Discover more from The A-List: Notes from my Electric Typewriter
Hello, yeah, it's been a while--not much, how about you?
It was the spirit of poetry who reached out and found me as I stood there at the doorway between panic and love." ~ Joy Harjo
Hello, it's been a while since I've last written, but I wanted to write to share some good news (okay, *great* news!)--I just signed a contract for my next collection of poems to be published by Copper Canyon Press (currently scheduled for spring/summer 2021)! Current mood: over the moon!
Me celebrating in the poncho my Aunt Marguerite knit for me.
Here's the lowdown on my manuscript being chosen--it was chosen from the slush pile. Yep. No networking, no splashy dinners, no huge donation or secret handshake--I just submitted it to their open submissions. (If you want to submit to Copper Canyon, you can learn more here.)
It had been a finalist in 2 other prizes right before it was chosen, but didn't win.
If you are currently submitting your work to book prizes or publishers, please use this story as a reminder-- what looks like a loss or a door closing, might just be a pause for something else.
Looking back, I now realized had my book been chosen by either of those prizes, I wouldn't be with Copper Canyon. Yes, rejection can be a bummer, but we have no idea what's in store for ahead. So to all the poets, writers, and artists out there who every day send their work out--hang on when it's bumpy, the road keeps stretching forward...
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I always like to include a few favorite things in these notes (by the way, I do hope to start sending these email postcards once a month...)
Visible Poetry Project (VPP). Deadline Oct. 31: Ever want your poem made into a film? As a VPP alum, I'm on the selection panel helping filmmakers find poems to be made into short films. If you want to see an example of what they've done, here's my poem, Love Waltz with Fireworks made into a short film by Sarah Durn.
Two Sylvias Press Wilder Poetry Book Prize for Women Over 50: Deadline Dec. 31, 2019. Looking for a poetry manuscript 48-80 pages by a woman poet born in 1969 or earlier.
Mother Mary Comes To Me: A Pop Culture Poetry Anthology edited by Colin Kelley & Karen Head: The Virgin Mary long ago transcended her religious origins to become an instantly recognizable icon. They are looking for poems that explore the intersection of the sacred and the larger than life persona that Mary has become throughout the ages and how she still holds sway in the 21st century as a figure to be praised, feared and mined for pathos and humor. Deadline: January 1, 2020.
PoetLore is looking for poems! Send up to 5 poems (deadline: November 30).
What I'm Reading: Maybe You Should Talk to Someone: A Therapist, HER Therapist, and Our Lives Revealed by Lauri Gottlieb a therapist goes to a therapist (this is not the opening to a joke but actually a very interesting story about a break-up), Bandit a memoir by poet Molly Brodak whose father was a bank robber (yes, you read that correctly), The Tradition by Jericho Brown--what I love about this book is Jericho invited his own new form called "the duplex" (you can see an example of that here in American Poetry Review).
What I'm Watching: Joy Harjo, our new Poet Laureate on Super Soul Sunday with Oprah! (full episode airs Sunday, Oct 6 at 8 am PST) Also watched Fleabag (Amazon Prime series where imperfect characters do imperfect things and in London), Blinded by the Light (film) inspired by the life of journalist Sarfraz Manzoor and his love of the works of Bruce Springsteen--I adored this film. Also loved Echo in the Canyon (documentary), a film that looks at the music scene (think Beach Boys, Mamas & the Papas, Buffalo Springsteen) of Laurel Canyon in the late 60s--also this has some of the last footage of Tom Petty talking music before he died.
What I'm Loving: This poem by David Trinidad "Red Parade" in Poetry (you can read it, but I recommend the audio if you have a moment). This great idea--there's a Poetry Pharmacy in England where you can get personalized prescriptions for poems! This website Lyrik-Line where you can listen to over 1000 poets reading their work and in different languages. And this short poetry prompt: Write a poem to your favorite letter of the alphabet.
Also I love how the leaves are starting to fall and while I already miss summer, I've pulled out my big cozy sweaters and am building a fire in the woodstove--it's reading and writing season.
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Want to work together? Here are some places where I'll be teaching this year:
Nov. 23: HUGO HOUSE, Seattle, WA 1-5 pm: Let Me Live, Love, And Say It Well: Writing Poems Inspired by the Work of Sylvia Plath (A day of writing poems inspired by Ms. Plath and her work, letters, and art!)
September 11-13, 2020, Cannon Beach, Oregon: Poets on the Coast: A Weekend Writing Retreat for Women. Back to the beach 10th Anniversary Extravaganza!
Thank you all for all your support over the year. It feels as if everyone has a lot going on and the news can shake us up many times a day. But I think there are ways of keeping the best people close, finding ways to encourage and help each other, and doing good work in the world. Let's just keep working towards that...
I hope to be more in touch!
Sending love, light, and inspiration and wishing you the best of all of it!
P.S Special recognition to you if you got the reference in this email subject line "Hello, yeah, it's been a while--not much, how about you?" from the song "I'd Really Love To See You Tonight" by England Dan & John Ford Coley (1976). Here's them singing it on YouTube is you want to take a moment to go back in time....
Kelli Russell Agodon
Poet/Writer/Editor, Two Sylvias Press email@example.com Website: www.agodon.com Keep in touch: The A-List Newsletter for Poets & Writers