Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

An online poetry journal, Flurry, welcomes the winter solstice December 21, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 12:14 PM

Garden art, created by my neighbor Cheri from recycled vases, plates and more, provides a bright spot in the snowscape of my backyard.

TODAY MARKS THE SHORTEST day of the year, the winter solstice. Here in southeastern Minnesota, the recent foot of snow makes this seem like an already long winter. And it’s not even January.

Predictions for a major winter snowstorm later this week already have me worrying about travel. Will my daughters get home for Christmas? Will weather delay extended family gatherings that we must attend hours away?

Since there’s not much I can do about the weather, I must accept the cold and snow. Or, as in the case of St. Paul poet Todd Boss, embrace it. For the third winter, Boss is publishing an online winter poetry journal appropriately named Flurry.

Up until several weeks ago, when I discovered Yellowrocket, a book of poetry on the “new books” shelves at Buckham Memorial Library in Faribault, I had never heard of Boss. He authored this volume of down-to-earth poems that quickly won me over as a Boss fan. I’ve read and reviewed that collection, with that review awaiting publication.

But back to Flurry. In November, I e-mailed Boss about Yellowrocket, but mostly about his online poetry journal.

Flurry is gaining momentum as a regional magazine (Minnesota and the Dakotas) whose focus is limited and the publication period of which is narrow. I kinda love how specialized it is. Poems about snow, basically is what we’re talking about,” he writes.

Yup, from December 21 until the March 20, 2010, spring equinox, you can immerse yourself in poems that focus on winter. This year, Boss has expanded Flurry’s geographical area to include his native Wisconsin. He solicits most of the material, but also reads submissions.

I’m no poetry expert, so I won’t pretend to understand every poem I read. But when I read a poem I like, I know it. That’s really the beauty of poetry. Poems elicit different responses depending on our emotions, experiences and even our geographical location. Boss understands that.

Right about now, I figure a whole lot of people, from the snow-covered Midwest to the snow-socked East Coast, can relate to the types of poems you’ll find on Flurry. Poems like Raul Sanchez’ Wild Dame that is kicking off the third season of Flurry; the two-line Sun Dogs by Denise K. Lajimodiere or The Soft Fate by Madelon Sprengnether in volume two; or Jill Breckenridge’s Winter Blessing and Deborah Keenan’s Something New About Winter in volume one.

Decide for yourself and check out Flurry at http://www.toddbosspoet.com/Flurry*/Flurry*.html.

© Copyright 2009 Audrey Kletscher Helbling