Monday, May 20, 2019

Why Do Old Books Smell? / Plus from the Archives: "What the Muse Sent Me About the Tenth Muse, Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz"

By C.M. Mayo www.cmmayo.com

A most wonderful rare book about a 17th century American poet, whom I aim to write about, has arrived in my library. But phew, it STINKS. It stinks so nasty, I cannot even bear to read half a page of it.
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Monday, May 13, 2019

BatCat Press' Call for Submissions, Plus from the Archives: "Out of the Forest of Noise: On Publishing the Literary Short Story"

By C.M. Mayo www.cmmayo.com

This blog posts on Mondays. As of 2019 the second Monday of the month is devoted to my writing workshop students and anyone else interested in creative writing. (You can find my workshop schedule and many more resources for writers on my workshop page.)

Now that anyone and everyone and their dog, cat, budgie, llama, and chartreuse polkadot giraffe can start a blog, or for that matter an online magazine (dub your blog an online magazine, pourquoi pas?), I am rarely asked, with that gaze of yearning, as I so often was twenty years ago, how can I get published? These days, um, lift a finger and click “publish.” 

Nonetheless it remains a fact that for most poetry, short stories, and literary essays, discerning readers will be easier to come by when said work is brought out not by its author, but by a print magazine or imprint of repute. (There are exceptions, but that would be another blog post.)

Back at the end of March I attended the annual AWP bookfair— this is the biggest litmag scene in the US– and what struck me about it was how little things had changed in the past 20 years. There were Poet Lore, the Paris Review, Fourth Genre, Creative Nonfiction— a whole host of venerable litmags that have been around since forever. (In the case of Poet Lore, that would be 1889.)

Monday, April 29, 2019

Michael F. Suarez’s Ted Talk “Glorious Bookishness: Learning Anew in the Material World” / Plus, From the Archives: “Translating Across the (US-Mexico) Border”

By C.M. Mayo www.cmmayo.com
My favorite rare book historian Michael F. Suarez, SJ gives this excellent talk for TEDxCharlotteville:
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AND FROM THE MADAM MAYO ARCHIVES…
Poco a poco (bit by bit), since January of this year I have been migrating selected and updated posts from Madam Mayo’soriginal Google Blogger platform to self-hosted WordPress here at www.madam-mayo.comMadam Mayo goes all the way back to the Cambrianesquely Blogasonic Explosion, I mean, um, 2006… This past week I’ve worked a bit on the translation posts, among them:
TRANSLATING ACROSS THE BORDER
Originally posted October 29, 2015
Edited Transcript of a Talk by C.M. Mayo
at the annual conference of the
American Literary Translators Association (ALTA)
Muchísimas gracias, Mark Weiss, and thank you also to my fellow panelists, it is an honor to sit on this dias with you. Thank you all for coming. It is especially apt to be talking about translating Mexican writing here, a jog from the Mexican border, in Tucson—or Tuk-son as the Mexicans pronounce it.
I grew up in Northern California and was educated in various places but mainly the University of Chicago. As far as Mexico went, until I was in my mid-twenties, I had absorbed, to use historian John Tutino’s term, the “enduring presumptions.” Translation: I had zero interest in Mexico.
You know that old saying, if you want to make God laugh, tell her your plans?
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>Your comments are always welcome. Click here to send me an email.


Monday, April 22, 2019

Q & A: Joseph Hutchison, Poet Laureate of Colorado, on "The World As Is"

By C.M. Mayo www.cmmayo.com


This blog posts on Mondays. This year the fourth Monday of the month is devoted to a Q & A with a fellow writer.

JOSEPH HUTCHISON, POET LAUREATE OF COLORADO

The World As Is: New and Selected Poems 1972-2015 by Joseph Hutchison
Photo by C.M. Mayo. 
(My own fave is “Poem to Be Kept Like a Candle, In Case of Emergencies.”)
One of the blogs I’ve been following for a good long time is poet Joseph Hutchison’s The Perpetual Bird. We have never met in person but I feel as if we have; moreover, we have friends in common, among them, poet, essayist and translator Patricia Dubrava– and if my memory serves, it was her blog, Holding the Light, that first sent me to The Perpetual Bird. Here on my desk I have Hutchison’s collection of his works of several decades, The World As Is. From publisher NYQ Books’ catalog copy:   >> CONTINUE READING THIS POST AT WWW.MADAM-MAYO.COM

Monday, April 15, 2019

Texas Pecan Pie for Dieters, Plus from the Archives: A Review of James McWilliams' "The Pecan"

By C.M. Mayo www.cmmayo.com

What’s a Texas pecan pie for dieters? It’s the same as the normal pie– loads of pecans, butter, and sugar– but it’s a tiny pie. And I happen to have the perfect tiny Texas pie dish for it– a work of art by Alpine, Texas-based ceramic artist Judy Howell Freeman. It’s one of the loveliest pie dishes I have ever seen. My photo does not do it justice.




