Poetry Cram 11

Today I saw photos from the Poetry Cram 11 event held in Chicago.  I was invited to read my poem that was included in this year’s collection of poetry distributed free to the public (to encourage everyone to read more poetry).  The following is a description, based on a posting on ChicagoPoetry.com, of Poetry Cram 11:

Recently ChicagoPoetry.com put out the call for “poetry about poetry” for its new volume of Poetry Cram Magazine. The response was enormous, making Cram 11 the biggest and best yet.

Congratulations go out to the forty-five poets selected for inclusion in “Cram 11=Poetry²” that was released on Saturday, April 30, from 10 AM until 4 PM at the National Poetry Month Poetry Festival at Harold Washington Library, where “Cram 11=Poetry²” was given away free in the main lobby to everyone who wanted one.  And then, later that same evening, more copies were given away at the official release party and reading at Café Ballou, where poets from Cram 11 read their work. Both events were free and open to the public.

My work, titled “Following After Williams’ Nantucket” was written as a poetic response to the following poem:

Nantucket
By William Carlos Williams
 
Flowers through the window
lavender and yellow
 
changed by white curtains—
Smell of cleanliness—
 
Sunshine of late afternoon—
On the glass tray
 
a glass pitcher, the tumbler
turned down, by which
 
a key is lying— And the
immaculate white bed

My response, as published in “Cram 11=Poetry²”:  

Following After Williams’ Nantucket
By Debka Colson
 
The flowers are not specific, the varieties
not named.  At first I imagine boxes filled,
lavender and yellow: Easter.  But also
crocuses outside the window
when winter has passed.
                              I wonder:
How are flowers changed?  I peer through
translucent curtains and the world
softens, white changes vivid colors to pastels,
away from the mustiness in spring.
 
On Nantucket and throughout New England,
days heat up through the course of afternoons
after mornings spent at the water’s edge,
          turning
stones and dipping toes in cold water.  Lunch over,
a drowsiness sets in.  New guests due
at the bed and breakfast, and a glass tray—
not plastic or wood or metal—reflects
          the late day sun.
And the glass pitcher on top, a matched set,
the tumbler upside down to keep dust out:
the guests have not yet arrived.
 

Over 300 copies of the magazine were distributed to the crowd and in the evening, there was standing room only at Café Ballou for the poets that were able to be present to read their work.

I would have liked to have joined them.

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About HomenDunRoamin

Teaching Artist & Writer: fiction, poetry & nonfiction. Recently completed work: a hybrid memoir. In progress: a novel set in an unnamed Latin American country on the brink of war. The book examines violent and nonviolent resistance and the choices women are forced to make to survive.
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One Response to Poetry Cram 11

  1. Wonderful stuff! I didn’t know that you were a poet! Congratulations on being published Debka!

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