Laura Lee is a Chicago area poet, college instructor, literacy tutor, and writer. Her poetry, fiction, and nonfiction have been published in print and online journals in the US, the UK, New Zealand, India, and Greece. She is also one of the kindest people I’ve ever encountered on social media.
Laura has a deeply moving poem about grief, “Three Month Sentence,” just out in The Esthetic Apostle (@EstheticApostle). Please take a moment to sit with this poem:
I found so much wonderful work as I explored Laura’s website. Here is another haunting poem of hers, “Red Halo,” originally published in the journal Prometheus Dreaming:
Finally, this poem “Devastation” from Headline Poetry, where the incredible Hokis (@hokispoetry) is Senior Editor. I love how the women come together strong in this poem, I love the call and response. I love everything about this poem, which looks back toward the siege of Sarajevo:
I’m so happy to have crossed paths with this poet, and this person. It was a thrill to share some of Laura Lee’s work with you here!
Hello Daisy-Poet friends! This is Amy Poague here, ready to celebrate the poetry and work of Heather Derr-Smith @Hderrsmith! Her website is at heatherderrsmith.com.
Heather studied at the U of Virginia and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Her poems appear widely in journals, and she is the author of four books of poetry: Each End of the World (Main Street Rag Press, 2005), The Bride Minaret (University of Akron Press, 2008), Tongue Screw (Spark Wheel Press, 2016), and Thrust (Persea Books, 2017).
Heather also does extensive humanitarian work and is the director of Cuvaj Se @cuvaj_se, a nonprofit NGO supporting writers and students in communities affected by war and the international refugee/migration crisis. They have done work in Bosnia, Ukraine, and elsewhere.
Here are two of the poems available to read on https://heatherderrsmith.com/ that especially resonated with me. The first is “Gouge,” from Thrust, which was also featured on Split This Rock:
Equally moving is “Traitor,” from Tongue Screw, which was also featured on Verse Daily:
Finally, do yourself a favor and subscribe to Heather’s YouTube channel:
Her videos are collections of things that she loves – poetry, music, travel, family, dogs, cats, and lots of creepy and/or beautiful visuals.
- This is Kyla Houbolt, here to highlight this week’s featured poet on @DaisyChainPoetz – Amy Poague (@PoagueAmy). Amy’s website – amypoague.wordpress.com/poetry/ – is intriguing and well-organized, and includes links to many of her poems. Go have a look! (I really love her long poem titles!) She is an Iowa City-based poet who works in education at a junior high.Amy holds an M.A. in Creative Writing from Eastern Michigan University. She considers herself lucky to have graduated from one of the few interdisciplinary creative writing programs in the country and seeks out interdiscipinary and multimodal approaches to teaching and creative practice. Her experiences have included stints at 826michigan (Ann Arbor), FLY Children’s Art Center (now FLY Creativity Lab, in Ypsilanti, MI), and the International Writing Program (Iowa City, IA)._____________________________________________
Amy’s work is widely published in journals. I fell in love with one of her recent poems, “Notes from a Medically Unnecessary Ride Home” – originally published in Ghost City Press:
Here are a couple more of her poems that also resonated with Daisy Chain readers. First, “If Ever a Ferris Wheel Held You” – originally published in Rockvale Review:
And finally, this lovely, older, tiny poem, “Kaleidoscope Repair, Volume One” – which was selected for the 2007 Poetry in Public project sponsored by the Iowa City Public Art Program:
Y’all. These are my kind of poems. Do yourself a favor and read around some on Amy’s site. You’ll find many more treasures, I promise you.
This is @daniellejhanson hosting this week’s look at the author website of Kyla Houbolt (@luaz_poet): linktr.ee/luaz_poet. Kyla’s website goes straight to the heart of the matter and includes links to all of her published work!
Kyla lives and writes in Gastonia, NC. Her poems appear or are forthcoming in Black Bough Poetry, Juke Joint Magazine, Barren Magazine, Mojave He[art] Review, The Hellebore, and elsewhere.
In the below feature / interview with Matt Smith, founder of Black Bough Poetry, Kyla says: “I hope anyone who reads my work is entertained, deepened maybe, uplifted maybe, but at least comes away with a sense of pleasure in the words read and enjoyment of the exchange of energy”.
