Friday, April 4, 2014

Free Books for Big Poetry Giveaway 2014

It's time for the annual Big Poetry Giveaway that Kelli Russell Agodon started five years ago, in order to introduce and share poetry and call attention to some of the poet blogs that are still active in the face of twitter and facebook soundbytes.

All you have to do is leave a comment and email on this post to be entered
(or make sure I can get in touch if you win or check back after the drawing).

It's a good way for people to hear about some shareworthy poetry books (and maybe even win a few) and also to learn about some of the interesting writer blogs that might be worth following.

Here are my choices for this year:

Book One:  The Existentialist Cookbook

which will be my first book-length collection and it is due out this Summer from NYQBooks. This will be the first giveaway copy I promise to send out, as soon as it gets released.

Book Two: Saint X by Kirk Nesset

Nesset publishes poetry and short fiction, so both genres bleed into each other throughout his work.
His short fictions are infiltrated by poetic visions and in Saint X, his poems are flash glimpses (with elegant language and elevated diction) into the narratives of worlds and characters that hold the rest of their back-stories just beyond the edge of the page, leaving your imagination to continue inventing the myths, after the book is closed.
Here are two of my favorites:

France In Tahiti

Daily I recheck the wreckage. I lift
and inspect, probing spectacular failures,
scraping frescoes from walls to mix with water
for medicine.

Here where there's vision  and sense, where
there's breadfruit and grapes and waves
of persimmons---here in the shimmer
I pause, forecasting rain

when its raining. I keep the cup
partly empty to allow for more filling.
Van Gogh we know scared women off
with the knife-edge of fervor;

Gauguin survived with mistress and monkey,
daring all to do all, aching for Tahiti in France,
France in Tahiti. Lautrec stalked the demi-monde,
hobbling, clutching bent sticks; and

tidy dapper Mondrian, newly arrived
in New York, inhaling bebop and swing,
thought enough was enough and shot
every last self-portrait dead

with a gun. There's meaning it seems
in the way things undo us, in the way
the wheels click neatly politely

Dreaming, I take on the freeways again,
follow arrows around trunks of Magnolias.
I'll die, if need be, of poisoned meat
at the feedings. What are cures

but assaults on the false and infected? What
but this bloodless snip and sweep, this slow
redirection, this detouring back
on routes that we know?

Affair-Proof Your Marriage: 
A Manual (Installment Seven)

Beware the darker inner cosmologies. A single tumble
of touch signals the scramble of something momentous.

Don't wax the saddle at the expense of the horse.

Empty pedestals abound. So do venom-dipped shafts.
Aim your bow, if you must, at your foot.

Buy your hair shirt at Penny's, not Macy's. Buy it
large enough to accomodate two.

Remember---but do not pity---Liz Taylor.

Remain prince or princess aboard your wooden world.
Sail on. Love and mirth are not your business in Naples.

Suspect formulas, tonics, elixirs, tinctures, plasters, remed-
ies, therapies, quinines of lime and catharses, quarantines,
tourniquets, intoxicants, snake handlers, binders, analysts,
guides and knife-grinders and other glib if respectable coun-
sel. Go in fear of professionals. Manuals. Professional

Exhale. Assess. Caress the beloved. Empty the pail of con-
fetti you guard by the bed.

Let wild violets whisper their secrets. Why
pry? Why bend to insist?

Miscellaneous things about me:

Most of my influences stem from the music and films of my teenage years. In my head, the ghosts of Kurosawa, Antonioni, and Bergman are always dancing to the music of the Flaming Lips, Chris Cornell and Soundgarden, Dinosaur Jr, Mark Lanegan, etc.

Some of my favorite poets are Charles Simic, Denise Duhamel, Beth Ann Fennelly, Jeffrey McDaniel...

I host a monthly reading series at Glendale Community College.
I also co-host the Caffeine Corridor Poetry Series (with Jack Evans and Bill Campana) every 2nd Friday at {9} The Gallery in downtown Phoenix.

I have read at a wild assortment of places and events, including street parades, university theaters, hair salons, laundromats,  museums, and between punk bands in bars.

In fact, I recently did a reading in the middle of a MUTANT PINATA exhibit (

There are already more than 30 blogs participating this year and each of them has chosen different books to raffle off. You can enter as many different drawings as you'd like.

