Monday, December 26, 2011

Poetry Links

Once in awhile, I stumble across a good website full of craft-related information; I'll try to share these as I find them.  Resources for Poets is one such site, with lots of links available for free online lectures, online readings, and craft-related articles on reading and writing poetry.  Check 'em out, by clicking on the link below:

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Two Poems, The Montucky Review

Two pieces of mine, "Kharola Pass", and "Eating the Dead", now in The Montucky Review at the link below.  One of my favorite literary journals (check 'em out).  A big thank you to editors, Mark and Heather!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Poem on Yellow Mama

My poem, "Year of the Rabbit", now up in the December issue of Yellow Mama.  A big thanks to the editor, Cindy R.!  Link below:

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Negative Suck Acceptance

Three poems, just up today in the December, 2011 issue of one of my favorite online literary journals, Negative Suck:  "Mauvais Chien", "She Hides a Sparrow", and "Philosophy of Decay".  To get to the third poem, click on my name at the bottom of the first page.  A big thanks to editor, Jeff C.!  Link below:

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Tranströmer Wins Nobel Prize

Poetry fans, rejoice:  Swedish poet Tomas Tranströmer has just won the 2011 Nobel Prize in Literature.  The 80 year-old has published more than 15 poetry collections, and been translated into 60 languages.  You can follow the link below to the NY Times article.  A big congratulations to Mr. Tranströmer!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Vintage Poetry Acceptance

Three poems of mine, now up on Vintage Poetry:  "Harvesting", "Isla Mujeres", and "Woman on a Blue Balcony".  Not sure what happened to the font on the third one, but oh well.  Thanks to editor, Radek Ozog!  Here's a link, if you're interested:

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Holy, Holy, Holy

And while we're at it:  Clip from the film, Howl.  James Franco (as Allen Ginsberg) reading the footnote to the poem, “Howl”.  Simply breathtaking.

Father Death Blues

"Father Death Blues", by Allen Ginsberg.  I adore this.

Last Poems of Miklós Radnóti

Miklós Radnóti

I woke up thinking about Miklós Radnóti again this morning.  This happens every so often, though not as much as when I was completing my thesis on his last poems; his work has apparently seared itself into my psyche, and I guess there will always be a connection there.  Anyway, Miklós Radnóti, a Hungarian poet and translator, is considered to be one of the most important 20th-century poets of his country.  Radnóti was killed at the age of thirty-five on a forced march during World War II.  After the war, his last poems, written in a notebook during the march, were discovered on his body when he was exhumed from a mass grave near Abda, Hungary.  Here's an excerpt from "Eclogue VII", translated by Steven Polgár:
Without commas, one line touching the other
I write poems the way I live, in darkness,
blind, crossing the paper like a worm.
Flashlights, books - the guards took everything.
There’s no mail, only fog drifts over the barracks.
Haunting stuff, for sure.  You can read the rest of Radnóti's bio here:

Or, if you're interested, here's a link to my Master’s thesis, that I completed at Vermont College of Fine Arts in 2007, analyzing the last poems:


Radnóti’s work has touched me more deeply than perhaps any other.  One day, I will make the journey to pay my respects at his grave in Budapest. 

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A Part of Me is Dying

Link below to "25 Depressing Portraits of Closed Bookstores" on BuzzFeed.  Each photograph is like a knife through my heart.  Feeling a little desperate about the situation at this point...I mean, what's next?  Close all the art galleries and museums so we can only view art on the internet?  Well, here's to all the indie bookstores hanging in there~I hope they make it.

A Dark Star Passes Through It

Just HAD to share this brilliant poetry essay, "A 'Dark Star' Passes Through It",  written by Leslie Ullman, which was just republished by Numero Cinq (it originally appeared in Southern Indiana Review, Spring 2001).  A deeply worthy read for any serious reader or writer of poetry.  Click the link below~trust me, you won't want to miss this:

Monday, September 12, 2011

Yellow Mama Acceptance

Just had three poems picked up by the slick Yellow Mama literary journal:  "Year of the Rabbit", "Among the Lilies", and "Pause" will appear in the 12/11, 2/12, and 4/12 issues, respectively.  Sweet!  I'll post the links as they become available over the next several months.

