Hello to you in this bright, shiny new year, dear Readers!

Here I am to share news and reflections about books—the making and reading and reviewing of books.

Several of the posts I offered last year focused on the happiness surrounding the publication of individual poems, and many of those publications were of poems within my second collection, The Long Now Conditions Permit, which was a 2022 finalist for the Test Site Poetry Series. To learn where the poems appear or are forthcoming, visit my website’s Poet page and/or take a spin through last year’s posts: October 31, 2022; August 25, 2022; June 15, 2022; May 29, 2022; April 28, 2022; February 5, 2022.

In this first post of 2023, allow me to share with you two publications which closed out 2022, wrapping the year up with a lovely loveliness. First up, The Capilano Review 50th Anniversary three-volume glossary. My writing appears in volume three under S for Space.

Space & the Unworded within (My) Poems, my hybrid writing—part poem, part poetics essay, part treatise, part je ne sais quois—on how space is enacted within my poems appears in Issue 3.48 (Fall 2022) of The Capilano Review 50th Anniversary three-volume glossary. Below, the treatise’s opening pages.

Allow me to share a bit about how this writing came into being. In July 2020, I drafted a poem-a-day in community. A lifeline during the pandemic! As per my usual, many of those poems were showing up inhabiting the space of the page differently from the majority of other poems in a columnar form which hugged the left margin. About midway through, “space” came to the attention of someone else in the group and that poet inquired:

“I am wondering about spacing in the poetry. I see a lot of poems with seemingly arbitrary spacing. If the poet has a reason to use it, it often escapes me. But I see it a lot, so I think I’m missing some important points.”

Since as far as I could tell, I was the only one using the space of the page in the group, I took these questions as a sort of prompt and wrote the beginnings of a treatise on how I conceive of and the enact space on the page, which I offered to the community:

“Dear Companion Poetic Line-breakers & Space-makers,

I’ve made some notes and offer you a nut-graph of sorts on the thinking that arises regarding space, spacing, etc.” 

Positive feedback for what I wrote encouraged me to develop the treatise, and to see if I could get it published. I had it in mind for a call at The Capilano Review. While those lovely editors did not think it was a fit for that call, they did think it was a fit for the three-volume experimental glossary that they were planning to celebrate the 50th anniversary of The Capilano Review in 2022. My treatise was a non-brainer fit in the third volume under the letter S for space. I was thrilled! Still am! The writing of the treatise has been a gift and a teacher. It was sort of magical how it all came to be, and I’m grateful for that poet’s initial questions which got me space-travelling, and also to those who read the piece and offered encouragement. Questions and encouragement: a delicious recipe for my making and writing!

There is more! My poetics treatise was inspiration for the event: A Partly Common Language: Roundtable on the Poetics Essay, which the smart, thoughtful people at The Capilano Review organized to launch Issue 3.48 (Fall 2022).

Above, my typical thinking gesture in freeze-frame. To hear me read from my treatise on space and the entire November 17 roundtable, which includes the incomparable Nicole Brossard, along with Stephen Collis, Larissa Lai, Jami Macarty, and D.S. Marriott, go to The Capilano Review YouTube channel and look for A Partly Common Language: Roundtable on the Poetics Essay (or click on the title).


The last publication of 2022 was of my poem “The Fourth Leaf,” a poem from The Long Now Conditions Permit, which appeared in Redivider 19.2. Visit the Redivider website to read the entire poem.

I have long-admired Redivider, so it was especially gratifying for me that the editors gave a home to one of my poems. And now, I include, and am included in, the Redivider community.

Community, expanding concentric outward circles was a theme for and a gift of 2022. I am grateful to my poems for connecting me anew to communities and editors who have supported my writing from early on, and also with new communities. All in all it was a terrifically exciting year for this poet!


Some 2022 Year-End Tallies:

Chances, Publications, and Rejections. As I shared above, twenty-three poems were accepted for publication. Add to that one poetics essay for twenty-four acceptances. Of those, sixteen poems and one essay were published in 2022. The additional seven poems are forthcoming this year—something to look forward to in 2023! I also await decisions on fifteen more chances to be accepted for publication that are still alive.

