! BOOKS !

Greetings from late August, dear reader!

I am here to share with you some publication news! Two poems from my second manuscript The Long Now Conditions Permit now appear in VOLT Literary Magazine Volume 26, and another poem that is an outlier to that manuscript, but may be pointing to what is next, appears in TIMBER Journal.

In TIMBER, my poems are joined by poems by Shira Dentz, Michelle Murphy, and Marie Kressin, among fire others; in VOLT, my poems are joined by poems by Julie Carr, Eléna Rivera, giovani singleton, and Page Hill Starzinger among wonder others. When my poems rub shoulders and canoodle with other poets’ poems, there exists the exciting prospect of connecting with readers and the wondrous possibility of community. Connection and community!

VOLT Literary Magazine Volume 26 front and back covers

The appearance of my poems “Across the Path That Is Not Mine” and “October Effect” in VOLT 26 marks the third issue of VOLT in which I have been lucky enough to have some of my poems published. Poems from The Minuses appear in Volume 15 (2008) and Volume 12 (2006). For me, this series of appearances signifies the building of community—VOLT‘s, mine, and me and my poems as part of VOLT‘s community. Expanding concentric circles of community. That is what I seek. I want to make lasting connections and build true friendships within the poetry and literary arts communities.

VOLT Literary Magazine Volumes 26, 15 & 12

Jane Miller, one of my graduate school poetry teachers at the University of Arizona, first introduced me to VOLT. What year was that—1992? That makes sense because according to VOLT‘s history, the magazine “was created on an unusually sunny afternoon in San Francisco in 1991.” The issue that Jane shared with me would have been VOLT Volume 1; I remember Jo Whaley’s Atomic Tea Party on the cover and inside, along with Jane’s writing, the poetry of Ralph Angel, Jane Hirshfield, Claudia Keelan, Yusef Komunyakaa, Donald Revell, and C. D. Wright, among gorgeous others. I was immediately captivated. The revving V-V-V of the magazine’s name, intuitively and instinctually connecting me to the seed sound or bija mantra of the sacral chakra, the energy center of creativity. The dimensions—9 x 12—embodying a material substance. There was a felt sense of the substantial even before opening the volume. Then, within: Because poems appear in the issue as they do on 8.5 x 11 paper, they are given their full visual and spatial expression. Hurrah! Plus, poems appear alphabetically, according to the poet’s surname; that organizing principle makes each issue an abecedarian. I love that! Because the issues do not contain editorial introductions or author biographies, they signal a primary focus on the poems. VOLT takes seriously being a poetry magazine.

Gillian Conoley

That’s because VOLT was brought into being by terrific poet and person Gillian Conoley! Gillian and I go back a ways and in time. Loving and mutually good friendships in poetry, and really all other realms, take time and trust. I had the chance to meet and spend time with Gillian in 2003 when she was one of the guest poets at Tucson Poetry Festival (TPF) XXI, which celebrated the connections between poetry and film. I was then the Executive Director of TPF, and XXI was the second in a five-festival series I conceived and directed that celebrated poetry’s relationships and connections to other artforms. During the 2003 Festival’s long weekend, Gillian and I hit it off; she’s warm, fun, and bold. She liked the introduction I gave before her TPF reading enough to ask me for a copy. A thrill and a delightful compliment.

Gillian has been a champion of my poems. First in VOLT, where she gave early homes to poems when I was just starting to send my writing out for consideration. Second on the back cover of my poetry collection The Minuses, where she offered the following words of support:

In these quiet, careful, though searing and poignant poems, Jami Macarty turns her considerable powers toward the dissolution of a romantic relationship in a desert landscape that is at once sustaining and doomed. Here, a body is at one with earthly extinction and failed romance: ‘I am your time to go now.’ These poems are as full of heart as they are of a keen intellect. Exquisitely honed and crafted, The Minuses provides testament to poetry’s ability to speak the unspeakable, to not only survive but to carry on: ‘she’s off-trail but knows her direction.’ This is a beautiful book of courage and the power to live fully, and on this planet, through heartbreak and hard-won joy.

—Gillian Conoley

Gillian’s words wow me in their understanding. It is really and truly something special to my heart when someone I admire gifts me with their attention and felt response. Every time I read “hard-won joy” in Gillian’s offering I shake my head. How did she know that?