As a reader, I came away with all of that and much more in exploring her work. For example, check out her poem “Invitation” – originally published in Mojave He[art] Review. According to Kyla, this poem was inspired by Juleigh Howard-Hobson’s poem “War Water” in Coffin Bell: https://coffinbell.com/war-water/. Kyla was fascinated by the very idea of war water (Google it!), and her poem “Invitation” came out of that fascination.
In addition to being widely published in journals, Kyla has two chapbooks that are out there looking for a home. I’ll end with a lovely micro-poem of hers from Detritus Online:
Hey! It’s @brian_simoneau, this week’s host of the Daisy Chain, and I’m excited to introduce poet and editor Danielle Hanson (@daniellejhanson) and her website – daniellejhanson.com – where there’s lots and lots to explore.
Poetry Editor for Doubleback Books and a Senior Reader at Atlanta Review, Danielle is the author of two poetry collections: Fraying Edge of Sky (2018), which won the Codhill Press Poetry Prize, and Ambushing Water (2017).
According to poet Oliver de la Paz, the poems in Fraying Edge of Sky “are an inventory of the miraculous that Hanson’s truly original voice urges us to hear and to hold close.”
From her bio: before getting published, her books were highly commended (named as finalists, runners-up, etc.) a total of 28 times. Lucky for us they made it over that hump! Here is a strange, lovely, funny, creepy poem from Ambushing Water:
The author talks about the interesting story behind this poem (and other fun stuff) here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=6&v=UfuYfLg88Wc
And, in addition to info about both books and lots of links to wonderful poems, Danielle’s website provides valuable resources for writers, including a “recommended reading” section where she lifts up the work of other poets.
Hello, Daisy Chain’rs! @thebilljim here to tell you a bit about poet and fellow New Englander, @brian_simoneau. Brian is the author of “River Bound,” which in 2013 was awarded the De Novo Poetry Prize, selected by poet Arthur Smith.
I’m a sucker for a good cover, and my goodness does this one deliver. This looks like the cover to a record I’m likely to take down from the shelf on a stormy late summer night, when the melancholy just settles into your bones like an old friend.
Of this collection, Dorianne Laux had this to say: “No detail is too small for Simoneau’s gaze, which takes each nail and board and beam surrounding it into account with a carpenter’s knack for shape, structure, precision.”
But the blurb that really made me want to rush out & order my copy of this book ASAP, is this from Arthur Smith: “What better place to discover song than in your own hometown?” As someone who has a complicated love/hate relationship with my hometown, this hit. Hard.
Here is the poem “North of Stinson Beach” from this collection – it was also featured on Verse Daily:
This week’s Daisy Chain spotlight is on William James @thebilljim, a poet & train enthusiast from Manchester, NH. Everyone: check out his website , and his book, REBEL HEARTS & RESTLESS GHOSTS williamjamespoetry.com@timbermouseatx – damn, that cover! – which “kicks in the door and drags us by the collar through the underground“ (Hanif Abdurraqib)._____________________________________________________________________On his site, you’ll find videos, reviews, interviews, & poems like this one from @gravelmag. I love the focus on “our own simple magnificence” that runs through his work. His poems examine “what is”; they argue that there is no need for embellishment._____________________________________________________________________
Watching @thebilljim William James’ passionate reading of his poem “Saltire (for Chicago, after Allen Ginsberg)” is what you need this morning. This poem is enough to make anyone a ferroequinologist. I’m WOWED._____________________________________________________________________
I have this poem saved in the favorites of my camera roll because there are just some days I couldn’t be 10% of who I am without it. “It is not you who has shattered, only the glass.” Life altering and achingly beautiful.
Happy Monday! Kim Harvey here representing @DaisyChainPoetz & thrilled to share with y’all this week’s featured poet R.K.Russell (@RKRelentless). Spend some time on his website and share anything that speaks to you.
@RKRelentless is a true Renaissance man of many talents – I mean, he does it ALL: he’s a published poet, world-class athlete, NFL player, public speaker, world traveler, editor @BarrenMagazine, and working on a novel and screenplay!!!
What I admire most about @RKRelentless’s writing is the emotional vulnerability. Look how he lays it all out there:
“Hope Tomorrow Never Comes
The way you say tomorrow Terrifies me As if I’ve trapped you in today And you’re searching for all the exits.”