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Monday, April 08, 2019

This Writer’s Distraction Free Smartphone (DFS): First Quarter Update

By C.M. Mayo www.cmmayo.com


This blog posts on Mondays. As of 2019 the second Monday of the month is devoted to my writing workshop students and anyone else interested in creative writing. (You can find my workshop schedule and many more resources for writers on my workshop page.)


As a writer your foremost resource is your creativity applied by the sustained power of your attentional focus.


Your foremost writerly resource is your creativity applied by the sustained power of your attentional focus. The Muse can gift you with a zillion ideas every minute of the day, but if you cannot plant yourself in your chair and stay focused on your writing, your book will ever and always remain an unfulfilled wish, a ghost of your imagination. 

Most people have forfeited more than a generous portion of their attentional focus to their smartphones– to checking and scrolling through text messages, social media feeds, games, shopping, news, YouTube videos & etc. Ergo, I would suggest that if you want to get some writing done, don’t be like most people: consider your smartphone use. Very carefully.

And honestly. Yes, smartphones are gee-whiz useful. But when you consider how much of your time and attention they can so easily suck up, day after day after day, you can recognize how exceedingly dangerous they are to you as a writer.


Monday, April 01, 2019

AWP 2019 (Think No One Is Reading Books and Litmags Anymore?)

By C.M. Mayo www.cmmayo.com


After attending for more years than I can count, I swore off the annual conference of the Association of Writers and Writing Programs after Seattle 2014 in lieu of fewer, more narrowly focused, and smaller writers conferences. If you’re not familiar with it, AWP is huger than H*U*G*E, with an eye-addling and foot blister-inducing bookfair, plus endless panels, scads of receptions (free cheese cubes!), readings, and more readings, and even more readings. Finding friends at AWP oftentimes feels like trying to meet up at Grand Central Station at rush hour. Of the few panels that do appeal, dagnabbit, they somehow occupy the same time slot. Then try finding a table for an impromptu group of 13 on Friday at 7 PM! But sometimes, never mind, it all aligns beautifully and you can find friends and inspiration and new friends and all whatnot!

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Monday, March 25, 2019

Q & A: W. Nick Hill on "Sleight Work" and Mucho Más

By C.M. Mayo www.cmmayo.com

This blog posts on Mondays. This year the fourth Monday of the month is devoted to a Q & A with a fellow writer.

I was delighted to get the announcement for Sleight Work from W. Nick Hill, a poet and translator I have long admired. Sleight Work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike 3.0 License. The author invites you to download the free PDF from his website and have a read right now!


Here is one of the poems from W. Nick Hill’s Sleight Work which seems to me the very spirit of the book:

NOTICE


by W. Nick Hill

I live in a desert at the mouth of a mine.

The rocks and geodes I leave out on the sand.

If something fits your hand

Go ahead with it.

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Monday, March 18, 2019

"Silence" and "Poem" on the 1967 Hermes 3000

By C.M. Mayo www.cmmayo.com
My writing assistant wonders…. um, why?
Truly, I am not intending to collect typewriters. All shelf space is spoken for by books!! Last week I brought home a 1967 Hermes 3000 because (long story zipped) my 1961 Hermes 3000 is temporarily inaccessible, and it was bugging me that my 1963 Hermes Baby types unevenly and sometimes muddily (which could be a problem with the ribbon, but anyway), and I had a deadline to type my short story “What Happened to the Dog?” for the anthology COLD HARD TYPE (about which more anon).

Well, obviously I had to buy another typewriter!

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I dare not buy anything but a Swiss Hermes. The one I could find in my local office supply shop was a refurbished 1967 Hermes 3000 with a Swiss-German QWERTZ keyboard. I’ve had to get used to the transposed Y and Z keys; otherwise, kein Problem, and es freut mich sehr to have the umlaut.
A QWERTZ Swiss German keyboard
(American keyboards are QWERTYs)
Of my three Hermes typewriters, this 1967 3000 is by far the smoothest, easiest to type on, and most consistent. I venture to use the word “buttery,” in fact. 
Herewith, typed on the 1967 Hermes 3000, “Silence” and “Poem,” from my forthcoming collection, Meteor:
Typed today but originally published in Muse Apprentice Guild in, ayy, 2002. I think it was.
www.givalpress.com
If you’re going to the Great American Writerly Hajj, I mean the Associated Writing Programs Conference, come on by my reading– it’s a free event– I’m on the lineup with Thaddeus Rutkowski, Cecilia Martinez-Gil, Tyler McMahon, Seth Brady Tucker, John Domini, Teri Cross Davis, Elaine Ray, William Orem, Jeff Walt, and Joan G. Gurfield for the Gival Press 20th Anniversary Celebration Reading on Friday March 29, 2019 @ 7 - 10 PM. Hotel Rose, 50 SW Morrison St, Portland OR. 

The following day, Saturday March 30, 2019 @ 10-11:30 AM, I’ll be signing copies of Meteor at the Gival Press table (Table #8063) in the AWP Conference book fair.


You can also find a copy of Meteor on amazon.com. And read more poems and whatnots apropos of Meteor on the book’s webpage here.
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>Your comments are always welcome. Click here to send me an email.