VOLT 26 w/cover art by Hawley Hussey, incl my poems

Gillian tuned into joy again when reading the poems I offered for her consideration for VOLT 26. Here’s some of her response to the poems:

Loved reading these. Can I please have “October Effect” and “Across the Path that is Not Mine” for Volt 26?

Really lovely poems— I loved how they played and inter-played with language and politics/aesthetics all interwoven with colors— so striking! And the motifs of not owning— the relief and knowledge of that— the joy of it, too––

—Gillian Conoley

Reading and taking to my heart Gillian’s words elicits in me the feeling of running into the street and jumping for joy! Whoo hoo! Gillian “gets” my poems. Gets. There may be no greater feeling of connection than this between two people, between poet and reader… I am deeply grateful to Gillian for standing with me and my poems. Her presence means everything to my life and to me as a maker of poems.

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Timber Journal logo

If memory serves, I was first introduced to TIMBER Journal via the community of women/women-identified poets with whom I congregate and talk about reading, writing, and publishing poetry. Hurrah that community and their generous sharing of knowledge and resources!

At the helm of TIMBER Journal are the MFA candidates at the University of Colorado-Boulder. What attracted me to TIMBER is the editorial focus on “work which pushes against boundaries: genre-bend, build or break form, confront the rules and voices of the canon.” Yes, please; thank you! Then, there is their invitation and challenge: “If you’re not flirting with failure or writing risky, it’s probably not for us.” Rah rah “flirting with failure or writing risky”! Upon reading these words, I gathered together and sent for consideration some poems that flirted and risked. That was March.

TIMBER Journal Issue 12.2 Summer 2022

I mention time because writing and all things related to itmaking, revising, sending out, awaiting reply, etc.occur in time. Sometimes time is long, the process protracted; sometimes there’s a sense of quick turnaround and immediacy. Just four months later in July, I received a response from Rachel Franklin Wood, Poetry Editor and the poetry readers at TIMBER:

We loved your work and would like to include “Goddess Explains How to Bird to an Orphaned Daughter” in our upcoming issue!

—Rachel Franklin Wood, Poetry Editor and the poetry readers at TIMBER

Such love! This precious connection with readers makes me feel giddy with the possibilities of… well, of a poemto bring us to one another. As I think about it, so much has to take place in order for this small miracle of connection to zing between poet and reader. And, it could so very easily go the other away way. O, the crucial moments when we risk love!

You’re cordially invited to read “Goddess Explains How to Bird to an Orphaned Daughter” in TIMBER Journal Issue 12.2 Summer 2022!

Though I am just getting to know TIMBER Journal, I am filled with the excitement and promise the getting-to-know-you phase holds. I bow to Rachel Franklin Wood, Poetry Editor, the poetry readers, and staff at TIMBER Journal for their kind and generous attention to my writing. I look forward to reading future issues, and with the good shine from the Poetry Gods, maybe to find a home for some other of my failure-flirting, risk-taking poems. A poet has hope for more crucial moments of love!

: :

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 and love to Gillian Conoley, special-to-me person, poet, and, pal, for her continued support of my poems!

+ I bow to the existence of VOLT Literary Magazine and am grateful for its innovative design and content!

+ Thank you bows to Rachel Franklin Wood, Poetry Editor, and the poetry readers at TIMBER Journal for taking a chance on and publishing my poem.

+ 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!

! BOOKS !

Dear Readers, Dear Readers,

Here I am at May’s end to share with you two poems from my second collection, The Long Now Conditions Permit (awaiting a beloved publisher), that have been recently published, and to talk a bit about my practice of sending my writing out for consideration.

Jet Fuel Review #23; Cover Art: Terrarium with Heart of Amateur Mycologist, by Karyna McGlynn

Jet Fuel Review first came to my attention within a community of women/women-identified writers who share their publishing yeses and nos. Yes, also the nos. Because receiving a no is an indication of taking the time and making the effort to research magazines, prepare a batch of writing, and send it off for consideration. That is, a no is not feedback on its own, but it is a sign that the writer is committed enough to her writing to share it with editors, publishers, and readers. So, our community celebrates the nos. In fact, we challenge each other to send our writing out into the world enough in order to reach the yearly goal of receiving one hundred nos. This is a intersectional feminist literary action meant to confront especially the gender imbalances in the literary landscape.

