Mark your calendars for this Saturday at 11 a.m. for a virtual reading Via Zoom of the winning sonnets in the Maria Faust Sonnet Contest, which includes my sonnet “The Worth of August”! If all goes well I will read my sonnet; a family health crisis that came up unexpectedly means I’m not sure I can do this, but hope I can. And if I can’t , they have wonderful readers from among the judges and actors from the Shakespearean Festival acting company. The other winners are quite an impressive group, including poets Gail White, Barbara Loots, and Richard Meyer (who’s frequently won prizes in this contest). Not to ignore the others, including the top three prizewinners. It’s a fantastic event, so don’t miss it. Just click the link above. So excited to be a part of this great tradition!
Ecstatic doesn’t even describe it. My poetry collection, To Love the River, has been reviewed in Atticus Review, and it is indeed a gratifying review for a book into which I put my whole self. All my appreciation to the reviewer, Nicole Caruso Garcia, for taking the time to consider and appreciate my poetry in such a fine venue. Also a fine poet in her own right, it means so much that she considered it worth her time. My thanks to Atticus Review as well for publishing the review; especially as I have a publicity deficit (common among poets, alas). Being online also means the review is accessible to more people. She states:
She skillfully toggles between micro and macro, zooms in on an insect level, then pulls back to let readers see the constellations.
Like the core pieces in a museum’s collection, Karami’s ghazals alone make the experience worth the price of admission.
With its lovely inventive title, “Life Only as Water Current,” this review is a thing of beauty for which I am deeply grateful.
Atticus Review is itself a wonderful venue for poetry, fiction, CNF, and mixed media, as well as reviews and interviews. It’s well worth your time to look through the whole site.
And for those who are interested, now is a good time to consider giving the gift of poetry; the review touches on the high points of my book and gives you a fair assessment of what’s inside. I will sign and send a personally signed copy with free shipping for those who contact me in the next two weeks either via email sihamkarami at gmail dot com or follow me on twitter @sihamkarami and I will follow you back where you can send me a direct message regarding purchase of a signed copy of my book. Of course, there’s always Amazon and Kelsay Books’ site as well, but without signature and paying for shipping. All this is also on the “Books” tab above. One feels somehow not-right to promote one’s own book, but such is the fate of the lesser-known poet. A small blip in the sea. For which such reviews are lifeboats.
The gorgeous print literary journal Lily Poetry Review has published a beautifully-written review of To Love the River in its Summer issue. Due to family issues, I haven’t been very active posting things of late, but hope to do more now. The review is written by Editor-in-Chief Eileen Cleary, author of the heartbreaking and powerful book Child Ward of the Commonwealth (Main Street Rag, 2019). She writes “To Karami, poetry is music and as such is composed rather than written.” And “to explore luminous spaces in the hands of this capable and imagistic poet is a true pleasure.” How can I thank you, dear reviewer, for such a thrilling review? And the journal itself is a thing of beauty, full of poems that open up worlds to the imagination. Well worth a subscription.
The lovely publisher and online venue Animal Heart Press is featuring my poetry and photography on on their site starting today, June 10, for one week!!! Today’s featured poem is “In the Interim.” Check the site daily for more poetry, photography, poetry readings from my new book To Love the River, an interview, and for a finale, a short film!! Huge thanks to Editor-in-Chief Elizabeth Horan, Assistant Editor Amanda McLeod, and the whole AP team. A dream to work with!!!
Updates: Friday, June 14, I read selections from my book, To Love the River!
Thursday, June 13 (as well as Tuesday June 11), poetry and photography posted.
Wednesday, June 12, interview with Amanda posted. Please check it out!
My poem “Survival of the Fittest” has been published in the latest issue of Third Wednesday, a fine print publication. An honor to be among such luminaries as Ted Kooser and Susan Rich, and many more fine poets. Their website is here.
November has started out as a busy month for my poetry publications, with three fabulous journals publishing multiple poems each, all now live online for November.
Otoliths, “a magazine of many e-things,” publishes experimental poetry of many varieties with an impressively large volume of work, making it an unusual venue for me, but a good home for these particular 3 poems, one of which is entitled “Ode to Ancient Astronaut Theorists.”
Mojave He(art) is a desert themed journal which, although relatively new, already shows promise. So I am happy to have three poems in its November issue!
Please check out all three places, where you’re likely to find much to enjoy!
My first full-length poetry collection, To Love the River, is now on sale at the publisher Kelsay Books’ website! This is much sooner than I had imagined, months earlier than its projected publishing date, so this is a huge and happy surprise. The book is the culmination of many years’ work, the subject matter spanning a river’s worth of emotions and experience condensed into the craft of both formal and free verse poetry.
The cover art is by the Swedish artist — a pioneer of abstract art pre-Kandinsky! — and mystic Hilma af Klint (1862-1944) whose séance-inspired (and later simply inspired) paintings are finally getting recognition in her first solo exhibition at the Guggenheim Museum. Like her work, my poetry also reflects a subtly spiritual perspective on life.
Here is one sample poem from the book, which echoes the “dawn” theme woven through some of these poems, “The Word for Dawn,” first published in Sukoon journal.
The Word for Dawn
Fajr: the j a mere mirage, light on the tongue,
just melting into r, no vowel between,
bluing into nothing but a turning of the lips.
I hear it like a distant motorcycle,
its street lost in a cricket’s heartbeat,
and I find it leaking tiny drumbeats from
my son’s earbuds fallen from his ear,
buzzing in his sleep. Newborn wasps,
tinny, revving j’s straight through the r’s
that rise and thread their little lights
where teeth touch lips and feel the furry f’s
a darkness, void, a space of hairy night.
A single hair-edge turning from the deep.
The Hobo Camp Review Autumn Issue is now live online with my poem, “Hovland, Minnesota.” This is about the actual town in the far north of Minnesota (close to the Canadian border) which is the closest named place on a map to the cabin where my family used to spend summers when I was a child.
The Hobo Camp Review, with its hobo theme, is a place I like to go to often for writing that validates my vagabond spirit, where campfires are home in a temporary world and often the makeshift feels the most permanent. Please check it out!
My sonnet “Love Is Hell” is now up at Better than Starbucks (scroll down the page for my poem), an online zine for poetry, fiction, nonfiction, reviews, and more, where you’ll find separate sections for each genre and style, including formal poetry (such as sonnets and villanelles), free verse, haiku and Japanese forms, and light verse, as well as fiction, etc., so you can freely browse or zero in on what interests you. The section for “interviews” has an imaginative interview with William Blake, attended by Blake’s wife. Much worth your time on this site! Please check it out.
My poem “Happy Mother’s Day”, which is in an invented form that utilizes only the letters in the title (full description of form is on poem’s page), has been published on the wonderful mother-centric site Literary Mama. Please check it out! (And the other fine poems, essays, articles, and stories on the site.) Pictured: flowers from my Mother’s Day bouquet.