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From Meghann Plunkett

June 27, 2017

In Which I Name My Abuser Publicly

and they appear from the under-eaves. A litter of women
herding toward the full-stop of his name. Tall,
pretty, they are stained with his sweat too.
I say his name and pull strands of other women’s hair
from my mouth. All of us dusked and outstretched,
lapping at our wounds. One of them yanking his tooth
from her thigh, another flinching at blue-birds, trying
to remember what isn’t dangerous.

From Rattle

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From Ralph Waldo Emerson:

June 26, 2017

In the woods, we return to reason and faith. There I feel that nothing can befall me in life, — no disgrace, no calamity (leaving me my eyes), which nature cannot repair. Standing on the bare ground, — my head bathed by the blithe air and uplifted into infinite space, — all mean egotism vanishes. … I am the lover of uncontained and immortal beauty. In the wilderness, I find something more dear and connate than in streets or villages. In the tranquil landscape, and especially in the distant line of the horizon, man beholds somewhat as beautiful as his own nature.

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editing and emotional labour

June 24, 2017

so i’m in the thick of the first round of edits for my book (there are going to be three, in total) and while the editing isn’t as hard as i anticipated, balancing the editing and the rest of my life is. it’s not so much work as it is trying to figure out how to spin the plates of writing, friends and social life, and the essentials that keep my general human life together (cooking, cleaning, gym, laundry, etc.).

i’m making a promise right now to never complain about writing. i really don’t like reading all those twitter posts/blog posts/facebook posts by writers, kvetching about the work they’re doing. how could i ever do that? i’m so incredibly privileged to be doing what i’m doing, and to be getting paid for it. it helps that the ms i’m working on right now is cheery – i remember having a completely different mood while writing/editing my thesis (though there were confounding variables during that time). i’m also making a promise not to boast about writing. i really hate the #amwriting phenomenon (though i have been known to use that hashtag on occasion, usually with urkel gifs. know that it is tongue in cheek) and the need to talk about daily word counts and goals. everyone has a different way of writing, but i’ve found that the rule usually is: the more someone talks about how much they’re writing, the less they’re actually writing. it can get old quick.

but this has been a bit of a struggle. i’ve found that i’m becoming a lot less patient with regards to all the emotional labour i do in my life. emotional labour: the process of providing emotional support to other people. i never realised how much of it i do (i didn’t think i was that nice of a person, so why would people ask me for advice or help? that’s my thought process, since i see myself as a bit of a witch and not very patient) but now that i’m in the eye of the writing storm, it’s really becoming clear. i’m getting terribly impatient with people, like the reserves in my brain that are designated for listening and being empathetic are drained. i am drained. i’m tired. i’m trying to be a good friend and a good coworker and a good family member at the same time that i’m deep diving back into the past and into my psyche to pull out edits for this book, which as of right now is that most important thing i’ve done in my life so far. not that i’m someone for word counts, but in a month and a half i’ve added 12,000+ words to the ms. that’s a lot. i’ve been doing a lot.

i wish there were a way to hang a “be right back!” sign on my emotional door. “anna will return in a month and a half!” – to let people know that i can’t be the sounding board or emotional support i usually am able to be. “will return later!” i don’t want to be a bad friend, a bad colleague, but i have to dedicate the majority – if not all – of my emotional energy to writing right now. come august 4, i’ll be a normal human again – for a few months, until the next round of edits. so let’s see where this goes…

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Publication: Ellipsis

June 19, 2017

and now we’re three for three. in the span of three weeks, i’ve now received three different mags in which three  poems of mine are published. these publications mean a lot to me because the poems in them had, till now, proven to be really difficult to place. canadian magazines didn’t want to touch them. so i went south of the border and bam.

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so a big thank you to ellipsis for daring to take on this poem, turned down by so many others. a big thank you to all magazines and publications that go for the uncanny, the weird, the violent, the boundary-pushing, the rude, the difficult, the unwanted. you help so many of us.

Publication: Inscape

June 16, 2017

the summer of poetry publications continues!

after FIVE YEARS (i wrote the first draft of this in july 2012) of trying to find a place for this poem (which is related to my book, the lodge, because it’s mined from the same subject matter), it finally found a home at inscape, an american mag (surprising, since it mentions toronto, but very welcome).

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five years! i had to go look that up right now – i thought it was less. that makes this extra sweet. can’t wait to dig into this mag and see what else is in it.

From Natalie Diaz:

June 12, 2017

Maybe this is what Lorca meant
when he said, verde que te quiero verde—

because when the shade of night comes,
I am a field of it, of any worry ready to flower in my chest.

My mind in the dark is una bestia, unfocused,
hot. And if not yoked to exhaustion

beneath the hip and plow of my lover,
then I am another night wandering the desire field—

bewildered in its low green glow,

belling the meadow between midnight and morning.

From the Desire Field

Publication: Oracle

May 31, 2017

just got my copy of oracle fine arts review in the mail and it is truly a beautiful mag. very excited to be able to hold it and flip through – my poem meet me in the woods is featured alongside many other fab pieces, all focused on the theme of fear.

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thanks for helping my weird poem find a home, oracle!

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