Terrarium with Eve and Split Durian, by Karyna McGlynn

A few of the women writers in this community shared that they had received a yes or a no from Jet Fuel Review. After the name of the magazine appeared in the field of my attention a few times, I felt called to take a closer look. What first captured my attention when I visited the Jet Fuel Review website: the artwork! I found it to be a beautiful blend of the provocative and evocative, speaking a visual language resonant with my imagination and writing. Then, upon reading the writing, I found much to react for and against—both ranges of responsiveness are important to me as a reader. Respecting what I saw and read, I sent the editors a batch of my poems.

They said yes to “Splitting Lesson,” a poem from The Long Now Conditions Permit. Whoo hoo!

l am grateful to everyone who makes Jet Fuel Review (JTR) a vibrancy; I appreciate being included in the JTR community. How dear and special to be in conversation with careful and thoughtful editors.

Sweetening the pot of this yes: That sister writers from my community brought Jet Fuel Review to my attention; That my poem shares space in the magazine with writing by some of those sister writers; That my poem rubs shoulders with poems by poets new to me, including poet and artist Karyna McGlynn whose art is featured in the issue. I dig her marvelous collages!

Queen of Melting Ice, by Karyna McGlynn

In our writing community, we not only share yeses/nos, we share our experiences with magazines, bringing to the fore: Those new or lesser known; Those receptive to particular styles of writing; Those with/out artist-friendly editorial practices; Those magazines to approach with trust or caution; Those to avoid. This sharing—rather than coveting—of experience, knowledge, information, and resources is the precious stuff of a supportive community that expresses not scarcity, but abundance. This ethos strengthens our community and broadens it, bringing more writers together with writers and readers. Simply grand!

Of course, the practice of sending writing out for consideration is also, in part, a numbers game. One cannot win unless one plays. As the wisdom goes. And, the way laws of averages work, the more writing a writer sends out for consideration, the more chances there are for it to receive a yes. I am engaged in this practice of sending my writing out for consideration, because I want to learn what there is to learn from the process. But I know this is not a practice for every writer. For me, it is a question of do I want to keep my writing to myself or share it? I want to share it! And, in the process, I am building my tolerance for no. I have come to understand that much about being a writer is about building tolerances for various aspects of the writing practice that are beyond my control. And, I imagine eventually being unshaken by nos… 

And, in the same way, being unshaken by yeses, though shaking with despair at the nos and delight at the yeses may not be helped.

One flavor of yes that emerges from the practice of sending writing out for consideration is the opportunity to build a positive relationship of mutual respect, trust, and meaning with the editorial team of a literary magazine in which my writing appears. Those qualities are surely, brilliantly alive in my relationship with the editorial team at Vallum: Contemporary Poetry.

Vallum: Contemporary Poetry 13:1 “Open Theme”; Art: Matt Crump

The lovely, good people at Vallum have been enormously supportive to me and my poems. “Helicopter” and “Nor’easter,” two poems from The Minuses (Center for Literary Publishing, 2020), appeared in issue 13:1 “Open Theme.”

Cover of Mind of Spring; Cover: James Bremner, Jr.

Mind of Spring,” my long, three-part poem won the 2017 Vallum Chapbook Award and was subsequently published with a cheery yellow (the color of palo verde blossoms) cover, in a limited edition chapbook (sold out in print, but available digitally).

Vallum: Contemporary Poetry 18:1 “Invisibility”; Cover: Antoine Janot

Also, my Vallum darlings have published two poems from The Long Now Conditions Permit. “Lustrous Fugitive” appears in issue 18:1 “Invisibility.”

Vallum: Contemporary Poetry 19:1 “Bridges”; Cover: Nora Kelly

I like and admire and respect the editors at Vallum very much, and I like the art and writing that the magazine publishes. Not all of it of course, but most of it and that’s something, because I can be a picky and picayune reader. We each have our preferred chords and flavors and such. “Is Occurring,” another poem from The Long Now Conditions Permit, seems to have struck a chord with the editors of Vallum 19:1 “Bridges,” where it appears. Whoo hoo!

Hurrah bridges!

Poetry Bridges!

Community bridges!

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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 beautiful, generous, loving support, inspiration, and encouragement.

+ Thank you bows to Simone Muench, Faculty Advisor, Cassidy Fontaine-Warunek, Managing Editor et al who make Jet Fuel Review a vibrancy; I appreciate their professional and stream-lined editorial production methods, and now that I am taking in issue #23, I am appreciative of their collective, inclusive, expansive editorial vision and artistic direction. 

