1. Spring Greetings!
2. News: Alabama Writers Symposium, Tin Pan South, Ireland tour SOLD OUT! Plus online interview; TK solo, Waymores & New Agrarians updates
3. Drawing Board: Songbook, solo CD
4. Spring Food for Thought: Rilke, Basho, Neruda
5. Poem of the Month: The Tulip Tree
6. Recommended for April: Poetry!
1. Spring Greetings!
I love EARLY spring. There’s something about the immense energy pent up in all those jillions of pale green buds that are going to burst forth any second now into a new world of leaves and flowers.
I wonder if we’ll have baby foxes on this hill this year. When they’re up there Wilson goes crazy! Everybody knows that a baby fox is called a kit, right? But did you know that kit also refers to a baby ferret, raccoon, rabbit, mink, squirrel and beaver?
And now, the news.
2. News: Online interview, Alabama Writers Symposium, Tin Pan South, Ireland Tour SOLD OUT! New Agrarians & Waymores updates
a) Online interview
My recent interview with Petey Silveira for her Blog Talk Radio show “New Pathway to Healing” is available in the show’s archive. To listen, click HERE.
Petey’s show is focused on artistry that builds community and promotes personal healing.
b) TK Ireland Group Tour 2013
All seats are now filled for my August friends-fans-and-family-backroads-untouristy-tour of Southwest Ireland. We are however starting a short waiting list in case of a cancellation, so if you were on the fence and would like to be on the list, click HERE to visit my Ireland webpage.
(Scroll down that page to send an email to tour manager Vicki Belinoski. She’ll put you at the top of the list.)
c) Alabama Writers Symposium
I’m thrilled to be included this year as a guest speaker at the 16th Annual Alabama Writers Symposium (April 25-27) in Monroeville, my mother’s hometown. Hard to put into words how sweet it is to be acknowledged back at home.
I’ll be in great company—Rick Bragg, Cassandra King, Gay Talese and a flock of soulful literary luminaries. For more on the Symposium, click HERE.
d) New Agrarians update
Our debut album is mastered and the album cover’s presently being designed. We (Kate Campbell, Pierce Pettis, me) will begin a pre-release promotion shortly, with a full release planned for the fall. I’ll keep you posted.
BTW we’ve got an updated website in the works, but to view a clip from one of our early shows visit HERE.
e) Waymores update
We’re also plotting and raising funds for a round of national radio promo for our debut album. Recent shows have been a blast. Stay tuned.
3. Drawing Board for 2013
a) Recording a new solo record
Simply put, it’s time. I’ll soon be relocating my little studio, and once it’s set up I’ll be diving in deep with the solo album.
Watch for a special newsletter filling you on my ideas for the album. I’ve been “dream- storming” about how some of you might participate. BTW I’ve got a working title, list of songs to record, and (amazingly) a plan.
b) Publishing my long-in-the-works TK Songbook
My friend and long time management consultant Kari Estrin advises me to wait and publish the songbook in conjunction with my solo album release… That makes sense: two releases, one promotion, one big(ger) story. I do, however, apologize for the long(er) delay. I promised it’ll be worth it.
4. Food for Thought
“Spring has returned. The earth is like a child that knows poems.”
-Rainer Maria Rilke, poet & novelist (1875-1926)
“Sitting quietly, doing nothing, spring comes, and the grass grows, by itself.”
-Basho, poet (1644-1694)
“I want to do to you what spring does with the cherry trees.”
-Pablo Neruda, poet (1904-1973)
5. TK Poem of the Month
The Tulip Tree
This tulip tree
blooms in March each year.
Planted so far north,
its annual promise
is rarely kept.
A mild winter shores its confidence,
and lacking the grace of memory
it rushes forth
in a thousand pink blossoms,
ripe for the late freeze.
When I open my door
to sunlit ice
and a waterfall of petals,
I am stronger for wisdom,
but bitter for experience.
(For more TK poems or to purchase his book, The Sweetest and the Meanest, click HERE. You can also buy The Sweetest and the Meanest at your local bookstore.)
6. Recommended: Poetry!
When I read or recite poetry at my shows these days, people often tell me they’d read more poetry if they knew where to find accessible poems. With that in mind, here are some suggestions.
a) The Anthologist, by Nicholas Baker
Not an anthology, but a novel about a poet struggling with writer’s block as he assembles an anthology of his favorite poems. It’s lighthearted, substantial, entertaining, poignant and instructive. If you have a care in the world for poetry, you’ll love it.
(Thanks to Kate Campbell for her recommendation.)
The following three books are among my favorite anthologies. Maybe the best thing about a big, fat anthology is that there are lots of flavors or choices included. Every poem won’t speak to you, but the ones that do are often to be treasured.
b) The Poets Laureate Anthology, edited by Elizabeth Hun Schmidt
I recommended this book a year ago, and I’m still savoring it. It’s an extensive anthology of poems by all poets who have served as poet laureate for the United States. Educational, entertaining and inspiring.
BTW it’s still not out in softcover, but you can always check it out from your local library.
Poems in this collection that I especially love:
Good People, by W. S. Merwin
My Beloved, by Charles Simic
The Forgetting, by Robert Pinsky
And these next two books are my all time favorites:
c) The Rag and Bone Shop of the Heart, edited by Robert Bly, James Hillman and Michael Meade
Three pieces that are special to me:
Pitcher, by Robert Francis
Which One is Genuine?, by Charles Baudelaire
On the Words in Poetry, by Dylan Thomas
d) British Poetry Since 1945, edited by Edward Lucie-Smith
When I was a young writer this collection changed my life! Hard to find in the US, but you can find dirt-cheap used copies at Amazon in the UK. So worth it, paying the shipping. I return to it over and over.
There are so many gems here. Among them:
The Almond Tree, by Jon Stallworthy
*Night-Time: Starting to Write, by Bernard Spencer
The Whitsun Weddings, by Philip Larkin
*This one’s framed in my studio.