Anonymous Grocer 17/30: [Apart falling still is body]

Hello friend! 
 
Welcome back to Anonymous Grocer, a 30-day audio adventure in backwards poetry. Each day: a new poem, a new collection of words in unfamiliar and spiraling patterns, a new audio message to ease you into your day. 
 
This Sunday, we celebrate Day 17 with the ever wise and ethereal Ocean Vuong, whose latest poetry collection, Time is a Mother, was recently released on April 5th. 
Discover more about this poet here.  
Do you have requests for poems or poets you’d like to see featured in future Anonymous Grocer episodes? I’d love to hear from you!
Peace and love,
Cam

Anonymous Grocer 16/30: [Things of family, the in place]

Hello friend! 
 
Welcome back to Anonymous Grocer, a 30-day audio adventure in backwards poetry. Each day: a new poem, a new collection of words in unfamiliar and spiraling patterns, a new audio message to ease you into your day. 
 
Today’s episode gives space to the soul and spirit of Mary Oliver‘s “Wild Geese,” a poem that is sage, balm, bandage, courage, hug, friend — all at once. If there’s a poem out there that could save lives, this one is probably it. 
 
Discover more about this poet here.
Do you have requests for poems or poets you’d like to see featured in future Anonymous Grocer episodes? I’d love to hear from you!
Peace and love,
Cam

Anonymous Grocer 15/30: [Looked I. Stopped I.]

Hello friend! 
 
Welcome back to Anonymous Grocer, a 30-day audio adventure in backwards poetry. Each day: a new poem, a new collection of words in unfamiliar and spiraling patterns, a new audio message to ease you into your day. 
 
Can you believe it? We’re already halfway through Poetry Month! I hope you’re enjoying our time together! Today, I present you with the research scientist-poet, Angelo Mao, whose poetry dissects the ethics of mouse labs, mythologizes the human/mouse divide, and interrogates these funded relationships of hierarchy, violence, guilt, and embodied metaphors.
 
Discover more about this poet here.  
Do you have requests for poems or poets you’d like to see featured in future Anonymous Grocer episodes? I’d love to hear from you!
Peace and love,
Cam

Anonymous Grocer 14/30: [treees / manie so gathred]

Hello friend! 
 
Welcome back to Anonymous Grocer, a 30-day audio adventure in backwards poetry. Each day: a new poem, a new collection of words in unfamiliar and spiraling patterns, a new audio message to ease you into your day. 
 
Today’s poem is an excerpt from Jos Charles’ book of poetic reckoning, feeldfeeld is modern poetry unlike anything I’ve read recently, as much about the sound of words as it is about spelling and the mechanics of written language, all those fraught and confounding glyphs that make up our lives and our perceptions. feeld is queer and linguistic and investigative and difficult in ways that invoke self-inquiries of readers themselves. What does it mean to hold a word in a palm or the mouth? To slash a line? How does it feel to manipulate a strand of words and create a language that is yours, yours for a time?
 
Discover more about this poet here
Do you have requests for poems or poets you’d like to see featured in future Anonymous Grocer episodes? I’d love to hear from you!
Peace and love,
Cam

Anonymous Grocer 13/30: [Them & They as to referred be]

Hello friend! 
 
Welcome back to Anonymous Grocer, a 30-day audio adventure in backwards poetry. Each day: a new poem, a new collection of words in unfamiliar and spiraling patterns, a new audio message to ease you into your day. 
 
Today, lucky number 13, we celebrate with a poem from the inimitable Terrance Hayes‘ series of “American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassin.”
 
Discover more about this poet here.
Need a quick cheat sheet on the ingredients of a sonnet? I’ve got you! 
Do you have requests for poems or poets you’d like to see featured in future Anonymous Grocer episodes? I’d love to hear from you!
Peace and love,
Cam

Anonymous Grocer 12/30: [It hear—you can closer come!]

Hello friend! 
 
Welcome back to Anonymous Grocer, a 30-day audio adventure in backwards poetry. Each day: a new poem, a new collection of words in unfamiliar and spiraling patterns, a new audio message to ease you into your day. 
 
This week (this life?), I’ve been having a love affair with trees. I am so grateful for authors like Sumana Roy and Richard Powers and Robin Wall Kimmerer, who alchemize trees into unforgettable, breathful characters with personalities and narratives and lineages all their own. These trees they profile are not anthropomorphized cartoons, but beings wholly greening unto themselves. These are almighty beings with majestic and complex communication systems, with that highly enviable process of photosynthesis. Beings that seem to embody — epitomize — what it means to live a good, long life. 
 