+ Thank you bows to Eleni Zisimatos, Co-Editor-in-Chief & Poetry Editor, Jay Ritchie, Managing Editor et al at Vallum: Contemporary Poetry for including me and my poems in your sustaining, important, and beautiful presence of and for poetry and art in Montreal, Canada, and internationally.

+ 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!

! BOOKS !

Well, my dears, my friends, soon December and 2021 will be a wrap. Here I am one more time this year to say hello and share of myself and my practices of writing and reading books.

I took December entirely off from any other word-work (as editor, mentor/teacher) to make way for my own at-home writer’s retreat. During the month, I planned to work with the poems I wrote between January 2020 and January 2021—about 120 of them or about 150 pages—with an eye on assembling a second manuscript of poetry. I made the time and space and set my intentions. Even so, I did not know what I would get done.

A lot got done! The reason I know about how many poems and pages I have is because I compiled, read, and revised all of them. Some poems arrived at more wholeness than others, some were set aside because they did not inspire me to further engagement, some are resting after word-surgery. I am saying I worked on all of the poems to one extent or another, arranged them in groups according to where they are in the “done” continuum, and now have a working draft of a new manuscript. What a marvelous month of devotion to my imagination it has been. Tra La La!

Thank you so very mucho to everyone who supported me during the days and weeks of words this month, especially JRW.

To support my composing and revising and organizing, I read a bunch during the month—and throughout the year—and found a lot of good company. If you have been following me here, then you know this is year four of #mypersonalBigRead.

Drum roll… I did it; I read an average of one volume (full-length collection of poetry, chapbook, magazine, memoir, fiction) each day of the year. Actually, I read a smidge more than that; I read a total of 374 volumes in 2021! The four year tally: 1,185 volumes. Here are the stats…

Even as I tally the numbers there is a wafting of disbelief. Just as with my intention to take a personal writing retreat for December, I made the plan to read up a storm during the year. In doing so, however I have no idea what I will do or actually accomplish. I think that has something to do with who makes the plan and who sits in the chair at the desk. The difference between an idea and fingers to the keyboard or eyes to the page. Making the plan and then seeing what I can/will do feels like a big experiment. So, I surprise myself. The results of my efforts and labors surprise me. I like that. Surprise is special.

May the last few days of 2021 surprise you! And, may 2022 unwrap and unfold in surprise for all of us!

I send you my very best of everything for health, happiness, safety, and creativity.

::

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

+ Thank you bows to all of the writers whose books, chapbooks, stories, and novel I read; your efforts inspire me to bring my words into the light.

+ Thank you bows to all of the editors whose support brought forth the books, chapbooks, stories, and novel I read in 2021.

+ 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 (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!

! Books !

Dear Reader, Dear Reader!

October 15, 2021 was a rather grand day of publication in my life as an editor and a poet. The Fall 2021 of The Maynard, the online poetry journal I co-founded and at which I am the editor entered the world and four of my poems were published in the Fall 2021 issue of BlazeVOX. Tra la!

Here’s the fierce and fine cover of the Fall 2021 issue of The Maynard, “Tiger Orange” created by Clare Owen and a list of the issue’s poets.

The Maynard Fall 2021 issue represents six months of my work as an editor. From February 1 to July 31, 2021 300 batches of five poems each were sent in for consideration for the Fall 2021 issue. I read close to 1,500 poems from which 28 poems were selected for the issue. How long does reading 1,500 poems take? I clocked my reading rate at an average of 15 batches per hour, which is about 20 hours. From that first reading phase, I collected the poems I want to return to because there’s something about them… Then, I went back and read all of those poems more deeply and in repetition. Some poems slide away, some stick. Those poems that stick are shared with my colleague who has gone through a similar process. During two and a half hour meetings (four of them), we went back and forth reading to each other the poems on our long list. We become outrageous. We become passionate as we argue for the poems we most want, we are disappointed when a poem doesn’t hold up to our imaginations, but we relent, and finally we are giddy for the poems left on the table. First stage letters go out. From there, I conducted line edits on the poems. Second stage letters go out. Then, I take my findings, comments, and suggestions to an editorial conversation with each of the 24 poets. There was lots of email back and forth about commas and uses of this or that word and what Blake called “Minute Particulars”: “Labour well the Minute Particulars: attend to the Little Ones.” The “Little Ones” in this case being the details that are crucial to a poem’s full life. After the editorial phase arrives the proofreading phase. More email. The correction of the proof. More email. More email. Then, miraculously, publication!