2022 was the best year ever for me/my writing on the publishing of individual poems front. How do I account for that? Simple. I sent my writing out for consideration more than I ever have before. I took about 130 chances to get published individual poems, a fourth chapbook, a second book, and to be awarded grants or residencies. Enough to receive 138 rejections, though some of those come from the chances I took in 2021. That is how! And, I joined a group of women writers who strive for 100 rejections in the year. They were my spur and support. The exercise was immunity building. Also, community building.

Book tallies. #mypersonalBigRead2022. Started in 2018, last year was my fifth year of reading how much I can read. How much did I read in 2022? 327 volumes, comprised of:      

175: Full-length collections of poetry
51: Chapbooks (poetry & nonfiction)
69: Journals, Magazines (literary, etc.)
32: Fiction, Nonfiction, Memoir
Total = 327 individual volumes in 2022!

Last year, I concentrated on reading a many-year backlog of literary journals and magazines—some from the 1990s! Some of the older magazines were like time capsules, allowing me to gain perspective on how both certain magazines used to be as well as how poetry and fiction used to be. That was fun! I made many new-old discoveries, read some writers’ beginnings, and went down some rabbit holes. I learned a ton and plumped up my respect and appreciation for literary magazines, particularly Beloit Poetry Journal, Denver Quarterly, Fence, and Vallum.

Onward to my sixth year of reading! I am 32 books into my #mypersonalBigRead2023. Below, the previous five years’ tallies of 1,512 books, so you can take a look:

Book tallies. Reviews. I offered reviews to 20 books in 2022. Mostly volumes of poetry inspired me to write something about my experience of reading them. Some full-length collections, some chapbooks, some hybrid books. I am particularly chuffed about the following reviews:

Why am I chuffed? I have the feeling of getting close to what I most wanted to say about these books in these longer-form reviews. You are most cordially invited to take a look. The links to all of the reviews I offered last year are available on this website; toggle to my site’s Poet page, where you will find the entire list of reviews.


The Pluses!

+ Thank you bows (continuous!) to you, dear reader, for the gift of your attention!

+ Thank you bows to my community of women/women-identified writers for their generous, loving support, inspiration, and encouragement.

+ Thank you bows to Editorial Director Matea Kulić, Literary Editor Deanna Fong, and Art Editor Jacquelyn Zong-Li Ross at The Capilano Review for giving attention and page-space to my poetics treatise-essay “Space & the Unworded in (My) Poems” and for their continuous support of my writing.

+ Thank you bows to good people at Redivider for their support of my writing/making practice and for giving a home to “The Fourth Leaf.”

+ I bow to the existence of The Capilano Review and Redivider, where I find community.

+ I bow to the editors, who supported my reviews and the publications where they were published: Denise Hill at NewPages; Jacquelyn Zong-Li Ross at The Capilano Review; Manahil Bandukwala at Canthius; James M. Fisher at The Miramachi Reader.

+ I bow to each and every author of each and every poem and story I read in 2022! Thank you for your company!

+ Thank you bows (continuous!) to my publisher Stephanie G’Schwind, and Mountain West Poetry Series editors Donald Revell and Kazim Ali, et al interns at the Center for Literary Publishing (CLP) for making The Minuses (2020) with me.

+ Thank you bows (continuous!) to Beth Svinarich et al at University Press of Colorado for their beautiful support to me and The Minuses.

+ Thank you bows (continuous!) to monsoon storm chaser and marvelous professional photographer, Liz Kemp whose monsoon photograph storms the cover of The Minuses.

+ Thank you bows to Nomados Literary Publishers, Meredith and Peter Quartermain for making my chapbook Instinctive Acts with me.

+ Thank you bows to Vallum Chapbook Series and editors Leigh Kotsilidis and Eleni Zisimatos for making my chapbook Mind of Spring with me.

+ Thank you bows to Finishing Line Press and editors Leah Maines and Christen Kinkaid for making my chapbook Landscape of The Wait with me.

+ Thank you bows (continuous!) to Vincent K. Wong for his friendship, creative collaboration, and for taking my author photos.

+ This bears repeating: Thank you bows (continuous!) to you, dear reader, for the gift of your attention! If you have any questions or comments, write me! I would love to hear from you!


Hello from late October, dear Readers!

I am here with you to share good news.

The good people at Vallum Magazine have nominated my poem “Is Occurring” for a best-of-the-small-presses Pushcart Prize! Whoo Hoo! This is a precious acknowledgement and I am honored that the editors at Vallum put forth my poem. I wrote about Vallum Magazine‘s good people and just how very supportive of me and my writing they have been in May. To read about the mutually appreciative and supportive relationships between a poet and editors who believe in and support her writing— the stuff of community—take a peek at my celebration of Vallum Magazine!

