Catherine Chandler's Poetry Blog

Wednesday, June 29, 2011


Now that Lines of Flight has been released, I have begun work on my second collection, tentatively entitled Winterbourne.  So far, I have around 40 pages of poetry, including my sonnet sequence "Seven Deadly Sonnets".

I'm thinking about including five or six of my English translations of French-Canadian poets (Nelligan, Dantin, Fréchette, Lozeau, LeMay) but at the same time feel this might put off US publishers. Maybe two MS versions, one for Canadian submissions, another for US, UK and Australian.

At the same time, I'm beginning some research on María Eugenia Vaz Ferreira, one of the best Uruguayan poets of the early 20th century whose work is virtually unknown in the English-speaking world (and also to a large extent, the Latin American world) due to the erasure and trivialization of her (and other Latin American "poetesses") work.

I am rereading her complete works and have found two valuable sources of information on the context of erasure and some insights into her life, but hope to be able to dig up more.

Though this blog is called The Wonderful Boat in honor of Delmira Agustini, another Uruguayan poet, it was Vaz Ferreira who paved the way for Agustini and also Ibarbourou. Had it not been for Vaz Ferreira's famous brother keeping her poetry unpublished until 30 years after her death, she would not be absent from anthologies of Latin American writers, one of which has even now just hit the library shelves!

Project for today: a villanelle and/or an ovillejo.

¡Viva el verano! ¡Via el invierno!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


While I was away in West Chester (from June 7 to 12th) I entered my thoughts and impressions on the Eratosphere blogs here:

I imagine many of you have read them already.

Suffice it to say, the conference was a wonderful experience. I met many of my "virtual" poetry friends for the first time, made many more, and reconnected with others I had already met in the past.
Kim Bridgford and her team did an outstanding job with the organization of such a large conference. Everything went well, from start to finish.

I have thanked Kim in person for inviting me to the First Books Panel (which went very well!) and Mr. Kean Spencer, whose gift, made in honor of his mother, Iris N. Spencer, made my full scholarship possible. What a kind and generous man. I told him I would never forget him. And I won't.

I am suffering from tendonitis in my right hand at the moment, and could barely manage my carry-on luggage, so I didn't take my camera. I hope other participants will post photos on Eratosphere.

Though I enjoyed every aspect of the conference, highlights for me were meeting Alex Pepple for the first time, my first books panel reading, my master class and private meeting with A.E. Stallings, the Robert Pinsky keynote reading, the Richard Wilbur birthday panel/reading and celebration, and the many informal get-togethers with fellow poets.

I was touched by the reaction of the audience to my reading of my Nemerov-winning sonnet, "Coming to Terms", and by so many of their comments afterwards.

I'm already looking forward to returning next year, and hope many of you will, too.

Love & Peace,

Monday, June 6, 2011

Rendez-vous with destiny

Tomorrow I'll be leaving for Philadelphia/West Chester for the West Chester University of Pennsylvania Poetry Conference.  For years I've been longing to attend this conference but, because of employment and financial reasons, I never made it.

That's why I can hardly believe I'll be there this year, on a full scholarship, not only attending and taking part in A.E. Stallings's master class, but also reading some of my poems on the First Books Panel.

I've been practicing nine poems, but now will be adding one more, a special request from Rhina P. Espaillat, who has been an inspiration to me from Day 1.

I won't be taking my computer along with me, but promise to make a full report of my experience at the conference once I get back.

The only cloud in the sky is knowing that my dear mother is very ill right now. I will dedicate my reading to her. After all, it was her lullabies and nursery rhymes that first opened my ears and heart to rhyme, rhythm, and, of course, poetry.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Upcoming Readings

Upcoming readings:

June 8, 2011 - West Chester University Poetry Conference, First Books Panel, 2:30 p.m.

June 22, 2011 - Half Moon Café, Hudson, Quebec, 6:30 p.m.

July 24, 2011 - Greenwood Centre for Living History, 2:00 p.m.

August 25, 2011 - Yellow Door, Montreal, 7:00 p.m.

September 10, 2011 - Jabberwocky Bookshop, Newburyport, Massachusetts, 3:00 p.m.

StoryFest - Hudson, Quebec, date and time to be advised

Hope to see you there!