Y’all can buy @RKRelentless’s book “Prison or Passion” right here…I got my copy and will share some highlights this week to entice you. It’s chock full of raw autobiographical poems, both powerful and tender, that are guaranteed to move and inspire you.
If you haven’t already, do yourself a favor and visit Ryan K. Russell’s website: https://rkrelentless.com and buy his book. I’d love to see all the @DaisyChainPoetz
share some of his powerful wisdom today. Here are a few of my favorites from @RKRelentless….
Keep writing. THE BEST IS YET TO COME.
Good morning! I’m @SallyThomasNC, hosting the Daisy Chain this week, and shining the light on @kimharveypoet, associate editor at @PalettePoetry and award-winning poet. I encourage everyone to visit Kim’s website — kimharvey.net — and explore her work.
Reading Kim’s poems, I’ve been struck by their range and inventiveness. As a lover of the sonnet, I particularly admire this poem, “Sonnet for the Night Shift“, which I remember reading and liking when it first appeared in @RattleMag‘s ekphrastic series.
In this poem I admire the marriage of the highly-rhetorical form with the gritty poignancy of its subject (late-night restaurant shift work). The closing couplet drives this complexity home: ” . . . for busting ass/and for refilling every empty glass.”
I also admire the way the accrual of details, external and internal, open out the easy phrase “this one’s for you,” pinning it to an exact and, again, complex physical and emotional reality: “for how her hair falls at the nape of her/neck, for the way memory works . . . ”
Again, this is a poem I vividly remember reading when it first appeared, almost a year ago. Re-encountering it on Kim’s publications page, I thought, “Oh, yeah! THIS poem! This was GREAT.” Again, I just like sonnets generally. But this is only a glimpse at Kim’s range as a writer.
Also, while I’m here this morning, I’d like to thank K. Weber, aka @midwesternskirt, for the generous spotlight last week. Thanks too to @nipponhamz, whose brainchild this Daisy Chain project is. Finally, thanks to everyone who’s reading, retweeting, boosting the signal.
Good morning! @SallyThomasNC here again, to encourage all you lovely Daisy-Chainers to pay @kimharveypoet‘s portfolio a visit this week & find a poem to share. My pick for today: “Tappahannock,” at 3 Elements Review (page 91).
Now you are here, walking through tall stalks
of corn, fingering a rat skull in your pocket like a lucky
penny you picked up along the way.
Now imagine the claw that felled her, or the blade, ants entering
the eyehole, hawk who finished her off . . .
I love the whole poem. The strength of this opening, lies not only in the particularity of action & detail, but in the way internal sounds move the poem forward from line to line: the internal rhyme, walk/stalk, in line one, the persistent hard K (skull, pocket, lucky, picked)…
…in subsequent lines. Though the pattern’s irregular, the ear is always primed for the next chime, and this as much as anything else gives this meditative poem momentum and urgency. Do read the whole poem, and then investigate Kim’s other work.
Happy Thursday, all! A reminder that @kimharveypoet is our featured poet this week: if you haven’t already, do take a moment to visit her site (https://www.kimharvey.net/) and explore her work, including (for example) “Reaching Repton Mill.”
Something to get you started, anyway, if you’re short on time and energy . . .
Good evening, all! SallyThomasNC here, thanking the @DaisyChainPoetz for the opportunity to boost @kimharveypoet’s signal this week. Please pay her a visit on the web at https://www.kimharvey.net/ — no time like the present, and the poems are the reward.
K Weber (@midwesternskirt) here! I am pleased to introduce you to the poet @SallyThomasNC this week! Sally’s website welcomes you with a robust, writing-focused blog! In the days ahead, we will traverse Sally’s website & learn more about this NC poet!
Today I present @SallyThomasNC’s poetry page! sally-thomas.com/p/poetry.html Links to Sally’s published poems are listed, but we can also access other poetry-related writings! Read through this thread as I aim to shine a spotlight on some of Sally’s poetry endeavors here!
Sally is adept at free verse & rhymed poetry. Her rhymes are effortless, welcoming; the forms less formal or rigid. Often a series of rhymed lines have near-, visual-, or off-rhyme. 3 poems w/ nonchalant, image-packed rhyme at @Mezzocammin.
In Sally’s free verse poem, “Detachment,” couplets appear, but the syllable structure of each line differs. The layout is detached; lines seem formal but exist in unrhymed duets. It is an adventure to wander the poets’ content in this scaffolding.
