86º ~ hot, hot, hot, humidity that makes you want to wring your skin out, all for the next 7 - 10 days, summer holding on tight
When life gets this busy, something's always got to give, and for me that's been blogging. I'm hoping, hoping to make blogging a once-a-week activity this semester, and since I've got so much poetry news to convey, I think that will happen. That means the posts may be longer, as I sum up the goings on of the week. I hope you'll hang in there and read all the way through.
Updates on The Girlhood Book of Prairie Myths
First and foremost, my work with Richard Krawiec at Jacar Press continues on at highly caffeinated speeds. Like most small, independent publishers, Richard is doing amazing things for poetry and poets. If you haven't checked out the list of books he's published, I hope you'll do so now, and consider supporting a great press by ordering something. The Girlhood Book of Prairie Myths will have an official release date of early 2014!
We are already planning a reading tour in North Carolina for February 2014, which means getting to see Al Maginess and meet his family as well as visiting Michelle and Bob Holschuh Simmons and, hopefully, meeting their boys. (Surprise!)
Many of you have already gone through the publishing process with a book or a chapbook, but for those who haven't, the things I learned the first go-round have been invaluable this time. If you've got a manuscript out at a contest or under consideration in any way, you will be well-prepared if you have the following on hand:
~ a brief paragraph description of the book (sounds easy, can be super hard)
~ a current bio and headshot
~ a list of journals where you'd like review copies to be sent
~ an email list of folks who might be interested in news about the book
~ an address list for PR postcards
~ the names of fellow writers who might provide blurbs
~ an email list of all the journals in which poems in the collection appeared
~ contact information for your local paper, arts organization, employer, etc. for when the press release is ready
Updates on The Fall for the Book Conference Appearance
In the rush of the new semester, I'm also planning a trip out to Fairfax, VA, and George Mason University for the 2013 Fall for the Book Conference. While this is a week-long celebration, I'll only be able to be there for the Gazing Grain Press Reading and Reception on the afternoon of Sunday, September 22. Meg Day, the winner of the chapbook contest, and I will be reading. For those in the area, this will be at the Sherwood Center from 4:30 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. It's FREE! And, hey, we'll be followed by Dave Barry at 6:30, so yeah, wow!
As part of being runner-up for the Gazing Grain 2013 feminist chapbook contest is that two of my cautionary tale poems will be published as a "mini-chapbook." These will be available at the reading and will ship with any orders for Meg Day's winning chapbook.
I'm super excited about this event for so many reasons!
Updates on the New Semester
Things at Pulaski Tech are off and running. I'm so lucky this semester to be teaching Creative Writing I and Creative Writing II on campus, as well as my usual Composition I online. In between teaching and prepping, I'm also curating the Big Rock Reading Series again, as well as serving as managing editor of our journal of academic writing, Milestones. Whew!
I've also begun teaching my first-ever graduate level class. I'm teaching Contemporary American Poetry for the new low-residency MFA at the University of Arkansas Monticello. This has been a super blast! The class is a combination of graduate students and upper-level undergrads, which adds an exciting twist to all the prepping, but I have to say I've been incredibly impressed with everything about the program, the faculty, the students, UAM, everything. So, so thankful for this opportunity!
PS: If you know anyone searching for a low-residency MFA, the deadline for applications for students wanting to start in January is 15 October!
Updates on Heron Tree
Chris Campolo and Rebecca Resinski, the creators and owners of Heron Tree Press, have been hard at work getting the print volume ready for purchase. Soon, I'll post information about how to get your hands on the collected poems for volume 1.
We continue to post one new poem a week on the website, and we are eager to begin reading new submissions starting September 1. Please send us your best work for consideration (but please wait until Sept. 1, so we don't have to reject anything out of hand for not following the guidelines). Also, if you sent last year, take a moment to look at the guidelines again, as things have changed a bit.
Updates on the Central Arkansas Broadside Project
I'm thrilled to announce that I have the first broadside, featuring a poem by Hope Coulter, nearly ready to go. The file is finalized, and I'm just working on getting copies printed this week. I'll be launching the project the first week of September with the help of the contributors and their students. We plan to plaster Little Rock, North Little Rock, and Conway with poetry. Wahoooooooo!
For someone who spent much of the summer wondering where she fit in the poetry world and so much time NOT writing poems, things have certainly gotten a lot clearer and a lot busier!
Finally, for those who did read all the way through, I'm going to give away one copy of Blood Almanac in celebration of all the good things happening these days. If you've already got a copy, consider playing along and if you win, pass the copy along to someone else. To play, just leave me a comment. On Sunday, 1 September, I'll use a random number generator to pick the winner! If you don't have a blogger account, please provide a way to get in contact should you win.