Hi Hi Hi!!!

Dear Fellow Poets, Writers, Readers, Friends, Family & All the Rest of You Beautiful People...I hope, above all, that you are well, that you are taking care of yourself, that you remember you are loved and valued and contribute to the best of this world. Yeah, I know so much of what is floating around (viruses, bad vibes, political mishigosh, etc) can be a real downer, and I get that it's okay to sink down onto the bed and have a good scream or cry or pounding of the pillow. Do it, if you can come out of it and get yourself back on the train, looking out the window at the snow-covered mountains, that infinite sky and all the glorious wonders of this world. That said, here's a little look into my world, mostly poetry stuff, but, you know it's one of the precious parts of my life that keeps me afloat, keeps me curious, tender, brave and connected to my true nature. Maybe, it does that for you, too.
You'll find a couple of threads about courage/bravery/making a bold move, in this newsletter. It's certainly up for me in my life and writing, both of which tend to run along parallel lines. I'm learning what it means to take risks, to follow my soul's lead and walk into the flames, knowing I may come out singed, but not completely toast, especially when I get a lotta help from my friends, family and community, including all of you. Big Hugs!
IN THE MOMENT: I'm still revelling in the joy of the publication of my chapbook "She Speaks to the Birds at Night While They Sleep" by the wonderful Southern California publisher, Tebot Bach. If you haven't got a copy and would like one, contact me and I'll send you a signed copy or you can order online at Amazon or Bookshop. I had a really lovely Book Launch on Zoom a couple of months ago and am putting additional readings, interviews and videos on my calendar as the days go on.
If you live in Orange County, or the surrounding areas, you are invited to come out to the Anaheim Public Library reading on Thursday, February 3rd at 5PM. I'll be the featured reader and there is an Open Mic, so bring your poems to share. (See flyer below for details.) It's FREE! I'll also be recording a video with Poetry.LA for their "Poet Conversations" in March with the vibrant and talented Terry Wolverton. I'll post a link on my website and in my next quarterly newsletter. 
A few weeks ago I did a short video for Wednesday Night Poetry for their Facebook reading series. It's two short poems and you can view it here. It's a great group of poets to follow and you can record a poem and join in the Open Mic portions, when they're available. I'm also following Women Poets on FB, which is fun to check in with now and again to see who's getting published and doing readings around the country. If you're a woman poet and would like to join, let me know and I'll invite you to the group.

IN THE WORKS: I'm putting together a new manuscript of poems that circle the very heartbreaking and heart-opening issues I've been working through over this last year as pertains to my spiritual journey, ie leaving the spirtual community I was a part of for 48 years, after finding out that my then spiritual teacher had been sexually abusing women for decades. I have written about 80 poems in four different styles and am now in the "revise and select" phase of the process, with the next phase being the ordering of the poems and putting it all togehter in a manuscript format. This is a project I never dreamed of doing, never thought I'd be in this place in my life, but when the creative spirit, the soul, says GO!, says YOU MUST!, well, there's no way out, other than to deny the calling, which, it seems I cannot do. I'll keep you apprised as to how it's going in future newsletters.
Blog posts are still happening on my website, haribpoet.com. Topics range from acid reflux to writing courageously (with a nod to the poet, Sharon Olds), to my take on "wasting time." They're short and from the heart. 
Poems Recently Posted: Sign on the Door & Ghosts
with special appearance by my late mother (in the poem and the image).

Live in Orange County?

Come out for a reading at the Anaheim Public Library!

Good Stuff

It's tough keeping up with all the emails, articles, videos, online readings and literary journals that put out such great "food for thought." I try to at least take a spoonful, if not a whole meal, of all the delicious artistic nutrition available whenever possible. Here's a sampling of what I'm loving right now. What are you obsessed with, or simply delighting in at this time? Let me know and I'll include your pics in my next newsletter.

Four poetry books I've read cover-to-cover and continue to dip back into whenever I get the urge to see the world from another angle. I'm reading a lot of women poets right now and find their work to be a constant inspiration.
Dunce by Mary Ruefle
Bright Dead Things by Ada Limon
On the recommendation of one of my poetry mentors, I just ordered The Art of Daring: Risk, Restlessness, Imagination by Carl Phillips, essays on the "craft of poetry, its capacity for making space for possibility and inquiry." The title speaks to exactly the courage I need to keep going with my current project. I'll let you know if it works.
The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo. My sister sent me this book-length poem for Christmas. It's a Young Adult book written entirely in verse by an African American poet. I haven't dived in yet, but plan to soon.
For more of my favorite books of poems and books about poetry, visit my Bookshop Store.
Watched this video live last month, sponsored by the Academy of American Poets--a fun and varied discussion on the topic of "appetites," which seems like a strange topic, but turned out to be a fascinating and varied look at the concept of what we crave and how it shows up in our poetry, with Ellen Bass, Terrance Hayes, David St. John & Marilyn Chin.
Chancellor Conversations: Poetry & Appetite: Academy Chancellors Ellen Bass, Marilyn Chin, Forrest Gander, Terrance Hayes, and David St. John have a conversation on poetry and appetite, and on poems that speak to the desires and needs of the body and of communities.


This little book of 28 poems was written in the early days of the pandemic. Late at night, before drifting to sleep, I would pull out my iPad and out these 18-line darlings would emerge. I had never written poems in the third person, but it felt completely natural to turn over the pen to the "She" who would express her innermost dreams, fears, memories and wisdom, as she navigated the everyday experiences of life during a pandemic. 
Chosen as the winner of the 2020 Tebot Bach Clockwise Chapbook Contest, here are a couple of short notes on what you'll find inside:

As in the seasons of a woman's life, the quotidian world and the world of mystery change places, pause for us to marvel, then change back again.  
~N. Cohen
One of the things I love about these poems is that they confront
the dark and the light of our lives. 
G. Wronsky
These compact lines turn the facts of the pandemic everyday, the small battles of mundane chores, into sensual impressions that pique like cayenne on the tongue.
 ~J. Natal

She Speaks to the Birds at Night While They Sleep
Available at Bookshop or Amazon 

(if they show "out of stock" place your order for future delivery)

Contact me directly and I'll mail you a signed copy
Purchase price is $17 plus shipping of $3 in the U.S. 
Payment thru Venmo, PayPal or Square

Recent Blog Posts

Click on the photos below to read these short pieces
Acid reflux
it's about time

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