February 24, 2018

The Big Poetry Giveaway

Leave a comment and be entered to win in the 2014 Big Poetry Giveaway.

It’s April, it’s finally spring in Tennessee, and it’s National Poetry Month – all great reasons to emerge from my blogging hiatus and participate in this year’s BIG POETRY GIVEAWAY being curated by Kelli Russell Agodon. Be sure to visit Kelli’s blog for a list of all the blogs participating in this event.

How it works: I’m supposed to give away my own book and a copy of a poetry book I really love. I’m also throwing in my poetry and roots music CD and another chapbook from a fellow Tennessee poet. And for all that value, all you have to do is leave a comment below and hope to be the lucky winner at the end of the month. (And do a giveaway on your own blog, if you’re so inclined.)

Something about me (per the Poetry Giveaway guidelines): My bachelor’s degree is in computer science and I work in technology, so I tend to be very logical, and therefore my poems – especially my drafts – tend to be very logical, orderly, if-this-then-that creations. This is not necessarily awful, but it’s also not necessarily good. While I know that the “unexpected” in a poem is often a great part of its delight and power, it’s often one of the hardest things for me to achieve.

Less Obvious Gods by Lisa Coffman

And that, ultimately, is one of the reasons I’ve chosen the particular book I’m giving away: Lisa Coffman’s Less Obvious Gods. Published in 2013 by Iris Press, I find so much about Coffman’s work to be unexpected. She writes odes to such things as time and secrets, to past tense and the comma, “little oar into the underworld.” She writes a whole poem to a tick – a tick, mind you – and I think I don’t want to read about a tick, I hate ticks, I just got the first tick of the season off of my dog Max tonight, bleh, ticks – but she calls it a “[h]arpoon-lipped wicked French kisser” and how can I not keep reading?

Coffman obviously has an affection for upright basses,which appear in several of her poems. I recently read one of her bass-related poems, “The Principle of Transformation at a Cadillac Angels Show,” to a roomful of women, and every one of them, ages 20 something to 60 something, swooned. We had to open the doors and windows to mitigate the pheromone spike in the room. In the only-slightly-less-sensual “Bass,” she writes that the bass carries harmonies “[l]ike the pelvis that carries/the chalky dishpile of the spine.”  I also have a love for upright basses, not to mention a son who sings bass, and well, that just seals the deal.

So. Lisa Coffman. Less Obvious Gods. You want to leave a comment now, yes you do.

Heaven Was the Moon by Kory Wells

And back to what I do: When I get over my hyper-logical issues, I do manage to get a few poems written, and some of those are in a chapbook, Heaven Was the Moon, published by March Street Press. One of those poems, “At the Old Time Jamboree,” inspired my daughter Kelsey and I to start putting my poetry and her old-time, rootsy music together. We have a CD, Decent Pan of Cornbread, which I’ll also include in the giveaway package. The CD has some overlap with the book but has newer material as well, including a few blank verse sonnets that are responses to the lyrics of the old-time tunes Kelsey sings.

Sample one of the CD tracks – and read the poem here at Deep South Magazine: “Our Spirits Shall Sorrow No More”

Continuum by Sandy Coomer

Lisa Coffman, now a California resident, is from East Tennessee; I’m also from Tennessee and love to promote poetry in the state, so I’ll add one more of our state’s gems to the giveaway – Sandy Coomer’s Continuum, a chapbook from Finishing Line Press. Sandy writes of nature, motherhood and the “furious throb of life” that courses through past and present, art and science, and the tension between relationships and the self. She delivers a meticulously crafted, musical debut, as illustrated in the sensuous “Charmer”: [T]here is no bee not beguiled by the buzz/That sings them drunk on sound.

I’ll finish by sharing what Kelli says about why she’s coordinating this year’s Big Poetry Giveaway:

Because I want to introduce people to poets they may not have heard of.

Because I want more people to read poetry.

Because I love the idea of poetry books being mailed off to new readers.

Because I like learning about new blogs and bloggers.

Because it’s National Poetry Month and I want to bring more attention to poets and poetry.

As I like to say, share that poetry love. (Which I do, often, here on Pinterest, and in this blog post, Middle Tennessee Poetry News.


Rules: Leave a comment below anytime in the month of April to enter to win.  The winner will be chosen by a random drawing on May 1st from all who have commented here. I’ll contact the winner using the email you provide to obtain your mailing address.  Indicate your email in the email address field, not in the body of the comment itself, so your email will remain private.

Please note, new commenters have to be approved before your comments will show. I’ll try to check comments daily, but don’t worry if it’s a couple of days before your comment shows.

Happy National Poetry Month!



  1. I have a 13 year old son who loves to write poetry. He and I will enjoy reading your choices.

  2. hello Kory! I’d love to be entered in your giveaway! here’s a link to mine, so feel free to enter: http://dearouterspace.blogspot.com/2014/03/big-poetry-giveaway-2014-three-books.html

    my email is lauraelizabethdavis+bpg [at] gmail [dot] com

    thanks! 🙂

  3. Please count me in! Thanks!

  4. Hi! I’d love to participate.

  5. Your choices sound intriguing. Thanks for steering me here.

  6. Count me in, please!

    Name: Rodney

  7. Happy Poetry Month! These books sound great. 🙂

  8. I posted a comment, but I can’t tell whether or not it went through. Sorry to double-post!

  9. I would love to read any and all of these books. I read your poem “Our Spirits Shall Sorrow No More,” and I really like it. I can’t wait to read more of your poetry. So, please enter me in the giveaway. Thank you!

