Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Poetry Planet No. 16 Animals & Creatures - Show Notes

Dear Listeners, dear Readers!

It's been a long time since I produced a new Poetry Planet - about a year! And 3 years since I produced a themed edition, as opposed to a Science Fiction Poetry Association Award/Contest Showcase. But here we are and Poetry Planet No. 16 has hit the airwaves! You can listen to it as part of StarShipSofa No. 

This edition features the fauna of Poetry Planet - its Animals and Creatures. And while we don't catch a glimpse of them all, we do hear from Ants, Earthworms, Rabbits, Cats (many cats!), Chimpanzees, Dragons, and Dinosaurs. I hope you enjoy(ed) it!

Since I included 12 poems including 2 rather long ones, I decided NOT to include the bios and publication credits within the show. As it is, it's 25 minutes long! So here is the missing information on the poets and their poems:

Russell Jones - "The Ant Swap" first appeared in Spaces of Their Own.

Russell Jones is an Edinburgh-based writer and editor. He is the author of four published collections of poetry: The Green Dress Whose Girl is Sleeping (Freight Books, 2015), “Our Terraced Hum” (in Caboodle, Prole Books, 2015), "Spaces of Their Own" (Stewed Rhubarb Press, 2013)  and "The Last Refuge" (Forest Publications, 2009). He is the poetry editor and assistant editor at Shoreline of Infinity, a Scottish science fiction magazine, is the editor of "Where Rockets Burn Through: Contemporary Science Fiction Poems from the UK" (Penned in the Margins, 2012) and was a guest editor for The Interdisciplinary Science Reviews. Russell's poems have been widely published internationally, winning recognition in awards and competitions including The Best Scottish Poems 2013, The Eric Gregory Award, The Venture Award for Poetry and the Bridport Prize. He has a PhD in Creative Writing from Edinburgh University and has published on the poetry of Edwin Morgan. Russell’s has also published travel writing and is currently working on writing novels for young adults. Russell has taught Scottish Literature and Creative Writing at The University of Edinburgh, The City of Edinburgh Council and the Scottish Universities’ International Summer School (2009 to present).

Delbert R. Gardner - "The Meek Shall Inherit ... (the Earthworm Speaks)" was first published in Goblin Fruit, Summer 2009. Reprinted in The 2010 Rhysling Anthology: The Best Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Poetry of 2009, selected by the Science Fiction Poetry Association, edited by Jaime Lee Moyer, Science Fiction Poetry Association, 2010.

A veteran of World War II, Dr. Delbert R. Gardner taught English literature and creative writing at Keuka College in upstate New York.  Recent SF/F publications include a story in Lamplight and poetry in Songs of Eretz Poetry E-Zine, Star*Line, Goblin Fruit, and the 2015, 2010, and 2009 Rhysling Award anthologies.  Fifty of Dr. Gardner’s poems and stories have appeared in publications such as The Literary Review, Poetry Digest, American Poetry Magazine, Provincetown Review, and Christian Science Monitor, among others.  A scholar of the Pre-Raphaelites, his nonfiction credits include the book An "Idle Singer" and His Audience: A Study of William Morris's Poetic Reputation in England, 1858-1900.  Learn more at www.gardnercastle.com.

Joanne Merriam - "Magic Rabbits" first appeared in Stride Magazine (27 April 2010).

Joanne Merriam is the owner and editor of Upper Rubber Boot Books, and former editor of Seven by Twenty.

She was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada in 1973. A graduate in English and Mathematics from Dalhousie University, she has worked as an oil and gas lease and title administrator, courier dispatcher, telemarketer, charity fundraiser, sheet music librarian, Medicaid claim sorter, check composition specialist, disability and workers’ compensation administrator and web designer.

In 2001, she quit her job as the Executive Assistant of the Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia to travel Canada by train, and then parts of the Northeastern and Southern United States. Her first book of poetry, The Glaze from Breaking (Stride, 2005; Upper Rubber Boot, 2011), was written, in part, about those travels.

