“Any healthy man can go without food for two days – but not without poetry.”
“If my poetry aims to achieve anything, it’s to deliver people from the limited ways in which they see and feel.”
Poetry is worth celebrating, no matter the time of year. But spring seems an especially appropriate season — one of rebirth and new life — to honor the art of poetry.
So in celebration of National Poetry Month this April, I am participating in Kelli Russell Agodon’s “Big Poetry Giveaway! 2014” — a wonderful concept, now in its fifth year, that allows poets and poetry lovers to share their favorite works and spread their passion for poetry.
Here’s how the contest works: participating poets and bloggers (view the complete list) offer two books of poetry to one winner. To enter, all you have to do is comment on their “Big Poetry Giveaway! 2014” post.
SCORE: THREE BOOKS AND A CD
Simply leave a comment with your name and email address on this post, and you’re entered to win (learn more about the giveaway rules). Because it’s National Poetry Month, it’d be cool — though not required — if you include the name of your favorite poem or poet, or share why you love poetry.
The contest is open until 11:59 p.m. EDT, Wednesday, April 30, 2014. I’ll randomly select a winner, who will be notified by email, during the first week of May.
Here are the two books (with a few bonuses) that one lucky winner will receive from me (postage paid by me as well):
1. "what matters most is how well you walk through the fire" by Charles Bukowski
I first fell in love when I was gifted a collection of Charles Bukowski poems, forever ensnaring me in an affair with poetry — as both a reader and writer. Someday, I will describe the impact Buk has had on me. But for now, any such descriptions would fall short. Read this sage, and you’ll understand.
2. "We Must Fight to Run Away" by Chester Hopewell (me)
This is my debut print collection, a limited-edition book of poems and photographs. Learn more about the book on my Etsy shop.
BONUS: Companion audio CD with recordings of all 18 poems in “We Must Fight to Run Away” and four bonus tracks of my favorite poems — read by me.
BONUS: "Directing Herbert White: Poems" by James Franco
I very much admire James Franco for his willingness to explore and experiment with many forms of art (poetry among them) — not allowing tabloids or their ilk define him because of any kind of celebrity, but leaping from discipline to discipline in his creations. Sometimes, as he does with "Directing Herbert White: Poems," he merges his seemingly disparate interests and endeavors.
All this can be yours. So be sure to comment below for your chance to win.
Happy National Poetry Month. Read on, write on.
Patterns punctured by first times,
messages from afar unreceived,
recycled visions reveal your trick,
but my escape is inevitable.
Beer and weed and whiskey
wine and cigarettes and sex
keep me running, running
from the place I need
to be, what do you want
I keep asking, asking
Time and therapy and silence
meditation and music and poetry
keep me searching, searching
for the place you want
to be, what do I need
you keep doubting, doubting
We all bring our prisons
with us, some inherited, some created,
but we each hold the key
in our core, we’ll find release.
She told me
I look taller
She told me
I look calmer
She told me
I look lighter
I felt taller
because I grew
I felt calmer
because I vented
I felt lighter
because I unpacked
looking for the glow,
rather than the space,
within our souls,
we will live.
“Poetry is eternal graffiti written in the heart of everyone.”