Saturday, May 10, 2014

Full to Bursting

74º ~ humidity declining after 36 hours of sopping wet air and 1.5 inches of rain, a yard newly sodded & now in need of mowing, all the trees in leaf, the world is all pale green

Sometimes life is full to bursting, dear reader. And that has been the definitive case for this semester, for good and for ill. Happily, C. seems well on the mend and nearly back to normal, final grades have been recorded, the large landscape project completed, and my eye now turns back to poetry and home. I won't be attending any conferences or residencies away from home, but I plan to make May 19 - June 20, my own private writing time, minus four days when I'll be working to help host the Arkansas Writers' Conference at PTC.

In the meantime, here are some of the happy poetry things that have happened of late, in no particular order.

One of the poems from The Girlhood Book of Prairie Myths, "Choosing Not to Bear" is included in the Mother's Day feature currently up at Escape into Life. Editor, Kathleen Kirk shows her amazing talent of pairing poetry with art, as always, in this feature, and I appreciate so much that she wanted to show another side of the idea of mothering.

My contributor copy of burntdistrict arrived and waits for me. Here are just a few of the folks with whom my poems (two sickly speaker poems) share pages: Maureen Alsop, Simon Perchik, Michael Levan, Emma Lister, Jennifer Martelli, Barbara Duffey, and so many more. All thanks to the editors, Liz Kay & Jen Lambert, for giving the sickly speaker a home.

Also, my contributor copy of bluestem has long been on my desk, featuring "Seized with a Small Fever," another sickly speaker poem. The lineup of writers in the 2014 print edition is lengthy and mind blowing, including but not limited to: Hannah Cook Cross, Darren Jackson, Jane Satterfield, Marilyn Kallet, Al Maginnes, Charlotte Pence, Gary McDowell, and so many more. Thanks to all of the editors and readers at bluestem for the inclusion.

Two more sickly speaker poems found a home, this time online at Tupelo Quarterly. While this journal has only just begun, it is already one of my favorite reads. Again, I'm surrounded by fellow poets whose work I admire deeply: Dan Albergotti, Kwame Dawes, Chera Hammons, Nancy Reddy, Adam Tavel, and so many more (again).

Yes, the sickly speaker's entire manuscript has been circulating with publishers again this year, currently as The Alchemy of My Mortal Form. Just recently, I was stunned when the manuscript was named a semi-finalist for the Kathryn A. Morton Prize with Sarabande. With all my years of experience with books 1 and 2, I know to take this small victory and celebrate. Yes, this is a good indication that the book will find a home, but I also recognize that it probably won't be a quick journey. In the meantime, many congrats to Jordan Zandi's Solarium, which won the prize this year.

With nothing on my radar save poetry to read, the Carolina wren has taken up his post near my window to provide the background music, and the breeze is cool enough for now.


Kathleen said...

So glad to hear all this good news.

Sandy Longhorn said...

Thanks, K. And thanks for not giving up on me!