10 June 2016

On still lifes and still writing

Since my last post (in March! What?!), I've been entirely sucked into my (fantastic but busybusybusy) day job at the Rose O'Neill Literary House. It's been a productive few months professionally, but my writing has stagnated in the meantime. I intend to turn that around again soon, making sure the entire summer doesn't pass before I've written at least 2-3 more Alien poems. 

In news: after months of editing and proofing, we finally received the first printed copies of the Literary House Press's next poetry anthology, Still Life with Poem! It's just as beautiful as I hoped it would be. This is the second volume I've co-edited with my great friend and colleague Jehanne Dubrow. Sadly, this is going to be the last, at least for now. Jehanne recently accepted an exciting new position that she is looking forward to beginning before the end of the summer. As heartbroken as I am for myself and for the Lit House, I am thrilled for her. I can honestly say that these last four years working alongside her have been the best of my life; and I am a better person, poet, and professional for having known her.

As for Still Life with Poem, the book is scheduled for official release on October 18, 2016, when we'll be celebrating with a launch party at the Lit House. But contributor copies and review copies will be in the mail within the next couple of weeks. If you are interested in receiving a review copy, e-mail me at llusby2@washcoll.edu to request one.

In further news: poetry writing has been on hold lately, but three poems that have been waiting for a home since February were recently taken by the gorgeous Faerie Magazine, an aesthetically exquisite glossy mag based out of Baltimore. "Girl with Cloven Feet," "Trade," "Trigger"pieces from a five-poem sequencewill be appearing in the Autumn 2016 issue. I can't wait to see my poems alongside all of that magical photography. Their upcoming Summer 2016 issue includes homages to Prince and David Bowie's Goblin King

My goal for the rest of the summer (which hasn't technically begun, but already seems to be swinging) is to focus exclusively on completing this new series of poems about Alien, and possibly creating some collages to pair with them. But that will be my reward to myself when I finish the sequence. I'm currently two poems deep, with probably four more to go (because I'm a fool for symmetry). All of the movie-line-poem-titles are picked out and ready. All I'm waiting on now is me.

11 March 2016

On cherrybombs and fairy tales

This is a fairly accurate representation of the last month of my life: 

Don't these two look great together?

Cherry Tree's second issue was released on February 15 and we've been welcoming it since with a parade of contributor, staff, and subscriber selfies in our #cherrybomb social media campaign. It's been a heckuva lot of fun because so many of our friends have been playing along with us. 

Then this week, Fairy Tale Review's Ochre Issue arrived on my front stoop! My contest-winning poem series "Forestry (parts 1-3)" is in here alongside some other fantastical work. If you're headed to AWP in LA later this month, you can pick up a copy of FTR there, although Cherry Tree will be staying home this year. Either way, you should absolutely subscribe to both of these literary journals. 

And in case you missed it a couple of weeks ago, I have a guest post up on Fairy Tale Review's blog for their Fairy-Tale Files series: On Circles of Salt

Editorial work is nearly done on Still Life with Poem. We'll be sending out proofs to our anthology contributors in less than two weeks!

06 February 2016

Editor pants, poet pants

For the past month and a half, I've been wearing my editor pants almost constantly (good thing I have a few pairs!). Here's a quick recap of what I've been up to since my last post: 

After a couple weeks of intensive proofing and revising of Cherry Tree's second issue, we sent that beautiful baby to print! The printed copies have arrived at the Literary House and we're now prepping them to mail out to contributors and subscribers. I am so incredibly proud of how this issue turned out. If you haven't already, you should subscribe now! Also, we received word on January 15 that a poem from the inaugural issue was chosen for inclusion in the 2016 edition of Best American Poetry: "As If," by Julie Kane!

Once that editorial work was wrapped up, I moved on to laying out the interior of the Literary House Press's next poetry anthology, Still Life with Poem. That's nearly complete now. Soon it will be ready for proofing and revising like mad. But on Friday, we did manage to finalize a gorgeous cover design for the book! All I can tell you about it now is that it features a prominent and perfect grasshopper (stagename Gary). You'll have to wait patiently for more on that. I'll be deep into the designing and editing of this project for the next month or so. 

But today! Today I got to put on my poet pants again. Emma and I got together this afternoon and had ourselves a little poetry submission party (we only invited cats). I submitted a new batch of Catechesis poems to seven literary magazines:

  • West Branch
  • 32 Poems
  • Phantom (now reading for their annual Emerging Poets Issue!)
  • Waxwing
  • Gigantic Sequins
  • Guernica
  • Indiana Review

So, I have poems back out in the world again. And now it's time to start writing the next section of my manuscript-in-progress: poems about 1979's Alien and Ellen Ripley.

12 December 2015

Holiday postcard 2015

It's been one helluva year. A lot of good things. A few bad things. Not too many clichés.

Here are some of the highlights: 
  • I embarked on one of the most exciting and fulfilling poetry projects of my life so far: my Silence of the Lambs poem series. Then, I made some poem c0llages to go along with them. And in only a few months, all of the poems found homes: Third Point Press, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, and North Dakota Quarterly!
  • I got to attend three writing conferences this year: AWP Minneapolis, Poetry by the Sea in Madison, Connecticut, and the Steel Pen Writers' Conference in Merrillville, Indiana. And at Steel Pen, I was on my first writing panel: Historical [Re]Tell: The Writing & Craft of Telling Retellings of the Historic, in which I got to talk about retelling fairy tales!
  • My biggest news of the year: my poems "Forestry (parts 1-3)" were selected by Joyelle McSweeney for the 2015 Fairy Tale Review Poetry Contest! The award includes a check for $1000 and publication of my winning poems in The Ochre Issue, which is due to be released in March 2016. 
  • This fall I got to meet both Claudia Rankine and Matthea Harvey!!! This needs no further explanation.
  • At the Literary House Press, we are currently finishing up work on issue 2 of Cherry Tree and we are about to begin the design and layout of our next poetry anthology Still Life with Poem: 100 Natures Mortes in Verse. I am very excited about both of these forthcoming publications!

I always enjoy doing this round-up of a whole year of good poetry news. By the end of the year, you start to forget all of the amazing things that happened earlier on and somewhere in the middle. It's a wonderful feeling to reflect on the year-in-poetry as a whole unit of greatness. It makes me feel all warm and cozy and grateful just in time for the holidays.

So, thanks for everything, 2015! And happy holidays to everyone.