and however good you are, you end up with an interpretation, something close to the original, but unable to fully replicate it. To quote Umberto Eco: “Translation is the art of failure.”

For this poem, I will mention three specific words that illustrate the translator’s conundrum.

 

1. The first problem was the title itself. “Fågelhamn” is a word that means a bird-costume or bird-disguise, but it is a specifically magical disguise, one that makes you look like a bird, and able to fly like a bird. The old Norse goddess Freyja had one of these. So in Swedish, it’s a word that carries a lot of meaning and weight: it hints at something magical, something ancient. There is the English word “hame” (as in Gandalf Greyhame), but I didn’t really like the sound of the word “Bird-hame”. I eventually settled on “Bird-cloak”, even though it doesn’t capture all the meanings of the Swedish word. I chose it partly because “cloak” carries its own depth and nuance of meaning. As a noun, it’s something you can wear, and as a verb, it’s something you can do. So basically, I traded one kind of wordplay for another.

2. Another word I had to ponder was “förbanna”. Usually, I would probably translate the word as “curse”, rather than “condemn”, but in English, “curse” is a very heavy and loaded word, and I felt it carried a darkness of meaning that I didn’t really mean to convey with the Swedish word. “Condemn” isn’t perfect, but it doesn’t change the feel of the sentence as much as “curse” did, so that’s what I ended up with.

3. A third word I had to labour over was “vägen”. In Swedish, this word can mean both “road” (as in: “driving on the road”) and “way” (as in “being on your way”). There’s a duality built into the Swedish word that isn’t quite conveyed when you have to pick one of the meanings in English. I did consider using the word “path”, since path also has a layers of meaning built into it – it can be both a physical path in the woods, and more of metaphorical path you might be choosing, as in “your path through life”. But for this poem, path didn’t feel right: I wanted the mental image of a road rather than that of a path, so again, I considered the options and chose the one I felt was closest to what I was trying to say in Swedish.

fancy lineresize

FÅGELHAMNEN

Jag vaknade långt borta från elden,
klamrade mig fast vid markens välvda buk,
hon vände sig,
sovande.
Min andedräkt tinade fram gryning ur stjärnisen,
och då,
inte förrän då,
kom du.
Jag lyfte mina vingar
för att följa dig
men jag fann bara dessa armar,
ändå vet jag att jag är en fågel
som du.
Tag mig med dig
du
som ännu kan flyga,
dina vingar utbredda.
Förbanna mig inte
även om jag förtjänar det
även om jag inte längre kan flyga
lyft mig
du
med döden smalnande till en tunn svart springa
i dina ögon
(sluts aldrig, vägen alltid öppen)
livet i röda stänk runt näbben
du
lyft mig
tag mig med dig
tag mig ännu längre
bort från elden.

fancy lineresize

BIRD-CLOAK

I awoke far away from the fire,
clinging to the round belly of the earth,
she rolled over,
sleeping.
My breath thawed the dawn from the frozen stars,
and then,
not until then,
did you come.
I raised my wings
to follow you
but all I could find were these arms,
even though I know that I am a bird
like you.
Take me with you
you
who are still able to fly,
your wings spread.
Don’t condemn me
even though I deserve it
even though I can’t fly anymore
lift me
you
with death narrowing to a thin black slit
in your eyes
(never closing, the road is always open)
red stains of life around your beak
you
lift me
take me with you
take me even farther
away from the fire.

fancy lineresize

Would you like to read more poetry from Maria? You can find the collection that this poem came from, Cuts, on:

Amazon | Smashwords | Kobo | B&N | iBooks

fancy lineresize

Cuts - Maria Haskins‘Cuts’ is Maria Haskins’ first collection of poetry written in English. Also included in this book are her three previously published and very well-received collections of poetry: ‘Blå’ (‘Blue’), ‘Honung’ (‘Honey’), and ‘Den tredje’ (‘The Third’). All have been translated from the original Swedish to English by the author, and are available in English for the very first time.

Maria Haskins made her literary debut in Sweden in 1989 with ‘Blå’ (‘Blue’), a well-received collection of poetry published by Swedish publishing house Norstedts. Her two other collections of poetry ‘Honung’ (‘Honung’) from 1992, and ‘Den tredje’ (‘The Third’) from 1995 received many favourable reviews in Sweden, and her poetry has been included in several anthologies.

