What’s Going On–February 2014

Things here have been exciting and hectic! Two weeks ago, an anthology I co-edited was published on Amazon in e-book format. Published by CQT Media and Publishing/Land of Gazillion Adoptees, Lost Daughters: Writing Adoption From a Place of Empowerment and Peace features essays and poems by the adopted women contributors of the Lost Daughters blog, edited by Amanda H.L. Transue-Woolston, Julie Stromberg, Jennifer Anastasi, and myself. Two pieces of mine are included–a poem from my master’s thesis and an essay I wrote specifically for the anthology.

This was a passion project from beginning to end; our proceeds from the sale of the book will be donated to an adoptee-centric charity, which we’ll announce soon. My co-editors and I are very grateful to everyone who purchased the e-book during the first few days following its release, helping it make the Amazon best sellers list in the Adoption category! The book will be out shortly in paperback as well, and we’re hopeful that a reading will take place in the D.C. area in June. More on that as soon I have the details.

Also last month, I was thrilled to have one of my poems accepted by Conte, an online journal of narrative writing. The poem, along with a recording of me reading it, will appear in their next issue, which is due to be published in late February/early March.

I am honored also to have been asked to serve as judge of the Literary E-Zine category for the Southern Literary Festival, which will be held at the University of Mississippi in March. I’ve already chosen the winning entry; I’ll post a link here after the festival concludes to share the awesomeness.

March, come quickly, please!

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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!

Goings On

I’ve been lax in posting here lately. Sometimes the number of things I have to keep track of gets overwhelming. So, I thought I’d mention some of what I’ve been busy with over the past month.

In January, the first issue of Flycatcher: A Journal of Native Imagination went live. We’ve received some great feedback, which makes the long hours we put in all worthwhile. I’m especially proud of being able to help emerging writers get their work in front of an audience. Now it’s time to gear up for Issue 2, due out this summer.

Also in January, I began working as a graduate research assistant with the Georgia Writers Association. I’ll be editing their monthly newsletter and helping out at workshops held on the second Saturday of each month.

One of my poems is published in the latest issue of The Cleveland Review, which I’m particularly happy about because I’m from Cleveland. I was thrilled when I discovered this fairly new publication several months ago.

And then there are my classes. I’m taking two this semester, which didn’t sound like too many when I registered, but which I now realize are two rather work-intensive courses. The good news though is that when this semester is over, I’ll just have one more class to take. My focus will shift to my capstone project, which I’ll be starting in the fall, assuming I get my proposal done this semester. Oh yeah, my proposal . . . .

Coming Soon–Flycatcher: A Journal of Native Imagination

As of tomorrow I will officially be on winter break and will have completed a bit more than half of my required credit hours toward my master’s degree. (Yay me!) After a weekend of decompression, I will plunge headfirst into work toward preparing the first issue of a brand-spanking-new literary journal called Flycatcher: A Journal of Native Imagination. I was asked on as an assistant editor of Flycatcher in June by my classmate and friend Christopher Martin. Flycatcher is Chris’s passion, and I’m honored to be along for the ride.

Starting a new literary and arts journal is exhilarating, and an awful lot of work! Over the past roughly five months, we’ve read a healthy number of submissions, carried on some hefty philosophical discussions, done a bit of social media and word of mouth promotion, and completed some copy editing. Some of us have conducted interviews and written book reviews and even championed social causes. There’s still much to be done to get our inaugural issue ready for prime time, but it’s the kind of work that keeps you up late into the night for the sheer joy of doing it. How many jobs can you say that about?

Of course, I’ll make an announcement when the issue is live, but in the meantime here’s a sampling of what to expect: Poetry by environmental writer Erik Reece, author of An American Gospel and Lost Mountain; fiction by Raymond Atkins, recipient of the 2009 Georgia Author of the Year Award for First Novel for his book The Front Porch Prophet; memoir by Linda Niemann, author of Boomer and Railroad Noir; a photo essay by photographer and poet Brian Brown.

How’s that for a tease? Stay tuned!