Four New Poems in the Toast!

I get super excited to be published in The Toast (this is my second time) both because I love it and because so many people I know love it.  Here are four poems from what I hope will be my next book that were published there in early March: http://the-toast.net/2016/03/03/four-poems-by-michalle-gould/

New Things

I am not the best at updating this website BUT here are a few new things.  My poem, “February,” was published by Open Letters Monthly.  You can read it here.  The first line of the poem is actually hand-written in sharpie on a coffeehouse wall in Los Angeles as well alongside years of other graffiti by other people.  I might have written part of the poem there too but I don’t remember!  For the sake of a better story, let’s say I did!

A poem from my book, “Words from a Pound of Flesh,” was re-published by The Quotidian Bee here.  This is a poem that was written some years ago but that still has a lot of meaning to me and which I am tempted to over-explain but which I will leave to speak for itself.

Location-specifically:

There are a few copies of my book now at Malvern Books, in Austin, which is very nice.  My book is print-on-demand, which means that instead of the publisher printing a “press run,” the book is printed when someone orders it.  That means for the most part, it is available online through the usual suspects or at readings, to which I bring author copies.  For whatever reason, I didn’t make getting it into actual live bookstores a big priority, I suppose because there were other things to think about when publishing a first book, but I did eventually get a few copies to Skylight Books in LA and now to Malvern and it is a very nice feeling to know that people can walk into a bookstore and see it and buy it if they wish!

I will be doing a reading in Denver, at the Leon Art Gallery, on Mar. 5th at 5:00.

Finally, My poem, “How Not To Need Resurrection,” is being included in the Pittsburgh Poetry Houses project, which you can find out more about here.  The poetry house will be hosted by Randyland, a really cool looking public art site.  Mine will be up for two weeks; I’m not exactly sure when yet, but I will let you know when I find out!  I am very excited because I love public art and I wish I could visit, but the poem will also be available through the project’s website and hopefully I’ll get a picture of it in situ!

The Quilliad Reviews Michalle Gould’s Resurrection Party

A nice new review of my book, I’m glad she thinks it is often funny! My sense of humor can be a bit dry so I always worry that people miss it!

The Quilliad

Michalle Gould’s Resurrection Party Michalle Gould’s Resurrection Party

Reviewing this book weeks before Halloween seems particularly appropriate; All Hallow’s Eve is, on some level, still about grappling with the spectre of the bones under our skin, while also celebrating the excitement of going out into the dark. While the poems in Michalle Gould‘s Resurrection Party are often about death, this book is very much alivea rare book that justifies its exclamation points. It is dark, yet filled with whimsy and weirdness. The dancing skeletons on the cover are only the beginning.

While I’ve read many beautiful poems, I’ve read fewer that are beautifully crafted and funny. But many of Gould’s poems are just that, ranging from witty to comical. This humour rarely shouts at us; rather, it winks, as in “Untitled”, which begins, “This was supposed to be a landscape without a person in it, / but there you are

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Adaptation

Today is the “official” release date of the short film adapted from my poem, “How Not To Need Resurrection,” first published in Poetry in 2003, then again in my book Resurrection Party (Silver Birch Press, 2014). In the supplementary interviews included with the film and the text of the poem at Motionpoems’ website here: http://www.motionpoems.com/resurrection/, one of the things I talk about is the challenge of the adaptation process, of the importance of letting go of your work and not developing preconceptions or expectations that will make it harder for you to open up to the filmmaker’s vision.  Because poetry is less typically adapted than fiction, I think this can be more of a leap for us (poets), but a worthwhile one.

I think one of the most interesting parts of this process was the way it caused me to reflect on the poem more as a reader might than as its writer.  One of the things the filmmakers mentioned when first talking to me was that they had been especially intrigued by its last line, which is the one line that I had the hardest time with when first writing the poem and the only one I really changed from the first draft (the title also had a few iterations).  That conversation and then seeing the film several months later helped me to feel like I really understood the meaning of that line and how it “completed” the rest of the poem in a new way.

In the same way that reading good poems can make people interested in writing poems themselves, this whole experience has also revived some of my own interest in making short films, which is something I’ve dabbled in before.  I’m hoping to eventually make my poem, “Tonight, the Clouds,” which can be read here: http://dailydoseoflit.com/2014/09/26/excerpt-michalle-gould/ into an animated film itself one day!

New Interview

I was interviewed by Ghanaian book blogger Geoffrey Gyasi here: https://geosireads.wordpress.com/2015/08/31/interview-with-michalle-gould-author-of-resurrection-party/ – this was cool both because it was fun doing the interview and I enjoyed answering the questions and because it reminded me that I should read more authors from different African countries.

I am particularly excited to check out some of the authors on these two lists: https://geosireads.wordpress.com/other-challenges/african-writers-challenge/ (the African Writers Series) and the Commonwealth Writers Prizewinners list: https://geosireads.wordpress.com/other-challenges/commonwealth-winners-challenge-africa/.

I am hoping to start with Benjamin Kwakye and Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o.  Also I really recommend Sembene Ousmane’s book God’s Bits of Wood: http://www.amazon.com/Gods-Bits-Wood-Sembene-Ousmane/dp/0435909592/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1441062307&sr=8-1&keywords=god%27s+bits+of+wood which is a harrowing novel about the 1947 Dakar-Niger railway strike.

New News

Poems from Resurrection Party are being featured on Sundress Publications blog all week long (7/13-7/17) as part of their “Best Dressed” feature, which is exciting for me, as I have never seen those two words applied to anything remotely connected with me before!  Here is the most recent entry: https://sundresspublications.wordpress.com/2015/07/15/the-wardrobes-best-dressed-michalle-goulds-resurrection-party-3/ and you can find the others linked below that one.  It’s a poem I always feel strange about, because it was written in response to a specific historical event, but I was never sure how or if it was important to convey that context or if I should just let the poem evolve into something else.  Over time, I think it has, without it ever really being up to me whether it did or not.

In other news, this week I registered as an official songwriter with ASCAP.  My friend Amy K. Bormet, a jazz musician and composer and founder of the Washington Women in Jazz Festival, and I have collaborated on a series of four country songs, some live versions of three of which can be heard here: https://soundcloud.com/michalle-gould and the full set of which may soon be released as an EP.  In addition, Amy has also set some of my poems to music and she and another friend of ours, Christine Morse, will be debuting the unaccompanied vocal duet “Tonight, the moon” this week at the Craft in America Gallery.

Here’s a photo of the first few lines of the sheet music:

jazz

Having my words set to music is a dream that I can not say that I ever really thought would come true.  It took probably ten years to find the right musician to be interested in the country lyrics and in working with my poems (the latter is a possibility that I never even really considered), but it was worth the wait to find the right person!

A Poem for the End of the World

My poem for the end of the world as part of Entropy/Enclave’s project of publishing “final poems” until they run out or the world ends can be found here: http://enclave.entropymag.org/finalpoem-from-michalle-gould/

I loved doing this – I think it encouraged me to write more spontaneously and not to over-think things.  I did this mostly in a single sitting (other than parts of the second to last line, which ended up being the linchpin to the poem) and then sent it off.