2016 in Poetry

2015 marked the first year that I published poetry available outside the Binghamton area. I had planned to submit to journals on a regular basis in 2016, but lots of unexpected things happened and I submitted very little.

I did have two poems in Eunioa Review, a new poem “The Last Night” and a reprint “Fifty-four”.

My poem “Crowning Glory” appeared as part of Silver Birch Press’s “My Mane Memories” series.

I did keep up my participation with the Binghamton Poetry Project and published in both the Spring and Fall anthologies.

Binghamton Poetry Project also brought me an unexpected and wonderful opportunity to write and present a poem at the annual Heart of the Arts award ceremony. This blog post contains the poem, as well as links to a video of my reading and the story of how the poem came about.

I was thrilled to return to North Adams and MASS MoCA for a reunion residency of the Boiler House Poets. It was fantastic to be back and to have a chance to work on my collection under development. There is a series of blog posts on the residency beginning on September 30th.

There are two exciting developments that bring the Boiler House Poets out to a wider audience. The first is the publication of Verse Osmosis, an anthology that grew out of an exercise from our first residency in November 2015 in conjunction with Tupelo Press. The second is a new collaborative videopoem that Marilyn McCabe produced which we recorded in and about our beloved Boiler House. It is currently entered in a contest, but when the link becomes publicly available, I will return to this post to do an update.

Given my track record with making plans, I know better than to make any firm commitments for 2017. The three things that I will dare to state here are that I will continue to work on my collection under development, I will attend the Boiler House reunion residency this fall, and I will continue to stay active with my local poetry groups, Binghamton Poetry Project, Bunn Hill Poets, and Sappho’s Circle, to which I owe a debt of gratitude. I have learned so much from you all and admire your work and generosity in helping me become the poet I am today and the poet I am becoming in the future.

Update 2/22/17:  The Boiler House Poets’ videopoem is once again available to the public. You can find it here:  https://vimeo.com/187387583

“Fifty-four” in Eunoia Review

I am pleased to share the this link:  https://eunoiareview.wordpress.com/2016/06/06/fifty-four/ to my poem “Fifty-four” in Eunoia Review. It is a reprint of the poem which first appeared in Wilderness House Literary Review. Before that, it was a finalist in a Binghamton Poetry Project contest. It was written about me and my friend Angie.

I usually write squealing posts when a poem is accepted, but this was different. It was a very sober time in our lives, as we were dealing with the continuing process of grieving Grandma’s death. By sad coincidence, in January, Eunoia had published “The Last Night“, a poem I wrote about the death of my father-in-law. It felt surreal that they accepted another poem of mine that involves a death at a time when we were again mourning. This feeling has only multiplied as the losses have continued to mount this spring.

I do hope that you will take a moment to visit Eunoia Review and read my work. I would love to hear from you, either through comments here or at Eunoia.

Peace,
Joanne

First poetry submissions of the year

I managed to get my act together to do two poetry submissions today, my first of 2016. I have had a poem published this year, though, which you can find here.

I submitted my poem “Crowning Glory” to Silver Birch Press in response to their call for submissions for the “My Mane Memories” series.  Silver Birch is looking for poetry and short prose pieces about your hair. It was a lot of fun to write! Submissions are open through the end of February, so there is time to participate if you like.

I also submitted four poems to The Tishman Review. I had submitted to them last year and received positive feedback, although not an acceptance. They encouraged me to submit again and I finally have. They read blind, though, so they won’t know that I have submitted again until they have decided whether or not to accept. I’m hoping to have chosen the best matches for their editorial preferences. Unlike most of the journals to which I choose to submit, Tishman has a fee to submit, $3 for 90 day response per set of 3-4 poems, or $6 for a two-week response. However, if they accept your work, you do get paid. I’m figuring that if I do ever get paid, I can consider myself a professional poet, instead of just a published one. 😉

So the wait is on. If I get an acceptance, you will be among the first to know!

Links to Merrill’s poems

I’m re-blogging this post with the links to all Merrill’s poems, because it wound up posting on the draft date rather than current date. Enjoy!

Top of JC's Mind

As promised, here are the links to all of Merrill Oliver Douglas’s poems which have been featured this week by Eunoia Review.

In the Basement
High Tide
Crab Apple
What the Dream Reveals About Her Father
King’s Point, Delray Beach
I Love You Too Much to Wear Those Earrings
March
Cleaning Miller Pond
Song in Gray July
Woodchuck

Way to go, Merrill!

