Two Anthologies

 

In the past few months I’ve been fortunate to have work included in two anthologies. The first, Indie Blu(e) Publishing’s As the World Burns: Writers and Artists Reflect on a World Gone Mad, is a 348-page “anthology of poetry, prose, essay, and art inspired by the unprecedented events of the year 2020.” Featuring 114 writers and artists from ten countries, As the World Burns chronicles the madness and horrors of the past year. The voices are diverse — raw and polished, young and old, experienced and new — and they reflect a populace whose needs have been unmet and ignored all too long. In time this volume will stand as one of the most powerful literary artifacts of this mad year.

Edited by Kindra M. Austin, Candice Louisa Daquin, Rachel Finch, and Christine E. Ray.

Available through Amazon in paperback and via Kindle.

Unlike As the World BurnsNo More Can Fit Into the Evening: An Anthology of Diverse Voices is not a collection of themed pieces. Rather, its purpose is to offer a substantial grouping of poems (5-10) by each contributor, allowing readers to obtain a more nuanced flavoring of the poets’ work. Thus the 350+ page anthology presents only 39 poets. The anthology includes well known writers like Terence Winch, Kimberly Blaeser, James Janko and John Looker, as well as lesser knowns like, well, me. This is a perfect winter’s evening read. Dip into it and perhaps you’ll find a new favorite poet. At the very least you’ll find hours of entertainment, and much food for thought.

Edited by Thomas Davis and Standing Feather

The book is being distributed by Ingram, and should be available (if not in stock, through special order) through bookstores in the U.S., Great Britain, Australia, Canada and New Zealand. It’s also available through Amazon.

 

 

 

 

Q&A with Poet Candice Daquin

Candice Louisa Daquin was born in France, and has also lived in England, Canada and America. Daquin has worked in dance, publishing, as a psychotherapist and more recently she divides her time between teaching, editing and writing. Daquin is the author of five collections of poetry and numerous poems and reviews in magazines, websites and periodicals. Daquin was co-editor of We Will Not Be Silenced (2018) an anthology of poetry in response to the #metoo movement. This Is What Love Looks Like – Poetry by Women SMITTEN With Women is her first poetry Anthology as lead editor, and is due out October 2019 (Published by Indie Blu(e).

 

So what’s this Anthology all about?

This is What Love Looks Like – Poetry by Women SMITTEN with Women (SMITTEN for short) came about after Indie Blu(e) had published We Will Not Be Silenced, which was an anthology of poets throughout the world writing in response to the #metoo movement and the then Judge Kavanaugh hearings. It was the right time and the anthology went on to be an Amazon best seller.

There was something so powerful and such an incredible energy working on an anthology for the first time. Shortly afterward Indie Blu(e) asked me to work with them and I now do part time on some of their poetry publishing. I had been so positively affected by reading all these poems from writers throughout the world I wanted to see if it were possible to create another anthology but this time for women who loved women.

As a lesbian, I felt that lesbians were increasingly marginalized and invisible by the co-opting of the LGBTQ movement and I wanted to find a poetic medium to express lesbian voices that was not erotica (which many lesbian themed poetry collections were). Fortunately Indie Blu(e) backed my idea and we put the call out.

Truly I did not expect the response we received, it was so galvanizing and breathtaking to see how many women submitted and the quality of some of the work. Our youngest poet is 14 and our oldest, 87. I think that speaks volumes about the need for collections of poetry on various subjects and how it brings voices together and keeps poetry relevant and alive.

SMITTEN is due out October 2019 and we’re so excited to be part of this, because it’s already begun a really necessary poetic dialogue about the representation of emotions in poetry. For anyone, there is something lasting and beautiful to be found in this collection and it is my hope as many heterosexuals read it as lesbians and bisexuals.

 

Please tell us how or why you turned to writing poetry?

I wrote as a kid when I felt emotions I couldn’t put into prose. I think for the very young there is a natural doorway into poetry that sometimes we lose as adults. Poetry should be emphasized more, as once it was thought as the highest form of expression and I can see why. Having worked in publishing, teaching and psychotherapy it was always part of my life to write.

 

Would you offer up some of your influences – poetic and otherwise. What draws you to that work?

Shamefully I am less influenced by others than perhaps I should be. There is so much value to reading a wonderful poet for any creative and I’m sure it does permeate and percolate through to our creative sub-conscious. I tend however to write without direct influence so it’s hard to harness the exact mechanisms involved. Typically I am drawn to work that I find honest and brave. I think for me, as an ex-dancer, I find dance my greatest influence, and like music, it can produce poetry in me when I listen to and watch it. Likewise, reading a psychology book will often inspire me.