In 2004, she immigrated to the USA. She has lived in Kentucky and New Hampshire, and now resides in Nashville, Tennessee.

Joanne Merriam’s poetry and fiction has appeared in dozens of magazines and journals, including The Antigonish Review, Asimov’s Science Fiction, The Fiddlehead, The Furnace Review, Grain, The Magazine of Speculative Poetry, The Mainichi Daily News, Per Contra, Riddle Fence, Room of One’s Own, Strange Horizons and Vallum Contemporary Poetry, as well as in the anthologies Ice: new writing on hockey, To Find Us: Words and Images of Halifax and The Allotment: New Lyric Poets.

Upper Rubber Boots published two anthologies both released in 2015, How to Live on Other Planets: A Handbook for Aspiring Aliens, and Choose Wisely: 35 Women Up To No Good, which she co-edited with H. L. Nelson.

Adele Gardner - "God's Cat" first appeared in Sybil's Garage No. 6, May 2009 (Senses Five Press, Ed. Matthew Kressel). Reprinted in The 2010 Rhysling Anthology: The Best Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Poetry of 2009, selected by the Science Fiction Poetry Association, Ed. Jaime Lee Moyer, SFPA, 2010 (Short Poem category).

A Clarion West graduate and an active member of SFWA, Adele Gardner serves as literary executor for her father and mentor, Delbert R. Gardner.  Adele's first poetry collection, Dreaming of Days in Astophel, appeared in 2011. With two poems winning third place in the Rhysling Awards, she’s had stories and poems in venues like Daily Science Fiction, Legends of the Pendragon, The Doom of Camelot, Strange Horizons, James Gunn’s Ad Astra, Mythic Delirium, NewMyths, Heroic Fantasy Quarterly, and more.  Two stories and a poem earned honorable mention in The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror.  Previously published as C. A. Gardner and Lyn C. A. Gardner, Adele lives under her middle name to honor her father and namesake, Del.  Learn more at www.gardnercastle.com.

Greer Woodward - Far From Home originally appeared in the January 2008 issue of BEYOND CENTAURI.

Greer Woodward is a graduate of Clarion West, one of the founders of the New York City writing group Altered Fluid, and a member  of the Writers Support Group at Tutu's House on Hawaii's Big Island. Her poetry has appeared in Star*Line, Illumen, Silver Blade, and Beyond Centauri. Her poem "Closure" was among the winners of the Science Fiction Poetry Association's 2012 Dwarf Stars Award, placing second.  Her poem "Crater Conundrum Pizza" placed 3rd in the 2015 SFPA Poetry ContestPertinent to Animals and Creatures, her monologues and lyrics about a talkative budgerigar and his writer companion were featured in the Off-Broadway musical revue Pets!.  

Geoffrey A. Landis - "Tree" appeared in Iron Angels, 2009.

Geoffrey A. Landis is a scientist (with the N.A.S.A. John Glenn Research Center) and a science-fiction writer.

As a writer, he is the author of eighty published short stories and novelettes, and circa fifty poems. His novel Mars Crossing appeared from Tor Books, and a short story collection Impact Parameter (and other quantum realities) from Golden Gryphon.

In 1990 his story "Ripples in the Dirac Sea" won the Nebula award for best short story; in 1992 his short story "A Walk in the Sun" won the Hugo award. (Now available on audiotape), and in 2003 his short story "Falling Onto Mars" won the Hugo. His novel Mars Crossing won the Locus Award for best first novel of 2000. In 2014, he won the Robert A. Heinlein award "for outstanding published works in science fiction and technical writings to inspire the human exploration of space." In poetry his poem "Search" (which appears in his collection Iron Angels), won the 2009 Rhysling Award for best long poem. His poem "Fireflies" won the SFPA's 2009 "Dwarf Stars" award for best short short poem.

David C. Kopaska-Merkel - "Orpheus in Ulthar, in Nehwon" was first published in his blog "Dreams and Nightmares".

