Three Good Things That Happened In the Last Week

Three good things from the past seven days or so:

I found out I’ll be included in the Haiku in Action Anthology published by the Nick Virgilio Writers House. From the publisher:

This collection of contemporary poems from around the world includes hundreds of haiku in its various forms, from the traditional style to senryu, monoku, and more. The anthology is perfect for lovers of haiku who want to read poems focusing on the events of 2020 from an international and diverse range of both established and emerging poets. More than just a collection of poems, this book also features haiku categories, writing prompts, essays from the NVHA staff, and an extensive lesson on haiku writing from renowned teacher, Tom Painting. Pre-order now so that you can be one of the first to receive this important anthology!

I found out that a short creative non-fiction piece of mine will be include in the new Main anthology by Hippocampus.

Main: An Anthology, part of The Way Things Were Series from Books by Hippocampus, celebrates small town America. The collection features stories about family-owned businesses, such as the stores and specialty shops that used to rule Main Street America. Our contributors share how these businesses define themselves and their family members, how the efforts evolved over time, through the generations.

My poem, “The Effects of Ground-Level Ozone on the Ecology of Pennsylvania Highways” was nominated by The Shore for a Pushcart Prize.

I am so grateful and thankful for each of these developments and for everyone at NVWH/NVHA, Hippocampus and The Shore for making things like this happen and everyone who has read these pieces and supported these and other small presses.

Thank you all!

“Doorjamb” at Bandit Fiction

Been meaning to share. This is a personal favorite, and I’m proud to have it at Bandit Fiction.

Doorjamb

In the summer, when school was over,
we picked mulberries in the yard
and spun in circles on the grass.
It was soft and living, warm on our bare feet,
and every day the sun was lightening your hair.
Your mom, she was playing Brian Wilson, and we listened to his brothers intervene. 

In the summer, when we were older,
we smoked kreteks in the street
and the road between your mom’s house and the lake was painted by the moon. 
It was grey and broken, a hubcap glinted in the switchgrass
cracking through the shoulder. 
Our friends, almost at the water, crashed and laughed
against the tyranny of neighbors.

In the fall, when you had gone, 
I struggled doing pull-ups in the doorjamb,
and the attic smelled like pine and lemon. 
I was thinking of all you’d written on the blue path of my forearm
on the gray road to the lake
the pale night you first squared the pattern of my breathing
and began the long division of your forehead and my shoulder.

How Many Submissions do Poetry Journals Get? One Interesting Example, and Some Extrapolation.

I discovered And Other Poems today via Twitter. It’s a very well done project.

And Other Poems opened to new submissions in November in a sort of relaunch. I don’t know exactly when their window closed, but we’re only halfway through December, so it couldn’t have been too very long ago.

They share that over 200 poets submitted over 700 poems in whatever the relatively short time frame was. Some new journals get less, some get more. Long-established venues get many, many more. Still, any way you look at it, 700 is a lot of poems. Reading them and giving them the right attention is a lot of work. No doubt a passion project.

Across the literary world, thousands of editors this past year have collectively read, what, probably millions of pieces? Mostly as volunteers. Mostly because they believe in the power and beauty and necessity of words. They believe their work and the work of the writers they publish matters and makes a difference. Thank you, editors, publishers, laborers of love. You make all of this happen.

Two Poems After Wendell Berry

8 Poems has just published my poem, “Meeting“, in their newest issue. Thank you, 8 Poems!

Earlier this year, Rat’s Ass Review published “Widowing” and I’m very glad to be included in their Summer 2020 issue.

Both “Meeting” and “Widowing” were reactions to respective pieces by Wendell Berry. Check them out if you would.