Last Friday, as I spent several hours getting batches of poems ready for submission, I started thinking about the word "submit." Meanings include “give in,” “yield,” “defer,” “succumb,” and “surrender.” If you're a writer hoping to publish work in journals and magazines, these words aren't likely to inspire confidence. Submitting work is an uncertain, often … Continue reading Rejection Brings Out the Best in Me
I have a little game I play in bookstores. First I find the poetry section. Then I run my eyes along the shelf, head cocked to the right so I can read the books’ skinny spines. I’m looking for book I’ve never read by an author I’ve never heard of. I’m looking for something new … Continue reading The Bookstore Game
The first issue of Sticks & Stones went out to subscribers on January 1. It features my very first book review of the year: Jenene Ravesloot’s Sliders. If you’d like to subscribe to Sticks & Stones, send an email to email@example.com with the subject “Newsletter.” A few years ago, I wrote a column titled Sticks … Continue reading Happy New Year
I'm thrilled to share this moving review of Night Court, just up at The Pedestal. My thanks to reviewer David E. Poston. Night Court is available from Glass Lyre Press and Amazon.
I’m oddly inspired by parking lots. As I wrote in my book Vibrant Words: Ideas and Inspirations for Poets, “Although I’ve written many nature-based poems, I find inspiration in ordinary stretches of asphalt.” Quite a few of my poems began in parking lots – “This is a Wild Place,” “Contemporary Realism,” and "Parking Lot Time … Continue reading Poems in the Parking Garage
I was an impatient child. I wanted everything, all the time, right now. Each year before Christmas, my impatience flared into full-blown anxiety, complete with stomach cramps, shallow breathing, and sleepless nights. Once I overheard my mother telling my father, “Christmas is too hard for Erica.” The anticipation was overwhelming for me, to the point … Continue reading To Those Who Wait
In the December 3, 2017 issue of the New York Times Book Review, I read these words from David Orr’s “On Poetry” column: “Poetry, as everyone knows, is unpopular.” The first sentence in an article about children’s poetry, Orr goes on to state that poetry is so unpopular that critics need to “acknowledge that fact … Continue reading Poetry to the (Young) People
Between July and October, I made four trips by car between Eugene and the Bay Area to promote my poetry collection, Night Court. At approximately 566 miles, this eight-to-nine hour drive was just at my tolerance level. After sitting in the car for what amounted to one working day, my back ached, my neck was … Continue reading Book Tour Report Part 2
I’m re-launching my online presence, which includes this updated WordPress website, regular blog posts, and an enhanced, twice-monthly newsletter. The newsletter is the result of a brainstorm I had during one of my nine-hour drives between Oregon and California this fall: poetry books need more reviews! I used to review books of poems quite often, … Continue reading Reviews, Reviews, Reviews!
The following is reprinted from my book Vibrant Words: Ideas and Inspirations for Poets, PushPen Press 2014. Deep Images Years ago, I was a student in a drawing class trying to draw a tree. My teacher came by and said, “What you’ve drawn is your idea of a tree. This is what you’ve been told, all … Continue reading Deep Images