28 March 2013

Medium-sized fish in a small pond

So, as I've mentioned before, December's type-in and letter-writing social made quite a splash. And we're still feeling some of the ripples. Here is a lovely profile piece of me in The Chestertown Spy, our local online newspaper named for the historical first newspaper in our town printed in 1793, with a special interest in the type-in. 

Thanks, Jack Elliott, for such a witty and wonderful write-up.

26 March 2013

NaPoWriMo challenge

Flush with the victory of my first NaNoWriMo Poetry marathon this past fall, I am determined to meet the challenge of the official National Poetry Writing Month: NaPoWriMo, April 2013. After a slow start to my poem-a-day November, I found great momentum when I stumbled into my poem series, which I christened "Imago" before the month's end. And recently, five sections of this poem series found a home with decomP magazinE

This exercise in prolificity, although daunting at first, proved to be as productive as I had hoped. And once I found my writing-momentum, I learned to enjoy the daily rush and had quite a bit of fun pushing myself. This is my kind of workout.


Even still, I am starting to feel a bit nervous about committing myself again to a month of daily poetry-writing. I've never had a strong work-ethic when it comes to my creative writing pursuits, so attempting to enforce some discipline here has always been a struggle against my own procrastination in the face of blank-page-fright.

But all of this makes me all the more certain that I must make this commitment again. And I will.

19 March 2013

Fake it to make it: umlaut edition

One of my favorite parts of letterpress printing is the limitations that the medium presents and how those limitations fuel my creativity when forced to work within them. A couple weeks ago I accepted a commission to print some custom letterpress stationery for a certain typewriter-collecting customer of mine. It was a simple order except for the inclusion of a necessary umlaut. This customer is Swiss and so brings with him a whole new alphabet of letter-attached punctuation that my type cases are not prepared to accommodate. But I was not deterred!

I mulled over the various ways I could manage to print an umlaut over the "u" in "Zurich," while still using my unyielding lead type. The first thing that became clear was that I would have to use a capital letter "U" rather than a lowercase because there would be an immoveable segment of lead between the top of the lowercase "u" and any line of type above it, which would be the nearest I could get any makeshift umlaut. So out of this necessity, I made a stylistic choice to capitalize that entire line of type. And it still looked elegant.


My first idea for faking the umlaut was to turn a colon on its side on top of the uppercase "U." But this ended up being a bit problematic: it was difficult to get the colon centered over the "U." And then filling the line around it with the correct length and width of leads? That was a headache. So then, the obvious occurred to me: two periods side-by-side. Then the spacing is absolutely simple, just more quads, and em and en spaces of the same font size fit there perfectly. And a few carefully placed copper spaces helped me to position my engineered-umlaut exactly centered over the "U." It turned out pretty well, I think.


But what about you? What do you think?

16 March 2013

Forthcoming: decomP magazinE

Five sections of my NaNoWriMo poem series "Imago" have been accepted for publication in the April 2013 issue of decomP. Hooray!


decomP also posts audio recordings of their writers reading their featured pieces. So some time soon I'll record myself reading these five poem sections and send that in to the magazine as well. One of the various multimedia opportunities of the new wide world of online publication.

My poems will be up just in time for National Poetry Month and my 27th birthday. I think it's probably safe to say that this will be my favorite birthday present this year. Unless someone gets me a unicorn?

12 March 2013

In print: Eckleburg no. 18

My Eckleburg poems "Red Market" and "Women and Children First" will be appearing IN PRINT. Woo-hoo!




The Doctor T.J. Eckleburg Review is releasing their Issue no. 18 as a print anthology of the year's online work and my poems made the cut. This will be the first time (since my undergraduate literary review) that my poems have appeared in print. 

Somehow, I feel like all the little publications as an undergrad don't count because you're competing within a pretty small pool of writers, who are also exclusively undergrads, and only undergrads that happen to go to the same small liberal arts college that you attend (Sorry, Washington College Review, it's just how I feel). 

So, this anthology feels like the actual first time. Thanks, Eckleburg. I can't wait for my free contributor's copy!

05 March 2013

On flowering, but not talking to, the wall

Sometimes you start a conversation without being sure anyone has heard you or will bother to respond.


I love when the room answers back. Thanks, Lit House.