Speaking of Marvels: Chapbook Reviews

This week Speaking of Marvels, a site that publishes interviews by chapbook authors, published an interview with me about the creation and publication of Velvet Rodeo. Other recent interviews have include poets Danez Smith, Allison Joseph and Elizabeth Savage. For anyone interested in the creation, production, and marketing of chapbooks, the site reveals the various processes and provides sample poems by the authors. Click here to read the review: https://chapbookinterviews.wordpress.com/2015/01/16/kelly-mcquain/

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Lots of shout-outs in the interview to those folks tagged.

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A Writer’s Thanks

May the Year 2015 Find You in a Peaceable Kingdom

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Allegory Charles Prendergast (American, Boston, Massachusetts 1863–1948 Norwalk, Connecticut)

Family, friends and health take the top spots when it comes to giving thanks this time of season. Reflecting back, 2014 was a series of highs and lows, from celebrating weddings and publications with friends to experiencing the blistering reminders of how hard this country’s citizens often have it. The country’s grappling with racial and economic issues made for many an interesting conversation with family members and friends, and fed into the development of new teaching materials for my students as well as the occasional bit of political writing. I am lucky to teach students at Community College of Philadelphia, and I am often reminded throughout each semester of the hardships and hurdles they must overcome to achieve their dreams. I learn from them, too.

Somehow despite writing numerous poems and a few articles, I found time to start a new Facebook page on seasonal folk traditions, an interest of mine, and to catch up with friends in an old-fashioned Christmas Letter. I wrote new prose projects for The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Good Men Project, and Cleaver Magazine. As a poet, I was blessed with good reviews for Velvet Rodeo in Cleaver, Out in Print, MEAD Magazine, and the Philadelphia Review of Books blog by such wonderful writers as Jerry Wheeler, Kris Bigalk, Daniel Wallace and Suzanne Parker, and Matthew Girolami—and I thank them! I think there are even a couple others I am forgetting here (my apologies). These join a spate of early reviews from the summer. Thanks so much to all the reviewers who have shown support and made me see my little red book in new and different ways. These join a spate of early reviews from the summer.

As for poems, a handful have come out online lately. You can read “Architect” from the journal Codex. Two other new poems appear in the fall issue of The Fox Chase Review, “Ritual” and “Two Street, After the Parade”. The first is set in my home state of West Virginia and based on a true incident concerning a bat. The second is offered up as a love letter to Philadelphia and the holidays, especially the annual Mummer’s Parade on New Year’s Day and the after-party that occurs on 2nd Street.

It’s nice to share good news like this to offset the many lulls and lows we inevitably go through as writers. As I was working on this entry, another rejection popped in my mail queue. I choose to take that as proof that you need to keep writing and to believe in yourself. So believe in yourself!

Finally, a big shout out to editor Charles Flowers for shepherding Velvet Rodeo into print and to poet C. Dale Young for selecting it. Most of all, I thank John for continuing to put up with me for another year. And I thank you, for reading my words from time to time.

http://www.KellyMcQuain.wordpress.com

#Cleaver #Mead #GoodMenProject

Related Links:

http://www.cleavermagazine.com/velvet-rodeo-by-kelly-mcquain-reviewed-by-matthew-girolami/

http://phillybooksblog.wordpress.com/2014/09/05/no-bull-a-review-of-velvet-rodeo-bloom-2014-a-chapbook-by-kelly-mcquain/.

http://www.meadmagazine.org/velvet-rodeo.html

http://burlesquepressllc.com/2014/11/12/the-wild-bull-of-time-daniel-wallace-reviews-velvet-rodeo-by-kelly-mcquain/

http://outinprintblog.wordpress.com/2014/10/20/fall-poetry-roundup/

 

 

 

Velvet Rodeo scores with Rainbow Awards judges

This week I learned Velvet Rodeo did very well in the 2014 Rainbow Book Awards, winning 2nd place in the Best LGBT Poetry category and 5th in the much larger overall Best Gay Book Award competition–the only poetry book to make that list, I believe. More than 520 books were in play this year in various categories, with almost 170 judges from all over the world. The fact that a small book of poetry did so well in a mixed-genre competition especially comes as a nice surprise to me.

