Thursday, April 14, 2011

Poem In Your Pocket Day - April 14, 2011


Today is Poem In Your Pocket Day!!

Or rather was. For me anyway, it's over. But if you are reading this on 14 April 2011, it may not be too late for you to participate! Go and find a poem you like and print it out. Carry it around with you and read it to anyone you think might even vaguely appreciate it. Go to if you are at a loss!

Do you already have a poem in your pocket? What is it? I'd like to read it!

I carried "Singing" by Robert Louis Stevenson from A Child's Garden of Verses and on the other side of the page "Leise Lieder sing ich dir bei Nacht" by Christian Morgenstern, for my German friends. I read them both to my German playgroup mothers. They loved it. They also thought it was wonderful that America celebrates such things. The cynic in me said, "Yes, well America celebrates everything!" And while that may be true that there is a Day For Everything, I don't think it is a bad thing per se. And I quite liked the idea of Poem in Your Pocket Day.


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Seekrit Projekt is Reality! "Poetry Planet"!

Poetry Planet is Reality, folks. What is Poetry Planet you might ask? It's a monthly segment I've decided to produce for my favorite podcast, StarShipSofa. And as you might guess it showcases Poetry. Science Fiction Poetry. Or Fantasy Poetry. Or Dark Poetry. Or Speculative Poetry. All of the above and more, probably.

This has been a long labor. I first had the idea last year to record more poetry for Tony, but he wasn't fielding submissions anymore. It's a lot of work! I had the idea that I could do a monthly segment and do all the work of receiving submissions and just deliver a finished project to Tony. But I just couldn't wrap my mind around getting it done. Then it was New Years, and I was considering what could be my New Years Resolution. I decided I would create a first article and spring it on Tony, so he couldn't refuse! I joined the Science Fiction Poetry Association and ordered Suzette Haden Elgin's Handbook of Science Fiction Poetry. I roamed around the web familiarizing myself with things. I rolled the formatting around my mind and decided the first show would be simple, with only one poem - an SF poem about poetry by Suzette Haden Elgin that I'd found on her website, and otherwise, just talking about poetry, how I've come to enjoy reciting and reading it aloud and giving guidance on how listeners might learn how to appreciate poetry.

But then life happened. I got radio silence from the powers that be (all volunteers) at the SFPA. Life happened for them too, I guess. I couldn't raise any signs of life from Ms. Elgin and so I started looking around for other poems I could. I turned to a couple of the poets whose poems I'd already read for SSS and inquired about poems about poetry. I introduced myself at the SFPA Forum and YahooGroup and announced my intention for creating the segment and got good feed back (not overwhelming though - I guess I was too vague in my request for submissions). Laurel Winter and Bruce Boston gave me wonderful poems that I'm using and Ann Schwader was so helpful and supportive of the idea, that I am indebted to her indefinitely. Check out Bruce Boston's poem "The Poetry of Science Fiction" on his site.

Finally about a month ago I wrote my first draft of the article, recorded it in very rough form and sent it to Tony for approval, which he gave with his usual enthusiasm! Yippee! I could get going! Then I couldn't find the time to record the actual thing. I had grand plans of using a new recording software, but I had even less time to delve into THAT. I wanted to have music and well, it all seemed insurmountable.

Then I discovered that April is National Poetry Month in the USA. Oh MAN! I've got to get it done before the opportunity comes and goes! So I gave myself a kick in the butt and submitted the final product (flawed as it is) to Tony.

You can listen to show No. 184 by going to StarShipSofa's website. Scroll down to the bottom of the page to listen on the website or listen on iTunes Poetry Planet is after the main fiction at the 51 minute mark (Thanks Steve!).

And if you are a fan of poetry or of StarShipSofa, or of all things Science Fiction or just of me :-), please link, link, link! Thank you! And if you are a poet, my idea for the next segment in May 2011 is "First Contact". If you have any poetry even vaguely fitting that label, please get in touch with me. For discussion of the SSS show go to the Forum, where all possible links will be posted as well!


Thursday, April 07, 2011

Two performances

So, as fate would have it, I have 2 performances coming up end of May and mid June. Different (very different) music and types of concerts, so I have my work cut out for me.

On May 28 I will be singing a program of 70's and 80's pop (nearly wrote poop, there!) with a keyboardist and another singer. This is a private performance for "friends" only, so if you want to come then email me directly and I'll tell you where and when on that day it'll occur. Janusz (the keyboarder) has had the dream to perform as an entertainer for many years and is really keen on finally making it happen. This performance is basically practice for him with all his mountains of equipment and a bit of advertisement for us as a duo/trio. The two of us are singing among others covers of Carole Kind, Abba, the Beatles, Roberta Flack and Bob Denver (guessing which song, might get you a prize!). Janusz and the other singer will be singing mostly Polish pop music (which is very listenable, even if you don't understand the words). The 3 of us will do a couple of songs together.

On "Pentecost Monday" (as they call it here, because it's a holiday) the Vocal Ensemble "Raggio-di-Sol" will be performing a program of Monteverdi, Praetorius, Tallis, Palestrina, Hammerschmidt, Morley and others. It'll be wonderful! More info as the concert nears...