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.

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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”)

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Another muffin for the road.


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

sunday bear: denise levertov

Let me walk through the fields of paper touching with my wand dry stems and stunted butterflies. (Denise Levertov, A Walk Through the Notebooks)

♥ Your weekly bear hug is brought to you by Cornelius, who would not object if you’d like to send him a snickerdoodle.