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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Stalactite Chimes

For a poem, I needed to know if stalactites made any sound in the wind or under any conditions, and searching online for that led me to this site which features stalactite chimes. The site describes the stalactite chimes as follows:

"When they have grown to the right length, shape, and weight, stalactites are able to produce very beautiful tones, when gently hit. These sounds are not only very unique and inspirational, but can touch us emotionally. I was touched in this way when I first heard that sound... 100,000 years to build something that may eventually become a musical instrument, but only if the improbable happens."

This site offers dozens of other natural sounds, drones, soundscapes, etc. For instance there is Himalayan Bowls,  Ice World, Summer Night, Canyon Drone, Temple Bells, White Rain, Bagpipes, and more. Each comes with a bunch of different settings that you can try, and you can also take an easy test to see which tones your ears are failing to hear, then have an adjustement calibrated and saved to correct your own deficiencies, so that you can apply it to any soundscape to hear what you are meant to hear. There is a timer--great for meditating. My husband and I are hooked. Each of us has our computer humming to a different sound, and generally the mix is quite lovely as well. Enjoy!

from Creative Commons, photo by Hans

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Wrap Your Mind Around Rappahannock

The new issue of the Rappahannock Review includes work by Karen Craigo, Sasha West, Devon Miller-Duggan, Sarah Hulyk Maxwell, and a poem by me.

Thanks to editor Sarah Palmer and staff for this great issue out of the University of Mary Washington in historic Fredericksburg, Virginia.

Saturday, April 25, 2015


I've said it before and I'll say it again: I find repetition mesmerizing.

Here are three audio pieces that play with repetition in provocative and stunning ways (for those of us who love repetition--for the rest of you, they may seem tedious).

1. Via by Caroline Bergvall. I love this more than anything I've ever heard, I think. It's worth the effort of scrolling down the Pennsound website about three-quarters of the way till you come to Rockdrill 8. There it's track # 6. Or scroll down a bit farther for a recording of Via with Ciaran Maher, Summer 2000.

Via is "a compiled list of (48) translations into English of Dante's opening lines as arched in the British Library up until May 2000...."

2. Another interesting thing to listen to is Gregory Whitehead's As We Know, a boneyard cantata based on a comment by Donald Rumsfeld. Here it's curated by Australia's ABC radio show Soundproof.

3. Another offering from Soundproof is composer Tim Johnson's Music and Questions. This piece is a meta-listening experience.

Enjoy! Enjoy! Enjoy! Enjoy! Enjoy! Enjoy! Enjoy! Enjoy! Enjoy! Enjoy! Enjoy! Enjoy! Enjoy! Enjo

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Tweetspeak Micro

New microreview at Tweetspeak, but it's a throwback to The Insomniac's Weather Report. So glad that book hasn't been forgotten!

And I share the space with poet Michalle Gould, who also has a poem coming out from Motionpoems Season 6 this year.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

My Heart at Hartskill


I'm pleased to have three new poems in the Spring 2015 issue of the Hartskill Review, along with Kelly Cherry, Ruth Foley, Sandra Kohler, Corey Mesler, Derek Pollard, Brian Simoneau, and more.

And I'm especially grateful to the enthusiastic support of editor Joshua Hjalmer Lind--here's an editor who LOVES  and is excited by poetry. None of that jaded attitude here. Yay!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Neat on the Net for Spring

Two great things today.

1. Telephone (the game) for art. Beginning with a single prompt, three artists respond. Multiple artists respond to each of their works, and so forth, and we're off in a branching explosion of art. You can follow threads of responses, or see a map and choose nodes of interest. The best part is the interdisciplinary nature of the game: it includes poets, sculptors, photographer, prose writers, painters, collagists, dancers, filmmakers, embroiderers, etc. (Shout out to poet Pamela Hart, whose work is included.)

2. Upper Rubber Boat features on their blog a summary of Jane Hirshfield's lecture "Question to Ask While Revising a Poem." This is a a helpful checklist from a master.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Word Play

The other day I was looking for the visual thesaurus, and I accidentally stumbled across the Word Map. You should go there now. Type in any word (I did 'bandage') and as the cursor moves around a world map, you'll hear that word translated into various languages. You can pan around the world, zooming in and out, and see the written words and click on them to hear them on demand as well. Fun!

Then I did find the Visual Thesaurus, and sadly, it's no longer free, but you do get a free trial (without registering) so enjoy that too.

Trying to find a free visual thesaurus, I ran across Visuwords, which is a hybrid dictionary/thesaurus, but visual. It show the relationship between word, such as "X is a kind of / an instance of / a principle of / an attribute of / etc. / Y". But it's all represented visually by different type and color of line. So interesting, and great for students.

