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Two Sylvias' Weekly Muse: July 2, 2023 (Read for Free!)
Welcome to July, Poets and Writers!
An assumption can be made that many of us, being poets and writers, prefer to work in solitude—coming up with new writing ideas and composing our poems in a quiet space without distractions. In the last few years, several studies have been conducted concerning “ambient noise” (as opposed to silence) and the role it can play in our creative endeavors. Researchers found that doing a creative task with the buzz and murmur of human conversation in the background actually boosted innovative ideas and output. Buzz and murmur are key—if you can hear, for instance, the exact words of a given conversation you will often become distracted (though eavesdropping can be entertaining).
What environment did researchers conclude is the best place for amping up your creativity in the midst of fellow humans having conversations? The same space that inspired such creatives as Bob Dylan, Simone de Beauvoir, Pablo Picasso, JK Rowling—your local café. Coffee shops can trigger our creativity in ways that working in our homes or offices cannot. The combination of a relaxed atmosphere, ambient noise, and visual variety can sharpen our innovative ideas—and that shot of espresso provides some inspiration, too!
Researchers have shown that if you are slightly distracted from your task by subtle stimuli, it can boost your abstract thinking ability, which leads to the generation of creative ideas. There’s a term for this phenomenon in which the right level of stimuli can benefit our senses—stochastic resonance. The “right” amount of noise is different for each of us, but once you’ve found your perfect “Goldilocks” level, your ideas will flow and you will find it easier to make decisions—you have experienced what has been dubbed as “the coffee shop effect.”
Aside from the ambient noise of conversation, studies have identified three other benefits to your creative thinking that can occur in a café atmosphere:
Camaraderie: You are surrounded by other people who have also come to the café to do their work. “It’s analogous to going to the gym for a workout,” says Sunkee Lee, assistant professor of organizational theory and strategy at Carnegie Mellon University. “One of the biggest things about coffee shops is the social-facilitation effect: you go there, you see other people working and it puts you in a mood where you just naturally start working as well. Just observing them can motivate you to work harder.”
Our Senses are Stimulated: Korydon Smith, a professor of architecture at the University of Buffalo, who co-wrote a recent article on the benefits of working in coffee shops, states: “People come and go. The daylight changes. The aromas of coffee and food vary. While we tend not take conscious notice of these micro-stimuli, and likely don’t overtly choose to work in this location because of them, these activities around us prod our brains to work a bit differently than at home."
Air of Informality: Although people often go to a café to work, the general tone of a café is one of relaxation. Inspiration usually doesn’t come to us in a tense or hurried atmosphere, so sitting in a corner and casually sipping a latte can open us up to new ideas. Studies indicate that if you are working on a collaborative project, having your group meet at a café can boost outside-the-box thinking as opposed to meeting in an office or on Zoom.
This all sounds great, but what if you live in a rural area where there are no cafés? What if getting to a café is difficult for you? There’s a website called “Coffitivity” (https://coffitivity.com/), which offers free ambient café soundtracks. Click on the Coffitivity link and in the upper left corner of the page, you can choose from the following café sounds: “Morning Murmur,” “Lunchtime Lounge,” or “University Undertones.”
We encourage you to experiment with creative writing while sitting at a café (or listening to a selection from Coffitivity). Note how your generation of ideas changes and note your level of inspiration. You might find that writing in a café doesn’t work for you, but on the other hand, perhaps you eat a croissant and down a decaf mocha, and you suddenly overcome a block—finally writing that poem about your problematic sibling.
Have a wonderful and creative week!
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For this week’s prompt, we’re going to write Motown poems—poems about artists of Motown or how Motown impacted or added to your life.
As you write, try not to use lyrics or rehash them, but focus on the details in your poem that are unique to you and your experience.
