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Neile Graham
15 February 2015 @ 07:01 pm
...a river of Lower Saxony
...very likely a Gaelic variant
...champion

I am a writer and a reader, workshop director of Clarion West Writers Workshop, and counseling services coordinator of the PhD in the Built Environment, the Historic Preservation Program and the Urban Design Program at the University of Washington's College of Built Environments.

I am the author of three collections of poetry, Blood Memory, Spells for Clear Vision, and Seven Robins. Click here for current poems available online and my publication history.
 
 
Neile Graham
03 November 2019 @ 06:14 pm
I am thrilled to announce that The Walk She Takes, my poetry collection about traveling in Scotland and into my own middle age has just appeared.



The Walk She Takes (MoonPath Press, 2019) is an idiosyncratic tour of Scotland, where a mile's walk contains remnants from the Stone Age through to the present, all in fragments of standing stones, cairns, souterrains, brochs, abbeys, castles, tenements, and crofts. These poems explore how the layers of time in these evocative sites reverberate through our own journeys. They delve into how even dark histories sharpen connections with places—and deepen knowledge of what our past makes us, helps us see how to travel forward into alien and familiar biographical and natural geographies.

Copies are now available through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Indiebound. Signed copies can be arranged via email.

For links to sample poems, see my website.

This is my first new collection in 19 years. I am wildly happy.
 
 
 
Neile Graham
03 November 2019 @ 04:58 pm
2018 was a complicated year, but poem publications made up for a lot:

 
 
Neile Graham
31 December 2017 @ 03:36 pm
This was a complicated year full of bad news, but in it all I had some good news:


  • I have two new collections of poetry, The Walk She Takes and Cedar And Stone scheduled for 2019


  • I won the Special Award — Non Professional World Fantasy Award "for fostering excellence in the genre through [my] role as Workshop Director, Clarion West" on behalf of the staff, board, volunteers, supporters, instructors, and students of Clarion West


  • I received the Meritorious Banana (yellow! plastic! signed by attending writers!) for Aid Rendered at the Locus Awards


  • I had three poems published:



Wishing everyone a wonderful 2018--and hope there is better new for us all.
 
 
 
Neile Graham
26 March 2017 @ 09:01 pm
Since SFF Net is closing any minute now, I have a new website, www.neilegraham.com. Actually I've had the site for many years, but it took the imminent closure for me to actually edit the pages of the site I had designed for me many years ago and move the files over. It's still not complete but there are things there.

The Clarion West Class of 2017 has just been announced, and I'm excited to get to know them a little and am really looking forward to meeting them in person in June.

So, a poem of mine is one of 99 nominated for the short form Rhysling Award. On April 29th, the Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Association is going to be featuring it. I'm very pleased to be shortlisted.

I have not done our taxes yet.

Yesterday morning, Batgirl Luna found her way into our bedroom ceiling. We don't call her Batgirl for nothing. We have since taken steps to block her access. She may still prevail, though I hope not as the (aged) ceiling tiles really can't take even her weight and threatened to land on our bed. Possibly to land her on our bed.

Happy spring, all.
 
 
 
Neile Graham
This went out today to those who either emotionally or financially sponsor my Clarion West write-a-thon commitment. If you want to see the full poem, please send me a message here or through facebook or my email to let me know, or you can sponsor my efforts financially through my write-a-thon page by donating to Clarion West there.

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Hey, all--

Thank you so much for your support during the Clarion West Write-a-thon.

Ellen Datlow, famed editor of horror, SF, and fantasy was the instructor for our final week. The students were exhausted, but she helped inspire them and gave them even more to think about when they're working on their stories. The flow of the instructors worked really well, even if it changed from our original line-up. The students seem really happy with their time here.

It was very sad to pack up everything and watch the house empty of students, one by one. That is the hardest thing: since they come from so many different places--São Paulo, Singapore, Mumbai, Oxford, Halifax, Orlando--it's very unlikely that all 18 students will be in the same place again at the same time. But it can get close--11 of last year's 18 students attended this year's final party so I'm going to focus on the possibilities of seeing them all again. This is one reason to be grateful for social media. I miss them all, but that helps.

