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#1 in the Poetry Potluck Series, celebrating National Poetry Month 2010.
 This is just to say,
photo by Morgan Rowe.               

Happy April and Welcome to the Alphabet Soup Poetry Potluck!

I've set the table, chilled the wine, hired a string quartet (don't worry, some jazz musicians will be joining us later), and am ready to enjoy a month's worth of poems written by some of the wonderful folks I've met through Poetry Friday.

I've been hooked on PF ever since I first started blogging in 2007. Every week, I look forward to seeing what beautiful, inspiring, funny, or thought provoking poems these friends will post. Whether they've written the poems themselves, or have chosen the work of others, I'm grateful for the momentary glimpse into their emotional lives.

I thought inviting them to the alphabet soup kitchen for a potluck would be the perfect way to celebrate National Poetry Month. I asked each to share an original poem and a favorite recipe, and they all, without hesitation, enthusiastically agreed (further evidence of their overall awesomeness). They came through for me in a big way, even sharing recipe photos. Friends, this is going to be a supremely delicious month -- a bountiful, nourishing feast for body, mind, and spirit!

Our first Potluck Poet will be here on Monday, but for now, let's get started with a few appetizers:


They bring fettuccini or humus
Roast Lamb or water cress salad
Bright with nasturtium flowers

They bring bounty from Farmer's Markets
Miner's lettuce, pineapple guavas or mangos
Or doughnuts from the corner store

They bring pontoons or sonnets
Formal verse or free
On crisp white paper

The poets in my life meet on the third Sunday
They bring laughter and tears
They bring love

© 2009 Jean Emerson. All rights reserved.
from The Poet's Cookbook: Recipes from Tuscany (Bordighera Press, 2009).

And now (drum roll, please), here are the Potluck Poets (in no particular order):

Sara Lewis Holmes
J. Patrick Lewis
Liz Garton Scanlon
Tanita S. Davis
Andromeda Jazmon
Laura Purdie Salas
Kelly R. Fineman
Tricia Stohr-Hunt
Elaine Magliaro
Kelly Polark
Greg Pincus
Karen Edmisten
Julie Larios
Kristy Dempsey
Jeannine Atkins
Mary Lee Hahn
Charles and Debra Ghigna
Laura Shovan
Douglas Florian
+ 2 surprise guests!

I know. Just seeing their names makes you hungry. Please help yourself to some crudité, fresh fruit, or shrimp cocktail:

photo by Maxfood.

photo by ngawangchodron.

photo by davidncox.


I'll be giving away these two thoroughly delectable books as part of Kelli Russell Agodon's Poetry Book Giveaway at Book of Kells. For a chance to win either one, just leave a comment at any post, any time this month by April 30th. I will draw the winners on May 1st. Open to poetry fans anywhere in the world! (If you comment as Anonymous, please leave contact information.)

1) The Poet's Cookbook: Recipes from Tuscany, edited by Grace Cavalieri & Sabine Pascarelli (Bordighera Press, 2009). A mouthwatering collection featuring 28 different poets and easy recipes from Appetizers to Desserts (both poems in this post are from this book). Poems are in English and Italian. (I reviewed the book and included "Love at the Grocery" by Carly Sachs here.)


2) The Alchemist's Kitchen by Susan Rich (White Pine Press, 2010). Thought this would be a good choice since so many of you loved Susan's, "A Poem For Will, Baking," which I posted here. TAK is brand new, and will be officially released May 1st! To see some sample poems, click here.

Please visit Book of Kells for all the details about the Poetry Book Giveaway and to see the full list of participating bloggers. You may enter any of the drawings even if you are not a poet or aren't giving away books on your blog. This is a great opportunity to learn about new poets!

I'll leave you with a prayer and a toast:

A Tuscan kitchen "Foodscape," created by Carl Warner.
(Everything in the photo is made from food.)


Yellowtail snapper with citrus beurre blanc, filet
mignon in demi-glace cabernet, roast duck garnished
with mint jellied peaches, angels on horseback -- dates
stuffed with garlic cloves wrapped in bacon and served
in a hot honey-pepper sauce, bananas foster, key
lime pie, dense, flourless chocolate cake drizzled
with a raspberry coulis, Lord, grant me the power
to well digest all that I have well eaten.

© 2009 Barbara Goldberg. All rights reserved.
~ from The Poet's Cookbook: Recipes from Tuscany (Bordighera Press, 2009).

Here's to Poetry, Friends, and Good Food!!

photo by victor_nuno. 

