Monday, August 8, 2016

Marshall Warfield: Director of Masters Degree Program in Publishing at Rosemont College

I am pleased as punch to know that Google and search engines across the planet can now associate Marshall Warfield as Director of the MA in Publishing Degree at Rosemont College. The past few weeks involved a good deal of settling in (bit of a learning curve), but I am thrilled to be working with some amazing students, professors, and industry folks.

HippoCamp 2016 in Lancaster, PA this weekend will be my big "coming out" in a way. The MA in Publishing and the MFA in Creative Writing programs are helping to sponsor Hippocampus Magazine's amazing conference in Creative NonFiction writing, and I will be manning a booth, presenting, and just generally available to chat about writing, books, and education.

Marshall Warfield
Director, Masters Degree in Publishing
Rosemont College

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Wrapping-up National Poetry Month in Style

National Poetry Month 2016 is coming to a close, and the last big event in the Philadelphia region is Saturday at Rosemont College -- an event I was happy to have a roll in organizing.

Poet Laureate of Philadelphia, and former Montgomery County Poet Laureate, Yolanda Wisher will be our keynote speaker. She is also teaching a masterclass. Donald Hall poetry prize winner Kirsten Kaschock is also teaching. The day includes lunch and access to a book fair of literary magazines and presses. There are also other poetry panels to attend for great poetry and great talk about poetry. We considered secondary and college-aged students in the design of this conference, so we also have panels on poetry in other languages and spoken word/slam poetry. But don't worry adults, most of the work is aimed at us, including "What Happens When the Candle and the Magic and the Vodka Don't Work." The full schedule of events and speakers is here.

The event is open to the poetry-inclined of all ages and interest-levels, and this is the world of poetry as it is happening now.

Students and others can get special discounted rates. Please visit the registration portion of our website to learn more and purchase a registration.

The 2016 LitLife Poetry Conference at Rosemont College is Saturday, April 30 -- a great way to be a part of National Poetry Month. 

One last thing: we can't afford to officially offer all of the discounted rates we would like to, but because the website can't verify exactly who is entitled to a discount, if some folks need to take advantage of discounts, we understand.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Center for Post Natural History

Source: Center for PostNatural History (via instagram)
I was pleased to see Rich Pell consulted for this recent New York Times article on the legal battles around the Sea-Monkey estate because Pell runs the brilliant Center for PostNatural History.

CPNH, located in Pittsburgh, has a cool collection of specimens and information that explores the ways human beings are tinkering with (and have tinkered with) what used to be natural genetic processes. More than a museum, CNPH positions itself to bring together researchers across disciplines who are interested in growing our understanding of this new wild west that actually permeates our everyday lives.

If you're not sure what I mean by that last idea, you should definitely visit the center.

You can begin your exploration here -- it's a great site.

Of course there is still a neato collection. When in Pittsburgh, you can visit the center (details here).

Friday, December 18, 2015

Thanks for the reminder, Fandango

My showtime was 8:30.

That's okay, Fandango. I remembered all by myself and got to the theater at 6:30.

Just a question: who in the world orders so many movie tickets online that they need a reminder?

"Wait. What? I bought a movie ticket? That's right! My life is such a non-stop, coke-fueled, snow-boarding adventure, that I totally forgot I had planned to unwind tonight with Alvin and the Chipmunks Road Chip. Glad I got this reminder."

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Clover Volume 9 now available

Marshall Warfield gets published in Clover Volume 9 Summer 2015Last month I announced that I had two poems published in Clover, A Literary Rag (I love how the title features a comma and a modifier). That issue is now for sale on the Independent Writer's Studio Website! Click here (and scroll down to the bottom of the page) to pick one up.

Your purchase supports the fine work Mary Gillilan is doing at the Independent Writer's Studio in Bellingham, WA and beyond. Of course, you also get to read my poems.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Two of my poems were just published

So, I am pleased to announce that the journal Clover, A Literary Rag has just published two of my poems in its 9th volume--the summer 2015 issue.

