an interview with Antler

Antler, the blog of author Dave Harrity (Making Manifest), posted an interview with me today! I share revision tips, a poem, hopes, dreams and more!

when you picture someone reading your poetry, how do you see them? what do they think about, wear, and do? or, maybe a better way to say it: who do you write for? and how do you see your writing nourishing others?

I picture my great-great-great granddaughter coming upon my dusty, well-worn poetry book in a box in the attic. Taking it down and thumbing through it while the babies are napping. Smudging it with greasy fingers because she’s reading while cooking dinner. Reading it as she would a diary or a long letter. I know it is a little romantic for this to be my ideal reader, her hair in a loose ponytail and wearing yesterday’s T-shirt, but she’s there behind every poem I write—this future daughter, who will never know me, reading my work and connecting with me through that long echo. I hope to write something worth telling her.

You can read the rest HERE

book release party

awkwardness

About a week and a half ago, my students (which are mostly literary magazine staff, and also English club staff, and also Sigma Tau Delta staff…what don’t they do??) were so kind as to throw a little book release party for me, in my favorite place of all, the library.

 A few of my students read some of their own poetry—it is amazing how talent runs rampant in the tiniest of Georgia towns—then I read a few poems too.

 
 We had about fifteen or so people show up. cake was eaten, books were signed.

Honestly, I had been a weepy and confused mess all day. Having my book in my hand was too much for me and I didn’t know how to react to it. as an introvert, going to a party was not my idea of “recovery” time.

But it did turn out to be just that. I love my student-writers—I feel like they are my poet-children—and I love celebrating poetry. I left the book release party having sold a few books (always nice) but more importantly, feeling warmly supported and encouraged.

So thank you for celebrating with me.

Keeping Me Still is officially released!


I first had the manuscript accepted about a year ago, and the set release date was a few weeks back, but now, here it is, physical, in my hands. 

 

hello lovelies!
It was an odd feeling yesterday. The only other time I can think of where I felt exactly that way was the day we decided to tell our friends and family that I was pregnant with our first baby. This sudden desire to keep it to myself—fear of being exposed, examined, revealed in some way.  
Many of the poems in KMS have been in journals and chapbooks before—but there was always this comfortable distance. I send poems to faceless editors who send unaccented emails with a yes or no. then comes journals who are read by no one I know. this assuring anonymity. 
I could give you all of the reasons I wrote this book and why I write—reasons having to do with philosophy of worship and work, noticing the world, relating to others—but the real reason I wrote this book? 
Writing brings me joy. and I want, so much, to write poetry my readers enjoy reading.  
my sister has a copy on her bedside table now, faraway, in a city I’ve never lived in. I think of her there, flipping through the pages, seeing where oh yes, that was the time that and yes, he said that but in another way
And I hope that she—representation of who I am really writing for, not academia or poets or literary magazine editors—but my true audience, my family and friends and loves—my hope is that she will read this book, connect with it, and enjoy it. 
and I hope that you will enjoy it too, reader.