How I Discovered Poetry: Laure-Anne Bosselaar

How I Discovered Poetry ~ Laure-Anne Bosselaar

Discovering Rhyme

They came cheap, the Petites Punitions
nuns flung at us for lesser sins: dyslexic
signs of the cross, skipped

confessions, whispers during Silence —
and sentences followed: copy two, ten, twenty
Lord’s Prayers or Hail Marys

on calligraphy paper, cursives
correctly curled, capitals clinging to margins,
black ink for consonants, vowels in red.

The wars I waged in those French
syllables — wanting love-red vowels to win
over habit-black consonants!

I hated hailing Mary, for anything
full of grace shamed me: I was homely,
lumpy, and had never been baptized —

three reasons for perpetual doom:
no sips of our Savior’s red liquor for me,
or tastes of His wan

flesh on my tongue. Banished,
I spent mass in the chapel’s back pews,
bored, counting red stained-

glass pieces over blue, gold
versus green in the west window
where Mary Magdalene

held Christ’s foot to her breast
so tenderly. On drizzly days, slow
raindrops sobbed down

Christ’s flank unto her longing
face­— I loved watching how nothing
distracted her from looking up at Him,

how she let Him quench His gaze
into hers. It was on one of those days
that novices sang a new hymn.

Its melody was rueful, flowed
with long ooo sounds: two words,
amour and toujours

swooned in harmony— it was
new to me: music inside a song, words
could pour melody into a tune —
swoon in harmony like Christ
and Mary Magdalene. I hadn’t heard this
as achingly before.

After that day, I slipped rhymes
in each line of my small punishments:
Hail frail Mary,
blessed art thou now… sounds
crimson with amour, rhyme’s song
pour toujours.

Queens of Poetry

I am putting together an anthology– Queens of Poetry: A Tribute to Bosselaar, Duhamel, Laux & Wier. I launched the site on April 1, and I have received almost ten submissions as well as a handful of queries.

Check out the submission guidelines. Submit.

Share the link to Queens of Poetry with your writing group, students, friends, on your blog, via Facebook…. whatever you can do to spread the word.

Limp Wrist Limited Edition Chapbook

I am excited to announce that Limp Wrist is producing a limited edition chapbook, and it will be available in April 2009.

All proceeds from the chapbook will fund Limp Wrist‘s scholarship.

The Chapbook Roster
Laure-Anne Bosselaar
Dustin Brookshire
Kurt Brown
Denise Duhamel
Christopher Hennessy
Charles Jensen
Mary Chi-Whi Kim
Dana Guthrie Martin
Courtney Queeney
David Trinidad
Robert Walker

If you would like to reserve a copy, contact me via email The cost is $10 per chapbook– don’t forget, it goes for a great cause.

I will personally pay your shipping and handling fees if you reserve your copy before 2/1/09.

Karen Chase, Ellen Bass, and Dorianne Laux have all agreed to write a blurb for the chapbook.

For You Hookers, I Mean Facebook-ers

I created a Facebook Group titled Fans of Denise Duhamel OR A Group of Duhamalites. If you’re on Facebook and enjoy the work of Denise Duhamel, well, you should this group ASAP. The exciting part about the group is I’ve started Denise’s Question of the Month. Members of the group submit questions; one question will be answered each month by Denise, and I’ll post the question with answer on the group page. (Cool beans, I know!)

Join the Fcebook Fan Pages I created in honor of:
Limp Wrist
Kim Addonizio
Laure-Anne Bosselaar
Dorianne Laux

Overdue Pictures from 2/28/08 Limp Wrist Launch Party

Here’s a couple of pictures…. more later…

Bottom Row: Genevieve Lyons, Stacie Boschma, Lisa Allender
Top Row: Philip Rafshoon, Dustin Brookshire, Collin Kelley, Laure-Anne Bosselaar

Laure-Anne talking before reading a poem

Pictures by Greg Gimpelevich.

