Blankets & Long Nights

I have learned from an
abundance of blankets
and long nights,

how space heaters
are not consoling
or replacement for
your body’s warmth …

she dodged a thousand bullets
when she left this place.

© Ben Ditmars 2015

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Maria Savva and Ben Ditmars – update on a new anthology

Reading Recommendations

Maria Savva was originally featured on Reading Recommendations in Dec. 2013, and Ben Ditmars was featured on the site in Feb. 2014. Both authors have contributed to this new anthology recently published.

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Tales From The Cacao Tree (Book 4 in The Mind’s Eye Series)
with contributions by Maria Saava and Ben Ditmars
Genre: Mixed – poetry, short stories, photography; an anthology

From a review by Maria Haskins on Amazon:
Tales From The Cacao Tree is the latest installment in the Mind’s Eye Series, a series of anthologies containing poetry and short stories inspired by, and accompanied by, photographs. This fourth book in the series, as you may gather from the title and the delectable cover, is all about chocolate.

Just like the other Mind’s Eye books, Tales From The Cacao Tree is an eclectic and enjoyable blend of different genres and writing styles, and as a reader you get…

View original post 104 more words

And Now a Poetic Interview with Brittany Samantha Larson!

Brittany Samantha Larson is one of the most talented poets you will find: whether written or spoken word, her rhythm is seamless. I’ve had the privilege of hearing her read at open mics and it is an awesome experience as well. So, let’s get started with the interview.

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I’m 22 years old and a poet living in Seattle,WA. I am more than just a poet. I’m a spoken word artist.

 

Can you tell us a little about yourself?

My name is Brittany Larson. I am 22 years old. I enjoy hanging out in coffee shops and getting inspiration in any way I can.

When did you start writing poetry?

I wrote my first poem for myself in 8th grade. I had written poems before but they were always for school assignments.

Do you have a favorite poet/poem?

I really enjoy spoken word artist Andrea Gibson. I am also a spoken word poet.

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Does music inspire you?  What kind?

I normally listen to abstract Indie Rock. It really gets my creative juices flowing.

Do you write on the computer or in a notebook?

It’s a combination. It really depends on where I am and what I have available. I one time wrote a poem on a McDonald’s napkin because I had nothing else.

If you could write a poem anywhere, where would it be?

I would love to write a poem at some little Café in Italy. I think the sights would be beautiful.

What do you enjoy most about writing poetry?

I think it is the story that can be told in your work. You can provide a voice for those who don’t have one. You can evoke powerful emotions with nothing but words…that is pretty cool.

If you could hang out with any poet, who would it be?

Alive…again Andrea Gibson. I would love to write a poem. If he was still alive hanging out with Edgar Allen Poe would be so amazing. Possibly terrifying but really cool.

If you could physically fight a fellow poet, from any point in time, who would they be?

I think I could take Emily Dickinson J

***

Have you read or performed poetry live at slams or open mic?

Multiple times. I love it.

Why does nothing rhyme with orange?

Because it’s orange. What other answer do you need?

Do you post your poetry online?

Yes, poetrysoup.com is where I post.

Do you put your writing into pictures to share on Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram or Facebook?

No. They are too long.

What is the most difficult poetry to write?  Are there any forms you dislike?

I am terrible at rhyming. I just find it hard. I am not a fan of sonnets. I find them boring.

Do you believe anyone can learn to write poetry?  Do you think anyone can enjoy reading it?

Yes, I think most people get too concerned and think that all poetry needs to rhyme. It seems like people think poems need to rhyme and they think they can’t write poems if they can’t rhyme. Reading poetry is alright but I prefer seeing it performed live.

Where do vanishing objects go? Remember to phrase your answer in the form of a riddle.

Why? That’s my riddle. :p

What project(s) are you currently working on, poetry or otherwise?

I am working on my NaNoWriMo novel. It’s a romance novel.

Would you like to share a poem with us today?

This is my most popular poem titled:

Hello, My Name Is…

Hello my name is…

Isn’t this party great?

Hello my name is…

Let’s get to know each other

Hello my name is…

Can I buy you a drink?

Hello my name is…

I think I like you

Hello my name is…

Let’s go somewhere we can be alone

Hello my name is…

That girl you won’t remember in the morning

Hello my name is…

I can show you a good time

Hello my name is…

At least until you get tired of me

Hello my name is…

Just keep you voice down

Hello my name is…

No one will ever know

Hello my name is…

I promise, they always promise.

