Over the next few months I’ll be vacating my tumblr pages (and just using this space for a blog) and moving over to a new website.
I’ve spent the past few months researching, writing, and rewriting a dozen times personal statements, portfolio poems, and critical work for my second round of PhD applications. Now that the PhD application season is coming to an end, I hope to spend more time on my new project, codename The Caterpillar Book, a poetic re-imagining of the life and work of naturalist illustrator Maria Sibylla Merian. I could go on and on about this woman and her amazing artistic ability, but a link will suffice for now.
In other news, I have a second reading at the Barnes&Noble in Lancaster, PA for The Lancaster Poetry Exchange this Wednesday, beginning at 7:30pm. This will be the second reading for Shift, and more readings are on the way.
More poems in all kinds of journals forthcoming in the next month - hooray!
This past Tuesday, my publisher let me know that they received the first printing of my chapbook. On Wednesday, the chapbooks went up for sale on the Plan B Press website. Now, today, I have received my own copies in the mail! With a black dye-cut graphic and cut-out cover, the finished product looks absolutely beautiful.
Friends, family, former teachers, and people I don’t even know have already been so supportive ordering copies. Now I just have to hope they enjoy the poems inside.
To order your own copy, simply click here.
At the moment, I have two scheduled readings in the Southcentral Pennsylvania area. Please come out to hear some poetry and have a copy of the chapbook signed.
Friday, October 12th @ 7PM
118 W. Philadelpha St.York, PA
Lancaster Poetry Exchange
Wednesday, November 28th @ 7PM
Barnes & Noble
1700 Fruitville Pike, Red Rose Commons, Lancaster, PA
Yesterday, I received an email from the eclectic Plan B Press informing me that they have selected my chapbook manuscript, Shift, to publish in their Fall 2012 season.
I am beyond thrilled. I am beyond excited. I never expected in my first chapbook submission season to actually see publication of one of my little chapbook projects. And, even stranger, the first press I sent Shift to rejected me outright, citing the various aspects wrong with the chapbook. Now, the second press I send it to has decided to publish!
Now I feel like at least most of the pressure of waiting has been lifted. I would love to continue to see my two other chapbook manuscripts see publication, but I’m trying to be realistic here. Two or even three chapbook deals would be almost too much. Almost.
Once I know more about publication dates and readings (yes, lots of readings!), I’ll post them here.
Seven days of summer teaching left: go, go, go!
First, the awesome news that I don’t have to wait (too long) for:
My poem “Anniversary” is now available for reading in the first issue of Belletrist Coterie. The print version is available for purchase here and the online version should be available shortly.
Another poem, “Present,” will soon be available this week via print and online from Willows Wept Review and “Blue Collar” is forthcoming in the Summer 2012 Issue of SNReview. I feel extremely fortunate to have poems coming out in a steady pace among a variety of journals. I hope the good fortune continues.
Now, the waiting news:
I have three different chapbooks out to seven competitions / presses. One chapbook I began working on when I first began my MFA at Penn State, the second from last fall’s chapbook workshop, and the third is derived from my now dismantled thesis. And so begins the waiting. Now that summer teaching has started, I now have more ways to distract myself, but waiting through the summer can become tedious. Not checking Submittable every five minutes is a challenge.
I also received the longest-waited acceptance to date, a total of 11 months later. Soon, I will be waiting almost a year to hear a response from another journal as well.
Ah, the waiting.
A flurry of news, news, and more news.
My poem “Butterfly Balloon” is now available for reading alongside the wonderful poems and stories of other writers in MAYDAY Magazine!
I have a whole slew of poems forthcoming from Word Riot, an awesome online literary magazine that publishes “edgier” work. I’m happy to know that I can now consider myself “edgy.”
I also have poems forthcoming this spring/summer from Cider Press Review (their last print issue before transitioning online), Belletrist Coterie (a new online and print mag), and Willows Wept Review (also online and print).
I also graduate from my MFA program on May 6th, less than a month away, and my thesis is now complete. Now I just have to figure out how to disassemble it into publishable chapbooks/collections.
Also, Sarah Blake Schoenholtz, a Penn State MFA alum, is curating the National Poetry Month Daily blog this April! Read great tidbits from poets about poetry all month long.
I’ve just had the pleasure of seeing my poem “Groundhog, Bird, Anthill” in Spiral Orb (Issue 4), an online journal that “is an experiment in juxtaposition, interrelationships, and intertextuality—a cross pollination.” What I find so poignant about those words, and this journal, is the editor’s intense focus on how poems interact with each other not only thematically but also through the line, the syntax, of the interweaving prosody. While I see many journals linking poems through subject matter, I’ve noticed that it’s rare to see a journal that considers the intermingling of line, building a lasting structure. I find navigating Spiral Orb fresh, clicking on each section of the composite poem, and, from there, to other poems. There is no set order, no set path. Each issue remains a collaborative project.
I will always have much more to say about collaborative work, specifically collaborative poetry, but I wanted to reinforce how essential collaboration remains in creative writing. And I don’t mean in the sense of creating poems together, but staying aware by following other poets’ work, reading other poets’ work, by staying in dialogue.
My creative writing students struggle with this daily, believing in the lone writer, isolated from the world with only a writing desk, parchment, and quill in his (yes, his) hand. Whenever a student comes to my office hours, I immediately scan my shelves of past required workshop reading, review copies, and books given to me as gifts over to years to lend out to my student. More often than not, they come back a week later to return the book, excited, new poems at hands for us to discuss. I hope they continue to discover how the poets I introduce them to will inevitably link to other poets, creating a network the spans out in endless combinations.
The summer (and now fall) have kept me busy. With manuscript revisions, teaching ornery upperclassmen how to write, along with workshop and seminars, I continue to force myself to sleep every night.
But there’s good news on the horizon! I’ve now had 10 poems from my manuscript-in-progress accepted by both online and print journals, the latest acceptance at Belletrist Coterie. As always, I continue to plug away at submissions and write regular book reviews for Newpages. So, all continues on.
I also had my first “real poet” panel experience at my undergraduate college, Washington College, last week, speaking on a panel about writing as a career. I was able to reunite with old friends and professors as well as poke around the Lit House.
Now that it’s October, heading quickly into November, I’m prepping for PhD applications in creative writing. I’ve chosen six schools to apply to this year, and I hope I’ll get into at least one. Here’s for hoping.
My poem “Zinnia,” is now out in the Spring 2011 issue of The Meadowland Review, a beautiful online journal. My first acceptance (other than publications at my undergraduate college) had a turnaround of only a day, which I don’t think will ever happen again.
Please visit The Meadowland Review to look at their full Spring 2011 issue!