Bluestem, Cellpoems, Pushcarts, Oh My

A poem of mine went up on Bluestem today (thanks, Bluestem!). You can find it here, along with other good things to read, like Emma Ramadan's "Found," which jumped out at me as haltingly tumbling and fun to read.

Thanks, Conte: A Journal of Narrative Writing, for kindly nominating my poem for Pushcart consideration! I've never been a nominee before.  I should probably acquire one of those t-shirts. T-shirt or no, I'm ridiculously flattered.

Speaking of Pushcarts, snarky boyfriend says I shouldn't nominate BWR contributors for Pushcarts because I'd be hurting my chances of winning. Snark or no, a Pushcart for a BWR contributor is a Pushcart for me in my heart -- seriously. If you're curious, I've posted our list of nominees for 2012 here. If you love me you'll be hoping for any of these six writers to win as much as you're hoping for me.

Speaking of writing, I've narrowly managed to fail NaNoWriMo: Poetry Edition, which is my dear friend Lindsay's version of NaNoWriMo (I just followed along) in which we wrote a poem a day for the month of November -- instead of 1500 words a day or some such nonsense. Now, we've both managed to write toward larger projects, or rather, we've both found that the poems we've written are linked. So we've ended up writing the better part of a book of poetry each. 

I say I failed narrowly because I think I'm two or three poems behind... and suddenly I find it's December 1. Whoops. I'll be writing the last few tonight and tomorrow... between reading The Master and Margarita, reading Sisaphus Rex in the graveyard, twirling around in my first ModCloth purchase, playing Magic, playing Settlers of Catan, reading galleys for BWR 39.2, tomorrow's galley meeting for 39.2, making apple cider caramels, playing freeze tag, snuggling with my cats... you know, all of these important writerly things.

Always behind, always ahead

I'm really happy to have a poem (poem? prose?) online at Hobart. You may quickly realize that I was in some way influenced by Kathy Acker, among others. I had the most fun writing this poem than I've had writing a poem in a while, so it's nice to see it out there on the intarwubs.



I've already crowed about it on the book of faces, but my very first BWR has arrived, and I love it. I love everything in it. Love love love love. Get you yours here (er, as soon as we can get BWR 39.1 listed for purchase).

And yet! My time as BWR editor has all kinds of threads which are beginning to tie themselves off.  Today was my last poetry meeting. To come: my last feature meeting, my last galleys 1-4, my last blues, my last decisiveness when facing the last gorgeous cover options my design editor offers. I'm happy to continue working with my awesome genre, managing, and design editors right up through the end of the semester. Then the holidays, AWP, and some lasts I'd rather not imagine yet.  It's too early to reminisce, to nostalgize. Vomit. Still, some firsts left, too.


Whenever I have free time, I spend it playing Magic the Gathering with friends, or eating out more than I ought, or traveling three hours each way to see Ann Carson read, or watching the Bama Theater Art House movies every week, or getting ahead in reading for class. Fall is my favorite time of year, and I am finally doing things I always envy others for but never seem to do: waking up "early," going for walks, reading in the sunlight, absorbing myself in crafts. And pumpkin carving. (My friend's was more impressive.)


The binding class I'm taking has absorbed me. I'll be taking the next section of it in the spring. People at the Kentuck Festival of the Arts bought two of my nicest books and a package of two double-pamphlets. I now have cash to pay for the unbound version of the gorgeous Webster's Pictorial Dictionary, which I'll use for a project next semester.

I am in love with boxes and Japanese silk book cloth. I am in love with color matching and paste making. I am in love with structural circles in my stitching.

I am trying to figure out which book to give to my creative writing mentee, who has been brightening my Mondays all semester.


If I seem overly cheery and productive, well, you should know I haven't swept or vacuumed in over a month and I accidentally locked my roommate out of the house, which inconvenienced her by two and a half hours and two miles, after her run. And that's all I'll admit to the internet.

Knee-deep in contest entries

I'm extremely pleased at the high quality of contest entries we received. Although this means deciding upon a winner will be quite difficult. Thank goodness we have contest judges, yeesh.


I'm taking a book binding class in the book arts program, and it's the most satisfying class I've had in a long while. I love workshops and lit classes, but there's something about the immediate utility of bound books that has a similar pull for me as ceramics. (Though I've had difficulty making time to properly investigate the Clay Co-op down the street.)

The repetition and precision and craft of binding are what comfort and thrill me. When it comes to making creative choices (cover choice, varied materials, colors, etc) I bump up against the mental exhaustion that makes writing more of a chore these days. But because the emphasis of this class is craft, is practice, I feel as if I'm somehow strengthening the creative part of my brain. Like when I took Robin's forms class (and before that, in Baltimore, Ed Perlman's forms class).


Kellie Wells's class on Fabulism has single-handedly refreshed my joy in reading and talking about writing.


This weekend, my cousin married his girlfriend of ten years, on their ten-year dating anniversary. I'm ridiculously happy for them, and admire their love, confidence, courage, and downright love of life. I'm also impressed at how perfect a wedding it seemed, simple but beautiful, and highly personalized.

Ks and things

Keyhole Magazine
kill author
Kudzu Review

The tomatoes my friend and I planted are thriving.  A handful have blossom end rot, but we can take steps to fix that.  Our basil and carrots and watermelon and eggplant seem to be doing well, too, but the lettuce and bok choy have succumbed to bugs and the chard, beets, and spinach are going the same way.


I've been writing two letters for BWR.  Letters are far more difficult to write when you've been writing emails and submission cover letters.  One letter is the editors' letter for the next issue, my first issue writing the letter, and the other letter is a template relating to the issue after that.   It creates a weird space, looking forward and behind and forward all at once.


There's a fresh grave in the cemetery. There must be a job word for the guys who come and dig and set up the coffin.  Anyway, they gave me a nod as I drove by the other day, on my way to work at a friend's.  I was glad to be out all day–I must have missed a funeral.  When I got home, the coffin and hole were replaced by a mound with a little orange flag on a wiry pole.

I've not yet had to drive past a funeral here.


Today: Challah french toast using themuppetface's and her sister's gorgeous homemade challah, then the on-campus waterpark and of course work.