Monday, March 27, 2017

"Forewarned"

It's great to have my poem, "Forewarned" published in the Eunoia Review today!  Thank you to editor Ian Chung.

This is another confessional poem from me.  As a former diarist, I naturally take to this form.  I postponed my career as a writer/poet because of my discomfort with revealing my life, my feelings, my experiences.  But I will no longer squelch or censor myself.  There's just not enough time for that. As Al DeGenova, publisher/co-editor of After Hours, writes in the Winter 2017 issue:  "Write the true sentence, our only last defense--bear witness."

I bear witness to my life in the hope that it also bears witness to larger social themes.  The only way to find out is to write.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Am Writing

How many drafts is it? At least seventeen. Then I came upon this bit by Ai, who thought “first person voice was always the stronger voice to use when writing.” At what we'll call the eighteenth draft I shifted to first person. And everything fell into place. Yes, that's it. Thank you, Ai.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

The Pilgrimage Home

So honored to have my nonfiction work published by Peacock Journal. Thank you to editors Bill Landry and Kate Fitzpatrick! I love the art they selected to accompany it. Look for it here.

Friday, March 3, 2017

"Patriot" is now published!

It's great to work with Roderick Bates, the editor at Rat's Ass Review.  "Patriot" is part of the Such an Ugly Time collection.  Check it out here:  http://ratsassreview.net/?page_id=2399#Turnbull

Monday, February 27, 2017

Rejection Count

I've received 14 rejections so far in 2017 and am aiming for 100.  Good for me! The more poems I submit, the better I understand the marketplace.

Edited to add:  I'm a bit uncertain about having used the word "marketplace" above.  In reality, I learn and understand poetry by submitting and then evaluating rejections against the poem itself.  But couldn't the marketplace mean something good?  Something colorful, vibrant, with jugglers and street musicians on narrow, teeming streets filled with a cacophony of voices of different timbres and pitches, speaking a multitude of languages?  That's what I envision when I think of sources to place my work.  I don't think of a coldly calculated business transaction.  

And so I'm beginning to understand the role that editors play in my poetry.  The editor and the poet meet after the poet submits a poem.  Some editors get and like my work, others don't.  Some editors inspire me through their editorial visions to write on certain topics or to improve my use of certain poetic elements, all in an effort to attract them to my work.  This process enriches my poetry.  I'll go through my pile of rejected poems  to figure out if the fit with the rejecting mag was poor or if the poem itself needs more work. 

Thank you to the poets who have read my work in draft form.  Though critical comments help me figure out how to transform raw poems into publishable works, the positive comments are what keep me going when it's just me and the poem, caught up in the struggle of wringing clarity, beauty, and meaning out of words.  




Friday, February 24, 2017

"Such an Ugly Time"

I am grateful to Roderick Bates, the editor of Rat's Ass Review, who will publish my poem "Patriot" in a collection commemorating the first one hundred days of Donald Trump's presidency.  The anthology is called Such an Ugly Time.  I am proud that my poem will be included in it.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

2018 Wisconsin Poet's Calendar

Very happy that my poem, Polka Band Surprise, will be included in the 2018 Wisconsin Poet's Calendar, published by the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets.  Many thanks to editors Richard Swanson
and Ed Werstein.