I am a Southerner, a poet, young mom to two two-and-under, a wife, a believer, an English professor, the oldest of three daughters.

I believe in singing each and every day, a clean kitchen, and  the ever-sustaining powers of coffee.

I like baking things with my two year old, long walks by the river with my husband, a really good line break, letters, and when it rains all day long.

I am always looking for: yardsale vintage typewriters, a reason to visit our hometown favorite bakery, poets I’ve never read before, the quiet moments in busy days

I just published my first book, Keeping Me Still(Winter Goose Publishing), this month!

I know more about commas than I care to, every lyric to DCFC’s Transatlanticism, that Tennessee will always be my heart’s home

My writing process is jotting notes in spare moments, when the babies are asleep and the husband is at his night job.




Book 1: Keeping Me Still, by Renee Emerson

I am giving away a copy of my soon to be released (next week!) first book, Keeping Me Still (Winter Goose Publishing, 2014).

Keeping Me Still is about being a wife, mother, sister, daughter in the South; the spiritual and physical wrestling with questions that are only answered in the living through them.

A sample poem:


My neighbor is cutting down the pines
from her land. A hundred years tall, beckoning
the sky, they attract lightning, she says.

They have become a crushing weight, splinter
of wood piercing her heart, death’s shadow
on her doorstep. In the June haze, they creak
and sway their last; the paper mill bears its scent
from corner to corner in this town.

The chainsaws chirr, and we watch
from the doorstep. I feel a sudden need
to run my fingers across the day old bristle
of your face. You tell me you hate to see
the loss of what should be lasting things.

Already our daughter has lost, at a year old,
the sweet dumpling fat of her thighs,
lengthening with movement. Growing
with our second child, I too feel the rhythm
of loss and gain, the surrender of one for another.

The pines are cut down piece by piece.
Our home illuminated
where the sun has never reached,
and we are given a clearer view
of the indifferent vastness of heaven.

I am also giving away Prairie Fever by Mary Biddinger.  This is Biddinger’s first book, a book I bought on a whim and have reread many times. I love the connection to place and landscape in her poems—it’s something that I feel in my writing too—and how sassy the speakers are in these poems.

A sample poem:

Girl in Chair

The streets sew themselves
a beaded mat you can buy
every night. Catfish in bed
with the rushes. Everything
sleeping deep together.

Needlepoint is half blood
most of the time. You miss
once, twice, by the window.
How else to stitch flowers,
or the red mailbox waiting
for a postman’s blue vest.

All a game of in and out.
Blood waiting to dump
its oxygen, the mosquito
and waxwing, storm fronts
quaking above moths.

A seam-ripper hacks
the work in seconds, string
cut to a quarter. Your love
is the one sunk, midnight
in the Monongahela. How
did you not wake when
the river broke like a pane?

To enter to win a book, please leave your name and email address by midnight, April 30th, 2014, in the comments of this post, and I’ll draw two names from a hat the week of May 1st, 2014.
Don’t forget to check out Kelli Russell Agodon’s blog where she has the complete list of poetry blogs participating in the giveaway this year. Good luck and happy poetry month!

30 thoughts on “THE BIG POETRY GIVEAWAY!”

  1. Mary Biddinger is among my favorites – your book looks really interesting too!

    Please add my name to your drawing. Feel free to hop over to my sight and enter. I have a different Biddinger book.


  2. would love to get your not even yet out book

    thank you for being

    (I was too late to join the giveaway officially but decided to pirate it any way and will be giving few books. Feel free and welcomed to drop by and see if there is something in there for you)


  3. Thank you! And it is always great to meet other Southern writers–whereabouts do you write from ? I'm originally from TN but writing in GA now.



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