Have a nice Easter weekend!

**For this month only, you may have as many plums as you please ♥.

Copyright © 2010 Jama Rattigan of jama rattigan's alphabet soup. All rights reserved.


( 71 comments — Leave a comment )
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Apr. 1st, 2010 11:26 am (UTC)
My palate has been cleansed of frosting and sugary sprinkles . . . looking forward to a month of eating and sharing poetry. I'll bring good ol' southern ambrosia to the table!
Apr. 1st, 2010 12:53 pm (UTC)
Yay for ambrosia! Yes, do bring some, along with your usual sparkling conversation!!
Apr. 1st, 2010 12:44 pm (UTC)
Whee! It's gonna rock. Love that poem. Love that prayer. Love your line-up.

Apr. 1st, 2010 12:45 pm (UTC)
p.s. This is one of the first places I wanted to come this morning, knowing you've got such goodness lined up for us in April.

(no subject) - jamarattigan - Apr. 1st, 2010 12:54 pm (UTC) - Expand
Apr. 1st, 2010 02:07 pm (UTC)
Wonderful post, Jama! I must remember to look for both of the books you've mentioned, although perhaps I will wait until May to buy either one, just in case.
Apr. 1st, 2010 02:11 pm (UTC)
Yes, you might get lucky!
Apr. 1st, 2010 03:18 pm (UTC)
I wanna...
...come to YOUR house for dinner!
Apr. 1st, 2010 03:32 pm (UTC)
Re: I wanna...
Only if you bring your guitar and entertain all the guests :).
and some JD to wet your whistle.... - slatts - Apr. 1st, 2010 04:30 pm (UTC) - Expand
Apr. 1st, 2010 03:48 pm (UTC)
Elaine M.


I love your idea for a Poetry Potluck for April! I'm honored to have been one of the people invited to share a poem and a recipe. Food and poetry are two of my passions. Let the celebration begin!
Apr. 1st, 2010 04:13 pm (UTC)
Yay! I'm the one who's honored to have you as a guest! April is going to be delicious :)!
Apr. 1st, 2010 05:30 pm (UTC)
What an awesome blog you have. The pictures alone make me smile, and I'm soooo looking forward to the poetry. Loved today's poem (although now, I'm hungry ... lamb, and pineapple, mmm). Thank you!
Apr. 1st, 2010 06:10 pm (UTC)
Thank YOU. So glad you'll be joining us this month for the potluck! Lots more recipes and poems to come :).
Apr. 1st, 2010 05:44 pm (UTC)
Wonderfully delectable giveaway! Count me in! Thanks.
Apr. 1st, 2010 10:22 pm (UTC)
Love the thumbs up! Thanks for commenting :).
Apr. 1st, 2010 06:02 pm (UTC)
By the way, I saw this photo of a spaghetti-and-meatballs cupcake this morning and thought of you: http://www.delish.com/recipes/cooking-recipes/april-fools-day-desserts-0309?GT1=47001
Apr. 1st, 2010 10:49 pm (UTC)
Funny you saw that -- I was going to review a new cupcake book that's a sequel to the book containing that spaghetti cupcake recipe. I was even going to include that image in my post. Well, now that it's poetry month, that review will have to wait until May. Thanks for sharing the link, Jeni!
Apr. 1st, 2010 07:21 pm (UTC)
Another splendid feast at Jama's table! I'm sorry I'll have to miss so much of it, but I'll hope to catch up with you before you reach dessert. And in the meantime thank you for those wonderful appetizers!
Apr. 1st, 2010 10:50 pm (UTC)
We'll be here whenever you're ready and settled. You have a permanent place at the alphabet soup table!
Apr. 1st, 2010 08:30 pm (UTC)
Love love love that Jean Emerson poem. You always come up with the very best ideas for feasts. Thank you for pulling this one together. I'll be looking forward to it each morning.
Apr. 1st, 2010 10:51 pm (UTC)
Glad you liked the poem. The entire book is such a treat!
Apr. 1st, 2010 08:53 pm (UTC)
What a fun party! I'm so honored to be a part of the fun -- I can't wait to see all the food and poems and photos! Wait...that's why I love coming here ALL the time!!!
Apr. 1st, 2010 10:52 pm (UTC)
Thanks, Mary Lee! I'm excited about sharing your recipe and poem (and drooling, as usual). I need a VERY large bib at all times it seems :).
Apr. 1st, 2010 10:06 pm (UTC)
I have been sampling poetry feasts today, and now have arrived at yours. Oh my, yum! Your poem is wonderful, and I'm looking forward to the potluck this month! --Martha Calderaro
Apr. 1st, 2010 10:54 pm (UTC)
Thanks for stopping by today, Martha! We've reserved a seat for you at the alphabet soup table this month.
Apr. 1st, 2010 10:07 pm (UTC)
cookbook give away
my mouth is watering -- mmmm
from Laura S. @AuthorAmok
Apr. 1st, 2010 10:55 pm (UTC)
Re: cookbook give away
A good thing, yes? :)
Apr. 1st, 2010 11:10 pm (UTC)
Jama--Please enter my name in your Giveaway--Diane Lockward
Apr. 2nd, 2010 01:11 pm (UTC)
You're in!
Apr. 1st, 2010 11:33 pm (UTC)
Jama - What fun! I'm so proud to be one of your list of Potluck Poets. And I've decided I don't ever need a cup of coffee to get me going in the morning, I'll just come to your site and look at that photo of the salad with the nasturtium in the middle - how bright and joyful and invigorating! Thanks for putting this all together - this is going to be my 1st-thing-each-morning site for April -

