Now Available for Pre-Order!


I’ve created a new page for all things Hunger All Inside:  click the link up there on the toolbar, or just click here.

I am so excited & grateful & can’t quite believe that in a few short months my poems will be in your hands, yes, your hands!  If you please. I hope.


Countdown to NaPoWriMo.

March is now more than halfway through — NaPoWriMo will be here in a mere 13 days! I’m a little light-headed just thinking about it.

Last year, with one child & a full-time job, I managed 12 days / 12 poems before I petered out. Of those 12 poems, 11 were keepers (and 10 will appear in my first chapbook, Hunger All Inside, which has been accepted by Finishing Line Press and will be out this fall — I’ll post more information as it becomes available). To my mind, that’s a pretty successful ratio.

This year, no job, but the family has grown by one, and he’s little, needy, & unpredictable. Plus Vincent is home with me full-time. So I’ve been trying to formulate a game plan to help me commit to another go at NaPoWriMo. Because there’s something about joining with an entire community of poets to write a poem a day, all these poets who have lives just as full, getting those drafts done, every day, that’s tremendously energizing, and also makes the prospect less daunting.

One thing that would help would be for me to rethink my concept of a draft. As I’ve mentioned, my rough drafts aren’t all that rough — I revise line by line, incorporating those revisions while I write, so by the time I finish a first draft, it could be considered more like a 10th or 20th draft! And it’s not a speedy process, which makes coming up with a draft a day a big challenge.

But on a purely practical level, getting Vincent back into daycare for a few hours a couple days a week would be a positive thing for both of us — he really misses his friends. So that is the #1 destination of my Dorothy Prize money! I figure that paying for Vincent to be taken care of so that I can have time to write should be a big enough inducement to using that time well, because I’ve never had that opportunity before. NaPoWriMo? Bring it on!

Pleasures of the Quotidian.

After what has been a time of submission silence, and week of personal strangeness, this evening I received a clutch of emails from journals, and not an actual rejection among them.

  • One acknowledged receiving my submission (sent 44 days ago), and assured me I’d hear from them again with 4-8 weeks.
  • One apologized for the delay in responding to my submission, and assured me that I’d hear from them again soon.
  • One apologized that I never heard from them last spring (I learned they rejected me from an emailed response in June to an emailed query I’d sent in May — their records indicated mailing my SASE o’ rejection in March. I never got it.). And although I was still rejected, they would love to see more of my work.

And each of these emails was sent utterly without provocation — I promise I’ve been patient, and have done no prodding & poking of editors. Curious, these sudden displays of courtesy!

All in all, an apt bookend to my week — the holding pattern holds.


In other news, today I received my copy of Anne Haines‘ new chapbook, Breach, from Finishing Line Press — very elegant! Into the queue it goes — I can’t wait to spend some time with it.

Updates, Fun with Tractors, & Laura Rodley’s Rappelling Blue Light.

I have at long last customized my picture in the header above — what you see now is the actual honest-to-goodness Glacial Potholes in Shelburne Falls, right down the street from us. Or, in Vincent’s nomenclature, simply “The Waterfalls.” I took this photo just before twilight, “bug time”, this evening.

Also of great excitement tonight is the appearance of a gigantic tractor, a big digger, parked just outside our door — construction is beginning on our street on Monday, so I guess in front of our building seemed as good a spot to park it as any. Vincent is just beside himself, he thinks it’s his now.

It's mine, my very own oh my gosh tractor!
It's mine, my very own oh my gosh tractor!
A boy's work is never done.
A boy's work is never done.


And lastly I wanted to spotlight Laura Rodley’s beautiful new chapbook, now available for pre-order on Finishing Line Press. Laura’s about the dearest poet I know — buy her book!

Emma Bolden’s The Mariner’s Wife.

My daycare provider is down with the flu, and Vincent is still sleeping because he stayed up until I returned from the poetry reading last night, so I have this unexpected lovely time to luxuriate in this new book of poems.

Now I’m not going to pretend impartiality — anyone who reads this blog with any sort of regularity (anyone?) knows I’m a big admirer of Emma and her poetry — nor am I writing a review here really. I’m not especially good at that sort of writing, I’m afraid, which perhaps you’ve noticed — I’m too much the fan girl, and have no patience for things like plot summaries.

[Though I will insert here that I’m ever so sad that Michiko Kakutani gave Salman Rushdie a less-than-glowing review for his new novel, which I adored. But it was a well-written review, and while I disagree with her conclusions, it’s reasoned and respectful. This coming Sunday’s New York Times Book Review, on the other hand, includes a negative review that I just consider useless.]

That said:

It’s been a long time since I read a book of poems I felt so much affinity for and loved so much. The Mariner’s Wife, just released from Finishing Line Press, is about love, relationships, heartbreak, shopworn subjects that Emma invigorates by virtue of her rich language and the ingenious juxtaposition of the Mariner poems (“The Mariner,” “The Mariner’s Wife Dreams of Hands,” etc) with more seemingly personal poems, and others that tread the line between and bridge the gap. In fact, the sequencing of this chapbook is extremely instructive for any poet, it’s so masterfully done, with utterly seamless transitions.

I just love this book and urge everyone in the most strenuous terms to go to Finishing Line’s website and buy a copy for yourself — I promise you it will be the best poetry purchase you’ll make this year.

Below is one of those bridging-the-gap poems, which illustrates the energy and surprise of her lines, the sensuality and inventiveness of her diction:

What to Heed, What to Leave

In the first flush of fever I was a green dress
tying to be untied. You were fingers of pine

bark, a beard’s smooth scratch. You were the scent
of cardamom and silk. My pillows wore your name.

The village women called for amethyst, aventurine
for healing, an emerald disc over the heart o if

thine true love come. Too late. Packed my chest in ice,
my feet in snow. Bird wings circled a man

of danger. The stars spilled out the one
you’ll blame
. Too late. You were already a raw

wire within me, my own mind’s sputter and spark.