David Kopaska-Merkel raises giraffopards for the Venusian Defense

Force, and publishes Dreams and Nightmares magazine, now in its 29th
year. He has served as president for the Science Fiction Poetry Association. He won the Rhysling award for best long poem (2006) for a
collaboration with Kendall Evans. Their latest collaboration, The Tin Men, was published by Sam's Dot in 2011.

Mary Turzillo - "Invisible Cat" appeared in The Ubercat and Dragon Owner's Manual, Sam's Dot, 2012.  

After a career as a professor of English at Kent State University, Dr. Mary A. Turzillo is now a full-time writer. In 2000, her story "Mars Is No Place for Children" won SFWA's Nebula award for best novelette. Her novel An Old-Fashioned Martian Girl was serialized in Analog in July-Nov 2004. These two works have been selected as recreational reading on the International Space Station.

Mary's Pushcart-nominated collection of poetry, Your Cat and Other Space Aliens, appeared from VanZeno Press in 2007. Her collaborative book of poetry/art, Dragon Soup, written with Marge Simon, appears from VanZeno in 2008. 

Mary's collection Lovers and Killers, in addition to winning the  in Elgin Award 2013 for best full-length collection, was also on the Stoker ballot and contains "The Hidden," second place winner in the Dwarf Stars award for 2012, plus two Rhysling nominees "Tohuko Tsunami," "Galatea." Her collection Sweet Poison, co-written with Marge Simon won the 2015 Elgin Award.

Michael Bishop - "To a Chimp Held Captive for Purposes of Research" first appeared in Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine, Jan 1985. I said in the podcast that it had won the Rhysling Award for best poem, but that was incorrect. Bishop is indeed a Rhysling Award winning poet, but for another poem, "For the Lady of a Physicist" in 1979.

Michael Bishop was born in Lincoln, Nebraska, the son of Leotis ("Lee") Bishop (born 1920 in Frys Mill, Poinsett County, Arkansas) and Maxine ("Mac") Elaine Matison (born 1920 in Ashland, Nebraska). His parents met in the summer of 1942 when his father, a recent enlistee of the Air Force, was stationed in Lincoln. Bishop's childhood was the peripatetic life of a military brat. He went to kindergarten in Tokyo, Japan, and he spent his senior year of high school in Seville, Spain. His parents divorced in 1951, and Bishop spent summers wherever his father happened to be based.

Bishop entered the University of Georgia in 1963, receiving his bachelor's degree in 1967, before going on to complete a master's degree in English. In 1969, he married Jeri Ellis Whitaker of Columbus, Georgia. He taught English (including a course in science fiction) at the United States Air Force Academy Preparatory School in Colorado Springs from 1968 to 1972. After his service career, he taught composition and English literature at the University of Georgia in Athens. A son, Jamie, was born in 1971, and a daughter, Stephanie was born in 1973. Bishop left teaching in 1974 to become a full-time writer. In those early years of freelance writing, he would occasionally work as a substitute teacher in the public schools and as a stringer for the Ledger-Enquirer in Columbus.

He and Jeri, former counselor at Rosemont Elementary School, have two grandchildren, Annabel and Joel, by their daughter Stephanie. On April 16, 2007, their son Jamie, a Lecturer in German and I.T. Studies, was one of the victims of the Virginia Tech massacre. His novelette, "Vinegar Peace; or, The Wrong-Way, Used-Adult Orphanage" was written in reaction to that event and first appeared in Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine. I narrated it for StarShipSofa.com No. 82

He has written and co-written numerous novels and is the recipient of many awards including the Nebula Award, the Locus Award, the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award and the Shirley Jackson Award. His first solo novel in 20 years is coming out in June 2016 by Fairwood Press under the Kudzu Planet Productions imprint. Joel-Brock the Brave and the Valorous Smalls, "A Novel for Young People, Whatever Their Age," will feature illustrations by Orion Zangara.

Scott Virtes - "Tasting the Pier" 

Scott Virtes has had over 500 stories and poems published since 1986.  His works have appeared in Nature, Analog, Space and Time, Star*Line, Dreams and Nightmares, and many more.  He has five poetry chapbooks available including "Afterlife 9" and "Improbable Jane".  You can watch him die in "Master and Commander", but he's okay now.

