Posts Tagged ‘Best of the Net’

Fighting Fruit Flies and Other July Notes

No, I did not melt into a puddle during our mini heat wave we had in the middle of the month.  Instead of melting, I spent a good part of July battling fruit flies.  I have no idea where these pesky fellas are coming from, but they are everywhere.  One flew into my cup of coffee this morning. Bleck.

I also spent a lot of July catching up on my reading. (I now only have two boxes of unread books instead of three).  I sent out quite a few submission packets, although I have found that during the summer, journals that are open to submissions are slow in responding (and I don’t really blame them), so for the last few weeks it feels like I have had a one-sided conversation with the poetry world.  I did receive some good news, however.  Special thanks goes to Justin Hamm and the editorial staff at the museum of americana for honoring my poem “How the People of Woods County, PA, Lost the ‘G’ in Drinkin” as a 2013 Best of the Net Nominee.  You can stop by here to read the other nominations.

The weather did cool down a bit this week, just in time for another great week at Chautauqua, where I took a workshop with the lovely Kim Todd, who is the author of such great books as Chrysalis: Maria Sibylla Merian and the Secret of Metamorphosis.  Regular readers of The Scrapper Poet know that I have been dabbling a bit with prose, and Kim’s workshop was geared toward nature writing, or more specifically how the personal essay blends nature writing.  Although I would not call myself the next Annie Dillard, I did come out the workshop with four good starts to individual essays! More importantly, however, I feel excited about writing again.  In many ways, I have a hit a wall with poetry, and I think I need to take a break from my own work — never fear, however — I am not taking a break from poetry reading!

February Tally Marks

Alas, dear Readers, the excitement of this past month has worn me down.  First, there was the arrival of my new chapbook, Wearing Heels in the Rust Belt.  This Thursday, I will be visiting my colleagues and students at the Cattaraugus County Campus in Olean, New York, where I will be giving a reading and talking about the creative process. 

Then, there was the news of my poem being included in 2011 The Best of the Net.  “The Summer I Stopped Catching Bees” was originally published in Glass: A Journal of Poetry.  You can read it here.  My poem joins work by some of my favorite poets including Traci Brimhall and Dorianne Laux.  What is really cool about this anthology is not only have I been introduced to work by poets I didn’t originally know, but I’ve been introduced to many online journals I didn’t know!

In the middle of all this fuss, I didn’t get a lot of new writing done.  I think I can claim four new poems for the month. Submissions have also been slow.  I fell way short of my monthly goal of ten journals.  In fact, I only sent submissions out to two places. Two!!!!  I have to say that the receiving end was a bit quiet, also: one acceptance and two rejections.  I thought for sure that journals would be clearing off their desks in preparation for AWP, but nope, I still have a lot of poems out in the world trying to find a home.

In all this craziness, however, I did manage to read 10 poetry books.  And after reading through my blog posts for the past month, I realized that The Scrapper Poet has turned into a me, me, me blog — which is something that I never intended to do!

So, onto March and spring and more celebrations of poetry!  Happy Leap Year and safe travels to all on the road. I’m looking forward to reading the updates from AWP.