Hello my name is…

I can never recover

Hello my name is…

You stole that chance away

Hello my name is…

Low self esteem

I feel like I have nothing else to take

So instead I just give

I’ve struggled for years

But I got tired of saying no

In a voice you never heard

Like I could be happy

Like I could forget the life stolen from me

Like I could pick up the pieces of my porcelain heart

And put it back together

Make it whole somehow

Like I could just forget what happened

Like I wouldn’t remember that night

It just doesn’t work that way

Now all my encounters start out as

Hello my name is…

I can’t even remember anymore

Hello my name is…

Whatever you want to call me Sir

Hello my name is…

No longer a way I can identify myself

Hello my name is Brittany Larson

Why don’t you tell me your name

Why don’t we get to know each other

Just remember my story is a long one

It all started with

Hello my name is…

And he never let me finish

***

Bio

I’m 22 years old and a poet living in Seattle,WA. I am more than just a poet. I’m a spoken word artist. I am an avid reader as well. When I’m not reading or writing I’m usually doing other geeky things like watching Doctor Who, obsessing over Harry Potter or playing Magic, The Gathering. I also enjoy going outside when it’s nice out.

***

Find more about Brittany Samantha Larson:

On PoetrySoup: poetrysoup.com

On Facebook: facebook.com/Brittany-Larson-Creative-Insanity

And Now a Poetic Interview with Maria Haskins!

Maria Haskins has been supporting poets and their writing for some time. When I saw she had a collection I bought and reviewed it. Her words are as amazing as she is, which is really saying something, because she rocks. It is my pleasure to interview her on my blog today.

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Maria Haskins is a Swedish-Canadian writer and translator with a passion for writing and reading in general, and science fiction and fantasy in particular. She was born and grew up in Sweden, but since the early 1990s she lives just outside Vancouver on Canada’s west coast.

 

Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I’m a writer, I’m a translator translating between Swedish and English, I’m married, and I have two kids. My writing coach is a big black dog named Jake who makes me go for walks every day and mull over my writing ideas. I grew up in Sweden, and moved to Canada in the early 1990s. Since then, I’ve lived in the Vancouver area on the west coast. My first books were written in Swedish and published in Sweden, sometime in the far dinosaur age of old-school publishing. Through the years I’ve written poetry, short stories, and various kinds of prose. For a few years I suffered from terrible writer’s block and felt unable to write, a crippling experience. It’s only recently that I’ve felt able to write fiction and poetry again. I self-published a collection of science fiction short stories in March, 2015, and recently self-published a collection of poetry.

When did you start writing poetry?

I wrote stories from when I was just a kid, and started writing poetry when I was in my early teens, maybe even earlier. It was pretty awful stuff in the beginning: I know, because I still have an old notebook left as proof…

Do you have a favorite poet/poem?

Several! But one poem I always come back to both as a source of inspiration, and just because I can always find something new in it, is T.S. Eliot’s The Waste Land. I can read that poem anytime, anywhere and just get kind of lost in it: beautiful language, and so many layers of meaning.

Does music inspire you? What kind?

I love listening to music, and I do listen to a whole lot of rock and hard rock – both new bands and older bands. I think there’s a real connection between poetry and music: some lyrics are excellent poetry, and some music is poetic in its own right. Graham Greene is an Australian guitarist, he plays a lot of instrumental rock and his old album ‘Gaia Rising’ gives me inspiration whenever I listen to it. He also has a tune on his most recent album called ‘Through The Dark’ that is musical poetry of the highest order.

***

Do you write on the computer or in a notebook?

Both. I’m old enough to have started writing before word processors were the go-to thing. My first poetry was written by hand, and then typed out on a typewriter. These days, I write almost exclusively on the computer, but while I write all my prose on the computer, I still write some of my poetry by hand, at least the very first draft. There’s a deep connection for me between writing by hand and writing poetry, and sometimes I feel more disconnected from a poem when I write it in [Microsoft] Word.

If you could write a poem anywhere, where would it be?

By the ocean, in a very cozy writer’s den, with an ocean view. That would be my ideal writing location, or so I imagine! If I actually had such a place to write, I wonder if I’d get anything done, though.

What do you enjoy most about writing poetry?

