Buy Books, Do Good

Ahh yes, it’s that time of year when writers with books post things like “You know what makes great gifts? My books!” They say this with a bit of hope and a bit of shame. I’m no exception. I’ve got books. They’d make great gifts.

BUT even better than my poetry books is the fact if you order through me I’ll donate part of the proceeds to your choice of either the Southern Poverty Law Center (a nonprofit org dedicated to fighting hate and bigotry and to seeking justice for the most vulnerable members of our society) or SafeBAE (a student-focused, survivor-driven campaign whose mission is to raise awareness about sexual assault in middle and high schools and student’s rights under Title IX.) Buy books, do good, win-win.

So, if you want either “Elegy/Elk River” (my prize-winning chapbook of poems) or “Blood Song” (my debut full-length) message me and let’s make the world a better place.

On Being Thankful

I have found joy in the smallest things: tiny dogs carried by their owners, smooth rocks, how you can pretend to be a dragon when it’s cold and your breath visible. It’s childish. I’m childish. That part of me, the part that still tries the new flavor of chips or chocolate, is what has kept me going as a writer.

I don’t submit as much as I use to. I don’t write as much either. But there are enough small joys in the literary world (and big ones if you know where to look) that keep me going.

This week has been filled with joys in my world. Chloe Clark wrote a blog post over at Ploughshares on “poetry after disaster,” and was kind enough to include one of my poems. Gulf Stream Lit and Two Sylvias Press both nominated me for a Pushcart Prize. And one of the powerhouses of literary citizenship, Mr. Bear (and Georgia Bellas), did a feature of my work paired with some music by Leonard Cohen on the literary podcast, Mr. Bear’s Violet Hour Saloon. I don’t know whether to consider these small joys or large ones. But they are joys, and I’m thankful for them. This much I know.

Poetry World Series: Seattle Edition

This weekend I had the pleasure of reading alongside some of my favorite Seattle poets at the Poetry World Series: Seattle Edition! It was a fun night filled with some amazing poetry. Shoutout to my fellow Blue Team members Jane Wong and Matthew Nienow, both whom have newly published books of poetry out and I can tell you right now….these two are brilliant. And the Red Team was not to be trifled with as anyone who knows John Beer, Jeannine Hall Gailey (who also has a new book out!), and Michelle Peñaloza knows they can thrown down some powerful, funny, and intelligent verse. It was one of my favorite readings I’ve ever taken part in, and I couldn’t be more honored and humbled to be amongst such great writers.

Oh, and that’s a photo of me with one of the judges for the night. You may know him from such literary things as EVERYTHING IN THE LIT WORLD. Thank you Mr. Sherman Alexie for your insight, wit, and generosity.

mssa