You can see what books are being given away on other blogs, by checking the list at Kelli's page

You may discover some helpful/useful blogs to follow throughout the rest of the year.
Some of the blogs I bookmark and check frequently:

Diane Lockward-
Kelli Russell Agodon -
Sandy Longhorn -
Drew Myron -
Scott Woods -
The Storialist -

Let me know if there are any poetry blogs you recommend.

So feel free to leave a comment and enter this drawing (which will be held in the first week of May).

Since my own book won't be out until later this year, I will also give away one copy of the debut issue of Four Chambers Magazine. I think they are off to a great start and they are the press that is putting together cool happenings like the aforementioned Mutant Pinata Show.

May the poetry be ever in your favor.


  1. Shawnte, I'm so glad to know your book has a name and date. Congratulations!

    I'd love to win your book (though I'll be first in line to buy a copy). "Saint X" looks good too. Thanks so much for pushing poetry.

    And thanks so much for mentioning my blog. You're such a good egg.

  2. I want to be a winner! I volunteer as tribute!
    (I tried four times to leave a comment using my phone, but I don't think it took.)

  3. Yes, that worked!

    That sucks that you had to try several times to post,, but I am glad you persevered.

  4. I'm so excited that your book will be released soon! And I'm glad you're participating in this again. Please enter me in the drawing.

  5. Me, too!
    I just received the initial layout and I'm simultaneously excited and freaking out a little bit.

  6. The giveaways sound good to me. Hope to have my name drawn. Carol Steel

  7. Sign me up, and feel free to enter my giveaway as well!

  8. Sign me up and enter my giveaway as well if yr so inclined.

  9. Thanks for playing along.
    Happy to have a few more names to add.
    I will definitely check out everyone's giveaways this weekend.

  10. Yay, recommended blogs! Hope to be chosen--

  11. Hi Shawnte,

    I found your blog on Kirk Nesset's FB page! So happy to have found another great writer to follow!

    I'd love to win Kirk's Saint X!

  12. I'm happy you found your way here. I welcome any friends of Kirk. He's a good guy.
    I put up some pics a few posts back on this blog, from when Kirk and his little gremlin stopped by our reading.

  13. would be happy to get in your list
    thank you


  14. Sounds great. A Facebook friend told me about this.

  15. Hi Shawnte, I'd love to win any of the books you're giving away. Thanks for doing this! I'm Brian Wong and my e-mail is:

  16. I'd love either of these - yeah for your first collection coming out!

    I'm giving away books at two blogs:

    Elliott batTzedek

  17. Happy to add your names to the hat. Thanks for stopping by.

  18. Hi, there, and congrats on your soon to be published book! Please enter me in your drawing!

  19. glad to see you participating again!
    Throw my name in the hat please. Thank you!

  20. I like your blog color choices and your book content choices. I hope to look at your blog more and I also hope to be drawn for a book, which I hope is yours.

  21. Shawnte, Please enter my name in your drawing, and congrats on the upcoming publication of your book! Thank you! Marianne Mersereau,
    p.s. love your blog nickname is Wild Honey!

  22. Keith Anthony Francese is in.

  23. Jessica of the Standifirds.

  24. I'd love to win either of these! Thanks!

  25. Count me in, please, and thanks for doing this!

  26. Last minute entry here. Hope I didn't miss the cutoff. Would love to win any of these.

    Mary W. Jensen

  27. Still plenty of time!
    I'll count all entries through the night.

  28. Would like to be considered if there's still time!
    Joseph Harker, linksfreude at gmail dot com

  29. In at the last second! Please consider me for your giveaway. Please and thank you ^_^

    Rodney Wilder

  30. I'd love your book!

  31. Thanks to everyone for playing along!
    In case you didn't see my new post, here are the results:

    Joshua Harker wins a copy of my upcoming collection The Existentialist Cookbook (as soon as I get copies)!

    newzoopoet gets a copy of Kirk Nesset's collection Saint X!

    and Lynn Pederson gets a copy of the debut issue of Four Chambers Magazine!

    If you didn't win one of my drawings, I hope you won something on another blog. Maybe you even found new poets and blogs to keep an eye on. That would be bi-winning.