the poetry friday roundup is here!

Hello and Welcome to Poetry Friday at Alphabet Soup!

Please help yourself to a cup of tea and an Apple Pumpkin Walnut Muffin (recipe here). The footed teacup will make it easier to amble from blog to blog as you savor all the wonderful poems, reviews, and poetic musings others are sharing today. The muffins are a Fall tradition in our house — no better way to celebrate the season than to bite into apples and pumpkin at the same time. 🙂

See that beautiful book up there? Views from a Window Seat: Thoughts on Writing and Life (Stone Door Press, 2013) by critically acclaimed author, poet, historian and Poetry Friday participant Jeannine Atkins has been my constant companion all week. I was thrilled when I first heard Jeannine was publishing a book based on her blog, which I’ve been reading and loving for almost seven years.

I don’t know of many writers whose blog entries read like poetry, but I do know that her words nourish, sustain, and make me want to become a better writer and person. You could not ask for a kinder, more sensitive or astute guide as you navigate the day-to-day challenges of a writer’s life.

Cornelius crushing on Jeannine. Is he taken with her poetry or her cranberry muffins? Probably both.

This lovely collection of finely wrought inspirational essays, organized by the “seasons” of writing a book (Spring: Beginning, Summer: Moving Through the Middle, Fall: Revising, Winter: Finding an End), is a unique, intimate, revealing ‘innerscape’ laden with deep, gentle wisdom — what a privilege to peek into the soul of this writer!

As Jeannine describes the stages and different aspects of writing poetry, fiction, and biography in metaphor-rich prose, she turns your tired perspective on its head, continually challenging your assumptions.

Oh, to revel in the possibilities of language, linger with the hummingbird hovering near the honeysuckle, celebrate the discovery of just the right historical detail or turn of phrase! Then, to inevitably know the yin to the yang —  grief at the loss of a dear friend, staring rejection in the face, learning how to accept the vagaries of the publishing industry without losing faith or direction.

Views from a Window Seat champions the steadfast hope whose name is ‘writer.’ It is a gift to all who read, write, love words, and who might be curious about the heart and mind of a poet. Treat yourself to a copy and give it to your friends this holiday season.

Here’s an excerpt from “Slim Books,” where Jeannine discusses balancing her role as a biographer, “who needs to be exhaustive,” with the poet, “who travels lightly.”

Once I get my facts straight, once I’ve described, say, a bird, with the slant of every feather distinct, I shut my eyes and listen for what flies, flutters, or fails. I shake the poems like doormats. Phrases tumble. Some are swept past the margins and stay there. A few find places in other poems. Some spots need a bit more mystery, and I nudge them around corners, away from the bright light, to let shadows do their work.

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VIEWS FROM A WINDOW SEAT: Thoughts on Writing and Life
by Jeannine Atkins
published by Stone Door Press, 2013
Inspirational Essays for Writers, 190 pp.
*Available in paperback and eBook formats

** Click here to read Jeannine’s thoughts about self-publishing this book!

*** Visit Jeannine’s Official Website to learn more about all her books, and subscribe to her blog, Views from a Window Seat, if you haven’t already.

* * *


Please leave your links with Mr. Linky below. Don’t forget to include the title of the poem you’re sharing or book you’re reviewing in parentheses after your name.

Thanks for joining us today!

