Two great things in my mailbox

I’ve been meaning to tell you that I’m thrilled to be in the latest issue of Naugatuck River Review, whose focus is on narrative poetry. I didn’t think I wrote a lot of narrative poems, generally, so it was fun to sift through and identify some that I did think were telling a story.

I don’t usually write with a particular publication in mind, but in this case, I may have — its distinct focus was something I thought about for a few months, and I think it did encourage me to write more along those lines for a while. Encouragement to stretch is always great, and I am honored to be included in this fine publication — and am enjoying reading what all my “page neighbors” wrote.

One great thing about paper is that it allows you to see connections between different poems in a way that I’m not sure you can on screen. That is, editors take the random material that comes in and arrange it in such a way that it seems as if certain poems were made to play off one another. It’s not the same thing, I don’t think, if I can click around and read whatever I want.

I know there is order, too, in a lot of digital publications, and the intention that poems play off each other. But my online reading is fairly scattershot, whereas when I have a print publication in my hands, I feel compelled to read it from front to back, and thus, to follow the progression that the editor has created for me. It seems like every day brings news of another print literary journal going online-only, but I hope paper won’t die just yet — and not just because it’s satisfying to put my author’s copy on an actual bookshelf.

I also got a self-addressed, stamped postcard confirming that my chapbook entry was received. I sent it in June and had been sweating it: “Did they not get it? Should I email them? No, no … I should play it cool. Right?” I always feel like I’m throwing these things into a black hole — because I have entered several chapbook contests but have yet to win one — so it’s a relief to know that at least this one got into the hands of an actual person.

Wishing you good mail, too …


Guess what I found?



We went to a little amusement park (excuse me — aZoosment park) called Santa’s Village yesterday. While rummaging around in my purse for another quarter so we could put our stuff in a locker (never found it), I pulled out the Giant Pinkie Ring. Yes, that Giant Pinkie Ring. So, it had been riding around in there for several weeks. Please observe and appreciate its hugeness … I’m glad to have it back in time for the end of summer.

I have two time-sensitive things to tell you about, and I can’t pause to emote or explain, so I will just post the links for a chapbook contest I’m entering (from Palettes & Quills — deadline is Sept. 1) and a free online course I’m  taking in modern and contemporary American poetry, starting Sept. 10.

That is all. You may now quit staring at my ring and go back to whatever it was you were doing. If you can quit, that is … I believe it has hypnotic powers.


Calling All Poets under 40

Which I am, juuuust barely …

I’m going to enter this contest from The American Poetry Review, in part because, well, this is the last year in which I’ll be eligible. I wish I hadn’t seen the thing about how you can enter more than once, though, because now I’m all boggled over whether to enter twice — and thus, have six poems embargoed for a while — or just choose the three that I think are the best fit. The double chance is tempting, but then, given my track record with contests, it also sounds good to send just one $15 check, not two. 

What do you think? And have any of you entered this one, or plan to? The clock is ticking … The postmark deadline is May 15 (next Tuesday — yikes).