Cool name, you say?  I agree.  "Yellow Mama" was the nickname for the Alabama Kilby State Prison's (now retired) electric chair, which was painted bright yellow.  The lit journal's black and yellow scheme (which reminds me of a Yellow Jacket~baby's got some sting!), and the quality of work presented reflects this edginess.  Check 'em out:

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Coolest Bookstores and Libraries

Check out this link below to the coolest bookstores around the world.  I'm salivating, here.  One thing that really sucks about living in a small Chinese city is the lack of access to English language bookstores.  There's a big bookstore in town, with a small English-language section, but selection is extremely limited.  And yeah, I can order some books online, and if I'm lucky, actually receive them in the mail (not always the case!), but I miss spending an afternoon browsing among the stacks.  Nothing beats the feel of an actual book in the hands, I say, and I'll remain a purist until the day I die (no Kindles here!).  Anyway, follow the link to see these amazing bookstores~my favorite, Paris' Shakespeare & Company, is in here:

Shakespeare & Company, Paris, France

And while we're at it, here are two more links to the Most Amazing Libraries in the World, Parts 1 and 2.  The only one featured here that I've ever been in was at Trinity College in Dublin, where I saw the Book of Kells.  I'd love to visit these others, though:

Most Amazing Libraries in the World, Part 1:

Most Amazing Libraries in the World, Part 2:

I guess I should've been a librarian or bookshop clerk.  In the meantime, I'll just keep dreaming of the day I get to walk into one of these gorgeous places, and lose myself, and all sense of time, among the storied stacks.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Dust in the Wind

Some recent literary journal closings:  The Literary Burlesque, Message in a Bottle, and Rusty Truck.  Rest in peace, guys~it was a fun ride while it lasted.  A lot of people don't realize all the work that goes into running online lit journals, which are often edited (unpaid) by writers with day jobs of their own, who come home to a mountain of submissions to sift through.  It's enough stress for me to avoid starting up my own journal, I'll tell you that, and I find it understandable when these sites close down.  I wish though, that the individual pieces appearing on the sites could be permanently archived online somehow, so our published work doesn't disappear, like so much dust in the wind, when a journal folds.  I've got a couple of broken links to fix now.  Kind of sad...

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Negative Suck Acceptance

Link below to three poems in the September issue of Negative Suck.  Subjects:  menopause, adultery, and...monkeys.  Yeah, monkeys.  I really like this online lit journal, so I hope you check it out.  A big thanks to editor J. Callico!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Du Fu's Cottage

Haven't had a chance to post much lately, as I've been touring through Sichuan Province over here in China.  I did get a chance to visit the former home of Tang Dynasty poet, Du Fu (a.k.a. Tu Fu) in Chengdu, and thought I'd share some pics.  He lived here for about five years.  Beautiful grounds, with lots of statues, quaint gardens, and multiple language translations of his poems on display.  One highlight:  the Hall of Odes, containing statues of Du Fu and other famous Chinese poets, like his buddy, Li Bai (Li Po). 


Sunday, August 14, 2011

On Air

Amazon link below for the book On Air, by my friend and publisher, Robin Stratton, recently released by Blue Mustang Press.  A truly great read!  I highly recommend Stratton's modern tale of Boston radio DJ, Eric Storm, his complicated relationship with his mother, and his late "coming of age", all set against the tragic events of 9/11. Both funny and touching, the flow of writing here is smooth and natural, the characters highly developed, and the theme complex yet fully realized. Stratton is a master storyteller, with the fine writing skills to back it up, and this is a book that will leave you thinking about its characters long after you've put it down. Pick up a copy—you won't be disappointed!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Dark Chaos Acceptance

A big thank you to editor Jeffrey Callico, for picking up one of my poems for Dark Chaos.  I've been searching for just the right home for this poem about Jim Morrison, titled "What the Water Gave Him", for a long time.  You can read it on the Dark Chaos website here:

Monday, August 1, 2011

New Chapbook Review

Link below to a new review of my chapbook, by Zack Kopp for the Denver Examiner.  A big thank you to Zack.  I'm really lucky to know some great people in the biz!

