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Erin Robertson's Poetry Newsletter
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Welcome to my new poetry newsletter!


In this issue:

Lots of exciting news to share.  Most importantly, please join me at the Louisville Center for the Arts, 801 Grant Avenue, from 3-4 pm Sunday, September 25th.  The Louisville Vocal Jazz Project has invited me to read two new poems I composed for the occasion:  "Rehearsal:  the jazz band works with breath" (a behind-the-scenes look at preparing for the concert) and "Jazz Riffs" (my favorite impressions of jazz after watching the Ken Burns documentary series).  Come hear lush jazz standards arranged for a dozen voices, too!  Tickets are $10/$5.  I'll have copies of the anthology I was published in this summer available for purchase and would love to sign a copy for you.  (Did you notice, they even put my name on the poster?  Thanks to Holly Hickman with Up Tempo Marketing for the beautiful design.)
 
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The first book containing my poetry was published in August.  MycoEpithalamia:  Mushroom Wedding Poems draws from the last 9 years of poetry in FUNGI Magazine, including three of my poems:  "Opjata", "The Art of Mycophagy", and "Spent Mushroom's Lament".  I'd love to sign a copy for you or the mushroom-hunter in your life.  Email me for special direct-from-the-poet price of $10 plus shipping for a signed copy (discounted from the $17.95 cover price). 128 pages.  Sales also benefit Telluride Mushroom Festival and Talking Gourds poetry group out of Telluride.
 
Order a Copy
And, "Opjata" is in the current issue of FUNGI Magazine, my first print publication.  It kind of made the cover, even (it's about collecting honey mushrooms, and ran facing a cover article about bioluminescent honey mushrooms, which I kind of refer to in the poem).  Subscriptions are $40/year, and when the next issue comes out this one will be available for $10 from the FUNGI store (see, the anthology is a great value at $10 for 128 pages of poems!).  "The Art of Mycophagy" and "Spent Mushroom's Lament" have been accepted for publication in future issues.
Poetry workshop crew (l-r):  Nancy McLelland, Alysa Joerger, Joycelyn Trigg, Jane Armbruster, Mike O'Brien, Savannah Green, Ed McManis, Frieda Feen, Jess Piazza, me.  Photo by Mimi Carroll.  
When my mom announced that she would watch our boys the first week of August,  I went right on Poets & Writers to see if there was a poetry writing workshop that I could attend that week.  I found the Mendocino Coast Writers Conference, and Jess Piazza's workshop "Writing for the Self.  Writing for the World."  I applied for and won a merit- and need-based Friends of MCWC Scholarship, and I entered the MCWC Writing Contest and was a finalist in the poetry division.  Most importantly, I received helpful, honest feedback about my work.  Now a few attendees and I are trading draft poems over email and it's been wonderful to get their input.  Mike O'Brien has been especially helpful - check out his poetry blog Arguments with My Selves.

I traveled pretty frugally, but made one fantastic splurge:  I stayed in a little cottage at Point Cabrillo Light Station.  Before and after each long workshop day I hiked the trails with my binoculars, and was treated to some wonderful wildlife viewing including my first wild river otter sighting (a family of 3!), my first pigeon guillemots, a pod of grey whales, and deer right down by the surf.  I posted two of the poems I wrote about my trip on my website:  "Point Cabrillo Supplicant" and "Landing".  It had been years since I traveled by myself, and I loved setting my own agenda each day.

I'd like to put together a cohesive chapbook, and I have a few ideas for themes.  

I've been applying to Artist in Residence programs and if I can land one of those I would like to write a secular Book of Hours.  I would write a poem at 8 traditional times of day for the length of the residency and then compile the best and organize them by time of day.  

I also like the idea of composing a set of poems about characters in our family tree and posting them on ancestry.com.  I've applied for some funding to help pay for the online subscription and I've met with the Louisville Public Library's volunteer genealogy guide a couple times.  Perhaps I could eventually compile these very-extended-family poems as a chapbook.  

Finally, this fall I am volunteering with Thorne Nature Experience to help lead field trips at Sombrero Marsh for second graders.  Thorne has introduced me to the Kamana naturalist training curriculum.  I bought the Kamana One book, Exploring Natural Mystery, and I'm intrigued by the idea of turning the written exercises I do for that into a set of poems.  My understanding is that you choose a "sit spot" and return to this same natural place again and again to complete assigned observations.  Jake Swamp contributed to Kamana's development, and I had the great honor of spending time with him while I attended Bates College.  I like the idea of this intensely localized place-based set of poems.

Overall I am trying to make the most of having both boys in full-day school for the first time!  That said, please contact me if you'd ever like to get together for tea on a school day:  erinelainerobertson@gmail.com.
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