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.