2019 in Review

Thank you to the editors, poets, and teachers who filled me with joy in 2019. I was thrilled that I was able to continue an association with journals where my work had previously appeared, including Rat’s Ass Review, Amethyst Review, and Mad Swirl. It was also gratifying to find my work published in journals where it had not appeared before. I want to thank Bob Lucky from Contemporary Haibun Online, who selected “Chihuahua Desert” for special recognition. To my surprise and delight, Skylar Hamilton Burris from  Ancient Paths Online nominated “About God’s Language” for a Pushcart Prize.  I also want to thank Bruce Dethlefsen, who selected my poem, “Thanksgiving with Alzheimer’s” as the winning entry for the Janet Dee Wullner-Fais Memorial Prize for Poetry. I hope that the poem will be published eventually in Millwork.

The year was also rich in classes. I took two through The Mill with Tom Montag, “The Luminous Poem,” and “The Poetry of Small Towns.” I took two workshops from Write On, Door County and met two amazing workshop leaders, Sylvia Cavanaugh, who taught “Writing of Poetry for Historical Understanding,” and Donna Hilbert, who taught “Writing the Catastrophe.” I returned to Madison for the annual conference Write By the Lake and took a class on creating a literary manuscript from Gale Walden. In the fall I took another Mill class, this time on the chapbook, from Karla Huston, who taught me everything I needed to know to select, organize, and submit a chapbook.

Other poetry-related activities included continuing my involvement with two critique/writing groups: Triggering Poetry and the Rat’s Ass Review forum, and participating again in Poetry is Alive and Well and Living in Manitowoc at the public library in April, as well as Poetry Slam at Kathy’s Stage Door Pub. I also took part in two poem-a-day challenges: the August Poetry Postcard Fest sponsored by Paul Nelson and Write Like You’re Alive, organized by Michael Hill.

One big surprise was that I loved writing poetry on-demand as part of the Art Slam celebration in September. Emilie Lindemann and I sat outside in front of Manitowoc Coffee, each with a typewriter, and composed poems on the spot for passers-by. Though I was nervous about it, it turned out to be great fun. Anne Schuette generously offered me a typewriter to use and I enjoyed using it to compose. I also participated in open mics held at Kathy’s Stage Door Pub throughout the year. We are fortunate that Barbara Bundy-Jost is willing to provide a place where poets can meet one another in the Manitowoc-Two Rivers area.

Eileen Mattmann invited me to share her residency at the Painted Forest in Valton, Wisconsin. We stayed in the Edgewood College Art Studio and Study Center. It was a remote, rural setting surrounded by Amish farms, very conducive to reading and writing. I’m grateful to Eileen for her hospitality.

Sadly, one of the prime movers of our local poetry scene, Jean Biegun, moved to California in the early summer. She believed in me, treating me like a peer when I had just begun to write. I wish her success and happiness in her new home.

I also want to thank Fritz Hildebrand, a fellow traveler poet, who sat alongside me in all five of Tom Montag’s classes. I’ve learned a great deal from his critiques of my poems, his suggestions, and from the poems he writes.

Now that I’ve written this up, I see that the year has been monumentally full of poetry for me! I am lucky to have met new poets, deepened friendships with those I knew before, and had the time to immerse myself in creative work.

2019 Poetry Acceptances and Publications

Christmas Bird Count Poetry Quarterly
Beach Vacation Wisconsin Poets Calendar
In the Back of a Truck Heading West Rat’s Ass Review
Baby Boomer Red Eft Review
The Tenderness of Airports Pangolin Review, The
Blueberry (reprint) Verse-Virtual
Polka Morning Surprise (reprint) Verse-Virtual
Rust Belt Factory (reprint) Verse-Virtual
Phyllis Wheatley’s Theology of Liberation: A Found Poem Poetry is Alive & Well & Living in Manitowoc
Poem of Attachment Amethyst Review
Children Who Never Met Him Door is a Jar Magazine
Graphology Door is a Jar Magazine
The Heart Test Door is a Jar Magazine
About God’s Language Ancient Paths Online
Chihuahua Desert Contemporary Haibun Online
Gift of the Autumn Forest Mad Swirl
Final Honors Your Daily Poem
The Murmur Your Daily Poem
When Summer Breathes Your Daily Poem
Waterfall Write Like You’re Alive

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