Sunday, September 30, 2007

Dinner Sans Mom

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Writing By Degrees

This Saturday I'll be participating on the Online Publishing Panel at the Writing by Degrees conference in Binghamton, NY.

11:00 a.m.-12:20 p.m.
Online Publishing Panel, moderated by Deborah Poe
Amy King, MiPOesias
Jonathan Minton, word for/word
Ana Bozicevic-Bowling & Caroline Conway, RealPoetik
Reb Livingston, No Tell Motel
Tarfia Faizullah, Blackbird

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Available at Lulu Now!

Shy Green Fields, by Hugh Behm-Steinberg
Available at Lulu NOW
Available at Amazon & B&N SOON

Hugh Behm-Steinberg’s Shy Green Fields is in company with books by poets who wrote about glorious ordinary days in extraordinary times. In a pillowbook of a hundred seven-line poems, this life, as it is written, has the shadow of Robert Creeley’s A Day Book behind it, and the shadow of Federico Lorca in his famous, reiterated line, “Green, I love you, green, …” a specific, and pacific, emotional response in difficult political times. Behm-Steinberg’s book is, likewise, carnal, primal, and intellectual. Shy Green Fields exults in experience, “Such versions!”
— Jane Miller

“How we were loved, or what we try to.” The tenderness here is moving and exemplary. Shy Green Fields traces the space between self and other, the silences within the voice, with tenacity and precision. An impressive poetic debut.
— Joseph Lease

Hugh Behm-Steinberg continues to be one of our most interesting and fearless new poets. These tone poems work with the formal compression utterly suited to his subject of marital love. The body of the poem and the body of love share their limits and joys. His work deserves wide readership and I celebrate this arrival.
— Alison Hawthorne Deming

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Thank You and We're Somewhat Flattered to be Mentioned

No Tell gets a little pat on the rump from Stephen Burt at Harriet today.

For example, No Tell Motel, where the poet of the week is Janaka Stucky, of whom I had never heard before. The No Tell folks seem to like poets with humor or sex-- ideally, both-- who write fast-moving, too-fast-to-be-narrative, free verse. There are many more poets in the archives, many of them at least somewhat talented, I'd say-- most of them at least entertaining or witty-- a few of them potentially very popular (not necessarily the ones I like!)-- and very few of them already well-known. Skip through it one day. You're going to find something you like.


Tuesday, September 25, 2007

A Pause from Rage

Been worked up all day after dealing with an assholey poet this morning. I won't go into it, but this person touched a number of raw nerves and it took a lot of deep breaths not to freak on his/her pompous, self-absorbed, inconsiderate, passive-aggressive insulting ass. If you were one of the few people who received an e-mail from me today, you probably got a taste of my freakiness. Oh woe for friends of Reb!

I thought about writing another of my trademarked check yourself before you wreck yourself, you god damned ingrate posts. I'm not going to do that. I'm too tired.

Instead of focusing on the few assholes, which we always give way too much time, energy and attention to anyhow, here's a thank you/acknowledgment list to those who are doing selfless, considerate, wonderful things -- there's a lot more of you guys out there anyhow.

Thank you to the people who publish, edit and otherwise work on poems by other poets. Whether it's books, chapbooks, magazines, broadsides, videos, audio files -- however you're helping other poets reach an audience, thank you.

Thank you to the people who offer skills and services to poets, publishers and magazines; like designers, proofreaders, accountants, lawyers, etc. -- thank you.

Thank you to the people who write reviews, articles and essays on other poets' work. Thank you for not only reading the work, but giving it consideration and thought.

Thank you to the people who provide spaces and pages for reviews, articles and essays on contemporary poetry.

Thank you to the people who arrange and help other poets get readings and reaching an new audience.

Thank you to the people who interview poets for radio shows, online or in print.

Thank you to the people who make time to read books and write blurbs, mention them on blogs, in passing, in e-mails, wherever.

Thank you to the people who find other ways to promote and share the work of other poets.

Thank you to the people who offer their homes and meals to traveling poets making giving these poets the chance to connect with new audiences.

Thank you to the people who create and maintain communities for poets, whether it be writing groups, discussion groups, online or in the flesh. Thank you for helping poets connect with other poets.

Thank you to the people who attend readings they're not participating in.

Thank you to the librarians who order poetry books for their libraries.

Thank you to the booksellers who order poetry books for their stores.

Thank you to the people who buy small press poetry books and magazines.

Am I missing anything?

At Last

Burlesque photos are up!

Burlesque photos will be up later this afternoon -- the server the pictures are stored on is being moved to Baltimore today.

Monday, September 24, 2007

All by myself

Lolita flew the coop

Delilah home with the stomach flu

Gilda on her own tonight, so lonely

So show up and buy her a drink!