Read the Fall 2021 issue of The Maynard!

::

Welcome to the Fall 2021 issue of BlazeVOX where four of my newer poems appear! In his introduction, editor Geoffrey Gatza writes: “In this issue we seek to avoid answers but rather to ask questions. With a subtle minimalistic approach, this issue of BlazeVOX focuses on the idea of “public space” and more specifically on spaces where anyone can do anything at any given moment: the non-private space, the non-privately owned space, space that is economically uninteresting. The works collected feature coincidental, accidental, and unexpected connections, which make it possible to revise literary history and, even, better, to complement it.” Later in the introduction, Gatza writes: “These pieces demonstrate how life extends beyond its own subjective limits and often tells a story about the effects of global cultural interaction over the latter half of the twentieth century. It challenges the binaries we continually reconstruct between Self and Other, between our own “cannibal” and “civilized” selves.”

The four poems of mine that appear in the Fall 2021 issue of BlazeVOX are from a series of thirty-one poems begun in 2014 during a time of intense contemplation of the War in Afghanistan, the nineteen-year, 10-month conflict that took place from 2001 to 2021. I was particularly focused on the stressful and traumatic effects of war on those who go to fight as well as those who stay home to wait. The poem titles: “If There Were Anywhere But Desert,” “Countenance,” “Who Bed Is This to Lie On,” and “O Beautiful for Post-Traumatic Stress.”

In August 2021 during the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan, maybe as a way to cope or as a way to answer the destruction of war with creative energy, I was called to return to this series of poems. I took a chance sending them out; a poet always enters the game of chance when sending work out for consideration. And, hurrah, editor Geoffrey Gatza liked them enough to offer to publish them all together. Hurrah! These are the first poems from that as yet untitled series that have been published. I’m grateful to Geoffrey Gatza and I am grateful that the poems are together.

Read my poems in Fall 2021 issue of BlazeVOX!

::

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

+ Thank you bows to my colleague at The Maynard, and to the 24 poets and cover artist Clare Owen who trusted us with their art.

+ Thank you bows to BlazeVOX editor Geoffrey Gatza for his confidence in my poems.

+ Thank you bows (continuous!) to 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 (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!

! Books !

Dear Reader! Dear Listener!

On October 1, 2021, Sabyasachi (Sachi) Nag at The Artisanal Writer asked me nine questions about the craft of writing and reading. And, I answered them!

The Artisanal Writer asked me these nine Qs:

  1. Each of your poetry collections seem to have been either triggered by or woven around a few central ideas e.g., The Minuses, around the relationships between women and nature; Instinctive Acts, around immigration and identity; Mind of Spring, around facets of personal and military wars; Landscape of The Wait, around your nephew’s car accident. Do you arrive at the idea first and then compose around the idea or does the idea emerge from the writing, informed by the obsessions at a given period of time?
  2. What are your primary concerns when constructing a poem? Are you like Frost trying to make each poem as different from the previous as possible? Or do you think that couldn’t be?
  3. In an interview with Colorado State University, you said “I tend not to bypass what’s present, but instead use it as the prompt from which to write.” In that context, how do you arrive at meaning, or do you consciously not and allow the reader to arrive at it? How important is intention in a particular piece within a themed collection?
  4. What made you a writer?
  5. What does it mean/suggest for you to think about your craft with each published work? If you were to associate an image with the development timeline of your writing craft what would that look like?
  6. In pushing your work beyond your first title what were you most conscious of? What were/are you trying to achieve?
  7. Are there any books that you keep visiting for inspiration?
  8. Do you train your subconscious in certain ways to deal with success or rejection?
  9. How do you deal with aspects of writing that provoke negative emotions such as self-doubt, failure, exasperation? Is there an emotional ritual/practice you follow to deal with that?

The Artisanal Writer editors bestowed upon my responses a lightening accompaniment.

Fulgur Conditum!

Read my nine responses here!

May you find lightening buried among them.

Within the interview, I offer a five-minute recorded reading from the poems of The Minuses.

(Find the recording after the ninth question.)

Listen to the reading here!

