Looking back at 2019 and ahead to 2020
|My work on display as part of Out in the Archive at |
Georgi State University's Special Collections and Archives.
I haven't posted since October because I've been incredibly busy with work, projects, life and, yes, writing.
As 2019 closes, I managed to submit new poems to two journals. I've crafted about 20 new poems this year, mainly while I was in Los Angeles and London. These poems are about my mother's death, and having distance from Atlanta certainly helped with clarity and perspective. While those poems won't be part of my LA/San Francisco-inspired collection, they will, hopefully, begin to appear in lit mags soon.
Karen Head and I have been reading submissions for the Mother Mary Comes to Me anthology due out from Madville Publishing late next year. Submissions are open through Jan. 1, so there's still time to submit your pop culture, Virgin Mary-inspired poems for consideration.
I travelled widely in 2019, both for poetry readings from Midnight in a Perfect World and for pleasure. LA and London were magical -- especially since I got to see so many friends in the process. It was a treat to read with Dustin Lance Black at Polari (thank you, Paul Burston!) and to spend nearly two weeks writing every night with my dear friend Agnes Meadows. Sometimes you have to make your own residency.
Reading from Render at the High Museum of Art in conjunction with the Sally Mann exhibition (which has, sadly, closed six weeks early due to a persistent leak in the roof of the gallery that threatened the photographs) was a full circle moment. Finally meeting Sally Mann was an out-of-body experience. Sometimes you need a reminder that you're on the right track with your art, and her words of encouragement and kindness were a balm.
I thought turning 50 in September would lead to some kind of midlife crisis, but it did not. I think part of that is to do with knowing that my work and "legacy" is secure thanks to the work of both Georgia State University Special Collections and Archives and Sibling Rivalry Press. My personal archive is slowly being cataloged, stored and made available for research at GSU, and some of it is already part of the Out in the Archive exhibition continuing through September 2020. The work of clearing out my files and deciding what will go to the archive will likely continue until the end of my life, and it's a process I find both flabbergasting and satisfying. Sibling Rivalry Press and its captains, Bryan Borland and Seth Pennington, made sure my novels and poetry collections are now permanently housed in the Rare Books and Special Collections Archive at the Library of Congress. Knowing that my writing has a forever home in two fine institutions has taken a huge load off my mind, and made the future work of my literary executor (hi, Megan!) easier.
What's coming in 2020? More travel, readings and writings. The first big one of the new year is Poetry at Tech with Karen Head and Chelsea Dingman on Jan. 30. I'll also be at the University of Mississippi in the spring for the Glitterary Festival, the LGBT literary festival, to help Sibling Rivalry celebrate its 10th anniversary. And, of course, I'll be back in London. Be sure to check out the Events page for all my upcoming appearances and workshops.
Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!