I went to the mall this morning and tried to get into a holiday spirit. It didn't work. The Short Hills Mall is beautiful and there's covered parking which is great on a cold day with bits of white stuff coming out of the sky. But the Santa display was all blocked off with huge plexiglass cases. I couldn't see the little kids with Santa or any of the Christmas display. Bah humbug. Then Macy's—ugh, what a nightmare! Get me outta there, fast! Is there some reason why Macy's has to have the heat up so high and the perfume in the air so thick?
Okay, I got that out of my system. Now onto far cooler stuff.
This weekend poet and blogger Kristin Berkey-Abbott added this post to her blog: "Favorite Poetry Books of 2010: Add These Books to Your Shopping List." I like the imperative that comes after her title's colon. I also like having my own Temptation by Water on that list! My book is keeping good company on this list. Several of the books I already own and can add my recommendation to Kristin's: Letters from the Emily Dickinson Room, by Kelli Russell Agodon; I Am the Jukebox, by Sandra Beasley; Unmentionables, by Beth Ann Fennelly; Underlife, by January O'Neil; and The Alchemist's Kitchen, by Susan Rich. Kristin's list sent me over to Amazon where I ordered Poetry in Person, edited by Alexander Neubauer. I've added a few of the other titles to my next order list.
The list put a smile on my face and so did reading these words in Kristin's post: "And as I chose this list, I couldn't help but notice how every book but the one by Kamiko Hahn came to my attention because of blogs. With several books, I already knew about the poet (again, usually because of stumbling across their blog), and I had the pleasure of watching the book publishing process of the book on the list below (author photos, blurbs, promotional videos, book covers—a wealth of information on various blogs). So if you ever wonder if your time spent writing a blog is worthwhile, I would say yes!"
That's been my experience, too, as a poet who blogs. The circle has widened. I've become part of an ever-growing community of poets. I've read books by poets I've met in this circle, and I know that some of them have, in turn, supported my work.
Also putting a smile on my face today is a nice mention in The Caldwells Patch "About Town" feature. If you are not familiar with patch.com, it's an online newspaper spreading like wildfire throughout the US. Many towns now have their own "patch" where residents can find up-to-the-minute news, information about local events, restaurant listings, and so on. Today's "About Town" feature is Good Books, Good Deeds. The reporter recommends my new book, gives a bit of information about me, and provides a cover image. I wonder if this means that I will now be recognized at the Foodtown.
The next recommendation in the article is the Alhambra Poetry Calendar that I blogged about on Saturday. The reporter learned about the Calendar from my blog. Another example of how effective blogs can be in spreading the word about poetry, poets, and books. And calendars.
Speaking of restaurants, while you're visiting The Caldwells Patch, check out this review of my husband's restaurant, The Fieldhouse Pub, in Fairfield, NJ. We love this review! Also check out the virtual tour (just click on the small video image). I made this video and must say I'm rather proud of my work. I used Animoto, a wonderful program for video-making.
Causes Diane Lockward Supports
The Frost Place
The Innocence Project