BLP » National Poetry Month: Elizabeth Cantwell


Black Lawrence Press (publishing my book early next month!) featured me in their National Poetry Month series yesterday. I think y’all have read this poem before, but it’s one of my favorites.

Go take a look - and stay tuned for chapbook AND book updates from me very soon!

Go! Read! Pre-order!

EDIT: ok, so it doesn’t appear pre-ordering is an option yet. So in place of that last one, let’s try this instead:

Bookmark for eventual exchange of money for poems!

Not quite the same ring to it, but the sentiment is right.

Update résumé:

achievement unlocked.

A bit of Roald Dahl after dinner.

A bit of Roald Dahl after dinner.

(Source: endiness)

Some truth, because alliteration

This week marks six months with my current employer. I was super unhappy during the final few months at my last job, so I more or less ran out the door and grabbed the first well-paying life raft away from that office. I’ve never been entirely comfortable here either, but I rarely am anywhere, so I didn’t think much of it. About two months ago (so, four months or so into the new gig, if you’re playing along at home and are bad at math), the structure of the company and the specifics of my job description were changed over the course of a weekend, causing my position to move from something I enjoyed, was very good at (I am confident about few things in life but that’s for sure one of them), and allowed for advancement opportunities, to something I’m about average at, find intensely boring with bright flashes of extremely frustrating thrown in for good measure, and will be stuck doing until I die or leave the company. And to gild that metaphorical crap-lily, I’m far less comfortable with the company culture the longer I’m a part of it as well. I no longer like my job as a(n obvious) result. 


Tonight I am blowing off a rare solo night out to stay home, rewrite my resumé, and start hunting for the next boat out. The prospect of freelancing again is unappealing for a whole host of reasons, so I’m looking for another design agency, web development shop, or other company in need of front-end work. There’s no real shortage of these positions from what I’ve gleaned doing cursory looks over my usual job boards, though I’m committed to being pickier about where I end up than I was last time. Mostly I hate that I’m doing this only six months in. It’s my choice, sure, but so much has changed since I was hired to now that I don’t feel like I’m even in the same position.

So it goes. I am for sure happy to be employed in the interim; I know that’s nothing to complain about and I’m just grumbling for quality of life concerns, which in the larger scheme of things…Anyway, giddy up, Job Search, giddy up.

(If you know of one of these places, especially if they’re remote or here in sunny Portland, Oregon, high five the info into my askhole. Are we still saying askhole? Did we ever say askhole? Is an askhole something one could effectively high five? How’re you enjoying this string of questions? Should I stop?)

Aaron Sorkin’s “The Foodroom”

It’s a fast food Newsroom/West Wing/Sports Night (even starring Josh Charles) and it is perfect.

(via Kottke)

Now that we’ve established that poetry is work, let’s move on to questions of productivity. How much should a poet produce, ideally? As much as one half-assed garden, planted by a person with a drinking problem, who did not read the directions on the seed-packets very closely. Elizabeth Bishop only ever wrote one poem, a villanelle about an elk breaking up with her (“The Elk Breaks Up with Me”), and if I may say so she did very well with it. Wallace Stevens only wrote five poems, and every one of them was insured for one million dollars, like a famous pair of legs. The greatest living poet, Nicolas Cage, continues to amaze us by never having written a poem at all.”

Illustrator Allen Crawford has turned Whitman’s poem “Song of Myself” into a sprawling, 256-page work of art. The densely-handwritten text and illustrations intermingle in a way that’s both surprising and wholly in tune with the spirit of the poem—exuberant, rough, and wild. “Whitman Illuminated: Song of Myself” is a sensational reading experience, an artifact in its own right, and a masterful tribute to the Good Gray Poet.


Bikini Kill: Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah

[Tobi Vail] was philosophizing a future feminism by describing her own inquisitive evolution, politicizing punk by charging it with the conditions of her life as a woman. Bikini Kill, she wrote, would fight sexism and homophobia, legitimize girl-rock, reclaim the punk domain. For the time being, they ruled their own tiny universe. “I can already feel the power of it and the band is fast becoming the most important thing in my life,” Vail wrote. “I think we will be like thee most misunderstood band ever.” The truth of her vision would soon be revealed—loudly, with serious tunes, and music that was straight fire.

A mighty fine review of a reissue of a record that meant a whole lot to me as a wayward teenager. You should go read it, then join me in another late-middle-90s Kill Rock Stars binge…

Do guys already know about Katzenjammer and how they’re amazing? Because I just found out about this and my world is a better place now.