Sunday, April 25, 2010

Clicky, Part Deux

The lovely and talented Ruth Ellen Kocher asked me to write a guest blog post for her blog, About a Word. Here's the link.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


The good people at The Rumpus have done me a tremendous favor today by posting a poem from the new manuscript as well as an incredibly generous review of Cradle Song by Brian Spears. I'm so grateful for the kind words and happy to be included on such a fine site. Thank you!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

AWP Bits, For Eduardo

I'm back in St. Louis after an amazing and utterly exhausting AWP. I don't mean to rub it in for all the folks who couldn't make it, but this year's AWP in Denver was one of the best I've ever been to. Aside from the obvious beauty of the city itself, and the fact that it is clean and walkable and friendly and ringed by mountains so beautiful they make my heart hurt, the convention center itself was large enough to gracefully handle the bedlam of panels and people milling about. Since most of the panels were in the conference center, the hotel was less jammed up, and the bookfair was in an expansive room with wide aisles for walking and high ceilings. All in all, it made navigating the conference easy and enjoyable, and unlike the conference in Chicago last year, I didn't feel stifled or claustrophobic at all. Good call, AWP.

Here are some highlights, for Eduardo:

Meeting Sandy Longhorn on the plane from St. Louis out to Denver. I never strike up conversations on planes, especially when I have my two favorite people in the world sitting next to me to talk to, but there was something about Sandy, who was sitting across the aisle reading a back issue of a journal, that made me want to chat with her. We hadn't landed in Denver yet, and already I'd met one of my Facebook "friends." (I think that was the most overheard comment this year--"I recognize you from Facebook!") And once I met her, we ran into each other again and again, which was great. We even shared a pedi-cab back from the Copper Nickel reading with Allison Benis-White.

Thursday I signed books at the C&R Press table, milled around the bookfair, and ran into and met delightful folks like Suzanne Frischkorn and Mary Biddinger. (I can't even try to list everyone for fear I'll leave people out. Suffice it to say I met great people and saw old friends, you know, the AWP way.)

Later that night, I read for Copper Nickel's 8 Debut Poets reading with Jericho Brown, Dan Albergotti, Michael Dumanis, Farrah Field, J. Michael Martinez, and the lovely and exceptionally talented Allison Benis-White. It was a great event, and a great space and turnout, and I was thrilled to be in such company. Thanks to everyone who organized and attended it!

Friday I met up with my oldest and dearest poet-friend, Brian Turner. Since he's been abroad on the Amy Lowell Traveling Fellowship, we hadn't seen each other in almost a year. So good to see you, Bri. Come home soon.

Friday I also went to the From the Fishouse Reading, which featured my man Adrian Matejka, my fabulous co-editor Oliver de la Paz, Gabrielle Calvocoressi, Jeffrey Thomson, the lovely Erika Meitner (who read one of my poems and got a better audience response than I ever do), and Major Jackson. Later, we got this group shot of the Oregon MFA contingent representing:

(Brian Turner, Keetje Kuipers, Major Jackson, me.)

That night, I had a two-hour window of free childcare (thanks, Mom, for flying out to help take care of the little one!), and I maximized it by having drinks with some friends on the 27th floor of the hotel, complete with panoramic views of the city and mountains. At altitude, 2 drinks = 8 drinks for me, so I was pretty well buttered. No pictures of that.

All in all, it was a great conference. Glad to meet you, good to see you, missed you. Hope to see you next year.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Where I'll Be at AWP

Last-minute packing, printing, and prospectus writing as I get ready to head to Denver tomorrow. Here's where I'll be:

Thursday April 7, 10 am: Booksigning at the C&R Press table
Thursday April 7, 6 pm to 8:30 pm: Copper Nickel Presents 8 Debut Poets. It's in the Tivoli Turnhalle (900 Auraria Parkway), and I'll be reading with Dan Albergotti, Jericho Brown, Michael Dumanis, Farrah Field, J. Michael Martinez, Alison Stine, and Allison Benis White. If you're in town, swing on by!

Those are my official obligations. There will also be some book-fair wandering, some searching for vegan foodstuffs, some catching up with old friends, and some drinking and carousing (especially since we're importing a grandmother to help with childcare).

If you see me, stop and say hello. See you at altitude!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Call for Submissions and An Unveiling

The editors, Stacey Lynn Brown and Oliver de la Paz, are pleased to announce a call for submissions for A Face to Meet the Faces: An Anthology of Contemporary Persona Poetry.

We are seeking poems that work within the literary tradition of persona poetry: poems written as dramatic monologues, whose speakers employ masks, or whose character and voice are different from the poet's own.

Please submit up to 5 unpublished poems. We will also consider poems whose rights have reverted back to the author.

All submissions will be accepted electronically. Please send an email to the editors at with the poet's name and "Submission for Persona Anthology" as the subject line, with the poems as an attachment.

The submission deadline has been extended to February 15th. We look forward to reading your work!

Thursday, December 31, 2009


Among the many, many things that I've been this year--mother, wife, newly published poet, assistant professor--blogger has not been high on my list. It's not that I don't have good intentions. I read and enjoy other people's blogs immensely, and I'm grateful for those poets who still keep them and haven't fully succumbed to the twitterversion of sharing information. But in a year full of changing and rearranging, time has become even more of a commodity, and I didn't manage to eke out very much of it for blogging. A new year's resolution to do better? Perhaps. But mainly I'm just promising to remember to be grateful and be present for my life.

This year brought with it so many things, some highly anticipated and others I wouldn't have seen coming. My first book came out. And people actually read it and discussed it and bought it--so much so that it sold out its first print run in the first nine months or so. It went into its second printing late this fall, and I was given the opportunity to make a couple of small corrections and changes when it went back to press, for which I am also grateful.

In support of the book, I got to travel--a lot. Oregon three times in a year. Seattle. Miami. Atlanta. I got to meet wonderful writers and festival-goers and organizers and booksellers, a whole continuum of people who value the written word and work to ensure its longevity and importance. Along the way, we had some harrowing times (a hotel fire in Oregon, for example), but those moments also served to heighten my gratitude and remind me again and again to be mindful and stay in the moment, wherever and whenever I am.

And the book led to a full-time, tenure-track job at SIUE, which led to start-up funds and more and more interested, talented students to work with and tons of new books for my office and a new netbook and a $10k grant to support me in writing the next book, which materialized and presented itself to me once I let myself sit down and listen to what was trying to be heard. Gratitude.

I got to spend good time with good friends and family and somehow we all managed to make it through the harder stuff. Gratitude.

In my personal life, gratitude.
In my professional life, gratitude.

And my wish for all of you for this and every year? Gratitude and much to be grateful for, known and unknown, seen and unseen.

Happy new year, everyone. May you live and love well in 2010.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Breaking a Line

I'm up today on Linebreak, reading a gorgeous poem by Keith Montesano. Clicky!