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Links to Merrill’s poems

As promised, here are the links to all of Merrill Oliver Douglas’s poems which have been featured this week by Eunoia Review.

In the Basement
High Tide
Crab Apple
What the Dream Reveals About Her Father
King’s Point, Delray Beach
I Love You Too Much to Wear Those Earrings
March
Cleaning Miller Pond
Song in Gray July
Woodchuck

Way to go, Merrill!

Merrill Oliver Douglas in Eunoia Review

It’s my pleasure to share the links to two poems by my friend Merrill Oliver Douglas in Eunoia Review. They are “In the Basement” and “High Tide“.

Merrill is one of the Bunn Hill Poets; we meet regularly to workshop poems. Both of these poems are ones we workshopped together. It’s great to see them out in the world in their finished form.

Eunoia Review has accepted a group of Merrill’s poems which will be appearing in pairs over the coming days.  I will put out a post with all the links when they become available.

Congratulations, Merrill!

Getting back to work

Today, after doing a bit more promotion for my poem that was published in Eunoia Review yesterday, I finally managed to commandeer a block of time when my brain was functioning in a rested, thoughtful mode to work on some poem revisions.

I am happy to report that I was able to produce final(ish) drafts of three poems, including one that was workshopped during my Mass MoCA/Tupelo adventure.  I had been particularly concerned about returning to that one, but found that my own and other poets’ notes helped me to recapture the discussion. I may impose it on a couple of Boiler House Poets or bring it to one of my local workshop groups before including it in my manuscript (she says, pretending that the manuscript existed other than as a list in her head).

There are more poems to revise from Mass MoCA, as well as first drafts and sketches I wrote there that need more drafts before they can be workshopped, plus other poems that I need to research and write to fill some gaps.  Soon, Sappho’s Circle and the Binghamton Poetry Project will be resuming, with more opportunities to write from prompts, workshop, revise, and submit.

Lots of work ahead.

It felt good to make a tiny dent today, getting back to some semblance of a normal schedule after weeks of holiday-making and busy-ness.

Fingers crossed that everyone stays healthy and I can make steady progress.
*****
This post is part of Linda’s Just Jot It January. Join us!  Start the journey here:  http://lindaghill.com/2016/01/14/just-jot-it-january-14th-motivation/

JJJ 2016

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“The Last Night” in Eunoia Review

I have a new poem published today in Eunoia Review.

It is entitled “The Last Night” and is about witnessing the death of a loved one.  I wanted to warn people who may be in a vulnerable place regarding loss so that they can make an informed choice about whether or not they would like to read it.

I would like to thank Eunoia Review for publishing this poem and invite you all to follow them on WordPress. They publish two new poems or pieces of short fiction daily so you can always find something interesting there.

You can find “The Last Night” here:  https://eunoiareview.wordpress.com/2016/01/13/the-last-night/

Please feel free to comment here or in the comment section on Eunoia Review.

With thanks,
Joanne
*****
This post is part of Linda’s Just Jot It January.  Join us!  http://lindaghill.com/2016/01/13/just-jot-it-january-13th-sacrifice/

JJJ 2016

To find the rules for Just Jot It January, click here.

2015 poems

Along with reading lots of 2016 resolutions, goals, and plans, I’ve read a lot of 2015 summary posts. I even contributed my WordPress summary post.

One of my poet-blogger-friends posted about her poem publications of 2015, which led me to the realization that 2015 is the year that I began to have poems published in competitive venues.

The one poem that I had had accepted in 2014 before joining the Bunn Hill Poets, my primary workshopping group, became available in the spring.  The anthology, Candles of Hope, is a fundraiser for the UK charity Topic of Cancer.  My contribution had been previously published on my blog. Generally, I don’t put poetry on my blog that I hope to submit as most editors won’t accept previously published poems, but this poem had been one I had written in the middle of the night as a personal cry and had never thought there would be an appropriate place for further publication.

With the help of the Bunn Hill Poets, further sessions of the Binghamton Poetry Project, and the new women’s writing workshop Sappho’s Circle, I was able to refine my poems and match them to publications well enough that I got a number of acceptances in 2015, which was very exciting after meeting with a number of rejection notices previously. Well, truth to tell, currently, too. While I do sometimes write about rejection notices, especially if they come with a compliment or encouragement to submit again, there are definitely lots of rejections when submitting for publication. One of the things I love about the stage of life I am in is that I know I can withstand the rejections and keep on trying. I would not have been so resilient in my younger days.

