Archive for the ‘Poetry’ Category
Oh hai blog, I’ve missed you.
I’ve been taking a little step back from all things library this summer. We’re on a 9-month contract where I work but in the past I’ve always signed up for an additional summer contract and kept working through June, July, and August. This year, I decided to take June and July off (except for a few days here and there). I feel like I deserve a break after going through the tenure and promotion process this past year. I’m also trying to gear-up for our library reopening at the end of the summer. I’ve been feeling a little guilty about not being available while construction and other things are wrapping up. It’s so hard to take a step back… But at the same time I know that this break is imperative for my mental well-being. By the end of the spring semester I was feeling the need to create some space in my life in order to replenish my ideas and enthusiasm.
It’s been wonderful. I’ve been concentrating on my creative work—writing, reading, performing, sending work out for publication. I have lots of camping trips planned for July and I’m seeing old friends and making new ones. Making things… trying to build my community. I’ve been trying to do some things that are outside my comfort zone (reading my poetry at this house show, for example) and it’s great. Each time I do something that scares me it makes the next thing a little bit easier.
Some random updates in digestible list form:
- I’ll be presenting “The Good, the Bad, the Ugly: Post-Renovation Revelations” at the Pennsylvania Library Association (PaLA) 2013 Annual Conference in Seven Springs this October with my colleague Melissa Gold.
- Our library renovation is on schedule and we will be reopening by the beginning of the fall semester.
- I’m tenured effective fall 2013! Still waiting to hear if I was promoted from Instructor to Assistant Professor.
- My poems “Renaissance Body” and “Tasks To Privilege” were recently accepted for publication in an upcoming issue of The Pinch Literary Journal. Stoked.
- I’ve been working on the Membership Committee of PaLA as part of my Director-at-Large responsibilities. We’ve been busy brainstorming creative ideas for recruitment and retention. Lots of good stuff.
- My trip to Italy was fan-freaking-tastic and made me want to go to all the places. Travel: you should do it.
How is your summer going? Anything fun in the works?
At the beginning of September I learned that my poem “January 26, 2011” was accepted for publication in issue four of Birdfeast Magazine. Birdfeast is published quarterly and features a “feast” of 10-20 poems in each issue. They publish “…your loudest pieces, and your quietest ones. Your strangest and your most gentle.” I absolutely love the way Birdfeast presents itself electronically in terms of its site design. It was one of the things that made me want to submit there. If you submit work, you probably know exactly what I mean when I say there are some online journals out there that look absolutely horrendous. I know that literary journals (including ejournals) are a labor of love, but come on now people. Birdfeast is where it’s at in terms of minimalist design & great use of color/images. It allows the work to take front stage.
Another reason I decided to submit to Birdfeast is because Duotrope (y’all know about Duotrope, right? If not, get on that!) has this nice feature where you can look up a particular journal title and then see:
- Work submitted here was also submitted to…
- Users accepted here also had work accepted by…
When my poem was accepted at Curio, I checked Duotrope for other places work by Curio authors was accepted. Lo and behold, Birdfeast was on the list. It’s an easy way to learn about new journals to read and places that might mesh with your particular style for submissions.
This poem is particularly meaningful to me because it’s about my friend’s mother who has since passed away. I have incredibly fond memories of growing up and playing in their house when I was younger (all the way through high school). The last time I got to see her, in winter of 2011, she still beat my ass in a game of Skip Bo! The poem is short, possibly my shortest ever. I think it’s a good parallel to the brief lives we lead.
Thanks to Jessica Poli (Founder and Editor-in-Chief) for selecting my work for inclusion in Birdfeast.
I found out early last week that my poem “Kitchen Drawer” was accepted for publication in issue 7 of Curio Poetry! Curio is a (newish) online journal that highlights “the world at a micro-level: tiny spaces, instants, individual objects, scraps of dreams and memories, et cetera.” I decided to submit to this journal after seeing three poems published in issue 2 by M.J. Iuppa. I studied under Iuppa as an undergrad at St. John Fisher College, and her instruction deeply influenced my craft development.
“Kitchen Drawer” was initially composed during an in-class writing exercise for one of my workshops with Kim Bridgford at West Chester University. The poem underwent a bunch of revisions after that, but if you’re interested, here are some similar prompts you could start from:
- List the items in your junk drawer and write about how the items in a person’s junk drawer can tell a lot about that person.
- Write a poem about the clutter in your emotional junk drawer.
Thanks to M.J. for introducing me to Curio, Kim for the prompt, and Joseph Harker and Tessa Racht (Curio editor and assistant editor, respectively) for giving me the opportunity to publish this poem next to all of the other amazing work in issue 7.