So, in honor of trees and the trees we shall one day become, I bring you Octavio Paz‘s “A Tree Within.”  
 
Discover more about this poet here
Do you have requests for poems or poets you’d like to see featured in future Anonymous Grocer episodes? I’d love to hear from you!
Peace and love,
Cam

Anonymous Grocer 11/30: [Themselves than larger places go]

Hello friend! 
 
Welcome back to Anonymous Grocer, a 30-day audio adventure in backwards poetry. Each day: a new poem, a new collection of words in unfamiliar and spiraling patterns, a new audio message to ease you into your day. 
 
Today, we tune in our poetry radios to Naomi Shihab Nye, a true force of goodness in this world. A global champion for young people’s literature and for the education and celebration of Arab American heritage, the poet currently serves as the April 2022 Guest Editor for Poets.org’s Poem-a-Day series. 
 
Discover more about this poet here.
Do you have requests for poems or poets you’d like to see featured in future Anonymous Grocer episodes? I’d love to hear from you!
Peace and love,
Cam

Anonymous Grocer 1/30: [Impossibilities? No.]

Hello friend! 
 
Happy Poetry Month and welcome to Anonymous Grocer, a 30-day audio adventure in backwards poetry. Each day: a new poem, a new collection of words in unfamiliar and spiraling patterns, a new audio message to ease you into your day. 
 
Today, we kick off the series with the ebullient, open hearted poetry of Frank O’Hara, patron saint of modern art and NYC hot dogs. 
 
Discover more about this poet here.
Do you have requests for poems or poets you’d like to see featured in future Anonymous Grocer episodes? I’d love to hear from you!
Peace and love,
Cam

Welcome to Anonymous Grocer!

Hi friends! April is National Poetry Month, and this year I’m embarking on something new: Anonymous Grocer, an audio adventure in backwards poetry.
Anonymous Grocer is a 30-day experiment in sound poetry. Each day of National Poetry Month, a hand-picked published poem, many of which you will know quite well, will be read by yours truly, word-for-word in a backwards sequence.
Along this monthlong ride, we’re gonna majorly queer up word order, deconstruct syntax, and experience some new and old favorite poems like never before. Unscrew your head one or two times, and prepare to create space for the unexpected, the dissonant, the oracular.
If you’re interested in receiving the daily Grocer poem (audio and transcription) delivered to your email, let me know in the comments or DM me, and I’ll add you to the daily email list!
Otherwise, you can always check out every episode here on ccfinch.com (I’ll be weekly updating the website with the episodes.)
[And now for some fun monologues:]
Why Grocery? Easy. Words are food – I mean, I could surely mush them around and around in my mouth for hours, days, jovial lifetimes. Words — the sound, the feel of them — provide nourishment and pleasure and curiosity – just rolling around, experimenting.
The Anonymous bit is for the hunger pang (pain?) of the unknown. From the backwards recitation, you may experience nonsensical language, comprehension difficulty, utter weirdness and surprise. I encourage you to embrace it all – like tasting a new food for the first time or releasing yourself from quotidian labels – let the sounds of the poems-in-reverse slide onto your ear tongues, sound melting into you.
Release yourself from the need to understand. Just eat, just trust, just open yourself to the fullness of our strange concert.
Happy Poetry Month, y’all!

Wisdom from Writers: A Conversation with Sequoia Nagamatsu

Art is a rich vehicle for critique. We’ve all been forced out of our everyday lives in a way that allows us to both create and consume art from a quasi-outsider perspective—maybe more objective, maybe more thoughtful about who we used to be, what the world used to be, and how we’ve all changed in the past couple of years. What do we miss? What do we never want to go back to? How were we surprised at how much we adapted to a particular aspect of lockdown? Who did we talk to? Who did we want to reach out to?

I recently spoke with author Sequoia Nagamatsu about his debut novel, How High We Go in the Dark, the role of art in an emergency, science fiction faves, and more.You can read the full interview here on The Rumpus.

While there have certainly been moments over the past year that may have temporarily diminished my faith in the human species, I think what gives me a sense of possibility are my students—young, smart people who legitimately care about the planet, are already doing so much for their communities, and are thinking intentionally about how their chosen disciplines might help provide for a better future in even small or unexpected ways.

Find out more about Sequoia Nagamatsu on sequoianagamatsu.com. Sequoia’s book How High We Go in the Dark (January 2022) is available from William Morrow.