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Heron Tree banner & logo w/ my poem’s title

I am also here with you to announce the publication of two of my poems and to invite you to visit with and read them.

“Snow-Image,” created from “The Snow-Image: A Childish Miracle” in The Snow-Image, and Other Twice-Told Tales, by Nathaniel Hawthorne (1852) was published in Heron Tree, an online poetry journal, on September 14, 2022.

sections 1. & 2. of “Snow-Image”

What do I mean by “created from”? I mean the poem was created by a process of highlighting some words—a sort of erasure—I was drawn to on each page of Hawthorne’s short story, removing the words from their original context to reveal new word combinations and meaning. This process, in effect, rendered all other words to the background, as if they had been erased. Sometimes that procedure would leave but two words on a page. For example, below are sections 6. and 7. (of the 22-sections) within the poem “Snow-Image.”

sections 6. & 7. of “Snow-Image”

Each section refers to a page within the 22-page story. The choice to have sections and then to have each one correspond to a page of the story emerged after the poem was composed and I began thinking through how it would live on the page. I talk more about the poem’s composition process in an accompaniment to the poem. Here is the beginning of the statement…

While making this poem, I became lost in the best of ways—intuitively, creatively—within the compositional process. Erasures are fun! Their compositional process is akin to a treasure hunt for words. I have wanted to answer a Heron Tree call for erasure poems for a while and hurrah “Snow-Image”—made and sent for consideration on January 15, 2022, accepted for publication 16 days later (whoo hoo that near-to-instant gratification!)—is now a poem in Heron Tree Volume 9, along with other poems created from the short stories of Nathaniel Hawthorne, Letters of a Radio-Engineer to His Son, by John Mills, and other pre-1927 materials, all now in the public domain. Among the gifts that accompany the publication of “Snow-Image” is that I share space in Heron Tree Volume 9 with B. J. Buckley and Iris Dunkle, beautiful poets and good pals. B. J. Buckley created her poem “Imagine a Grand Picnic” from John Mills’ Letters of a Radio-Engineer to His Son (1922); Iris Jamahl Dunkle created her poem “Earthquake” from The Valley of the Moon by Jack London (1913).

Read my poem “Snow-Image” created from “The Snow-Image: A Childish Miracle” in The Snow-Image, and Other Twice-Told Tales by Nathaniel Hawthorne (1852), along with the composition process note in Heron Tree Volume 9.

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Concision Poetry Journal cover art: excerpt of “Another World,” by Deborah Keenan

There is more! It is true, I am fortunate that editors recognize my writing by publishing it. Another poem from my manuscript, The Long Now Conditions Permit, To be for infers” appears in the Fall 2022 of Concision Poetry Journal Issue 2.3. Concision is also an online poetry journal. Accompanying my and the other poems is cover art by Deborah Keenan. See an upper portion of the collage, “Another World” above and a lower portion below.

Meow! I made “To be for infers” via a similar procedure of highlighting individual words and language formulations that came to my attention, but in this poem’s case, the source material was my own writing. As I recall, I started with a three-page block of text. A chunk! Slowly as I read, individual words and language formulations called themselves to the foreground, while simultaneously other words were relegated to the background, where they faded away.

The opening of To be for infers”

The making of To be for infers” was a process more engrossing, involved, and time-consuming than that which brought to life “Snow-Image.” I think that is owed to a few reasons. I was drawing from my own writing. There is just some other attention and effort that requires of me. Also, I was taking the time to read in order to discover what possibilities were contained within the text block while also culling word bits and language pieces that called themselves to the foreground of my attention. Plus, I was composing as I read along and made selections; each selection associated with the one previous, and therefore holding the whole in my mind as I went along. Intense, absorbing fun! Eventually, the bits and pieces were assembled, pretty much in order of their discovery in the text block on fresh, spacious pages. Some words were added, and of course the poem went through a few rounds of tweaks. Those tweaks were mostly to the poem’s middle; the beginning and ending of the poem stayed as is.

two lines from To be for infers”

What I share with you on process in the note above, adds to the brief reflection accompanying the poem in Concision Poetry Journal. Along with the reflection on the poem and the poem, I also offer a list of five books that occupied my attention during the last few months. A bonus to the publication of To be for infers” is to join and be joined by the poems by women writers from my community: Deborah Bernhardt, Joanna Furhman, and Rachel Mortiz.