Myself, I'm poised to launch into novel revision frenzy, with a goal of completing a new draft in September before work gets too busy with orientation. I hope to make it because I have other projects I want to get to.

I'm embarrassed to say that I wrote this week's poem in class while the students were having their final critique session. This poem is for them.

Thank you once again for your support. I wouldn't have done any of this work without knowing I was accountable to you.

Love,

--Neile

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The Sense of Beginning

We swallow our secrets, choke down
longing's endless summer distances.
It's the season of everything fruiting
the amplitude of apricots, pulchritude of plums
of peaches, cherries—oh, the ambition
of the season...

-----

If you want to see the rest of the poem, please let me know by email, messaging, or Write-a-thon sponsorship (see link at the top of this message).
 
 
 
Neile Graham
This went out today to those who either emotionally or financially sponsor my Clarion West write-a-thon commitment. If you want to see the full poem, please send me a message here or through facebook or my email to let me know you want to support me, or you can sponsor my efforts financially through my write-a-thon page by donating to Clarion West there.

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Hey, all--

Thank you once again for your support here at the time-delayed version of the Clarion West Write-a-thon. I'm almost on time this week!

Samuel R. Delany was our fifth week instructor. This is the third time I've been with him in the classroom, and each time I'm struck both by how warm and delightful he is--and how brilliant. The students had another challenging, fun week.

Still no hands-on fiction work but I've been doing some planning for this major revision of The Empty City, which I hope and believe will stop me getting so stuck on each sentence as I was this spring when I first started working on it.

My poem this week is about St. Kilda, a small group of isolated and now-abandoned islands off the west coast of Scotland. For thousands of years the population there scraped a living off the islands, mostly by means of the vast populations of wild seabirds, but by the 1930s too many had left the islands and their lifestyle was no longer sustainable. The remaining people were all moved to the mainland. The islands are now a bird and cultural sanctuary and still very difficult to reach because of the wild seas and weather. I've been haunted by the story of these islands since I first heard it.

Thank you again for your support.

Love,

--Neile

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St. Kilda's

They stitched their clothes with feathers.
They hitched themselves unwinged
over the cliff-side dripping with guano
for the harvest of birds.
Gannets and guillemots and gulls,
fulmars, snipe, bonxies, plovers and puffins
and the pterodactyl skuas
fastening them to the ground
and to gray bounds of both sea and sky.
Trusting their lives not to slip.

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If you want to see the rest of the poem, please let me know by email, messaging, or Write-a-thon sponsorship (see link at the top of this message).
 
 
Neile Graham
This went out today to those who either emotionally or financially sponsor my Clarion West write-a-thon commitment. If you want to see the full poem, please send me a message here or through facebook or my email to let me know you want to support me, or you can sponsor my efforts financially through my write-a-thon page by donating to Clarion West there.

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Hey, all--

Thank you once again for your support here at the time-delayed version of the Clarion West Write-a-thon.

The fourth week of the workshop continued to be wonderful. Margo Lanagan is a sharp reader and teaches by example. She taught the students all kinds of subtleties about showing character through action and continued the lovely routine of reading the students bedtime stories, which made me jealous but I did get to hear one of them.

Oh, and we finally played Thing! One of the students died the Best Death Ever.

I've realized that for some reason (time, tiredness, and being over-committed mostly, I think) I'm not getting down to fiction the way I normally manage to during the workshop. There's stuff going on in my head about my novels but I'm not engaging well with the actual words. I've been doing this long enough to know that sometimes that's just how it works for me; however, I'm just disappointed that it's happening now during the Write-a-thon.

Still, I do have a poem for this week. It's a little didactic, so forgive me for that. I hope you like it anyway--especially since it means I did produce some words this week. It comes from this amazing place I saw years ago on the Orkneys, Tomb of the Eagles, and from thinking about mortuary poles, a kind of totem pole with elevated burials. It made me all philosophical. Ah well.

Thank you again for supporting my writing and for supporting the Clarion West Writing Workshop, without which I might be able to produce timely reports, but not the actual writing.

