Hair – and a poem – and a prompt

One of the pandemic topics that has gotten a surprising amount of media time here in the United States is what people are doing with their hair without having access to hair salons. Celebrities and politicians face scrutiny if they appear well-coiffed. Did they break the rules and call in a professional? Are they sheltering in place with someone who can manage to trim hair? Did they manage to give themselves a haircut? Are they wearing a stylish headband only to keep their bangs from falling into their eyes?

There are also a lot of stories of hairdressers delivering hair color to clients and giving them instructions on how to apply it – from at least six feet (two meters) away, of course.

Some people, though, are letting their hair grow naturally, revealing their hair color which they themselves may not have seen in decades.

Maybe a few will embrace the natural look. That has always been my choice.

Back in 2016, Silver Birch Press was doing a series called “My Mane Memories” with poets submitting work about their hair. One of the poems they chose was mine: “Crowning Glory” which I will also copy below.

Crowning Glory
by Joanne Corey

“The silver-haired head is a crown of glory…” Proverbs 16:31*

Friends recognize me
in a crowded theater
down the street
across the restaurant
among the congregation

Strangers comment
how beautiful
how they wish
theirs looked the same

I smile
remember the first silver
that appeared
among the brown
before I was in high school
multiplied after my daughters were born
until at fifty just a bit
of brown was left

Then I let it grow
past my shoulders
down my back
in silver waves
finally

*Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

By the way, Silver Birch Press is offering a free kindle version of their May poetry anthology from May first through fifth. Details here:  https://silverbirchpress.wordpress.com/2020/05/01/free-kindle-version-of-may-poetry-anthology-5-1-5-5-2020/

In this time of pandemic, they have also revived their themed series on their blog. Right now, they are soliciting poems/short prose on wearing a mask:  https://silverbirchpress.wordpress.com/2020/05/01/call-for-submissions-wearing-a-mask-poetry-prose-series/

Welcome back, Silver Birch Press!

 

 

SoCS: Crowning Glory

For most of my life, my hair was, well, just my hair. Not much of a topic of discussion. It was brown and wavy and thick and heavy and a bit cowlick-y.

Of course, there was always discussion with my hairdresser, because that is their business. She was not a fan of my decision to let my hair go grey naturally. “Men with graying temples look distinguished, but women look old.” This was not helped by the fact that I started to have stray silver strands as a teen, with a lot of acceleration in my thirties.

When I was mostly silver, I decided to let my hair grow longer. The natural thinning that happens with the change in hair color actually worked to my advantage, because I could let my silver hair grow longer without having it get overly bushy, which it did when it was mostly brown.

What I hadn’t expected was that my long, silver waves would become such a topic of discussion. Friends, acquaintances, even complete strangers often comment on my hair. They tell me it is beautiful and that if their hair looked like mine, they would stop coloring it. I tell them they should try and see, as some don’t really know what their hair looks like naturally.

I even wound up writing a poem about my hair when Silver Birch Press did a series called My MANE Memories. You can find the poem, entitled “Crowning Glory” here. My husband took the photo that accompanies the poem. I liked it so much that I started using it as my gravatar.

So, maybe my hair does make me look older.

I prefer to think it makes me look more beautiful.

At least, I have lots of people tell me so….
*****
Linda’s prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday this week is “hair.” Join us! Find out how here:  https://lindaghill.com/2017/02/03/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-feb-417/

 

New Year’s Eve poem

Last year, Silver Birch Press published my poem “Eastern Standard” as part of their “Me, during the Holidays” series. https://silverbirchpress.wordpress.com/2015/12/31/eastern-standard-poem-by-joanne-corey-me-during-the-holidays-poetry-and-prose-series/ .

I am pleased to share the poem here today. Wishing everyone a new year filled with peace and joy!

JC

Corey

Eastern Standard
by Joanne Corey

As the third millennium turned,
our family toasted with sparkling cider
at midnight Greenwich Mean Time,
seven in the evening for us,
in deference to daughters’ bedtimes.

With our children grown, the two
of us honor that tradition,
clink glasses, savor the past,
sip, hope for the future,
in evening dark as midnight.

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

Poem: Making Aunt Gert’s Indian Pudding

I have not (yet) fallen off the face of the earth.

Life is increasingly complicated, so I haven’t been able to post much lately.

It’s so complicated that I forgot to post for National Indian Pudding Day yesterday! Here I am belated sharing an Indian Pudding blog post from last year. Enjoy!

Top of JC's Mind

I am very pleased to announce that I have another poem published today!  The blog of Silver Birch Press has published “Making Aunt Gert’s Indian Pudding” as part of their “My Sweet Word” series. You can find it here: https://silverbirchpress.wordpress.com/2015/10/12/making-aunt-gerts-indian-pudding-poem-by-joanne-corey-my-sweet-word-series/

Enjoy!

Update:  The recipe is now available here:  https://topofjcsmind.wordpress.com/2015/10/13/indian-pudding-recipe/

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Free Kindle Version of My Chicago novel to celebrate the Windy City’s 179th birthday

Melanie Villines, editor of Silver Birch Press, is making the Kindle version of her novel Windy City Sinners available FREE this weekend. Check it out!

Poem: Crowning Glory

I’m pleased to announce that Silver Birch Press has published my poem “Crowning Glory” as part of their MY MANE MEMORIES series.

The link is here:  https://silverbirchpress.wordpress.com/2016/02/20/crowning-glory-poem-by-joanne-corey-my-mane-memories-poetry-and-prose-series/

Besides the poem, you can enjoy a photo of me taken this month in our yard, featuring my “mane”!

Enjoy!  Feel free to comment here, at Silver Birch Press, or on Facebook.

PS  I managed to copy the photo! But please read the poem at Silver Birch Press, too.

PPS  I already did a post for Linda’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday, but this post qualifies, too, so I am adding the pingback here:  http://lindaghill.com/2016/02/19/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-feb-2016/

News from submissions

On Monday, I posted about putting in my first poetry submissions of 2016 and promised that you would be among the first to know if I got an acceptance.

I am pleased to announce that Silver Birch Press has accepted my poem “Crowning Glory” as part of their upcoming “My Mane Memories” series.

Poet-friends, submissions are open through Feb. 29. The call for submissions is here. Unlike many publishers, Silver Birch Press accepts previously published work. Short prose (up to 300 words) is also part of the series.

I will post the link here at Top of JC’s Mind when my poem appears. You’ll also be treated to a new photo featuring my silver mane!

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!

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

 

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