: :

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

+ Thank you bows to Sabyasachi (Sachi) Nag and The Artisanal Writer for the gift of inquiry and space to respond.

+ Thank you bows (continuous!) to 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 (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!

! Books !

Dear Reader! Dear Listener!

On July 8, 2021, I read poems from The Minuses (Center for Literary Publishing at Colorado State University, 2020) with Nigerian poet Saddiq Dzukogi, who read from his heart moving collection, Your Crib, My Qibla, (University of Nebraska Press, 2021) and Taos, New Mexico Poet Laureate Catherine Strisik, author of Insectum Gravitis (Main Street Rag, 2019), who read beautiful new poems.

Listen to the reading here! (passcode: m2eJp=C^)

Saddiq’s, My, and Catherine’s books nestled together!

One of the special, expanding benefits of reading via Zoom is that my community of beloveds from far and wide can be with. For the July 8th reading, my dear friends from Berlin joined us from their island vacation spot in Sweden via cell phone. In the year two thousand twenty-one, this can be! Plus, friends from Vancouver, BC any outlying areas could join. The photo below features Vincent K. Wong’s phone with the tree of Spanish Banks Beach listening in.

: :

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

+ Thank you bows to Catherine Strisik for bringing Saddiq Dzukogi, me, and her together in a sweet and delightful community of poets and listeners.

+ Thank you bows to the souls who joined us from all over North America and Europe!

+ Thank you bows (continuous!) to 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 (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!

! Books !

Welcome, Dear Reader!

How happy I am to have your fine company here, today

June 24, 2021 when my poem “Thin Attachment”—

from my during-the-pandemic-published poetry collection 

The Minuses

is the featured poem

on Poetry Daily!

: :

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

+ Thank you bows to Poetry Daily and the team at poems.com for their support to this poet, this poem, and for every step the Poetry Daily staff make in support of poets and their poetry.

+ Thank you bows (continuous!) to 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 (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!

++ The Minuses ++

Welcome, dear reader! I’m thrilled to have your company here, where I share information about my and others’ books. Topics such as my reading and reviewing practice, my composition methods, writing and publishing process are taken up here.

Recent posts have focused on what I’m referring to as “the pluses” around my February 2020-published poetry collection The Minuses. A plus (+) sign in the shape of a book award has added the shine of positive light and sprinkle of sparkling stardust to the constellation of plus signs congregating around The Minuses.

This post brings to your kind and interested attention a Whoo Hoo! Plus:

The Minuses

is

2020 New Mexico/Arizona

Book Award

– Poetry Arizona –

winner!

To take in my very fine company of other award winners, visit the New Mexico/Arizona Book Award site.

That’s it! Short. Sweet. Now, I’m going to go dance in the street!

: : : :

+ Thank you bows to the readers and judges at New Mexico/Arizona Book Awards for the gift of their attention and the honor of being selected for this award.

+ Thank you bows (continuous!) to 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 with me.

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

+ Thank you bows to you, dear reader, for the gift of your attention! If you have any questions or comments, write me!

++ The Minuses ++

Welcome, dear reader! You are most welcome here, where I share information about my and others’ books. Topics such as my reading and reviewing practice, my composition methods, writing and publishing process are taken up here.

The Minuses, my full-length collection, was published in February of this year, so recent posts have focused on what I’m referring to as “the pluses congregating” around The Minuses. Like a constellation of plus (+) signs, reviews, interviews, and readings offered in support of The Minuses shine their positive light and sprinkle sparkling stardust made up of the wondrous generosity of strangers, the special magic of collaboration, and the creative powers of community.

photos and montage created by Vincent K. Wong

Speaking of creative powers, the images and montage of my book above were created by my friend and photographer, Vincent Wong, who also took the author photo on the book’s back cover. Vincent and I met in an Simon Fraser University course I offered in 2012. From that day forward, Vincent has generously shared his creativity with me. He is a front and center collaborator with whom I have expansive art-talk and fun art walks.

Speaking of the generosity of strangers, Holly Mason offered to The Minuses an absolutely gorgeous, close reading-review at Entropy on September 14, 2020. This review sprung into being, in part, from my wondering about reviews, which put to a women’s writers group to which I belong this Q: Does a poet ask, wait, or hope for a review? I was wondering how proactive to be in inviting a review. From that simple gesture of willingness to ask a question, I received an abundance of supportive responses, offering perspective, information, and ideas for actions I could take. This women’s group is amazing! My query also brought to me the lovely Holly Morgan Mason, who said she’d like to offer a review to The Minuses.

