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Forms of failure

On 3 January, I received an email from my university unexpectedly increasing my workload significantly for second semester. I still hoped to write a poem a day for a while, but ultimately gave up. As spring break occurs wholly in April this year (Americans, the Brit spring break is a gorgeous full three weeks), I'm hoping to pick up again with poem-a-day for U.S. National Poetry Month as I have before, but sometimes I have to concede I have limits. A poet who wanted a blurb for his next book, who already had a good blurb from another source, saw my overload and said he'd take a blurb for the next one instead. I declined providing feedback for a book manuscript. I wish I could say "and so on,

Scar reviewed in PN Review

In a round-up of six chapbooks in the latest PN Review, Alison Brackenbury gives Scar an absolutely superlative review, and I'm thrilled. I can't repost the entirety here on account of copyright, so here are my favourite passages: "Each observation has a whole page. This generosity, ideal for a pamphlet, is put to impressive use by Etter." "...unabashed lyricism...." "The passion of Scar is political." "Although strikingly well-informed, Etter makes fearless excursions into feeling...." "I was impressed by his [Professor Martin Rees'] calm, scientific, wisdom. I was equally impressed that, in Scar, Carrie Etter offers both a view from space, and reflections on our troubled planet's smallest

The poet waits

It seems that much of my life as a poet has involved waiting. First it's waiting for responses to submissions to magazines (and many US magazines routinely take six months now). Next, submissions of pamphlet/chapbook and book manuscripts. Following that, there's the wait for reviews.... When my latest chapbook, Scar, was published last June, I was especially nervous and eager about reviews because it was such a different work for me: a single long poem that used the space of the page much more actively than in any previous work and that involved far more research as well. Additionally, as the poem would appear in my next full-length collection, its reception in chapbook form might give me so

Denise Riley's Say Something Back (Picador, 2016), second selection

More favourite passages: As clouds swell to damply fill gaps in mountains, so in Illness we sense, solidly, our entrails expanding to stuff That space of our innerness just feebly imagined before. * The sorrows brood inside our purplish spleens, barriers That check dark moods of sultry bile by segregating it Where it can't seep to hurt us. Anatomised emotion. from "The patient who had no insides" A moon in daylight, whitest blue on blue, surprises briefly, to appear surreal until it slips to rights. * I sensed your not-there in its burning life. I listened out to feel its silence beat. It does not speak with any human mouth. from "Hiding in plain sight" You can purchase Say Something Back fr

Denise Riley's Say Something Back (Picador, 2016), first selection

I've been relishing this book and include some of my favourite passages here, with a second selection to follow in a few days. Read from the hymnal of frank life--of how to be old, yet never rehearse that fact cosily. end of "Tree seen from bed" I can manage being alone, can pace out convivial hope across my managing ground. opening of "Under the answering sky" (a brilliant poem) Dusk, crossroads, walker, flats, night. That rapid wordless halt bewilders me. Now evening will hold still for years. from "The eclipse" All hindsight shakes itself out vigorously like a wet dog. last line of "Silent did depart" Moving toward my silence I'll speak evening thoughts sparkling with reproach though I ha

A new year

The excitement of 2016 for my writing largely consisted of the publication of two pamphlets: Hometown (V. Press), a collection of flash fictions; and Scar (Shearsman), a single long poem exploring the effects of climate change on Illinois. Each has received a couple of reviews, and I hope more are still forthcoming. I wish more places reviewed pamphlets, but so it goes! After having teaching relief that reduced my load in the 2015-16 academic year and completing much more writing as a result, I've found it difficult in this new academic year to find much time to write. To try to foster a new momentum, for January I'm writing a poem a day on average (some days I don't write anything, another

Copyright 2016 by Carrie Etter

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