Featured Readings, Flash contest, and Swarm (oh my)

Happy Friday, all! This Monday I officially began full-time work, which is great (as well as a huge relief for anyone in my student-loan-addled generation)—but the downside of this is that I’ve not been able to update the goings-on here, which are keeping me busy in their own right. Though it’s a good kind of busy:

First, I am doing two readings as a featured poet in the next month! Partly they will be fundraisers for Swarm, as I’ve prepared some CDs for the first time ever, which I plan to sell with all proceeds going to making Swarm operate smoothly. More importantly, they’re a blast for me to do, so on the occasion I am allowed the honor of a 30-min set I like to have fun with it. I look forward to doing a set of poetry for new and old friends.

The first one is an especially big deal for me, because it’s at the prolific Manchester, NH poetry reading Slam Free or Die where I’ve been a regular for two years—it’s always a great crowd there, and I’m excited to perform some poems for a group of people who have been so supportive of me and my writing endeavors. That’ll be happening on Thursday, October 18th, with doors opening at 7pm and the show kicking off at 8pm. There’s a small cover ($3) that helps the place operate, but I hope that won’t dissuade you from coming out. It really will be a great night, as there is also an open mic and slam in the night’s proceedings.

The second will be happening the evening of Sunday, November 4th, at Rhythmic Cypher up in Portland, ME. The event page with all the details is HERE. It’ll be my first trip up to RC, and I’m really looking forward to it; I’ve heard great things, and to top it off there is a musical backing for the poets performing there—on the evening of the 4th it’ll be a cellist. Which is a collaboration you don’t get to see very often, and I recommend coming by and seeing for yourself! They’ve got a nice new venue and I’ll be running a workshop before the show. Plus, Portland is packed with great people. It’ll be a fun night:

Look how cool the poster is! I mean, seriously.
I will never look this badass again.

Starting Wednesday, October 10th the New Hampshire Book Festival is happening in Concord, NH! As part of the festival, I will be competing in a three-minute flash fiction contest on the evening of the 12th (Friday). Details are in the link! My expertise is certainly more in the poetry arena than with flash or fiction in general, but I had a lot of fun writing it and will enjoy seeing what the other NH authors have in store. Besides, the lines between poetry and fiction, flash fiction especially, are continually becoming more and more blurred. Flash and prose poetry are often classified on little more than the author’s statement of what they believe it to “be.” The blending of poetry and fiction and the people playing with what “defines” a piece as one and not the other, are both shedding a lot of light as to how people approach writing in general, how what they expect influences what they get out of a piece. Not that I’m claiming to be doing any of that—a one-page flash piece is not a big deal, simply I’m excited to be writing in a new way for me. And there is a lot of interesting intersection between poets and fiction writers happening now that I’m paying attention to.

What were we talking about? The Book Festival in Concord! In addition, a poem of mine will be appearing on a downtown Concord shop window as part of the aptly-titled “Poetry in Windows” project from, well, any day now throughout October and November. I like this project a lot not only because it’s unique and fun, but because it is geared towards bringing good poetry to the public, to people who might not be regularly exposed to it. The guidelines for poets submitting work to Poetry in Windows stipulated that the work should be able to be enjoyed by a general audience (without sacrificing quality). To me that is huge—the world of poetry sometimes can feel insular, and we’re always looking to bring poetry to the masses in an interesting way the public can appreciate.

And finally, Swarm news! It’s been less than three weeks since we announced the magazine’s existence, and though our inaugural issue is still a few months off (February 2013) we’ve already made some stunning progress. First, we nearly have finalized the roster for the first issues four writers! Two are confirmed, and the work we have to show you from them is remarkable. You can’t overestimate how thrilled we are to have them on board. The other two writers are currently under consideration, as these processes do take time, but it looks like we are in very good shape and will have the finalized issue sooner than later. Second, the website is coming along nicely! Obviously we won’t show it off until it’s finished (you ever seen a half-finished website? It’s like the inside of a pomegranate. It’s like backstage at Disney World. Upsetting), butour designer  is making good progress and it will look great. In the meantime, make sure you friend us on Facebook at Swarm Quarterly (ignore the word “Quarterly,” as FB requires a last name for accounts, we’re simply “Swarm” officially) to keep up with the latest, including news on the launch, opening of submissions, and we might even start leaking some previews of the first issue roster a bit early…maybe. But certainly meet up with us there!

That’s it for the moment. Thanks for reading. Now go enjoy your weekend!

-b

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