In the inexcusable distance between
myself & God I built a house, I fenced
my taxes, I filed & folded, I mowed
my forgiveness into a fine fringe …
from “Plenary Absolution”
I’m thrilled, honored, and humbled to say that I’ve got a new poem called “Plenary Absolution” in the latest issue of The Adroit Journal. You can see it — and hear me read it! — here. I hope you’ll take a look at the whole issue, which features tremendously powerful work by Emilia Phillips, Dana Levin, Jane Wong — actually, just read the whole issue. It’s an absolute beauty and I’m so proud to be a part of it.
PS: The title of this poem comes straight from my catechism classes at Catholic school (see, I did pay attention, Father Mullen!). Plenary absolution is an indulgence, which is a way to reduce punishment for one’s sins. A plenary indulgence removes all punishment necessary for the sin. I have a lot of thoughts about all of those ideas, and a lot of them are in this poem. Others are in poems soon to come — stay tuned.
House is An Enigma—when I say that title aloud, what emotions come up for you?
Pride. A lot of pride. The poems in this book are my most personal and most frightening, as they address the things that frighten me the most.
Stephen J. Furlong and I talked about House Is an Enigma, and you can read our conversation in Full Stop. I’m so grateful for Stephen’s perceptive, engaging questions, which led me to talk about Emily Dickinson, art school, x-rays, ovaries, brain dumps, House of Leaves, and Agnes Obel‘s Citizen of Glass (I can’t stop listening to it). Thank you to Full Stop for giving this interview a home.
PS: When you check out the interview and all the goodness that Full Stop has to offer, I hope you’ll also check out Stephen J. Furlong’s What Loss Taught Me from Nostrovia! Press.
I’m tremendously grateful to Kasey Jueds for her beautiful and perceptive review of House Is an Enigma, and I’m also grateful to Salamander Magazine for giving this review a home. You can visit it here. While you’re there, I hope you’ll check out excerpts from their latest issue, which features work by Jane Hirshfield, Fanny Howe, Nick Flynn, Jessica Cuello, and more extraordinary writers. And while you’re at it, you should definitely check out Kasey Jueds’ extraordinary work, including her Agnes Lynch Starrett Prize winning collection, Keeper.
If you’re in the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill area and you’re looking for something to do tomorrow night, I have a suggestion. I’m totally stoked to be reading along with other poets and prose writers whose work has appeared in Ethel zine tomorrow, March 2nd, from 7:30 to 9:30 pm. Featured Ethels include Joanna Penn Cooper, Kate Van Dis, Lauren Hunter, Jessica Q. Stark, R. Bratten Weiss, and me. The reading takes place at The Carrack in Durham, where you’ll also be able to see their (incredible!) current exhibit, “It’s Complicated: A Project About Love and Intimacy.” There will be wine (good), snacks (even better), and books for sale and signing (BEST). One book you’ll definitely want to buy? Joanna Penn Cooper’s Ethel chapbook, When We Were Fearsome, pictured above. It’s one of my favorite books.
pain my initiation into a religion where the only principle of faith was
that this fault the frigid lack that unworthed me
was all my body was all my own
(excerpted from “Dry Needling”)
I’m proud to say that I’ve got three poems in the latest issue of the Screen Door Review. And I’m honored and humbled to say that the editors (to whom I am deeply grateful!) nominated my poem, “Dry Needling,” for a Pushcart Prize. It’s an important poem for me because it talks about an extremely invasive medical procedure many women (ace or otherwise) are given as a “last resort” when there are many, many other successful options for treatment. I wrote it as a reminder to myself and other women that it’s essential to speak openly with your doctors, especially when you’re uncomfortable with an exam or a course of treatment, and to seek other options and opinions.