 

Would you mind sharing a bit about your background?

I’ve been around the world a bit and finally settled in America. I wouldn’t say it’s been easy fitting in, I think shyness and difference are a little more accepted in my native France but despite that, I love the landscape and breadth of this country, and the dreams of its people.

My family are of Egyptian/French/Jewish decent so I’m quite a mixed bag and this has influenced my perspective(s) considerably. Being a queer writer, obviously my battles with equality come into play in my writing, and I am a big advocate of equal rights for all.

 

If you were a poetic form, which would you be?

I’m ashamed to say, I’m not personally big on poetic forms. I did take classes as a young person and began a MA in Poetry/Writing before switching to Psychotherapy (which led me to practice as a therapist for a number of years) but I think the structure and attention to form is what put me off. As much as anything if I’m honest, this could be an impatience on my part with the feelings of a poem. I think there are two types of poets; A technical/form poet and a free verse poet. Neither are better than the other, though it might be said, knowledge of both is optimum. So I’d have to say free-verse or confessional 😊 bit of a cliché I know. That said, I deeply appreciate others who write using forms.

 

What is the relationship of your environment, your daily surroundings, to your writing?

Not as good as it should be. I work too much and never have enough time. Ideally I’d create a haven for writing and devote myself more stringently to the relationship between my environment and writing. Like many of us, I juggle multiple jobs and tasks and am lucky to get any time. Maybe if I retire in 35 years time I may have these things and I expect that is why some poets who are older are such consistently good writers. Working on SMITTEN I loved hearing the varied voices, different parts of the world, different ethnicities and cultural backgrounds, even different ways of loving. That has so much value.

 

What themes or traits will readers find in your work? What will they not find?

They will not find acceptance or tolerance of inequality or bigotry. As much as I may find something of value in the Bukowski and Billy Childish poets of the world, I would never embrace that inequity toward a group of people (women) and I feel strongly as a woman about being unapologetic and very honest. SMITTEN is part of this legacy, it’s lending a voice to those who usually aren’t heard very loudly.

 

List three favorite poets, an admirable animal, and your go-to beverage.

Oh dear! I’m terrible at listing ‘favorites’ because honestly, it changes all the time. I read a LOT of poetry so for today I can say, Anne Sexton is always up there, I recently re-read a lot of Tennyson and he’s always influential and lastly, I love the Metaphysical poetry movement of the 20’s and just finished a book on those authors – too numerous to mention. In SMITTEN I was absolutely blown away by our 14 year old’s poem. It gave me faith. That poetry has a real future. Equally, I loved that a woman who is 87 is still writing and has an entire history in her words. We also have three Native American poets, who are absolutely superb. Can I put those instead of the admirable animal and go-to-beverage? 😉 (Whale/Tonic Water).

 

And your creative process? Could you offer us a glimpse into how your poems develop from first glimmer to fully realized piece? Do you follow a regular writing routine? Do you listen to music while writing? Write in public or in solitude?

Let me talk instead about SMITTEN. Imagine having the honor of collating poetry from all around the world, written sometimes with the greatest emotion, sometimes the first time it’s been public, or admitted. I found such a brevity and depth to the poems we received and it was truly hard to not want to publish most of them. Obviously we had to turn a lot down in order to make a manageable collection, so we endeavored to seek the truest, starkest and most honest. At times they were not all ‘well written’ as a professor may grade, (having taught for many years I can attest to this!) but technique came second to message. Sometimes there is value in the message even if the technique is a little lacking. That was my approach and I’m proud of it. Many times people with poor technique never improve because they are not given a chance to flourish. I believe everyone can grow and improve, and giving them confidence is half the battle. Obviously a well written poem is like nothing else, and I literally read some whilst holding my breath. Ideally to have both a message and technique is the goal and this was about allowing voices of women who love women to come to the foreground and SPEAK. That was my process. I’ve spent literally hours on this project and I feel only pride for the courage and conviction of these authors. I’m a big believer in helping others, and one way to do that is give them a platform. That’s my greatest achievement. It’s so much bigger than me and I love that. I think I’m a very self-effacing writer and I get so much more from editing/publishing others (which I used to do in Europe) than simply promoting myself.
SMITTEN is due out October 2019. It will be available via all good booksellers.