Thanks to Mary Gillilan for giving "Shoveling the Walk" and "Cold Furnace" a warm place to call home as they make their first appearance in the world.

Clover is part of the Independent Writers' Studio in Bellingham, Washington. You can support Mary's efforts and see my work: subscribe.

You can also order issues via PayPal, but issue 9 isn't available yet.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

If the 1980s had a tabletop card game, RESISTOR_ would be it

My friend's tabletop card game, RESISTOR_: Hacking on the brink of nuclear destruction comes to its close on Kickstarter in just a few hours. If you haven't heard about it yet, here's the promo video:

It's been a great run for Nicole and her partner Anthony, but it's not over yet. They met their goal early, and buzz about the game has been great, so they are setting a mystery prize-goal-thingee at a level four times their initial goal. Can they do it?

As I thought about this post, I realized that if there's a story here, it's in these three points:

great games are made by women but few know this,

great games can be simple,

great games don't get to be famous unless there's a groundswell of support from friends, friends of friends, and strangers--all saying, "Huh. That looks cool. I'm going to support it by buying a copy."

I was one of those early sponsors who supported RESISTOR during its first day. Word spread quickly via facebook, twitter, vine, instagram and online communication, and I thought about how much easier it is to connect with like-minded hobbyists and enthusiasts now as compared to the 1980s (the deacde in which I like to imagine these supercomputers battling it out). If you were lucky, you had access to compuserve or usenet. Most of the time, the newsletter arriving via the post office was the way enthusiasts kept in contact over vast distances. Maybe that's the point here:

Perhaps someday RESISTOR will have a digital version that we can play online--who knows, maybe we'll be reading a review by Chris Grant over at Polygon--but for now this game, that has set itself in the early days of the digitally networked world, that uses so many of the tropes that lay the groundwork for our current world in which we meet without really meeting, asks us to be in the same room to play it. It's wonderfully ironic.

I really hope RESISTOR reaches its new goal and Nicole unlocks the mystery at 40K. Heck, I hope the 705 backers turns into 7000 backers. I can't wait to see what Nicole and Anthony have planned.

I'm looking ahead to a few months from now, to the first time(s) that we all sit down to play this. I think that part of the magic of that first time will be this: all of the people that came together online to support this game, will be able to come together IRL.

And we'll be pretending to be computers trying to hack into each other. I love it.


Sunday, March 29, 2015

The one where I tell you about poet Jill Khoury

My email gets backed-logged. If you know me personally, you know this truth. Then, some mornings, I sit down with a big mug of coffee and commit to reading every email. That's when I discover wonderful news buried in the bottom of a weekly newsletter from a company I often ignore (but shouldn't). One name among a list of recently published poets: Jill Khoury. The very cool Jill Khoury has had some poems accepted in the past week.

Who is Jill Khoury you ask? She's an old acquaintance of mine from college. Her words always carried a directness that I appreciated. She didn't take shit, yet she was kind enough to spend time listening to me jabber on those few times she was unlucky enough to run into me during my more desperate days. I've been watching her work appear here and there for the past few years, and I am excited to see her read in Minneapolis for AWP. Look for her work soon in Portland Review, Quaint, and SiDEKiCK. Look for her first full-length collection from Sundress Publications in 2016.

Sundress has a bio for Khoury on their authors page.

Here's her organized and helpful website.

These posts at Stephanae V. McCoy's Bold Blind Beauty impress me with their truth and honesty.

But what about the poems? That's the best part. Try these here and here -- and I enjoy this amusing one here.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Hire a Poet for Your Next Function

haikuguysEternally optimistic, I am not surprised that some enterprising folks are bringing poetry to the masses--and finally making money doing it.