Where I'll be Tonight

This Week at No Tell

Janaka Stucky finds the beauty he feared most this week at No Tell Motel.

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Saturday, September 22, 2007

Available at Lulu Now!

The Myth of the Simple Machines, by Laurel Snyder
Available at Lulu NOW
Available at Amazon & B&N SOON

The gorgeous simplicity of Laurel Snyder's language makes all the possibilities—and the impossibility—of living stand out starkly. Her machines are thought machines, memory machines, the machines of false and daily logic, and we recognize them all. And, of course, they don't work this time either, but Snyder has found the poignancy in this, and more than that, she has found its meaning. A startling and touching book.
— Cole Swensen

Good poetry begins in deep crisis, that awful pivot between opposite possibilities, death or life, not-self or self, no world or world. Laurel Snyder’s Myth occupies the realm of, and the consequence of, such crisis. We move from a girl falling inside a falling sky, a girl who lives in corners, a girl the wolf chases, to a woman who steps into the middle of the room, into the city, bears a child, contemplates the same God whose voice she speaks. And here, generously, crisis does not lead to negation—it leads to dream, to nights in which the world is at hand, not a finished product, but an ongoing creation in which the poet plays her joyful, playful part.
— Dan Beachy-Quick

There's nothing simplified about Laurel Snyder's The Myth of Simple Machines; "the girl" we encounter in so many of these poems is a kind of Everyman who struggles to make sense of the world's mysteries, and in doing so helps the reader see the world freshly. Sometimes by using tight, lyric lines, and sometimes by using dreamy prose poems, Snyder's skittery syntax interrogates the sentence. She suspends us in the realm of delicious dis-ease, where meaning multiplies, where poetry happens. This is a wonderful book, and, as the speaker of "Glass" writes, "Like it or not, this is for you, / so pay attention."
— Beth Ann Fennelly

Pointed and posed, these poems align like shoebox dioramas on the classroom window ledge. Snyder presents us with puzzles without answers, word problems that never advance to their solutions but invite us to dwell in their predicaments, fat with intrigue. It’s as if class were being taught not by the weary schoolmarm but by the curious girl at the next desk with her signifying pigtails and lunchbox full of enviable toys.
— Joyelle McSweeney

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Friday, September 21, 2007

There's some big news going on in my family, but I'm not allowed to blog about it. All I can say is that it kind of looks like boogar, but sounds more like noodle and now I live in a House of Pun, mostly by my own mouth.

And if you're one of the few people who know what I'm talking about, don't post the answer in the comment field, it will be removed, thank you.

Nothing Worse Than a Missed Period!

Well, that's the joke as we go through book proofs.

I'm having proofreading dreams. Bleh, not sexy.

So I'm getting close to finishing the next Bedside Guide -- since there's a release party scheduled at the KGB bar on Monday, December 3, I have a very firm date when it needs to be done (BEFORE DECEMBER 3!). I kind of feel like this Bedside Guide has been the neglected lover. Every project, every emergency, every unexpected situation took priority -- I'm sorry baby, don't be mad, you know you're my girl.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

I find it highly symbolic that once again my coming into being is delayed by poop, by green poop. Pretty much stands for everything in my life. Oh poop, you can slow me down, but you can't stop me.

Addendum: See! Dastardly poop can't keep me down for long.


Joy in the Lollipop Garden

Didn't care for my last haircut by my not-usual stylist. It was too wispy, trendy -- she cut a bunch really short layers and I had something like wings around my ears -- a touch Farrah. It wasn't a bad cut, it just wasn't what I wanted and it's mostly my fault for not better articulating.

Anyhow, I went back to my usual stylist to get something different. Since the layers were really short, we had to chop it all off and start from scratch. This is what I look like now:

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

September's Burlesque Poetry Hour

Lolita ran away to NYC, but the show must go on!

Please join Gilda and special guest host Delilah in enticing Remica L. Bingham, Piotr Gwiazda and Dean Smith to take it off on Monday, September 24th. Reading will begin at 8:00 p.m. in The Dark Room at Bar Rouge.

My interview is up at Women of the Web. That sounds really hot, doesn't it?

I discuss poetry publishing and which television characters I'd like to nail.

Monday, September 17, 2007

I'm taking a break from going through print proofs (four different titles) to write about manuscript submissions. Many folks have inquired if I would consider their manuscript for publication. On a slow week I receive 1 inquiry, on a busier week 2 or 3 -- this has been the case since last year after the first four No Tell titles were published. Add that up, that's about 100 inquiries. So if you recently asked me, don't consider this a specific response to your asking, I've wanted to write about this for months -- and I anticipate even more requests once the latest books come out. This is to be expected and I'm sure the case for most poetry presses.