Snakeskin Acceptance

Link below to the August/September issue of Snakeskin Poetry Webzine, in which my poem, "The Cottage" appears.  A big thank you to the editor, George Simmers.  This is one of my favorite online literary journals~check 'em out!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Chapbook Release and Reading

Photos from the chapbook release party and reading/signing at White Birch Books on July 17, 2011, in North Conway, New Hampshire.  It was a great turnout, with a lively audience, and I really enjoyed it.  A big thank you to Laura Lucy of White Birch Books for agreeing to host on such short notice!

Effingham Public Library Reading

Some photos taken during my reading at Effingham Public Library on July 21, 2011.  A quaint venue, packed with a great audience, and a lot of talented poets who took the floor for the Open Mic after my featured reading.  Thank you, to Katie McCarthy & Jim Pittman~glad I was invited!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Radio Interview

Just finished up this interview with Steve McManus, on his Blog Talk Radio show, Forbidden America~it was fun!  The interview is archived on the site, and available for listening if you missed the live show.  You can catch the episode at the link below:

Interview with Poet Lauren Tivey - The Breakdown Atlas 07/16 by Steve McManus | Blog Talk Radio

Monday, July 11, 2011

Chapbook Release Party

Announcing a reading and book release party for my book, The Breakdown Atlas & other poems, this Sunday afternoon at 3:00 p.m., July 17th, at White Birch Books on Main Street in North Conway, New Hampshire.  I'll post the press release when it comes out.  I'll be reading from the book, and copies will be available for sale and signing afterwards.  Hope to see you there! 

P.S.  I'll also be a featured reader at Writer's Night, at the Effingham Public Library, at 7 p.m. on Thursday, July 21st.  The library is located at 30 Town House Road, Effingham, NH.  Consider stopping in, if you're close by~I'd love to see you!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Chapbook Now Available

It's here!  My chapbook, The Breakdown Atlas & other poems is now available online at The Chapbook Store.  The price is $12.00, plus $1.85 for shipping.  You can read the bio, some excerpts, reviews, and complete a purchase here:

Or, it can be purchased directly through Big Table Publishing Company, here:

I haven't even seen the actual book yet~that will happen next week, when I arrive in the States.  I'm sure they're great-looking, perfect, even~so I'd like to take this opportunity to thank Robin Stratton, editor of Big Table Publishing, for all her efforts (plus, she is a delight to work with!).   Wow, this made my day...

Radio Invite

Well, this is kind of cool~I just got invited for an interview on a radio talk show during my visit to the U.S. next week.  I'll be talking about my time here in China, and about my chapbook, The Breakdown Atlas & other poems.  The interview will be on a blog radio show called Forbidden America, hosted by Steve McManus.  It's a half hour format, with no commercial breaks, carried on Blog Talk Radio, Shoutcast Radio, iTunes, Smartphone Net, and others.  It'll be airing live on Saturday, July 16, at 11:00 p.m., and immediately archived and available for listening.  I'll post the interview once it airs, but in the meantime, here's a link to the site~check out the wide and funky range of interviews (I love the pagan-themed ones), if you're interested:

Yeah!  I'm excited about this.  Should be a fun thing to do?   

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Blue Lake Review Acceptance

Another poem of mine, "Meadows in Vermont", just up in the July issue of Blue Lake Review.  A nice, clean website, with lots of quality work~happy to be included.  You can read the poem here:

Plum Rain

As the skies darken and spill, two students
fall in love in my English class, their eyes
flashing over verb conjugations.  Lightning

jabs the city, endless water sheeting windows,
cascading down, flooding streets; for weeks
the air a thick veil draping Asia, plump fruit

nodding in the mist.  Hands are busy
under the table—his wife, her husband,
their children, other lives, no secret.

