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Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Poems in StorySouth

StorySouth has a feature on 'Southern women poets' that includes four of my poems: In Extremis, Southern to the Bone, The Exile's Track, and The Black Flower. There's a introduction by poet Tara Powell, who has created an anthology of poems by six writers. I'm glad that she found and included me. Although I generally feel that I don't know any poets personally and don't particularly bother with the politics of what is going on in the world of poetry--I divorced myself from the kingdom of academia long ago, and that's where most poets find their bread and jam--I do know several of the other poets.

There's Cathryn Hankla, somebody I first knew about as Susan Hankla's sister, "Cathy." Susan and I knew each other pretty well in college and grad school, and even shared a tiny apartment one summer. Since then, she has continued to write poetry and create fiber collages. I haven't seen her since 2002, when she was nice enough to show up at a reading that I did in Richmond. I remember reading her little sister's poems back when I was a sophomore in college. Eventually I met Cathy at Hollins, and saw her last at a reading in Roanoke. As I didn't have much of a Virginia audience plus was touring with my book that arrived just after 9-11, I was grateful for a Hankla turn-out...

And there's Kathryn Stripling Byer. I knew her as "Kay Stripling" when I was a girl in Cullowhee. She worked for some years in Hunter Library, where my mother was head of serials. I hung out at the library in afternoons and was a maniacal reader, to the detriment of all else. Sometimes I would run into Kay in the library or on the sidewalk outside, and we'd have a poetry chat. She later astonished me by reading my poems in magazines. I tended to feel that they had vanished into black holes and would be seen no more. Now Kathryn Stripling Byer is poet laureate of North Carolina.

While it's always pleasant to be in good company, it's especially pleasant to be in good company linked to one's childhood...

storySouth: a journal of literature from the New South

Special Feature: Six Southern Women Poets,
selected, edited, and introduced by Tara Powell
Poets Who Are Women and Southern by Tara Powell
Four Poemsby Kathryn Stripling Byer
Four Poemsby Wendy Carlisle
Four Poemsby Kate Daniels
Four Poemsby Cathryn Hankla
Four Poemsby Honorée Fanonne Jeffers
Four Poemsby Marly Youmans

I've been getting a lot of story commissions and acceptances so far this month: an anthology commission; an anthology acceptance; another story acceptance; and a commission for a web site. Now I need to send out a few poems. I've always found the record-keeping and the sending out of many little envelopes of poetry to be bothersome. Since Claire, I've almost entirely relied on requests--a rather lazy and slow way of proceeding.

Picture credit:
"Magnolia centre" (Magnolia grandiflora)
by melodi2, royalty free photograph,
download source: www.stock.xchng


  1. goodness, I am falling behind in reading your wonderful posts, and on deadline, and--in the cyber game world, was just tagged by Livewire, and (forgive me) tagged you. The task is to come up with 5 weird things about yourself...or not, and thereafter tag 5 others (oh dear, like a chain letter of crazy cyberness)...

  2. Drat!

    Alas, 5 is easy... But I'm bad about breaking chain letters.

    Will do. But later. Must go quiz a small person on the 'multiplication poem' and spelling words.

  3. I yearn to be a poet or author, to have my works (wheter they be uncanny abstracts in swirling tones or illuminating and straitforward, I care not)seated proudly in the bookshop window, enthroned and gazing nobly into the world. No matter if no one reads them: I know they are whole and real, and my pride in my books will remain unweathered in my heart. But perhaps my books will remain a dream, untouchable, and my only writings will be drifting in cyberspace.

  4. Just keep a jar of Jane Yolen's favorite ingredient, "butt glue." Keeps behind on chair... Then all your fairy dreams may come true.


Alas, I must once again remind large numbers of Chinese salesmen and other worldwide peddlers that if they fall into the Gulf of Spam, they will be eaten by roaming Balrogs. The rest of you, lovers of grace, poetry, and horses (nod to Yeats--you do not have to be fond of horses), feel free to leave fascinating missives and curious arguments.