2.10.2014

Numbers (a book update)


  • 56 poems, total
  • the earliest poem was from 2007
  • the last poem was written last month
  • 37 of the poems were previously published in literary journals
  • 3 poems were written while I was in college
  • 13 while I was in my MFA program
  • the other 40 were written in the last four years, averaging about 10 from each year
  • I typically write at least 20 poems a year (to give you an idea of how many of my poems are “keepers”)
  • Favorite poem in the collection (right now, anyway): “Leah Separates” (it is new)
  • Poem I’m most nervous about (right now, anyway): “Storm Front” (it is old)
  • Number of times I sent out this manuscript before I was accepted: either about 12 times (how many times I sent out some form of that manuscript) or once (the current version is pretty different from what I had been sending out)
  • Real people who end up in my poems: my husband, daughters, sisters, mother, great-grandmother on my mother’s side, both grandmothers, my in-laws. If you are related to me, you are fair game.
  • The “you” or “we” in a poem more often than not is talking about Bryan (excluding the persona section)
  • The baby is usually Zu, though June is in there a few times (you’ll know it when you read it)
  • The settings: Tennessee, Georgia, Kentucky, Arkansas, and Boston
  • The forms: free verse, prose poem, list poem
  • Topics of interest: God, motherhood, sisters, marriage, relocation
  • It is all autobiographical, except for when it isn’t.

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