This reminded me of Wordle, which gives a visual count of word frequency in a document (words that occur more frequently are represented as larger in the collage of words).  And here's an article by Kate Smitty at Edudemic introducing nine other word cloud generators that aren't Wordle.

And strangely enough, Vocabgrabber over at Visual Thesaurus doesn't seem to require a subscription. You enter your text and then it gives you a list of all the words in your sample, a visual map of each word (as you click on them one by one), the definition of each word as you select it, AND sample usages from your own text -- helps you see if you are repeating yourself. And it allows you to sort for all vocabulary that fall in certain categories (such as geography, people, science, arts and literature, etc.). This is quite useful for looking at your own writing.

These samples reminded me of the Corpus of Contemporary American English, available online. It's a massive database of actual usages of words and collocation (word commonly appearing together) from news, magazines, books, spoken examples, etc. Type in your word or collocation, and hundreds (even thousands) of examples of sentences in which that phrase or word has actually been used, along with the citation, will be available to you.

Finally there's Wordsift from Stanford University, which offers a lot of what Vocabgrabber does, but also is linked to the Visual Thesaurus, so you can use it for free over there too.

Enjoy, but don't get started unless you have some extra time on your hands! It's addictive!


From the order of nature we return to the order – and the disorder – of humanity. From the larger circle we must go back to the smaller, the smaller within the larger and dependent on it. One enters the larger circle by willingness to be a creature, the smaller by choosing to be a human. And having returned from the woods, we remember with regret its restfulness. For all creatures there are in place, hence at rest.

In their most strenuous striving, sleeping and waking, dead and living, they are at rest. In the circle of the human we are weary with striving, and are without rest.
~Wendell Berry


Regret has to be useless or it’s not really regret.
~Simone de Beauvoir (The Mandarins)


471. If you never do a thing you may regret later, later will never come. As Eve proved, shame is time.
~James Richardson, (Vectors: Aphorisms & Ten-Second Essays)


God does not demand that we give up our personal dignity, that we throw in our lot with random people, that we lose ourselves and turn from all that is not him. God needs nothing, asking nothing, and demands nothing, like the stars. It is a life with God which demands these things.

Experience has taught the race that if knowledge of God is the end, then these habits of life are not the means but the condition in which the means operates. You do not have to do these things; not at all. God does, not, I regret to report, give a hoot. You do not have to do these things—unless you want to know God. They work on you, not on him.

You do not have to sit outside in the dark .If, however, you want to look at the stars, you will find that darkness is necessary. But the stars neither require nor demand it.

~Annie Dillard, (Teaching a Stone to Talk: Expeditions and Encounters)


I don't do these kinds of lists much anymore because my personal database keeps pulling up the same poems I've used in previous lists, even when I search for a different word. For example, when looking for 'regret' I pulled up a number of poems and quotes that I had already used with other keywords for topics. Interestingly, an overlap that occurred with some frequency was poems using both the word 'regret' and the word 'logic.' Hmmmmmmmm.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Readings by Katie Woodzick

For National Poetry Month, writer Katie Woodzick is reading and recording poems by various women poets.

Enjoy hearing poems by Lana Hechtman Ayers, Lynn Pedersen, Karen Paul Holmes, Rachel Heimowitz, me ("November Nocturne" from Mendeleev's Mandala), and others.  Check it out and enjoy a reading in the privacy of your own home.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Winter Tangerine

Thanks to Yasmin Belkhyr and Héloïse Cambonie at Winter Tangerine Review for the review "Five Reasons to Read: Mendeleev's Mandala," which reads, in part, "Human consciousness cannot be reduced to such a simple binary. Mathematics seek out metaphors. Geometry and logic embrace myths. In the end, electrons and angels are more or less the same thing."

This is a close and joyous reading of my book, one which honors my work more than I dared hope for. Thank you!

Also, check out the banner on the review--don't be surprised if you see something similar pop up here next, inspired by their idea at Winter Tangerine Review!

And blog readers, please take time to look at "Five Reasons to Read: Fake Knife," featuring the work of Dalton Day, and also consider entering The Winter Tangerine Awards (honoring new and emerging poetry and prose writers) with guest poetry judge Ocean Vuong! Open through June 1st.

Friday, April 10, 2015

An Abundance of Support

An abundance of writing community support for Mendeleev's Mandala today!

First, Mendeleev's Mandala was reviewed at Magadalena Ball's The Compulsive Reader  by poet Elvis Alves: "Goodfellow’s work reminds us of Camus’ encouragement to picture Sisyphus smiling as he carried out his punishment." Check out the entire review for Alves's thoughtful connecting of the dots between the poems.

Next, Diane Lockward of Blogalicious has featured Mendeleev's Mandala in her celebratory series for National Poetry Month! This dynamic series has already included women poets such as Jehanne Dubrow and L.L. Barkat. Kudos to Diane for all her service to the poetry community!