That it’s such an immediate and visceral way of expressing emotions, thoughts, and ideas, without having to adhere to any strict “rules of writing” or even rules of grammar, necessarily. And you can express yourself in a multi-layered, complex way that says many things at once, without using a whole lot of words.

If you could hang out with any poet, who would it be?

I’m going to say Ursula K. Le Guin. She is mostly known for her science fiction and fantasy, but her poetry is outstanding as well. I’d love to just hang out with her, and talk about language and words, and sources of inspiration. That’s if I could get past being completely tongue-tied in her presence!

If you could physically fight a fellow poet, from any point in time, who would they be?

Maybe Shakespeare. I’d love to hear what kind of insults he’d hurl at me.

Have you read or performed poetry live at slams or open mic?

It’s been ages since I read, or performed my poetry in front of other people. I was never very good at it. In my younger days I always got so nervous that my hands and voice would shake. I think I would be better at it now when I’m old enough to suffer less from stage fright.

Why does nothing rhyme with orange?

It’s another glitch in the matrix. Luckily, if you translate it into Swedish, you can find many words that rhyme with “apelsin”!

Do you post your poetry online?

Yes, I do, occasionally. I posted some of the poems from my new collection ‘Cuts’ on my website while they were still works in progress. Sometimes I wish I had more poems to share. I usually work very slowly when it comes to poetry: sort of like squeezing blood from a stone! One poem that came to me very quickly, and that I felt compelled to share immediately, was ‘Pain In Progress’. It was written in pretty much one sitting after I found out a good friend of mine had died from breast cancer. She hadn’t told very many people that her cancer had returned, and when I found out she had passed away it just clobbered me. I still can’t express very well how and why her death crushed me, but that poem is an attempt to put it into words.

Do you put your writing into pictures to share on Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram or Facebook?

I’ve paired a few of my poems with pictures, and the poem ‘Peek’ in my new collection is paired with a photo taken of my son moments after he was born. But I haven’t done it a lot. It’s something that I think I’d like to explore a lot more. It’s a very organic and beautiful way to share poetry, and I love seeing that kind of work by other poets.

What is the most difficult poetry to write? Are there any forms you dislike?

Well, there is poetry that is technically difficult, of course. Like, how the heck could anyone express themselves in hexameter? But on a more fundamental level, I think that it’s hardest to write poetry that is simple, yet profound. And by that I mean poetry that uses simple words, but still manages to express something absolutely profound. Tony Connor’s poem ‘A Child Half Asleep‘ has the line ‘ I ask him what woke him? / ‘A wolf dreamed me’ he says.” That’s the kind of line that you almost can’t make up or imagine, and then when you see it, it seems so simple and deep and… I don’t know, inescapable. Like you should have always known it. I don’t really dislike any forms of poetry… though rhyming poetry that doesn’t actually rhyme sometimes annoys me.

Do you believe anyone can learn to write poetry? Do you think anyone can enjoy reading it?

I do believe anyone can learn to write it. But not everyone will become T.S. Eliot, of course. I do think it’s a good thing to try, and to allow yourself to write poetry, whether for publication or not, because it can help you process thoughts and feelings in a new way that doesn’t happen in prose. And yes, anyone can enjoy reading it: you just have to find a poet that speaks to you, that fits your thoughts and your emotions.

Where do vanishing objects go? Remember to phrase your answer in the form of a riddle.

Time and space can bend and twist, so you must ask yourself this: did they vanish, or did you? If you look for something that you can’t find, maybe the truth is that you vanished, and they were left behind.

What project(s) are you currently working on, poetry or otherwise?

Right now I have so many writing projects on the go that it’s kind of making me dizzy. The main thing I’m working on at the moment is short stories. I have a brand new short story that I’m polishing right now, and I’m also writing short stories for the next installment in the Mind’s Eye Series which is incredibly exciting for me. As for poetry, even when I’m working on prose-projects I still end up writing poetry occasionally. It’s like a safety valve, a way to process what’s going on in my life.

Would you like to share a poem with us today?

I’ll share Pain In Progress, from my new collection ‘Cuts’.

PAIN IN PROGRESS
(For another Maria.)

The lamps are lit
in every window.
I feel the warmth beneath my own hands
feel the flicker
inside my own room.

