When Devon contacted us with interview questions, it was a pleasant and energizing surprise. Email messages and reminiscences flew among us. It was fun for those of us who are “originals” to fill in some of the history for people who have joined more recently.
It also highlighted the strength of being a collective in that we can retain our core identity while incorporating new members. At this fall’s residency, for the first time, “originals” will be in the minority. I admit to anticipatory sadness at missing seeing so many of my BHPC poet-friends, but I’m excited to add to our ranks as we continue to grow as artists and as community.
I hope you enjoy the article and want to explore more about BHPC. You can check out our inaugural reading in the Boiler House at MASS MoCA and more under the Collaborative Projects tab.
I’m thrilled to share the new issue of Portrait of New England, which includes my poem “State Line” and my very first published interview!
Those of you who are regular readers here at Top of JC’s Mind know that I usually post here about the story behind the writing of my published poems but the featured Q&A handles that, with shout-outs to the Boiler House Poets Collective and MASS MoCA.
Many thanks to editor Matthew Johnson for the honor of being chosen as featured writer for this amazing issue! In addition to sixteen poems, there are pieces of fiction and creative non-fiction to enjoy, all by writers who have a connection to New England. I also love the wintry cover art by Akseli Gallen-Kallela.
Comments are always welcome here. Please also feel free to share the issue with your friends and family. (The link in the first paragraph is permanent, so if you are visiting this post in 2023 or later, you should still have access.)
What are some of your favorite chapbooks? Or what are some chapbooks that have influenced your writing?
Right now, I am excited about Amber Atiya’s chapbook, and I am looking forward to reading Fatima Asghar’s chapbook. I just got a stack of chapbooks from dancing girl press, but I have enjoyed some from Belladonna, Button Poetry, and Carolina Wren.
What might these favorite or influential chapbooks suggest about you and your writing?
I think it’s a good way to explore a suite of poems or an idea, but I also think there’s not the same sort of pressure that foments when you are trying to develop a full-length manuscript. It allows you to zero in on a theme without feeling like it has to be 50-100 pages. I think that’s what I’ve loved in particular about Barbara Jane Reyes’ chapbooks Cherry and For…
This link: http://cac.org/tv goes to a page with a wonderful interview with Richard Rohr, OSF. It is an episode of Oprah Winfrey’s “Super Soul Sunday” series. It is also available on demand on Oprah.com through Feb. 21, but I’m hoping it will be archived on the link above for a longer time period.
I am sorry that I have been away from posting for so many days. A combination of personal and family illness and complications have kept me from writing, but I’m hoping to get a new post up later today or tomorrow. Thanks for your patience.