Archive for May, 2008


Friday, May 30, 2008

 Sleeping cat — Photo by Vic Burkhammer

Have fun writing haiku. Click here to send your original, light-hearted haiku to MountainWord. 

Call in and leave haiku on my voicemail too at (304) 348-5184. If someone answers the phone, tell them you’re trying to reach Vic’s voicemail. Then call again.

Here are some funny cat haiku from to get you going:

You never feed me.
Perhaps I’ll sleep on your face.
That will sure show you.

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Sunday, May 25, 2008


West Virginia Writers’ Workshop. Four days of workshops, panel discussions, readings and lectures. July 17-July 20, 2008. Faculty includes Mark Brazaitis, Denise Duhamel, Brian Henry, and Sheri Reynolds. Also Nick Carbo, James Harms, John Hoppenthaler, Renee K. Nicholson and Jane Varley. Click here for information.


Almost Tomorrow by Ray Nargis (Raven Productions) has edged its way into the top 10 contemporary bestsellers at

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WRITERS CONFERENCE: June 13-15 at Cedar Lakes

Friday, May 23, 2008

cedarlakeswv.jpgAnnual WV Writers Spring Conference, June 13-15, 2008, at Cedar Lakes Conference Center near Ripley, WV. Pre-registration is open through May 25, 2008. That’s Sunday.

Check out WV Writers online for information.

BOOK SIGNING AT BORDERS EXPRESS: Poet John McKernan, 2 to 5 p.m., Saturday

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Poet John McKernan — Photo by Vic Burkhammer

Award-winning poet John McKernan, whose poems have been published in The New Yorker, Atlantic Monthly, The Paris Review and many other places, will sign his book, “Resurrection of the Dust” (Backwaters Press) from 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday, May 24, 2008, at Borders Express, Charleston Town Center.

McKernan, a longtime professor of English at Marshall University, has also won awards for his teaching. He edits “ABZ: A Poetry Magazine,” issued yearly.

On the Net:

COAL CAMP VOICES: ‘Kettle Bottom’ Thursday at 9 p.m. on W.Va. Public Radio

Monday, May 19, 2008

kettlebottom_cover_photo.jpgTune in at 9 p.m., Thursday, May 22, on W.Va. Public Radio … for a radio version of poet Diane Gilliam Fisher’s “Kettle Bottom”… produced by Kate Long … hear the emotional truth of voices from a 1920s Mingo County coal camp.


Monday, May 19, 2008

My friend Wil Haygood has written a wonderful piece on Obama and the poetry of politics. It’s on 1C of today’s Washington Post. Click here, and enjoy.  As Alice in Wonderland might say at last, if she were really here, it’s nice to see things making sense for a change.


Saturday, May 17, 2008

“Flood seen through a car window” Photo by Vic Burkhammer

I’ve been consumed recently with politics. Months before an election, I am hit with a flood of politics, and when I next look up, it seems, it’s almost Memorial Day.

Wil Haygood, a friend who writes for The Washington Post, called me the other day. We wanted to talk longer than we could at that moment. Wil had been traveling with the Obama campaign in North Carolina.

This morning from the APPALNET listserv, I received a note about Ron Eller’s “Obama’s ‘Appalachian Problem’? It’s Not So Easy.” The word cogent comes to mind.

I see how some of the media got it all wrong about Obama and West Virginia. The viewpoint piece online references an interesting slideshow of “The Photos That Began the War on Poverty.”

I want my poetry to take into account these things in some sense, not to explain them, but to put the truth of it all out there in the most powerful way possible for all to see. West Virginians are being stereotyped again. Continue reading »


Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Photo by Vic Burkhammer

Some say poetry is the center of the moment, compressed. A way of looking at the world. Words of iron, butterfly words. Poetry can be both terrifying, comforting. Saying the unsayable.

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RUMINATION: Poetics, keeping in touch, & Norman Jordan

Friday, May 9, 2008

My friends and I rarely write letters these days, the kind you find tucked away in a book years later. I found one the other day, and it captured my imagination.

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EVENT REMINDER: ‘Protest in Verse’ coming up Thursday

Monday, May 5, 2008

Covenant House sends along a reminder about “Poetry & Politics: Protest in Verse” coming up soon, 6:30 p.m., Thursday, May 8, 2008.

Click here to view flyer.

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