Welcome to where I am, where my kitchen's always messy, a pot's (or a poet) always about to boil over, a dog is always begging to be fed. Drafts of poems on the counter. Windows filled with leaves. Wind. Clouds moving over the mountains. If you like poetry, books, and music--especially dog howls when a siren unwinds down the hill-- you'll like it here.


MY NEW AUTHOR'S SITE, KATHRYNSTRIPLINGBYER.COM, THAT I MYSELF SET UP THROUGH WEEBLY.COM, IS NOW UP. I HAD FUN CREATING THIS SITE AND WOULD RECOMMEND WEEBLY.COM TO ANYONE INTERESTED IN SETTING UP A WEBSITE. I INVITE YOU TO VISIT MY NEW SITE TO KEEP UP WITH EVENTS RELATED TO MY NEW BOOK.


MY NC POET LAUREATE BLOG, MY LAUREATE'S LASSO, WILL REMAIN UP AS AN ARCHIVE OF NC POETS, GRADES K-INFINITY! I INVITE YOU TO VISIT WHEN YOU FEEL THE NEED TO READ SOME GOOD POEMS.

VISIT MY NEW BLOG, MOUNTAIN WOMAN, WHERE YOU WILL FIND UPDATES ON WHAT'S HAPPENING IN MY KITCHEN, IN THE ENVIRONMENT, IN MY IMAGINATION, IN MY GARDEN, AND AMONG MY MOUNTAIN WOMEN FRIENDS.




Thursday, April 8, 2010

POET OF THE DAY: CHITRA DIVAKARUNI


Two weeks ago I meet novelist and poet Chitra Divakaruni who was here for our WCU literary festival. I had long admired Chitra's work, beginning years ago with her book of poems Black Candle. After her poems, I began to read her beautifully realized novels, among them Sister of My Heart and The Vine of Desire, and knew I had to try to contact her. She generously responded to my blog comments and emails, all of which led to the invitation for her to come to Cullowhee for our festival. Spending time with her was a pleasure! At the NC Center for the Advancement of Teaching, she engaged the teachers in a friendly, informative question/answer session, and her reading that night was a marvel of presentation. Born in Calcutta, Chitra now lives in Houston with her family; she teaches in the University of Houston graduate writing program and has just published a new new novel, One Amazing Thing. You can find her online at her website, chitradivakaruni.com, and on facebook.

The New City ( II)

In the old place, the soil was black from earthquakes.
Jacaranda grew in it, and purple iceplant,
things she was not sure would winter here.

At what point does one grow too old
to learn new names? Green ash, water oak. The sounds
soft as a palm pressed over her mouth, her nose.

She prayed for distraction. Felt guilty to say
she missed the roads more than all else,
the way they plunged from hills, not looking back.

On a new freeway there are no landmarks.
Driving, she felt her tires slide as on river-ice.
Blur and wheel. A sound like enormous wings.

The faceless trees were pronged by their unleashing.
Time, white as shredded letters,
rushing laughing past her windows.

from Black Candle, Calyx Books, Rev. Edition 2000)





(Chitra and City Lights Bookstore owner/manager Chris Wilcox at the book table)

7 comments:

Lorenzo — Alchemist's Pillow said...

Hi, Kathryn. Thanks for posting this and introducing us to Chitra. I visited her website and blog, where I enjoyed her conversation interview with Orhan Pamuk.

By the way, I was never able to access the Susan Kirby-Smith poet of the day post from yesterday, and could only see it in Google Reader.

Vicki Lane said...

I had the same problem with the Kirby-Smith post -- didn't know about Google Reader.

But this today -- love the image of time rushing laughing past the windows. Boy, does it ever!

willow said...

"...soft as a palm pressed over her mouth, her nose"

Delicious.

Martin H. said...

I'd also like to say thanks for introducing me to Chitra's work. I'll be visiting her website to learn more.

Kathryn Stripling Byer said...

Hello all, I wish you could meet Chitra. She's one of the warmest people I've ever met. I'm glad to hear you've visited her website and blog. She will usually respond to posts, so don't be shy about asking her a question or making a comment.

LisaLackey said...

Thanks, Kathryn - so glad you featured Chitra!
As one of the fortunate teachers who got to talk with her at the WCU festival, I second your comment on her warmth. She was open, funny, inspiring - a wonderful presenter. I look forward to reading more of her poetry, too. Lovely.

Jessie Carty said...

i had same issues with the kirby-smith post from google reader so i couldn't comment but enjoyed the poems.

really love this one and the subtle way Chitra weaves in different textures like references to earth and ice in different places. very nice!