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

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The Things We Can’t Throw Away

At first we thought it was a bird erupting
from the chimney, scattering ash and soot
over our new-used sofa, down the hall.
Two black wing-beats marked the door’s molding
before it flew into the room full with unused furniture,
boxes waiting for unpacking. My mother
chased it with a broom, swinging the frayed straw end
and murmuring, you poor dear, you poor thing.

I was standing in the doorframe, my head barely to the knob
when the force of her swing grazed my shoulder. She abandoned her broom
and told me to sit very still on the stairs, watch the threshold
while she found a rag – the better, she said, to catch and release
our winged intruder. When she went into the room she closed the door.
Emerging minutes later, triumphant, she clasped the keening black
thing in a worn yellow towel. I undid the latch on the screen door.

Flinging the bat to the sky, she explained
how in that room she’d turned
the lights off, the blinds down; how her hands spread
under the cloth; how she waited
among the stacked shadows of cardboard marked,
in my father’s hand, Kitchenware and Things Rita says
I can’t throw away, until the creature calmed
its circling the ceiling, settled on a dresser.
Before each step she took to close the space between them
she paused, waited, at last reaching out and covering its wings.

Good news from the poetry world! This poem of mine has been chosen as a finalist in Hollins’ Annual Literary Festival! Yay! I’ve also got a poem (not sure which) in the final round of NSCU’s 2014 Poetry Contest, which is very very exciting as I will be attending their MFA program in the fall. But I’ll post that one when I know.

ALSO, I’m off to London tonight!

Ice Storm Inspiration

In case you haven’t heard, North Carolina is experiencing some downright bipolar weather: crazy ice storms, warmth the next day, half-feet of snow that melt because it’s 70 two days later. It’s been crazy. But, as it turns out, the way everything has looked—especially with the ice—has been amazing and surreal, and the images are turning out to be decent writing springboards. Huzzah!

Some Days

Some days, I believe that I am one of the most joyful people you will ever meet. I am sure that I’m content and happy and always going to be that way, that I’ll keep seeing the world through my own, permanently rose-tinted glasses. I smile at a whole lot of nothing, or little things, or anything. I want everyone to be “always happy and running” (N. Perry reference). That’s most days, honestly, most moments I stop to think about how I am.

There are other days – at least moments – in which life is not that simple. It’s a little darker, or I am more cynical, or I’m feeling particularly antagonistic or bitter towards the people who’ve been sticking their noses where they’ve got no place being. The latter are the mean sort of happy days, cocky almost, when I feel strong and capable of things that are not kind. And of course there are times when I’m just a little down for no discernible reason, when all I want is sleep and days passing without thinking.

But mostly it is good, and I am happy. And I think that this is strange, as we writer-folk tend to get this rap for being rather morose, a bit prone to bitter liquids and harsh cigarettes. And I hope that I can still write, that I can be clear and true and say things worth saying, in spite of this weird emotional up-tick so different from, well, nearly all of the people who said wonderful, memorable things that were worth saying.

Along those lines…so I was at this English conference this weekend, in the lovely city of Savannah, GA. It was nerd-ish and great and exactly the kind of thing I like. Anyway, there were lots of smart people there, who’ve been doing the writer-thing far longer than I have, who are doing the publishing thing a lot more frequently than I am, and who have some pretty insightful things to say along those lines. The crux of the matter is this: apparently it’s pretty standard for literary journals to want your previously unpublished work and, by that, they mean published nowhere, not even a personal blog that doesn’t so much as turn a profit.

So I’m at a bit of a crossroads. Because I am doing this thing, this actively-trying-to-be-a-writer thing, and publishing/pursuing publication is a necessary evil- at least, it’s the part that helps ensure that there’s food in the fridge, that the fridge in fact works because the electric has been paid. And since next year I’ll be in grad school, it follows that I will be doing those things, and seeking publications. It follows, unfortunately, that for the time being I think I’ll need to stop throwing the new things up here, at least until after they find homes elsewhere.

I’ll still be using this blog; I rather like it, and I like writing in this way. It’s a nice breather from poetics on some days, and on others it’s a help in muddling through the mess between my ears. So I’ll still be here, doing this, throwing up the poetry I love from other, wonderfully talented poets. And – cross your fingers for me – as my own things go out into the world, you’ll see them here, too!

EXCITING NEWS

I get very excited when I get emails that inform me a journal has officially published one of my pieces. That’s what happened today! I’d gotten an email from Decades Review a few months ago, but my prose piece “The Days You Left” is officially in their October issue. 

I’m not biased or anything – of course not – but the issue is pretty great, and it’s completely accessible on the web, so if you’ve got the time to check it out/are interested in submitting to their next one, check it! 

For the Decades Review, click here

From North Caroline to Boston

Shout-out to Boston Poetry Magazine and Mike Jewett for publishing five of my poems on their/his blog (and possibly-maybe in their printed anthology). Mike’s very nice and the mag has one of the easiest submissions processes I’ve been through, so, fellow writers, pop over there and take a look!

My pieces can be found here – http://bostonpoetry.wordpress.com/tag/liz-purvis/ Continue reading