Word Perv
(noun): One who takes delight and is skilled at constructing, writing or saying naughty phrases or dialogue.

A few months ago I posted about a poetry project I was going to be involved in, a project that combined poetry and artwork. Twenty-five local poets wrote identity poems, however they decided to define “identity”, and Sughra Hussainy, an Afghan artist, created unique artwork for each poem.

A few nights ago I got my first glimpse at the artwork that will surround my poem and the proof of the first book.

My poem, I Am, surrounded by gorgeous, original artwork

 

I was awed at how beautiful it is. I was awed by a small idea that has gained huge momentum. And I was awed to be a part of such an amazing project.

Thou Art

 

The books are available for pre-order here. You get two books for $35. Why two books you ask? The idea is you’ll keep one for yourself and share the second – give it to someone who needs poetry in their life, who’s never seen Afghan art, or who can’t afford to buy a copy for themselves.

In addition to pre-order, there’s an Indiegogo fundraiser for the project. Take a look, watch the video, and give if you can.

There will be readings held through the month of April, National Poetry Month, so please join us in supporting poetry, identities, acceptance, and art.

March 6, 2017

LaTiDo – A DC Treat

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I recently was one of the poets who read at LaTiDo. LaTiDo is an amazing event held every other Monday night at Bistro Birstro in DC; it’s where musical theater and spoken word poetry collide. I was super excited to perform with them and I can’t wait to do it again.

If you couldn’t make it out to the show, never fear – you can subscribe to their YouTube channel and watch much of the show. Here’s two of the three poems I performed that night.

The first, a poem titled, First Date. It’s a true story.

The second poem is a crowd favorite, This is a Fuck You. Also a true story. 😉

February 17, 2017

So Much Good Stuff!

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I’ve had a lot of good stuff going on lately and I haven’t updated you – sorry! Here’s the exciting upcoming things I’ve got in my life:

My chapbook, All in the Family, was featured on The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed!

I’m the newest poetry contributor at Obvi, We’re the Ladies, an online feminist journal. Watch for poems there soon!

Three – THREE!! – of my poems will be featured in Queen of Cups, a gorgeous mini lit mag delivered to your inbox each week via Tiny Letter. The only way you’ll see these beauties is if you sign up for the lit mag. DO IT! I promise, it’s a lovely little lit mag and I love getting it in my inbox. I’ve found new poets to love in there and I promise, you will too!

Last, but definitely not least, I’ll be performing poetry with LaTiDo at 8pm on Monday, 27 February at Bistro Bistro (Dupont Circle in DC). Please join me to hear amazing singers and a few fantastic poets. Tickets are $15 and you can buy them at the door. For those on Facebook, here’s the link to the event.

 

Last week I went to the 2017 AWP, the annual conference for Writers and Writing Programs. It was three days of panels, lectures, readings, and hanging out with other writers. I listened to wonderful poets, met a bunch of them, made some new friends, and wrote a bunch of poems. All in all, it was a huge success and it will likely become an annual event for me.  Here’s a few pictures from the event.

Truth.

 

Writer of the year!

I love my friends, I have a huge group of supportive, wonderful friends – obviously because otherwise why would I be friends with them? Sometimes though this means I accidentally freak them out…by writing and publishing a poem titled As I Contemplate My Second Divorce. This poem was published by Noble / Gas Quarterly and as I usually do when a poem gets published, I posted links to the journal on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. And about three minutes after that my phone started blowing up with friends worried I was getting a divorce. I immediately went online to amend my post with a disclaimer stating that my marriage was fine and not all poems are 100% autobiographical.

It’s hard to remember this, even I forget this sometimes and assume the poet is writing from a place in his/her life. I assume that each poem is totally true. Which is ridiculous because I know better. Hell, in my chapbook, All in the Family, I have several poems about my father’s death….except my father is still alive and kicking. So I, of all people, know that not all poems are autobiographical. But when a poem is written well it transports the reader and makes them feel the poem comes from a place of truth and honesty. And most of them do come from a place of truth, but that doesn’t mean all of them do. Even when they’re written from a place of honesty it doesn’t mean they are true any time outside of that moment of writing. We writers sometimes take a moment and use it for inspiration. We take the idea, the feeling, the emotion, and run with it – sometimes the smallest kernel of truth inspires a poem. Sometimes what’s true in the moment becomes a poem and then later it’s no longer true. It doesn’t make it any less powerful or moving and it doesn’t make it any less true.

