Poetry's Busiest Month Continues!
National Poetry Month has started with a flurry of activity for me, and it isn't even half over yet! Here's a quick rundown of new and upcoming poems, events, and podcasts.
A New Poem: Kindred
I've been keeping up with the annual challenge to write a poem a day, and what a delight to see my April 1 piece, "Kindred," published yesterday in Autumn Sky Poetry Daily. In the words of Editor Christine Klocek-Lim, "This narrative poem celebrates girlhood’s intensity unapologetically, normalizing the emotions that feel so large and carefully holding them in the heart so that they can survive until adulthood recognizes their fragility." I have included the poem in its entirety below.
Jersey City Poetry Fest begins April 13 with the The Path of a Poet event at City Hall.
The Path of a Poet: Jersey City Poetry Festival
On Thursday evening, April 13, Rescue Poetix (2020-2021 Jersey City Poet Laureate) and I will be sharing work from various periods on our paths as poets, and participating in a Q & A with Steve Willett of Jersey City Writers. I am delighted to participate in this kickoff event of the 2023 5th Annual Poetry Fest: Jersey Proud!
The Path of a Poet is both an in-person and virtual event co-sponsored by JC Writers, the Jersey City Office of Cultural Affairs, Jersey City Poet Laureate Ann Wallace.
Thursday, April 13 at 7:00 PM
In person at City Hall, Council Chambers, 2nd Floor
Jersey City, NJ
Register here for this free event and to receive the Zoom link
ASL interpreters will be present at all JCW Jersey Proud events.
Writers@Drew Presents: A Reading at My Alma Mater
I have an upcoming reading that is particularly meaningful for me. Next Tuesday, April 18, I will be speaking at my undergraduate alma mater, Drew University, at an event co-sponsored by Writers@Drew and Women's & Gender Studies.
While I'm tracing my path as a poet this week at the Jersey City Writers Festival, next week I'm looking further back, thinking of my path as a survivor. It is no small matter in my life that when I graduated from Drew I was newly diagnosed with ovarian cancer and my future was uncertain. As I have reflected on before, the care and empathy I received from the Drew community as I navigated the first tumultuous weeks of my illness has shaped who I am as a person and as a teacher.
Tuesday, April 18 at 4:15pm
Founders Room, Mead Hall
More information is available here.
Upcoming Interview on The Baroness Podcast
Stay tuned to The Baroness Podcast out of Rowan College at Burlington County for the April 15 release of my recent conversation with host Brooke Malhiot. It was an honor and a pleasure to be invited as a featured guest of this monthly series that "highlights women in leadership while encouraging listeners to build their skills, connect with the community, and visualize the opportunities available to women in various professions."
Episode Release on April 15
Listen on Podbean, Spotify, Amazon Music, Heart Radio, Google Podcasts, and other places.
An Origin Story at Gyroscope Review
My poem, "Spring Song," written at the height of the pandemic in April 2020 and originally published in Wordgathering, was featured yesterday in the Origin Stories series at Gyroscope Review. You can read, and watch, the story of its beginnings here. I encourage you to follow Gyroscope for the full Origin Stories series, which began April 1 and runs through May with a different poet and poem featured each day!
Thanks for reading, my friends. It would be lovely to see you this spring, whether online or in person!
Sometimes I think I must have spent a lifetime as a girl searching alone and in silence for toads and salamanders, hoisting stones and peering between blades of grass in the woods across the street, where my brothers, deeper in, dug for antique bottles and other treasures, where later they stashed their contraband magazines in the adjacent cemetery.
Of course it wasn’t a lifetime, but when you’re seven or eight, and seeking solace far from the endless noise and clatter, loves have the power to consume and the sense of a lifetime is skewed. I mean, what could I know of decades before I had hit my double digits? I mean, how else might I imagine time when each summer stretched far longer than the ten weeks of the calendar?
For honesty, for clarity, I could just tell you that I adored toads and the smallest animals hiding, or well, you might just call it living, out of sight and under my nose in the woods across the street.
But then you would have no idea the intensity of a small girl who spirited each hot and humid day away from her family of boys, who found delight in the hunt for creatures smaller than she, creatures with the innate good sense to stay tucked away as rough siblings staked their claim on that spit of woodland, a girl who loved bumpy toads the color of dry New England earth and the slick backs of salamanders with their finely wrought toes so dearly that she would hold them in her palms for just a moment then gently place them back in their homes, satisfied that they had survived another day.
Published April 10, 2023 in Autumn Sky Poetry Daily