I’m delighted to announce that “I’m a Girl. What’s your superpower?” (poem by me, music by Heather Gilligan) won second prize at the NYC songSLAM on January 17, 2019. Our song was performed by mezzo soprano Stephanie Weiss and pianist Christina Wright-Ivanova. We were the only all-female group among ten teams.
The flagship event for Sparks & Wiry Cries, the NYC songSLAM is a unique competition for emerging composer/performer teams to premiere new art song. In the poetry-slam tradition, audience members vote on their favorite performances, and $2,000 in cash prizes are awarded.
For six weeks (September 13 to October 25), I will be participating in the “Raise Your Verse” fundraiser to support Mass Poetry. Along with a group of other Massachusetts poets, I’ll be writing poems while seeking donations.
Mass Poetry is a non-profit that believes words and their impact matter. The organization’s work extends from education for children to art around the city. I’ve chosen to be a part of this initiative to support the many great programs Mass Poetry offers, which you can read about here: http://www.masspoetry.org/ourprograms/
By sponsoring me you get to be part of this project creatively as well as financially, because… I’m taking requests! Each sponsor/donor can request something for me to use in creating a poem, such as a title, a theme, or a word. If you’re a fellow writer, you can give me a formal challenge (“write a sonnet, haiku, etc.”); if you’re a visual artist, you can give me an exphrastic challenge (“write in response to this painting, photograph, etc.”); if you’re a musician, you can give me a listening challenge (“write in response to this piece of music”). Based on what you request, I’ll write a custom poem for you. At the end of the project I’ll send you a signed copy of your poem, printed on cardstock paper and suitable for framing.
Contributions of any amount are much appreciated and will help Mass Poetry continue its mission to broaden the audience of poetry readers, bring poetry to readers of all ages, and transform people’s lives through inspiring verse. I hope you can join us in this campaign!
My poem “In Lieu of Flowers” was one of the winners in the 2017 City of Cambridge Sidewalk Poetry Contest. After delays last year, the winning poems were finally installed during the first weekend of this month (June 2018). Unfortunately the Department of Public Works didn’t alert the Arts Council in time to notify any of us, so I wasn’t able to watch the installation. Also, rainy weather (and/or other factors) caused the imprint to be uneven, so not all of the words came out sharply. Plus, vandals scratched some graffiti into the wet cement (it seems to be fading and is almost invisible in the photo below). Despite all of that, I’m honored that my poem was chosen, and I’m delighted for my words to be shared with the community through this physical embodiment. If you’re in Cambridge, MA you can find my poem on Broadway in front of the Cambridge Public Library main branch.
My debut collection of poetry, Labor (published by Nixes Mate), is now available! Paperback and Kindle copies can be ordered online at Amazon. Printed copies are also available for direct sale from the publisher. Another option (which supports me, Nixes Mate, and small businesses) is to request that your local book store order copies. If you live in the Boston area, keep an eye out for copies on the shelves of some shops there.
I’m delighted to announce that Nixes Mate Books has accepted my mid-sized manuscript, Labor, for publication. This will be my first book in print! Stay tuned for more news about release date and readings.
My chapbook Grief Dreams will be published in June 2017 by White Knuckle Press! This is my first manuscript acceptance, and I’m thrilled. Stay tuned for more announcements about the book release next year.
When my dear friend and colleague Anastasia Nikolova invited me to contribute an article about poetry for The Opera Stage’s Guest Artist Blog, of course I had to say yes. I led a few workshop discussions on this topic in the past, and I have ambitions of writing a book about it in the future. (Thank you, Anastasia and Stephen, for the opportunity to share my ideas with all the Opera Stage followers!)
One of my manuscripts, Simple as a Sonnet, was chosen as a finalist in the Paper Nautilus Debut Series Chapbook Contest! Although this recognition does not include publication by the press, it nevertheless is a boost to my confidence. I feel more encouraged now to continue submitting this particular manuscript elsewhere. And the editor, Lisa Mangini, sent me a personal e-mail with the kind comment “Out of almost 90 submissions, your writing was some of the most memorable.”
For the past five years, September has been the month when I participated in the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition’s “Break the Silence” 5K walk/run, to honor the memory of my mother. But this year, the NOCC event happens to fall on a day when I’ll be out of town. So in lieu of that race, I’ve decided to run a different type of marathon: by participating, for the second time, in the Tupelo Press 30/30 Project. The challenge is to write thirty poems in thirty days (one per day) and to seek sponsorship along the way.
When I did this marathon before (April 2013) my goal was to write in a different form each day, and some of my best inspiration came from friends suggesting themes or words for me to use. This time, I’m attempting a series of acrostic poems, and once again I’m taking requests. Send me a name (person, place, or thing) and I’ll use it to compose a poem!