Apr. 2nd, 2010 01:14 pm (UTC)
Re: Yummers!
Thanks for the lovely comment, Julie! That nasturtium is yours!
Apr. 2nd, 2010 09:18 am (UTC)
Tanita Says :)

This is going to be awesome.
Apr. 2nd, 2010 01:16 pm (UTC)
Re: Tanita Says :)
You made me think of Fiddler on the Roof. You need to do the dance for us, now . . . "Tradition!"
Apr. 2nd, 2010 01:18 pm (UTC)
Oh God Bless you Jama! To see my name in this auspicious company brings tears to my eyes. I am feeling famished with anticipation right now. You are a delight!
Apr. 2nd, 2010 01:54 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much for participating! Wouldn't be the same without you :).
Apr. 2nd, 2010 02:22 pm (UTC)
Poetry giveaway
Please enter me for the draw too.


Apr. 2nd, 2010 07:36 pm (UTC)
Re: Poetry giveaway
Sure thing! Thanks for stopping by :).

Edited at 2011-06-27 01:05 pm (UTC)
Apr. 2nd, 2010 10:09 pm (UTC)
Enter me in the giveaway. Hope you'll stop by Myself the only Kangaroo among the Beauty (http://sandylonghorn.blogspot.com/2010/03/napomo-book-giveaway-yall-come.html/) for a chance at more free books.
Apr. 3rd, 2010 02:49 pm (UTC)
Re: Please
Thanks, Sandy. I'll definitely check out your blog and giveaway!
Apr. 2nd, 2010 11:29 pm (UTC)
What a sumptuous poetry feast!

Laura Evans
all things poetry
Apr. 3rd, 2010 12:39 am (UTC)
Enter Poetry Giveaway
These are delectable give-aways. Lots of fun.

Maureen @Writing Without Paper (http://writingwithoutpaper.blogspot.com)
Apr. 3rd, 2010 02:51 pm (UTC)
Re: Enter Poetry Giveaway
Hi Maureen! These giveaways are definitely a great way to celebrate NPM.
Apr. 3rd, 2010 03:21 am (UTC)
Hi Jama,

Please enter me in your book giveaway!

Laura Evans
all things poetry
Apr. 3rd, 2010 02:51 pm (UTC)
You're in, Laura!! Happy Poetry Month!
Apr. 3rd, 2010 03:09 pm (UTC)
This is so exciting, Jama! I really look forward to all your April posts.

*raises glass to poetry, friends, and good food*

Tarie =D

*makes off with some shrimp cocktail*
Apr. 4th, 2010 07:10 pm (UTC)
Hee! So, you like shrimp cocktail too! Good taste :)! Thanks for joining in the toast :).
Apr. 3rd, 2010 03:14 pm (UTC)
Great Post! Happy Poetry Month!
What a wonderful way to celebrate NaPoMo!!!!! Two of my favorite things- food AND poetry, combined!!!!
Apr. 4th, 2010 07:11 pm (UTC)
Re: Great Post! Happy Poetry Month!
Hello there! Thanks for stopping in :)!
Apr. 4th, 2010 03:24 am (UTC)
What a lovely post!
Please add me to your list! I loved your savory and sweet post.
Apr. 4th, 2010 07:12 pm (UTC)
Re: What a lovely post!
You're in like Flynn. Thanks for commenting!
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