  10. Please sign me up. I’d love to read your work!

  11. Would love to win any of these — feel free to check out my giveaway at http://thealchemistskitchen.blogspot.com

  12. Hi Kory,

    Great selections for your giveaway. Glad this concept brought me to your site.

    Check out and enter my giveaway at http://chesterhopewell.com/post/81404795431/national-poetry-month-celebration-win-books-through

    My email is chester(dot)hopewell(at)yahoo(dot)com.

    Happy National Poetry Month!


  13. Sign me up!

  14. katrina roberts says:

    How great! I’d love to play!! All thanks! xo

  15. Hi

    I think your reasons for being involved are so lovely so please count me in!!

    Much love,


  16. Edna Kitchen says:

    Pick me!

  17. Poetry Month! Count me in!

  18. I found your EP on Spotify! I love it! Happy Poetry Month, Kory.

  19. Melva Sue Priddy says:

    These books sound great & I may have to buy them if I don’t get drawn, Kory! I enjoy your blog & your posts.

    • Hi, Melva Sue! It’s great to hear from you. Thanks for the kind words, and stopping by. Since you’re in the neighborhood – relatively speaking – I’ll mention this: I’m just back from the Tennessee Mountain Writers annual conference, where I learned that Lisa Coffman is on the slate to be a presenter next year. I can’t wait!

  20. Jennifer Essad says:

    I appreciate poetry-I tend to over thing the process when trying to write myself. They selections you’ve chosen make me smile – thank you

  21. Aw, thanks Jennifer. Glad to know my issues – and my choices – resonate! Happy Poetry Month!


  22. Gods!!! I want gods!! Been searching for at least one for some long time now

    (and.. I have been too late to take official part in this year Giveaway but am giving away some books any way – so feel free to stop by and join in if you see something fitting you)

  23. Hi, Dhyan – Read Lisa’s book and you may decide you have more gods than you think. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by, and I’ll check out your blog, too! – Kory

  24. Karen Webster says:

    I met Lisa Coffman many years ago and read some of her drafts. I still remember her poem about the smell of magnolias. Obviously, I also love poetry. My daughter is named after a poet.

    • Nice to “meet” you, Karen – I am reading her first book now, after a friend passed along a copy. I’m curious what poet you named your daughter after! All best – Kory

  25. Priyanci Srivastava says:

    I’m up for it. Please, do enter me in. Happy poetry month. Thanks 🙂

  26. Hello, Kory! I’d love to be entered in the giveaway. I am a poet and writer who also runs a blog about poetry. We share our favorite poems and our thoughts about them. Check us out: http://structureandstyle.tumblr.com/

  27. These sound interesting. Count me in!

  28. Kory, please add my name to your drawing. Feel free to visit by blog and sign up too! Happy Poetry Month!

    • Hi, Michael – I can remember your name easily enough (my husband’s a Michael, too). Nice to “meet” you, and yes, I will check out your blog. Thanks for stopping by. All best, Kory

  29. Brian Wong says:

    I’d love a chance to win any of these collections, thanks so much for doing this! Happy Poetry Month!

  30. Heaven IS a decent pan of corn bread, and I’d love to win that combo.

    Please see my great pass-alongs at:



    • Hi, Elliott – Nice to “meet” you, and thanks for leaving your own giveaway links! Working on your 2nd MFA? In poetry translation – wow, and cool!

      All best,

  31. I, too, have been challenging myself to write a poem a day. These books sound like so much fun. I’d love to win and experience a new voice. Thanks so much for hosting.

  32. Throw my name in the hat please. Thank you!

  33. Hello, I’m late getting around this year. Please add me to the names.

  34. I enjoyed your post, Kory, and would like to be entered in your giveaway. You can also enter mine if you wish, at http://dacusrocket.blogspot.com. Happy Poetry Month! (Logic cannot be underestimated, though poetry has its entirely own.) ~ Best, Rachel

    • Nice to meet you, Rachel, and thanks for sharing your own giveaway. It looks like we have quite a bit in common – I look forward to becoming more familiar with your work! So glad you stopped by!

      All best,


  35. Kory,
    I grew up near Kingsport, TN, and am a clog dancer with a chapbook containing poems set in the mountains of Appalachia, so I am very interested in your work! I do hope I am a winner in your drawing. Thanks so much, Marianne Mersereau – marianne4art@yahoo.com

    • Hi, Marianne – Nice to meet you, and yes, it sounds like we have a lot in common! Although I’ve been a middle TN girl most of my life, my roots – and many influences – are definitely east TN. Thanks for stopping by! – Kory

  36. Please enter me in your giveaway. Happy National Poetry Month!

  37. Yes, Please!

  38. These sound lovely! Hope to win one! Thanks for participating in this awesome giveaway.

  39. Hi – count me in too. Thanks!

  40. Please count me in, and thanks for doing this!

  41. Lisa Mitchell says:

    What a great giveaway! I am glad I didn’t miss the deadline to participate!

  42. Hi Kory! I didn’ tknow you had a blog! I”m so glad I found it and can’t wait to read through your poetry! I played around with poetry in high school and need to get back to it! Nice giveaway on top of it 🙂

    • Hi, Heather – Well, I’m not a model blogger – I kinda take it by spells – but I promise, no postings associated with the insurance world here, or in my poetry! 🙂 A girl’s gotta have her outside interests, right? Thanks for stopping by!

      All best,

  43. I’ve drawn three winners – Michael A. Wells, Rebecca Loudon, and Allyson Whipple. I’ll be contacting each of you by email. Also see more at


    I hope everyone had a great National Poetry Month!

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