Rye diary: Day three

I left town for a week and came back to these fringes of green.

rye grass

Not very tall—and at first glance, not very exciting, But looking closer, I see some lovely reddish shades.

rye grass close up

Before I could fully appreciate this, I had to ascertain whether indeed the rye had germinated or whether this was just a new crop of the weeds I pull (or don’t). But I think this is the real deal. To be sure, I need to wait a little longer.

I’ve been waiting in my writing, setting poems aside, picking them up again, panicking because I might not have the most recent draft. Sometimes, the poems grow on me, and I see opportunities for nuance, for the subtle shadings. Sometimes, I grow tired of them, convinced that they are terrible. Time for waiting is running out, with just over a month before I turn in my thesis. But I can still get close to the ground of them, inspect their stems and blades, their rhythms and imagery (and I suspect that imagery is at the root of my worries). A garden is always in revision—something for me to keep in mind as I keep working at these poems.

As the calendar cruises toward National Poetry Month, what are you cultivating?

Constructed, mostly

I’m trying out this new theme, with a few updates (for example, adding my new poetry collection to the Books & Anthologies page).

For now, I’ve removed the email subscription widget because I’d heard that it didn’t work and I’m not sure it’s compliant with GDPR.

If you want the email subscription, let me know. (I like to subscribe to things, but I don’t know whether anyone else does.) And if you have an email subscription widget to recommend, let me know!

Possibly, more changes will be in the works. It’s going to be iterative.

—Joannie

Big Poetry Giveaway 2018!

poetry giveaway image of books

Update! The names have been drawn and the books, finally, have been sent. My thanks to everyone who participated, and I hope everyone had a wonderful Poetry month and that you’re still writing!

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Yes, it’s National Poetry Month!

And yes, there’s another Big Poetry Giveaway! Many thanks to Andrea Blythe for hosting the giveaway this year.

It’s easy: Add your name by commenting on this post, and you’ll be entered to win one of two poetry books:

The Book of Endings, National Book Award finalist, by Leslie Harrison

The Scene You See, hot off the presses, by me

In the meantime–write, revise, celebrate!

Happy New Year!

flower in snowI love that the snow changes the way I see things. This morning didn’t bring drifts, but just enough shift in perspective, just enough of a clean slate, which feels right on the first day of the year. And while the garden has greatly changed, I have this one bloom, and the rosemary, and in the background the fava beans and rye my daughter planted. I love to make jokes about coming through the rye and the catcher in the rye.

Wishing you joy in the small things and strength for the big things throughout the year.

Here’s to 2017!

“Hope” is the thing with feathers

When despair lurks in the corners and weighs heavy in the air, I repeat Emily Dickinson’s opening line over and over. Just that line. On mornings like this morning.

I’ve talked about getting it inked onto my arm. I might have to do just that, keep it close to me always.

I don’t know what the next steps are–where to go or how I’ll get there, how we’ll get there. All I have is hope trying to hatch.