Sunday, August 26, 2007

Guest Blogging on Madam Mayo

In mid-August, I was invited by C. M. Mayo, gifted author of Miraculous Air: Journey of a Thousand Miles through Baja California, the Other Mexico (Milkweed Editions) and Sky Over El Nido (Univ. Georgia Press, Flannery O'Connor Award), to guest-blog on her blog, Madam Mayo. She is also the founding editor of Tameme and editor of Mexico: A Traveler's Literary Companion (Whereabouts Press). Check out her Web page at and her blog at Madam Mayo.

Here's the post, starting with Catherine's introduction:

Guest-blogging today is New York poet and visual artist Christine Boyka Kluge, the author of Teaching Bones to Fly (2003) and Stirring the Mirror (2007), both from Bitter Oleander Press, and Domestic Weather (2004), which won the 2003 Uccelli Press Chapbook Contest. Other awards include winning the 2006 Hotel Amerika Poetry Contest and the 1999 Frances Locke Memorial Poetry Award and receiving several Pushcart Prize nominations. Christine Boyka Kluge has "guest-blogged" for me back when I didn't even have this blog--- back when I was doing the "daily 5 minute writing exercises" (a kind of blog). Hers was definitely one of the most original. You can read it here (scroll down to October 22nd, "Falling Mirror").

Thanks for the lovely words, Catherine! These were my literary Web site suggestions for Madam Mayo's readers:

Since I love hybrid writing (prose poems, flash fiction, lyric essays, etc.), collaborations, and experimental work, I was delighted to discover the following Web sites. For summer entertainment and enlightenment, here are links to five extraordinary, inventive literary sites:

1. Born Magazine: Art and Literature Collaboration
They describe themselves as “an experimental venue marrying literary arts and interactive media.” The editors arrange collaborations between writers and artists, and the results are fascinating. Sometimes a musician gets into the mix. You’ll get lost in these creative masterpieces as you click your way through new little worlds.

2. The Diagram
How can you resist an electronic journal that claims to “value the insides of things, vivisection, urgency, risk, elegance, flamboyance…. Ruins and ghosts. Mechanical, moving parts, balloons, and frenzy.” The Diagram is chock full of odd diagrams and art, innovative poetry and prose, and everything in between.

3. Blackbird: An Online Journal of Literature and the Arts
From Virginia Commonwealth University, Blackbird is a feast of poetry, fiction, non-fiction, art, interviews, streaming audio, and video. There is always something new to intrigue and educate the visitor. Try the “browse” button.

4. Double Room: A Journal of Prose Poetry and Flash Fiction
Double Room’s goal is “to explore the intersection of prose poetry and flash fiction.” You’ll find a wealth of topnotch hybrid writing here, as well as discussion of the forms. Contributors answer questions about prose poetry and flash fiction. Art, too!

5. Bound Off: A Monthly Literary Audio Magazine
Bound Off releases a new podcast of short stories (and short-short stories) every month. Pieces are read aloud by their authors or the editors. Some musical interludes as well. Fun listening!

Monday, August 13, 2007

Stirring the Mirror

Stirring the Mirror, my second book from Bitter Oleander Press, just came out! I have been floating next to the ceiling since its arrival from the printer. It's a collection of prose poetry and flash fiction, with an extraordinary, eerie cover image by Malgorzata Maj, a Polish artist. The photograph is a wonderful match for both the title and the atmosphere of the book.

Again, I must thank my wise and compassionate editor and publisher at Bitter Oleander Press, Paul B. Roth. Another thank you to my generous blurb suppliers, the gifted writers Peter Johnson, Mary A. Koncel, and Ray Gonzalez. Here's what they had to say about Stirring the Mirror:

In Stirring the Mirror, Christine Boyka Kluge displays a mastery of metaphor, gliding effortlessly between myth and reality until these two states are indistinguishable. Her focus is on the paradoxical nature of our lives, which seem alternately fueled by loss and possibility. In one poem she writes that the "heart [is] the part that refus[es] to settle down" - a perfect description of the engine guiding Stirring the Mirror, a book characterized by wit, craft, but, most of all, heart.

- Peter Johnson

Stirring the Mirror is a collection of contemporary myths to live by. Traversing the boundaries between poetry and prose with her usual grace, Christine Boyka Kluge generously invites us to reflect on what makes us human. Her vibrant language and unfettered narratives, her cast of archetypal and everyday characters, her wit and wisdom - all delightfully combine to create a book of immense pleasure.

- Mary A. Koncel

As a poet of the earth and the imagination, Christine Boyka Kluge returns these gifts of creation through poems that redefine what it means to be in the world. These poems involve a private sense of vision and exploration as they encompass the outer existence of human understanding. To read this book is to know that Christine Boyka Kluge is writing poetry that touches us all.

- Ray Gonzalez

Pieces in Stirring the Mirror won the 2006 Hotel Amerika Poetry Prize and the 2003 Creative NonQuiction Contest sponsored by Quick Fiction, Brevity, and Del Sol Review. Two works received Pushcart Prize nominations. Selections from the book were finalists in the 1999 Dana Award in Speculative Short Fiction competition, Quarter After Eight's 2000 Prose Contest, and both the 2002 Tupelo Press Chapbook Contest and the 2002 New Michigan Press/The Diagram Chapbook Competition.

Writing from Stirring the Mirror has appeared in many anthologies: No Boundaries: Prose Poems by 24 American Poets (Tupelo Press), PP/FF: An Anthology (Starcherone Books), Sudden Stories (Mammoth Books), Diagram: Selections from the Magazine (Del Sol Books), and Text: Ur - The New Book of Masks (Raw Dog Screaming Press). Some of the prose poems will be reprinted in the forthcoming Online Writing: The First Ten Years (Snowvigate Press) and Riverine: An Anthology of Hudson Valley Writers (Codhill Press).

Last week I received an e-mail from Marion Roach, who does The Naturalist's Datebook program on Martha Stewart Radio Network. She will be reading "The Eye of the Beached Whale" from Stirring the Mirror on Friday, August 17th. I believe it is broadcast at intervals all day long. So, if you have Sirius Radio, listen in!

If you are interested in ordering Stirring the Mirror, here's a link to Bitter Oleander Press. My first book, Teaching Bones to Fly, a poetry collection, is also offered here.

Order Form

If you click on "Books" and scroll all the way down, there is a description of Stirring the Mirror and a sample prose poem. If you are inspired, you can click on "Orders" to print out an order form. You may also find Stirring the Mirror on Amazon. Thank you!

Here is a link to "Guilt," an interactive online collaboration I did with artist/designer Rick Mullarky on The Diagram. "Guilt" is one of the pieces in Stirring the Mirror.


You will need to turn on your sound. Click "Launch in a new window," then "Start." Progress through the piece by clicking on the small white arrows. Enjoy Rick's amazing art!