Monthly Archives: August 2011

Lots happening with poetry, and I love it!

I go through periods when it seems like not much is happening in my poetry life, and then I go through periods like the current one, when it seems a lot is happening.  The trick is to remember these times in the drier spells. 

On Sunday, I had a fantastic reading at the Y Steak house in Park Rapids with the lovely and talented Kathryn Kysar.  I think we both were surprised by the turnout (not huge, but adequate) and the appreciation of the audience.  A very nice event indeed.  Here I am with Jen Geraedts, manager of Beagle Books, a sponsor of the event (and a poet in her own right) and Kate Kysar (l to r).

LouAnn Muhm, Jen Geraedts, Kathryn Kysar (l to r)


Yesterday, I began teaching a class on Ekphrasis (poetry inspired by art) at the Nemeth Art Center with a fantastic group of students, and in just a few weeks I begin teaching Writing the Short Poem online for the Loft.  And the regular school year is starting, too.  Teaching, teaching, teaching!  Good thing I love it.

In other news, my good friend and collaborator Tiffany Besonen and I will be attending  an event at Concordia College in a couple of weeks entitled :   2011 Faith, Reason and World Affairs Symposium , “The Role of the Artist in Society: Inspiration, Issues, Impact.”  We will be meeting with Jennifer Heath, who curates The Veil: Visible and Invisible Spaces, a traveling art exhibition on tour since 2008 which includes our collaboration, “i am water,” a mixed-media collage block-printed with a fragment of one of my poems.  We will attend the gallery talk, and also many of the sessions the next day exploring the role of the artist in society.  Should be very interesting.

Tiffany is also in the process of submitting a grant proposal to The Minnesota Center for Book Arts for a collaboration in which I will write in response to some of her new work, and the poems and images then will be translated into larger broadsides (art/poetry posters, kind of).  Cross your fingers for us!

Finally, a project that has been on the back burner, but still simmering, for a couple of years is a photo/poetry collaboration with my (new) husband and photographer extraordinaire, Steve Peterson.  I won’t say too much about it except to say that it would focus on a much-traveled and much-loved route between our two homes, and would aspire to capture the route’s beauty before the road is modernized too much.  We’ve recently gotten some encouraging interest and feedback, and hope to move this closer to the front of the stove.

Busy times!

Quote for the week: Let the beauty we love be what we do. There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          — Rumi

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Dinner, Poetry…What more do you want?

I’m really looking forward to my reading THIS Sunday, August 28, with Kate Kysar at the Y Steak House, Park Rapids.  Kate and I met years ago while she was living in Bemidji.  Her first book was published by Loonfeather Press, as was mine.  She’s now gone on to have a second book published just this year, the excellent Pretend the World (Holy Cow! Press).  It’s kind of interesting that our careers are in some ways parallel (though hers more illustrious), with mine a few years behind hers.  It did make me feel better about my own progress that there were several years between her first book and her second.  I’m not too behind yet!  Poetry for me is such a long, slow process of observation, thought, and eventual expression.  I envy the people who can just crank ’em out,  but I have to honor my own process, too.  Patience is a virtue, right?

If you are interested in attending the Y Steak House event, see my schedule page for details.

Quote for the week:  A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort. ~Herm Albright

Thanks to Ashley Ziehm for the quote.

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Two Weeks Left…

…to sign up for a 4-week Ekphrasis workshop in Park Rapids, MN, Aug. 31-Sept. 24.  See my Workshop page for all the details!  Registration deadline is August 21.

Also about two weeks left before my thoughts turn back to school and teaching.  I have some fancy new technology in my room this year ( a SmartBoard), so will be doing a lot of training (and trial and error, no doubt).

The heat has finally left us, at least temporarily, and I plan to devote the next two weeks to my yard and garden.  Nothing like working outside when it’s cool and dry and there are no bugs!  Here’s a short poem about mosquitoes I wrote while on a writing retreat in a particularly swampy area a few years ago.  The mosquitoes were more intense than I have ever experienced.:

Ode to Deet

I would rather be dying slowly

from these toxic chemicals

than to be without them,

only wishing for death.

Don’t forget the online workshop Writing The Short Poem that I will be teaching for The Loft.  Class details and Online Registration–CLICK HERE

This week’s Quote:  Harm can only enter where fear makes an opening.  –Confucius

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