Books Books Books

It's obviously nerve wracking for writers at the end of the year to see best of lists come out. You can end up feeling pretty queasy about whether or not you're seeing your own work appear or not. However, I love to find out about books my friends love because I almost exclusively read books suggested by people in my sm feeds and friends, and not by any of the major book outlets, which takes the rat race factor out of it for me. (Not all who gain the spotlight are the most talented, and every writer I know knows this--it's a good protection against the feeling of being unsung).  In case anyone is wanting to know, here are the books I read this year and I did write at least notes on most of them if not an out and out mini review. That was almost all prose, so if you want to know what poetry I really really recommend for this year, please check out The Last Word's Instagram page, and consider listening to The Last Word here on Spotify. I'm on sabbatical this year,

The Last Word 2022

I used to do a radio show on WLFR Lake Fred Radio , Stockton's independent radio station. A great great radio station, by the way, to listen to at any time to see what the jockeys are up to. I've brought back for this year The Last Word, a show about writers and writing, and I've found a way to make it post on Spotify. So tune in every other Thursday (June 30th is the next time it will air) on WLFR at 11AM until noon. At the end of the radio broadcast aka noon, the podcast version of the show (unbleeped) will drop on Spotify here. So far, our guests have been: Angel Dominguez on their new book Desgraciado, hilarious and fierce! Sommer Browning read from Good Actors on comedy, writing, and the pros of DIY museum spaces; Joel Dias-Porter aka DJ Renegade read some of his poems from the new book Ideas of Improvisation , a virtuosic piece of prosody that includes many references to the jazz greats; Nancy Reddy on her new poetry book Pocket Universe and the excellent antholog

Material Worlds: an exhibit of quilts and handicrafts

 For the South Jersey region: #quilt #quilts #quilting #crafts #sewing #materialculture

Winter Updates

Very pleased to have appeared right next to Ginger Ko in the November/December issue of American Poetry Review.  It's an honor to appear with her anywhere, in print, internet, or in person. Check out her new book, Power On , which comes with a collaborative app. * Am pleased to have my books in some end of the year round ups for 2021: Once again, I read the Elisa Gabbart year end write up of all the books she read for the year. From it, I always hear about a book, or several books, that are definitely off my radar, and her list reminds me that we are in conversation with the living and the dead writers too. So I was really amazed to see my book on there. Ms. Gabbart had written a really kind blurb for use in marketing the book, so this write up of The Betweens was gravy: The sadly departing Entropy included The Betweens in their year-end creative non-fiction list, which makes me proud since I spent 2021 listening to CNF books on Libby, one after the other, chain-smoking style.

Poets Holiday Movie List

I wanted to put together a list of movies that people watch in their own custom holiday rituals, and maybe expand the idea of what a holiday movie is. Or not. Either way, I'm looking forward to watching some of these titles. --CK * Every holiday season, my family watches Tombstone (1993). It has nothing to do with the holidays, though there is some snow and festiveness...eventually, sort of. We love the irreverence of Val Kilmer's Doc Holliday character in contrast with the stoic Earps, and the varied mirror-image of the hateful villains (to include the system of law enforcement). We love the presentation of human fallibility and the artistry of the cinematography, the straightforward storytelling and the portrayal of the American West as truly problematic as opposed to romantic, and the general subversiveness of it as a Western. A quotable classic! -- Khadijah Queen Halloween (John Carpenter, 1978) This is as much a seasonal film as a holiday film, which reminds me how tied h

Late Fall Updates

I've been lucky enough this fall to read with performance artist Susannah Simpson and poet Aimee C. Harrison at the Paradiso reading series in Durham NC in late September. I also read with Julian Brolanski at the Kelly Writer's House on October 27th with a recording of this latter event here. I'm reading tomorrow evening with Laura Jaramillo and Pattie McCarthy for A Novel Idea, Philly. This event requires a donation for the tickets (5 dollars I think) and you can register here. I shall be at AWP in Philadelphia, especially lurking around at the bookfair. Find my new books at the Octopus Books table in the unofficial bookfair and The Betweens at the Noemi book table. I'll be reading again some time in the spring through the Visiting Writers Series at the school where I teach, Stockton University, and for Donna Vorreyer's new on-line series, still forming and molten hot. Here's an interview about The Betweens that Joanna Penn Cooper did with me, introduced by Em

Book Distribution Issues

Two of my books were published this spring. I knew there was a situation with the workers at SPD, and coming up on decisions about the distribution, I asked both presses + presses of my previous books + presses of friends what their stance was in February. I forwarded major communications about SPD to both presses since February including the fact that Yes Yes Books came out with a statement about their moving of all their books to Ingram for distribution. Noemi put out a statement (found  here ) on March 3rd. The spreadsheet keeping track of the presses states their statement is "outdated" as of June 1st 2021. Noemi had not received any notice about this boycott before I forwarded the spreadsheet to them, nor do they have the same resources or people to do what Yes Yes Books did. I have urged people since 2010 not to buy from SPD when I learned what their cut of a book is, not to mention their pay to play highlighting of certain titles. Since 2010, I'd also not bought bo