Poetry Has Value: April

Here is my April post, in which I wonder, “What if poetry’s value is greater than money? What if I respect my poems enough not to send them to journals that don’t meet my standards for quality or human decency, regardless of how much those journals pay for poems?”

Hugo House Reading - 2016

Main Street Rag Poetry Book Award!

I’ve been given clearance to tell the world: my first full-length poetry manuscript, Tasty Other, has won the Main Street Rag Poetry Book Award!

Main Street Rag let the book award news out of the bag at AWP via a raffle entry form…

MSR Raffle Entry at AWP16 - Marked

The award includes a cash prize, author copies, and publication. The book is due out in November. Tasty Other explores the transition to mother identity, and it grew out of the creative portion of my dissertation.

(I was shaking with excitement for about two hours after I got the phone call. I deleted some exclamation points above so I can at least appear cooler in print than I am in person, but I’m so thrilled and honored!)

In related good news, Main Street Rag just received the Best Small Press award from Mid-American Review at the AWP conference last week! Congrats to them!

AWP in L.A.

I had such a great time at AWP! There’s something wonderful about being surrounded by thousands of fellow writers and editors. I got to reconnect with grad school friends and meet some writer/editor friends in person for the first time.

AWP16 - EKA and Capettini

I also got to talk with some of my rockstar poets, including Carolyn Forche and Elizabeth Alexander (pardon the blurry shot).

AWP16 - ForcheAWP16 - Elizabeth Alexander

I participated in the off-site reading “One Poet, One Poem” on Friday night, and it was awesome.  I read my poem “God in the Shower.” Thanks to Thom Caraway and Rock & Sling for inviting me!

AWP16 - One Poet, One Poem

I also presented in a panel on Saturday called “Wild Equations: A Math Poetry Reading.” I read several poems, including “Week by Week” (my poem that uses the Fibonacci sequence for its line-by-line syllable count). I was so impressed by the work of my fellow panelists and honored to present alongside these intelligent, creative women. Thanks to Carol Dorf and Talking Writing for including me!

AWP16 - Wild Equations panel

I also sold, bought, and traded many books, of course. 🙂

AWP16 - Book haul

Reading in Seattle: PCA/ACA & Hugo House

I had so much fun reading from my Bible word banking chapbook, A Door with a Voice, this past Thursday at the PCA/ACA conference in Seattle. It’s a pleasure to hear people laughing at these poems that I feared might be inaccessible to everyone but me! I’m so excited for them to be published with Agape Editions in May.

It was a joy to read alongside incredible poets from all over the world. I love how friendly and engaged the poets and audiences are at the PCA/ACA conference, and I have so much fun overseeing the poetry area. Poetry is clearly a living, vibrant part of pop culture and American culture.

I also had a fantastic time reading from The Gospel of the Bleeding Woman and I Awake in My Womb with Nicelle Davis and company at the Hugo House on Saturday afternoon. We even got to tour the basement and see the baby coffin before the house is demolished and they move to a new space.

Hugo House Reading - 2016