Turns out, Holly and I had brushed poetry paths a few years ago. I didn’t remember, but Holly graciously reminded me that our poems had both been finalists in the Real Good Poem Prize, hosted by Rabbit Catastrophe Review. Kiki Petrosino, the prize’s judge, ended up selecting the title poem of The Minuses as prize winner, and in the process began the bringing together of Holly and me to be fulfilled these years later. I love this connection through the years with Holly; it enriches my sense of the potential of community. It’s been a special delight to reconnect with Holly, and an honor to receive the gift of her attention to my poems. Here’s an excerpt from her beautiful review:

The poems in this book are masterfully calibrated. The pacing is slow, careful, meditative throughout. There is space to breathe around the lines. Macarty’s phrasing delights and surprises. Like in the poem “Equals Rain” with the line “We pace the aisle of what happened to the sky.” Or in “Related Sequence” which ends with these stunning and echoing lines: “Loosening September sky// The day feels its own weight and buckles// In a window, a lace dress hangs itself” and ends without punctuation, asking us to consider the implications of the image.

an excerpt of Holly Mason’s review of The Minuses, published in Entropy

Read the entire

Entropy review

by Holly Morgan Mason

here!

: : : :

photos and montage created by Vincent K. Wong

The above montage reveals the sort of artist Vincent is; the sort who takes a desert book to the water! Largely set in the Sonoran Desert, The Minuses dearly appreciates being at the beach, near the water, and in the rain from above. Quenching!

Speaking of being in service of writing community, rob mclennan, invited me to participate in his project 12 or 20 (second series) Questions. My responses were published on September 17, 2020. rob and I have known each other via discussions on first books of poetry since 2008 ish. He’s a deeply engaged and community-minded poetry soul.

rob put to me all 20 of his series’ questions, which spanned topics such as first encounters with poetry, how poems begin, engaging in public readings, theoretical concerns behind my writing, and the role of the poet/poetry. Spending time with these questions, allowed me to contemplate and consider the map my creative life, including coordinates associated with best advice, moving between genres, collaboration, and influence. I’m entirely grateful to rob!

Here’s my response to 12 – When your writing gets stalled, where do you turn or return for (for lack of a better word) inspiration?

For me, it’s not so much that writing stalls. Writing continues, is continuous. Instead, it’s the ego that intervenes and enforces its will on the words. Or, it’s attitude (for me, especially, frustration at how long it’s taking) that gets in the way of the flow and stalls it. I’ve learned (mostly!) to recognize when persistence will be a case of diminishing returns. So, rather than put up my dukes, I take a break. More often than not I go for a walk. Solvitur ambulando! During these times, I don’t have a sense of needing to be inspired, but rather needing to clear a clog or shift attention. Sometimes there’s this sense that what’s unfolding in the writing needs some privacy. So, stepping away, looking away can give it some necessary space. The break has to take place at the energetic, kinesthetic level. Taking a shower, preparing food might also provide space. That’s day to day. Thinking longer term, to meet a sense of staleness, I make visual collages. Often the collages provide an image and color palette for a poem. To bring energy and myself back to words, I invent wild, impossible, contortionist writing constraints that are part goose chase and part scavenger hunt. To meet loneliness, I collaborate with another writer, sending weekly responsive transmissions back and forth. Since September 2019, I and poet, Sean Singer, have been writing a poem together; it’s 36 pages long so far. Or, I may elect to write in community a poem a day with some other poets.

-my response to rob mclennan’s question #12

Read the entire

12 or 20 (second series) Questions

interview

here!

: : : :

+ Thank you bows to lovely person and fine poet Holly Morgan Mason for her gorgeous, full-of-care review of The Minuses; bows also to Entropy and staff for making a place for Holly’s review of my poetry collection.

+ In delightful association, thank you bows to Rabbit Catastrophe Review, the host of the Real Good Poem Prize, and the 2016 prize judge Kiki Petrosino, who selected the title poem of The Minuses as prize winner, and in the process began the bringing together of Holly and me to be fulfilled these years later.

+ Thank you bows to most generous, community-minded rob mclennan for the invitation to participate in his 12 or 20 Questions Series; bows also to rob for his immense support of the poetry community.

