Big Poetry Winners

And the winners of the Big Poetry Giveaway are . . .

Diane Lockard
won Fuel by Naomi Shihab Nye

Tara Mae Mulroy
won Sweet Grief by Senitila McKinley and Drew Myron (that's me!)

This was great fun; thanks for playing.


Wind-down & win

April is winding down, and with that National Poetry Month comes to a close. After a rush of readings, writing and events, I'm exhausted, in that good, full-of-words kind of way.

But wait, there's more!

Let's finish on a high note — with the Big Poetry Giveaway. I'm giving away two great books; enter the drawing by midnight on Monday, April 30, 2012. I'll announce the winner on Tuesday, May 1st.

Go here to enter for the chance to win.



Clip, Carry, Share

Are you ready for Poem in Your Pocket Day?

Call me goofy, but I love this annual opportunity to share poems with abandon. As part of National Poetry Month, the Academy of American Poets celebrates Poem in Your Pocket Day on Thursday, April 26, 2012.

The idea is simple: select a poem you love, carry it with you, and share it with friends, family, neighbors, co-workers and more. I also like to share poetry with strangers, and sometimes leave poems on car windshields (instead of a ticket, a poem!), in mailboxes (instead of a bill, a poem!), and often pop a few in the mail to farwaway friends.

This year, I will carry the poem above. Need a poem? You can print this page and clip, carry and share it with others. Already picked your poem? Please, will you share it with us?



Sweet Grief 

Sweet Grief, a collaboration of paintings and poems, opens tonight at the Windermere Gallery in Seal Rock, Oregon. Can't make it to the show? We've created a book featuring the 12 paintings paired with 12 poems.

From the Sweet Grief Introduction:

Sweet Grief: Paintings and Poems on Love and Loss

by Senitila McKinley and Drew Myron

Dying sucks.

A creative collaboration began with those two words.

The collaboration — 12 paintings paired with 12 poems — is the work of Senitila McKinley and Drew Myron, two women who met in 2005 and bonded over an appreciation for children and families in need. At Seashore Family Literacy, the nonprofit organization that Senitila created and runs, Drew serves as writing instructor.

Sweet Grief began in the summer of 2011 when Senitila’s husband of 33 years was diagnosed with cancer. David McKinley died just a few months later.  

At what turned out to be his last visit with Drew, he was clear and direct.  “Dying sucks,” he said. “I’m not gonna lie.”

Later, with her friend, Senitila was pragmatic: “Death is not a crisis,” she said firmly. “It’s a beautiful part of life.”

With that in mind, Senitila and Drew explored love and loss through their art. What was initially specific to David’s death became a larger meditation and appreciation for the weighty beauty of being with the ones you love to their very end.

“Grief is a beautiful thing,” says Senitila, “not something to be afraid of, but to enjoy because it is still a gift. We think that only mystical people have a meaningful understanding of death. But it’s not true. To look at death and grief as a gift is not reserved for those who have a defined spiritual journey, but for everyone that has known love.”


Special edition exhibition book - $10




Thankful Thursday: Three Things 

It's Thankful Thursday.
Gratitude. Appreciation. Praise.
Please join me in a weekly pause
to appreciate people, places & things.

I'm running. Bedraggled (read history here), I am ready to surrender to my wheezing lungs when a runner approaches. She's fast and beautiful in that slender-lean-young runner way. As we pass each other, she raises her arm to a high-five. No words are exchanged, just my stunned smile and a sudden lift in my step. Thank you Anonymous Runner for a kind gesture that encouraged me on. 

“Grief is a beautiful thing, not something to be afraid of, but to enjoy because it is still a gift," says artist Senitila McKinley. This Saturday night, Senitila and I will debut Sweet Grief, our collaboration of poems and paintings. The show runs April 20 - May 20, 2012 in Seal Rock, Oregon, and we've also published a book. I am thankful for this heart-changing project with a heart-changing friend.

It's been a full week. When I get wrapped up in deadlines and demands, I'm thankful for this survival strategy from Jessica Hagy at Indexed:


Enough about me, what are you thankful for today?