Writers I Want To Kiss on the Face(book)

Dena Rash Guzman:

“We’re writers. Especially for those of us who are poets, very few people give two shits about what we do. Most of us can’t rely on the New York Times or Barnes & Noble to promote our work. Most of us don’t have agents who can worm our names into ad space. What’s left? Self-promotion—& taking a negative, bratty approach to that is dangerous for all of us.”

Originally posted on Karissa Morton:


“We have all known the long loneliness and

we have learned that the only solution is love and

that love comes with community.”  Dorothy Day


On last count, Rebecca Makkai’s Ploughshares column, “Writers You Want To Punch in the Face(book),” has been shared almost a dozen times on my Facebook newsfeed today.  I have to wonder why.  Are we really all that passive aggressive?  Each time someone posted it, I couldn’t help but wonder who they were silently jabbing at.  (I can guarantee they each had at least one person in mind when they hit “share”—otherwise why share it if they hadn’t seen it themselves?)

In the column, Makkai invents a hypothetical writer, Todd Manly-Krauss.  Our dear Todd is described as a “good enough guy in real life,” but his Facebook presence is depicted as insufferable.  He’s the guy who claims to be “so…

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billy lilyand other things

1) My honey & pollinator conservatory INDIEGOGO GOT FUNDED +. I am grateful to you all.

2) I have many empty beehives as well as mason bees in my refrigerator. Bees are on the way. I am a beekeeper.

3) I read at some readings in early March at AWP Seattle with fancy writer people. Super fancy. It was fun. I stayed and hung out with my friends who also are fancy writer people. Sure, there where a few jerky poets & writers in the bunch, but I didn’t hang out with any of them (for very long) at AWP. In fact, you don’t hang out with anyone for very long at AWP. It’s a busy conference busy people take seriously. I got to meet a quite a few new people, something I really don’t often get to do as the country girl I am. That was fun. I also enjoyed spending time with Judy Osello, Mark Russell, Sam Snoek-Brown, a lovely woman named Mo with a French last name, Mark Brunke, Leah Umansky, Kevin Sampsell, Sean H. Doyle, Jenny Hayes, Anna March, Milcah Orbacedo, Ken Ingram, Amy Temple Harper and Pecos. I saw Shannon Barber for one second.

4) I am reading at POWELL’S CITY OF BOOKS
on March 17, 2014 at 8:00 p.m.
from my book Life Cycle and new works
for Kevin Sampsell’s SMALLPRESSAPALOOZA which is a finger-full to type but a joy to behold.

5) The Oregon Book Awards are the same night, but the proletariat gotta party, too. More off-site literary fun can be found at in Troutdale at Martha Grover’s Tad Talks at Tad’s Chick Dum. I tell stories there a lot. It’s fun and homey and delicious.

6) I am hosting Wendy Chin Tanner’s book launch & party at IPRC in PDX on March 14 – this Friday. Her book Turn is beautiful and I hope to see you there or see you reading it.

7) I watched Hunger Games 2 twice in a row this week. I love Katniss, but I plan to be the KHALEESI OF BEES which reminds me – don’t be afraid of bees.

Pardon me – I will be taking a break from most everything & everyone but my family once the bees get here next month.


Dena Rash Guzman

Dena Rash Guzman



The Game Changed in Venezuela Last Night – and the International Media Is Asleep At the Switch

Originally posted on Caracas Chronicles:

San Cristobal ayer

San Cristobal on Tuesday night

Dear International Editor:

Listen and understand. The game changed in Venezuela last night. What had been a slow-motion unravelling that had stretched out over many years went kinetic all of a sudden.

What we have this morning is no longer the Venezuela story you thought you understood.

Throughout last night, panicked people told their stories of state-sponsored paramilitaries on motorcycles roaming middle class neighborhoods, shooting at people and  storming into apartment buildings, shooting at anyone who seemed like he might be protesting.

People continue to be arrested merely for protesting, and a long established local Human Rights NGO makes an urgent plea for an investigation into widespread reports of torture of detainees. There are now dozens of serious human right abuses: National Guardsmen shooting tear gas canisters directly into residential buildings. We have videos of soldiers shooting civilians on the street.

And that’s…

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Help Me Establish a Pollinator Conservatory

Bees and other pollinators are in danger. Ten million hives in the US alone have fallen to Colony Collapse Disorder, which in 2006 was named the thing that is killing honeybees. Colony Collapse Disorder is marked by the strange event of bees completely vanishing. Their bodies are nowhere to be found, but they are dead. Bees cannot live without their queen. When a hive suffers CCD, the queen is left behind.

The bees just fly off and die.

