Candles of Hope

People who often visit Top of JC’s Mind know that I tend to write excited, squealing posts any time a poem gets accepted and again when it is actually published.

This past spring, however, I did not post when the Candles of Hope anthology, to which I am a contributor, became available in print.

It’s complicated.

The subtitle of the anthology is “A Collection of Cancer Poetry” and it was edited by Wendy Lawrence of GWL Publishing to raise funds for Topic of Cancer, a UK charity.

The poem I submitted can be found here.  I had written it late one night and posted it without giving any thought that it might one day be published in print. Wendy had put out a call for poems about cancer for the anthology several months later and my poem was accepted. Last October, when I was writing the note that accompanies the poem in the anthology, I was happy to report that K was in remission.

This spring, as the book was released, we found out that K was having a recurrence.

I couldn’t bring myself to publicly celebrate a publication, knowing that K was facing difficult treatment decisions, especially as the chemo that achieved the remission last year very nearly killed her.

I decided to share the news and the link today because K, while still under treatment, seems to be doing quite well. She is able to be out and about and able to attend some events at church.

I would like to ask everyone who reads this to send prayers, healing thoughts, good energy, or whatever fits with your own belief system for K.

With thanks,
JC

the start of Sappho’s Circle

Today was the first meeting of Sappho’s Circle, a women’s poetry workshop group convened by Heather Dorn, whom I first met through the Binghamton Poetry Project of which she is currently director.

We will study women poets, write from prompts, have sessions where we workshop poems by group members to help them revise, and have publication parties where we choose publications to which to submit our poems and send them off – before we get distracted, chicken out, etc.

I am so excited to have another group, along with my regular workshop group and the Binghamton Poetry Project,  to help me become a stronger poet.  I’m also looking forward to being in another circle of women. I have been privileged to belong to other women’s circles over the decades and always find great support, generosity, and understanding within them.

My heartfelt thanks to Heather who has been such a great help to me as a poet. I’m so looking forward to being a part of Sappho’s Circle through the coming year!

SBP times two

I am pleased to announce that Silver Birch Press has accepted another poem of mine!

Last month, my poem “Becoming Joanne” appeared on the Silver Birch Press blog as part of their “All About My Name” poetry series.

Sometime between now and August 31st, my poem “Sturbridge, Massachusetts” will appear as part of their “My Perfect/Less-than-perfect Vacation” series.

Readers of my blog know that I am not so good with dealing with images. True to form, I have to re-scan and re-submit the photo that will run with the poem. With luck, I’ll get the size and resolution right this time.

When the poem is published, you can be sure I’ll post the link here at Top of JC’s Mind!

Becoming Joanne

As promised, I’m sharing the link to my newest poem publication:  https://silverbirchpress.wordpress.com/2015/06/29/becoming-joanne-by-joanne-corey-all-about-my-name-poetry-series/. It is part of their “All About My Name” poetry series. Please visit – comment and like, if you are so inclined – and consider following the Silver Birch Press blog. They run several new poems a day related to a particular theme, which changes every two months or so. Enjoy!

JC

Progress!

I spent a good chunk of time today copying poetry files from my desktop into google docs, arranging them in a folder, and giving sharing access to my alternate email address.

With my husband’s help, I set up a submission database in google sheets. Better yet, I sent two poetry submissions today, so I was able to put entries into the new database!

Although I still have a lot of packing and such to do in the next two days, I feel better knowing that I will have access to my poetry resources so that I can send submissions while I am away from home.

Poetry over packing!  Priorities!

First time finalist!

I just got an email telling me that one of my poems was a finalist for the Binghamton Poetry Project’s first poetry contest! It didn’t win, but this is the first time I have ever been a finalist. The poem that made the finalist list is “Fifty-four” which is about me and my friend Angie, whom I wrote about yesterday. I’m sorry that I can’t share the poem here, but I’m hoping to submit it to journals, so I have to keep it off the internet.  So, progress…

Fastest response ever

Yesterday, I submitted a poem to the blog of an independent press that features a monthly poetry series on a given theme.  Next month’s theme is “Me, as a child.”  I submitted a poem I had recently written about playing on our school playground. By evening, I had a rejection notice in my inbox, which is far and away the fastest turnaround time I have ever seen. They wanted poems that focus on the individual, whereas my poem focused on children as a group. The positive part of this is that they invited me to send another poem, which feels much better than most of the rejections I’ve received which don’t give any feedback. I don’t know that I will actually submit again for this series; the only poem I have written that deals with my childhood on a personal level would take significant revision to use for this series and I don’t think I have enough brain power to complete it by March 31st.  This does give me confidence, though, to submit to their series in the coming months.

Postscript:  I was entering my tags for this post and was about to type in “submission” as a tag, but, in these days of 50 Shades of Grey, I thought better of it and opted for “publication submission.”  (And, no, I have not read 50 Shades of Grey or seen the movie nor do I plan to do so.)

Another (poetic) step

I just got back from my first ever poetry critique workshop session. And I survived!

The Binghamton Poetry Project summer session leader was kind enough to make inquiries for me about an ongoing poetry workshop with some more established local poets, so that I could get some more directed feedback than our community workshop can provide, in hope that I could accelerate my growth as a poet.

I admit that I was really nervous about showing up tonight, but the other poets were very accepting.  I really wasn’t sure whether or not I would read a poem tonight or just listen and get an idea of how the group worked, but everyone was so encouraging that I did pull out copies of the poem that has recently been accepted for publication to share.  I was grateful that the feedback was mostly positive, although I have a few revisions to consider. Many poets say that poems are never really finished and it is common for poems to be published in several different iterations over the course of years.

So, now, I will have a regular group to attend every two weeks for feedback on my poems and to learn from all the other poets as they present their works in progress and respond to comments.

I feel like a poet….

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