Showing posts from 2018

On 2018 and my year in poetry

These end-of-year personal inventories are something I really look forward to once December arrives. Some years feel so incredibly long because of everything that manages to happen in world news in a twelve-month period ,  so it becomes really easy to forget about the things I accomplished just a few months earlier — especially when my work life is so busy that it feels like I barely manage to lift my head up enough to work on any of my personal goals. These inventories give me back a much-needed sense of perspective that I can  so easily  lose sight of. So, here are all of the poetry accomplishments I managed this year: I had poems published in print journals  Passages North  and The Cincinnati Review . My first visual poems were also published online in Dream Pop Press  and Duende .  My second chapbook was published by Porkbelly Press in April: Blackbird Whitetail Redhand . Each copy is hand-stitched with a beautiful letterpress cover.  In September, I read f

"Practice Makes Published" & other upcoming poetry events

On Saturday, November 10, I will be giving a talk on poetry & publishing with my good friend and colleague James Allen Hall at 11:00 a.m. at the Kent County Public Library in Chestertown! Do you have questions about how to get started with publishing your poetry and how to go about getting it out in the world? Then please come to our event and bring your questions with you! James and I will be giving advice from our experience on both sides of the fence — as writers and as editors. I'm finishing up my notes and handouts this weekend. In other news, book production for Catechesis  is moving along at a very steady pace! I've secured blurbs from two dream poets. The University of Utah Press has sent me a draft of a cover design that I absolutely love, as well as a sneak peek at the foreword Kimiko Hahn has been writing for it. Soon the U of U Press 2019 catalog will be out with the very first preview of the book as object —as more than just manuscript.  All of these be

On the best of news

On August 20, I received a phone call from The University of Utah Press with the most amazing news. My manuscript Catechesis: a postpastoral  was chosen for the 2018 Agha Shahid Ali Poetry Prize by Kimiko Hahn. My debut poetry collection will be published by U of U Press in June 2019.  This past month has been the most wonderfully surreal one of my life. I've been working on my U of U Press author questionnaire with things like cover art ideas, names of writers to ask for blurbs, and drafting some promotional copy for the book. The latter was quite a challenge — thinking about my own work from the outside, as a reader and a marketer. But it ended up being a pretty fun exercise. I feel like I have a better understanding of my own work now; and I'm better able to explain what my work is "about": If Clarice Starling and Ellen Ripley could warn the girls and women to follow, what would they tell us? “A girl has two choices: / to be a tree or / to be the forest.” C

On summer writing and fall reading

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.  2018 Cherry Tree Young Writers' Conference students & interns 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 broads

On my (national) poetry month

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 Between is 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 hav

On letters from the editors

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

On Pantone & printing & poems

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 Work — my 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