The Heart’s Progress

We’ve had a great trial to endure over the past eight weeks. I worried that there would be a cloud over Saturday night’s celebratory event for Seek the Holy Dark. There wasn’t. Everything went off without a hitch. We had a great crowd of friends who came to celebrate with us. Friends came from New Orleans, Lake Charles, and Houston, as well as Lafayette and Grand Coteau. I felt such enormous love and support. A young couple came who I didn’t know. They had heard the radio interview and didn’t want to miss the reading. That sent me swooning. They were so sweet.
*
I am so very fortunate to have the friends and family I do. While in many ways I have extraordinary strengths, I really am vulnerable to stress. I am blessed to have protectors. I am humbled by this. I have friends and family who see when I am fading out and give me the energy to help me come back to life. I am brought to tears with gratitude for Bessie Senette for being the woman she is and loving me so dearly. I was thrilled that my dear husband and beautiful daughter came to the book release event. My husband was injured last week and he was going to stay at home and rest. When I saw him come through the door I was ecstatic. At dinner afterward, Debra McDonald Bailey said she was ready for my third book. I need a minute to catch my breath!
*
All day Sunday, I felt hungover. It wasn’t because I drank. The anticipation of and the event itself took a lot out of me. Sunday morning, Bessie said she felt like she had been struck by lightning. That is how I felt, too. It was a great night, no doubt, but the buildup of excitement and then the culmination draws on your reserves. I slept off and on most of Sunday, thus I am awake at 1 am on Monday. I’m having coffee, too. I need some quiet hours to continue to recover and process all that is in my heart. Staying in the moment is the only way I can live with peace. Thank God!
*
I look forward to these wee hours in solitude. My heart is full and I am glad. Thank you to all who came to be with me in the special moment. I love you all.
A big THANK YOU to Rêve Coffee Roasters. We were so thrilled to be there Saturday.

Hope to see you at AWP ’17

I will be signing both Eating the Heart First by Clare L. Martin and Seek the Holy Dark by Clare L Martin by at AWP 2017, There will be an off-site reading at George Washington University Museum and Textile Museum, too. Hope to see you in D.C.!

 

Association of Writers and Writing Programs Conference

Reading:
Thursday, Feb. 9th -4:00 pm-6:00 pm
The George Washington University Museum and Textile Museum
701 21st Street NW
Washington, DC

Readers include…

Yellow Flag Press:
CLARE L. MARTIN
JANE V. BLUNSCHI

Gigantic Sequins:
JAMEKA WILLIAMS
P.E. GARCIA
MARíA ISABEL ALVAREZ

for UL Lafayette:
TBA

Clare L. Martin Book Signings:

Walter E. Washington Convention Center, 801 Mt Vernon Pl NW
Washington, DC

Thursday, Feb. 9th- 11:00 am-12:00 pm, Yellow Flag Press, Booth 739
Friday, Feb. 10th – 11 am-12:00 pm, Press 53, Booth 387

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Clare L. Martin’s Seek the Holy Dark Now Available

cover-officialClare L. Martin’s Seek the Holy Dark Now Available

Officially launching at AWP17 at The George Washington University Art and Textile Museum Thursday, February 9th, at 4 PM!
701 21st St NW, Washington, District of Columbia 20052
BUY NOW: http://www.yellowflagpress.com/ 

 

PRESS RELEASE
Yellow Flag Press
is pleased to announce the release of a new book of poetry by Lafayette poet Clare L. Martin.

 

The second book by poet Clare L. Martin, Seek the Holy Dark explores loss and rebirth and the nature of the spiritual. These poems are the quiet revelations of a poet who is questioning everything. This book is the third installment of The Louisiana Series of Cajun and Creole Poetry (La Série de Louisiane de Poésie des Acadiens et Créoles) and is published by Yellow Flag Press. The Louisiana Series of Cajun and Creole Poetry was founded to highlight work done by exceptional poets of Franco-American descent. Yellow Flag Press is proud to publish new work by poets of Cajun, Creole, or French heritage, writing in French, Cajun French, English, or works in translation.

 

 

“Any new book of poems worth its salt must reinvent the intelligences of poetry: trope, word, image, argument, sentence, strophe, music. The poems in Clare Martin’s Seek the Holy Dark will keep. They are salt.” —Darrell Bourque, Former Louisiana Poet Laureate, author of Megan’s Guitar and Other Poems from Acadie and Where I Waited

 

 

The official book launch party will take place on February 8, 2017 at The George Washington University Museum and Textile Museum, 701 21st Street NW, Washington, DC at 4 pm.

 

Seek the Holy Dark is also available for purchase at www.yellowflagpress.com

 
Clare L. Martin’s debut collection of poetry, Eating the Heart First, was published in 2012 by Press 53. Martin’s poetry has appeared in Avatar Review, Blue Fifth Review, Thrush Poetry Journal, Melusine, Poets and Artists, and Louisiana Literature, among others. She has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, Dzanc Books’ Best of the Web, Best New Poets, and Sundress Publication’s Best of the Net. Martin is Founding Publisher and Editor of MockingHeart Review. She is a lifelong resident of Louisiana.