There are many theories as to the cause of this, as well as to the cause of declines in pollinator populations.

Many of them are outlined here, at this link in the video and in our story.

I am in a unique position to do something about this horrifying phenomenon. This isn’t hippie bullshit. The government details the issue on several of its websites, though I don’t believe it is doing enough to stop it. Please help me save the bees. Please donate to this or share this if you can’t. We have 19 days left to make our goal. There are some great perks, as well.

Click here to support Lusted Road Honey Co. & Humblebee Pollinator Conservatory. 

bees will live

AWP 2014: Seattle, Here I Come!

I love Seattle!

I love Seattle!

I LOVE the Pacific Northwest so much. I am happy AWP is up in its rain and trees this year. The following is my schedule. I hope I am not leaving anything off. I hope to see you there!

Thursday Feb. 27:

I will be driving up on Thursday to catch a meeting early in the day, meet up with friends, and catch some events!

Friday Feb. 28:

Reading at    AWP Heat: Burning Down the House 
Daily Grill at the Sheraton  (629 Pike Street)
Reading runs 12:30 to 6:00
I read in the 2:00 pm slot!
AWP HEAT: Burning Down the House will set Seattle aflame with the intensity of our readers; they’re game-changers and trail-blazers like Alice AndersonMatt BellRobin E. BlackAntonia CraneJulia FierroTyehimba JessTheo NestorMarie Myung-Ok Lee, and Whitney Otto (among others). Their words do more than “subvert the dominant paradigm,” they incinerate it. The personal and the political come together for this second annual AWP HEAT reading, a truly combustible evening. Co-hosted by Laura Bogart and Anna March. Free, but $5 suggested donation to benefit VIDA – Women in the Literary Arts.

Reading at    Cambridge Writers Workshop: A Night at the Victrola
Victrola Cafe  (310 E Pike St.0
Reading runs 7:30 – 9:00
I read at 8:50

I am honored to be asked to read with this group of poets including Peter Mountford, Nancy Jooyoun Kim, Amy Schrader, Jessica Day, Diana Norma Szokolyai, Rita Banerjee and others.

Reading at   Ink Node’s Fifth Anniversary 
Left Bank Books Collective (92 Pike Street)
10:00 pm – ?I am so excited for this one. I love Ink Node – such a great model for online literary magazines. I have many of my best pieces published there.Ink Node, a Seattle-founded online poetry journal, celebrates a million pageviews and 5 years of stigmergy at Left Bank Books with Mathias Svalina, Rebecca Hazelton, Dena Rash Guzman, Seth Abramson, Kevin Sampsell, Kate Lebo, Sara Guest, Sara Mumolo, Emily Pettit, Jaimie Gusman, & Evan Nagle. Join us Friday night for liquor, snacks, & poetic rapport.
Saturday Mar 1. 
Washington State Convention Center &
Sheraton Seattle Hotel
I will be at the book fair at the Unchaste Readers table signing books from LIFECYCLEREDUX1:30 – 2:30. I will be at the book fair all day long, looking for you!
Private EventReading poetry to a cool crowd of friends & strangers!

[Confession] The Bottomless Vertigo of Being Alive

Dena Rash Guzman:

My Sunday essay on Monday

Originally posted on :

My son at the Grand Canyon - 2014

My son at the Grand Canyon – 2014

A few days ago my mom took my son to the Grand Canyon. She sent me a photo of him sitting on the edge with his feet dangling over. I felt like she was even braver to take that photo than he was to sit that way. If I’d been there, I couldn’t have watched him sit so close to the edge. I would have needed to turn around and clutch my stomach. I would have gotten serious vertigo. He’s the most precious thing in the world to me. Seeing him sitting there would have made me feel dizzy for hours. The photo made me a little dizzy, too.

When I was a child, I suffered recurring nightmares. They always involved falling endlessly. I got them when I had a high fever. They repeated for a few years at a time. They’d…

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[LIT]My Monomania: Fork Burke

Originally posted on :

fork bFork Burke is a poet and visual & sound artist living in Switzerland. Fork  studied at the New School. She loves Tom Waits. Her writing and her energy compel me to continue to seek her out. We have been working together on a mysterious poetry project via email for over a year now. She sends me excerpts of other works and I respond with an original poem. This is supposed to be an immediate response. No editing. All I know is more than one of those poems ended up in my book . So did a poem I wrote from a list form she introduced to me called “Checklist.”

I think it’s safe to say Fork Burke is one of my muses. I wanted to know more about her, so I tossed the My Monomania questions of WHO WHAT WHY WHEN WHERE and HOW at her. She threw this back…

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