Monday, February 29, 2016

Poetry Monday: Jane Hirshfield’s February 29th

How could I pass up the opportunity to pass on Jane Hirshfield’s “February 29th” which is’s (aka The Academy of American Poets) Poem-of-the-Day.  The poem comes from her newest book The Beauty and the full text can be found right here:, and while  you’re there, you can sign up for their fantastic service, which provides, entirely free-of-charge, a poem into your in-box each day.  I like to end my day with them.  Just one poem to go to bed with.  One poem to cogitate upon.  I don’t like every poem that comes, but I like a lot of them, and I love some of them.  There’s always time to read one poem more.  Here’s a single stanza by way of a taste (but you should really read the whole thing - there’s time for it today).  Happy leap year.

An extra day—
Not unlike the space
between a door and its frame
when one room is lit and another is not,
and one changes into the other
as a woman exchanges a scarf.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Poetry Monday: Justin Lowe’s Nightswim

have to admit that an electronic copy of Nightswim has been sitting on my laptop for many months now, patiently awaiting my much distracted attention.  Author Justin Lowe runs the phenomenal poetry site Bluepepper and has become something of a cornerstone in Australian poetry as both poet and publisher. The poems in his 6th collection, Nightswim, cover a lot of ground - from notions of home, aging, death, ghosts (a recurring theme), travel, the nature and power of poetry, poems of place, of the environment, loss, an ode to other poets, and above all, love.  Many of the poems in this collection are about love, and not just eros, but also Philia or friendship, Ludus or playful love, and Agape or selfless love.  Full review to follow now that I’ve charged up the Kindle, but in the meantime, here’s a little taste - just a few stanzas from “Vallejo”:

I have spoken to the ghosts:
they are clear on my predicament

coming in out of the sun
into the cool, dark void,

I glimpse them briefly
hunched around my table,

dabbing at crumbs
that will not rise to their lips.

If you want more, autographed copies of the book (which could be a perfect valentines day gift if you’re struggling) are available directly from:

Monday, February 1, 2016

Compulsive Reading for Feb

The Feb edition of The Compulsive Reader newsletter has now been delivered all subscribers.  It contains two brand-new book giveaways (for subscribers only), ten new reviews, including great books by Jarrett Kobek, Rebecca Starford, Guido Mina di Sospiro, Charlene Jones, Holly Seddon, a superb new poetry collection by Anna Kerdijk Nicholson, Hank Philipi Ryan, Peter James, Rebecca Scherm, and Jim Proser.  We also have a roundup of the global literary news that happened through January (I comb the trade journals and read all those press releases that come my way so you don’t have to). If you’ve missed your copy or want a preview, please feel free to grab a copy from our archive. If you’re not a subscriber, why not visit The Compulsive Reader and sign up.  It’s free, you can unsub anytime, and we just send out one newsletter a month - nothing else.  Happy reading!

photo credit: Two Shelves via photopin (license)