Monday, November 24, 2014

Prayer for Joy by Stuart Kestenbaum

Another favorite poem published today in American Life in Poetry, a free weekly newsletter.

Introduction by Ted Kooser, US Poet Laureate:  Stuart Kestenbaum is a Maine poet with a new book, Only Now, from Deerbrook Editions. In it are a number of thoughtful poems posed as prayers, and here’s an example:

Prayer for Joy

What was it we wanted
to say anyhow, like today
when there were all the letters
in my alphabet soup and suddenly
the ‘j’ rises to the surface.
The ‘j’, a letter that might be
great for Scrabble, but not really
used for much else, unless
we need to jump for joy,
and then all of a sudden
it’s there and ready to
help us soar and to open up
our hearts at the same time,
this simple line with a curved bottom,
an upside down cane that helps
us walk in a new way into this
forest of language, where all the letters
are beginning to speak,
finding each other in just
the right combination
to be understood.

American Life in Poetry is made possible by The Poetry Foundation (, publisher of Poetry magazine. It is also supported by the Department of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Poem copyright ©2014 by Stuart Kestenbaum, “Prayer for Joy” from Only Now, (Deerbrook Editions, 2014). Poem reprinted by permission of Stuart Kestenbaum and the publisher. Introduction copyright © 2014 by The Poetry Foundation. The introduction's author, Ted Kooser, served as United States Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress from 2004-2006. We do not accept unsolicited manuscripts.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Long Stitch Book

This is the first long stitch book I made in Kelley Walker's  class at My Heart's Fancy.  If you aren't local and want to learn how to make this book (along with a pamphlet stitched book in a slip case), she also teaches an online version here.  Kelley is a great teacher.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Pamphlet Books in Slipcase

I made these books and slipcase in a class I took from Kelley Walker last year.  She teaches it online too, which you can find here.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Long Stitch Book

I have enjoyed making books ever since I made my first one many years ago, and about a year ago I discovered a great book arts group right here in the town where I live.  It is a great group of artists who are up for just about anything.  I taught this book structure at our last meeting.  Thanks to Kelley Walker for teaching this structure at My Heart's Fancy a few months back.  The covers are some of my gelli plate printed papers and the spine is sticky back canvas painted with acrylic paint.