November Silence

My blog has been silent because November has started out in a whirlwind — school has kept me busy, poetry drafting has kept me busy, organizing my manuscript has kept me busy.  Plus, I started out the month with two rejections.  Sigh.  I guess that is two more dollars in the Rejection Jar.

Still, there’s always good news to be found somewhere. M. Scott Douglass, Publisher/Editor of Main Street Rag said this about my chapbook in his “Front Seat” column found in the pages of the newest volume of The Main Street Rag:

 “I’m very pleased with all the contest selections we have made this year, but having grown up in Pittsburgh and lived in Erie for 13 years, there were a few I relate to better than others.  This is one.”

Certainly, depicting the strong sense of place of rural/Rust Belt Pa is a goal for me — and I’m forever thankful for M. Scott Douglass and the judges at Main Street Rag for bringing Wearing Heels in the Rust Belt to the page.  Don’t forget (as she tries to slide this bit of shameless self-promotion to her blog), you can preorder my chapbook by clicking on the link located to the left of this post.

In other good news, I just got done reading Joe Wilkins’ Killing the Murnion Dogs (Black Lawrence Press, 2011).  I really don’t have the words to say how much I loved this book.  It made me physically ache.  Wilkins’ book takes the reader to the backroads of America — to a rain thirsty ranch in Montana, to the Mississippi Delta, to a roadside diner in Iowa, to a sidewalk outside a liquor store in South Memphis.   If I’m making his poems sound like a glorified road trip, then I apologize.  I have seen very few poets depict the grit and toughness of America with such loving care.  No melodrama here — just a deep love and respect for the rugged landscape of this country and the people who balance their everyday lives waiting for hope found in rain, in beer and cigarettes, in the open highways.  This book really deserves a full review — but I’m horribly behind with my reviews, so you can see a great sampling of his poetry at his website.




  1. And your guest blog entry in EIL is scheduled for Nov. 16 (but you don’t have to worry about it because you already wrote it!). I love Joe Wilkins, too. I found him in The Sun and emailed him to ask if I could share his poem with my class. I was way too shy to do that, but I did it anyway. He said yes. I have been less shy since!

  2. (I mean, in general. I am not stalking Joe.)

  3. Karen Said:

    Thanks Kathleen —

    According to his website, it looks like he has a memoir and another book of poetry coming out soon — so that is great news!

  4. […] Scrapper Poet loved Joe Wilkins’ poetry collection Killing the Murnion Dogs so much, she writes, “it made [her] physically ache.” Find out for yourself how awesome this collection is […]

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