The fall haiku journal publication season comes with a lot of summer deadlines: I currently have 112 poems out for submission! I am thrilled that I HAVE a body of work that is able to support such a robust variety of options (5-15 poems at a time). And of course I do hope this will yield some successful acceptances. Fingers crossed!

If you’re interested in submitting to some of the haiku magazines that still have open deadlines through the end of August, here is a selection of links:

Cattails

Frogpond

moongarlic

Acorn

Presence

Tinywords

 

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Talking back to Kerouac

April 16, 2010

In a recent article by Ariel Gore, Can You Be a Writer AND a Mother?, she mentions the challenges women face when they strive to wear many different hats. To be a writer and a mother is a challenge that I definitely face (not to mention all the other things I work at to support those two things), so this article resonated with me.

Gore mentions writer Diane di Prima’s experience leaving a poets’ gathering, which included Kerouac, because she had to relieve her babysitter from watching her daughter. Kerouac drunkenly turned to her and said, “DI PRIMA, UNLESS YOU FORGET ABOUT YOUR BABYSITTER, YOU’RE NEVER GOING TO BE A WRITER.” Well she did go home, and went on to be a successful “mother of five children, author of thirty-five books of poetry and several memoirs.”

Reading about this encounter put me in the scene, and I imagined what I would have said to Kerouac in my anger at being labelled, pigeonholed, and dismissed in such a way. So here is what I would have retorted back to Kerouac:

Mr. Kerouac,

I say to you with sarcasm, oh sure, let me give up on my duties of humanity to the whim of my selfish poet self… let me ignore the next generation and common human courtesy all in sacrifice of completely unfettered artistry. Well there is more than one type of poet. I will be that voice of the triumph of creative spirit over the mundane and wonderful aspects of responsibility. I will be that voice of the compassionate, the mother, the dreamer, the caretaker. And you, drunk old white man, poetic genius though you might be, solitary thinker though you might be, ego man, watcher man, standing as a beacon of all a poet could be if he were like a general leading the army of the subconscious to new standards of American lore, you, Kerouac, do your own thing, and respect the path of mine.

Borders, here I come!

March 29, 2010

I have a reading scheduled at Borders on Sunday, April 11; noon to 2pm! It’s the south Austin Borders at Westgate, details below. Yay! Perfect for national poetry month. I’m curious to see how the big box store experience will compare to Book Woman. That particular branch prides itself on a thriving local section, and the manager has been a sweetheart so far. I know from attending Nadia Sahari‘s Border’s signing that the potential for walk through traffic exposure in national chain stores is amazing. If you’re local & free, please come by for some Seattle’s coffee and stop by to say hi and make me look popular. Oh and help show Borders that even a little ole local poet can sell books, I must obligatorily add 😉 But I love seeing you just in pure support no matter what!
The Facebook-inclined can rsvp and invite more friends here:

http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=113086638702968&ref=mf

Sunday, April 11, 2010

12:00pm – 2:00pm

Borders, Westgate Marketplace, 4477 South Lamar, Austin, TX 78745

Come celebrate National Poetry Month at Borders Westgate in South Austin! Agnes Eva Savich will be reading and signing copies of her debut poetry book, The Watcher: Poems.

A little about Borders Westgate location, from Shauna Johnson, General Manager:
Welcome to Borders at Westgate in Austin, at the corner of South Lamar and Westgate Boulevard. Stop by our local interest section and ask for Michael. This huge history buff has been at our location for eight years. Currently, he recommends the book Every Town Needs a Trail by Jen Ohlson, a beautiful photography book on Lady Bird Lake and the walking trail surrounding it. This selection should appeal to residents and visitors alike. However, don’t miss other members of our dedicated and knowledgeable staff who are also passionate about other topics; they want nothing more than to pass their passion on to you! To enhance your enjoyment of our location, don’t forget to stop by our Seattle’s Best Cafe and ask our great baristas to whip you up something tasty!

10 ways to be a Watcher

January 23, 2010

1. Find a crowded public area, it can be densely or sparsely populated, and find a seat. My favorite places to write poems were city plazas between skyscrapers in Chicago. So many people walking by! Observe people interacting and imagine what’s going on.

2. Go out with your friends but don’t say much. Be part of the hum of friendliness and camaraderie but don’t feel you have to contribute to conversation. Feel the warmth of being in a group but enjoy solitude within it. I used to stress out about when to jump in with a thought into all the talking, but I also learned to just be comfortable within the simple feeling of companionship rather than interaction.

3. Look closely at people’s faces. Sometimes they tell more of a story than their words do.

4. Listen. Listen beyond the surface level. If you close your eyes, or leave them open but not focused on anything in particular, the world presents its sound in stereo. Listen with the ears of a musician. There are many levels to the sound around you; general chatter, the hum of electricity, traffic, the clink of objects, footsteps, airplanes; so much to hear. See how the sudden sounds of a dog bark, baby cry, ambulance, or construction act as punctuation, how they elicit an emotional response.