They don’t care that I know, as I string
adjectives, comparatives, superlatives
on the board, back turned.  After an hour,

I watch them go, desperate for touch, for
their weekly appointment in a muggy motel,
where they’ll peel off damp clothes, join

their hot and delirious bodies to the relentless
drum of rain.  And what do I care, as I turn out
lights?  I walk home through another wet evening,

under dripping trees, the suspended plums shining
and ripe, close enough to pluck. A snarl of thunder
reminds me, this season will be over soon enough.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Year of the Rabbit

Fortunetellers are smiling in the teahouses,
their cards, leaves, bones bustling,

as predictions and traditions call for
arms reduction, a diplomatic solution,

the gentle and peaceful; a good year
for all.  In the Middle East, grounds

rumble, and skies screech, people
of the ancient sands, seething.  Here,

at the temple market, animal cages,
stacked, a cloud of flies, shit dripping.

A young girl skips by in her finest dress,
holding her father’s hand.  In another hand,

a perforated box with her new rabbit,
an auspicious token.  I go home to brew

a pot of coffee, turn on the news, watch bombs
rain down, and wait for the end of the world.

Monday, June 27, 2011

The Montucky Review Acceptance

Two of my poems, "Day of the Dead", and "Wife-Stealer", just up today on The Montucky Review.  This is a newer journal with a promising future, and I'd like to thank the editor, A.g. Synclair.  You can read them at the link below:

These two poems are also included in The Breakdown Atlas & other poems, but that's already gone to print, so I won't be able to include this publication on the acknowledgments page. 

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Another Chapbook Update

Just a quick update on The Breakdown Atlas & other poems:  the books are done!  And according to the editor, they're "gorgeous".  I won't be able to actually see them until I reach the U.S., but they will ship to my destination address soon.   There will also be a press release, and links to the publisher's website in order to make a purchase.  Then, I'll just need to figure out how to get them up on, and it's all (hopefully) gravy from there on.  Very cool~can't wait to get my hot little hands on them! 

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Chapbook Going to Print

Well, I've heard from Robin Stratton, the editor of Big Table Publishing Company:  after many emails back and forth for revisions, I've gotten the final, electronic galley of The Breakdown Atlas & other poems.  I've gotta say~it looks great!  The cover has the old world map that I posted a photo of earlier, and the blurbs are on the back cover, along with my very first ISBN# (kinda cool, no?).  There's an acknowledgments page, an author bio, table of contents, and cover sheet, and 22 poems (which cover a total of 39 pages).  Next thing we do is go to print!  The book will be ready for my arrival in the U.S. next month, after which, I can sell my little heart out.  Of course, copies will be available from the publisher as well, and on, and I'll post those links as they become available.  This whole process, and working with Robin, has been quite easy~she's a great editor, and hasn't complained once about all my picky, minor changes.  So, here we go!  Do I sound excited? 

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Deuce Coupe Acceptance

Just had a poem, "Passing through Galveston", accepted by Deuce Coupe.  You can read it at this link:

This is a slick poetry website, with lots of great "underground" work, and I was really pleased to have something picked up by them.  They have a sister site, Rusty Truck, also full of great work, at this link here:

Check 'em out~I think you'll like what you find!

Friday, June 17, 2011


We're getting close to the publication date of my chapbook, The Breakdown Atlas, and the pre-release reviews are in!  I want to send out my warmest thanks to Sascha Feinstein, Maureen Sherbondy, and Norma Ketzis Bernstock for their time and careful reading of my work~I feel humbled to have been reviewed by these accomplished and talented poets, and I'm quite honored (and psyched!) to have their public endorsement.  Without further ado, here are their seriously cool reviews:  

“Lauren Tivey’s poems confront the reader’s body like shots of tequila—if, that is, the reader has a knowledge of its bite and substance, and knows how to temper the hits with the citrus of lime and the truth of salt.  She shies away from nothing, yet, as though you’ve been friends a long time and have met regularly at the bar, she encourages you to experience tough realities. But here’s the kicker:  These poems will drink you under the table.  You may stagger home, but they’re always ready for last call.”
~Sascha Feinstein, Misterioso and Black Pearls

