Thursday, December 31, 2015

2015 Writing Year in Review

Wow, this year ended with the Big Bang of Book Fairs: my Miami Book Fair  presentation/reading experience was eye-opening and even fun on some levels.  But it was a banner year in many other aspects as well:  first of all my chapbook, Shining from a Different Firmament came out in March, (very appropriately for Women's History month); I also had a record of 20 acceptances (for me!--I know this number may be laughable to some people but I wield a slow pen!)  and 15 publications, not including the 20 poems published in the actual chapbook, 5 interviews or articles featuring my poetry, 2 book giveaways, 1 book auction,  1 review of my chapbook in the Quarterday Review and 1 judging experience!

Along with the publications came precious feedback from readers and fellow poets, who were very generous in their comments and it was very encouraging to realize that I am not delusional but actually making some progress in my poetry.

I was fortunate to begin this year by publishing one of my favorite poems "Nothing in the Dark" and ended with the publication of another:  " "Emily Brontë Addresses Her Creation" -- as well as the acceptance of some hard-to-place longer poems in the perfect venue which I hope will go forward.

Next year begins auspiciously, (I hope!), with 1 writing workshop acceptance (with poet Campbell McGrath).  They have so many activities planned--readings, receptions, sunset sailings--that I'm wondering when exactly we are supposed to get any writing done!  But it all sounds like fun.

What do I want to accomplish next year?  I think my main preoccupation is to learn to self-direct my writing so I'm not so dependent on outside stimulus.  Since my tutorial with Andrea ended, I think I'm suffering from the equivalent of the post-M.F.A. limbo that many students find themselves in.  Our tutorial lasted about the same length of time as an M.F.A. and I think accomplished the same, more or less.  Now I have to learn to do it on my own.

Another highlight of the coming year:

Portland-based Poetry Press Week will be debuting in Miami and they have invited me to be a judge, so that will be a new and fascinating experience!

Monday, December 07, 2015

Sparrow's Trill - Minerva Rising's special issue on Race in America

I'm very honored that Minerva's Rising's special issue on race in America:  Sparrow's Trill will include my poem "In the flesh."  Poetry editor Emily Shearer's revision suggestions improved this poem quite a bit and I'm happy it will appear in such an important issue.  From their page:

"After the racially charged act of hate that killed nine people in a Charleston church in June, Minerva Rising no longer wanted to be silent. We wanted to start a dialogue for social change--a dialogue based in love. We wanted to fuse the schisms and unite as one voice writing to heal the open wounds of the heart, writing to change the world we inhabit. That dialogue created this special edition."

 The title, Sparrow’s Trill, comes from the poem "Tapestry I (Mississippi, 2015)" by Jessica Lanay.
the thick
rope groans against a high
bough and it sounds
so much like
the end of a sparrow’s trill that
I look for birds

Subscribe to Minerva or purchase this issue here.