This is the second time this year, one of my poems has been published in Concision Poetry Journal. “Before, a Study of Suspension” appears in Issue 2.2, Summer 2022. I wrote about that appearance in my June sharing. Through these two appearances, I have had the chance to get to know Haley Lasché, Editor. I really like her; she is kind, generous, and responsive. I am thrilled to have joined the Concision Poetry Journal community and to be in conversation with Haley Lasché.

Community is everything! I am thrilled we are in one together, dear Reader! Now that I am nearing the close of this post, I can share a reflection. I come to these posts knowing I want to share with you news and events arising in my writing life, but I allow how that sharing unfolds to emerge spontaneously as I write. That way we meet at discovery and surprise. One of the surprises for me in this sharing is the connections between the compositional processes of the two poems “Snow-Image” and “To be for infers,” and now, this post. I did not plan that or this; it occurred and I went with it. That makes me so happy! That. The discovery in real time of connections between poems and approaches, and between writer and reader—me and you. Such gratitude abounds!

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The Pluses!

+ Thank you bows (continuous!) to you, dear reader, for the gift of your attention!

+ Thank you bows to my community of women/women-identified writers for their generous, loving support, inspiration, and encouragement.

+ Thank you bows to the good people at Vallum Magazine for nominating “Is Occurring” for a Pushcart Prize and for their continuous support of my poems.

+ Thank you bows to Chris Campolo and Rebecca Resinski, the founders of Heron Tree for their support of my writing/making practice and for giving “Snow-Image” a home roost.

+ Thank you bows to Haley Lasché, Editor of Concision Poetry Journal for her continuing support of my writing and for giving “To be for infers” a concise home.

+ I bow to the existence of Vallum Magazine, Heron Tree, and Concision Poetry Journal, where I find community.

+ Thank you bows (continuous!) to my publisher Stephanie G’Schwind, and Mountain West Poetry Series editors Donald Revell and Kazim Ali, et al interns at the Center for Literary Publishing (CLP) for making The Minuses (2020) with me.

+ Thank you bows (continuous!) to Beth Svinarich et al at University Press of Colorado for their beautiful support to me and The Minuses.

+ Thank you bows (continuous!) to monsoon storm chaser and marvelous professional photographer, Liz Kemp whose monsoon photograph storms the cover of The Minuses.

+ Thank you bows to Nomados Literary Publishers, Meredith and Peter Quartermain for making my chapbook Instinctive Acts with me.

+ Thank you bows to Vallum Chapbook Series and editors Leigh Kotsilidis and Eleni Zisimatos for making my chapbook Mind of Spring with me.

+ Thank you bows to Finishing Line Press and editors Leah Maines and Christen Kinkaid for making my chapbook Landscape of The Wait with me.

+ Thank you bows (continuous!) to Vincent K. Wong for his friendship, creative collaboration, and for taking my author photos.

+ This bears repeating: Thank you bows (continuous!) to you, dear reader, for the gift of your attention! If you have any questions or comments, write me! I would love to hear from you!

++ The Minuses ++

Dear Reader, I want you to meet some of the wonderful people who, along with you, are the pluses, congregating around The Minuses.

March 5-7: The Minuses debuted at the Association of Writers & Writing Program (AWP) conference, which took place in San Antonio, Texas.

The Center for Liteary Publishing booth and table at AWP; see The Minuses at table center!

There, publisher Stephanie G’Schwind hosted me for a book signing at the Center for Literary Publishing booth. In the photo above: the Center for Literary Publishing booth all set up and ready for the conference. That’s The Minuses centered on the table! Below, that’s the lovely intern (name lost in the shuffle, on left) with publisher, Stephanie G’Schwind (right).

