Saturday, March 28, 2015

The Big Poetry Giveaway!

April's almost here and I'm excited to celebrate National Poetry Month with a poetry giveaway, the brainchild of Seattle area poet & Two Sylvias press founder, Kelli Russell Agodon, who started the tradition six years ago.

Just comment on this post with your name and email address during the month of April and I'll enter you in a drawing to win one of two books of poetry.

That's right, a chance to win a book of poetry!

Here's what I'm giving away:

1. Moving House by Angela Alaimo O'Donnell (Word Press 2009)

O'Donnell, a prolific poet, writer, and professor in New York, grew up in a big, complicated Italian Catholic family on the East Coast. Her poems and the people in them are both tender and tough, fractured and faithful, unique and instantly recognizable.

Angela's work is a new discovery for me: I met her at The Future of the Catholic Literary Imagination conference at USC in February, and had the privilege of hearing her read several times that weekend.

When I heard her poem "Other Mothers," I knew I had to buy one of her books. Moving House is her first book of poetry, and I hope it entices you, like me, to read more of her work. You can get a taste of her poetry, including "Other Mothers" on her website.

2. Burnt Offerings by Cathy Warner (eLectio 2014)

It's a thrill to have my own book to give away! To sample Burnt Offerings, you can listen to me read 7 poems from the book on my website, and read others on Amazon's "look inside."

A bit about me for those new to my blog:

I began "This or Something Better" in mid-2011 as my husband and I began to reinvent our lives in our own mid-life, developing an intention and vision for "this" (a job in San Francisco and a house in nearby Pacifica, we thought) or "something better." That something better led us, both California natives, to leave our families and friends and move 900 miles north on the Winter Solstice in 2011.

We bought a fixer upper on Bainbridge Island, remodeled it, hosted writers and vacationers there for a year, and then sold last summer when a corporate job for my husband failed to materialize.

Since then we launched our own home renovation business, Yellow Ribbon Homes, hiring veterans and veteran owned businesses when feasible. Our current project is a waterfront home in Poulsbo that our youngest daughter, an architecture student at University of Oregon designed.

I am master of the shop vac, the paint brush, and gardening knife, and a free lance editor. I had hand surgery last week to repair three "trigger fingers" I've developed since embarking on a lifestyle of manual labor three years ago.

Each day I revel in the blessing of living in this region of natural beauty: working by the water, watching bald eagles soar overhead, catching views of the Olympics, Mt. Rainier and the Cascades, incredible shifting cloud formations, the Seattle skyline sparkling, and ferries traverse the Sound from the living room of the house we're now renting.

Since moving here I've been amazed by the sight of orcas swimming in the wild, have educated myself about their plight, and am contributing a portion of royalties from my book sales to the Orca Network's efforts.

Burnt Offerings was a bit of serendipity for me. One afternoon in late September 2013, I curated poems written over a span of fifteen years as I parented two children, pastored a small Methodist church, pursued an MFA in Creative Nonfiction Writing, and joined a weekly writing group on Bainbridge Island.

I sent the manuscript to poet and writer Peggy Rosenthal for her valuable advice, and the first publisher I approached accepted the book. It was released just 3 months later!

Thanks for taking a moment out of your day to connect with me. Leave a comment with your name and email address by April 30 to enter the drawing on May 1.

And be sure to stop by Kelli's blog to find out more about her and other poets participating in the Big Poetry Giveaway! If you'd like to give away books on your own blog, here's how.

Happy National Poetry Month!


  1. I'd love to be entered in your giveaway. And here's mine, in case you are interested:

  2. I'd also love to be entered in the drawing!

  3. Nice to see you here! Please enter me in the giveaway!
    -Allyson Whipple (

  4. Please enter me in the giveaway.
    ~ Robin A. Sams (

  5. please enter my name

    renee emerson ( thisquiethour AT gmail DOT com)

  6. Please count me in!
    Linda Hofke (Lnshofke AT yahoo DOT com)

  7. I'd love to win either of these books! email:

  8. Please enter me as well :)

  9. Cathy,
    You've got a great backstory. I'm sure your poems are equally interesting. Please enter me in the drawing. Thanks!

  10. Please add my name to the wishful.

  11. Glad to see you participating in NaPo and the giveaway! Please add me to the drawing.

    Rodney Wilder

  12. Hi Cathy,

    I would love to win either collection. Thanks so much for doing this. My name is Brian Wong and my e-mail is:

    Happy Poetry Month!

  13. Cathy,
    I would love to win either of these books and am especially interested in "Burnt Offerings." Thanks for your generosity!
    Marianne Mersereau -

  14. Please enter me in your drawing, Cathy, and thanks for sharing!
    Jo Lightfoot - wayaclan [at]

  15. Thank you for participating in the giveaway

  16. Yes, I would love to be entered in this giveaway. Thanks for the opportunity and for the inspiration you provide for those of us who love to read about life changes and those adventurers who are seizing the moment!

  17. Thank you for participating in this giveaway! I just love the idea behind it. And it’s such a great way to discover new poets.

  18. Please enter me in the giveaway! Thanks!

  19. I would like to be entered in the giveaway, please!

    ~Serena Saint-Marceaux

  20. Please enter me in the drawing. Thanks!

  21. Congratulations to the winners of my Big Poetry Giveaway: Jo Lightfoot "Moving House" and Patricia Dowell "Burnt Offerings."