In the spirit of sharing a love for poetry, poets are giving away two books -- one of their own and another they love. All you have to do to be entered in the drawing for free books is to leave a comment on this post (comments here are moderated, but don't worry--I will post them ASAP) that includes your email address, so that I can get in touch with you should you be the winner! On May 1st, I will use a random number generator to identify the winner and will let you know by email that you have won. It is my responsibility to mail you the books, wherever you may be, so really, this is a win-win-win situation for readers! Just make sure you leave your email address so I have a way of getting in touch with you.
Now, for the good stuff. As my first giveaway, I am offering a copy of my first book, In Defense of Objects, which won the Dorothy Brunsman Poetry Prize from Bear Star Press in 2009.
For my second giveaway, I am offering Maggie Nelson's Bluets, which her press, Wave Books, hasn't even identified as poetry but rather as "Essay/Literature," but which for my money is experimental verse.
Ostensibly an extended rumination on the color blue, Bluets is also an obsessive cataloguing of the loss of love, which includes a total of 240 musings that will have you believing in the power of blue:
89. As if we could scrape the color off the iris and still see.I had many favorite poetry books this past year, but I chose this one to give away because I've been working on a series of poems myself that are so tightly bound thematically as to be obsessive themselves, and so Nelson's work intrigues me. It is a sort of contemporary sonnet sequence--the amalgamation of ideas, images, words; all the looping back. And my own work has been moving in more experimental directions lately, so I've been reading a lot of hybrid forms. Plus, Nelson is a fellow L.A. poet!
152. Holiness and evilness aside, no one could rightly call blue a festive color. You don't go looking for a party in a color that hospitals have used to calm crying infants or sedate the emotionally disturbed. Ancient Egyptians wrapped their mummies in blue cloth; ancient Celtic warriors dyed their bodies with woad before heading off to battle; the Aztecs smeared the chests of their sacrificial victims with blue paint before scooping their hearts out on the altar; the story of indigo is, at least in part, the story of slavery, riots, and misery. Blue does, however, always have a place at the carnival.
225. Shortly after finding out about the bluets, I have a dream in which I am sent an abundance of cornflowers. In this dream it is perfectly all right that that is their name. They do not need to be bluets any longer. They are American, they are shaggy, they are wild, they are strong. They do not signify romance. They were sent by no one in celebration of nothing. I had known them all along.
This drawing is open from now until the end of the month. Please leave your name and email address in a comment before midnight on April 30th, 2011, to be entered. And check out the other poets who are participating in the Big Poetry Giveway on Kelli's blog. There is a list on the left-hand side with links to their sites. You may end up with a whole lotta free goodness!