Line curvy

About the Author:

self3Maria Haskins is a Swedish-Canadian writer and translator. She was born and grew up in Sweden, but since the early 1990s she lives just outside Vancouver on Canada’s west coast with a husband, two kids, and a very large black dog.

Her English language debut ‘Odin’s Eye’ – a collection of science fiction short-stories – was published in March, 2015. Her book ‘Cuts & Collected Poems 1989 – 2015’ was released on November 9, 2015, and includes both new poems written in English, and her own translations of her previously published Swedish poetry. She is currently writing fantasy and science fiction short stories. Two new short stories that will appear in an anthology in the Mind’s Eye Series, set to be published in 2016.

Find out more:

#PoetryMonth – Insomnia’s Ink, by @wingsobutterfly

Poetry Month FB Banner

Line curvy

If you’ve been following along with the month’s posts, your poetry TBR might be a close to toppling over. Along with featuring fellow poets, I’ve done two Sunday Themed Recommendations (Indies and What I read in College). Today, I’m going to try adding at least one more book to that TBR pile. Maybe more than that 😉

I have Susie Clevenger back on the blog. You’ll remember her from day 2 when she let us know she’ll be attempting to write 30 poems this month. Don’t forget to follow along with her progress HERE. And you can find my 30-in-30 poems HERE (yea, you tried clicking that didn’t you? There’s nothing to click. I’m failing at the writing this month…but maybe I have something up my sleeve later on. We’ll see.)

Today we’ll learn a little bit about her latest collection of poems, Insomnia’s Ink. With that title alone, I’m sure the writers reading this can relate…and the readers can relate due to the long nights of not wanting to put down a book.

Without holding you up any longer, here’s Insomnia’s Ink!

fancy lineresize

Insomnia, I believe I was born with it. My youngest memories are lying wide awake at night with my imagination running at full throttle. With my brain hotwired to function on little sleep I find midnight to 3:00 a.m. is when my muse decides to send poetry to pen.

Insomnia’s Ink is a sampling of the scattered thinking I live with. My brain is a lot like a remote control in my hand. It is constantly channel surfing what I’ve read, what I’ve seen, what I’ve heard, what I feel until it finds a place to stop long enough to focus and create. In this collection if I were to choose one word to describe the ink blots across the pages, it would be emotion.

fancy lineresize

Insomnia's Ink

b3459-goodreads-badge-add-plus-2d25bb0f32eeac8660c13a521cf00c8e

Insomnia’s Ink is birthed from night hours of little sleep, caffeine,
and open eyed dreaming. Sit with Susie Clevenger beneath a forty
watt moon and explore the shadow and light of emotions that visit
her between midnight and the birdsong of morning.

If you’d like to get a copy of the book, you can find it on:

EBOOK: Amazon

PRINT: Createspace | Amazon

 You can also find more of her poetry in her first collection Dirt Road Dreams on

Amazon

Line curvy

About the Author:

Susie Clevenger is author of the poetry collections, Dirt Road Dreams and Insomnia’s Ink.  Her poetry has been featured in the online publications, The Creative Nexus, Poetry & Prose Magazine, Yellow Chair Review, The Global Twitter Community Poetry Project, and Journey of the Heart. Susie resides in Houston, Texas with her husband, Charlie.

Find out more:

#PoetryMonth – Books I read in College

Poetry Month FB Banner

Line curvy

It’s another Sunday during Poetry Month. With that comes another list of poetry recommendations.

Last week, I recommended some Indie poetry collections to check out. This time around, I’m digging into my stacks. I put together a list of books I had to read for poetry courses back in college. Most are collections. There’s also an anthology and a textbook. There was one more textbook I read for a course, but I couldn’t remember the name of it and can’t find it on my lists anywhere. Even without it, I think this is a great list to check out. My professor(s) thought so.

Oh, and you’ll notice two bonus books listed. One is by my poetry professor. I got that back in college, without his influence to do so. I feel it has a strong influence on my own work though. The other is one of the collections he suggested that I check out (along with a few others like Plath and James Wright) because of the similarities with my work. I’ve read that one a few times already.

If you check any of these out, I hope you enjoy them. I wasn’t the biggest fan of every single one, but none of them were bad. I’ll have to do a reread of most of them once I’m reunited with them (almost all of these are back in NY). It’s been many years since I’ve opened them up.

Book_17

Line curvy

Find something you might want to read? I hope so. Want to see another set of recommendations focused on a theme? Let me know what that theme is, and if you can help with some recs for it, include them in the message.

