Despite my recent silence on this blog there has been a fair amount of excitement to share with regards to my poetry. Most notably I was just published in Z Publishing’s anthology America’s Emerging Poets 2018: Midwest Region.
The poem they chose to include in the anthology was “Words of Affirmation,” which is actually a personal favorite of mine.
If you are interested in the anthology it can be purchased on Amazon here.
I am excited to share that I recently won first place in the Riley Festival Written Poetry Contest!
If you are not aware, the Riley Festival is a local arts/crafts/poetry/music festival that celebrates the birthday, life, and legacy of local poet James Whitcomb Riley. Known as “the Hoosier poet,” he is famous for poems such as “Little Orphant Annie” and “The Raggedy Man.”
The festival, affectionately called “Riley Days” by the locals, includes shutting down several major streets in the historic downtown area and setting up booths where local vendors can sell goodies that often include homemade crafts, antiques, baked goods, toys, and clothing. The festival also includes a fine arts gallery that awards prizes for photography, cooking, painting, quilting, and other needle-crafts. There’s also an entertainment tent (or two) with several performers varying in fame and style.
In recent years festival organizers have also tried to stay true to the origin of the festival by promoting poetry events such as open mic nights and a poetry slam. The written poetry contest, however, goes back to the early happenings of the festival (or, at least, it was still a prominent part of the festival when I was in elementary school — and before poetry was a thing I did seriously). The contest is divided by age/grade with winners in each age group.
Each year has a theme, which is always a poem of Riley’s, and this year the theme was his work “Out to Old Aunt Mary’s.” All poems in the contest have to somehow relate to the theme.
My poem was titled “Wishful Thinking” — a nod to the tone of innocence and freedom Riley writes about (and my struggle to relate to it). Honestly, I was a little surprised my angsty poem did so well.
Of course, another exciting thing is that the winner receives actual prize money, so this is one of the few poems I’ve actually profited from!
You can see the announcement of all the winners (including yours truly), in this article. According to the contest, publishing first rights are granted to the media, so if/when I get the ability to share or post the poem I will certainly do so!
My last poem hinted to it a bit, but, officially, I have great news!
A few months ago a representative from Z Publishing contacted me. They had seen one of my poems in my university’s literary arts magazine. They liked it and encouraged me to submit a few pieces for consideration for their upcoming “Best Emerging Poet’s” series for my state. I did so, and, amazingly, one of my pieces was accepted!
It has long been on my bucket list to have one of my poems printed in a hard copy book (especially one that you can BUY), so, needless to say, I am extremely excited!
If you are a fan of my writing (or just poetry in general), you can now preorder the book I will be featured in: “Indiana’s Best Emerging Poets.” If you are interested in the book and/or supporting me, please use this link to get to the site to order it:
I will receive a small percentage of anything sold that you buy using this link. So while I would love for you to grab the book I’ll be featured in, if you want to grab another book that catches your eye… that is acceptable as well. ;)
I am so honored and humbled to be featured as one of Indiana’s “best emerging poets.” (A title I am not quite sure I deserve but am excited to receive!)
I also feel like there is a great lesson for any aspiring writers reading this: keep writing and submit it where you can. I never would have thought that having a few poems in my small college’s literary arts magazine would have led to anything. But here I am getting something put into a real anthology! So keep at it!
A previously unposted poem of mine, Stockings, was featured on Silver Birch Press as a part of their ME, DURING THE HOLIDAYS series. Check the site for a poem from me as well as some poems and pieces from other writers!
(Oh, you also get to see a cute picture of me as a kid!)
Green, red, and blue
Hold allure under the tree
As the others pop up day by day
All shapes, sizes, weight
They can be shaken
With some success when a guess
Yet the stocking
A true mystery
Filling but never willing
To show how much it holds
Hanging resists an accurate feel
The mix within irreversible
Like a cake
Ingredients not anticipated
Reaching in is a special rush
One after another
Like a magician’s best trick
Its contents coat the floor
Like snow on Christmas morning
Those little toys
Grabbed in fists, often first
Items to be tested
The best morning distractions
The best memories
AUTHOR’S PHOTO CAPTION: This is me, approximately six years old, at my grandparents’ house. I am trying to look cute in my Christmas dress, but I am always cheesy in photos!