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* * *

1. Charles Ghigna (“November”)

2. Charles Ghigna (Talking GRANDparents at TALKING STORY)

3. Michelle @ Today’s Little Ditty (“A Dirty Kitchen Secret”)

4. Myra @ Gathering Books (A Pablo Neruda Special)

5. Laura Purdie Salas (“Ice Bridge” by Jane Yolen, with audio and poem starter)

6. Steven Withrow (“Comet Eater”)

7. Keri Collins Lewis (“California” – an acrostic)

8. Laura @ Author Amok (“Forgotten Planet” and Science Poetry)

9. Matt Forrest Esenwine (“Problem Solved”)

10. Diane Mayr (“Mr. Klimt’s Garden”, an original ekphrastic poem)

11. Linda Baie (What the Heart Knows – Joyce Sidman, and an original poem)

12. Kurious Kitty (Words with Wings)

13. Semicolon (David McCord)

14. KK’s Kwotes (quote on the process of creation)

15. Margaret Simon (Stealing a line poetry exercise)

16. Irene Latham (Giveaway and excerpts from Views from a Window Seat)

17. M. M. Socks (“To Myself”)

18. Robyn Hood Black (Haiku Series continues with Tom Painting)

19. Tara @ A Teaching Life (“Emily Dickinson” by Linda Pastan)

20. Donna @ Mainely Write (“Sleepover”)

21. Violet N (“Mother Bear”)

22. Tabatha (Robert Louis Stevenson)

23. Greg Pincus (“The Terrible Time-Eating Poem”)

24. The Poem Farm (“Whirligig Cardinal” and A New Writing Friend)

25. Mary Lee (NEW Billy Collins book!)

26. Madelyn Rosenberg (Mortimer Minute and “Sing, Little Songbird”)

27. Carol (new-to-me favorite poet David Whyte)

28. Shelf-Employed (The Highway Rat)

29. Anamaria @ Books Together (On Haiku for the Hop)

30. No Water River (Iza Trapani and Little Miss Muffet)

31. Heidi (My Po Per Day comes to a skidding halt huzzah)

32. Jeannine Atkins (Poetry and Plot)

33. Becky Shillington (Autumn haiku and Halloween Poetry Recap)

34. Ruth (Suzanne Vega song)

35. Dori Reads (Water and Words from Key West)

36. Little Willow – Bildungsroman (“Arcadia” by Tom Stoppard)

37. Karen Edmisten (“Being not unlovable, but strange and light”)

38. Tricia AKA Miss Rumphius (“To Sleep” by John Keats)

39. Dia Calhoun (“Old Man Woodstove”)

40. Jone (William Carlos Williams)

41. Liz Steinglass (Ted Kooser/Essential American Poets Podcast)

42. JoAnn Early Macken (Teaching Authors – thanku for supporting quality education)

43. kort@one deep drawer (Gertrude Stein, Mary Oliver)

44. Joy Acey (“Thanksgiving Colors”)

45. Lorie Ann Grover (Snaking passage)

46. readertotz (Train, Count and Elmo)

47. Anastasia @ Poet! Poet! (“LIKE NEW”)

48. Catherine Johnson (“Bunion”)

49. Kelly Ramsdell Fineman (“A Family Thanksgiving”)

* * *

Another muffin for the road.


Copyright © 2013 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.

53 thoughts on “the poetry friday roundup is here!

  1. Hello there, beautiful. Thanks for having this up extra early today and for being such a fabulous host. Look at that footed teacup. Perfect for my gryphon lemon ginger tea today, methinks.

    Congratulations to Jeannine for this book. It looks really lovely. I agree with you that words indeed nourish, console, and rebuild. I hope we get this book in our libraries here in Singapore. 🙂


  2. An apple pumpkin muffin and a cup of tea is just what I needed, Jama, thank you. And now I must also thank you for this gorgeous definition of a writer’s heart: “the steadfast hope whose name is ‘writer’” and for the passage from Jeannine’s book, which was more than enough to persuade me that this is one I must have in my collection.

    At Today’s Little Ditty, I have a food-related post in your honor (thanks for hosting this week!)… well, kinda sorta… on second thought, maybe you better not get too excited.


  3. Yep, my link didn’t show up in Mr. Linky, so I went to Firefox to leave it. But then my own *blog post* wasn’t live yet according to Firefox even though it was in IE. Anyway, I left my link again, and now it’s there twice. Oi. Sorry.

    THanks for hosting and featuring Jeannine’s book. I did not know about this, and it looks like a must-have. I don’t get to Jeannine’s (or anyone’s) blog nearly enough, but I have loved occasional glimpses of her very thoughtful posts about the writing process, and I love the excerpts you shared here. I’m off to explore the Kindle version.

    And I’m in with a poem by Jane Yolen from her anthology ONCE UPON ICE, one of my favorites.

    Thanks you, Jama! Happy Poetry Friday!


  4. Just went and bought the Kindle version. I have a ton of required reading right now for Cybils and various projects, but Jeannine’s book will be a treat to look forward to. Thanks again!


  5. A heartfelt book review makes such a difference! Thanks for sharing Jeannine’s work, and for making me want to bake muffins. I’m looking forward to this recipe — two of my favorite ingredients in one tasty package! Thanks for hosting with such style, Jama!