“Lauren Tivey’s ‘animal-tough’ poems about relationships are stunning, enticing, and brutally honest. The Breakdown Atlas & other poems kicks readers in the gut over and over again, but somehow manages to leave them with a sense of hope in spite of their ‘broken, journeyed bodies’.  I absolutely loved this book!”
~Maureen Sherbondy, Weary Blues and Scar Girl

“With raw energy and in-your-face language, Lauren Tivey's The Breakdown Atlas is a wild journey that begins with the harsh reality of ‘a rotting carcass’ of a marriage.  Through her poems we experience the life of a newly independent woman, feel the pain of a lover's breakdown, and desperation in a Hong Kong hooker hotel.  She expresses a mother's deep love for her distant daughter, for whom she'll pick ‘bouquets of devotion and remorse’.  Her poetry can be raunchy, as in ‘satyrs copulating with witches’; titillating, like ‘a Geisha, opening the flower of her mouth’; yet tender, as she describes ‘the wind chime of your laughter’. Lauren Tivey's poems left me breathless, with a desire to live through her wild ride again and again. She writes in one poem that ‘the kettle screeched holy hell’, and so does her poetry!"
~Norma Ketzis Bernstock, Don't Write a Poem for Me After I'm Dead

Awesome, no?  Strangely craving tequila, here...

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Jackson Wins Eric Hoffer Award

A big, happy congratulations to Richard Jackson (one of my writing mentors), who has just won the 2011 Eric Hoffer Award, for his book of poetry, Resonance.  This annual award "recognizes outstanding writing in a variety of categories, including short prose and book awards for works published by independent presses, i.e., small, micro, and academic presses," and "was established as the 21st century began with the purpose of 'opening a door to writing of significant merit,' as a memorial to the American philosopher Eric Hoffer."

Dr. Richard Jackson "is the author of 10 books of poems, most recently Resonance Unauthorized Autobiography: New and Selected Poems and, Svetovi Narazen: Selected Poems, and several chapbooks of translations. Last Journey: Selected Poems of Giovanni Pascoli appeared from Red Hen Press (2010), co-translated with Susan Thomas and Deborah Brown, and his translation of Potovanje Sonca (Journey of the Sun) from Slovene by Aleksander Persolja appeared in 2009. His own poems have been translated into 15 languages."

Again, congratulations, Rick.  Can't think of anyone who deserves it more!  Here's a link to the story:

Saturday, June 11, 2011


Admittedly, I'm not the most patient person, and I always forget that the rest of the world doesn't move at the same pace as me.  I like things to happen snap-quick and lickety-split, and they rarely do.  Waiting weeks to hear about a poetry submission to a literary journal can seem like months (and I've got four pending at the moment).  Patience, my dear, patience!  Good things come to those who wait, right?  Cooling my heels with this classic from Guns N' Roses in the meantime...

Thursday, June 9, 2011

"I love you, what star do you live on?"

One of my favorite poets, Conrad Aiken (1889~1973):  Link here for some of his poems, including "Chance Meetings", "The Dance of Life" (sexy!), "Discordants", "Evensong", "Miracles", "Morning Song of Senlin", "Red is the Color of Blood" (WOW!), and "Zudora":

Also, here's a link to the complete epic, "The House of Dust" (just in case you have a couple of hours to kill):

Monday, June 6, 2011

Embracing the Fire

Suddenly, it begins, and you're frightening
everyone, face a blazing furnace, speech
a volcano, veins pulsing magma, smoke
rising from your hair.  You're spontaneous

combustion, a nuclear meltdown, a bomb
to kill them all.  You're Pele, Kali, Lilith,
alchemy of the ages in your boiling womb.
You've never been so powerful.  Now,

rise.  Walk the land.  Leave burning
footprints like your mother and grandmother
before you.  Straddle two different worlds:
let the roaring hell of your voice be heard.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Chapbook Cover Art

I'm going with an Old World map for the cover of The Breakdown Atlas.  I've seen the reviewer's copy with the artwork, and a beautiful title font~Robin did a lovely job!  I love Old World maps, and am happy to have one on my cover, as it fits with the theme of the book.  Here's the one we're using:


