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!


Canadian poet Daphne Marlatt is a plus around The Minuses! I love her poetry and person very much. On and off for the last 15 years, we’ve met for coffee and conversation about poetry and spiritual practice. Our conversations have been sites of candor and infusions of hope.

During the fall of 2018 our exchanges became more frequent. Her wise counsel and cheerful shoulder were of special support to me during the summer of 2019 when I was despairing that The Minuses was still publisher-less.

So, of course on September 3, 2019 (Labor Day!), when I learned from Stephanie G’Schwind that the Center for Literary Publishing wanted to publish The Minuses, Daphne was at the top of my list of those with whom to share the great good news. During that celebratory conversation I asked her if she would endorse my book.

I use the word “endorse” instead of “blurb.” Why? Because “blurb” sounds like spit up to me. I don’t want to associate spit up with my poems. This may be a form of superstition. Poets can be superstitious. I can be superstitious. I’d rather associate enthusiasm with my poems.

Anyway! Daphne said Yes!

After she read The Minuses Daphne sent me a note that included these words, which made my poet’s heart explode in bloom:

Hi Jami,
Well, you have a marvellous ms. here!  I was totally immersed in it.  A blurb has been difficult to word to do it justice…

-Daphne Marlatt

Daphne uses the word “blurb.” So, I looked it up in Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary. I thought its first use would be quite recent. However, the first known use of “blurb” as a noun is 1907, while the first known use of “blurb” as a verb comes eight years later in 1915. The neologism was coined by American humorist Gelett Burgess. I’m not convinced. After typing the word this many times, my stomach is turning. You see? The word has that affect on me. I remain resolute in not using it.

Back and front covers of The Minuses

Here’s the form of enthusiasm Daphne offered for the back cover of The Minuses:

Jami Macarty’s poems draw us into the vagaries of human love, just as they implicate us in the “menagerie of the surviving world.” These marvellously immersive poems of the Sonoran Desert and of our human deserts of the heart insist on each step taken, each present moment’s opening perception. Macarty’s lines nudge us toward non-dual Buddhist emptiness in each gap, each leap beyond wording.  A must-read.

-Daphne Marlatt

I wrote it once, but it’s worth writing again. I love Daphne Marlatt’s poetry. I have loved it for a long time. For me, Daphne’s poetry is a horizon. So, it’s especially special to have her endorsement and energy with me and the poems of The Minuses.

Even though I received the copy of The Minuses earmarked for Daphne in mid-February, travel and Covid-19 postponed our celebratory get-together for months.

On July 13, we finally felt it safe enough to commune at our favored outdoor café, Wilder Snail, for an afternoon coffee and conversationand so that I could bestow on Daphne her copy of The Minuses.

Here’s the photographic record I made of Daphne unwrapping…

The Minuses is unwrapped and Daphne’s mask is off!

Don’t you just love the look on her face?

I do!

That’s my poetry book The Minuses in Daphne Marlatt’s hands!

A poet is happy!

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+ Thank you bows to Daphne Marlatt for her support to me over these years, for reading The Minuses, and for offering her special words in support of the poems.

+ Thank you bows (continuous!) to publisher Stephanie G’Schwind, editor Donald Revell, 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!


Dear Reader, an interview is a chance to practice the high art of conversation. A conversation is a plus!

I bring to your attention the June 9, 2020 plus of an interview that the most lovely human and excellent poetry reader, Dayna Patterson conducted with me and The Minuses. Dayna and I met in our conversation on the Poetry Hour (4-5pm PDT) that she hosts for Western C.A.R.E.S. (Community, Activities, Resources, Education, Support) at Western Washington University.

Watch and listen to conversation here (use password: 8Q.A!M.?)

photos and compilation by Vincent K. Wong; background image by Jami Macarty

The Poetry Hour interview took place over Zoom, of course. The photos and compilation above are by Vincent K. Wong, my good pal and a terrific experimental photographer. Vincent attended the event, with 40 other souls, and took these photos of Dayna and me.

I didn’t realize the background image of Sonoran Desert and its saguaro cacti came through and interpentrated the live image of me, shifting foreground and background, the live and the still until Vincent sent me the series of photos he took during the event. I love the photos and the special effects are a perfect visual component to a quality of feeling I’m trying to get at in the poems of The Minuses.

photo by Vincent K. Wong; background image by Jami Macarty

Here are the questions Dayna Patterson asked me during the interview:

  1. We’re here to discuss your recent collection, The Minuses. When I think of the phrase, “the minuses,” I usually hear it in conjunction with “the pluses and the minuses.” With that title holding only the last part of the phrase, I expected that the book would press into themes of loss, negation, and deprivation. It certainly did that, and in ways that surprised me. For example, the book seems to be built from the scrap of a wrecked relationship. Is that an accurate description? Would you read the first piece for us and talk about why you selected this title for your book? 
  2. There’s a lot of verticality in this collection, a motif that in some places conjures, for me, a feeling of vertigo, and in other places a kind of longing to be detached, above the fray, so to speak. How were you working with notions of verticality vs. horizontality in this collection? (Read “Flight Hours,” “Mountain Hypotenuse,” and/or “Nor’easter”)
  3. How and when did you become so intimately acquainted with the landscape of the Sonoran Desert and its environs? What was your research process for the poems in this collection? (Read “Monsoon Desert,” “At Gravity’s Feet,” & “Music 5:30.”) I’m particularly interested in the phrase “I sent myself into the desert to become a third person” in “At Gravity’s Feet.”
  4. Can you talk about the way these poems lean into the colon and the double colon? For you, does the colon represent a kind of mathematical equation rendered into syntax? (Read “By Virtue of And”)
  5. A poem that really resonated for me from this collection is “Door Ratio.” Would you mind reading that one for us?
  6. Your notes section is expansive, specific, and generous. Why include the Latin name for each species you mention in the notes? How do you decide what to put in the notes to a collection?
  7. Is there anything else you’d like to share about the making of this book?
  8. What are you working on now or next?
  9. Who are some of the writers or artists that inspire you? In particular, are there contemporary poets you’d like to recommend to our audience today?

And, here I am endeavoring to arrive at answers, to be responsive.

photo by Vincent K. Wong; background image by Jami Macarty

Dayna’s and my conversation was followed by a Q&A with our audience of listeners and joining souls.

Watch and listen to conversation here (use password: 8Q.A!M.?)

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+ Thank you bows to Goddess Dayna Patterson for reading The Minuses, for her thoughtful questions, and for featuring and hosting me on the Poetry Hour for Western C.A.R.E.S. at Western Washington University.

+ Thank you bows to Western C.A.R.E.S. at Western Washington University and Goddess Athena Roth for offering her very fine administrative support during the event.

+ Thank you bows to the 40 souls with their beautiful ears and minds who joined me et al for the June 9 interview and conversation.

+ Thank you bows (continuous!) to publisher Stephanie G’Schwind, editor Donald Revell, 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!