Rachel Swirsky - "Terrible Lizards" appeared in an online issue of Diet Soap (podcast) - now defunct. 

Rachel Swirsky holds an MFA in fiction from the Iowa Writers Workshop, and she graduated from Clarion West in 2005. Her short fiction has been nominated for the Hugo, Locus, World Fantasy and Sturgeon Awards. She’s twice won the Nebula Award: for her 2010 novella, “The Lady Who Plucked Red Flowers Beneath the Queen’s Window” and her 2014 short story, “If You Were a Dinosaur, My Love.” Her poetry has appeared in Sybil's Garage, Mothering Magazine, and Ideomancer, among other places. Her first collection, THROUGH THE DROWSY DARK, a slim volume of poetry and fiction, is out from Aqueduct Press.

Find her on Twitter as rachelswirsky and support her on Patreon.

Bruce Boston - "Dragon People" first appeared in Raven Elektrick, 2006 and was subsequently collected with other "People" poems in Anthropomorphisms, Elektrik Milk Bath Press.

Bruce Boston (born 1943)is a speculative fiction writer and poet who was born in Chicago and grew up in Southern California. He received a B.A. in economics from the University of California, Berkeley, 1965, and an M.A., 1967. He lived in the San Francisco Bay Area from 1961 to 2001, where he worked in a variety of occupations, including computer programmer, college professor (literature and creative writing, John F. Kennedy University, Orinda, California, 1978–82), technical writer, book designer, gardener, movie projectionist, retail clerk, and furniture mover. He lives in Ocala, Florida, with his wife, writer-artist Marge Simon, whom he married in 2001.

Boston has won the Rhysling Award for speculative poetry a record seven times, and the Asimov's Readers' Award for poetry a record seven times. He has also received a Pushcart Prize for fiction, 1976, a record four Bram Stoker Awards in poetry for his collections, and the first Grandmaster Award of the Science Fiction Poetry Association, 1999. His collaborative poem with Robert Frazier, "Return to the Mutant Rain Forest," received first place in the 2006 Locus Online Poetry Poll for Best All-Time Science Fiction, Fantasy, or Horror Poem. He was named the Science Fiction Poetry Association's first Grand Master of Poetry in 1999. His collection Dark Roads was among the winners of the 2014 and 2015 Elgin Award, placing 3rd and 2nd respectively. His collection Notes from the Shadow City placed 2nd in the 2013 Elgin Award.

Boston's most recent poetry collection is Resonance Dark and Light from Eldritch Press, 2015.

Tuesday, December 08, 2015

Thanksgiving, Choir Class Concert, Advent and a Review

This has been a busy week around here!

We celebrated Thanksgiving on Saturday. Practical reasons really: no one has Thursday off and to eat a tradition Thanksgiving dinner at 7pm is just wrong and bad in so many ways, plus I'm unwilling to cook it all all by myself, which is what would happen if we did it on Thursday. Dante was so excited! We mad toilet paper turkey napkin rings on Friday and on Saturday he asked about every 5 minutes when the guests were arriving. It was pure torture. For him and us. We invited our new friends the Pillai's, whose daughter shares a desk with Dante at school. They are of German/Sri Lankan/Canadian extraction. And we invited our foodie and kitchen guru (Holger Kahl from Poggenpohl designed and built our kitchen) and his family. Turns out his son is also Type 1 diabetic! An Australian friend sent us a wonderful collection of readings curated by Seth Godin (A Thanksgiving Reader), which we attempted to do (the Germans went on strike!) and it was lovely. It includes quotes and brief passages by the likes of Khalil Gibran and Native American prayers and such.

And will wonders never cease? The food was all hot when it landed on the table and it tasted delicious!!