I am super excited to say that, for the second time this semester, I have work being published in my university’s literary arts (online) magazine, thematically titled “Luminous” (defined as “a radical change in perspective”). This semester is strange, because they usually only do one magazine per semester. However, this semester they decided to do two! I feel really lucky that this happened, because this is the last year I’ll be able to submit anything to my school’s magazine. Therefore, I am ecstatic that I have two chances to be published! Writing for the magazine has been a great experience and has exposed me to a lot of great stuff in addition to giving me more confidence as a writer. There is also an open mic night for the mag’s release tomorrow, which I am super pumped about!
To change topics a little, I have a question for all you followers out there. Over the last few weeks I have been considering making a “best of” page for this blog in order to highlight some pieces (and perhaps direct some traffic to old posts, which, admittedly, have a tendency to get dusty). However, I am not sure how to select what is “best of!” Should I just link to pieces I particularly like? Pieces that have been published or recognized in some capacity (like the ones shown above)? Should I open up a post or poll for YOU readers to say what you like?
Hello, fellow bloggers! I have some exciting news!
The 2014 spring edition of my university’s literary arts magazine was released yesterday, and I was fortunate enough to have all three of the pieces I submitted accepted and published in the magazine!
I also had the pleasure of attending the release party last night, which included readings from the contributing authors and an open mic for anyone who wished to read their poetry or prose. To say it simply, I was blown away by the quality of the pieces read. You would think that submitting to and reading this magazine for a few years would get me used to the talent of my fellow students, but I am always pleasantly surprised! I daresay this is the best one I have been a part of!
Of course, I also appreciate any opportunity I get to read my writing in an open mic setting. I feel like many poems have a greater impact when spoken with feeling, and I enjoy the chances I get to try and “find my voice” while reading my poetry aloud. I also had the fortune of being greatly supported by a good number of my close friends who were in attendance, and their sincere compliments, high fives, and words of encouragement were very nourishing to me as a writer.
Okay, have I got you feeling depressed that you were not exposed to this glorious outpouring of literature? Well, feel depressed no more! The magazine is online and free for anyone to read, so take a look and support some writers by going to: http://aulitartsmag.tumblr.com/
I meant to post something about this earlier, but with school and holiday busyness I completely forgot!
My university’s literary arts magazine took a different turn this year, and, instead of printing out and selling hard copies of the magazine, they made a blog for the magazine instead. They did this not only so it could be freely presented to the entire university, but because, this way, they will be able keep a neat archive of all past editions.
I have mixed feelings about this, primarily because I enjoy flipping through a hard copy magazine and having it on my bookshelf… but the site turned out so well, that it’s softened me up to the idea.
As I’ve mentioned previously, I have three pieces in the magazine, but there are a lot of other cool pieces as well from my fellow students. So, while you’re sipping your hot cocoa and listening to Christmas carols around the fire this evening, check out some sweet poetry, prose, and photography at http://aulitartsmag.tumblr.com/
This evening I received an email letting me know that three of my poems were accepted into my university’s literary arts magazine!
Considering I was extremely nervous about submitting my poetry, this makes me pretty ecstatic! It’s essentially the first official “pat on the back” I’ve gotten specifically for my poetry. And with how crazy school has been lately, I needed this bit of encouragement.
I must say, I have to thank my blog and my followers for this triumph. It was starting this blog that encouraged me to get into poetry, and the resources, prompts, and likes and comments I’ve received from the blogging community have greatly increased the amount of writing I do. So thank you all for contributing to my growth as a writer! Without this blog encouraging me to continue writing, I doubt I would have had anything to submit and/or the motivation and confidence to write and submit something, especially a poem.
By now I am sure many of you are on the edge of your seat with suspense. What fantastic poems were selected?
I am excited to announce that I have a guest post featured over at Christina’s blog, Seventeen20!
It features a poem and an article that have not been posted here, so if you like my stuff or just want to support an awesome blog, check my post out here! The topic of the post is Who Do You Show Your Writing To?