What lights the lamps?
What makes a fire
where there was only
wick and oil and breath of wind?
I don’t know.
But the lamps are lit
the light is everywhere
spilling through the curtains
through your fingers
through the glass
through the whispers in the hallway
through your eyes, half opened.

I can feel the light
in you
in me
warm in my hands
every word
every breath
every cut and bruise and scar
another bit of light.

And then the lamp is put out,
extinguished.
I didn’t see
didn’t hear
didn’t feel
it happen.
Where did the light go?
What puts out the lamps?
What takes away the light?
What makes the darkness
fall
crawl
slither
over the horizon
over the threshold
over your lips?
What eats away the light
devouring
chewing
ripping it out of your grip?
(Or did you let it?
Did you let it
go?
Did you let it
go out?)
I don’t know.

I’m cold.
I look across the field:
brown reeds broken by the weight of snow
trees crouching low
cradling the dusk
in arthritic branches.

The sky is
cut bruised scarred
and there is just a breath of wind
stroking the grass.

I see your window
on the other side.
The lamp is not lit.

I can still feel the glow.

***

Bio

Maria Haskins is a Swedish-Canadian writer and translator with a passion for writing and reading in general, and science fiction and fantasy in particular. She was born and grew up in Sweden, but since the early 1990s she lives just outside Vancouver on Canada’s west coast.

Her English language debut ‘Odin’s Eye’ – a collection of science fiction short-stories – was published in March, 2015. Her book ‘Cuts & Collected Poems 1989 – 2015’ – a collection of poetry – was released on November 9, 2015. It includes both new poems written in English, and her own translations of her previously published Swedish poetry. She is also currently working on a science fiction novel, and various other writing projects.

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Find more about Maria Haskins:

On her website: mariahaskins.wordpress.com
On Twitter: twitter.com/MariaHaskins
On Facebook: facebook.com/mariahaskinswriter
On Goodreads: goodreads.com/Maria_Haskins
On Amazon: amazon.com/-/e/B00UICDA2K
On Smashbooks: smashwords.com/mariahaskins

Book Review: Cuts & Collected Poems 1989 – 2015 by Maria Haskins

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Cuts & Collected Poems 1989 – 2015

by Maria Haskins

5/5 stars

There is something about a poetry collection that spans the entire length of your life. Maria Haskins has been writing as long as I have been alive and her talent is beyond seasoned. The passion, words, and emotion behind every poem are astonishing and mesmerizing. But perhaps her own words describe it best:

take me with you
take me even farther
away from the fire.

Rock or Island

somehow ambiance is lost on
power-lines, silent stitches

I can’t comprehend without

more rain like Charlie Sheen
intoxicated with a virus…

I might be a
rock or island.

© Ben Ditmars 2015

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Photograph Courtesy of Helle Gade

Read her blog here.

Sweet & dark tales – my review of ‘Tales From The Cacao Tree’

Maria Haskins

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‘Tales From The Cacao Tree’ is the latest installment in the Mind’s Eye Series, a series of anthologies containing poetry and short stories inspired by, and accompanied by, photographs. This fourth book in the series, as you may gather from the title and the delectable cover, is all about chocolate.

Just like the other Mind’s Eye books, ‘Tales From The Cacao Tree’ is an eclectic and enjoyable blend of different genres and writing styles, and as a reader you get to experience chocolate in every imaginable (and unimaginable!) way. There really is a bit of everything here: beautiful and evocative (and sometimes playful) poetry by Ben Ditmars, Helle Gade, and Richard Weatherly, and short stories by Darcia Helle, Maria Savva, Julie Elizabeth Powell, and J. Michael Radcliffe.

Many of the stories inspired by the accompanying chocolaty pictures involve nefarious and violent crimes: so, obviously, chocolate has a dark side…

Each story by the imaginative…

View original post 315 more words

It’s Release Day!! Tales From The Cacao Tree (Mind’s Eye Series book 4) WOO-HOO! #newRelease

Amazing writing from me and others. Check it out.

Purplerose123's Blog

Sensations wrapped in colorful foil.

Sweet Lies
Bitter Truths

What would you do
For the love of chocolate?

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22 photos, 12 stories, 10 poems Release Day Release Day
http://www.amazon.com/Tales-Cacao-Tree-Minds-Book-ebook/dp/B016TPC3TA/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1447676578&sr=1-1&keywords=tales+from+the+cacao+tree

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