I was honored to be the inaugural weekly poet on my friend Jason Crane’s mercifully brief podcast. (Seriously, who the hell has time for hours of podcast listening a day?) I chose some older pieces that I thought might play well with a general audience: poems about religion, science, sex, war, and news consumption. If you have hearing issues, or just like to read along, here’s the text of the poems [PDF].
If you’re interested in contributing poems for a future episode of A Brief Chat, Jason says you can simply send an email to email@example.com – and include a sample of your work, obviously.
Listen here (or wherever you get your podcasts). For archival purposes, I’ve also downloaded and embedded the audio below. (Please note that all my poetry is released under an Attribution-ShareAlike Creative Commons license, meaning that anyone is free to remix as long as I’m acknowledged as the original author and the resulting remix isn’t placed under a more restrictive license. Contact me if you’d like a higher quality, WAV version of any of these poems.)
I’ve been terribly remiss in updating this blog with news about my new book of poetry, Ice Mountain: An Elegy. Nevertheless, the book has been getting around: popping up on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, and making its way into musical compositions and poetry films in places as far-flung as Belgium and Australia. (OK, pretty much just those two places. But still, that’s a lot better than me: I’ve barely left the mountain in the past four months.)
I tend to blog about such things at Via Negativa, and/or link them on Facebook, and be done with it, forgetting that I have this dandy author’s website as well. In short, like most poets, I suck at promotion. So, for example, I blogged about Marc Neys’ video trailer for the book, for which I supplied most of the footage, and Marc the music and selection of lines — a cento of his own creation. Check it out:
The natural world and the manmade world are always in uncomfortable proximity here … Dave resists easy binaries. There is a kind of beauty in the salt-bleached highway that “almost shines.” But our human needs for progress come at the cost of animal lives, and this collection never lets us forget that.
Further surprises awaited. The Australian multimedia artist and singer Marie Craven made two videos based on entries in Ice Mountain, one for 25 January and one for 7 March. The second included her own musical adaptation, collaborating with the composer Paul Dementio. The preceding link goes to a post at Via Negativa, but I’ll embed the videos here as well:
In February and March I gave local readings from the book and was pleased by the warm response of both audiences: one a nature club, the other a more literary bookstore crowd. I also recorded an interview with a local radio station (98.7 FM — The Freq) as part of an author week feature they ran in cooperation with State College’s Schlow Library. Jason Crane, the interviewer, had read the book and asked great questions — no surprise since he’s been interviewing people for radio and podcasts for many years. Listen here, or via the following embedded player:
The Morning Mixtape: Poet Dave Bonta talks about Ice Mountain, his new book of poems. This wide-ranging conversation also covers renewable energy, being specific about nature, and much more. NOTE: This online version contains an additional 6 minutes of conversation not found in the radio version. Author Week is sponsored by Schlow Centre Region Library and Centre County Reads.
So while I may not have been doing a proper author tour, the book has definitely been getting out there. I’m grateful for the many positive comments and mini reviews on social media, and the publisher seems happy with sales figures so far. More Ice Mountain-related things are in the works, including an album of ambient/electronic music based on the book and at least one reading in London this summer, so stay tuned!
I gave my first fully video-accompanied poetry reading last Wednesday at Webster’s Bookstore Cafe in State College, PA. Though I’ve given four readings in recent years with audiovisual components of some sort, this was the first where I experimented with reading along to “karaoke” versions of videopoems. I had a blast! It was organized and very engagingly emceed by Jason Crane, as part of a new monthly reading series.