Happy reading!

#PoetryMonth – Story Time Friday with @MariaHaskins

Poetry Month FB Banner

Line curvy

New Year Story Time Friday Banner

fancy lineresize

See those two images up there? It wasn’t a mistake. Even during Poetry Month there’s room for Story Time Friday!

Like STF in general, I include poetry as the “story” part of the series title. Today, I have a poem from poet Maria Haskins to share. To go with that, Maria has been nice enough to share a bit of the story behind the poem, as well. I’m happy when I get to share a little bit of what goes on behind the piece itself, and this is no different.

You can also read up on the collection Maria’s poem came from after you’re done. And if you enjoy it, there’ll be another poem from this poet next week. It isn’t an STF post. It’s something even better! Don’t forget to come back for that one.

Now, I’ll hand the blog over to Maria, the real reason you’re here…

fancy lineresize

This poem is from my latest collection of poetry, Cuts. It’s one of those poems that came to me very quickly. One morning when I got on Facebook, I found out that a very good friend of mine in Sweden had died of cancer. She’d been in remission for several years, and hadn’t told a lot of her friends that the cancer was back. That morning her husband messaged me and that’s how I found out she had passed away. It hit me hard, the suddenness and finality of it, and I wrote this poem that day because I was in so much pain: about her death, about not staying in touch with her more, about her and my own mortality. Most poems come a lot slower and harder for me, they grow over time, but this one arrived almost fully formed.

fancy lineresize

Pain in Progress

(For another Maria.)

The lamps are lit
in every window.
I feel the warmth beneath my own hands
feel the flicker
inside my own room.

What lights the lamps?
What makes a fire
where there was only
wick and oil and breath of wind?
I don’t know.
But the lamps are lit
the light is everywhere
spilling through the curtains
through your fingers
through the glass
through the whispers in the hallway
through your eyes, half opened.

I can feel the light
in you
in me
warm in my hands
every word
every breath
every cut and bruise and scar
another bit of light.

And then the lamp is put out,
extinguished.
I didn’t see
didn’t hear
didn’t feel
it happen.
Where did the light go?
What puts out the lamps?
What takes away the light?
What makes the darkness
fall
crawl
slither
over the horizon
over the threshold
over your lips?
What eats away the light
devouring
chewing
ripping it out of your grip?
(Or did you let it?
Did you let it
go?
Did you let it
go out?)
I don’t know.

I’m cold.
I look across the field:
brown reeds broken by the weight of snow
trees crouching low
cradling the dusk
in arthritic branches.

The sky is
cut bruised scarred
and there is just a breath of wind
stroking the grass.

I see your window
on the other side.
The lamp is not lit.

I can still feel the glow.

fancy lineresize

Would you like to read more poetry from Maria? You can find the collection that this poem came from, Cuts, on:

Amazon | Smashwords | Kobo | B&N | iBooks

fancy lineresize

Cuts - Maria Haskins‘Cuts’ is Maria Haskins’ first collection of poetry written in English. Also included in this book are her three previously published and very well-received collections of poetry: ‘Blå’ (‘Blue’), ‘Honung’ (‘Honey’), and ‘Den tredje’ (‘The Third’). All have been translated from the original Swedish to English by the author, and are available in English for the very first time.

Maria Haskins made her literary debut in Sweden in 1989 with ‘Blå’ (‘Blue’), a well-received collection of poetry published by Swedish publishing house Norstedts. Her two other collections of poetry ‘Honung’ (‘Honung’) from 1992, and ‘Den tredje’ (‘The Third’) from 1995 received many favourable reviews in Sweden, and her poetry has been included in several anthologies.

Line curvy

About the Author:

self3Maria Haskins is a Swedish-Canadian writer and translator. She was born and grew up in Sweden, but since the early 1990s she lives just outside Vancouver on Canada’s west coast with a husband, two kids, and a very large black dog.

Her English language debut ‘Odin’s Eye’ – a collection of science fiction short-stories – was published in March, 2015. Her book ‘Cuts & Collected Poems 1989 – 2015’ was released on November 9, 2015, and includes both new poems written in English, and her own translations of her previously published Swedish poetry. She is currently writing fantasy and science fiction short stories. Two new short stories that will appear in an anthology in the Mind’s Eye Series, set to be published in 2016.

Find out more: