In the last few years, I started writing poetry again. I’d done it in fits and spurts since childhood, but was never really satisfied with my efforts. Then a personal crisis gave me a new impetus, inspiring me to produce one or even two or three poems a day, for several months. I found this creative outlet to be a gift to me in the midst of terrible chaos and disruption, and was astonished by the quality of what sometimes came out of my pen (along with a certain amount of garbage, that was just venting).
I tried sending my poems to a few publications, but they all rejected my work. This gave me the idea that my poems were not good after all, and I thought I’d just share them on the blog or keep them for myself. The intense writing impulse faded, too, and I thought it had been some kind of aberration, although I did still write poems from time to time.
But in November, I took an online course offering support and resources for writers who want to publish — emphasizing that rejection is a part of the process, and is to be embraced, not avoided. Given the energy coming from a community of others like me, I found the courage to start submitting my writing again. This time, I did better research to identify venues that were more likely to accept the kind of thing I write. And I started to get accepted. These are not high-prestige, paid publication spots, but I’m not aiming for that at the moment. I’m just happy if my words can reach another audience in addition to me and my blog readers.
Of course, I’m always very happy to share my words with you, and so I hope you’ll visit these fine sites and read my contributions, along with any other pieces that might attract your interest. I’ve been quite amazed and heartened at all the creative work that is being produced and circulating, online as well as in print. I’m happy to be a part of this impulse, which I’ll continue to share with you as more publications come out. Enjoy!
- My poem “Opening a Pomegranate” was published in Untold Volumes, the poetry section of Christian Feminism Today. As noted on the site, this is “a feminist theology poetry series from a variety of perspectives and faith traditions, featuring both established and emerging poets.” One poem is published each month and you can subscribe to the series via email.
- My essay “Name Calling” was published on Braided Way, a site devoted to “Faces and voices of spiritual practice.” This piece originated as a blog post on my former blog, The Emerald City Book Review. I was honored to have it chosen as an Editor’s Pick, in line with the mission of The Braided Way to allow “the ceremonies and practices of multiple faiths to be available without the confinements of cultural dogma.” Again, you can subscribe to receive notifications of new posts.
- Five poems were published in Agape Review, a Christian literary journal. I was surprised, but pleased, to see all five of the poems I submitted published at once! Agape Review is non-denominational and not affiliated with any church or other organization, with a publication mission is in the spirit of agape, or unconditional love. It is published in a blog format that can be followed in whatever way suits you.
- Finally, three of my poems were published in Issue 4 of Soul Forte, the journal of the Institute for Spiritual Poetry. I’ve taken part in two of the monthly gatherings of this organization, which is run by a wonderful poet and person, Benjamin Bagocius. I enjoyed these opportunities to “write and talk,” with the understanding that “a poem is a conversation vast enough for all directions.” The next gathering is on January 29 and the theme is metaphor, in case you’d like to join in — all are welcome.