I will be reading with Babar-in-Exile this coming Thursday. Here’s the announcement from their website:
Babar in Exile celebrates its FOURTH BIRTHDAY (!!) with a romp through the minds of light-struck poets (and maybe some cake). For our 18th installment, we are excited to feature two former and very active participants of Café Babar and Poetry above Paradise series of the 1990’s who have been in the poetry trenches ever since. Blogger and poet Glenn Ingersoll currently runs the reading and interview series Clearly Meant at the Berkeley Public Library. And mental health advocate and multi-genre writer Deborah Fruchey is hard at work editing an anthology of tribute poetry to Julia Vinograd for Zeitgeist Press. As well we welcome “honorary Babarian” Yume Kim, a perspective-challenging SF poet who will feel right at home with these rad oldsters.
So come on down to check out a slice of Bay Area poetry history, now and in the making, and make your way home with a bindle full of inspiration and a thimbleful more hope for the species.
Babar in Exile #18
a revival of the Cafe Babar, Paradise Lounge, and Club Chameleon reading series
and Yume Kim
and you, in our infamous open mic
Hosted by Richard Loranger and Paul Corman-Roberts
free of charge and oppression
Glenn Ingersoll hit the scene back in the 90s when Cafe Babar and Poetry Above Paradise were hot, and snagged features at both places. Where fame went after that is hard to say. Currently Ingersoll works for the Berkeley Public Library where he hosts Clearly Meant, a reading & interview series. He keeps two blogs, LoveSettlement and Dare I Read. He has two chapbooks, City Walks (broken boulder) and Fact (Avantacular). Recent work is in Sparkle + Blink, Mary, The Walrus, and Caveat Lector. The multi-volume prose beast, Thousand, is on its way from MCT Publishing.
Deborah Fruchey tried to write her first book at the age of 8. She went by the name Debralee Pagan for a while, but people still mispronounced it, so she gave up. Her first novel was chosen as a Best Book by the American Bookseller’s Association, and her manual on mental illness was once described as “The best book of its kind.” Her latest is a volume of flash fiction called Priestess of Secrets. All of her work is available on Amazon. Deborah has spent too much of her life in churches, psych wards, and poetry readings, and has appeared in 10 anthologies. She is the editor of the coming anthology in tribute to Julia Vinograd, from Zeitgeist Press - you are invited to contribute! Her ambition is to acquire a cult following and a flat stomach. If she can’t have that, she would settle for never receiving a robocall ever again!
Yume Kim lives in San Francisco but commutes to South Bay for tutoring/teaching. She is a grad recipient of both an MA in English and an MFA in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University. She is also a Kundiman fellow recipient from Fordham University. Her forthcoming chapbook (title TBA) will be published by Nomadic Press sometime this year.
“Instead” is one of a series of poems I crafted from (or found in) the library database of the University of California at Berkeley when I was a student there. All the lines are titles, usually of books.
The poems I posted about yesterdaystarted doing the rounds in December, 2017. I sent them to a few different places right away. Then I turned my attention to sending out other poems and doing other things.
Publishers responded over the course of the next several months. Poems that were part of this series but which had gone out in other batches began to place. Few responses to this particular batch of five. In fact, four of the publishers to which I sent this batch in December, 2017 had not responded as of yesterday when I wrote to withdraw the poems from consideration. Publishers stop publishing, submissions get overlooked.
Middle of 2018 I made a new push to get this batch before editors, every couple months sending it to another place. Rejections came in. I like the poems. I like them as much as others in the series that were taken up quickly. So I kept them going out.
Finally, an acceptance! An ezine took one. Yay! Dutifully, I wrote fifteen places I’d sent the poems to over the course of 14 months, fifteen places that had not yet responded, in order to tell them one of the poems had been spoken for, and asking them to continue to consider the other four. Shortly thereafter I got a rejection, prompted, perhaps, by the notification. Then I got an email from Reuben Woolley of The Curly Mind, an email including a link to a post on the ezine that featured the four poems.
Mr Woolley had not just accepted the poems, he had right away posted them. I like it when that happens!
So, just a week after I’d written to notify editors that one poem was no longer available, I wrote to them again to tell them that none were.
Fourteen months from first submission until I could close the book on the batch. Nothing unusual in this. No records set or disturbing stories. It felt a little weird to have this batch circle and circle while other poems in the series settled. Is there anything to learn? I think it just confirms what I already know. The randomness.
Sometimes the poem will find the editor who loves it on its first foray. Other times it will take many a trek past editors near and far. And, yes, there are still some poems I started sending out in 2017 that haven’t yet found anyone (besides me) who loves them.