About lizpurvis

Hi, I’m Liz. I’m a writer, a musician, an artist, a lover, and a friend. I love easily and often. As Irish musician Johnny Flynn wrote, "I was born with a love of the wrote and the writ..."

I’m having trouble writing today. Hi, world. It’s been a while since I’ve been at the blogging thing, in major part because I’ve been working on my MFA and feverishly writing as much poetry as possible. Also because life has gotten busy, because I write for work, etc, etc.

But today, as in most days, I woke up early, made coffee, and sat down to read poems before working on my own, and after a while I couldn’t do it. Couldn’t think words on the page. I found myself scrolling through newsfeeds, again and again shocked/horrified/saddened by what’s going on in my state, and in the world at large.

Here’s a run-down:

  • Earlier this week, bombings in Brussels, Belgium killed many.
  • #Drumpf was carted out across major news syndicates, spouting his bigotry, xenophobic sweeping statements, and general inarticulateness.
  • And, yesterday, the state I live in (NC) passed a bill through its Congress that would allow people/businesses/organizations to discriminate against members of the LGBTQIA community, and repeal a more local ordinance protecting the rights of trans people to use the bathroom that best suits their needs.

I’m so fed up with all this. Each day, the world seems like a scarier place. Each day, America seems like a scarier place, like the fucking Twilight Zone, and I want to be all zen and love and light and shit about it, but instead I keep getting riled up. And I keep not being able to write what I want – that is to say, new poems – which is unimportant in the grand scheme of things but desperately important to me.

I think about writing politicos pieces, and at times I have, but they fall so short. I feel much about these events; I have no distance.

It’s a bit of a rant today but, at the moment, that’s all I have.

Hey World (and a new poem!)

It’s been a while! Suffice it say that the MFA is going well; life is, well, life (with all its ups and downs); and I am getting very good at knitting.

After months of waiting, I’m super thrilled to say that my poem “Burning Pine” is up at Deep South Magazine, which you can read in the link if you’re so inclined.

In other poetic good news, “Eight-Ball” was selected for inclusion in plain china, which is an annual anthology compiled of selections from undergraduate literary journals across the country (big deal). Some of my Colonnades colleagues/writer-friends were also chosen, so we’re a happy bunch with that.

Went to a fantastic multi-genre workshop this past fall on turning emotional landmines into literature, which generated a ton of new material for me. And I’m learning about teaching creative writing, as I’ll be an instructor in a few short months.

AWP is coming up in Minneapolis this April. So excited for that!

And that’s the news on the creative front.


What I’m bad at…

  • Washing the last late-night snack plate or beverage cup
  • Folding the laundry once it’s dry
  • Properly alphabetizing my books
  • Compartmentalizing my emotions
  • Vacuuming
  • Cooking for just myself
  • Sinking the last cup in beer pong
  • Falling asleep with first strategically sprawling over 85% of the bed
  • Holding a poker face of any kind, for any reason
  • Tolerating chipper morning people before my coffee
  • Being a chipper morning person after my coffee
  • Really cleaning all the coffee grounds out of the French press
  • Replacing the aluminum foil under the burners
  • Anything that involves plastic wrap
  • Not finishing the whole bottle of red wine
  • Tanning
  • Being outside in summer without figuratively melting
  • Walking while doing basically anything else
  • Answering stupid questions
  • Dealing with spiders, bugs, and other creepy crawlies
  • Making deals with the spiders so they’ll deal with the other creepy crawlies
  • Judging myself about the fact that I’m trying to make deals with spiders
  • Apathy
  • Unpacking completely
  • Keeping less than four pairs of shoes by the door
  • Being patient
  • Folding fitted sheets
  • Waking up when the room is still dim
  • Letting go of absolutely anything I care about
  • Transitioning between screen-reading and book-reading
  • Following recipes
  • Packing without forgetting one or two crucial things
  • Airport reunions (which are wonderful, but what goes where? How do I find my person in the 57000 airport people? How soon do I run to them? So many concerns)
  • Beating around the bush
  • Staying calm when my overactive imagination goes into overdrive

Submission Opportunity!

Hi lovelies! This is a public service announcement, for those of us who write things, and enjoy writing things, and perhaps are so bold as to call ourselves writers and poets and creative types.

The Fem Literary Magazine is looking for submissions! I’m the poetry editor of this new mag, but we’re looking for poetry and prose, published on a rolling basis to our website.

A little bit about us? The Fem is a combo literary magazine and safe space. People with disabilities, people of color, women of color, members of the LGBTQIA community, trans people, and all members of oppressed groups are welcome here and encouraged to submit. Continue reading

All the Feelings

Lately, there have been a lot of feelings. A lot of ups and downs, of all kinds. I’m beginning to get used to this whole MFA thing (which I am simultaneously loving, and being inspired by, and also feeling as though I completely do not deserve to be here).

I hear that if you’re in a group meditation, sometimes you can kind of coast the meditative, collective high, that it and those around you elevate you. This MFA thing Continue reading

Thoughts on Grad School…

 I’ve been fairly contemplative, a bit meta, over this whole crazy thing that IS grad school – specifically, English graduate school. Everyone says graduate school is terrible, but you love it, but you hate it, and you have no free time because classes and research suck your life. But – and maybe this is just me – it really doesn’t seem that bad. So here are my thoughts, on what this is like. For me, at least.  Continue reading