And thanks to those who reported back about seeing the Motionpoem based on "Crows, Reckoning" at the VIDA Awards.

So much support so gratefully received.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

AWP 2015

I won't be at AWP 2015 but some of my work will.

1) Find my book at the Mayapple Press table in the Exhibition Hall at Booth 1237 (right in front of the AWP Stage). Also, consider attending the Mayapple Press & One Wet Shoe Reading as follows (I won't be there):

What: Mayapple Press and One Wet Shoe Reading
Where: 609 S 10th Street Minneapolis, MN 55404 (Map)
When: Saturday April 11, 2015
Time: 7pm to 9pm
Participating Mayapple Press authors:
Betsy Johnson-Miller, author of Fierce This Falling
Devon Moore, author of Apology of a Girl Who Is Told She Is Going to Hell
Helen Ruggieri, co-editor of Written On Water: Writings About the Allegheny River and author of Glimmer Girls

2) "Crows, Reckoning," a poem from my new Mayapple Press book Mendeleev's Mandala, was subsequently made into a Motionpoem. There'll be a sneak preview at the VIDA Awards (and I won't be there either!).

Awards presented include:
• Cheryl Strayed WINNER of the 2015 VIDA Vanguard Award!
• VIDA's Kickass Press Award
• The VIDO Award
• Fiction Awards
• Poetry Awards
• Non-fiction Awards

The Exclusive Film Premiere of the

Thursday, April 9th
AWP Minneapolis
Doors @ 7:30
Awards Program @ 9:00
Dance Party @ 11:00

Skyway Theater | Minneapolis, MN
711 Hennepin Avenue

Please note: Advance tickets sold do not guarantee admission. Admission is granted on a first come, first served basis, determined by the event venue's maximum capacity. Don't be discouraged! Attendees will come and go -- if you can't get in early, come back later for the dance party! If you cannot attend, please consider making a donation to VIDA to help advance our mission of gender parity in contemporary literature.

I wish I could be at these places, but I can't. If you go, enjoy, and let me know!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Finnish Comedy & Me

You want to see a Finnish comedy about a grumpy old man, don't you? Sure you do! Especially because showing with that offering in the Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival (MSPIFF) is the Motionpoem featuring my poem (from my new book Mendeleev's Mandala) called "Crows Reckoning", which has been made into a film by Edward Chase Masterson and Alex Hanson (of Commandr).

That's right, you can see The Grump (click on the link to see a trailer) by director Dome Karukoski, and Crows Reckoning together on April 16th and April 19th in Minneapolis. I really hope someone can go and report back to me! Tickets available here.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Memorials to Mendeleev!

Dmitri Mendeleev, the scientist who codified the Periodic Table of Elements, obviously features in my new book Mendeleev's Mandala. This week two writer friends sent me links to interesting Mendeleev mentions.

From Julene Weaver, this hilarious yet informative video from Oslo University.

And from Leza Lowitz, author of Jet Black and the Ninja Wind (among many others!), this image of the original periodic table.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Daily Dose of Lit

Delighted to have three poems featured at the Extract(s) feature from Jenn Monroe's Daily Dose of Lit. This website provides great content for serious readers and also is a tremendous support for writers--a generous addition to the reading and writing world. Thank you!

Also featuring a story by Jennifer Genest, and a poem by Laurie Kolp. Please check it out!

Friday, April 3, 2015


If you are going to AWP this year, please check out the VIDA Awards,  9 April at 19:30 in EDT Skyway Theater, 711 Hennepin Avenue, Minneapolis, MN.

Awards presented include:
• Cheryl Strayed WINNER of the 2015 VIDA Vanguard Award!
• VIDA's Kickass Press Award
• The VIDO Award
• Fiction Awards
• Poetry Awards
• Non-fiction Awards

And there will be dancing!

But also, there will be a sneak preview of the 2015 Motionpoems Season, including movies featuring poems by Stacy Lynn Browne, Jehanne Dubrow, Rebecca Morgan Frank, Catherine Pierce, Megan O'Rourke, Kim Addonizio, and me, among others.

I can't go to AWP or to the Motionpoems Premiere in May, so I'm hoping some of you will go see my poem in film on the big screen and let me know how it went! 

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

UCSD Library V-Blog

It's that time of year: National Poetry Month.

One of the things I've done this year to celebrate is to participate in the UCSD Library's V-blog for poets. Click on the link to see poets such as Rachel Winchester, Alex Bosworth, and myself (among others) read and discuss poems on video. I read two poems from my recently released Mendeleev's Mandala. 

And for my poet friends, it's not too late to participate. Christina Continelli is still accepting videos, so follow the link for more info.