 

For more information contact: J. Bruce Fuller, Editor, Yellow Flag Press yellowflagpress@gmail.com

“The Hanging Woman” excerpt from “Seek the Holy Dark”

The Hanging Woman

 

breathes desert into her throat
Golgotha-naked

rapacious sun
spear opens rib

the most egregious of transgressions
lust inside/out

lungs vigilant flag
serpentine intestine

nailed-out muscles
Heaven’s jaw shuts

borne upon the cross
we cannot willfully die

the women tear at their smocks
sun goes

to terminal moonrise
burnt to bone

new meanings of the body impaled;

all sensation thrust
from pleasured skin

blade to stone
stone to bone

bone to blood night
incarnated, excarnated.

 

 

© 2017 Clare L. Martin

Collected in Seek the Holy Dark by Clare L. Martin, forthcoming from Yellow Flag Press, 2017 Pre-orders are now available. $10.

New Poems in Nixes Mate Review

Very happy to announce my first publications of 2017 in Issue 2 of Nixes Mate Review. I have two poems, “Harvest” and “Seduction” featured. I’m in great company with Howie Good, Pris Campbell, Gloria Mindock, Corey Mesler and other notable writers. Great thanks to editors Philip Borenstein, Annie Pluto, and Michael McInnis for their terrific work on this new and very fine publication and press.

Pre-order “Seek the Holy Dark”

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Seek the Holy Dark is now available for pre-order. Trade paperback, 66 pages, only $10. Pre-orders will ship in early February. To order click here.

Any new book of poems worth its salt must reinvent the intelligences of poetry: trope, word, image, argument, sentence, strophe, music. The poems in Clare Martin’s Seek the Holy Dark will keep. They are salt.

~Darrell Bourque, Former Louisiana Poet Laureate, author of Megan’s Guitar and Other Poems from Acadie and Where I Waited

 

From the holy dark of horror storms and freedom in the hand, to starving wolves and old women who live in woods, Clare Martin’s poetic imagery seeks in myth to locate depth of soul. She incants salvation “bone by bone” up from the shadows. Her writing has a beautiful fury, a hard questing and secret exultation that keep the reader poised and intoxicated. “Do you seek the heart too” the opening poem asks, and of course, we answer Yes and read breathlessly on. These poems “drop through this world/into dark awakening.” The strong-hearted will understand.

~Rachel Dacus, author of Gods of Water and Air

 

Seek the Holy Dark is a book of revelations in poems.  Clare L. Martin sees the richness and the poverty that are bedmates, proffers them as gifts, lays them at our feet.  Her poems suggest we join in the quest to be both humbled and exalted. Martin, who never looks away, fully understands the duality of nature, its light and darkness, exploring both in this lush and lyrical new collection.

~Susan Tepper, author of dear Petrov and The Merrill Diaries

 

Seek the Holy Dark is the 2017 selection of the Louisiana Series of Cajun and Creole Poetry by Yellow Flag Press.

 

 

 

 

Poetry News

I have two poems coming out soon in the new Nixes Mate Review. My poem, “Eating the Heart First” is included in Eclectica’s “Best of” anthology which will be out soon.My poems “Seek the Holy Dark,” “Litany,” and “Woman in Prayer” will be translated into Italian by Alessandra Bava to appear in the magazine Patria Letteratura in the winter 2017 issue. My second full-length poetry collection, Seek the Holy Dark, will be released by Yellow Flag Press at the Association of Writers & Writing Programs in Washington DC on February 8th. I hope to see and meet many friends there to swap/buy books, hug, and talk in real life!

“You need to write another damn book!”

I am thrilled to announce that Yellow Flag Press will publish Seek the Holy Dark as the 2017 selection of The Louisiana Series of Cajun and Creole Poetry. Great thanks to J. Bruce Fuller for this honor. Yellow Flag Press is a Louisiana-born publishing house that is growing its national presence. I have had a long relationship with it, and I can’t think of any other affiliation that would make me as happy.

 

A little backstory:

 

For a long period of time since my mother’s death in May of 2014, I felt aimless. I was writing, but I did not have a meaningful writing project in front of me to keep me focused on the bigger picture of my Writing Life. I had material for a new manuscript, tentatively titled “Broken Jesus,” that I began to assemble after Eating the Heart First was published. Over the course of a couple of years, I abandoned hope for it and just kept writing new.

 

Several months ago, while having coffee with The Bayou Mystic, Bessie Senette, I expressed my feelings of a lack of purpose beyond my personal responsibilities and our writing group’s objectives. She knew that I had relinquished my roles in many of the projects I had been involved with before my mother’s death. She also knew that was very hard for me, because of my giving and ambitious nature. The deep dissatisfaction I had been living with was causing depression beyond normal grief.

 

Bessie listened as I shared my feelings. After a silence, Bessie stood, pointed her finger between my eyes, and said, “You need to write another damn book!” As soon as she said it, I was taken aback. I went home with a charge of energy to do exactly what she said to do. I got to work with real determination.

 

In December 2015, in a casual conversation, I brought up the work I was doing to J. Bruce Fuller at a writing event we were attending in Arnaudville, LA. He offered to read the manuscript. When I sent it, I had a sense that if I had to face a “no” I would reluctantly consider other options. Honestly, from that moment in Arnaudville when the opportunity opened, I desired for Seek the Holy Dark to be a YFP book.  I have always had great faith in J Bruce’s integrity and the good health of his press.

 

[Surprisingly, in less than three days of receiving the publishing news, the cover art was selected and rights acquired. That is another story that involves my dear Bessie!!]

 

I am thrilled, ready, excited, and focused to bring this new work to the world. I again express thanks to J Bruce Fuller and Yellow Flag Press for this amazing opportunity.

 

And great thanks to Bessie for seeing my need and calling forth my energy to fulfill it.

 

More soon…