The next day, yes, on a Sunday morning, was the Hannover Chorklassenkonzert (Choir Class Concert). We had to be at rehearsal at 9:15 and pick up one of his classmates on the way. Ugh for the early start. But the whole thing was wonderful! The program encourages schools to designate one class per grade as the Choir Class and music and singing play an important role in the character of the class and the singing is integrated into the lessons as well. Dante loves it, I'm so glad he was chosen to be in that class. His singing skills have improved dramatically! For all the exposure to and learning about music and instruments that happened at Ecole Koenig they always sang songs that were too low and pretty much just shouted the whole time! Not so here! Yay! The concert itself was actually quite good. There were 3 schools represented. The other schools had a couple of grades each, but Dante's is the only Choir Class in his school. It was really interesting to see how well they sing
together after having done so a few years. Dante still pretty much looks like a deer in the headlights,
but he said it was fun, so....

This year we are doing all the activities. Germany makes a lot of Fall and Winter activities integral to childhood and Dante's just at the right age to appreciate everything. There was the St Martin's parade, where the kids make lanterns and parade through the streets sing the lantern songs. Now we have the Advent Calendar, where he gets a treat or a mini-present everyday and in a couple of days St Nicholas comes to give the kids goodies or coal. We also have an advent wreath that we light every evening, and we've put up most of the decorations. The Christmas tree will go up this weekend. On the 13th is Santa Lucia, who brings The Kids in Scandanavia and Verona, Italy presents. He's getting totally spoiled. But the poor kid has so many activities and so much homework that there's not much time for playing!!!

And now, comes the plug for my most recent poetry review. Last Spring I wrote a LOT of reviews for Star*Line (the journal of the SFPA) and my agreement with the editor is that I can use those reviews for Amazing Stories as well after a period of exclusivity. That's cool, because Star*Line pays me (a token) whereas Amazing Stories does not (yet). So, when I went on hiatus prior to the end of school for Dante, our vacation in Italy and the end of our sojourn in Paris and move to Germany, I still had 2 reviews from S*L that hadn't yet appeared on Amazing Stories. I completely forgot about them, because my hiatus extended into Fall and in fact just ended about 3 weeks ago with my return to posting at Amazing Stories. ANYHOO, the 2nd and last of those reviews appeared last week Tuesday (which is the new Wednesday - which was my posting day). It is a review of Carolyn Clinks ever morphing poetry collection entitled "Much Slower Than Light". It includes 3 full poems in audio read my moi.

Monday, November 23, 2015

I'm baaack! Various and sundry, but mostly France to Germany and a new blog post!

It has been a long while since I posted hasn't it? Since June at least. I went on an extended hiatus from all things bloggy and podcasty and poetry-y while we (the family and I) went on vacation in Italy after school got out, finished out our sojourn in France, arrived in Germany and prepared to begin and began elementary school and all that entails. It was a busy summer that extended into the fall and seems not to be slowing down. Although now, I'm making sure I take time to start doing the things I love to do, namely sing, teach singing, narrate stories and poetry, produce my podcast segment Poetry Planet, blog for Amazing Stories, writing reviews and round up cool poetry. But phew! That's a lot!

I have a lot less time for my hobbies and even my work than I did in France. Dante only goes to school from 8:00 to 13:00 (1pm). Then we have lunch and start on homework and/or go to one of his after school classes. He has Italian on Mondays, Guitar on Tuesdays, German on Wednesdays (which will fall away in January) and Karate on Thursdays. They get homework on most days and since he's training in the discipline of Olympic Dawdling, it takes him forever. Unfortunately, that doesn't leave much time for play. And since I am responsible for feeding him, supervising his homework, and taking him to his after school activities, that leaves little time for me. Mornings only folks! And when do I shop, run errands, clean the house, etc. Well, whenever it just has to be done and not a moment sooner. I have started teaching again, but just a couple of students so far and I've committed to singing with a small vocal ensemble, Vox Animae, in Bremen with my former co-student there, Imma Einsingbach. She's also helping me do a course on Hildegard von Bingen's music in the new year, so there's that.