Love,

--Neile

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On the Excarnations of the Gods

The rush of water pushes time, eating the shore
and exposing it, tugging the bodies of stones
back and forth across unmarked lines
of life and death, time and tide. Sometimes
they gasp in the air and sometimes lie
under clear and peaceful blankets
measured in fathoms
measured in beats
of hearts

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If you want to see the rest of the poem, please let me know by email, messaging, or Write-a-thon sponsorship (see link at the top of this message).
 
 
 
Neile Graham
This went out today to those who either emotionally or financially sponsor my Clarion West write-a-thon commitment. If you want to see the full poem, please send me a message here or through facebook or my email to let me know you want to support me, or you can sponsor my efforts financially through my write-a-thon page by donating to Clarion West there.

----------

Hey, all--

Thank you again for your support here at the time-delayed version of the Clarion West Write-a-thon.

Obviously, I'm still in catch-up mode, but the good news is that my hard-drive replacement/restoration was clean, and I didn't lose anything except time. Yay, Time Machine!

Joe Hill was a delight. He's full of energy and an excellent teacher and sharp critiquer with lots of smart things to say about writing. It made for another powerful week at the workshop.

Hard to believe that with his departure, the workshop is half over already!

This week I didn't meet my fiction goal in the usual way--having my main machine with my current project out of commission for most of the week meant that I didn't have access to my current project. However, I read through parts and thought about parts, put some bits and tricks together, and had a revelation about The Road Between's resolution, which is worth more than gold to me.

This week's poem is from feeling a little at sea. And it's for Karen, because she understands and is always buoying me up.

Thank you again for supporting my writing and supporting the Clarion West Writing Workshop, without which I might be able to produce timely reports on time, but not the actual writing.

Love,

--Neile

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The Sea Roads

Here in my coat of skin I look down into the water, watch one sky leave
taking with it the rain. Another sky

follows close behind, deep in that clouded water where I am a shade
embodied, flesh-garbed and sailing

the sea-rumpled sky...

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If you want to see the rest of the poem, please let me know by email, messaging, or Write-a-thon sponsorship (see link at the top of this message).
 
 
Neile Graham
This went out today to those who either emotionally or financially sponsor my Clarion West write-a-thon commitment. If you want to see the full poem, please send me a message here or through facebook or my email to let me know you want to support me, or you can sponsor my efforts financially through my write-a-thon page by donating to Clarion West there.

Hey, all--

Thank you again for your past and present support of me, and of Clarion West.

This wasn't supposed to be late. In fact, it was ready to send just a day after my belated first week report. However, while I was writing this, the hard drive on my main computer decided that it was tired and had served long enough. Replacing and restoring everything took days which I could not spare. Luckily, it was easy. Just slow.

Having Neil Gaiman teach this week was such an eye-opening experience. I had something of a idea of the intensity of being rockstar writer from working with George R. R. Martin at the workshop last year, but since Neil was on book tour and doing a signing, I had the chance to see him interact with his fans. For hours. And hours. He is impressively there in the moment for the people who wait in long lines to have that brief time with him. He's there, and he's listening.

He's also the most charismatic and generous person I've been around in a while, and I was impressed to see how he uses those powers for good. He was also an impressive teacher, so the students had a great, if intense, week.

Again, chunks of time were rare, and my writing time was in bits, but because I had supporters and sponsors I made myself take advantage of those moments. Several members of last year's class were kind enough to give me comments on the first chapter of The Road Between, so I made some revisions, including lopping off a kind of prelude, which had been necessary in earlier drafts but because of other recent revisions no longer was. Buh-bye. Then some tightening and shaping followed.

I have a little more to go before I load it back up on my kindle app on my iPad to see it afresh and get back to the second draft of The Empty City.

This week's poem comes from me losing one of my favourite earrings, made by a jeweler from Orkney. The design is called the Finnish beast, and though I still have one, I really miss having the pair. Hope you like this beast.

Thank you again for supporting my writing--and for supporting Clarion West, which inspires so much of my writing.

Love,

--Neile

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The God of Lost Things

Is a small beast with a body of Celtic knots. Ears twitching
soft as a doe's.
Lively-eyed, narrow-eyed. His hunting nose is long and
wide, wide open.

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If you want too see the rest of the poem, please let me know by contacting me or donating following the instructions at the top of this message.