Lovely helpful intern (left) with my publisher, Stephanie G’Schwind

At the beginning of March were early days and much about Covid-19 was still unfolding. There had been much debate about whether or not to cancel the AWP conference. When the conference went ahead, thousands of registrants cancelled their attendance. Imagine a poet’s heart. A poet has waited for years to find a publisher for her book, and that’s finally happened, only the world is cancelling. Of course, my poet’s heart is only part of the equation. Many others had a change of heart, deciding that conference attendance was too risky. As I assessed the risk for myself, my gut guided me that it was safe to go. So I did! Others join me there…

I’m glad I went to the conference. Lovely people were seen and communed with (picture above): Danielle Hanson, James Arthur, John Barger, Trish Hopkinson in a Plath (!) T-shirt, Beth Ann Fennelly, Stephanie G’Schwind, Rusty Morrison, Andrea, Jim Johnstone (w/John Barger), Kenneth Pobo, Adrienne Drobnies, and Sean Singer. Special others (not pictured): Emily Perez, Sara Meeks, Desirée Alvarez, Aaron Graham… et al. Typing their names, remembering them fills my heart again with the pleasure of their company. Plus, my publisher sold all the books she brought, which I happily signed. Smiles all around.

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March 22: The celebratory reading of The Minuses in Tucson, Arizona was planned. Joining me: long-time poet friend, Eleanor Kedney, whose poetry collection Between the Earth and Sky was released in early March. With a lovely venue booked, invitations to 125 people sent, and cupcakes ordered, Eleanor and I were excited. So was Covid-19; cases were on the rise. So to be sensitive to our guests’ concerns and still hold our event, we decided to move the reading online to Blackboard, a platform available through Simon Fraser University. This was before Zoom!

The covers: Between Earth and the Sky & The Minuses

My generous partner, John Welch, set up the event and hosted me, Eleanor, and 50 supportive souls who showed up for us and our poems. The event came off with ease and joy. Plus, our gathering together let me know that my community was still there, congregating around me and my poems.

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+ Thank you bows to Stephanie G’Schwind and each of the interns at the Center for Literary Publishing (CLP) booth at AWP for making The Minuses available and for your support to me during the conference.

+ Thank you bows to everyone who visited me at the CLP booth, who bestowed the best of all book-buying support, and who shared conversation and meals with me at the conference!

+ Thank you bows to John Welch for setting up and hosting the March 22 reading!

+ Thank you bows to Eleanor Kedney for reading with me!

+ Thank you bows to the 50 souls who attended the March 22 reading!

+ Thank you bows to you, dear reader, for the gift of your attention!

The Minuses

Allow me to share with you some of the words that have congregated around The Minuses during the intervening months since my last post.

Some of those words took air in interviews; interviews, those blessed conversations—

February 13: With Susan Gillis on her blogspot, Concrete & River, Susan and I talk about the forces that bring us to poetry and the movement that combines ecological and feminist concerns—ecofeminism.

Of the ignitions to poetry, I talk about a begining bird, the color yellow, and the first formerly memorized poem of my life, which is from Robert Louis Stevenson’s A Child’s Garden of Verses. Here’s an excerpt of “Time to Rise”:

           A birdie with a yellow bill
           Hopped upon the window sill.
           Cocked his shiny eye and said :
          ‘Ain’t you ’shamed, you sleepy-head ?’

Birds Don’t Shame is the title of Susan’s and my conversation; visit Concrete & River to read more about why I don’t think so.

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February 20: With Jess Turner, Managing Editor of Colorado Review, at the Center for Literary Publishing blog, where Jess casts expansive inquiry, and I make my answers in the now of our conversation.

Perhaps because my logic is circular, Jess gave our conversation the title: “She acknowledges the circle. / There is no obvious beginning,” taking two lines from the poem,”The Calling” in The Minuses. Here’s the poem in its entirety:

The Calling

                        of something within

Rather than investigate meaning

                        or make a world of thought

                        she acknowledges the tendency

                        of a broken line to curve.

She acknowledges the circle.

There is no obvious beginning.

The circle navigated by coordinates

                        polar, parametric, Cartesian.

Each point a locus of all points

                        holds to itself.

She edges the circumference

                                    leans far out from the edge

                        to fulfill her attraction

                        to what withdraws.

The height a bird flies depends on the bird.

A conversation is circular; take in Jess’s and mine: “She acknowledges the circle. / There is no obvious beginning,”

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Thank you bows to Susan Gillis and Jess Turner for the gift of conversation!

Thank you bows to you, dear reader, for the gift of your attention!

! Books !

It is the Muses

Who have caused me
to be honored: they 
taught me their craft


The Cover

First the possessive. My books. The Minuses, a full-length collection forthcoming (Feb 2020) in the Mountain West Poetry Series published by the Center for Literary Publishing joins my three chapbooks, Instinctive Acts, Mind of Spring, and Landscape of The Wait.