We miss Paris, sure. Hannover is NOT Paris. But one a trip back in October I discovered that there are certain things I do not miss at all: the crowds of tourists, the dirt and the air pollution. Life is just a little bit more comfortable, easier and healthier here in Germany. We miss the flair of our neighborhood (close to the Eiffel Tower), despite the tourists and the sheer plethora of things to do in Paris. We miss being able to go (but rarely actually going) to movies in English at any time. Except kids movies. They were ONLY in French! What's up with that?!? We miss the wonderful food and restaurants of Paris. We have a wonderful market right in front of our door here in Hannover, but there just isn't much imagination to the things they sell at the vegetable/fruit a meat market stalls. The necessities and that's about it. It is nice, though, to be known by name (even after 3 years away) and to meet people I know and have a cup of coffee every Wednesday. But I did that in Paris too, I suppose. It's different here, but wonderful in it's own quiet way. But it's still not Paris. The Eiffel Tower never got old. Here's a photo I took in October:

When the horrible attacks occurred in Paris we were glad that we now live in quiet provincial Hannover. But then a few days later, the terrorists decided to plan something in Hannover of all places. Luckily, their plans were leaked, and they were foiled by the efficient German police.

ANYWAY, I also recently took up my blogging on Amazing Stories again. My first post after my hiatus since June focusses on Science Fiction Poetry with the natural sciences, technology and space exploration as its basis and the WOMEN who write it: "Women Destroy Hard SF Poetry - Round Up November 2015". This week I resume reviewing poetry collections and naturally I'll post those links when they go live.

I also managed to finish a narration for FarFetchedFables (the sister podcast to StarShipSofa that does Fantasy) that was in the works for WAAAAAY too long. I'll post here when it goes up, promise.

And I'm making progress on a long overdue (sound familiar?) themed Poetry Planet for StarShipSofa. In fact, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel and it should be ready to go VERY soon. Really. Which StarShipSofa show it'll go into is up to Tony and his assistant Jeremy Szal, though. Stay tuned.

* * *

Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Poetry Review - Littlest Lovecraft series by Tro Rex and Eyona Bella (Amazing Stories Mag)

Littlest Lovecraft is a series of picture books in verse based on novels or stories by H.P. Lovecraft. I have helped Kickstart all 3 Littlest Lovecraft books in the series. It finally occurred to me that I could review the first 2 (The Call of Cthulhu and The Dunwich Horror) and promote the 3rd (The Shadow over Innsmouth) for Amazing Stories. There are 2 audio excerpts, The Call of Cthulhu read by moi and The Dunwich Horror excellently read by Dan Putnam.

Poetry Review – Littlest Lovecraft series by Tro Rex and Eyona Bella

Monday, June 01, 2015

Poetry Review - The Sex Lives of Monsters by Helen Marshall (Amazing Stories Mag)

The Elgin Award winning (2014) collection The Sex Lives of Monsters by Helen Marshall was one I'd been planning on reviewing in full (more than just the mini-review that I did in 2014 along with all the other Elgin nominated works). I also recorded 2 full poems (one of which is a series of 5 short poems on Billy the Kid) for your listening pleasure!

Poetry Review – The Sex Lives of Monsters by Helen Marshall

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Video Interview with Kim Stanley Robinson (SofaCon2 - StarShipSofa)

I had the intense pleasure of being allowed to interview master Science Fiction Author and Hugo and Nebula Award winner Kim Stanley Robinson for StarShipSofa's SofaCon2. We talk about his next book Aurora (or as much about it as he feels he can say), about his writing space, the book of poetry and another fiction anthology he edited, about education in the US and he answers several questions from fans. I was hopped up on pain-killers having just had oral surgery and I am considerably addled, but he was very kind, intensely interesting and eloquent!

Interview with Kim Stanley Robinson at SofaCon2

Friday, May 29, 2015

Genre Poetry Round Up - Haiku! (Amazing Stories Mag)

I don't normally theme the Round Ups for Amazing Stories, I feature what catches my fancy. But what was coming into focus was quite a bit of haiku and so I thought I'd gather it up into one post. I'm no expert and so I got some help on this Genre Poetry Round Up dedicated to SF haiku. Thanks Deborah P. Kolodji and Julie Bloss Kelsey:

"Genre Poetry Round Up - haiku!"