2015 saw my first appearance in a literary journal, Wilderness House Literary Review. My three poems in the fall quarterly are here.

I am pleased to have developed a relationship with Silver Birch Press. Besides their print anthologies and books, they publish series of poems on their blog, submitted to match their given prompts. I had a poem accepted in five series this year:
All About My Name
My Perfect Vacation
My Sweet Word
When I Hear That Song
Me, During the Holidays
All but one of these were written for SBP. You can hear a recording of my favorite of them “Lessons from Mahler” near the end of this video.

Which bring me to another point in my 2015 poetry story, the Mass MocA/Tupelo Press residency/workshop that I attended in November. It was my first ever experience with a poetry conference of any sort and an amazing, exhausting, overwhelming week. I’m going to be learning from and processing it for a long time. As the inaugural group in the partnership between the museum and Tupelo, we bonded with each other, named ourselves the Boiler House Poets after the setting of the video above, and vowed to have a reunion, which I’m pleased to say has been scheduled for fall 2016.  I’m hoping to have the bulk of the poetry collection that is flowing from that experience and my life-long relationship with the North Adams, Massachusetts area finished by then so that the Boiler House Poets can help me refine and strengthen it.

There is one poem that was accepted in 2015 but will be published this year by Eunioa Review. Yes, there will be the usual happy squealing and posting of the link when it becomes available, although it is not a happy poem.

My last sets of poems published last year came through the anthologies of the Binghamton Poetry Project, to which I will be forever grateful for setting me on the path to publication. Our anthologies are not available online, but you can find my contributions here at Top of JC’s Mind, for Spring 2015 and Fall 2015.

Thank you to all my readers who have been encouraging me on the poetry front. 2015 was a breakthrough year for me and I’m excited to see what 2016 will bring.
*****
This (perhaps way too long to be considered jotting) post is part of Linda’s Just Jot It January. Join the fun! Find out how here:  http://lindaghill.com/2016/01/07/just-jot-it-january-7th-robust/

JJJ 2016

 

A calm(er) poet

It’s finally here! The poetry residency/workshop which Tupelo Press is offering at Mass MoCA starts within 24 hours. My regular readers have put up with my freaking out over signing up in the first place and stressing over choosing poems to bring – I’m sparing you all posting the links – but I’m pleased to report that I have calmed down significantly.

I was feeling insecure because I have just begun publishing my work and don’t have a lot of academic background in poetry. I was afraid I’d be in over my head, especially if everyone else is an MFA.

Fortunately, I’ve had lots of help in getting some perspective. My local poet friends have been very supportive and great about offering advice.

I was also lucky to have two good publishing experiences in the last two weeks. First, Eunoia Review accepted one of my poems for publication.

Second, my poem “Lessons from Mahler” was published this week as part of Silver Birch Press’s current series.  While I am always thrilled when one of my poems is published, this poem is special on several counts. I was pleased that I used some of the skills I have been working on for this poem. I first began to write from prompts a couple of years ago when I started participating with the Binghamton Poetry Project.  It is very different from the way I usually work and I have been trying to improve at writing from prompts. When I first read this very specific prompt from Silver Birch, I thought there was no way I would be able to write a poem to fulfill it, but, as I mulled the prompt, an idea came to me.

I wound up writing a haibun, which is a form that I learned about during the summer session of Binghamton Poetry Project.  I also was able to workshop it with my Bunn Hill Poet friends and with Heather, who directs both Binghamton Poetry Project and Sappho’s Circle and then hone it into a poem with which I was really pleased.

When Silver Birch Press accepted it, they sent me a nice compliment in their note to me. I wasn’t sure when exactly my poem would appear, but I was so happy it came out on Monday. The editor found a copy of the recording of the Mahler songs and linked it to the poem, which was so touching to me. I have been happily plastering Facebook, Top of JC’s Mind, and some email inboxes with the link to this poem because I want people to read it and to listen to the recording.

It also makes me feel like I belong in the community of poets. While there are always some newer poets like me represented in Silver Birch Press and other places in which my work has been published, most of the poets have chapbooks or collections to their credit. Being among them gives me hope that I might be able to publish a chapbook in the next few years.

It’s good for poets to dream…