Archive for May, 2011

Summer Dreaming


Here is Lola, staring out into our backyard full of rabbits, chipmunks, birds and a friendly stray cat.  When I take pictures of my two kittens (now cats! I suppose, although they are still acting like kittens), I often wonder what they are thinking.  I would like to think that Lola is contemplating the quiet world before another round of thunderstorms moves in…

Right now, I am settling down for what I hope will be a productive summer of writing.  I have only written one new poem in the last few weeks, and I really want to remedy that situation. 

However, the good news is that I have been submitting, rather aggressively, in fact, and all the hard work has paid off.  I just got news tonight that The Fourth River wants one of my favorite poems!  And for fans of the prose poem, you might want to take a look at The Prose-Poem Project — some of my work can be found on pages (in the page turn format) 61 – 63. 

I will be taking a few days off from blogging to spend time with family and friends.  Stay safe everyone!  And have a great weekend!


CFS: Speculative Poetry

Okay, I know I have readers who write speculative poetry! This call has probably been out for some time, but I just caught the announcement through email.  The Pedestal is looking for speculative poetry.  Deadline for submissions is June 14, 2011.  More guidelines can be found here.  Good luck!

Out With the Old?

I have a small box (nothing fancy) where I keep copies of journals that have published my poems.  I have, of course, stored all my recent publications, but I also have journals dating back to when I was an undergraduate.  One of my first publications was in Seton Hill’s literary journal, Eye Contact.  (I just took a look at their blog — it looks like they are heading towards online editions.  Suddenly, I feel old. )  Another early publication was in Sigma Tau Delta’s The Rectangle.    When I was compiling my first chapbook manuscript, I didn’t even look at such early publications, and now I am wondering why.  Yes, they were written by a beginner creative writer.  Yes, some of the language is a bit forced, and I could’ve used some more help with line breaks.  But when I recently read over both works, I didn’t run screaming from the room, or want to change my name so I wouldn’t be associated with “such works.”  In fact, I was a bit surprised that I’m still writing about such themes (15+ ahem years later) as class issues and working class women.  (One poem was titled “All the Girls on 3rd Shift” — no doubt inspired by Working Classics, and my own brief stint in a factory).

So now I am wondering, dear readers, what I should do with these poems.   Yes, I know they are mine, so I can really do with them what I want.  I could slide them into a chapbook manuscript or a collection. But do you ever take a look at your early work?  Work that showed promise, but could use some refining?  Are you tempted to go tweak this work (like I am)?  Or should I let the long past, be past? 

Blast Furnace Thursday

I just got done with my final grades and am now reading the newest issue of Blast Furnace, which features two of my poems (you will have to scroll down to read my work).   So many great poems here — I especially enjoyed, “Flea Market” by Dalenna Moser.

Plugging Away…

I have been away from my blog, in fact, away from my computer quite a bit this last week or so.  I’m in the middle of grading final papers, and probably won’t be able to return to regularly scheduled blogging until Thursday.  In the meantime, I am in the middle of reading my British Literature papers and entering the world of Thomas Hardy, W.W. Jacobs, Charles Dickens and Angela Carter (a personal favorite!)

Brimhall wins Barnard Women Poets Prize

I’m late posting this bit of great news, but I just found out that Traci Brimhall has won the Barnard Women Poets Prize for her book Our Lady of the Ruins.  You can read some of her poems here.  Doesn’t the work, “Winter Nocturne” give you the chills?  And if you haven’t read Brimhall’s first book, Rookery, you should.  I talk about it a bit here.

Home Stretch

I have one more week of classes and then a week of finals (I only have about 18 students taking one final, so that’s not bad).  Of course, these final few week bring final grading, final faculty meetings, and final ceremonies. 

I spent the weekend reading the newest issue of The Tusculum Review — with poems by Jason Bredle, Elizabeth Fogle, Bob Hicok, Alex Lemon, Keith Montesano and yup…yours truly.  “Stargazing Under the Influence” can be found as the very last work in this volume.  I’m both honored and excited to be included with such great poets.

I have some other great news to share, but can’t quite yet.  I will post it as soon as possible, promise!

Now, I need to dive into grading!  And of course, the weather has cleared — it’s going to be hard to concentrate when it’s sunny and warm outside.

The Rejection Jar

I can’t tell you how much I love this idea!  I just recently found Michael Kardos’ post about keeping a rejection jar — actually finding a jar (he suggests a Mason jar) and throwing in a dollar for every rejection you get in the mail or in your inbox. Then, you are supposed to count the money and spend it on something fun! (No bills, please) I have started my jar and am working retroactively from the start of 2011, so of course I already have money invested in this project.  While I don’t think I will ever learn to “love” rejections, certainly this project will allow me to hate these little form letters a bit less!


It’s May 1, and everyone knows what that means! It’s time to announce my winners for this year’s Big Poetry Giveaway!  Using a random number generator, I picked the lucky winners of three poetry books:

The Forest of Sure Things by Megan Snyder-Camp goes to Kathleen Kirk!

Find the Girl by Lightsey Darst goes to Jessica Goodfellow!

How the Crimes Happened by Dawn Potter goes to Danica @ Danka’s World!

Congrats to the lucky winners!  I will be in contact with you soon to get your address, but if you see this blog post first, please drop me a note at