Friday, April 27, 2007

poets, essayists, and eye candy

Wow. Bret Lott, I love you, man. The Southern Review is publishing my two favorite poets, together, in the same issue. Is this rare? Consider that neither poet has published a volume of work. To catch their poems, you would first have to know when and which journal they might appear and then you ante up for one, maybe two poems. I have in my possession only three of Margo Berdeshevsky’s, xeroxed. I’m luckier with Allison Smythe. She is a longtime friend and critique partner and I am the blessed recipient of many more delicious lines and in the know on all her acceptances. Still. Having them both in one fine journal (and able to say I’ve shaken the hand of the editor) well, that is both rare and fine.

Another friend and nonfiction critique partner, Lisa Ohlen Harris, recently gifted a book to me by a writer of essays that she promised was near as good as reading Annie Dillard. I had my doubts. A slim volume, The Green Heart of the Tree, by A. S. Woudstra, is a compilation of essays written at a bamboo desk on the northwestern coast of Africa. I love these essays. Every word. I hesitate to tell you anything at all about them for fear you might presume familiarity and not buy this book. But these are some of the best essays I’ve read in a very long time. I love an intelligent and sensitive narrator; one who is well-traveled, understanding, a conduit by which I see and taste the red dust of her dirt road. Oh please buy this book. It is deliciously good.

And now for some deliciously good eye candy, revel in what Spring brought to us two weeks ago and only thirty minutes south of Dallas. It beat my beloved Washington-on-the Brazos annual retreat outside of Houston, though I missed meandering those paths with old friends.

1 comment:

allison said...

Thanks for the mention. I bring some long awaited news. I just found this online regarding Margo: Her new book, But A Passage In Wilderness, will be published by The Sheep Meadow Press in November, 2007!