At The Camargo Foundation on Mother’s Day: Alone?

On the first Mother’s Day I have spent alone in some 30 years of mothering, I took a long morning walk to the spring-fed turquoise waters of Calanques de Cassis.

then spent several hours writing. Mes enfants me manquent, I miss my kids, my mind and my body whispered.  So I replied, “Yes. But I adore being alone in this quiet fishing village, in residence with myself.”

Life at The Camargo Foundation was above all quite and private: womblike. A week into my month-long Bread Loaf Bakeless Camargo Residency, I wrote on being away by myself in a beautiful place–a Mother’s Day article for my local newspaper, where I write an occasional column “On Poetry.”

In the article, I included two poems that speak from a mother’s perspective, one by Camargo fellow Bonnie Bolling, who has four boys; and the other poem about having breakfast en plein air

2014 Festival of Words: Students & Teachers Celebrate Books & Writing

The 14th annual Festival of Words is scheduled for Saturday, March 8, 2014 at Appoquinimink High School from 8:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.        The event is sponsored by grants from the Delaware Teacher’s Center, the Diamond State Reading Association, DELCAPS, Wilmington University and private donations. This year’s festival will welcome Keynote Author Ellen Hopkins, author of the young adult novels Crank, Impulse, and Smoke (2013), among others.  I will offer two sessions on poetry: a writing workshop for students with fun prompts and model poems;  as well as a class for teachers–to fall in love with some new poems and find new favorites to offer their students.        Participants must register in advance for this amazing day of reading and writing!  You can find more information and the form to register here.        In preparation for the festival, students should try to read as many of the …

Bread Loaf Bakeless Camargo Foundation Residency Fellowship

I about fell out of my chair

when I took a second look at the subject line of the email I thought was yet another “Thank you & I am sorry to convey” message. I had been working on my Sunday poem at the Winter Poetry & Prose Getaway, from a prompt that required me to crossbreed an urban legend of my choice with an angel. I am not crazy about either affiliate. Checking out the etymology of avocado at OED.com is such a good excuse for getting online, until it turns into a good excuse for checking my inbox. I skipped over the Bread Loaf Bakeless message, thinking, “I don’t need bad news while I’m here…”

But the second time I needed the OED, I noticed the caboose of that Bread Loaf email’s subject line. The fellowship’s title is so lengthy, the words “Acceptance Notification” ran off the …

New poems in The Mackinac

January 24, 2014

are up now, linked at my poems online page.

And, I hope you fine them worthy of this issues’s danceable preview!

 

Yes to poetry books! joining YesYes Books

I am happy to announce I’ve joined YesYes Books, an independent publisher of poetry books & the journal Vinyl Poetry, as an Assistant Editor in Book Development, focusing on eBook development & distribution.

Right now, I am researching the collection development landscape of public and school libraries, where development involves the acquisition of poetry and eBooks. That particular landscape undergoes an earthquake a week, followed by rapidly rebuilt skylines. I will also work with Rob MacDonald and publisher KMA Sullivan on furthering a wonderful project: E.P.I.C.–teams of poets in the schools, right where they’re needed!

This independent press is driven by a stellar group of creative people Sullivan has been gathering together over the past four years to promote poets, poetry, and poetry-in-education–by designing beautiful books that offer compelling work. YesYes is committed to social justice and educational outreach and the relationship between poet and artist. And to promoting …

On a tough day, Rita Dove delivers the last word

Washington DC writer and teacher, Chloe Yelena Miller invited me to be guest blogger on April 30, last day of National Poetry Month 2013. A chilly month, a tough month, a gorgeous month, a month honoring poetry.

Here in the mid-Atlantic, April ended with blue sky, brilliant stars, trees heavy in blossom, spring flowers bursting into every crystal of sunlight. I attended poetry readings all month long during April and Rita Dove’s, most of all, served me. In the piece, I reflect on how her poems worked me over. A few hours earlier, I had learned my son was hunkered in his New Bedford apartment in a city under lock-down, during a tough week for all of us, for many reasons. As Dove said toward the end of her reading, she had taken us up and up, reading poems about family and dancing and identity–and she paused to decide:

“Should …

2013 Delaware Scholastic Writing Awards

The Alliance of Young Artists and Writers has posted a list of the regional Gold Key recipients nationwide in The Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. Congratulations to Delaware’s award-winning young writers!

