South Florida Poetry Reading

Starting the year off, a longer poem of mine has been published in the newest issue of the South Florida Poetry Journal. There’s also an audio recording if you’d like to hear it aloud and follow along. The editors invited me to do a reading – my very first reading anywhere – at the Broward County Library. I don’t like public speaking and I was nervous, but I think it went well. I met poet Denise Duhamel and she signed my copy of her latest book. She was funny and full of infectious energy. She teaches poetry at my alma mater and was trying to convince me to pursue an MFA. I still think about it from time to time.

More good news: I was recently named a finalist for the 2016 Lascaux Prize in Poetry. My poem will be published in an upcoming anthology alongside the other finalists and winner. The poem was inspired by “A Chinese Banquet” by Kitty Tsui. Please do yourself a favor and read her work. Her poems are coming back into print soon, which I’m very excited about.

I’m working towards a full-length collection and have figured out its structure. It’s helping to push me forward, along with a fresh spreadsheet keeping track of all my rejections/acceptances. I’m hoping these neuroses turn into something I can eventually hold in my hands and hug to my chest.

The World Elephant

I’ve been following Allison Hipple’s writing for some time now. Her blog has always been full of fantastic things, and I’ve always felt safe there. Recently, she decided to record some of her poetry readings on a CD and send it out to anyone that wants a copy. She’s saving up for a trip to Europe right now, so you can give a little back if you want (or perhaps do a trade-off and send her a copy of your own writing?). I expect interesting literary experiments to happen in her travels. Maybe someday there will be a book from those experiences? I really need something of hers on my bookshelf too.

I received her CD the other day and have listened to it a few times already. She’s a very careful observer, and it also helps that her voice is like a lullaby. She reads her words very slowly and clearly. It’s been like therapy. She drew the cover art too, which features her world elephant at the center.

She also wrote me a note, and on the back of it, she has her own official stamp: an elephant and a quill. Fun fact: I also have soft, feminine hands that people have written poems about.