October 21, 2017

Speaking of Marvels, and Other News

Jane Austen once wrote in a letter, "What dreadful hot weather we have! It keeps me in a continual state of inelegance." As I write this, we're having a heat and humidity spike in middle Tennessee that's typical for August, and I feel quite inelegant indeed. For the most part, though, it's been a remarkably lovely, oh-so-temperate summer here. Consequently I've been doing a lot more porch-sitting than blogging (and looking quite elegant in my beloved wicker porch swing, I'm sure. Uh-huh.) … [Read more...]

And the Winners Are…

Ooh! It is May! May 4th, soon to be May 5th, and I've been dallying around in the real world when I should have been online, drawing a winner for the Big Poetry Giveaway! I do have good excuses, including: the fine, fine weather here in Tennessee, the delicious bloom of the honey locust, an early morning trip to Nashville to hear one of my writing idols, Wendell Berry, who I now adore even more, after seeing him in person being unable to put down one of the World Book Night selections … [Read more...]

Middle Tennessee Poetry News

We're well into National Poetry Month, and besides the Big Poetry Giveaway happening on my blog (and many others), I have more poetry news to share, with a focus on middle Tennessee: First of all, my friend and fellow poet Sandy Coomer has the article "April: A Time for Poetry"  in Inside Brentwood Magazine. In addition to discussing the importance of poetry and National Poetry Month, Sandy also covers many middle Tennessee poets and poetry events, including - with photos - the poetry … [Read more...]

The 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 … [Read more...]

Sharing for Veteran’s Day: A Poem by a POW

Honey and I recently re-visited the National Naval Aviation Museum at Pensacola, Florida. We've always enjoyed this museum, and it had grown and changed since our last visit several years ago. I was especially moved by a display on The POW Experience which includes the handwritten poems of several servicemen while they were Vietnam prisoners of war. Here's one that particularly caught my attention. I've taken the liberty of adding some notes on the image itself, in case the photo circulates … [Read more...]

The Built-Wells Upright 4-String Washtub Bass: A Labor of Love and a Lot of Fun

The Built-Wells Upright 4-String Washtub Bass: As discussed on Thunder Radio's Bluegrass Crossroads Show (listen here), appearing on our CD, and maybe at a music festival near you. I've been a wannabe musician for a long time, and the "wanna" has grown stronger in recent years as I've seen how much fun goes on at bluegrass and old-time music festivals. I've squeezed into a circle of musicians with a video cam at plenty of jams, often filming my daughter Kelsey, an old-time fiddler, and … [Read more...]

Old Bunch of Keys: A Documentary on Old-Time Fiddler Kelsey Wells

Proud mama alert: Kelsey Wells is the subject of a new short documentary from folklorist Caitlin Coad. Old Bunch of Keys, named for an old-time tune, as well as Kelsey's latest CD and thesis project as a Buchanan Fellow at Middle Tennessee State University, is a fifteen minute film available here on Vimeo. Yes, yes, I'm her mama, so of course I've watched it more than once. But even you might enjoy at least one viewing to: Learn more about old-time music, particularly fiddling Sample a … [Read more...]

An Interview with Former Astronaut Rhea Seddon

Rhea Seddon, M.D., has a history of strapping herself into rockets and orbiting the earth in the name of medical science. As I write in She's Such a Geek and allude to in my poetry collection Heaven Was the Moon, astronauts have been my heroes since Neil Armstrong took those first small steps on the moon, so I'm thrilled to have an interview with Seddon now appearing in 2nd & Church. I've been intrigued with all the buzz surrounding Sheryl Sandberg's book Lean In: Women, Work and the … [Read more...]

Celebrate Tennessee Poets for National Poetry Month

Yes, it's National Poetry Month, but I'm celebrating closer to home with three delightful Tennessee poets in this article I wrote for April's issue of The Murfreesboro Pulse. Since my space in the article was limited, I wanted to add a bit more here to share how you can learn more about these poets and their recent work - and buy their books, of course! Sandy Coomer, Continuum  Visit Sandy's website at sandycoomer.com Sample one of Sandy's poems here in The Southeast Review Buy her … [Read more...]

The Next Big Thing: Is There Still a Novel in This Poet’s Future?

When my writing friend Candace White of aintgotenoughgravy blog fame asked if she could tag me for "The Next Big Thing" blog hop, of course I said yes. After all, 2012 was a good year for my writing life. Decent Pan of Cornbread, my spoken word and old-time music CD with Kelsey Wells, came out, and I had a bit of other poetry and nonfiction published in various places. Similarly, 2013 is off to a good start. I've been writing almost every day and am looking forward to a couple of publications … [Read more...]