Curio — Thursday Thoughts

08 Dec

7:26 a.m. — Atlanta

Surprise! Hello everyone. I had forgotten that the Thursday Thoughts aren’t just for theory, but also for introducing something new, for reviewing, for interviewing…

Before I talk about the main feature, I would like to point you towards an interview I had with Marie Elena over at Poetic Bloomings, yesterday. I told my family, when I sent them the link, I am a shy and modest plant. I struggled before sending them the link, never mind telling my readers. I know: at my age, I need to get over that. If you have not been by to visit Poetic Bloomings yet, here’s a reason. Once there you will find reasons to go back. Marie Elena and Walt have created a lovely garden for us to wander through.

Today’s main feature: Joseph Harker’s and Tessa Racht’s brand new, not even wet behind the ears, online poetry journal, Curio, is due out in a few days.

When I first read about the new venture, in Joseph’s blog, Naming Constellations, I fell in love with the journal based on its name alone. Think about the word for a moment: curio. What does it bring to your mind? For me it connotes exotic places, travel, smoky shops full of curious items, Matahari lingering in the background. Now think of a journal full of poems about all the things in life, that while small and maybe ephemeral, are curiosities in the moment they come to our attention.

I went to the dictionary, one of my favourite activities, even when I know what a word means. A curio is small. That doesn’t necessarily mean small in size. It may be small in importance, something everyday. But the item may not be everyday to you. Maybe it is something that fascinates you, that is unusual, that stands out, that is rare in your life. Your curio.

I went on to look up curiosity. After all, I was so close in the dictionary. The word denotes a desire to know or learn. Joseph and Tessa are asking us to notice the small, seemingly inconsequential things and to learn about them in a poem. A curiosity is something that possesses a strangeness, arouses interest, is novel to us at the moment of noticing.

Joseph says, in one of his early blogs mentioning Curio, that they are looking for poems dealing with ‘snippets of time’. A snippet is a scrap, a fragment, a morsel. So, we are looking for the apparent minutiae around us and writing about them in the moment that we have noticed them. In Joseph’s words:

“Curio is a journal of poetry that explores the world at a micro-level: tiny spaces, instants, individual objects, scraps of dreams and memories, et cetera. While we are as fond as anyone of epic poetry, ballads, political polemics, crowns of love sonnets, and other verse that captures whole oceans of human experience, the intention of this journal is to zoom in and look a bit closer at things. There are already enough poets out there doing rambling narratives and deep thought poems; we simply want to collect the bits that may seem at first glance too minor to deserve their own poem.

A shot of tequila. Pollen on the table from the drooping irises in the vase at the center. A marble abandoned on the driveway. The cat lapping up milk. An heirloom chess piece. Waking up naked on a cold winter morning. Napkins. Geometry in the world that you just noticed for the first time. We want to hear about your reactions and impressions in the moment. Don’t try to solve the great equations of the universe or unburden your soul completely; just be in that moment and transmute it into writing.”

While publication of the inaugural issue is imminent, if you submit your poetry for consideration in the next couple of days, you may find yourself in the first issue. If your poem is accepted but the doors have closed, don’t despair; you will be first in line for the second issue.

To read more about Curio and to see its look, visit and read the guidelines. Joseph has posted four poems to give us an idea of what his and Tessa’s vision is for the Journal. You can also see and hear Joseph at his vlog. For those who don’t know Tessa, she can be found at The Picture of a Sunny Day.

Joseph, and through him Tessa, is part of the poetic community we have formed in the cyberworld. If you are shy about submitting, support the journal by bookmarking it and visiting to read the curios in the lives of others.Β  Support, submit, read.


Posted by on 08/12/2011 in poetry


Tags: , , , , ,

13 responses to “Curio — Thursday Thoughts

  1. vivinfrance

    08/12/2011 at 8:35 am

    As you know, I loved your interview over at Walt and Marie’s place. Tit for tat: Sherry Blue Sky interviewed me on Poets United yesterday…

    I’m looking forward to the first issue of Curio – I have two pieces in there, but that’s no reason to rest on my laurels!

    • margo roby

      08/12/2011 at 8:40 am

      You are a speed demon, ViV.

      I read your interview and left a comment. I rather liked that we had interviews on the same day. Your life is fuller than anyone’s I know. I have said that before, but the amount you put into and get out of life is awe-ing.

      Resting on laurels? You?


  2. Marie Elena

    08/12/2011 at 8:59 am

    So glad I stopped in, Margo. First off, the interview was GREAT FUN, and I just want to thank you once again. But here is why I’m glad I stopped in this morning:

    1. I learned about Joseph’s new venture. I’ll most definitely be visiting curio.
    2. I learned about Viv’s interview. I’m headed there right now.

    • margo roby

      08/12/2011 at 9:04 am

      Hmmmm. You have given me the germ of an idea, Marie. I wonder how it might work. Wouldn’t it be fun to have a clearinghouse for the people in our community to announce things. I guess similar to my roundup of prompts, but this would be a roundup of announcements. One place where people can start…hmmmm.


      I’m still smiling every time I think of the interview πŸ™‚

      • b_y

        08/12/2011 at 11:10 am

        That’s a good idea, Margo. You could mention things in a blog column, and maybe hold them for a while in a widget.

  3. margo roby

    08/12/2011 at 11:19 am

    Nice, Barb. I just made a note. The widget is a great idea [oh god — tech]. I think I shall float a trial balloon in January. By then I will know some of the what and how of what I want to do.


  4. Joseph Harker

    08/12/2011 at 11:19 am

    Thanks for the hat tip! πŸ™‚ And it would be awesome to see an announcement clearinghouse. RWP used to have something similar before it folded, and Robert Lee Brewer’s posts to that effect on Poetic Asides were once in a blue moon, but have largely disappeared, I think.

    • margo roby

      08/12/2011 at 11:29 am

      Anytime, Joseph πŸ™‚ I came along just after RWP folded, but gather it was a legend in its own time. I shall look for archived posts and see what they did. I have begun making notes on the types of things that might be included and how to structure the post. Feel free to add thoughts, should they appear.
      I’m watching your weather [default station when I want noise in the background], Hope you’re out of the mess.


  5. wordsandthoughtspjs

    08/12/2011 at 11:46 am

    Margo, I am looking forward to the first issue of “Curio”. As for submitting a poem, well, that is something I find intimidating. But I can observe from the background, can’t I?


    • margo roby

      08/12/2011 at 12:12 pm

      Absolutely, Pamela. That’s where I will be. We can watch together.


  6. Annette

    08/12/2011 at 7:05 pm

    What a great interview. I loved it — and I especially loved your poem “Southern California” — you nailed it exactly right. Some of us see what you saw and some just see brown. Thank you for describing my geography so perfectly!

    • margo roby

      09/12/2011 at 10:33 am

      Thank you, Annette. I am left with a desire to be interviewed often! I didn’t know you lived in Southern Cal. I love the area and the drive from Walnut Creek down and back on 5 which I have made often. And the range of mountains around the Coachella Valley, well, I can wax poetic!


Join the discussion and feel free to critique, or suggest an idea for any poem I post.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: