What’s Going On–September 2014

RoS_Cover_2014How did it get to be September? Moving to a new state sucks so much energy out of you, you lose track of the months. I’m happy to say that my family and I are finally beginning to feel settled in our new home. It’s time to turn my attention back to my creative goals.

In the midst of all the craziness, I managed to edit and publish a poetry anthology on behalf of the Georgia Poetry Society. Don’t ask me how I did it. It’s all a blur. But I’m very proud of how it turned out and thrilled to share the cover here–the first cover I’ve designed myself. I’m very grateful to artist Karen Burnette Garner for submitting to GPS’s first cover contest. Her gorgeous painting is a song.

In other news, I’ve contributed an epistolary piece to an upcoming anthology titled Dear Wonderful You: Letters to Adopted and Fostered Youth. This is a unique project that will enable young adult readers to correspond directly with the authors after the book is published. I’m looking forward to interacting with these young adoptees and foster children in a mentoring role. More information about this project will be coming in the next few months.

Now that my kids are back in school, I’m settling into a writing routine once again. The memoir I’ve had floating around for several years has finally bubbled to the top of the to-do list. Anyone who’s ever thought about writing a book probably knows this dance I’ve been doing–advancing toward the manuscript and then pushing away from it, over and over again. This is a dance that can absorb a life if you let it. I’m at last determined to finish the thing, once and for all. My goal is to have a complete draft by the end of the year, and I’ve been progressing well over the past several weeks. Hold me to this, everyone!

I have other goals in mind as well. But that’s talk for another day…

 

 

 

What’s Going On–May 2014

Living LoudI’ve been away from the blog for a while, busy navigating an enormous life change that includes relocating from Atlanta to the Tampa Bay area. Things aren’t yet settled, but life marches on despite my need for rest!

The next Big Thing on my calendar is a trip to Washington, D.C., on June 1, where I’ll read along with several of my Lost Daughters sisters in support of our anthology, Lost Daughters: Writing Adoption from a Place of Empowerment and Peacewhich I’m happy to report is now available in print as well as e-book format. The event, billed as Living Loud: Unabashed Identity Exploration, will take place at the K Street location of Busboys and Poets from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Let us know you’ll be there with an RSVP to our Facebook event page.

A poem of mine was recently published in what turns out to be the final issue of Conte: A Journal of Narrative WritingI wrote this one as part of my Master’s thesis, and I’m glad it’s found just the right space in the world.

I’m thrilled to share my pick of Best Literary E-zine for the 2014 Southern Literary Festival. The Treatment: Writing Medicine and Illness submitted by Hendrix College was a pleasure to explore, from the first click to the final word. Please check out the exceptional work of these creative nonfiction students.Many thanks to Gloria Bennett for inviting me to serve as a judge.

My final literary endeavor in Georgia will be completing the manuscript for the 2014 edition of The Reach of Song, Georgia Poetry Society’s annual anthology. Final edits are in the works in preparation for the book’s release in July. Pre-orders are now being accpeted; download an order form here.

Leaving Georgia will be bittersweet, but at the same time, I’m looking forward to exploring new literary territory in Tampa Bay!

 

 

What’s Going On – July 2013

2013-06-09 12.00.53 editedI’ve been on a summer hiatus of sorts since my graduation and the end of my children’s school year. I’ve done the family vacation thing and the hanging-at-the-pool-with-the-kids thing and not a whole lot of anything else until this month.

Now I’m honored to be editing submissions for The Lost Daughters Anthology, which is due to be published this fall. The essays and poems in this collection speak to the complicated lives we navigate as adopted women. Though many of the pieces have appeared previously on Lost Daughters and other blogs, they somehow read differently when combined in this format with each other and the as-yet-unpublished pieces. The oneness of our journey reaches through our individual tales, connecting us to each other and to every other adopted person. I can’t wait for everyone to read this book! Continue reading “What’s Going On – July 2013”

What’s Going On – April/May 2013

My big news is that I have completed every page, class, defense, and reading required to earn my Master of Arts on May 15. It’s been three years of hard work while trying to maintain balance at home, but it’s been worth every difficult moment. I’m a better writer and, even more importantly, I’ve met some kindred spirits along the way.

I finally made it over to Marietta to read at the Play Pen Open Mic, a tradition for students in my program. I also read at the open mic during the American Adoption Congress National Conference in my hometown of Cleveland earlier this month–and, my birth father was in the audience! I’m so glad I had the chance to read a poem I wrote about our meeting for the first time.

Karen Pickell and Natasha Trethewey
Karen Pickell and Natasha Trethewey

Recently, a poem of mine called “Green” won second place in a free verse contest held by the Georgia Poetry Society and judged by Alabama poet Irene Latham. I had the opportunity to read the poem last week at a joint meeting of the Georgia and Alabama poetry societies. Later that day, U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey read selections from her books and talked about her role in cultivating an appreciation of poetry throughout the country.

May will be a month of transition, now that I’m no longer a graduate student. I have a couple of book reviews coming up at Lost Daughters, and will also be into the nitty gritty of editing our forthcoming anthology. I’m proud to have accepted the position of Associate Editor at Flycatcher, which comes with a new set of responsibilities. And, it’s time to get cracking on putting the work I’ve completed for my degree out into the world.

Excuse me while I break out my shades–the future’s looking bright!

What’s Going On – March, 2013

These first three months of 2013 have just whizzed by for me.

Priority number one has been finishing my Capstone thesis, which I’m thrilled to say has been signed off on by both of my advisors. Only the oral defense remains. I’m set to graduate with a Master of Arts in Professional Writing on May 15. Now I’ll be turning my attention to submitting individual pieces from my thesis for publication, as well as preparing the full manuscript.

This Saturday, I’ll be reading three poems from my thesis for the Johns Creek Poetry Group. The poems express various aspects of adoptee experience. This group is a local chapter of the Georgia Poetry Society, which publishes an annual anthology of members’ poems for which I’ve recently agreed to serve as assistant editor.

The second issue of Flycatcher went live on January 31, and received a nice write up from New Pages. I had the pleasure of reviewing Ada Limón’s poetry collection, Sharks in the Rivers, for this issue. We are also celebrating the inclusion of three pieces from our first issue in the 2012 Best of the Net Anthology.

Over the next couple of months, I’ll be co-editing an anthology of essays by the contributors of Lost Daughters, which will be released by CQT Media and Publishing in conjunction with the APRC Conference in November.

In April, I’ll be attending the American Adoption Congress International Adoption Conference in my hometown of Cleveland, Ohio. The push is on in Ohio to pass legislation that would grant all adult adoptees access to their original birth certificates, and I’m proud to be supporting this cause.

It’s good to be busy!