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Book Review: Fumbling In The Light
October 30, 2008
Hello Poets and Poetry Lovers

Welcome to the Halloween issue of Hyperbole. I'm a little disappointed this week. The last issue that went out, with an exclusive interview with publicist Teresa Conboy, had a large number of bounces. In fact, my bounce rate for that single issue was more than double my normal bounce rate. I have no idea why.

But rather than sit around and cry over monkey milk, I've decided to fight back. Parts of last week's newsletter is reprinted in this issue with link jumps to last week's archive. This is for the benefit of anyone who may have missed last week. If you got last week's issue then you can ignore the repetition, or bask in it! Thanks for understanding.

Table of Contents

  1. Poetry Video - Scary Poem
  2. New And Updated Poetry Pages
  3. Hyperbole Call For Submissions
  4. American Life in Poetry by Ted Kooser
  5. Exclusive Interview: Publicist Teresa Conboy
  6. Poetry Book Of The Week
  7. Are You Subscribed?
  8. World Class Poetry Networking

Poetry Video - Scary Poem

In the spirit of Halloween I thought I'd share with you a video of this scary poem. I hope you like Lewis Carroll. "Jabberwocky" is one of the most famous poems in history and this man does an enchanting job of making it really creepy. Hope you like it.

If you can't view the Scary Poem video then click here and watch it at YouTube.

New and Updated Poetry Pages

Reading poetry books has had me swamped. I have tried to get to as many book reviews as time will allow and the books have just been steadily rolling in. I have received more than I can read in a reasonable time so I have suspended receiving new books at this time. I am going to continue reading the books I have on my plate until I get them down to a manageable level, then I'll open the flood gates again. I have updated the Book Reviews page to reflect this change. While there, you'll notice a new book review as well.

The new book review is of Fumbling In The Light by Sidney Hall Jr., owner and publisher at Hobblebush Books.

If you missed last week's review, "Midnight Tea", you can read it here.

Hyperbole Call For Submissions

I have added a new page to the website that I think deserves special mention. I would like to turn Hyperbole into a real e-zine, which was my original intent. Unfortunately, my wife and I taking to raise three small children in the last few months has left me with less time for what I truly love - producing poetry and prose on poetry. That's why I'd like to invite you to help me.

I am looking for submissions to Hyperbole, but no poetry, please. I would like to keep the material on the discussion of poetics in some way. Read my laundry list of items on the Hyperbole Submission Guidelines page and send me your best work.

American Life in Poetry: Column 187


I thought that we'd celebrate Halloween with an appropriate poem, and Iowa poet Dan Lechay's seems just right. The drifting veils of rhyme and meter disclose a ghost, or is it a ghost?

Ghost Villanelle
We never saw the ghost, though he was there--
we knew from the raindrops tapping on the eaves.
We never saw him, and we didn't care.
Each day, new sunshine tumbled through the air;
evenings, the moonlight rustled in dark leaves.
We never saw the ghost, though: he was there,
if ever, when the wind tousled our hair
and prickled goosebumps up and down thin sleeves;
we never saw him. And we didn't care
to step outside our room at night, or dare
click off the nightlight: call it fear of thieves.
We never saw the ghost, though he was there
in sunlit dustmotes drifting anywhere,
in light-and-shadow, such as the moon weaves.
We never saw him, though, and didn't care,
until at last we saw him everywhere.
We told nobody. Everyone believes
we never saw the ghost (if he was there),
we never saw him and we didn't care.

American Life in Poetry is made possible by The Poetry Foundation (, publisher of Poetry magazine. It is also supported by the Department of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Poem copyright (c) 2003 by Dan Lechay. Reprinted from "The Quarry," Ohio University Press, 2003, by permission of Dan Lechay. Introduction copyright (c) 2008 by The Poetry Foundation. The introduction's author, Ted Kooser, served as United States Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress from 2004-2006. We do not accept unsolicited manuscripts.

Exclusive Interview With Publicist Teresa Conboy

1) What exactly is a publicist and what does she do?

I see my work as a liaison between the artist and the media. I try to find the best aspects of an artistís work and translate that into a press release or bio thatís palatable for the media. I then use existing contacts and research new media outlets to which to present the artistís work for possible mention, review or feature. I also create MySpace sites for the artistís current work, or, if needed, redesign their existing one to make it more visually appealing, and use it for updates (posting reviews or interviews) about the artist. For authors and poets, I also set up in-stores Ė that is, readings or signings (more effective if positioned as a reading) - and publicize those appearances in the local media. Getting the book in stores, on Amazon, etc. is up to the client and/or their publishing house, though I do assist with writing the pitch letters. And if I do have a contact at an outlet then I donít mind making the introduction. As all this comes together, I keep interested parties (bookstores, radio, media) up to date with reviews, features, etc.

Read the rest of the interview Seriously, don't miss this interview!

Poetry Book Of The Week

Fumbling In The Light was a real delight to read. Sidney Hall Jr. has a fine ear for the music of a poem and real wisdom. There are very few bad poems in this book. Of course, you'll have to read the review.

But here's a short taste of the fabulous lines you'll read in this week's Poetry Book Of The Week.

Old Man
I'm going to be an old man
a whisper from my thighs.
Some may say I am already,
but I am not.
It is comforting to hear
the washing machine humming and wishing along
with its load.
Soon I will be making up my bed
with clean sheets.

Get your copy of Fumbling In The Light by Sidney Hall Jr.

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World Class Poetry Networking

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