Don Revell and I would very much like to publish your manuscript as the spring 2020 MWPS title if it’s still available… 

-Stephanie G’Schwind

I received the offer to publish on Labor Day, September 2 at 4:29 PM (PST). I had spent the entire day laboring over a new version of the manuscript, inputting edits and so on. At five O’clock I saved and closed the file, then checked email. A half hour earlier, Stephanie G’Schwind, director of the Center for Literary Publishing wrote to me: Don Revell and I would very much like to publish your manuscript as the spring 2020 MWPS title if it’s still available…

What to say. This. I’m over Saturn’s moon. Over Jupiter’s moons.

That plus Laura Linney’s character Sarah in Love Actually when Karl is going to stay. Like that.Love Actually




The autumn months were a happy flurry of editing, proofing, selecting the cover, and various other things that go into making a book a book. Tuesday, December 17 at 2:25 PM (MST) I signed off on The Minuses. The book is scheduled to be out for Valentine’s Day. Can you think of better sandwich for a poet than one made between Labor and Love? More and more soon, soon…

After I signed off, I became aware of how mentally fatigued I was. The months of proofreading and decision-making took a toll. When I looked within for words and that feeling I have for them–a love affair–it was absent. Where was it? Tired!

But nothing a ritual fire couldn’t clear!

I gathered all of the hardcopy (used on both sides) versions of the manuscript I could find and burned them! As I sat in the heat of the fire I chanted gratitude to the poems that are The Minuses and welcomed those that may come:

if you will come 

I shall put out 
fresh pillows for 
you to rest on



Second books written by others. As in 2018, this year I intended to read a book a day. With travel and the vicissitudes of life that became read as much as I can when I can.

Above some of the books that I look up to from 2019…

I resolved to start this reading practice (at the close of 2017), after becoming acutely aware of the sky scrapers of books surrounding my desk. I seemed to be coveting books, but not reading them–at least not at the rate I was buying them. Simultaneous to this awareness was the co-arising of anxiety at how many books there were towering, looming. After the overwhelm subsided, I decided to start reading… just to see what I could do. Et voila!

From this reading practice, I have learned about:

  • Attention–what keeps mine
  • Comprehension–it’s dependent on attention
  • Taste–how not to judge myself for what I like or don’t
  • Company–what I read for
  • Inspiration–o, to read what hurries me to the page

Above some more of the books that I look up to from  2019


[ the Results! ] #mypersonalBigRead2019       

166: Full-length collections of poetry
64: Chapbooks (poetry & nonfiction)
51: Journals
22: Fiction, Nonfiction, Memoir
Total = 303 individual volumes in 2019!

[ last year’s Results! ] #mypersonalBigRead2018       

205: Full-length collections of poetry
67: Chapbooks (poetry & nonfiction)
21: Journals
7: Fiction, Nonfiction, Memoir
Total = 300 individual volumes in 2018!

Notably, I read more than twice the number of journals, more than three times the fiction, nonfiction, memoir, and three more titles in 2019. The stacks in all categories continue to melt and so does the anxiety and overwhelm. Replacing them: confidence and the knowledge gained from the experience of this deep reading practice. There are still some hours left in 2019. To books!






& Making Space (2)

Hello, dear reader! As 2019’s 11th month nears end, I’m thinking about space—being made for my poems and me—and those who generously made it .

I’ve offered this before and I’ll offer it again:                                                                                  Making space for makers is a community-minded, inclusive action of high order!

Gratitude all around to those generous souls who have made space for my poems and me the months of this year in their readings series, at their microphones, around their fires, in their ears, in their eyes, in their bookshelves, in their imaginations, in their conversations, in their publications…

Come with me on this tour of gratitude for makers making spaces for me, my poems…

In reading series–

Most of the readings I offered and participated in this year took place in October and November, and of those, two took place on islands.

First island hop, Gabriola Island 

Macarty-Feuchtwanger E-Flyer (1)

Nice poster! Right? Poetry Gabriola asked if they could use the cover image, taken by Vincent Wong, and the title of my 2018 chapbook Instinctive Acts for the poster. How could I refuse?

