Posts

On summer writing and fall reading

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Somehow it's already mid-August. I've spent most of the summer laboring (read: obsessing) over the writing of a single new poem. "Presswife" frames the story of six colonial American printers' wives who took over the business when their husbands died as a kind of retelling of one of my favorite fairy tales, "The Crane Wife." It weaves (fairytale pun intended) together letterpress printing, strong women of history, and fairy tale, with a diction and narrative that leans toward the witchy. And I'm almost finished writing it. 

It was another busy summer at the Rose O'Neill Literary House, the highlight of which was our third annual Cherry Tree Young Writers' Conference—a 4-day, 3-night marathon with 16 (amazing!) high-school creative writers. We also spent a little time in the print shop, printing one brand-new broadside and the second edition of a bestseller broadside. Now, we're two weeks into the open reading period for Cherry Tree's …

On my (national) poetry month

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The past month has been so full of personal poetry goodness! Here are some highlights:



On April 11, my second chapbook Blackbird Whitetail Redhand was released from Porkbelly Press! It is a beautiful handmade book with a letterpress cover & stab binding. Copies are available for purchase directly from the publisher. If you are interested in reviewing this chapbook, you can contact me about a review copy. If you've read & liked it, please feel free to leave a review on Goodreads. (Thank you so much to fabulous fellow poets Sally Rosen Kindred & Kate Gaskin, who have already done so!) I'll also be reading from this new chap for a Tea & Talk event on September 5 at 4:30 p.m. at the Rose O'Neill Literary House with poet, colleague, & friend Kimberly Quiogue Andrews. Kim's new chapbook Betweenis out very soon from Finishing Line Press!



On April 15, I received news that my poem "Wait a minute, there's movement. It seems to have life—organic life&qu…

On letters from the editors

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It's been a year since I finished writing my first full-length poetry manuscript Catechesis: a postpastoral. It's been a little less than that since I started sending it out to open reading periods and book contests. And it's been a fairly vulnerable process, more so than submitting individual poems to lit mags, to which I've mostly numbed myself after ten years. Every time I submit my manuscript to another press, I'm sending out four whole years of my writing life at once. It feels like I'm sending Everything That Means Anything To Me; this project that has been the center of my creative life for so long that I didn't know what to even try writing about when it was finally completed. And, of course, it's the first time I've ever done this. 

I've now submitted my manuscript to 24 book contests and open reading periods. I've spent $529 on submission fees. From these, I've received thirteen form rejections and there are nine places that I&#…

On Pantone & printing & poems

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On February 1, Dream Pop Press published my first two visual poems in their Winter 2018 Issue! "(lady's thumb / plate 45)" and "(nightshade & bittersweet / plate 173)" are both poem-collages from my Silence of the Lambs series. The latter of these even made the front of the issue. 

In other good news, I've also finally broken out of my 9-month writing slump. My new pieces are feminist letterpress/printshop poems for Women's Workmy in-progress collaborative chapbook with fellow poet-printer Emma Sovich

It's a funny feeling picking up an old project again. But I feel even better equipped to write these poems now that I've had a few more years to steep in broadside printing and letterpress love. I'm especially excited about the poem I'm working on right now, titled "Girl as Pantone Matching System." It's all about ink-mixing and menstruation. It's made up of short lyric sections that are each titled with a different P…

2017: the best of a bad year

This has been a stressful, overwhelming, and horrifying year for most of us as we stare daily into the void of the pre-apocalypse. Although keeping calm hasn't been an option, we have been carrying on. So, reflecting on everything I've accomplished in my writing life this year has been a welcome boost.
I finished writing my first full-length poetry manuscriptCatechesis: a postpastoral, and I've begun sending it to small press open reading periods and contests. My second chapbook Blackbird Whitetail Redhand was accepted for publication at Porkbelly Press and it is in production right now. I had new Alien poems accepted in Passages North and The Account, two journals that I admire. My first visual poems were accepted for publication. These five pieces will appear in an upcoming issue of Duende. So despite all of the terribly traumatic global goings-on, 2017 has been a huge writing year for me. My writing goals for 2018 are not modest, but they are fairly simple: I'm hopin…

On letterpress love and chapbook covers

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My new chapbook Blackbird Whitetail Redhand is getting a letterpress cover and I am just thrilled! One of my favorite parts of my job at the Rose O'Neill Literary House is getting to create designs for and print letterpress broadsides of other writers' work. Because of my (very happy) time served as letterpress-bridesmaid, it really is so personally meaningful and exciting to be the recipient of the letterpress treatment for the very first time. 

Nicci Mechler—editor, book designer, artist, and printer extraordinaire at Porkbelly Press—put together this typographical design for my chapbook cover using varying fonts and faces of wood type—some even hand-carved. You can see the creatively-arranged Tetris-like lock-up in the type bed at Tiger Lily Press below. What fun! 



It will always be such an honor to have another artist render a visual impression of my textual work. This black and white, letterpress cover is the pitch-perfect opening into my new chapbook of fairytale poems. I …

On forests and fairytales

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This week, my contributor's copy of Porkbelly Press's new limited-edition anthology Bramble & Thorn arrived at my door. I have three fairytale-girl poems in this collection alongside twenty-one other fantastic poets, including Sally Rosen Kindred, Phoebe Reeves, Sonja Johanson, Rebecca Macijeski, Sarah Ann Winn, Donna Vorreyer, Jenn Givhan, and E. Kristin Anderson. This is such a beautiful little hand-bound book full of poems about fierce and dangerous fairytale women and girls in their dark forest landscape. The lush cover art is from photographer Olivia Rose Edvalson. It's also available now for pre-order

I've always been a poet with a fairytale aesthetic and I've gradually been finding and connecting with more and more fellow faerie-poets. Finding a home among these poets and fairytale-minded publications like Fairy Tale Review, Faerie Magazine, and the anthologies and chapbooks at Porkbelly Press feels like I'm right where I'm supposed to be.