I love “Memoir” and all the rewarding imagery.
That bluebell line & how it relates back to the initial questioning!
“A new child confected on its altar.”
“Combing the… current”
Each line careful with the idea of whether we exist in a photo!
Do take note of the other poetry-relevant links Sally has included on her poetry page. Here you can read her notes and posts about certain aspects of poetry, find more about one of her collections of poetry, and delve deeper into blog posts regarding poetry.
The rest of this week I will talk about Sally’s books, themes in her poetry, other genres in which she writes and takes great interest, and more! See you Wednesday morning for more on this talented writer!
Now we will take a look at some of @SallyThomasNC ’s writing outside of poetry. We will circle back to her poetry themes & books later this week! I am so excited to get to know writers who express themselves via multiple genres; so close to my own heart!
Sally’s fiction page shares fiction, flash & e-shorts you can read fairly quickly! “Spiders in the Fall” from Barren Magazine #3 is just the perfect balance of sparse-but-imagistic beauty and the feeling of holding your breath while reading.
Such an abundant array of topics covered at Sally’s page of essays and reviews.
I enjoyed her “Fantasy & Faith” article which maintains her poetic tone but looks at such a fascinating intersection of themes from an@honest and spirited angle!
On Thursday we will visit Sally’s podcasts/recordings and her recommended links! Looking forward to hearing Sally read aloud. I see music listings as well! I have a few more highlights, too! Friday I will finish with her poetry themes & collections!
I will focus on @SallyThomasNC’s audio recordings & her fresh page of links today & we will look more at her blog! Starting with the Podcasts page I am very curious to hear Sally read! Also… music! Head to https://www.sally-thomas.com/p/podcasts.html & follow along in this thread!
I went directly to the music! I was pleased to find “When Jesus Wept.” I listen to & create layered sounds in secular music & recorded poetry. It was new to hear a hymn performed in this manner. Sally’s voice is lovely in this soundscape!
Sally has discussed poetry in the context of appreciation & homeschooling at http://podtail.com/en/podcast/the-mason-jar/-30-on-poetry-with-sally-thomas/
You can hear her read “The Beach House,” at http://archive.org/details/TheBeachHousePodcast11.4.16.band
These are both about 1 hour. Bookmark & spend some time listening to Sally’s recordings!
Sally has recently added writing links to her website! We are thrilled that the @DaisyChainPoetz website is featured: http://daisychainpoetz.com. She also started off her links page by including our list of poets and their unique site links!
Revisiting Sally’s blog today from https://www.sally-thomas.com/?m=1. I wanted to note her excellent, motivating posts! She posts about local readings & her participation! I enjoy the posts on newly and forthcoming publishing efforts! Her blog is so inviting for poets and writers!
On Friday I will present the grand finale of Sally’s website offerings. We will get acquainted with her books and present more about her writing themes! Until tomorrow this is @midwesternskirt
saying thanks for supporting this page and the poets in focus!
This is our last day covering poet @SallyThomasNC’s website! It has been a grand adventure spending more time with one poet’s words and talent! Let’s talk more about Sally’s poetry themes and styles!
https://wildgoosepoetryreview.wordpress.com/spring-2018/sally-thomas-3-poems/ is a nice place to start!
“In That Place” is adorned with couplets, resonating empathy:
“Looking up, you’d see the the lamps left on In a window — yours — exhaling gold in the dark.”
Also at http://wildgoosepoetryreview.wordpress.com/spring-2018/sally-thomas-3-poems/. “Storm Season” with it’s quietly magnificent imagery in free verse, devastating line breaks:
“This island’s a curving fossil spine
In a broken white
Scree of breakers. Wet
Thunderheads pile like dirty rags above it.”
Comparing those 2 to other poems mentioned this week, I feel a sense of care & illumination; all in the context of emotions & situations to which many relate. Lots of surprising details! Even her fiction is poetic! A sense of faith & hope emboldens many pieces as well.
I have not yet had the chance to read Sally’s books, but 2 are available for purchase:
Her forthcoming book, “Motherland,” is already earning good reviews!
What a sweet stroll through @SallyThomasNC’s online presence this week! I appreciate how many of you have enjoyed! Next week, Sally will present the next poet!
@midwesternskirt signing off after a tremendous week! If anyone would like to add anything, feel free!!!