Of course my friends are partly to blame for this misunderstanding because honestly, would I announce my divorce on social media? Unlikely. But overall this just makes me love my friends even more – because they click on those links and read those poems. And then they check in with me to make sure everything’s okay. That I’m okay. And really, how can I not love them for caring about me?

***

Noble / Gas Quarterly also published my poem Toast which got a little lost in the whole “Is Courtney getting a divorce?” debacle. Go read it, it’s a good one.

January 25, 2017

52 Weeks of Poetry

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At the end of December I posted my favorite reads of 2016. When I posted the link on Twitter someone asked that I provide a list of the 54 books of poetry I read last year. My goal had been to read one book of poetry each week and I was happy to surpass it. Here’s the poetry I ready in 2016.

  1. Guns and Butter by Montana Ray
  2. The Endarkenment by Jeffrey McDaniels
  3. Letters Composed During a Lull in the Fighting by Kevin Powers
  4. District Lines, Volume III
  5. Poetry as Insurgent Art by Lawrence Ferlinghetti
  6. NY by Mandy Ord
  7. The Petrov Poems by Lesley Lebkowicz
  8. Flying Out With the Wounded by Anne Caston
  9. Disturbance by Ivy Alvarez
  10. The Big Smoke by Adrian Matekje
  11. Today Means Amen by Sierra DeMulder
  12. Native Guard by Natasha Trethewey
  13. Absolute Trust in the Goodness of the Earth by Alice Walker
  14. Sad Girl Poems by Christopher Soto
  15. Figure Studies by Claudia Emerson
  16. Poetry After 9/11 Anthology edited by Dennis Johnson and Valarie Merins
  17. Pharaoh, Pharaoh by Claudia Emerson
  18. Turn Off or Use Opener by David Kresh
  19. La Douleur Exquise by J.R. Rogue
  20. Racing Hummingbirds by Jeanann Verlee
  21. One Secret Thing by Sharon Olds
  22. The Switching Yard by Jan Beatty
  23. Said the Manic to the Muse by Jeanann Verlee
  24. Mixtape of the Unsaid by JS Belote
  25. On That One Way Trip to Mars by Marlena Chertock
  26. Tanka & Me by Kathe Schwehn
  27. A Door With a Voice by Katie Manning
  28. The Children’s War by Shandel Beers
  29. Michelangelo’s Seizure by Steve Gerhke
  30. The Female Gaze is Cool by Alexandra Wuest
  31. Trusting Souls by Brian Andres
  32. Blessing the Boats by Lucille Clifton
  33. Common Ground Review
  34. Good Grief by Stevie Edwards
  35. Do Conjoined Twins Masturbate by Singing Ghosts
  36. 3Arabi Song by Zeina Heshem Beck
  37. The Black Maria by Aracelis Girmay
  38. Before Snowfall, After Rain by Ariel Francisco
  39. Birth Marks by Jim Daniels
  40. Our Poison Horse by Derrick Brown
  41. Accepting the Disaster by Joshua Mehigan
  42. Ligatures by Denise Miller
  43. Rain by Don Patterson
  44. What the Living Do by Marie Howe
  45. When My Brother Was an Aztec by Natalie Diaz
  46. Tasty Other by Katie Manning
  47. Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude by Ross Gay
  48. I Knew You Once by Alexander Kesick
  49. Heavenly Questions by Gjertrud Schnackenberg
  50. Black Aperture by Matt Rasmussen
  51. Night Sky With Exit Wounds by Ocean Vuong
  52. Seam by Tarfia Faizullah
  53. The Captain Asks For a Show of Hands by Nick Flynn
  54. How to Take a Bullet by Hollie Hardy