84º ~ conditions the same as yesterday and the day before and the day before that, and look to hold steady for tomorrow and the day after that and the day after that, &etc.
In the midst of the self-imposed homestead writing residency, I've had some great mail days. I'm not one to worry too much whether a publication is online or in print, as long as the editors are publishing work that I admire and are consistent with their standards. That being said, this most recent group of "in print" poems all happen to be in print journals rather than online. (In the end, I think my numbers work out pretty close to 50/50 in terms of print versus online publications.) Here's my recent crop; I've linked to the process notes for each poem through the titles.
~ "Cornfield, USA III" (missing draft notes) and "Inventing a Rain Spell" are in Sou'wester 40.2 (Spring 2012): The Weather Issue. When I saw the call for this themed-issue, I nearly fell off my chair, as I was completely immersed at the time in writing weather poems. I don't do well is writing to an assigned theme and often don't find my work fitting with other special calls for submissions, so this was a delight. Other amazing folks in this issue: Sean Thomas Dougherty, Randall Horton, Allison Adelle Hedge Coke, Gary L. McDowell, Alison Pelegrin, and Benjamin Vogt among others.
I've long admired Sou'wester and was fortunate to work with Allison Funk several years ago when she published "Etude," one of the poems from Blood Almanac. For these poems, I got to work with Adrian Matejka, which was a joy. Sadly, Adrian is leaving Sou'wester (as he announces in his editor's note); happily, Stacey Lynn Brown will take over as Poetry Editor.
~ "The Ashes of My Familiar" appears in 32 Poems 10.1 (Spring/Summer 2012). In the past, George David Clark (now Editor of the journal) had asked me to send some poems to him as a reader of this power-packed, poetry-only journal. Those previous poems never made it through to publication, but when I had my first set of sickly speaker poems ready to face the world, I thought of 32 Poems, and I'm so happy that David picked this one. Just a taste of the other poets included: Bruce Bond, Jessica Piazza, Dave Smith, Corinna McClanahan Schroeder, Ash Bowen (shout out for Arkansas!), Mary Angelino (and there's another Woo Pig Sooie!), Paul Bone (wait a minute, didn't he go to Arkansas?) and, holy cow! Les Murray...yes, I said Les Murray.
Uhm, given that four of the 32 poets came out of the Arkansas program, I think this issue must be re-dubbed: Woo Pig Sooie!
There is a new feature on 32 Poems' blog starting with this issue: contributors' marginalia. Each contributor was given the choice of participating by picking another poem in the issue and writing a short post about that poem, from anywhere on the personal -- academic continuum. I am loving this! Watch for my contribution in early August.
~ "Cautionary Tale for Girls Kept Underground in Summer" shows up in Natural Bridge 27 (Spring 2012). Slowly but surely, poems from the group of Midwestern fairy tales I worked on last year are making their way in the world. I'm so happy these girls are getting out there, even if they are a bit dark and ragged around the edges. True to form, the editors have gathered an impressive group of writers, including but not limited to: Patrick Hicks (who shared some of the same undergrad classes with me and with whom I reunited at AWP...Denver I think), J. D. Schraffenberger, Jennifer Fandel, and my colleague and friend and fellow Arkansas grad, Angie Macri, who has four amazing southern Illinois poems in the issue.
This was a special acceptance for me because Natural Bridge was my very first publication during grad school. That was over ten years ago, and I've submitted often in the meantime, always mentioning that I am a previous contributor. It just goes to show, that connections and previous credentials don't really do a thing unless the poems are working and fitting with whatever the editors have going on at the time. It's a thrill to get any acceptance, and a special little zip to get that second acceptance from the same journal after many years.
~ "The Way She Knows the World to Work" and "Cornfield, USA" lead off (wow!) Crab Creek Review XXV.1 (2012). I'm honored to have these two poems opening this issue of the journal, which contains so much good work. I'm also thrilled that "The Way She Knows the World to Work" finally found a home, as it is one of the older poems I had circulating at the time, and it is one of the poems that underwent the most revision between drafting and publication. This issue has one fantastic cover and a whole slew of writers of whom I'm fond: Marie Gauthier, Amanda Auchter, Jeannine Hall Gailey (conducting an interview with Dana Levin), Laura E. Davis, and Jill Osier, just to name a few.
My many, many thanks to the advance readers and the editors of these publications. They do the unsung and often unpaid work of gathering together these words "for the love of the game."
If any of what I've written above inspires you, please order the issue or subscribe. If that's out of the budget, ask your library to do so. If that doesn't work, let me know, and I'll see what I can do!