Monday, October 3, 2011

SoMaA Readings

This is Johnny Clifton Knight, a fabulous emerging poet and a senior at Madison Consolidated High School.

Monday, September 19, 2011

South of Main Arts in the Alley

This Friday, there will be an "Arts in the Alley" event from 4-8pm in conjunction with Fourth Friday festivities in downtown Madison.  Kids can pick up a Treasure Map starting at 4pm on Mulberry.  From there, they can complete a scavenger hunt at local businesses.  In the alley, there will be artists doing plein air painting, The Chestnuts (my band will be playing), and perhaps most exciting (for followers of this blog, at least), poets will read their original works from the loading dock. 

Jack Ramey, featured above, will be one of the poets included, as will Angela Elles, Johnny Clifton Knight, and yours truly.  Note about the video: it's a tease-- my battery ran out!  So come out and see the whole poem this Friday.  Here's the line-up:

Line-Up for Music /Poetry on the Loading Dock
5:00-5:45 Chestnuts, Set 1
5:50-6:20 Poetry, Set 1  
6:25-7:10 Chestnuts, Set 2
7:15-8:00 Poetry, Set 2  

Hope to see you!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Open Mic Rocked!

We had six readers: Jack, Pat (featured above), Harlan, Michael, Angela, and me!  There were over twenty people in the audience, which is a packed house at Village Lights.  Don't miss the next one: Fourth Friday in October.

Also, there's going to be poetry and music on the loading dock behind Village Lights Friday, September 23rd, coinciding with Madison's Chautauqua Festival.  Stay tuned!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Reading at Yellow Springs Art Gallery

My reading at the Yellow Springs Art Gallery was really enjoyable, despite a small turnout. I read with Adrienne Cassel, who you can see in the photo to the left. Read more of her work here. Thanks to Anthony Fife and Lauren Shows for inviting me. There's a video in the first link- Yellow Spings News Online Edition, which covered the event.

and some photos and more about the other participants in the event here:


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Open Mic at Village Lights

Just wanted to put out an early warning that I will be emceeing the bi-monthly poetry open mic next month at our local independent bookstore, Village Lights.  Save the date: August 26th!  Stay tuned for details.  Cheers, Jill

PS Madison is only an hour from Louisville, only an hour and a half from Cincinnati...

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Reading Tonight

My old friend Anthony Fife has invited me to read tonight at the Yellow Springs Art Gallery in Yellow Springs, Ohio. I'll be reading poems from my manuscript in progress Domestic Violets. So excited!  More information about the event and other participants here.

Wish me luck.

Friday, April 1, 2011

While the Water Rises Around Us

Like it?  That is the title of my chapbook, which I just learned is forthcoming from Finishing Line Press.  I'm so excited (and I just can't hide it)-- see, I'm quoting eighties pop songs.  And it's not an April Fools' joke either (unless you want to do April Fools, April Fools like my son was doing tonight.  Is that meta-fooling?  I am not sure, but I thought it was pretty clever, if confusing).

Anyway, I don't have any details yet.  I just sent them the info they requested for the contract, so I will let you know as things progress.  I cannot close this celebratory post without a HUGE thank you to my Workshop-of- Two co-poet, Angela Elles, who read every word of every poem in the manuscript, multiple times.  And also to Matt, my co-host here at Two Poets, for encouragement and living the life, so as to inspire me and anyone who crosses his path.  And my brother Harlan.  For appreciating my poems and for writing his own.  I could really go on, but since I haven't won a Grammy yet, I'll save the rest of my thank yous for the book.

Please share your good news here!  I don't want to be the only one jumping for joy.  Mirth seeks company.

Happy poeting,

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Telephone Conversation

Dear readers,

I'm taking an American Literature with a postcolonialism focus this quarter and our prof. handed out this poem by Wole Soyinka on the first day. It's an intelligent dramatization of the absurdity of racial construction through the  "lens" of the telephone.Thanks for reading!


Telephone Conversation 

The price seemed reasonable, location
Indifferent. The landlady swore she lived
Off premises. Nothing remained
But self-confession. "Madam," I warned,
"I hate a wasted journey—I am African."
Silence. Silenced transmission of
Pressurized good-breeding. Voice, when it came,
Lipstick coated, long gold rolled
Cigarette-holder pipped. Caught I was foully.
"HOW DARK?" . . . I had not misheard . . . "ARE YOU LIGHT
OR VERY DARK?" Button B, Button A.* Stench
Of rancid breath of public hide-and-speak.
Red booth. Red pillar box. Red double-tiered
Omnibus squelching tar. It was real! Shamed
By ill-mannered silence, surrender
Pushed dumbfounded to beg simplification.
Considerate she was, varying the emphasis--
"ARE YOU DARK? OR VERY LIGHT?" Revelation came.
"You mean--like plain or milk chocolate?"
Her assent was clinical, crushing in its light
Impersonality. Rapidly, wave-length adjusted,
I chose. "West African sepia"--and as afterthought,
"Down in my passport." Silence for spectroscopic
Flight of fancy, till truthfulness clanged her accent
Hard on the mouthpiece. "WHAT'S THAT?" conceding
"DON'T KNOW WHAT THAT IS." "Like brunette."
"THAT'S DARK, ISN'T IT?" "Not altogether.
Facially, I am brunette, but, madam, you should see
The rest of me. Palm of my hand, soles of my feet
Are a peroxide blond. Friction, caused--
Foolishly, madam--by sitting down, has turned
My bottom raven black--One moment, madam!"--sensing
Her receiver rearing on the thunderclap
About my ears--"Madam," I pleaded, "wouldn't you rather
See for yourself?"