When your poetry finds an audience abroad.

One of the things I appreciate about having web presence as a poet is being able to connect with other artists and writers outside the U.S. Two recent stories of connecting with people you should check out:

1. The photographer Ellen O’Connell (originally from San Francisco but living in Zurich, Switzerland) contacted me via my website after discovering my poems about pears. Pears are a beloved subject for her as well and she decided for an upcoming show to incorporate text to help answer the question she (and I!) so often get: “Why pears?” So Ellen will be using one of my poems from Pear Slip as a printout to accompany her work. And in a nice exchange she now owns a signed copy of Pear Slip and I own a beautiful print of one of her pear photographs. It’s currently being framed and will soon find a home on a wall near my desk. You can check out her work here (go to Galleries/Renderings to see some of the work she’s done with pears — her process of photographing through glass makes them almost look like watercolors).

2. The poet Ivy Alvarez (born in the Philippines, raised in Tasmania, Australia and currently a resident of Cardiff, Wales) wrote me today to ask permission to use “Clubbing” from Narcissus Resists in a workshop she’s giving on Myth & Narrative in poetry, particularly for her section where she looks at how mythological characters are set in the future. I feel a kindred spirit in Ivy as we have both tackled the daunting task of freshening myth and making it relevant in our own time, for her with Demeter and Persephone, or Dee and Seph as they are reimagined in her wonderful book Mortal. I first learned of Ivy and Mortal a couple years back from an appreciative comment she left on my “Uncle Remus…” poem that qarrtsiluni published. I knew then our paths would cross again and we later connected on Facebook and Twitter as I have with so many writers in the past year.