In a Fast Company article published today with the irresistible clickbait title referencing "$225 an hour," author Elizabeth Segran describes The Haiku Guys and their "gigs." Weddings, birthdays, corporate events, you name it--they show up and work with the guests to write memorable haikus. Maybe it's a fad. So many activities at weddings and parties come and go, but members Lisa Markuson, Erick Szentmiklosy, and Daniel Zaltsman seem to have a few more tricks up their collective performance sleeves.

Yes, I would say this falls under the category of performance art--it's just not the kind of performance art mocked in popular media. And I love it--especially because it engages the audience (empowers, even?) and celebrates writing as communication tool and memento--not just part of an artifact that only has value when analyzed and dissected.

My only question, where are the Sonnet Dames?

Obviously there's room for growth in this field.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Beat the winter chill with handmade candles

As most know, the winter has been especially harsh on east coast residents this year. Boston has been buried, and while New York, Philly, Baltimore, and DC haven't had the New England snow totals, the relentless onslaught of freezing rain and annoying snow storms have made even the mightiest optimists feel gloomy. My solution has been to light candles that have been lovingly made by my brother.

He uses local beeswax and his background as an artist and researcher to create these amazing talismans against the numbing effects of this season. They smell beautiful. They make great gifts. They will lift your spirits. If you're interested in learning how candles can do this, visit his site.

Nothing like an afternoon coffee break with candlelight.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Poetry Saves Lives

The 2014 Dodge Poetry Festival reminded me that firmness and certainty are antithetical to truly magical writing--or at least to the type of writing I enjoy. I encountered none of this at Dodge.

Everyone I met and listened to at readings and panels seemed curious and generous. Perhaps the only certainty embraced was this: poetry should be an act of love.

Three magical moments for me: receiving a page of haiku from a stranger, listening to Dan Vera read, and receiving a handmade chapbook from a guy who admitted that poetry helps him cope with depression. While the first dozen or so pages are full of his poems, the back pages of the book are full of hotlines and numbers people can call for help if they are struggling with depression or suicidal thoughts.

While this Festival clearly addressed the engines of war and imprisonment that our country too often relies upon, I hope future festivals will address how our country still stigmatizes those grappling with mental illness.

If you're interested in seeing some of my tweets from Dodge (I tried to tweet about every event I attended) you can find me on twitter: @yesthatwarfield

The importance of being edited

If you've been a fan of Doctor Who for as long as I have, you understand that it is, at its core, a children's television show. That was how it was designed. Tom Baker knew this--he admitted as much in interviews on special edition DVDs. The writers know this. The actors know this. There has always been a certain amount of sloppiness that I think the show and its audience have tolerated--a certain gap between what's expected and what gets accomplished. The gigantic imaginations of the young (and young at heart) will seep into those gaps and make each episode seem smooth and magical.

However, this season, the gaps or sloppiness seem too large or ill-timed. It began with the writing of a practically gerontophobic Clara in episode 1, and smaller, hard-to-pin-down missteps in other episodes. One in particular grabbed me two weeks ago: Capaldi and Coleman are impressive actors, but even their talents cannot hold me in the scene below where a talented actor seems to be ill-placed by the director or forgotten by an editor. I took some screen shots and designed the following graphic to illustrate my point. What is supposed to be an emotional scene between the Doctor and Clara, becomes a film school lesson taught by Capaldi and Coleman.

Part of the fun of Doctor Who has been the acknowledgment of its fantasy elements:  a mysterious mad man in a magical blue chariot that's bigger on the inside, his screwdriver magic wand, the adventures he undertakes, and the oppressed he saves or empowers. The special effects have only recently gotten better, but I never tuned in for that. It was the fun.

As a kid, the fun didn't end when I considered how the mountains in my sandbox weren't real mountains. The fun ended when the adults distracted me. This my point about editing.

Editing is not simply the tidying up of mistakes. Good editing works to create a world that holds the audience, to let the audience feel embraced by the world of the text--whether it be viewer, listener, or reader.