Not Just 2: A Plethora of Medusa Poems & a Giveaway


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Frederick Sandys (1829-1904)



One of my favorite finds from National Poetry Month is Negative Capability author Melissa Dickson’s  SweetAegis:Medusa Poems.  Enjoy Medusa’s Dilemma (and a bonus poem over on the Dead Mule blog. ) Here’s a link to an interview about the collection.






Alice Pike Barney, 1892

Alice Pike Barney, 1892




Louise Bogan’s darker Medusa is from Poetry’s archives.  The full collection  Body of this Death (1923) is available as a FREE download in several formats at Find out more about Bogan’s life and career at Modern American Poetry.







Caravaggio, 1597


Carol Ann Duffy’s Medusa is part of The World’s Wife collection and is widely studied in Secondary Schools in the UK. A brief bio from the British Council.  Hear her speak on her fairytale/mythological characters in an hour-long Reflections Of The Poet Laureate lecture.









Slam poet Patricia Smith’s Medusa is even more dazzling in person.  Get your performance fix from this Hampshire Slam Collective video






Finger Tat by Bang Bang

Finger Tat by Bang Bang



The great Sylvia Plath reads her Medusa in a vintage video find. Astute listeners will note that the spoken version differs slightly from that in The Collected Poems.






***Have a Medusa poem of your own or admire that of another poet? Post in the comments for a chance to win a set of handmade bookmarks with fairytale/mythological themes.



Odd Bits from a Creative Life (MAY ’15 ed.)


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So, friends, it’s been awhile since I’ve done one these.  Let me just dive right on in:









I happened across Wicked Plants: The Weed that Killed Lincoln’s Mother & Other Botanical Atrocities while flipping channels between educational shows one weekend.  Even though I am not an avid gardener or especially interested in plants, I rushed to the library for a copy.  And I have to say that it has been a really exciting read. Caught my mother making notes from it for the next Flower Patch mystery.

Also came across Louise Gluck’s Meadowlands at a used bookstore. Reading the books back-to-back before writing has produced some interesting poems, including one about Peter Peter Pumpkin-Eater and another about cesium poisoning in the Arctic via contaminated lichen.

Won several of the Big Poetry Book giveways from last month as well as one from Deep South Magazine. Haven’t got to all of those titles just yet. By the way, Deep South has great Literary Friday round-ups  for those who are into Southern Lit.


Besides the giveaway books, with review copies I am literally swimming in poetry. But since my philosophy is that you can never have too much poetry, I am all smiles.


If you are a fan of my Sabotage round-ups, you’ll see reviews soon for titles from El Zarape Press, Mouthfeel Press and LSU Press.  I won’t spoil the fun by revealing the specifics just yet.

On the submission front, tidy batches of poems have gone out to several journals, and I’m hoping to have some publication news on the chapbook(s) soon.  Since it is now Short Story Month, I have been busily revising some of my short stories, including a dark fairy tale set in Cajun country that required some extra care in keeping the patois authentic.

Before the end of the month, I plan to get to Greg Sarris’ Grand Avenue: A Novel in Stories  which I hope is as good as Watermelon Nights.  I’ll try to post something on the blog when I’ve had time to digest.

On my other blog, I finally released the (Christian, character-focused) high school American history curriculum that I authored.  And despite my fiction writing group falling apart, I have managed to add some new scenes to my novel-in-progress. More on this later.

Have just discovered the #FairyTaleFriday challenge on Twitter.  This looks like it would be fun.  Too late to start on the ‘tremor’ theme for today, but I hope to contribute something next week if time allows.


Despite all this writing, I have not given up on art. Below are two of my newest paintings. Pardon the terrible lighting! I usually wrangle my little brother into taking the photos.  This is what you get when I do it myself.  The colors are much more vibrant in person, trust me.

I have also nearly completed my paper-cuts series. The latest bunch incorporates fairytale themes and uses a pastel palette.  Since most of the earlier works are out at journals and zines (and I hope to submit the latest round), you’ll have to wait for a sample.

