Erin Dorney

Blogging life & librarianship

Posts Tagged ‘poetry

Poem “January 26, 2011” published in Birdfeast Magazine

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birdfeast

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.

Written by Erin Dorney

November 26, 2012 at 9:00 AM

Poem “Kitchen Drawer” published in Curio Poetry

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Curio screenshot

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.

Written by Erin Dorney

June 11, 2012 at 9:18 AM

Sips Card Project

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A few months ago I came across the fabulous work of mixed media artist Kristen Solecki, out of Charleston, SC. There’s just something about her use of color that really draws me to her prints and paintings. I ended up purchasing some of her owl prints to give away as gifts and they were gorgeous in really simple Ikea frames.

Kristen contacted me a few weeks later to let me know about a new publication that she and partner Tim LeVan Miller are embarking on. Enter Sips Card:

sipscard

“Sips Card brings independent fiction and local coffee shop/bar venues together. Customers can find Sips Cards at participating coffee shop-like venues. Each card contains a QR code, loaded with a short story from an independent writer meant to last as long as their drink. The cards are venue specific and include their business information as well as that issue’s author, story title, and website.”

Um, amazing. I immediately loved this project because it’s the perfect combination: coffee, good writing, and technology. Plus, it’s an example of QR codes that actually makes a lot of sense (rather than randomly slapping the darn things on every piece of paper in sight). Also, this would be a really fun activity for a library. I could totally see an academic library partnering up with their student-run literary magazine and in-house coffee shop to do a project like this. Maybe even team up with Sips Card to do a limited-series offshoot event of some kind. FUN!

Check out the Sips Card website or Facebook page to learn more about the project. Submissions of poetry and short stories will be accepted April 16 – May 31 for Issue 2. Writers, get a move on! Hope to see some of your best work featured on a Sips Card.

Written by Erin Dorney

April 4, 2012 at 1:30 PM

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Some Upcoming Projects

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With a more relaxed schedule (I am on winter break until mid-January), I have been able to spend some time planning for the spring semester. Here are some different things I’ll be working on:

  • Three different interviews for my C&RL News Job of a Lifetime column for 2011 – featuring an Outreach Services Librarian, a Research & Development Librarian, and a librarian from ipl2. As soon as the columns are published I will be sure to link to them here. And as always, if you or someone you know has the job of a lifetime, contact me!
  • Over the summer I started working on a collaborative research project and just this week finished the data collection stages with my research partners. We’re doing a content analysis of select academic library websites in order to investigate the unintended messages created by design decisions and use of space. I have had the pleasure of working with a friend (and mentor) and am looking forward to our analysis over the next month. We hope to have some conclusions published in a peer reviewed journal sometime in the future.
  • This summer I will be supervising my first LIS student intern from Rutgers University. Over the past few weeks I have been working with her to put together an internship plan of work (taking into account all of your fabulous comments from my previous post on library internships for undergrads!). It’s a work in progress at the moment, but I’m hoping to give her some projects relating to outreach regarding the renovation (slated to start in fall 2011), information literacy (possibly teaching a few sessions), research assistance (at the help desk) and social media things. She has a background in PR and is a fantastic writer, so I might also try to find communication/design projects as well. I am really looking forward to working with her, and I think I will end up learning a lot as well.
  • I’m going to have another undergraduate intern from Millersville this spring (my third!) so I have been putting together some projects for him as well. He’s going to be shadowing me at the research help desk and in instruction sessions. I think he is also going to work on some writing projects for our Renovation Website (particularly showcasing different issues from an informed student perspective). And informational interviews to learn more about the field of librarianship.
  • Only two creative writing workshops and my thesis project stand between me and my second master’s degree! This spring I am taking a poetry workshop with Kim Bridgford (who has also kindly agreed to be my thesis committee advisor). I am beyond excited to work with her in the coming months. Our required texts include Archaic Smile: Poems by A. E. Stallings, Murano by Mark Doty, Playing At Stillness by Rhina P. Espaillat and Thomas and Beulah by Rita Dove. Have you read any of them?

So what projects do you have planned for the upcoming months?  Also, does anyone have advice for supervising an LIS student intern? I want to make sure this is a valuable and productive experience for everyone.

Written by Erin Dorney

January 3, 2011 at 7:40 PM

The voice of authority.

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Photo 53-polaThis fall I’m taking a poetry workshop at West Chester University. It is the second course for my English MA degree and boy am I excited. My Cultural Studies course last semester was superb – it made me look at everything from a different angle. And after my first creative writing class last week, I’m sure this one is going to be just as good.

I briefly talked with one of my librarian colleagues at Millersville about feeling nervous regarding the transition back to creative writing. I am worried that because much of what I write (outside of this blog) is very academic-y/report-y/blah-y. I am used to writing a certain way for work – in a more professional tone, etc. and I haven’t done much personal writing since college. She recommended reading more fiction (to “get me in the mood” haha), and when I tried to complain that I don’t have much time for any reading outside of professional development she slapped me in the face with the future: downloadable audio books for the drive to and from class. Genius! The Lancaster Public Library has a wide array of books available, and I will be downloading at least one of them to my iPod for the drive on Thursday night. Hopefully that will get me back in the swing of things.

In the meantime, I am posting something I wrote during a freewriting exercise last week. I volunteered to read out loud on the first night of class to set a personal tone for myself. I want to learn from this class and become a better writer, and in a workshop setting I can’t afford to be timid. The exercise can be found here but basically it was to take a “voice of authority” from your life and write in that voice. I chose to write in my father’s voice based on some “parental guidelines” for my brothers and myself. Some of this has been fictionalized and it is by no means a finished product.

Parental Guidelines

We do not watch television during the week,
we spend summers borrowing books from the library
and if you steal from a store you will write them an apology letter
and they will hang it above the register
so that everyone knows
you’re a thief.

We do not read at the table,
we eat together every night
and I will check your math homework
but you’re on your own for writing.

We don’t go on vacations,
we do not spank people
and if  you throw a bowl of hot chicken noodle soup on your brother,
the babysitter will quit,
causing me to stay home
and watch you.

I will not yell at you,
but you will disappoint me
with your choices, words and actions.

I will teach all of you how to drive,
we will not listen to the radio while doing so
and after you fail your first driving test
we will go get ice cream together.

We don’t explode fireworks in the backyard during graduation parties,
we take bike rides together to the beach
and if you were meant to have holes punched in your earlobes,
you would have been born with them.

Written by Erin Dorney

September 7, 2009 at 8:21 PM