5. Try to watch without judgement. Or at least try to judge fairly if your mind jumps to conclusions. Guess what people’s back stories might be, and what the opposite of each story might be. By opposite I mean imagine that your preconceived notion is actually something in an entirely different light. The mean looking punk guy could be a sweet daddy; or the strung out looking girl a single mom who only has an hour free to run her errands.

6. Feel as one with nature; what does the air feel like, the temperature on your skin. Look at the trees, grass, leaves, and flowers, and the state of them. How does the weather affect your mood, and the way others are acting? Draw abstract parallels between the small events of nature and the moments of life.

7. Watch your own thoughts. The most interesting ideas are those fleeting, off the wall ones that are the stuff of inventions, new patents, and runaway best seller plots. It’s these fleeting thoughts, the nexus points of all previous thought, that must be captured. Often you’ll see this special thought echoed in something someone else wrote and you’ll think, why didn’t I nail that down on paper first? Dig deep into your psyche for these interesting thoughts.

8. Watch TV. Hey, sometimes your brain has to rest! Has to be taken for a ride and shown how it’s done. Whether it’s an inspiring Imax 3d film, or that dumb sitcom that’s just good for a cheap laugh (that makes you see the exaggerated foibles of humanity and makes you glad no one acts like that in reality.) Your brain benefits from the connections made.

9. Often take your perspective back, way back. See the vast universe and the small speck of lonely earth, and the intricate patterns of humans, and yourself, the individual. See yourself in the flow of time in relation to the deep past and long future. Observe how that colors how you see everything.

10. Immerse yourself in the watchful revelations of others before you by reading books, visiting art museums, and hearing live music. Come out of Watcher mode and share and interact with them if possible. Congratulate the band on a great performance, sign the artist’s gallery guest book, post comments to the author’s blog. You’ll be inspired and deepen your metaphoric vocabulary.

Freshly posted to YouTube, my Mac Quicktime Video recording of my reading today! I set up my laptop by the bookshelves to the side of the audience. Nerves threatened to take over at some points, but with the help of some white wine, organic throat lozenges, water, and my VOX amp & a mic, I was able to get through it with enough volume and meaning. Book Woman will continue to carry my book, so if you missed the reading and want to support a local writer as well as a local bookstore, please do go there to pick up your copy!

Enjoy the videos:
Agnes Eva Savich reads poems from her debut poetry collection: The Watcher (Poems), at Book Woman independent book store in Austin, TX. Reading is followed by a Q&A session. The event was attended by an audience of about 30 people at 3:00pm on Sunday, January 10, 2010.

Part One is the first half of the poems I read:

Part Two is the second half of the poems I read:

Part Three has the Q&A session after the reading of the poems:

After the entire first printing of my book was LOST by UPS, I have finally delivered a batch of my books, The Watcher (Poems) by Agnes Eva Savich, to Book Woman in Austin. Just in time for Sunday’s reading at 3:00 pm! The original shipment is going through reconnaissance tracking which can take weeks. They scrambled to print a second smaller batch in the meantime and overnighted it to my publisher. I then drove a whole bunch this afternoon to pick them up and deliver them to the store.

I love Book Woman’s new location! Lots of parking and jam packed with yummy colorful books and more. One title caught my eye by the checkout that I just may have to get; Hipster Haiku by Siobhan Adcock. My next book will definitely be a haiku book, though more of the classic literary genre in the Japanese fashion, but these pop culture ‘ku sure are addictively amusing 😉

Getting excited for this weekend. Thinking about what to wear, and what to read…

Proof 1

November 15, 2009

Well I have gone over my manuscript and sent in the corrections after proof reading the First Draft. Somehow the italics got lost in the process of submission (when I experimented with fonts) so I had to find all the bits of Latin, onomatopoeia, and emphasis to fix. Also there were a lot of improperly rendered Em dashes and I added a colon or two.

With poetry, there’s not as much restructuring possible as with other published forms. Poetic license essentially means that language to the poet is like clay to the sculptor; it can’t be said that this particular moulded ridge or this phrase is wrong, only the author can dictate its shape and message.

Writing these poems was rather like the process of sculpting, actually. Each poem idea started out as a solid block of feeling and topic. I blurted out the words and created a rough form. Then I chiseled away at the words to get at that perfect form hidden within. One has the sense, with sculpture, that that form was hidden inside there all along, and the sculptor just cleared out the extra material to unearth it. I feel that way about poems. The poem exists in this essential form, and I have to move the words out of its way until it’s saying exactly what it means with each particular word in the perfect place. As I read and reread the proofs of my book, I’m continually amazed at how the words are just how I want them to be. It’s like each poem is a little, whole person.