  6. Hi, Jama and Jeannine. I always feel as if reading Jeannine’s blog is like visiting with a writing friend or mentor. So much thoughtfulness comes across the screen in Jeannine’s posts. I’m looking forward to reading this book. Thanks for highlighting it today.


  7. I’ve heard about this book, so thank you for telling us more about it – looks terrific! My post doesn’t go live til just after midnight, btw. Thanks for hosting Jama!


  8. I have Jeannine’s book, bought it the day she shared about it & it is marvelous-an essay a day keeps the doctor away. (I think I just mixed a metaphor, no, a quote…) Perhaps it’s an essay and an apple pumpkin muffin makes the day!! Anyway, thank you Jeannine for publishing because I haven’t had the pleasure of years of reading like Jama, and thank you Jama for this wonderful intro to poetry Friday & for shouting about Jeannine’s book!


  9. Hi Jama! I look forward to reading Jeannine’s book!

    What I didn’t mention in Mr. Linky is that “Mr. Klimt’s Garden” is an original ekphrastic poem.


  10. Just got Jeannine’s book….so exciting for her, and lucky for us – her readers. Thanks for hosting Poetry Friday, Jama!


  11. Thanks for the yummy muffin and the well-heeled teacup for Poetry Friday rambling today, Jama! And how did I miss the news about Jeannine’s book? Well, it’s thrilling news and I will just have to nourish my inner life with a copy.

    “I shake the poems like doormats” – she is just so brilliant and grounded, isn’t she? (Thanks for being featured here today, Jeannine!)

    I’m off and running with the second post in my “We Haiku Here” series, featuring the also brilliant Tom Painting today.


  12. It looks like I’ll need to find room on my shelf for yet another book. It sounds like comfort food in the world of books. Talking of comfort food, your apple pumpkin muffins sure look tempting!


  13. Thanks for hosting us today, Jama! Jeannine’s book sounds like food for the spirit. Her descriptions are so exquisite.


  14. I am so happy that Jeannine’s book is out…and so happy to own it. I share Cornelius’s crushing feelings on the book. Thank you for hosting and for this warm and joyous review and tribute to Jeannine’s work!


  15. Your muffins sound delicious and I just happen to have a bag of apples handy. Thanks for hosting today! And just a bit of news that I’ve been sharing around the web… the National Book Foundation has made free ebooks available of excerpts from all of this year’s finalists. Here’s the link for the free e-book, The Contenders: Excerpts from the National Book Award Poetry Finalists .


  16. I can’t wait to get my hands on this book–thank you SO much for sharing it with us! I am also going to try those muffins. You are “one stop shopping” today, Jama! = ) Thanks so much for hosting Poetry Friday!


  17. Thanks for hosting, Jama! My first Poetry Friday in a long while–so glad it was here! Grateful to Jeannine for sharing the view from her window seat, too. In praise of generous poets!


  18. Oh, so many luscious things today! Jeannine’s new book looks marvelous and since my husband just asked what I want for Christmas, it’s going on the list right this very minute. 🙂

    Those muffins! Want. Will make this weekend. If I have extras, I’ll send them to you, Jeannine. 🙂 But I wouldn’t count on extras at my house.

    And thanks for hosting today, Jama! I’m in with a poem by G.K. Chesterton, to celebrate the release of my newest book, which came out this week.


  19. I can’t wait until tomorrow morning when I can curl up in my chair, light a fire, and read all these lovely posts while sipping on some Earl Grey.
    Thanks for hosting and for sharing Jeannine’s book. I can’t wait to see it!


  20. Thanks you for hosting. I must go read jeanine’s blog. Thats for sharing. can’t wait to try the muffin recipe.


  21. Looking forward to Saturday when I can make muffins, curl up on my window seat, and enjoy all these wonderful poetry links. Thanks Jama!


  22. Thanks for sharing a great book on poetry. I’ll check it out along with all these poems. Thanks, Jama :0)


  23. Thanks for hosting, Jama! I’m in with an original Thanksgiving poem from a few years back. SO glad to see you featuring Jeannine’s marvelous book. It’s a true marvel, and something I think no writer should be without!!


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