Showing posts from 2017

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 manuscript Catechesis: 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

On letterpress love and chapbook covers

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 chapbo

On forests and fairytales

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 t

On Alien and The Account

I have two new Alien  poems out now in the Fall 2017 Issue of The Account: A Journal of Poetry, Prose, and Thought ! "What's the story, Mother?" and "You still don't understand what you're dealing with, do you?" are the first and third poems in my series inspired by the Ridley Scott movie. An extra fun part about publishing in this journal is that the editors also ask for and publish an "account" of the poems, describing some aspect of the thought process behind the writing of them. I enjoyed digging back into the seed ideas for these poems and rediscovering those influences.  I am so grateful to editors Tyler Mills, Brianna Noll, and Christina Stoddard for supporting these little poems and for taking such care with them. I'll be spending time with this new issue of The Account  this weekend, reading all of the amazing poems, stories, and essays inside by contributors like Lee Ann Roripaugh, Paul Otremba, Lisa Marie Basile, and many

On fallow times and a fruitful fall

Happy fall, poetry people! I am currently a couple months into a post-book writing dry spell. I'm trying to be patient and ride it out, but it's hard not to be frustrated at going so long without writing any new poems. Fortunately, there are a few things coming up this fall that I'm excited about and are keeping me going: Two of my Alien poems will be in the Fall 2017 issue of The Account: A Journal of Poetry, Prose, & Thought ! My poems "What's the story, Mother?" and "You still don't understand what you're dealing with, do you?" will be published in November, along with an account describing the ideas that went into the writing of these poems. My three poems "Trespass," "Trade," and "Tremble" will be published in a new anthology of "fanged and fierce women and girls" from Porkbelly Press called bramble&thorn . The anthology is currently in the final proofing stages and will be releas

On successful experiments and my sudden excitement

I am so thrilled to share that the first five of my visual poetry (or poem-collage ) pieces have been accepted for publication! " (Hooded skullcap / plate 171) ," " (false dragonhead / plate 170) ," " (jack-in-the-pulpit / plate 2) ," " (round-leaved sundew & venus flytrap / plate 74) ," and " (swamp pink / plate 35) " will be appearing in a future issue(s) of Duende .  More than being excited, it is such an incredible relief to have this new experimental work validated by other editors and publishers. Making these pieces was a great leap for me—I did not have a map for how they should be and how they would fit with with my purely textual work. I am also unfamiliar with the landscape of publishing such hybrid pieces. I was confident in my need to create them because the impulse came from the same place that pushes me to write a particular poem about a particular thing with those particular words. But after that, it was like

On visual poetry and vivisecting language

Last month I finished my second series of six poem-collages. The first were paired with my Silence of the Lambs  poems. These are paired with my Alien  poems.  I used the same source materials for these as I did for the previous series, which are primarily The MacMillan Wild Flower Book  and Gray's Anatomy . Using the same sources helps to connect both series, make them part of a greater narrative that is explored in my full-length manuscript, Catechesis .  These are the six poem and collage pairings of this series: What's the story, Mother? + round-leaved sundew & venus flytrap / plate 74 Wait a minute, there's movement. It seems to have life — organic life. + jack-in-the-pulpit / plate 2 You still don't understand what you're dealing with, do you? + false dragonhead / plate 170 I can't lie to you about your chances, but you have my sympathies. + swamp pink / plate 35 We've got this far — we must go on. We ha

Good news for National Poetry Month!

First piece of good poetry news: l ast weekend I finished the last piece for   Catechesis , my first full-length poetry collection! It is a total of 27 poems and 12 poem-collages: fairytale-girl poems,  Silence of the Lambs  poems & collages, and   Alien   poems & collages. I'll give the manuscript a little breathing room, and then I'll start looking for open calls at presses. Second piece of good poetry news: my poem "Wait a minute, there's movement. It seems to have life —organic life" has been accepted for publication in the Spring 2018 Issue of Passages North ! This is the first out of my six Alien  poems to be taken by a literary magazine, so it is very encouraging for the rest of the series. Riding the high of this acceptance, I've just submitted the remaining five poems to another crop of journals. After nearly four years of working on this manuscript, it's a very strange feeling to be finished. I've been entirely project-focused

Blackbird Whitetail Redhand

I am so thrilled to announce here that my second chapbook Blackbird Whitetail Redhand  will be published later this year by Porkbelly Press . Congratulations to my new pressmates, whose chapbooks will also be appearing this year: Maggie Woodward, Eloisa Amezcua, Kristi Carter, and M. Brett Gaffney! Funny-but-awesome-side-note: We just published Eloisa Amezcua's poem "Mission Bay" in issue 3 of Cherry Tree ! So I am especially excited to be in the same lineup and, eventually, to read her new chapbook. There are fifteen poems in this chap, all of the poems about my three  fairytale-girls   from my nearly completed full-length manuscript: the Girl with no Hands, the Girl with Cloven Feet, and the Girl who Gave Birth to an Apple. Although they are a significant chunk of the larger manuscript (and there are certain publishing downsides to this), I decided after much internal deliberation that these poems deserved to have their own separate platform, showcasing them as