Hosted by Poetry Gabriola at the Roxy on Friday, October 4, 2019 at 7:30 p.m., Lawrence Feuchtwanger, a terrific poet, former student, and new resident of Gabriola Island opened our joint reading to a beautiful poetry audience of ~40 souls with attentive ears and big hearts. Lawrence read from his collection Refugee Song  (Signature Editons, 2014) and from newer work. For my part of the evening, I read poems from Landscape of The Wait and Instinctive Acts, followed by a handful of poems from The Minuses. I loved how Lawrence’s and my poems conferred, sometimes joining , sometimes diverging—and it was heart-gratifying to be in conversation with Lawrence and his poems again.

Lawrence, I hasten to add, not only invited and hosted me for the Poetry Gabriola reading, he and Deb, his partner, also put me up at their marvelous wood-frame house in the woods. O, the quiet! The fire place! The bright, open space where I offered the workshop the next day was absolutely perfect for our conversation about radiances—the brilliances of light, heat, emotion, etc.—within poems. Lawrence even baked gluten-free brownies to provide nourishment to me and workshop participants. I returned to Vancouver from my 24-hours on Gabriola, feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.

Thank you Lawrence, Deb, The Poetry Gabriola Society, The Roxy, and the lovely, welcoming residents of Gabriola Island for hosting me!

Second island hop, Orcas Island

Macarty Babcock Salon Series 20191116

This warm and warming poster is designed by Jill McCabe Johnson. As well as being a graphic designer, Jill is also a terrific poet (we’re Finishing Line Press sisters), an editor, and with her good partner Charles, an innkeeper of Kangaroo House B&B.

Hosted by Artsmith on Saturday, November 16, 2019 at 7:00 p.m., Debra Babcock opened the salon by reading two excerpts from her memoir-in-process, focusing on her relationship with her mother, a polio survivor and hearty soul. I read poems from Landscape of The Wait and Instinctive Acts, followed by a handful of poems from The Minuses. Surrounding Debra, me, and our words were the warmth and light from the fire, and the open and welcoming attention of listeners. Following our readings, the audience joined us in a special conversation that got at the core of writing impulses, subjects (especially related to family), and connections between writing, ecology, and spirituality. Then, we supped on delicious potluck fare and continued our delving conversations.

Not only did Jill and Charles host me for the salon series reading and potluck, they hosted me and John for two nights in their B&B, Kangaroo House. We were very well taken care of; these two whip up three-course breakfasts! We loved the quiet, the hottub soak in the rain, and the king-sized bed. We returned to Vancouver with our hearts filled. Images: John R. Welch

Thank you Jill, Charles, Artsmith, Kangaroo House, Debra, and the salon’s generous audience for sharing word-love with me! Images: John R. Welch

In celebrations of diversity and language–

with Tasai Collective & Soramaru Takayama

Hosted by Tasai on Saturday, July 20, 2019 from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. at Vancouver Art Gallery,  the second annual perfomance of the poem “Tower of Babel” by Soramaru Takayama took place. Once again this year, it was my honor to participate in this powerful, heart-expanding poetry reading and performance that seeks to honor diversity in a city of immigrants who live on the unceded lands of First Nations peoples. I gave my voice in American English to the poem, just as the speakers of 15 other languages gave their voices and first languages to celebrate diversity in Vancouver on a hot summer’s day.

Thank you bows to gracious hosts: Tasai Collective, Steve Frost, Yurie Hoyoyon, Soramaru Takayama, Vancouver Art Gallery, and the people of Vancouver who joined their voices with ours! Images: John R. Welch

with Nomados Literary Publishers, Meredith Quartermain, & Peter Quartermain

Hosted by Nomados Literary Publishers, Meredith Quartermain, and Peter Quartermain at People’s Co-op Bookstore on November 14, 2019 at 7:30 p.m., a community of writers and readers gathered around Meredith and Peter Quartermain and their 51-title publishing endeavor, Nomados Literary Publishers. The evening opened with a slide show, featuring the Nomados’ titles’ covers, most authors, the printers, the publishers, and everyone else who contributes to the success of the chapbook series, including Rolf Maurer, who runs People’s Co-op Bookstore, where the readings by Nomados authors typically take place. After the slideshow, Meredith Quartermain offered her humble remarks, followed by those of humourously askew Peter Quartermain. Then, Judith Penner, Jacqueline Turner and I, offered a pop-up panel on nomadism. Images: Meredith Quartermain

My comments focused on the flâneuse, walking in the poems of Instinctive Acts, my chapbook published by Nomados (November 2018). This walker is a woman, considering home, violence, and belonging in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. Flâneur, from the French, meaning “stroller,” “lounger,” “saunterer,” or “loafer” (Merriam Webster), has long been seen as a man’s role…, but what, I asked in my five-minute comments, about the transgressive work of the flâneuse? She is every bit the wanderer, wondering. “Sometimes she would like to be a settler, but curiosity, grief, and disaffection forbid it” (Deborah Levy, Swallowing Geography, Penguin, 2019).