PTDC0142 PTDC0143








Well, that pretty much does it for now.

If you’d like to contribute a GUEST POST on your creative life, please drop me a line at

Go Ask Alice (2sDay Poems)


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Alice in Wonderland by Lucia Stewart (prints available at Fine Art America)


Today’s post features not two poems, but two readings by women poets.  Alice Friman reads at The University of Georgia for Seat in the Shade: Summer Poetry Reading Series, while Alice Notley comes to you from The University of Chicago in a reading sponsored by the Renaissance Society.  Links to the collections read from by both Alices follow the videos. 














Purchase Vinculum at LSU Press.

Culture of One available at Penguin/Random House.

Songs and Stories of the Ghouls from Wesleyan University Press.

Sunday Sentence #33


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My weekly contribution to David Abrams’ “Sunday Sentence” project in which participants share the best sentence read during the past week “out of context and without commentary.”

I’m often mistaken for an unhappier woman – though
in the Metropolitan’s Dutch wing, I crack a smile
at Maes’ painting of a young mother quietly sewing

SOURCE:  Opening line from Nicole Rollender‘s poem “The Lacemaker” from Nashville Review Spring 2015 issue



Hans Solo Jones: 2 by Amorak Huey for 2sday Poems


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Hans Solo Explains the Universe

Portrait of my Brother as Indiana Jones

more about Amorak

buy his latest THE INSOMNIAC CIRCUS at hyacinth girl press

Sunday Sentence #32


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My weekly contribution to David Abrams’ “Sunday Sentence” project in which participants share the best sentence read during the past week “out of context and without commentary.”

I learned to dread winter early,

before fall showed any real sign

of itself, the world still filled

with locusts, crickets, bees in the boneset,

ashen moths quickening the dusk.

SOURCE:  Lines from Claudia Emerson‘s poem “Chimney Fire” in Pulitzer Prize-Winning Collection Late Wife (LSU Press, Southern Messenger Series)



#NationalPoetryMonth Round-up (Day 30)


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The best prompts, poems and news from the LAST DAY of #NaPoWriMo/#NPM15 /#NationalPoetryMonth. It’s been a great ride. Back to the regular schedule on Sunday.

Best of the Prompts

NaPoWriMo’s “Write Backwards prompt”
Floodmark Poetry’s “Hole-Punch Clouds prompt”
Mslexia’s “Object as Witness prompt”
Mary Carroll-Hackett’s “Profound Risks prompt”
Poetic Asides P-A-D “Bury the ____  prompt”
Wild Violet’s “Ars Poetica prompt”
Negative Capability Press’ “Chicken prompt”
REWIND Cupertino Poet Laureate’s “I Love My Hair prompt”

Poems I Have Loved (Tweeters’ Shares)

Anita Endrezze| “A Crown of White Hair”
Robert Wrigley| “Moonlight: Chickens on the Road”
Ofelia Zepeda| “Pulling Down the Clouds”
Elaine Feinstein| “Lazarus’s Sister”
Nancy Lynee Woo| “21 Ways of Looking at Chicken Heart”
Janaka Stucky| “Recreating a Miraculous Object”
Ashley Farmer| “Women Fix”
Jane Yeh| “Musk-Ox”
Elizabeth Bartlett| “Art Class”


Megan Fernandez on Persona Poetry and Feminist Poetics at EKA
Icaruses: Tammy Ho Lai-Ming on Ekphrastic Poetry at World Literature Today
Part & Parcel: Kelli Russell Agodon at the Huffington Post


**Poets, if you would like to be featured in 2sDay Poems, have your collection reviewed, guest post in the Poetry Lab or blog on any of the Thoughts on Poetry topics, including Foremother Friday or Small Press Interviews, drop me a line at

#NationalPoetryMonth Round-up (Day 29)


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The best prompts, poems and news from DAY TWENTY-NINE of #NaPoWriMo/#NPM15 /#NationalPoetryMonth. Can’t believe the month is almost over. Too early to feel the loss?

