Gratitude for Words of Encouragement

Joannie Stangeland’s latest collection of poetry (Ravenna Press, 2014)

Many, many thanks to Seattle poet, editor, and winemaker Joannie Stangeland for her write-up of Impossible Lessons as her Saturday Poetry Pick yesterday! Her lovely words are here.

In a wonderful coincidence, I’ve been reading her new book, In Both Hands. The poems there are haunting, replete with precise images of beauty and loss. I’m falling in love with, and going to school on, these incredible poems.

Be sure to read another recent post of Joannie’s, in which she describes her current writing projects.

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Poetry on the Radio

Poetic Moments at KMRE 102.3 Bellingham

Poetic Moments at KMRE 102.3 Bellingham

Bellingham, WA poet Shannon Laws, under her radio name Boosie Vox, has added a new feature titled “Poetic Moments” to her radio show on the local KMRE station. In between “Golden Age of Radio” music segments, audio recordings of local poets reading their work are randomly aired. Shannon devoted countless hours during November and December recording Bellingham-area poets. Shannon produced the recordings and prepared them for broadcast. All of them are assembled here on Boosie Vox’s Sound Cloud; please have fun browsing this large and wonderful sample of poetry audio by many poets dear and near to me!

I’m honored that Shannon recorded four of my poems from Impossible Lessons. Here’s “Strange Bird,” which originally appeared in Cascadia Review. For some reason, I can’t embed the audio in this post, so please click on the fifth recording down to listen!

STRANGE BIRD

What bird are you? Hawk-shaped, gray,
tail striped and neck ringed in white,
you hover and swoop, low, a few feet above
the hay stubble, spying for mice.

Once, you dart down,
scramble in the grass, lost to my view
as you sate your raptor’s appetite on some
ground-bound creature.

But if hunting’s your purpose, why
do you round me in your orbits,
line me in your sights, between flights
to the field’s far corners? What am I to you?

I wonder further, amble the field—
then you return again, hover,
and drop this poem
into my mouth.

The Day After Thanksgiving

Day After Thanksgiving

This razor-bright morning, I hike the South Fork
of the Nooksack to see the salmon running.
Up from oceans, following some scent of granite,
they’ve sliced their way to these beds of gravel
to spawn and die. More are dead, now,
than swimming, in the water sharded at its edges
by ice, their brown and silver bodies piling
where the steep stream pools.

I hike higher, up a logging road, its skin graveled
with small stones like salmon scales
and layered with copper leaves:
fish-shaped, blade-like, their centers rotting,
serrated edges glinting and steely with frost.

I rest at the edge of a clear cut and watch
the peaks of the Twin Sisters tear
their slow bite into the sky–rock and snow
piercing the blue–and ponder how all this dying
puts a point on the tip of gratitude,
hooking in the throat like barb-cold air,
sharp like salt on the tongue.

By Jennifer Bullis
Originally published in Cascadia Review, April 15 2013. In Impossible Lessons, p. 53.

Artist Profile in the Bellingham Herald

Yesterday, the Bellingham Herald ran an Artist Profile of me in advance of my chapbook launch next Wednesday. The interviewer, Margaret Bikman, had me discuss details about my writing process and my attraction to poetry in order to shed light on the poems in Impossible Lessons. If you’re interested in those things, or in learning more about my mysterious past, please check out the interview here.

Happy weekend, and thanks for reading!
Jennifer

How Do I Get My Hands on This Book, You Ask?

Dear Readers,

Please go ahead and judge this book by its cover, which I like very much.

Please go ahead and judge this book by its cover, which I like very much.

As promised, I’ve figured out how to get my new chapbook of poems, Impossible Lessons, to you if you’d like a copy. Here are four ways:

1) If you live in Whatcom County, Village Books now has copies upstairs in the Poetry Section; look for the “Local Authors” display. *

2) If you can come to my book launch celebration at Village Books on July 10 (7:00 p.m.), I’ll sign your copy and probably also give you a hug.

3) If you live elsewhere in the U.S., please email me at jenniferbullis (at) comcast (dot) net and give me your mailing address. I’ll email you back with my mailing address; you mail me a check for $10, and I’ll mail you a signed copy. Postage is on me!

Please know that if you buy through Amazon, neither my publisher (MoonPath Press) nor I receive any income for the copy. That’s why I’m plugging these other options. However, I do encourage you to visit the Amazon page for Impossible Lessons so that you can browse the first several poems of the book and read the embarrassingly sweet blurbs that some poet-friends of mine wrote for the back cover.

4) If you live outside the U.S., please do order your copy through Amazon.com. Their magical international sourcing elves will ship it to you for much cheaper than I can arrange.

Thank you, dear readers, for all your support and enthusiasm about this book! I’m delighted that it’s finally here to share with you!

Cheers,
Jennifer

* If you live in Whatcom County and your name happens to be Lee, John S. (of John and Lee), John S. (the other John S.), Luci, Marya, Jeff, Sherri, Jeremy, or Carol–you all know who you are–don’t you dare buy a copy! I will be delivering yours to you in person.

OMG! My Chapbook! It’s Here!

Today I came home to a huge carton on my doorstep. From CreateSpace. Could it be–already?

Yes, Dear Readers. Yes it is.

My chapbook!

The front cover. Remember all that fuss over which of Mark's photos to use? (Yeah, me neither.)

The front cover. Remember all that fuss over which of Mark’s photos to use? (Yeah, me neither.)

I am, as you might guess, giddy. It is 43 pages of poems, elegantly arranged over 58 pages, Oreo-cookied between one of the loveliest photos ever taken of fall leaves in the Methow River and three of the most embarrassingly glowing blurbs ever to grace a back cover. I can hardly believe it.

I’m profoundly grateful to Lana Hechtman Ayers, editor and publisher of MoonPath Press in Kingston, WA for inviting me, exactly one year ago today, to submit my manuscript for her to consider publishing; for her artfully selecting and shaping the poems into sequence; and for her meticulous care and patience throughout the process of editing and producing the chapbook. I thank Tonya Namura, too, for designing the cover so beautifully and laying out the text. This is my dream come true!

And my thanks to you, Dear Readers, for your enthusiasm and encouragement about this project. It’s been fantastic to be able to share this great news with you throughout the process. I’ll post details soon about getting copies of the chapbook into your hands.

Cheers,
Jennifer

News About My Poetry Chapbook

I’ve been trying to be patient, but I just can’t keep this to myself anymore. My chapbook of poems, Impossible Lessons, is at the printer, and I’ll receive copies of it in just a couple of weeks! When it arrives, I’ll post a photo of the cover, which turned out beautifully.

If you’ll happen to be in the Northwest corner of the Lower 48 on July 10 at 7:00 p.m., please plan to come to my launch reading at Village Books in Bellingham, Washington.

I’ll be making a bigger deal out of this as that date draws nearer, but I just had to tell you!