Two years ago, I had the honor of serving on the hiring committee for a new tenure-track Assistant Professor of Creative Nonfiction. I feel fortunate that we hired Heather Lanier and that I can now call her colleague and friend.
In July 2020, Heather's new memoir Raising a Rare Girl was published by Penguin Press. Ordinarily, I would have been among the creative writing instructors in our department to organize an on-campus reading celebrating her book. But of course, the Covid-19 pandemic prevented such an event, not to mention any launch party or book tours for Heather.
It was a thrill to host a live virtual reading in October on the Rowan University MA in Writing Facebook page. In spite of some technical difficulties getting started (it worked when we did a test run, I swear!) we had over 60 people join us live to hear Heather read from the book and to share in discussion. I monitored the comments as they came in and posed questions to Heather. What a joy to celebrate not just with our colleagues and students, but with friends, family, and members of the literary community near and far.
You can check out the recorded reading here.
And you can buy Raising a Rare Girl and support local bookshops here.
Like so much else in the world, we were disappointed that the Covid-19 pandemic kept us from celebrating Issue 20 of Glassworks in person as per usual with a reading at the Rowan University Art Gallery. However, I was so proud of my interns for pushing me to curate a virtual reading including inviting authors to read their own work. Between the author submissions and the editors, we recorded about half of the pieces published in Issue 20 and shared the videos on social media.
You can also access them all on our website - please enjoy!
I'm so excited to host the first ever reading series for Glassworks Magazine, a publication of Rowan University's Master of Arts in Writing program.
Our first event is being held on Wednesday, October 21st at 8pm in Philadelphia. Thanks to Tattooed Mom for setting up a private room for us! Our featured readers will be Jeff Markovitz and Liz Langemak, both published in Issue 10 of Glassworks. Food and drinks will be available for purchase, as well as copies of recent issues for $10 each. I'll also have copies of my own chapbook on hand for $10, and the featured readers will be bringing their own books.
Can't make it to Tattooed Mom? Join us Thursday, October 29th at 6:30 on Rowan's campus. We'll be taking over the upstairs of the Barnes & Noble bookstore in Glassboro, NJ and free coffee and cookies will be available to all who attend. Our student editors will be reading from the new Issue 11 of Glassworks.
Full details are available on our Facebook page:
Hope to see you there!
It's been awhile since I've posted, but I'm pleased to be back online with another exciting publication announcement. My poem "Our Last Breakfast" has been included in the Fall 2015 edition of Border Crossing, a literary magazine published by Lake Superior State University's creative writing program.
Read the issue HERE
I am honored to have two poems included in the upcoming anthology Crossing Lines now available for pre-order through Main Street Rag. The anthology is being offered at a discounted price now, so if you are interested, don't wait to make your purchase!
Physical, cultural, emotional: the stories, poems, and essays in this collection cross almost every line imaginable. In the varied terrains of a Malaysian beach, a Parisian apartment, a Czech bar, and the cities, trailer parks, and backyards of America, people find themselves against the divides of family, race, friendship, and desire. These are not hapless victims. Circumstances challenge their beliefs and require them to act: A homicide detective stumbles into an ethical quagmire. A tsunami survivor chooses reinvention over redemption. A returning soldier confronts PTSD. Youngsters teeter on the border of sexual innocence and sexual experience. Lovers face equal parts of possibility and uncertainty. With grace and skill, award-winning poets and writers make a persuasive case that when the world around you shifts, the best thing to do is to start moving.
What makes my heart happy?
When students say things like:
"I don't enjoy writing poetry, and I certainly don't enjoy reading said poetry to a class full of people I barely know... but the poem I concocted ended up being one of my favorite pieces in my writing career thus far."
"Poetry was like rowing a boat upstream with no paddle to me before our workshop. The angst I felt towards reading, analyzing, and especially writing poetry was beyond what you could even imagine. That being said, I thought that the workshop changed my mind significantly and, for lack of better words, was very fun."
"I loved this entire assignment. From the beginning when we had to write about something uncomfortable to actually sharing it with the class and not knowing whose was whose... I honestly didn't think I could write something like this considering I am not too familiar with poetry and this is an uncomfortable subject and something so personal."
"I really enjoyed the way we did this assignment. It made me appreciate a genre of writing that I would have never thoughts I could enjoy. It was really nice and refreshing to see the vulnerability and creativity from everyone in class."
Changing minds about poetry, one student at a time. :)
For anyone who is curious, here is the assignment my students are referring to. This was for an upperclassmen writing course that stresses awareness of rhetorical decisions. Students submitted their poems anonymously, and we spent two and a half weeks in class reading each poem out loud and discussing them, including: what we liked about the poem, what we found confusing about the poem, and suggestions for the poet. At the end of each discussion, the poet would own up to the piece and had a chance to clarify for us if they wished. We then gave the copies back with written commentary, and students revised the poem to turn in for a grade with a short reflection on the experience and on the revision. This is the second time I've used the assignment, and to great success.
If you are an instructor and wish to use this assignment, feel free, but please credit me.
BA in English