There are three prompts to choose from:
Write a poem about a memory you have connected with a Motown song or group. Were Motown melodies the backdrop of your childhood, a soundtrack to your young adult years, or songs you discovered later in life? Write a poem that intertwines Motown with your own memories and experiences. Do you remember Stevie Wonder’s “Sir Duke” playing at a neighborhood block party, or when you were sixteen, did you buy an old Four Tops album to play over and over again? Allow the details of that time and the specific music in your memory to help you move forward in the poem, choosing specific images from that time, circling back to the song. Again, if you’re looking for a way in, start with “I remember” and go from there, knowing you can take “I remember” out when you revise.
Praise Poem to a Motown Artist:
Write a praise poem inspired by your favorite Motown artist. Were you a Diana Ross and the Supremes fan? Love Smokey Robinson, Jackson Five, The Temptations, or Marvin Gaye? Let’s not forget about all the newer Motown artists, like Queen Latifah, Toni Braxton, Erykah Badhu. As you write, bring in the personal to enhance the music and the artist's unique style. You may want to research the artist you choose to get lesser-known facts to weave into your poem. If you need a way to begin, think about using a title of a song by the artist you have chosen.
What Motown Means To Me:
Similar to the praise poem, write what Ellen Bass calls a “long-armed poem” by pulling in ALL the memories you have of Motown artists, Berry Gordy, Jr. or Motown Records (aka Hitsville, USA). Again, this is another poem that might begin with “I remember,” or maybe you start with the name of your favorite artist; in whatever way you choose to begin, keep sweeping your “long-arm” into images and thoughts about Motown, allowing the poem to become rich with imagery but also rich in music and lyric. You can use alliteration, assonance, consonance, and even rhyme.
And when you’re finished, check out our “Places to Submit Your Work,” as Madville Publishing has a Motown Anthology in the works!
(On the first Sunday of each month, we include a #ProTip to help you with the “professional” aspects of writing, publishing, and submitting.)
Amplifying Your Poetry through Effective PR
As poets, promoting our own work can feel as comfortable as standing on a busy city sidewalk with a sign saying, “I bet you want to get to know me!” For many of us, the promotion of our books, chapbooks, and even poems can feel uncomfortable. Instead of looking at promotion objectively, we think, “This is shameless self-promotion”—we feel like a used car salesman pulling out every trick for someone to buy (read!) our poems. But promotion doesn’t have to feel like that; we can actually promote our work (and others’ work, too!) and feel good about the process if we reframe the narrative into “sharing” our work instead of “promoting” it. Just that little switch in how we view promotion can help us get over a few hurdles right away.
Something to remember—most poems are written to be shared. It’s part of our job as poets to remember that our poems are like handshakes with a reader—without readers, we’re shaking hands with ourselves or with the air. We also don’t know who will benefit from reading our work, as our poems can make others feel less alone.
To help your poems reach a wider audience, here are a couple of PR tips you may want to consider:
Have a Love/Love Relationship with Social Media: For many of us, social media can feel like a timesink and something we try to avoid to make sure we have time for writing poems. However, social media platforms can offer valuable opportunities for promotion (aka sharing poems) and new connections with readers. Maybe choose one or two social media platforms to focus on (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, etc.) to regularly share your poetry, insights, and behind-the-scenes glimpses into your creative process, putting together a manuscript, or anything with a literary vibe. People will know you for the content you share—meaning other poets may be more interested in your poetry posts, but perhaps less interested in other topics. Some poets have separate accounts for their poetry audience and one for family and real-life friends (this can also protect your privacy if you want to share family photos, vacation photos, etc.). As you share your poems, be sure to engage with your followers, respond to comments, and participate in relevant conversations with the goal of fostering a vibrant online community.
Collaborate: Here’s a question to consider—Who are individuals, friends, and poets who are in related or completely different artistic fields who you’d like to work with? These connections can not only be fulfilling in the creative realm, but you can help amplify each other. Some easy ways to collaborate are: guest blog posts, asking several friends to share a certain poem or book on social media, and/or creating virtual events to expand your reach and tap into your existing audience (and vice versa). These collaborations can introduce your work to new readers and create mutually beneficial opportunities for exposure.