To get to the point: I am not consider/reading any manuscripts at this time.

The manuscripts I am reading now, I agreed to read 6-9 months ago -- and in most cases had them in my possession untouched/unread for that entire time. That's right, manuscripts sent back in January weren't even opened until mid August when I printed them out all out to take to the beach. I accepted this small number of manuscripts (around 10) to read for two slots in 2008 (there are 3 books coming out, one that was scheduled for 2007 but pushed back, another that I just recently contacted the author to inform her I'm going to take it and the last slot that I pretty much made up my mind on, but haven't yet informed anyone -- those people will all hear from me later this week). I'll formally announce it all in a few weeks or so.

I've been hesitant to write anything at all about this, because I don't like to discourage people upfront. And I really don't mind and am not put off when people inquire. There's no way anyone would know the status of my publishing schedule unless I told them.

Here's the way I run No Tell Books:

I only read manuscripts by invitation -- and I only invite from the pool of poets I have already published in either No Tell Motel or the Bedside Guide series. If I have never published you in any form, I will definitely not agree to read your manuscript. Just because I have never published your work does not mean I would not like/love your book. All it means is that I'm only working from a pool of around 250-300 poets (at this writing) whose work I am already familiar with, know I already like and have an idea of what it's like to work with them. The way to "break in" to that growing pool is to send to No Tell Motel when the reading period is open (it's closed now, opens in October).

If I have published your work and you want me to consider your manuscript, you can definitely ask. I won't be annoyed or angered or bothered. Maybe I'll be in a position where I can say yes. Sadly I decline to read about 90% of these requests -- manuscripts from poets whose work I know I like. If you do inquire, you can trust that I'll be very clear and upfront about any possibility. Some (probably most) seem to appreciate that, a few seem really put off by it.

Some very well intentioned people (again, there's been quite a few, so this is not directed at anyone in particular) have suggested solutions to my "problem."

First of all, I don't consider not being able to read and publish every good manuscript a problem. If I'm only publishing 3-5 books a year, I am definitely, without a doubt, not publishing the majority of kick ass manuscripts in need of a publisher.

And I only want to publish 3-5 books a year. I want to be able to intimately and closely work with the authors on their books. I enjoy that. This year I've been spread incredibly thin -- and haven't been able to do as good of a job as I'd like and that bothers me. The answer is not for me to find help, interns or additional editors -- I have no interest in putting the work off on somebody else -- the answer is for me to scale back. If you read this blog, this is stating the obvious, but for the sake of clarity, I too am a poet and need time to write, I also edit an online magazine that takes a lot of time, I'm raising a toddler, sometimes I like to do things with my husband and other family members and friends -- and all the other responsibilities a regular person has. And just like a everyone else, things come up, sometimes they're very serious and consuming -- and just because you don't read about those things here, doesn't mean they're not happening.

Also, the answer to limited funds is not to run a contest. The last things I need is a bigger pool of manuscripts to consider. I'd rather use that energy promoting the books I have published. To be perfectly blunt, I already know of many poets who I'd love to publish. I won't take money from a few hundred people I have no intention of publishing so I can finance other people's books. I really really hate book contests and am shocked that more people who read this blog haven't picked up on this. If you ever see an announcement for a No Tell contest you can be positive that I am dead and an evil clone has taken over.

I'm not making any money publishing books, every single title has lost money (although as time goes on, some of these titles will eventually break even and a few will turn a very small profit, over the course of a few years). I'm doing this because I like doing it and consider it important. If I was trying to make money publishing books, I wouldn't be publishing poetry, but how-to books, books like How to Get Laid Every Day of the Week by Chicks with Big Ta-Tas. This book has been in the top 1 or 2 spot on Lulu for the past two years -- and it's $50 and I'm sure the advice sucks. That's what sells.

Anyhow, I know how frustrating it is to find a publisher for a book. I never found a publisher for my first manuscript that this blog is named after. My second manuscript, my first book, is coming out years after I imagined my first book would be out (I'll be 35 in a few months) -- and yes, I know the editor/publisher. There aren't nearly enough publishers to handle all the manuscripts out there. Some people believe is this a good thing, some people think less poetry should be published, that there's a glut . . . etc. I do not think these things. I'm always very happy when I hear about somebody starting her own press or magazine. I'm always very happy to give advice and suggestions to anyone who wants to start publishing on their own.

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This Week at No Tell

Bruce Covey is divided into the edibles & the nots this week at No Tell Motel.


Sunday, September 16, 2007

Women of the Web Wide Poetry World

First Interview: Grace Cavalieri

Friday, September 14, 2007

Poll Results!