+ Thank you bows (continuous!) to 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 with me.

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

+ Thank you bows (continuous!) to you, dear reader, for the gift of your attention! If you have any questions or comments, write me!

++ The Minuses ++

Continuing, dear reader, with the pluses congregating around The Minuses.

Two such pluses are a conversation and a reading that took place in July, but are reverberating their good, abundant energy of spontaneous community to me even now.

The banner for Let’s Talk Books w/some partial faces.

First, I bring to your attention the plus of the July 15, 2020 Let’s Talk Books conversation I joined with authors Christine Chiu, Melanie Conroy-Goldman, Naomi Danis, and Thaddeus Rutkowski.

Divine host Christine Chui brought four complete strangers, writing in different genres together to talk about the theme of Friendship & Connection in our writing. Each of us talked about our new-to-the-world books. For Melanie, that was her novel The Likely World (Red Hen Press, 2020); for Naomi that was her picture book My Best Friend, Sometimes (Pow! Kids Books, 2020); for Thaddeus that was his poetry collection Tricks of Light (Great Weather for Media, 2020); for me, of course, that was my poetry collection The Minuses (Center for Literary Publishing, 2020).

In anticipation of the conversation, I felt some shyness and hesitation. I had the feeling that our meeting would be a bit awkward like how it feels to be at a cocktail party at which I know no one. You know, it can be a thing to sit down with a stranger and strike up a conversation about something that matters as much as a book does to its author.

My hesitation was near to instantly allayed. Christine was a warm host; the other authors were open to conversation. I must say it was remarkably easy to talk with these delightful writers about their work and to share mine. We discovered many a confluence between our works.

Watch & listen to the

Let’s Talk Books

conversation here!

: : : :

Walt Whitman Birthplace reading event poster.

Second, I bring forward for your listening and viewing pleasure, the plus of the July 23, 2020 Walt Whitman Birthplace Association poetry reading I offered with poets Susana Case and Dayna Patterson. Susana read from her collection Dead Shark on the N Train (Broadstone Books, 2020); Dayna read from If Mother Braids a Waterfall (Signature Books, 2020); I read from The Minuses (Center for Literary Publishing, 2020).

Though in 2019 I had published a poem of Susana’s in The Maynard, we didn’t know each other. Again for this event, we were three women poet strangers, sharing the intimacy of our work with one another.

This reading came to be rather magically. Here’s how. I was reading a Facebook feed belonging to a women’s writers group when I happened upon a post bemoaning publishing a book in the time of Covid-19. There are many of us for whom this is a tough reality! Such a time doubles the already hard work of bringing a book to the attention of variously distracted and gravely preoccupied readers.

By the time I arrived at the Facebook post, Susana had commented that she was in the same boat; then Dayna had added her voice. I was third to join the chorus on their boat, asking: “What should we make together?” Susana answered: “A reading,” and away we three went.

Powerhouse Susana took the lead of locating a host and venue. In fact, it was also Susana who connected me with Christine Chiu’s “Let’s Talk Books.” I came up with the event title–a sort of neologism of our three book titles–wrote the event copy, and made a poster of our three books. We all worked tirelessly to promote the event.

I may have had the easiest time in promoting the event and bringing people to virtual seats at it–because the event fell on my birthday. Many blessed souls showed up for me, which made it feel like a party! It was a truly wonderful way to spend my birthday.

Watch & listen to the

Shark Minus Mother

reading here!

These two events enact for me the generosity of strangers, the special magic of collaboration, and the creative powers of community. You see, dear reader, that’s why the energy and spirit of these events are still alive for me. Friendship and connection abound!

: : : :

+ Thank you bows to Christine Chui for hosting me at Let’s Talk Books, and to authors Naomi Danis, Melanie Conroy-Goldman, and Thaddeus Rutkowski for sharing themselves, their books, and conversation with me.

+ Thank you bows to the Walt Whitman Birthplace Association for hosting the July 23 reading; to the lovely Caitlyn Shea, who emceed the event; to sister Goddess poets Susana Case and Dayna Patterson for making a reading with me.

+ Thank you bows to the many souls with their beautiful ears and minds who joined me et al for the July 15 (some 100!) conversation and for the July 23 (some 70!) reading.

+ Thank you bows (continuous!) to 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 with me.

+ Thank you bows to you, dear reader, for the gift of your attention! If you have any questions or comments, write me!