Best of the Prompts

NaPoWriMo’s “Poems in Review format”
30dpc “Themes in Your Work Exploration prompt”
Mslexia’s “Descrip of the Abstract w/ 5 Senses prompt”
Mary Carroll-Hackett’s “Missed Opportunity prompt”
Poetic Asides P-A-D “What Nobody Knows prompt”
Wild Violet’s “Z is for Zenith prompt”
The Language Inside’s “The Pain of Love prompt”
ARTSPEAK #29 “Mary Cassatt’s The Bath”
Imaginary Garden with Real Toads’ “Flowers Named After Animals/Birds Named After Flowers”

Poems I Have Loved (Tweeters’ Shares)

Breda Wall Ryan| “The Dream of the Fisherman’s Wife”
Maggie Smith| “Reading the Train Book, I Think of Lisa”
James Tate| “It Happens Like This”
Ellery Akers| “The Word That Is a Prayer”
Molly Peacock| “Commands of Love”
Elizabeth Marshall| “The Blues”
Jo Harjo| “Perhaps the World Ends Here”
Erin Belieu| “I Growed No Potatoes to Write About, Sir”
Mary Cresswell| “Three Ghazals for the Dervish”


PoetryDaily Fundraiser
On Poems That Take Inventory at The Storialist
Marcus Clayton blogs about Polaroids, nostalgia, and poetry at Tahoma Review
Holocaust Poems: Interview with Poet and Filmmaker Janet R. Kirchheimer (Part 1)
Meet the Press: Karen Schubert in Conversation with Patty Paine, Editor of Diode Editions
21 Times Tumblr Nailed Poetry Humor at Buzzfeed

DAY 28 Poem (Draft) from NaPoWriMo’s Bridges Prompt


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Keeping up with the Round-up and writing a poem a day has been exhausting.  But as proof that I am writing, here’s today’s draft using NaPoWriMo’s Day 28 Bridge prompt:

origamielephant[Make your own paper elephants with this tutorial…]


Your desk is lined with scores of lovers
chest to chest, billowing trunks
entwined. They come in every color. They come
drunk on merry, forgetting how
their lovely heft collapsed the bridge
of string you built between
our hearts. One lay broken open on that desk. One
hopelessly shredded by the cat. Though,
our paper tickers are come & gone. Those fat elephants are
still marching marching marching on.

#NationalPoetryMonth Round-up (Day 28)


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The best prompts, poems and news from DAY TWENTY-EIGHT of #NaPoWriMo/#NPM15 /#NationalPoetryMonth.

Best of the Prompts

NaPoWriMo’s “Bridges prompt”
30dpc “Change of Scenery prompt”
Mslexia’s “Ridiculous Self-Portrait prompt”
Negative Capability Press’ “Diamante prompt”
West Trestle Review “Reinvention prompt”
Poetic Asides P-A-D “2forTues Matter/Anti-Matter prompt”
Stories& Slams’ “Newsworthy Villanelles”
Wild Violet’s “Y is for Yadu prompt”
Pink Ink Press’ “Fast Forward prompt”
The Language Inside’s “Virtues after Kay Ryan prompt”
Flashbang Writing Studio’s “It’s Alive! prompt”
Poets& Writers’ “Musical Inspiration prompt”

Poems I Have Loved (Tweeters’ Shares)

Ada Limon| “The Great Blue Heron of Dunbar Road”
Wislawa Szymborska| “Possibilities”
Maya Angelou| “Still I Rise”
Jane Hirshfield| “Each Morning a White Bull Steps Shining Into the World”
Millissa Alger| “Empty Cradleboard”
Seamus Cashman| “I too begin with scaffolding” from the Sistine Gaze(video)
Claire Trevien| “Whales”
Dorianne Laux| “Disturbance”


Founder of ELJ Publications Talks Poetry, Emerging Writers and Mental Illness Awareness
Speculating Darkly: A Poetry Folio at Harriet the Blog


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