What Name Should I Give Tender Button's Fiance?
Total Votes: 32

Mr. Buttons: 4 vote(s)
Tender Vittles: 10 vote(s)
Tender Roni: 3 vote(s)
Button Monkey: 6 vote(s)
Alice B. Toklas: 9 vote(s)

Welcome to the family, Tender Vittles.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

View Results


June Wedding: Judgment Day

As I mentioned, TB is getting married next year. She finally found somebody to love her. Yayy!!! *Plus* she has her career. What a coup!

And you know what that means.

I get to be Matron of Honorzilla.

See I was kind of young when I got married (23) -- and I wasn't nearly as good at asserting myself back then. Now I'm wise and experienced and I got a mean motherfucking axe to grind with the whole wedding industry and whoah and behold, I'm a player again. That's right, psycho/vicious SOB (Sister of Bride) here and that means the dresses will be altered correctly, the seamstress will not make inappropriate comments about anyone's weight, the cake will be the right flavor and the florist will not be sneaking any carnations into the arrangements and will not be making googly eyes with the groom. Not this time. Got it? Just try tacking on some extra non-agreed upon charges . . . I will hurt you.

Rage against the happy day makers!


Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Chris spoke to the Dare County Clerk of the Courts today. The charges filed against the guy who tried to run him over with a minivan: Assault with a Deadly Weapon.




Tuesday, September 11, 2007


Featuring: Nava Fader, Michalle Gould, Reb Livingston and Sheila E. Murphy. cover art by Debbie Clapper. More info here


Didi is my daddy.

International House of Barf

Tonight Gideon barfed for the first time (excluding what we in the mommy biz call baby spit-up, not quite the same thing). I always imagined he'd barf on me, but no. He woke with a fever. While I went to get the thermometer he blew and Chris caught it all with his hand. I'm sure I'll have plenty of opportunities in the future to play spew catcher, but I'll never get the chance to be the first. I'm a little sad.

Yet I think I'll get over it.


Monday, September 10, 2007

International House of Snot

Back to the old grind and already dripping in snot. Not mine, Gideon's. He woke up with a cold. He knows how to use a tissue, but sometimes it's too tempting not to rub his slimey face all over me -- I'm irresistible like that.

Last night I ordered the print proof of Laurel's The Myth of the Simple Machines. Soon I'll order print proofs for Hugh's Shy Green Fields and Jill's Harlot. Just waiting for some minor tweaks on the covers.

For the past few weeks (yes, on my vacation) I've been reading 10 manuscripts for consideration for the 2008 list. I'm close to making my decisions. It'll be a smaller list than the last two years. I'd like to publish all of them, but can't. Have to scale back, killing myself. I'm not interested in getting another co-editor or interns or anything like that. I'm keeping the press small and intimate on purpose. No plans for world domination, I'll leave that to all the cultural capitalists in the hizzy. I'm content in my mud hut, lacquered in snot.

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This Week at No Tell

Catherine Paquette will rock him like an aunt rocks her kin this week at No Tell Motel.

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Saturday, September 08, 2007


In the Fall 2007 issue of Bitch Magazine:

Navigate, Amelia Earhart's Letters Home Rebecca Loudon [No Tell Books]

Rebecca Loudon's vivid evocation of one of history's most beloved female heroes has Amelia Earhart addressing everyone from her parents to her piano teacher in a series of poems that ring with the interrupted immediacy of found texts. There's an interesting tension between the chapbook's title and the poems themselves, as well as, of course, the backstory--as if Loudon's Earhart had found her navigation skills entirely intact nearly 60 years after her disappearance into the ocean. The vibrancy in poems like "Where are you Fred?" resurrects her passion for flight as well as the reader's longing for her discovery" "the bright sea / you punched my arm / you said the fuel tanks / bubble with champagne." -- Julia Bloch


Friday, September 07, 2007


Thursday, September 06, 2007

Dear Dad, having a KOOL time at the beach

RE: yesterday's post. It was a road rage/douchebag thing. Some people don't realize (or don't care) that bicycles have a legal right to be on the road. Some people become furious that they might have to slow down for a minute until there's a safe opportunity to pass. In this particular case, a 24 year old had a very important meeting with the beach a few yards ahead and felt the need to scream obscenities out his window while intentionally forcing Chris into traffic multiple times.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Some guy in a minivan intentionally tried to hit Chris while he was cycling this morning. Chris pressed charges with the magistrate so there's a court date in October that he has come down and testify at. Do I hear another OBX family vacation in the works? Wait until we tell Gideon the good news.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Fish Fish Tuna Fish, Fishy Fishy Fish

This Week at No Tell

Maw Shein Win shrinks into a stream that leaks into an ocean this week at No Tell Motel.

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Sunday, September 02, 2007

Poets' Blog of Dreams

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Dolphin Watch