On the end of a year & a decade: 2019

In this last month of the year, I've had five poems accepted by three different literary journals and two new reviews of my book appear in The Cincinnati Review and Harbor Review. I also completed the letterpress printing of the Rossetti Prize broadside for American Literary Review, designs for four more digital broadsides, and the initial edits & contributor proofs for Cherry Tree's sixth issue. Whew! It's been an amazing and overwhelming and utterly fulfilling year; and I'm riding into the new year on 2019's coattails. 

Also featuring the gorgeous handmade scarf that Jehanne Dubrow wove for me this past year.

One of my favorite December inventories will always be reflecting on a year's worth of personal accomplishments and progress. By the time the end of the year arrives, it's so easy to forget all that happened just a few short months ago. Making a list has a way of bringing it all into perspective. Here's my roundup for the year:

2019 Retrospective

And since the end of this year also marks the end of a decade, I've decided to zoom out even further with my list-making. In January 2010, I was 23 years old. I had graduated from college about a year and a half before. I was working full-time as a library assistant at the public library in town (where I had worked part-time since high school). I was renting the apartment attached to my grandmother's house on Goose Hill with one cat and one dog—and I had just recently started this blog. I was writing poems as much as I could and actively submitting them to literary journals, but I hadn't yet received my first acceptance (which wouldn't come until fall 2011). So much has changed since then; and so much is still left to change in the next ten years. 

2010-2019 Decade Shortlist
  • I wrote & published one full-length poetry collection and two chapbooks.
  • I wrote & published 38 poems in 23 magazines and anthologies.
  • I made & published seven visual poems in two magazines.
  • I won two poetry contests—one for an individual poem and one for a full-length manuscript. 
  • I wrote my first lyric essay. 
  • I co-edited & published two poetry anthologies for the Literary House Press.
  • I helped found a literary journal for the Literary House Press, then edited & published six print issues. 
  • I helped edit & publish three illustrated letterpress chapbooks for the Literary House Press.
  • I designed (or helped design) a total of 53 letterpress broadsides—49 for the Literary House Press and four for private clients. Of these, I also printed 22 myself on LHP's Vandercook 4. 
  • I helped found & run a young writers' conference for four summers. 
  • I gave two panel presentations at two literary conferences. 
  • I helped organize & run a booth/table at five AWP Conferences, repping our literary center and selling books, broadsides, & journal subscriptions. 
  • I gave 17 poetry readings & talks at 13 different venues. 
  • I co-hosted a public type-in & letter-writing event in my hometown with a good friend. 
  • I helped found, organize, & run an annual book festival in my hometown.

I'm incredibly proud of all I've accomplished in the last decade, of how many writing goals I've been able to realize. But at the same time, I'm already feeling the pull of the tide of the next ten years. Change (and the need for it) electrifies the air around me and those I love. It makes me both anxious and excited, but I'm looking to the future. 

Looking Ahead to 2020

There's a lot left to plan and do in this next year, the start of a brand-new decade, but here's some of what I've got lined up so far: 

I design these tour graphics & event posters, too!

As always, if you or your program/reading series/bookstore/library/etc. would like to have me come for a visit, please reach out to me at
 my email address! I'm currently looking at dates for summer & fall 2020 for poetry readings, talks on poetry craft, etc. 

I'm wishing all of you a happy, healthy, & poetry-filled new year! xo


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