Just got word on who's writing blurbs for my chapbook:  Maureen Sherbondy, Norma Ketzis Bernstock, and Sascha Feinstein.  They should be ready in the next couple of weeks.  Will post them when I can.  Stoked!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Shout-Out: Duotrope's Digest

Quite simply, I love these guys.  What a great publishing resource for poets and writers.  No matter what your style, genre, or taste, there's something here for everyone.  Duotrope's is "an award-winning, free writers' resource listing over 3400 current Fiction and Poetry publications. Use [them] to search for markets that may make a fine home for the piece you just polished."  They offer "free services [to] writers and editors, including a free online submissions tracker for registered users."  They make many updates to their literary journals and presses every day, and check the listings regularly to make sure you're offered up-to-date information.  There's also a weekly newsletter you can sign up for.  Since I signed up with them last December, I've had sixteen poems published, using their resources and tools.  Though free, they do accept donations to help with the running costs of the site.  I'll be sending them a big, fat check soon.  Try 'em, I think you'll like 'em!  Here's a direct link to their site:

Writing Mentors

I've been fortunate to have had some wonderful writing mentors, teachers, and coaches over the course of my life, and I just want to give some credit to these amazing people:

Jim St. Pierre, English professor at Granite State College:  the first teacher to see something in my writing and encourage me.  I was a human services major before I met Jim; after a couple of classes with him, my focus changed, and I realized that poetry and literature were something that made me truly happy.  I changed my major because of this, thus changing the course of my life.  Also, because of him, I am now a good essay writer and thesis-developer.

Patrick Armstrong, poetry professor at Granite State College:  an accomplished poet himself, and the first person to get genuinely excited about my poetry.  It was in Pat's classes that issues of craft were first introduced in-depth, and I learned so much from him.  He made me realize that my voice was important, and that I should explore poetry more deeply.  His encouragement led me on to a MFA in Poetry, and I'm now proud to call him my friend.

Roger Weingarten, poetry professor at Vermont College of Fine Arts:  another accomplished and amazing poet.  I first took his workshop as a newbie in that scary college full of brilliant, aspiring writers.  His style of teaching was a little bit like poetry boot camp~he toughened me up!  My quirky use of line breaks comes from Roger, as do so many other more advanced craft techniques I employ in my poems (they seem to come to me more naturally now).  I miss our phone conversations about poetry, and his tomato garden.

Mary Ruefle, poetry professor at Vermont College of Fine Arts:  Oh, Mary.  I didn't know what to think or how to act when I first met her.  Intense, a little snappy, yet so kind-hearted, and funny as hell.  I met Mary in my second semester, just as I was undergoing some big doubts about this writing gig.  She pulled me back on ship, and used a holistic approach in coaching me along.  She actually asked to see the first poem I ever wrote.  I will always treasure the packets she sent to me, typed on an actual typewriter, pages and pages long, with endearing little "gifts" included.  She also did the introduction to my final graduation reading.  I credit her for saving me, when I wanted to quit.

Richard Jackson, poetry professor at Vermont College of Fine Arts:  Brilliant, yet down-to-earth.  There's just something about Rick that puts a person at ease.  I felt an immediate kinship with him.  He turned me onto some fine Eastern European writers, one of whom I focused my final thesis on.  I'll never forget the time we spent in Slovenia, in those laid-back, fun-filled workshops.  I think Rick really "got" my work, and saw something valuable in it, and he was the first teacher to professionally, academically critique and support me.  In short, he gave me a lot of confidence in my abilities.  A true gem!

Sascha Feinstein, poetry professor at Vermont College of Fine Arts:  my last mentor, and someone I now call a friend.  A truly gifted writer, poet, and musician, Sascha was just instantly likable, someone you could joke around with, and more importantly~trust.  He's got an amazing style all his own, yet he can see the value in all other styles, with an uncanny ability to pick out that which works, and that which doesn't.  He helped me to polish up my final manuscript for VCFA, and I think he truly believes in me, as I do him.  And I am seriously indebted to him for the first blurb for my chapbook (but shhhh...that's a secret until the book comes out!).  

