Thursday, April 23, 2015

So many things have happened in the last, oh, nearly-a-year.  I went quiet.  I called it hibernation.  I knit a lot, learned to spin, learned to dye yarn with things I foraged on the bluffs.  I started watching M*A*S*H while I sewed together squares of horses and butterflies together for my daughter's quilt and tried to understand how I could be so hooked on a show that was so awfully sexist.  I went on a poetry retreat with women poets living around Minnesota and was astounded by talent.  I launched a few issues of Tinderbox and managed to love reading these poems while being incapable of writing any for myself.  I met Claudia Rankine.  I did a reading in a beer co-op and another with Maeve's reading series.

Not one day passed that I didn't think, Where oh where, for the love of all that's holy, where! have you gone?

I don't know why it hides and I don't know what the trigger to re-enter is.  The last time, it was an email in which a mother was talking about discussing Joyce at the dinner table with her junior-in-high-school son.  It made me think of myself, how I imagined a life full of books and reading and talking about reading.

This time, what could it have been--  AWP was approaching and then what?  I was thinking about not even registering because my brain wasn't in the place it needed to be in.  I knew I was reading for my press, but that was off-site.  Something got me excited about language and now I am back, full-throttle, my needles in some basket, my books heftier in my brain.

I don't know why these selves cannot co-exist.  But if I'm passionate about one, I'm all in, and the other collects dust.  And while I love the fiber--the wool and the dye pots full of sumac--this is the realm I feel most content.  So hello poems and essays and whatnot.  I'm here to read you and maybe write a bit myself.

Friday, October 10, 2014

last night's maeve's session reading

It was really nice--I got to see Opal, which is always a pleasure, and another woman from my MFA program, Jasmin, whose poems really were gorgeous (and I'm hoping she's going to send a few to Tinderbox).  I hadn't been to Maeve's before, though plenty of times I should have.

And I have to admit, this week is kind of crowded, so I'm a little unbalanced, but I got to read with Opal from some of the work we've done together, and it was a thrill.  She's such a good egg.  We need more Opals in this world.  

Sunday, August 10, 2014


We've been talking about moving next summer.  We've been talking about my applying to Ph.D programs in creative writing.  I've been fantasizing about being a student (and teacher) again, about sitting with a sheaf of syllabi and plotting out the weeks of a season.  For now, though, if we are leaving, I need to relish this landscape because I know next year this time we might be somewhere very unfamiliar.  It's strange to me to not be a Midwesterner, though I've lived a life divided into geographic thirds:  Chattanooga until about age twelve, Wisconsin until nineteen, and Minnesota until now.  The address we have now, the first home I've owned, is my longest-held address--it will be ten years next summer.  I put my wedding dress on in the tiny bedroom I call the poetry room.  I brought my two babies home and slept on the futon until my C-section scar healed and I could walk up our notoriously steep stairs.  I've bragged about its build date being 1890 and our possession of the whole historical record of ownership, yellowed pages with old-fashioned handwriting.  We're a little blip here, and there, aren't we?  We've got here for just a while longer, and this may be my last August as a resident.  Who knows what the future might hold!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

... and launched!

We went out for Thai, which, has been mentioned a few times on social media, in celebration.  With our families, so that meant, essentially, that Brett and her husband Will and I talked about things like the subject GREs and Shakespeare in the Park and Ryan chased after our kids.  (Thank you, Ryan-who-did-the-coding-for-the-website and father-of-my-children, you are amazing.)

The first issue is up, and we've gotten so many good bits of feedback:

- Diane Lockwood gave us a shout out in her blog post "Promising New Online Journals."
- The blogger Miss Fickle Reader featured us in her post Good Writing Break: Post-Summer Solstice Edition by saying we have "an attractive site" with "an impressive lineup of work in its debut issue."  She mentions Ray Gonzlalez's poem "In the Cottonwoods", Ed Bok Lee's sonic translation, Emily Yoon's poem about the Korean ferry sinking, and Kelli Russell Agodon's moving piece on mourning.  And then:  "Bravo, editors!"  Thank you, Miss Fickle Reader.

Other words I've seen floating up on Facebook:  badass, gorgeous, stunning, wonderful, beautiful, etc.  (I'm a bit fond of 'badass,' myself.)

One poet said, "It turns out the world needed Tinderbox!"

Another, "This is beautiful! I'll admit that at first I thought, gee, *another* journal? -- but these poems are spectacular. Congratulations!"

I know, I know.  There's that silly phrase "humble brag," and there's absolutely nothing humble about my post, and that's OK.  I'm celebrating myself, or rather--I'm celebrating this thing Brett and I did, along with my husband.  It started as a seed in late winter and here we are, the start of summer, and we have done something so good.  I'm proud of all these poems, separately and together.  I'm proud of these poets for writing such beautiful, stunning poems we had to create a home for them.  They are why I wanted to do this.  I'm proud of how hard we worked to get this thing where it is.  I'm proud (and terrified) of its potential.  I'm glad for this opportunity to edit like a motherfucker.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

our business

It's getting serious:  I've ordered business cards.  They're due at the end of the month.  (I love that, after you've approved the image, they send you to a screen that makes it look like someone is holding them--with very well-trimmed nails, I might add.)

Tinderbox Poetry Journal launches in less than a week.  (June 21!)  We're still working out a few kinks, but our issue is set:  we are featuring twenty-seven (two! seven!) poets in this issue.  We're wrasslin' those last scraggly poems into place, telling the formatting to please, please, for the love of all that's holy, BEHAVE! and dusting our logo.  It's a-comin', ladies and gentlemen, whether any of us are ready for it or not.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

i'm on the rumpus!

Front page of the books section, even!  See my review of Martha Silano's beautiful book Reckless Lovely here.

Monday, May 19, 2014

rocky mountain raptor program


We drove in a few circles to meet an old bookstore friend of mine and to walk around the grounds of the Rocky Mountain Raptor Program.  The green came earlier in Colorado, furzing the landscape.  And wilted cacti, insect-etched wood.