Cherokee Print League Holiday Sale is Dec 3!

The Cherokee Print League Holiday Sale is right around the corner. Architrave poems get born on Cherokee Street, so of course I'll be there to represent. Joining me will be scores of other artists from St. Louis and the region, each of us with a table tucked inside the already fabulous (and warm) brick & mortar establishments. Pick up a map and a hot beverage from Foam, then get a leg up on your holiday shopping while supporting local artists and merchants.

And lest you think this event is limited to posters and book arts, think again - if it involves ink, it's here. Come see just how broad that definition can be. 

Once I know which sale venue will host the Architrave table I'll be sure to post it here as a comment as well as to Facebook and Twitter.


Clearing Materials of Exile - Kelli Allen

NB: In order to promote Architrave poems and poets, this blog will release both poet bios and my comments on their poems into the wild. Enjoy~

Read the full text of the poem by clicking the image or purchase it here

About the Poem:
This poem is restless in the most literal sense: constant movement framed by the idea of exile, itself the absence of a place to rest. But that's not something you'll understand from the 'facts' of this poem - instead it's in the feelings the images evoke. Allen is asking her reader to step outside the customary use of language into a world made entirely of metaphor. She's asking us to set aside our literal expectations, to join the poem's collective voice as "we" alternately pursue (hunter and hermit) or are pursued (by the horse) across border after border. It's not necessary to decode every statement. What is necessary are repeated readings over time to allow the implications of, say, eggs that are also "dark stones" to slowly reveal themselves. It's a poem to savor.

About the Poet:
Kelli Allen is an award-winning poet and scholar. Her work has appeared in The Blue Sofa ReviewWomenArts QuarterlyThe Caper ReviewIt Has Come to This: Poets of the Great Mother Conference,Foliate Oak, Greatest Lakes Review, Lugh Review (where she was the featured author), Blackmail PressPuerto del Sol, The Chaffy Review,Euphony and elsewhere. She is the author of two chapbooks (Applied CryptographyPicturing What Breaks) and has served as the Managing Editor of Natural Bridge. Allen also serves as Director of Development for The Missouri Warrior Writers Project, which serves United States Veterans as they attempt to tell their stories through poetry and creative non-fiction. She is also the founder and director of the Graduate Writers Reading Series for the University of Missouri-St. Louis. Allen gives readings and teaches workshops throughout the US.


Submission Guidelines for Spring Residency - Karen Lee Lewis

NB: In order to promote Architrave poems and poets, this blog will release both poet bios and my comments on their poems into the wild. Enjoy~

Read the full text of the poem by clicking the image or purchase it here

About the poem:
Writers and artists will smile at how this poem inserts the lexicon of bird habitat conservation into the standard call for residency applications. That kind of cross-pollination is something that poetry does well, as is the list format. But the poem's appeal is much more broad; anyone who has ever searched for an apartment or a job will empathize with the task ahead of the Kirtland Warbler - there is always so much to consider, so many hoops to jump through! Lewis is obviously enjoying poking fun at overly prescriptive submission guidelines, what with her threat of "evil Shakespearean citations" and request for translations of bird song. But the poet is also quite serious, placing at the end, where it will be what's best remembered, a reminder that the consequence of failure is death. Not just of the individual, but of the entire species. It's strong medicine disguised in a huge, humorous spoonful of sugar. 

About the Poet:
Karen Lee Lewis is an independent Teaching Artist, and a Teacher Consultant for the Western New York Writing Project. She teaches creative writing for non-profit organizations and art galleries throughout Western New York. Her "Picturing Poetry Project" with Amy Luraschi, was the subject of a documentary film by Jon Hand, and was aired on PBS. Karen is a fellow of Canada's Banff Centre's Wired Writing Studio. Her poetry, short fiction, features, and photography have been widely published, recently in Red River ReviewNomadStormy Weather, the Nature Conservancy's newsletter NatureBuffalo Spree and Teachers & Writers magazine. Karen won Honorable Mention in the 2010 Aurora Artisan's Wordsworth poetry contest. Her poetry was nominated for a Pushcart Prize by Slipstream Press. Editorial work for Traffic East magazine is archived at www.trafficeast.com. Her full-length poetry collection, What I Would Not Unravel (Writers Den Books), is available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.


Overdue Thank You's

First, a big thank you to the good people at the Poetry Foundation for their recent post about Architrave. When I started this project I had grave doubts about whether my fellow poets would embrace a press that sought a general reader. After all, "accessible" is a dirty word in many poetry circles. We all (and I include myself in this) want to be seen as progressive writers. But as an ever increasing number of fictioneers, essayists and other creatives confided to me that they "just didn't get" my art form, I knew it was a leap of faith I had to take. I'm glad I did. So far it's been wonderfully rewarding and it turns out there are plenty of poets willing to share their work in a venue such as this. Getting noticed by one of America's premiere poetry organizations is sweet, sweet icing on an already tasty cake.

Second, thanks to Burke's Books in Memphis and Woodland Pattern in Milwaukee for stocking Architrave poems. There's a fair bit of paperwork to tracking consignment sales, so I'm appreciative whenever a merchant likes the product enough to want to invest their time in it. Please check out their stores this holiday season.

And third, thanks to Barbara Harbach for organizing the Women in the Arts Conference at UMSL. I really enjoyed presenting and hearing the other great presentations. I hope the conference becomes an annual or biannual event!