Thank you to Meredith, Peter, Nomados Literary Publishers, my press colleagues, including Joanne Arnott (#50), Renee Rodin (#16), and Fred Wah (#25), who offered the evenings readings, plus John Welch and SFU’s Archeology Department for the loan of the projector screen, Rolf and People’s Co-op Bookstore. Images: Jami Macarty

In publications

Lucky I have been this year to have poems and an essay accepted for publication. Published in 2019: Autumn in the EastThe Journal 43.3;  Inexorably Tangled, a collaborative poem written w/Jacqueline Turner / The Capilano Review 3.39; Who The Strummer in Vallum 16:1 (digital extras); three poems from A Body in Liberating Strife in Another Way RoundForthcoming: The Daughter / Dusie Blog; Cultivated Aftermath of Posts & She-Civilian in Tiny Spoon; Letter in Name of Country in Global Geneva; The Shelter in The Rumpus: ENOUGH column; Memory Predator & Neighbors in EVENT; Digging for Heart, a chapter in Archaeologies of the Heart.

Thank you to editors Molly Brown and Robert J. Schumaker, Jr. at The Journal; to Juliane Okot Bitek and Matea Kulic at The Capilano Review, to Eleni Zisimatos and Leigh Kotsilidis at Vallum, to Edward Wells at Another Way Around, to rob mclennan at Dusie blog; to C. M. Chady and Stephanie Hempel at Tiny Spoon; to Carla Drydale at Global Geneva; to Marisa Siegel at The Rumpus; to Joanne Arnott at EVENT, and to Kisha Supernant et al. of the volume Archeologies of the Heart for their support of and confidence in my work.

In ears, eyes, reviews, & bookshelves–

Kevin Spenst offered to Instinctive Acts a brief, but salient review in subTerrain #81 “Chuffed About Chapbooks” column…

Dr. Martin St. Andre gave Landscape of The Wait 5 out of 5 stars, and in November on Amazon, offered the poems a full, most thoughtful, expansive, and most special to me review. I include it in its entirety here…

“Jami Macarty wrote this collection of poetry in honor of her nephew William who was hospitalized in an Intensive Care Unit after sustaining multiple physical and neurological injuries following a car crash. Her series of poems conjure up the harrowing experience of accompanying a loved one during a coma episode: the inability to validate any form of communication with the person, the enforced passivity, the entrapment in a highly technological environment, the dependency on a dazzling number of healthcare professionals, the repetitive attempts to create a coherent trauma narrative, the exhaustion, the resurfacing of family tensions–and solidarity–in the midst of forced hospital cohabitation, the sense of time unfolding and yet somewhat stagnating.

That great beauty could emerge from such an apparently bleak landscape speaks of Macarty’s literary brio, exquisite observational skills, deep capacity to straddle ambiguity and appreciation of life as it is. The superb visual layout of words on the page creates intriguing associations and conveys the sensory choppiness of traumatic experience. The percussive alliterations, the reiterations and the stuttering quality of certain passages convey the attempts to transmute disparate sensations into words. The repeated references to scientific terminology illustrate our striving to overcome ignorance and to conquer reality; yet this very quest acutely shows how language is but an island in the midst of the unknowable.

This series of poems should join the expanding literature in narrative medicine and be  recommended reading for anyone involved in critical care medicine. For family members and friends of patients, this text could provide hope about creating meaning in traumatic circumstances. For writers, this series will demonstrate how technical breadth can be used graciously and purposefully. And for the rest of us readers, this series will have us marvel at the power of poetry for expressing the inexpressible.”

Thank you very dearly Kevin and Martin for offering my poems your special attention and thoughtful reader’s responses.



On day 334 of the year 2019 and all seven days of each week in these 11 months, dear reader, I thank you for welcoming the words of this blog, and thank you to those of you who have purchased my books and read my books, welcoming my poems and me into your ears and eyes and bookshelves. Thank you with my whole heart for your welcoming! Poetry Love! Love Love all around you!