June 28, 2022
I have started writing poetry book reviews for Trending Northwest. Trending Northwest is a new magazine and website designed to highlight stories from the Pacific Northwest, which includes arts and culture. As a contributor for them, I will be reading and writing reviews of poetry books from poets who live in the PNW. My review of Jane Wong’s poetry collection How To Not Be Afraid of Everything is live on the website now!
January 8, 2022
It’s 2022! As part of my effort to be more intentional with my creative endeavors, I’ve started a little project I’m calling Illustrated Poetry. I’m doing ink sketches of images I find striking while I’m reading poetry. I’ve always liked drawing with ink. When I was a teenager, I burned through Sharpies making black and white drawings that focused on high contrast, hatching, and textures. I still find myself going back to this style (although I’ve upgraded to Micron and Faber-Castell). It’s been a joy to find a way to integrate my drawing and poetry practice. I don’t spend much time on each drawing—maybe 30-60 minutes on each—so that it can be a more regular practice. I’ve added a page to this website dedicated to this practice, and I post new drawings on twitter as I finish them. I also provide links to the poems and/or their books (depending on if it’s available online) so that other people can find and enjoy these striking poems.
December 1, 2019
I had a few big changes in the past couple months. I moved to Seattle in August, and I started a new job as a domestic violence advocate in October. Violence against women is a theme that appears frequently in my poetry as it’s an issue that’s so important to me. I’m grateful to have the opportunity to do this work, and I’m learning how to balance the responsibilities and challenges of that new role with my writing life.
In that spirit, I am challenging myself to write a poem a day in December! I’ve done similar month-long challenges before and always found them useful for generating new work without worrying so much about getting things exactly right. I’ll be tracking my progress on my twitter account, @weekspoet.
Also, because I missed it, Crab Creek Review recently published two of my poems and featured one of those poems on their blog: “The Bone Wheel.” I love their blog — it’s regularly updated with new poems, and they include a note from the writers about the context of the poem. Thanks, CCR!
May 28, 2019
Last week, Poetry Daily featured one of my poems! “Single-Gathered Glass” was originally published in Seneca Review. This poem went through so many revisions before I was finally happy with it — my edit history tells me the first draft was written June 4, 2017 and included red plastic hippos and a lot of extraneous verbs and adverbs.
March 4, 2019
This week I’m participating in the Poetry Moment program on Spokane Public Radio. Poetry Moment is great — each week, a local poet reads one poem a day for the broadcast (usually, one of their own poems and four from other poets). The biggest challenge was narrowing my list down to four poems — how do I possibly pick only four poems from all the good poetry out there? In the end, my choices were made easier by uncovering a theme. Like a typical poet, I love the moon. A poem from Jennifer S. Cheng’s book Moon: Letters, Maps, Poems (Tarpaulin Sky Press, 2018) was a clear choice. I’d also recently read Unmanned (Noemi Press, 2018) by Jessica Rae Bergamino, a really stunning collection about girlhood from the perspective of the Voyager probes. So that was space poem number two. From there, I picked poems by Emily Rose Cole and Franny Choi that referenced the moon and spacetime/quantum theory (another of my obsessions). I almost forgot about choosing one of my own poems, but luckily space/spacetime themes pop up in my own poetry fairly often. Recording the poems was a really cool experience that reminded me how much more you become engaged with a poem when you read it out loud. Anyway, here are the links to the archived recordings:
“Final Frontier with Gardenia and Other Invasive Species” by Jessica Rae Bergamino
“Chang’E” by Jennifer S. Cheng
“Nocturne with Supermoon & MS Relapse” by Emily Rose Cole