ECLECTICA MAGAZINE’S 20th Anniversary Best Poetry Anthology is Now Available

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I’m delighted to have a poem included in this stunning 180-page anthology published by one of the earliest online magazines. It is available for purchase here at CreateSpace and also at Amazon. If you order it through CreateSpace, Eclectica will receive a larger share of the royalties. And while you’re there, check out their Speculative, Nonfiction and Fiction anniversary editions as well. Only $12!

My included poem, “Memorial Day,” was written in 2001 or 2002, but languished in a folder for more than a dozen years before I sent it to Eclectica, where it subsequently appeared in the July/August 2014 issue. You never know what’ll happen to/with your poems, but I certainly never expected this. What an honor!

Poem to Appear in Eclectica’s 20th-Anniversary Poetry Anthology

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I’m thrilled that my poem “Memorial Day” has been selected to appear in Eclectica Magazine’s 20th-anniversary “best-of” poetry anthology, scheduled to appear in spring 2017. If you are at all inclined, please consider donating to their Kickstarter Campaign to make this possible. The campaign ends, I believe, on January 31.

Memorial Day

Arriving at this point
without knowledge of the journey,

the slow collapse and internal
dampening – the shutting down, the closing in – lost

in the shadowed veil, my eyes flutter open to find
everything in its place, yet

altered, as if viewed from a single step
closer at a different height, offering a disturbing

clarity. Looking up, I wonder that she wakes me
from a dream of dogs on this, of all days,

only to detect under me linoleum in place of the bed,
my glasses skewed from the impact,

the floor and left side of my head wet. You looked
like you were reaching for something, she says,

and perhaps I was, though with hand outstretched
I found nothing to hold but the darkness.

Here’s what they say about the campaign:

“Eclectica Magazine has been online for two decades, publishing work by authors from around the world. We’re taking our 20th anniversary as an opportunity to share the work of 250 of those authors in four “best of” anthologies, including volumes for poetry, nonfiction, fiction, and speculative literature.

This Kickstarter campaign is designed to raise, at minimum, $6,500, which is just enough funding to publish all four volumes through Amazon’s CreateSpace program, covering the rewards and providing a contributor copy for each of the authors, artists, and editors involved. However, the campaign is also designed to exceed that minimum goal.

If we can raise our “stretch” goal of $21,750, we will be able to pay a competitive (for small, independent presses) rate of $20 per poem and $50 per short story or nonfiction piece. Over twenty thousand dollars sounds like a lot of money, but if the more than 250 people involved with the project are able to recruit three $25 donors each, we will meet that goal.

This is an exciting project. The quality of the work we’ve selected for inclusion is exceptional, and many of our authors have enjoyed major publishing successes since appearing in Eclectica. If we can raise our “ultimate” goal of $58,000, we will do offset print runs through Lightning Source, which will enable us to distribute the books to brick and mortar stores. And if we sell out the first run of any of the four volumes, we will double the payments made to the authors appearing in those sold out volumes.

We have pursued a single-minded goal all these years to publish the best, most unique work we could find in a clean, easy to access format available for free to everyone on the planet. We still believe in that goal. We also love books, and above all we want to do something to honor the authors appearing in these anthologies and the over two thousand others who have helped Eclectica thrive over the years. That is what this campaign is about for us, but we’re also hoping our efforts will help shine a positive light on online literature in general. We’d like to demonstrate what can be accomplished without corporate or academic sponsorship, banner ads or $23 submission fees.

One measure of what can be accomplished is our performance over the years in the storySouth Million Writers Award. In the twelve years the award has been active, Eclectica has scored twice as many notable (54) and top ten (11) stories as any other online publication, beating out such luminous competitors as Narrative, Carve, Blackbird, Clarkesworld, Agni, Barrelhouse, and Anderbo. Those are some great venues for online literature, and there are many others deserving of recognition. We want to draw attention to Eclectica’s amazing body of work, and then we want to say, look at all the other amazing things to read on the Web.

Whether you are a friend or relative of one of the authors in question, or you’re a reader and supporter of online literature, or you just love literature–online or not–we ask you to help make these anthologies a reality, and the best reality they can be. Help us make our goal of getting these books made, or if we’ve done that, our stretch goal of paying our authors, or beyond that, our ultimate goal of seeing these volumes in your local bookstores.”

 

Two Poems in Kindle Magazine (Kolkata)

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The link to my two poems appearing in Kindle Magazine was damaged and readers were unable to access them. Kindle Magazine has kindly corrected the link to make them available again. These poems, with two others, also appear in the print collection Gossamer: An Anthology of World Poetry, published by Kindle Magazine this past December.

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