The National League of American Pen Women (regional writing affiliate) and the Delaware Division of the Arts (regional sponsor) wish to acknowledge everyone who participated in the 2013 Delaware Scholastic Writing Awards. Congratulations to Delaware’s 28 Gold Key recipients in writing. What a great accomplishment! Here are lists of the Honorable Mention recipients, and Silver Key recipients in writing, for Delaware: Well done! Thank you for participating, students and teachers. Thank you for volunteering, judges. Parents and guardians, thank you for your support. For all students in grades 7 to 11, we look forward to receiving your submissions again next year. The Diamond State Branch of the NLAPW is honored to sponsor this …

2012 Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation Creative Fellowship

Can I know my father in retrospect? Can I know my father by making up his life?

I need time to think about this question, with my pen in my hand. I am looking forward, with gratitude, to a November residency at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts that will give me time to dream my father. I am happy that the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation believes in my work enough to fund this upcoming retreat with a 2012 Creative Fellowship. The VCCA and the MAAF are valued partners in the arts here. Writers & painters & sculptors & musicians & activists I have met during previous stays at VCCA, many from the Mid Atlantic states, have become friends, collaborators and precious models for me as I pursue my writer’s life.

My father is dead and his presence haunts me. I have been doing research to learn something about …

Delaware Poetry Review–New Works from the Mid-Atlantic Region

The Delaware Poetry Review is an online journal founded by a team of writer-editors in 2007. DPR publishes talented poets from Delmarva and the Mid-Atlantic, as well as poets from across the country with ties to the region.

Founding editor Kim Roberts invited me to guest edit the Fall 2012 issue: new poems by Josiah Bancroft, Liz Dolan, Russell Susumu Endo, Carolyn Kreiter-Foronda, Meredith Davies Hadaway, Amanda Newell, Abby Millager, Erin Murphy, Maggie Rowe, and Leona Sevick. Here’s a preview of two poems, and hope you enjoy the issue.

Bath Time

Turn me back into a fish.
It’s too late for reanimation,
for nerve ends and love tics.
My skin, soft, uncooked,
excited as wetted yeast,
as hungry, does soon remind me
that mine is the body
lightning made, just before
the waking, brainless monster
leapt to …

Delaware Scholastic Writing Awards: Asher Feldman in SPARK!

Congratulations to Delaware 8th grader Asher Feldman whose award-winning short story, The Bird, the House, and the Man, is part of a select group of artwork and writing chosen to be featured in SPARK 2012—the annual anthology of work by the most creative and original middle school students in the nation. Asher’s story won a national Silver Medal for Science Fiction/Fantasy in the 2012 Scholastic Writing Awards. You can see a complete list of national award winners grades 7 – 12 at the Alliance of Young Artists and Writers website–a list that includes several young artists and writers from Delaware.

To put Asher’s accomplishment into perspective, in 2012 the Scholastic Awards received more than 200,000 submissions of art and writing. About 1,600 of these earned National Awards, and of those, only 238 were awarded to middle-school students. SPARK 2012 features the work of 52 middle school students from 32 …

Opportunity for Delaware Writers: 2012 Retreat at Cape Henlopen

The 2012 Poets and Writers Retreat at Cape Henlopen will be held September 27 – 30, 2012 at the gorgeous Cape Henlopen State Park in Lewes.

What are these people so happy about? Can you tell they spent the day writing? After a hot breakfast? Took a break to walk along  the shore? Had a gourmet dinner served? Spent the evening talking with fellow writers about poems and stories? Drank all the coffee they wanted? Are looking forward to another day of writing quietly, intensely, happily? APPLY to the 2012 Poets and Writers Retreat at Cape Henlopen.You must be a Delaware resident. The Information flyer and application are at Delaware Division of the Arts homepage. Deadline for materials to be received is June 4. Story-writing workshop led by Alice Elliott Dark. Poetry workshop led by JoAnn Balingit.

(2010 participants with workshop leaders JoAnn Balingit, Tama Baldwin and     Frank …