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Elisa Reviews sponsors the awards as a fundraising event for LGBT charities. The pic below contains some of the judges’ comments, and a pic of the overall winning book by Benjamin Law. Congratulations to the winners and runners-up.

BEST GAY BOOK
Rainbow Book Awards
1. Gaysia: Adventures in the Queer East by Benjamin Law
Runners Up:
2. The Mating of Michael by Eli Easton
3. Perfect Imperfections by Cardeno C. Author
4. Silent by Sara Alva
5. Velvet Rodeo by Kelly McQuain
6. Think of England by KJ Charles
7. (tie)
a. Last First Kiss by Diane Adams
b. Takedown by Cat Grant
8. Beards, an Unshaved History by Kevin Clarke
9. Corruption by Eden Winters
10. Cub by Jeff Mann

Best LGBT Poetry
1. Hibernation and Other Poems by Bear Bards, an anthology by Ron J. Suresha
Runners Up:
2. Velvet Rodeo by Kelly McQuain
3. Souvenir Boys by David-Matthew Barnes

A complete list of winners in all the many categories is at http://reviews-and-ramblings.dreamwidth.org/4489098.html

Rainbow Awards Judges’ Comments:
Velvet Rodeo by Kelly McQuain
Publisher: Bloom Books

“A master at imagery. Beautiful work.”

“An intricately structured set of images and perceptions laid forth in sensual, evocative language. Gorgeous.”

“An enthralling, engrossing collection of poems that will involve its reader on many levels of interest.”

https://kellymcquain.wordpress.com/order-velvet-rodeo-poems/

#phillypoetry #poetry #LGBTQ #philadelphiapoets #rainbowawards

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Prize Win from Bloom Literary Journal!

Velvet Rodeo poetry collection wins prize! This just in from BLOOM Literary Journal at http://bloomliteraryjournal.org/news/

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Judge C. Dale Young has selected Velvet Rodeo by Kelly McQuain for the 2013 BLOOM Poetry Chapbook Prize. McQuain will receive 25 copies of the chapbook and a $100 honorarium. Judge’s citation: “‘The tongue I try to master / is a sticky one, forked and full of tricks,’ is the opening of a poem in Velvet Rodeo, and it becomes a point of return for the collection. These poems understand that to tell the truth, one must lie, play tricks, and even dare to say the unbelievable. Careful and exacting, these poems exact a price from a reader. They linger with you long after you have finished reading them.” “Alien Boy” from Velvet Rodeo appeared in the Fall 2012 issue of BLOOM. ~~~~~ Kelly McQuain grew up surrounded by the mountains of West Virginia’s Monongahela National Forest. His poetry has appeared in Painted Bride Quarterly, The Pinch, Assaracus, Kin, Mead, Bloom, Chelsea Station, American Writing and the anthologies Poems for the Writing and Rabbit Ears: TV Poems. His fiction has appeared in such journals as Icarus, The James White Review, Kansas Quarterly/Arkansas Review, The Harrington Gay Men’s Fiction Quarterly and in numerous anthologies, including Best American Erotica, Skin & Ink and Men on Men 2000. His book reviews and columns on city life appear in The Philadelphia Inquirer. Recently his poem, “Camping as Boys in the Cow Field”, was selected by Reginald Dwayne Betts as the winner of Redivider’s AWP poetry contest. McQuain works as a professor in Philadelphia.

“Alien Boy” can be read here: http://bloomliteraryjournal.org/read/poetry/kelly-mcquain/

My thanks to poet C. Dale Young and the editors at BLOOM, Charles Flowers and Aaron Smith, who keep the journal going! — Kelly

Addendum:
C. Dale blogs about poetry at this site: http://blog-cdaleyoung.tumblr.com/post/62903981020/kelly-mcquain-winner-of-2013-bloom-poetry-chapbook

“Alien Boy” appears in Bloom literary journal

We may have the first winter snow on the ground here in Philadelphia, but at least one thing is in Bloom. A big shout out to Charles Flowers and Aaron Smith, and all the other Bloomers who make it happen! “Alien Boy” was inspired by a sad story a friend shared, one that stayed with me a long time and wouldn’t let go. I knew I needed to write about it. I’m grateful to know people who inspire, help shape, and/or print my work.

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