Reminding you that I will be taking down these 30 posts in the very near future :). Maybe you’ll see them in the future in some other form or “location.”
This post has been EDITED. The disappearance of that last poem: a mystery. It went the way of the other September poems–back into my writing box.
If you have enjoyed reading these one day poems, you might like my book Doll God where the poems have had a little more time coming into the world. It’s now a Finalist in the New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards!!!
Yesterday I opened an email listing the Finalists for the New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards and dismally scrolled through it, sure that Doll God was overlooked.
But it WASN’T! It’s a Finalist! That was really wonderful news to get at the end of the week. Buy it here haha:
A week that has been a little rough. Remember my dear Nakana I brought home from the shelter two months ago? Suddenly her liver values have jumped dramatically. That apparently is BAD in cats. More tests on Monday . . . . Please send prayers or good vibes for her, if you are willing.
You know how I’m always yammering about poetry and memoir? Well, darned if I didn’t get a short story (fiction!) published today in Crack the Spine. Called “Small Solace,” it’s a little bit weird. I hope you enjoy it. If you do, please go to one of the magazine’s sites and post a comment of some sort about it. That’s because they use feedback to determine what pieces go into a print issue and which writers they do a Wordsmith interview on (they only choose one author each issue).
I was born with the desire to know what it’s like to live more than one life. If you’re a reader, you understand what I mean. That’s why we read. For the time it takes to read a novel or memoir, we can get inside someone else and look through his or her eyes at the world around us. Better yet, we can hear that writer or character’s heartbeat.
When I choose a book I tend to choose a memoir or fiction that is closely tied to one protagonist. But I just finished a book that is a compilation of memoirs by a group of writers.
These writers are bound together by a writing class and a commonality: they have all experienced being homeless. Writing Our Way Home is subtitled “A group journey out of homelessness.” Edited by southern writer and blogger Ellen Morris Prewitt, whose touch is so light her name is not on the cover or title page, this book weaves together the stories of fifteen writers and organizes them thematically.
I began reading slowly because I wanted to isolate and listen to individual voices in the group and not confuse them with each other. I needn’t have worried. Very early on, I began to “hear” who was “speaking” within the first sentence or two of each brief entry. I listened to Leroy Scott’s straightforward prose, Cynthia Crawford’s engrossing storytelling, Tommy Payne’s brilliant and varied writing style, Latasha Jackson’s pattern of detailed imagery (sipping peach wine in the bath, the lost doll collection), and other unique voices. As Tommy himself says, “It is easy to tell a book written by James Michener from a book written by Ian Fleming. An Ernest Hemingway novel from a play written by Shakespeare.” And so it is with these writers.
Most importantly, I learned what these fifteen people had to say about their own lives and about the condition of being without a home.
The book developed from a writing class that Ellen teaches in Memphis. The class and the Door of Hope organization that runs the class seem to be based in Christian teachings, although I don’t find much about religion on their website other than that they offer contemplative prayer classes, as well as creative writing.
If you have ever—even once–looked at a homeless person and forgot that he or she has a whole history of living, relations, emotions, and past belongings, as well as current needs, hop over to Amazon and pick up a copy of this book! If you want to find out if you should give a handout to someone who asks, you will find eleven answers.
Now that I’ve read Writing our Way Home and had time to let it settle into my bones, I feel it’s permanently changed me. A big thanks to Roderick Baldwin, Donna Connie, Cynthia Crawford, Jacqueline Crowder, Veyshon Hall, Tamara Hendrix, William L. Hogan, Jr., Latasha Jackson, Anthony Johnston, Robbin K., Rhonda Lay, Jockluss Thomas Payne, Leroy Scott, WJS, and Master Major Joshua Williams for inviting me into your lives.