These are all my professional mentors, but I also want to mention the many other friends who've helped me along the way, whether through poetry forums, or in writing groups;  the old friends and the new, who take the time to read the work, and offer up suggestions and encouragement.  As I said before~I learn new things about poetry every day, and I credit all of you with helping me along my path.  Thank you, so very much.     

Chapbook Update

My poetry chapbook, The Breakdown Atlas, which was picked up Big Table Publishing Co. last month, is due out this July.  After settling on the contents and placement, and batting around ideas for a cover design with editor-extraordinaire, Robin Stratton, the reviewer's copy was sent out for blurbs and reviews.  I think it looks good, and I know I've got a lot of strong work in there, but I'm still a little nervous about the reviews, as it's my first chap.  Well, I guess it's just a waiting game now, but we are on a bit of a time crunch to get the book printed and ready for my trip back to the U.S. in July.  I have all the faith in the world in Robin though~she's fast, efficient, and she knows exactly what she's doing.  In the meantime, I keep checking my email, like, every five minutes... 


Why call the blog "Afterglow"?  Well, for one, it's the name of one of my poems, but also because that's what I feel directly after the rush of writing a first draft of a poem; after that white-hot fire courses through, and I get the words down, knowing I'm onto something (even if I have to return for a few rounds of revisions), I always bask in that glow that comes with creation.  I love that feeling.

With that in mind, here's my poem, which was first published in Message in a Bottle (Issue 7):


Worshippers bring disease and disgrace
to the temple.  Behind glass, the golden man
is sitting lotus, safe from the grease of hands.

If only they could rub their bodies over him,
kiss the blessed feet, caress the clear skies
of his enlightenment, if only they could lay

with him.  Red candles are lit, promises made.
For a coin, fickle fortunes are studied in the yarrow
stalks.  Deflated, losers go back to prayers, clicking

their mala beads, while others, winners of  both large
and small battles, endorse icons with bills, beaming
like glad children.  Everyone plays, desperate to offer

themselves, chanting until the divine heat cracks open
their fragile pits, spreads into the secret, wet centers,
to deliver the shuddering blessing, rapture of the cosmos.

After the ceremony, cleaning ladies dust yellow and purple
cattleyas, gossiping and flirting with monks.  Vinyl cushions
hold the intentions of knees, and fat fruit glistens on the altar.

Outside, bodhis twist to the light in a fog of joss sticks.
Everything, cleansed, in love with the world.  Even the koi,
in a reflection of marigolds, are smiling in the pond.


I thought I'd start a poetry blog, not only to track my publications and upcoming chapbook release, but to create a space where I could share poems and craft-related business, and possibly connect with others in the field.  I've been writing poetry seriously for about fifteen years (yes, I still learn something new everyday!), and a lot of my prior publications were in print, in such places as Medicinal Purposes, Red Owl, Sahara, Candlelight Poetry Journal, Timber Creek Review, and Sierra Nevada Review, among others (there's a link list of my current online publications here on the blog).  I've done the Open Mic circuit, and given many other public readings, and admittedly, this is not an aspect of being a poet that I particularly enjoy, but I do it, because I think it's important to get the words out there.

A little about me, personally:  I was born in Lowell, Massachusetts (that's right~Kerouac's hometown), and later lived in New Hampshire, Vermont, Colorado, California, and Florida.  Internationally, I've lived in Italy, Peru, and now China.  Like many writers and poets, I've held a number of weird jobs:  forklift operator, museum attendant, paralegal, pizza delivery driver, real estate agent, secretary, landscaper, human services, and now, teacher.  Crazy, right?  But as a single mom, I had to make ends meet, so I worked whatever job was available, and I worked hard, attending college at the same time, eventually receiving my MFA in Poetry in 2008.  With my girls now grown, I've embarked on the dream of a lifetime, and spend my time traveling, teaching, writing, and taking photographs.  Luckily, I have my fiancé (a.k.a. best friend, cheerleader, partner-in-crime), Gerard, along for the ride.  Life is just downright peachy.

Anyway, here's a start.  Let's see how long I can keep this up.