27 January 2014

Letterpress adventures with Literary House Press

For this year's AWP Conference in Seattle, I worked closely with Lit House Director Jehanne Dubrow to design and create Literary House Press's second annual AWP commemorative broadside, a collaboration with Washington-based literary journal Willow Springs. Here's an official blog post I put together for the Lit House describing this particular designing and printing process.

In addition, we created a film documenting the process as part of a display at our AWP Bookfair table. Thank you to Shane Brill in WC's College Relations office for shooting, editing, and finishing this short, fun filming experience!

My silver nail polish really was just a happy coincidence that we noticed during filming. It matched really well with all the grays, no?

15 January 2014

Chapbook sneak peek

My first chapbook Imago is scheduled to go to print on Friday! Want to know something else? I got to design the cover. My talented friend Emma gave me a gorgeous eggplant photo of hers that was absolutely perfect to use for this project. The typeface I chose for all the text is called Mom's Typewriter. This digital font was actually created exactly the way it sounds: a guy typed each character out on his mom's old typewriter and scanned them into an electronic font file--I just love the grungy effect it has. So here's the final design (front & back covers):

I can't wait to hold the finished books in my hands. dancing girl press will be releasing them in the next few days. In the meantime, you can read excerpts from the poem sequence that makes up this chapbook in the April 2013 issue of decomP.

UPDATE: Check out the web listing for my brand-new chapbook here. Buy one, maybe?

12 January 2014

Rolling the dice

This last week, I've been looking into the huge number of annual contests out there for single poems (or small groups of poems) and I've narrowed it down to ten I hope to enter this year: 
  1. A Room of Her Own: Orlando Prize in Poetry ($1,000 award): due 1/31/14 + $15 entry fee
  2. New South ($1,000 award): due 4/30/14 + $3 entry fee
  3. Boulevard: Poetry Contest for Emerging Poets ($1,000 award): due 6/1/14 + $15 entry fee
  4. Salt Hill Journal: Philip Booth Poetry Prize ($350 award): due 9/1/14 + $15 entry fee
  5. Black Warrior Review Poetry Contest ($1,000 award): due 9/1/14 +$15 entry fee
  6. Red Hen Press Poetry Award ($1,000 award): due 9/30/14 + $20 entry fee
  7. Dogwood Poetry Contest ($1,000 award): due 10/15/14 + $15 entry fee
  8. Mid-American Review: James Wright Poetry Contest ($1,000 award): due 11/15/14 + $10 entry fee
  9. Bayou: Kay Murphy Prize for Poetry ($500 award): due 12/31/14 + $15 entry fee
  10. Cream City Review Poetry Contest ($1,000 award): due 12/31/14 + $15 entry fee
I'm no gambler, so it's hard for me to spend on something that may not see any return. If I enter all ten of these contests over the next year, I'll end up spending a total of $138 on entry fees, which breaks down to $11.50 per month. In that light, it doesn't seem all that expensive a venture. Here's hoping one of them pays off.

I'm also planning to re-apply for the Ruth Lilly Fellowships this year (if I can get ten pages worth of unpublished poems together before the manuscripts are due--I need to write some new material!). Luckily, this one is free.

09 January 2014

Forthcoming: The Feminist Wire

Recently I was contacted by a contributing editor for The Feminist Wire. She found me through my wicked alice poems and asked me to submit some work. I've heard of this happening before but this is the first time I've been solicited for work by a publication. How exciting!!

As serendipity would have it, my two newest poems (which had yet to be placed anywhere) were actually a perfect fit for this online magazine whose mission is: 
"to provide socio-political and cultural critique of anti-feminist, racist, and imperialist politics pervasive in all forms and spaces of private and public lives of individuals globally. Of particular critical interest to us are social and political phenomena that block, negate, or limit the satisfaction of goods or ends that humans, especially the most vulnerable, minimally require for living free of structural violence. The Feminist Wire seeks to valorize and sustain pro-feminist representations and create alternative frameworks to build a just and equitable society."
I can't tell you how honored I am that my creative work supports this mission. Feminism (and humanism, in general) is a way of life for me and although my poems are not political, these feelings overflow into everything I write. I am proud that my two poems "Girl with no Hands" and "Interlude" have found a home at The Feminist Wire. Thank you, contributing editor Brooke Elise Axtell

05 January 2014

Forthcoming: Sugar House Review

I've just received an acceptance for my poem "Fevvers (Authenticating the Cockney Venus)" from Sugar House Review. Hooray!

(that's a sugar beet, in case you were wondering)

This poem has been gathering dust for the last couple of years, but I sent it out into the world again this past spring. It is my homage to Angela Carter's carnival of a novel Nights at the Circus (1984), which chronicles the adventures of American journalist Jack Walser as he falls in love with the winged-woman, aerialiste extraordinaire Sophia Fevvers. If you haven't read this book (or any others by Angela Carter, for that matter), I highly recommend that you do!

I just discovered that my Midway poems apparently went live on October 15 without my noticing. Oops! Anyway, hooray for Midway Journal's newest issue: volume 7, no. 4!!! Have a read here, if you please.

03 January 2014

Happy New Year!

As a first step toward a year in becoming more of a professional poet, I have finally gone about creating a portfolio or profile website for myself (this blog is in the navigation bar).

Here are some of the next things I'll be working on this year: 
  1. I'll be looking into different poetry contests (contests for single poems, not manuscripts) and figuring out which ones to enter. Every poetry contest out there requires some sort of entry fee, so researching and narrowing down which ones to submit work to will help make these submissions much more economic and more like an investment than just throwing money and poems around to everyone willing to take them. 
  2. In February, I will have the opportunity to travel to Seattle to attend my first AWP Conference as part of the Rose O'Neill Literary House crew. This Conference is not only a learning opportunity (with the multitude of panel discussions on craft), but also a fabulous opportunity for professional networking. Hundreds of writers, small (and larger) presses, literary magazines and journals, and writing programs will be there ready to mingle. 
  3. When my chapbook is released in the next month or two from dancing girl press, I will be active in trying to promote it a bit: inquiring around to different chapbook-reviewing venues such as Rain Taxi Review of Books (which has a "Chapbook Corner"), Weave Magazine, and decomP magazinE (which includes poetry reviews as part of each issue and which published a selection of poems from this chapbook manuscript in April 2013) among others.
  4. I will also be continuing work on the Catechesis manuscript project, which is still coming along slowly (but surely).