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.

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/

 

 

 

Burlesque Press reviews Velvet Rodeo

My thanks to writer/critic Daniel Wallace and Burlesque Press for sharing with me their new review of my poetry chapbook, Velvet Rodeo. (Burlesque Press, btw, offers a very cool and intimate literary conference in New Orleans over the holidays–it includes a masquerade ball!) My thanks for them taking the time with my little red book.

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

More on their festival is here:
http://burlesquepressllc.com/handsonball/

‪#‎burlesque‬ BLOOM Literary Journal ‪#‎poetry‬ ‪#‎WVpoetry‬ ‪#‎phillypoetry‬

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Gay Pride Month is in BLOOM at the Big Blue Marble Bookstore – June 5, 2014 – 7:00 p.m.

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Join writers from BLOOM Literary Journal as they celebrate June as Gay Pride Month. Readers include fiction writer Viet Dinh and poets Joan Larkin, Brian Teare and Kelly McQuain. Big Blue Marble Bookstore, 551 Carpenter lane, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19119. (Mt. Airy neighborhood)

 

LARKIN, TEARE, MCQUAIN, DINH

 

https://www.facebook.com/events/252657468255098/?context=create&ref_dashboard_filter=upcoming&source=49#

 

Big Blue Marble Reading: JOAN LARKIN, KELLY MCQUAIN, BRIAN TEARE, VIET DINH

 

June 5, 2014. Thursday, 7:00 pm. Join writers from BLOOM Literary Journal as they celebrate June as Gay Pride Month. Readers include fiction writer Viet Dinh and poets Joan Larkin, Brian Teare and Kelly McQuain. Big Blue Marble Bookstore, 551 Carpenter lane, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19119. (Mt. Airy neighborhood)

 

JOAN LARKIN’s new poetry collection, Blue Hanuman, is just out from Hanging Loose Press. Among her previous books, My Body: New and Selected Poems received the Publishing Triangle’s Audre Lorde Award. She is the current poet in residence at Smith College.

 

VIET DINH was born in Dalat, Vietnam, and teaches at the University of Delaware. He has received a Fiction Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, and his work appears in the 2009 PEN/O. Henry Prize Stories and numerous literary journals.

 

KELLY MCQUAIN’s poetry collection, Velvet Rodeo, recently won the Bloom chapbook prize, judged by poet C. Dale Young. His poems and prose have appeared in The Philadelphia Inquirer, Assaracus, Kestrel, Painted Bride Quarterly, Between: New Gay Poetry, The Pinch, The Harrington Gay Men’s Fiction Quarterly, and more.

 

BRIAN TEARE is the author of four full-length books, The Room Where I Was Born, Sight Map, the Lambda-Award-winning Pleasure, and Companion Grasses, one of Slate’s best poetry books of 2013. After over a decade of teaching and writing in the San Francisco Bay Area, he’s now an Assistant Professor at Temple University in Philadelphia, where he makes books by hand for his micropress, Albion Books.

Interview from Outer Space

#poetry #WeaveMagazine #napomo2014 Recently Laura E. Davis, editor of Weave literary journal and blogger at Dear Outer Space, asked me five questions as part of a mini-interview about my writing process and my new book, Velvet Rodeo. The piece is now live at her site: http://dearouterspace.blogspot.com/2014/04/interview-McQuain.html #sasfest

Thanks, Laura!

Countdown to Philly Poetry Day

#phillypoetryday @phillypoetryday

PHILLY POETRY DAY APRIL 12, 2014

1:00 – 2:30 pm: Philly Poetry Day gets off to a fun start with a wienie roast and poetry reading at Port Richmond Books, 3037 Richmond Street, sponsored by the 215 Festival and American Poetry Review. Poet Laureate Frank Sherlock headlines, and I’ll be reading a couple of poems, too. It should be beautiful weather. Hope to see some friends there! Then I’ll be hopping down to Center City to take part in a…

POETRY READING AT PHILADELPHIA SKETCH CLUB

20140402-162503.jpg3:00 – 4:30 pm: Philly Poetry Day Gets a Little Sketchy: A Reading at the Philadelphia Sketch Club. On April 12, 2014, join four poets at the Sketch Club in the Exhibition Gallery surrounded by the works of the Small Oils Exhibition. Featuring Juditha Dowd, Kelly McQuain, Helen Mirkil and Wendy Steginsky.

Juditha Dowd is a Pushcart Prize-nominated poet with work appearing in The Florida Review, Poetry Daily, Cider Press Review, Spillway, Ekphrasis and elsewhere. Her full-length collection, Mango in Winter (Grayson Books, 2013), joins three previously-published chapbooks. She is a poetry editor for US1 Worksheets and a member of “Cool Women,” an ensemble performing poetry in the metro area and on the west coast.

Wendy Fulton Steginsky traces her passion for poetry back to her Bermuda roots and childhood days growing up on the water. Her poems have been published in two volumes of Bermuda Anthology of Poetry, And The Questions Are Enough, online at tongues of the ocean, The Wild River Review and featured in a multi-media exhibition, Making Magic: Beauty in Word and Image at the James A. Michener Art Museum in Doylestown, Pennsylvania.

Kelly McQuain grew up in the mountains of West Virginia. He holds graduate degrees from the University of New Orleans and Temple University. His recent book Velvet Rodeo is the winner of the Bloom Chapbook Prize and his poems have appeared recently in The Pinch, Painted Bride Quarterly, Assaracus, Redivider, MEAD, Paper Nautilus, and Kestrel, as well as in such anthologies as Between: New Gay Poetry and Drawn to Marvel: Superhero Poems. He also writes prose, essays, and book reviews. He occasionally designs book covers, illustrates comics, or draws for the sheer pleasure of it.

Helen Mirkil is both a poet and visual artist. Her recent book Sower on the Cliffs, poems and drawings (BookArts Press 2013) merges her two passions. Her poems have appeared in Apiary (online), Art Times, Bucks County Writer, The Griffin, and Ruah. She received a coordinate BFA from University of Pennsylvania and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, as well as an MFA from the Academy. She was awarded a fellowship from the Academy to live and work in Raglan, Wales. Mirkil’s paintings and drawings are part of the permanent collections of several museums in the area.

For other poetry happenings in Philadelphia see phillypoetryday.com

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Last chance: VELVET RODEO is available for discount pre-order price!

PRE-ORDER TIME for VELVET RODEO!

Today is the last day to order VELVET RODEO at the discount price of $7, including shipping.

“…What if you never meet
the person you are meant to be? The future
is a cocked gun –pretty, but peacock mean–
and you are devil’s paintbrush,
a blister of orange-red and velvet need…”

from the poem “Scrape the Velvet from Your Antlers”, originally published in the journal Kestrel.

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Hey, Friends–

My chapbook VELVET RODEO is available for pre-order at the discounted price of $7 from the fine folks at BLOOM, which includes free shipping if you act now. That’s less than a couple mocha grandes at Starbucks! In the coming weeks I’ll be doing some promotional readings for the chapbook in New York and Philadelphia, and if you know of any series that might want a reader in the coming months, drop me a private message. Order at: http://bloomliteraryjournal.org/shop/velvet-rodeo/

Velvet Rodeo is the recent winner of the Bloom Chapbook Prize, judged by poet C. Dale Young. The poems center on themes of travel, nature, outsider-ism and more, and are set in such places as West Virginia, the Virgin Islands, Mexico and Prague. The collection’s cover, above, features one of my recent paintings.

Here’s what the judge had to say about the collection: “‘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.”