Black Lawrence Press
April 20, 2015

National Poetry Month Spotlight: Carol Guess & Daniela Olszewska

Welcome to National Poetry Month, 2015! We’re celebrating all month long. Each day we will bring you a poem we love–a selection from one of our published or forthcoming collections. In turn, the featured poets will introduce poems they love. Happy April!

Today’s featured poets are Carol Guess and Daniela Olszewska, authors of How to Feel Confident with Your Special Talents.

 
How to Feel Confident with Your Special TalentsHow to Reset Your Password

Remember your kindergarten teacher’s first pet’s maiden name minus the street you grew up on, times the place you met your spouse. This is your drag race name.

Your new password must contain at least one of the following symbols: &&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&

Do not use recognizable combinations of letters, such as HAPPYPANTS or CRUISECONTROL. Remember that computer generated passwords make you look fat.

If you’ve forgotten your password, answer one of the following security questions in Gaelic:

What is “nice”?

Do you know the way to San Jose?

How many coyote make a flock?

When your email address is hacked and a zombie spams your friends with ads for Canadian drugs, drive to Canada. Take advantage of low, low prices. Return with an accent and a drug-sniffing dog.

There are some things you should never buy online: sedatives for the cats, celebrity artifacts, lube. Never respond to IMs from profiles that use photo stock. Facebook requests from people with over 3000 friends will not make you popular.

All untenured listserv e-mails get filtered through a Nigerian prince in polite need of your immediate assistance. All severe weather updates end with GoogleMap directions to the nearest shelter. All news updates end with predictions of global financial collapse and/or sexual misconduct on the part of Capitalist Royalty.

I went to Craigslist and all I was found was this other roommate. Or Must like cats, but not own any. Electronica enthusiasts a plus. Or, God grades on the cross, not on a curve. This means you’re in the part of Mississippi with all the light-up church signs. Religions have been surprisingly quick at embracing this digital revolution. Or, Christ on a Media-Run, they still make sinners like they used to

 

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Carol has chosen to introduce “Black Raspberry Canes” by Stephen Burt.

She says that she loves this poem…(f)or the music. Burt is a poet’s poet, equally invested in sound and sense, always tangling the two into a third thing, strange. Also, the beautiful line: “Here was a part of nature / no one else would want to touch.”

Daniela has chosen to introduce “VI Dreadful Contact” by Carrie Lorig.

She says: Carrie Lorig’s “Dreadful Contact” shows that are way more than thirteen ways of looking at our weird, triangle-ish hearts. Lorig’s poem is merry-go-round that allows the reader to sit on quotations, personal epistolaries, and lyric-stuffed choruses. The result leaves me delighted, heartbroken, and impatient to read more of her work. 

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Carol Guess is the author of fourteen books of poetry and prose, including Darling Endangered and Doll Studies: Forensics. Forthcoming books include With Animal and The Reckless Remainder, both co-written with Kelly Magee. She teaches in the MFA program at Western Washington University, and blogs here: www.carolguess.blogspot.com

Daniela Olszewska is the author of three full-length collections of poetry, including cloudfang : : cakedirt (Horse Less Press, 2012) and Citizen J (Artifice Books, 2013). She and co-author Carol Guess released How to Feel Confident With Your Special Talents on Black Lawrence Press in 2014. Daniela lives in Chicago, where she teaches ESL, composition, and creative writing.

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