An Essay and Two Poems!

One of the Barbies in question (which actually is a Mrs. Heart doll, not a Barbie) (I think?)

Happy Halloween, people of the Interwebs! While you’re putting the final touches on your fabulous Hilary Clinton pantsuits, Ghost Busters power back-packs, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg robes (I hope), I’ve got an essay and two poems that would serve as perfect reading material during a chocolate candy binge.

  • I’ve got two poems, “Because the Body Is a Place Strange Unmapped” and “House Is a Hoard,” in the latest issue of Compose. I’m really proud to be part of this spectacular issue, which also includes work by Laura McCullough, Emari DiGiorgio,  D.A. Powell, and a lot of remarkable writers.
  • The Shalt Nots,” an essay of mine, is up in the latest issue of the Longridge Review. It’s an essay about the often-super-confusing experience of growing up — well, in general, and how, as children, we try to figure things out through play. It’s also an essay about the often-super-seriously-confusing experience of growing up Catholic in the tightest part of the Bible Belt in the Deep South. That’s an idea that’s always present in my writing, though I haven’t really approached it directly until I wrote this essay. This definitely wasn’t the first time a friend or family member tried to convert me, but it’s the one I remember most, possibly because it happened in the middle of a pretty epic game of Barbies. This is one of those essays that gave me a lot of trouble: I wrote the first parts of what later became this essay in 2010, and by 2011, it had expanded into a 35 page whopper of an essay. It definitely didn’t need to be 35 pages long, but it took me a long time to figure out how to thin it down because I couldn’t find the real focus of the piece. That’s when one of the greatest miracles of sending out submissions happened: one journal offered some feedback along with the rejection that helped me figure out what threads were running through the piece — and which threads were actually working.

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