POETRY AT ROUND TOP has been accurately described as "the best kept secret on the American poetry scene. " What an an honor and a privilege it has been to spend the last three days in retreat with such luminous poets. Thank you to the Round Top Festival Institute for publishing my poem, "Paris." I am deeply touched to see my work in concert with such exceptional poets. And special thanks to Natalie Diaz, Cornelius Eady, and Octavio Quintanilla, whose poems and insights are candles on a dark night. - GL
Thank you to poetry maestro, Mike Alexander (www.abusedmuse.com), and FIX Coffeehouse for hosting a wonderfully successful reading this past Tuesday. Being featured along with the immensely talented John Milkereit was both an honor and a delight. We enjoyed reading to a full house on a cool January evening. Poetry coupled with the very best coffee in Houston = HAPPINESS!!!!!!!
Thank you to Nuestra Palabra and KPFT Radio for having me on their show yesterday evening. I was honored to be with fellow citizen and poet, Robin Davidson, and visiting with Tony Diaz and Lupe Mendez. LOVE THESE GUYS! Viva los #librotraficantes! Also thrilled to meet dynamo social media activist, Antonio Arellano. Yes indeed, we are #heretostay #writersresist #unidos we #writedemocracy. So proud to be a part of this bright and vibrant community!
As Billie Duncan of Balcony Poets has pointed out, today's list reads like a "Whose Who of Houston Poetry." I am humbled and honored to have been invited to read my poem "Parallels of Grief: Two Party Politics." Even better, we are speaking in tandem with poets nationwide, poets like the great and amazing Robert Pinsky (one of our U.S. Poet Laureates) who has written a poem especially for this national event. Thank you to Tintero Projects and Houston Holocaust Museum for supporting this effort in Houston.
We will not be silenced, not on this night, not EVER.
WE WILL NOT BE SILENCED.
Re. #writedemocracy #writersresist #freedomofspeech
What an honor and a delight to have spent the day with Gulf Coast Poets, and to be their featured poet at Barnes & Noble. This is a WONDERFUL community of poets and poetry lovers. Thank you especially to David E. Cowen who made an extra heroic effort to come to the event to introduce me while he is still recovering from pneumonia! I am also grateful for those who spent well over three hours at the lunch afterwords. (I am looking at you, Glynn M. Irby and Chris Thygesen.) An inspiring group of poets, friends, poetry lovers and Weasel Press! (Weasel Patterson's press is producing wonderful things).
LOVE GULF COAST POETS! I recommend ALL Houston area poets/poetry lovers to check them out!
January 14, 2017 Barnes and Noble Bookstore 1029 W Bay Area Blvd
Gabrielle Langley, Featured Poet for Gulf Coast Poetry -- Saturday 10:30 am to 12:00 pm.
January 15, 2017 - WRITERS RESIST: We too sing America - Invitational Reading
Gabrielle Langley reading "Parallels of Grief: Two Party Politics" for #writersresist along with other poets from the Houston/Gulf Coast region. Houston Holocaust Museum, Sunday from 5:00pm to 8:00pm.
January 24, 2017 - FIX Poetry Reading: Gabrielle Langley - Featured Poet
FIX Coffeebar, 415 Westheimer, Houston, TX, Tuesday 6:30pm to 8:00 pm.
Thank you to Yellow Chair Review and their Editor-in-Chief, Sarah Frances Moran, for publishing my newest poem in their "ELECTION AFTERMATH" edition. I am so very grateful for people like Ms. Moran -- fiercely creative and deeply courageous -- who understand the sacred calling of poets to use their voices to reassure others that we are "awake and listening,"* even on the darkest nights.
* quote "awake and listening" from Adrienne Rich
Parallels of Grief: Two Party Politics (premiered in Election Aftermath, Yellow Chair Review - 13th of November 2016)
How to describe the loss of a true love.
Today, I am dressed
in the loss of my country.
trapped in a mirror.
a funeral veil.
Because isn't it really
all about hell-bent determination,
about how to turn back a clock?
The Good Old Days,
that cherished past,
the tiny mind,
a glass-fronted china cabinet,
the ticking clock on Sunday,
and every wife's most treasured fantasy:
that she was somehow elite, or special,
or even remotely attractive?
Because this is what you are entitled to
when you marry well,
Isn't it about politics?
And skin color?
Isn't it because he decided to trade something for sex?
It's about you
pretending you are Cinderella,
that role you can never fill.
It's about a glass slipper,
always too narrow for the swollen married foot.
It's about force feeding the rest of us
splintered antiques. It’s about the church supper,
the chicken and mashed potatoes,
the cookies and cakes,
that carb-loaded feast of the status quo.
It’s about trying to drown magic.
It’s about shackles that have no keys.
It’s about how to murder passion in favor of tradition.
It's about the Last Supper.
It's about betrayal with a kiss.
It's about making someone else carry the cross.
It's about all the mothers who forgot
to breastfeed their own spirits.
It's about the men who resent them.
It’s about people who let themselves grow fat on couches
and then blames their hormones.
It’s about someone throwing the first stone at a poet.
(Rounded up in any good witch hunt,
poets are always first to the flame.)
It's about faces turned into stone.
It's about pinched mouths that cannot sing.
It’s about the salt of the earth,
the laborer, the martyr, the person
who wouldn't be able to find the true meaning
of this poem if their life depended on it.
It's about the person who decided that their life was ruined
because your cat pissed on their floor.
It is about someone who blinded themselves with toxic chemicals.
It's about how they decide to spend the rest of the time making you pay for it.
It’s about someone who is planning to cut out your tongue
because they don’t like the sound of your prayers.
It is about that person standing over there in the corner,
the one who is trying to cut off your feet
because they cannot stand to see you dance.
--- Gabrielle Langley
One of the greatest honors of my life has been helping give birth to this book: "Red Sky: Poetry on the global epidemic of violence against women." We have been working carefully on it for over a year. We had wanted it to launch by October 1st of this year to coincide with the start of Domestic Violence Awarenes month. However, I now realize that its return from the printer on October 12, 2016, one day before First Lady Michelle Obama's incomparably elegant speech on this exact same topic, brings new meaning to the term poetic justice. We could not have timed it any better than this. It is now available from Sable Books. Warmest appreciation to my fellow poets who have already ordered copies.
For those who may not know, being awarded the Lorene Pouncey Memorial Award is akin to winning Houston's Academy Award for Poetry. And since Houston is now considered second only to New York City for the quality of its poetry community, receiving this Houston Poetry Fest award is a BIG deal! But it gets even better! I was also honored to receive Houston Poetry Festival's Jury Prize for the highest score received from the Jury. Scoring is based on blind readings of all the poets' portfolios; the judges are prevented from knowing the name/identity of the poet until after all works have been scored. Having received the highest score also means that I have been appointed as Featured Poet for 2017. I am over-joyed!!!
Sandi Glorfield presenting the Lorene Pouncey Award.