TWELVE Honored with an Elgin Award

Twelve: Poems Inspired by the Brothers Grimm - poetry book

I’m chuffed and honored and gobsmacked to announce that TWELVE, my short collection of prose poetry, has placed second in the Elgin Awards. I’m so grateful the members of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Association (SFPA) for giving my strange little collection of prose poetry some love.

When I started writing the poem “The First Sister,” I had no idea that this would turn into a series of poems — but each of the women in “Twelve Dancing Princesses” called out to me with their own stories to be told.

As I continued returning to these women over the years, with their words taking on the shape of prose poetry, I had no idea that this collection would ever find a home. And I’m so grateful to Holly Walrath and Interstellar Flight Press for taking a chance and publishing this little book (of which I’m so proud).

I am so honored to be included among so many amazing poets, who also received awards:

Book Award Winners

    • First Place – The Sign of the Dragon by Mary Soon Lee (JABberwocky Literary Agency, 2020)
    • Second Place – A Collection of Dreamscapes by Christina Sng (Raw Dog Screaming Press, 2020)
    • Third Place (tie) – Mary Shelley Makes a Monster by Octavia Cade (Aqueduct Press, 2019)
    • Third Place (tie) – A Route Obscure and Lonely by LindaAnn LoSchiavo (The Wapshott Press, 2020)

Chapbook Award Winners

    • First Place – Otherwheres by Akua Lezli Hope (ArtFarm Press, 2020)
    • Second Place – Twelve: Poems Inspired by the Brothers Grimm Tale by Andrea Blythe (Interstellar Flight Press, 2020)
    • Third Place – Manifest by Terese Mason Pierre (Gap Riot Press, 2020)

Learn more about the Elgin Winners and view a complete list of nominees on the SFPA website.

Escaping to the Woods: A 2021 Writing Retreat

A couple of weeks ago, I escaped from the routines of my everyday life and disappeared into the woods for four days. As the video above explains, the intention of the trip was to shape a small writing retreat for myself. I packed up some pens, notebooks, my laptop, and printouts of a poetry project (along with some books and art and mediation supplies).

The goals of the retreat were low-key:

  1. Disconnect from social media, the internet, and other distractions that fill my time with mental clutter.
  2. Rest, relax, and rejuvenate through reading, walking among the trees, and meditation.
  3. Write or create things, if I feel so inclined.

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What is Poetry? A Writing Excuses Master Class

experimental photograph with blue and orange refracted light
Photo by Jr Korpa on Unsplash.

Out of the many writing focused podcasts out there, Writing Excuses has long been one of my favorites. Hosted by published authors working in a variety of genres and with years of experience in the industry, Writing Excuses provides solid and insightful writing, craft, and business advice with a splash of humor — all in bite-sized 15-20 minute episodes.

In 2021, the podcast is focused on presenting a series of master classes covering a wide range of subjects. Most recently, the show wrapped up an eight-episode series on poetry, which was led by Amal El-Mohtar along with regular hosts Mary Robinette Kowal, Dan Wells, and Howard Taylor.

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A Couple of Poetry Bits

My poem “The Third Sister,” which appears in Twelve: Poems Inspired by the Brothers Grimm Fairy Tale (Interstellar Flight Press), has been nominated for a Rhysling Award by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Association. It’s such an honor to be included among the ranks of such amazing poets. You can view a complete list of the nominated poems as well as order a copy of the Rhysling anthology containing all of the works here.

I’m also grateful to the editors of Yes, Poetry, who have named me the Poet of the Month and published two of my poems “Little Ghost” and “The Zenith.”

Here’s a brief sample from “Little Ghost”:

Fate is risky, all set-up
and thin chances.

Scales balance.
People die.

The universe
doesn’t invite returns.

TWELVE is Available & Other Goings On

Twelve: Poems Inspired by the Brothers Grimm - poetry book

Twelve: Poems Inspired by the Brother’s Grimm Fairy Tale is officially available from Interstellar Flight Press. 

I mean . . ., okay, technically, it’s been out in the world since September. I just haven’t got around to saying it until now.

You may as well as me, Why? Aren’t you excited?

And the answer is yes, I’m very excited. Yet, somehow I’m having a hard time sharing that excitement with people.

Maybe it’s just the general 2020 vibes and all the anxiety and weirdness that comes with it. I’m sure that’s at least a part of it — however, another part is some strange block I have about promoting and celebrating my own work.

Example One. Sitting around a campfire with my aunt, cousins, and sister, we were taking turns saying the things we felt most proud off this year. When it was my turn, I rattled off a few things (of which I don’t remember). When I finished, my sister was flabbergasted. “I thought you were going talk about your book coming out. How could you not talk about your book coming out?”

“Oh, yeaaaah,” I said. “Yes, yeah, of course, I’m super proud of that, too.”

Continue reading “TWELVE is Available & Other Goings On”