"Why Do I Write" ~ Laure-Anne Bosselaar

WHY DO I WRITE ~ Laure-Anne Bosselaar

“Two years ago, I read Orhan Pamuk’s Nobel Prize acceptance speech and so loved one particular part of it that I copied it in my journal. Here, very slightly edited, is his response – which, I feel, could also be mine and one so many writers would make theirs. (I did add – in italics — one more reason I’d have given!) So, most respectfully quoting Orhan Pamuck:

The question we writers are asked most often, the favorite question, is: Why do you write? I write because I have an innate need to write. I write because I can’t do normal work as other people do. I write because I want to read books like the ones I write. I write because I am angry at everyone. I write because I love sitting in a room all day writing. I write because I can partake of real life only by changing it. I write because I want others, the whole world, to know what sort of life we lived, and continue to live. I write because I love the smell of paper, pen, and ink. I write because I believe in literature, in the art of the novel, more than I believe in anything else. I write because it is a habit, a passion. I write because I am afraid of being forgotten. I write because I like the glory and interest that writing brings. I write to be alone. Perhaps I write because I hope to understand why I am so very, very angry at everyone. Perhaps I write because there is so much I want to sing and love. I write because I like to be read. I write because once I have begun a page I want to finish it. I write because everyone expects me to write. I write because I have a childish belief in the immortality of libraries, and in the way my books sit on the shelf. I write because it is exciting to turn all life’s beauties and riches into words. I write because I wish to escape from the foreboding that there is a place I must go but—as in a dream—can’t quite get to. I write because I have never managed to be happy. I write to be happy.”

(Click here to read the whole speech.)

Limp Wrist Launch Party!

Last night was the Limp Wrist launch party at Outwrite, and it was fantastic event. We started off with a minute silence in memory of Lawrence King. If you haven’t heard of Lawrence King read the NY TIMES article that I’ve linked; then take a moment and Google his name. His story is tragic and needs to be shared.

Laure-Anne Bosselaar was the guest of honor and started off the night. Then I read followed by Collin Kelley and Stacie Boschma. Lisa Allender and Genevieve Lyons rounded out the night– these talented poets graciously read in place of two other poets. Lisa read for Beth Gylys and Genevieve for Denise Duhamel.

There was such good energy in the bookstore for which I am glad and thankful. The evening went off without a hitch. A dear friend of mine, Greg, took tons of pictures of the event. I’m going to meet in a week or so for a drink and to receive the CD with the pictures. (can’t wait!)

I have to give a shout out to Cousin’s Bakery for donating cookies for the event as well as Jenny Allen for donating some her tasty Jenny J’s Cheese Dip. Please contact me if you’d like more information on Cousin’s or Jenny J’s.

I give a hearty THANK YOU to Phillip Rafshoon, Outwrite owner. When I contacted Phillip about wanting to do the launch party at Outwrite, there was never a hesitation about making it happen. Phillip is unbelievably supportive to the GLTB community in Atlanta, so stop by Outwrite when you’re in the city!

Laure-Anne Bosselaar at Java Monkey

Laure-Anne read at Java Monkey last night, and she was spectacular. Every single poem she read is fabulous. I could worship the paper she writes on.

I’m thrilled and honored that Laure-Anne is attending and reading at the Limp Wrist launch party at Outwrite on 2/28/08. The first issue will contatin an interview with the lovely Laure-Anne. Besides reading some of her work, Laure-Anne will do a Q&A session. If you have a question you’d like to ask Laure-Anne please send it in an email to prior to Feb. 27 with the subject reading “question for Laure-Anne.”

2/28/08 ~ Save the Date

Launch Party
hosted by Outwrite

Outwrite has generously agreed to host the fagulous launch party for Limp Wrist on Thursday, February 28, 2008, starting at 8pm. Those operating on gay time need to disregard the 8pm statement; program 7:30pm in your PDA as the start time!

The special guest of the evening will be the fierce Laure-Anne Bosselaar. You don’t want to miss your chance to hear Laure-Anne; she’s only in town for a limited time.

Come out and support Limp Wrist with an evening of poetry and conversation.