Seek Media Opportunities: This may be a least favorite for poets but can have high-yield results. Pitch your poetry to local newspapers (especially local newspapers!), as they love a good hometown story! Pitch to literary magazines and online publications. Write—or pay someone to write a compelling press release highlighting your recent achievements, current project, or upcoming releases. Keep an ongoing list of places you’ve seen poets featured and then be proactive in contacting these places for interviews, features, or reviews to gain media attention and broaden your audience.
Effective PR for poets is an ongoing effort, and yes, it does get tiring! But try to find the fun in it, and reward yourself for any successes you have from being featured in the local paper to three good friends sharing your poems—and say thank you to those who do share your work.
If you’re not sharing other friends’ and/or other poets’ work, don’t be too surprised (or annoyed) if they aren’t sharing your work. It’s important to support the poets in your circle and lift each other up, instead of having the Janet Jackson song lyric playing, “What have you done for me lately?” So share generously. And don’t be afraid to share your own poems as well!
And if you’re looking for more info on promotion and marketing, check out Jeannine Hall Gailey’s book, PR for Poets: A Guidebook to Publicity and Marketing. Here is some exciting news—Jeannine Hall Gailey and Kelli Russell Agodon will be hosting a Muse Zoom Class/Salon on PR for Poets later in the summer, so watch our Muse Zoom Events in the future for more info!
Two Sylvias Answers Your Questions
Several poet friends of mine on social media (Facebook) sometimes post their rejection letters, saying what they dislike about the letter and what they dislike about the press. For instance, one of them posted a poetry manuscript rejection from a high-profile press, which was obviously a form letter and not personal. The letter also didn’t state who the prize winners were. My friend then posted about how upset he was and how he would never submit to this press again. A past editor from this press responded to his post, explaining that this popular press receives thousands of submissions and that he wasn’t informed of the winners because winners had not been selected yet. What is your opinion about “calling out” a press on social media? Angry posts like this always make me cringe. As a press, what do you think?
Fantastic question! You bring up a touchy topic—publicly airing our grievances as writers on social media and whether we should do it. There are probably a multitude of opinions about this if we were to ask writers, editors and interns, press owners, publication teams, etc. We’ll address this question as best we can—this response is simply our (Two Sylvias) opinion. And importantly, everyone has the right to express (and rant about) whatever they would like on their social media accounts.
In our opinion, it’s important to be mindful of what is posted on a public platform. Perhaps your friend assumed that only a given number of individuals (his friends and writing associates) would see his post about the rejection letter from the high-profile press. But, especially on Facebook, it’s hard to know the visibility of some of our posts, especially if they are within a Facebook “group.” Obviously, a past editor of the press saw the post and responded, so the post was not exactly private. In a manner of speaking, your friend may have burned his bridge when it comes to ever being published by this press. A day or so later, he may have regretted his post as it sounds like he penned his thoughts in the heat of being angry—had he waited a couple of days, he may not have vented quite so much.
We are poets ourselves in addition to being editors, and we completely understand the frustration at receiving rejections, especially when those rejections are an impersonal form letter, aren’t sent in a timely manner, contain typos, and/or don’t include important information, like naming the winner and finalists of a contest. We can’t stress enough how overworked and understaffed many presses are as most rely on interns and volunteers. There are going to be mistakes made when it comes to the process of judging a manuscript contest and sending out rejections. We once accidentally sent an email to a poet telling her she was a finalist for the Wilder Prize, when she was not. We felt horrible having to send the follow-up email about our mistake. Unfortunately, she did not take the news well, telling us she would never write another poem again. After several emails were exchanged, she backed off her resolution to abruptly stop writing.
As editors, we’ve seen public posts calling out Two Sylvias Press for various grievances—one of the most common complaints we have seen on social media is that our rejection letters are too “nice” and that they are “patronizing.” We’ve also been publicly accused of not reading the manuscripts sent to us for contests and taking too long to send out our rejections. Of course, we have to let these rants and false accusations slide off our back.
It is important to note that sometimes it is acceptable to post something negative about a press if it seems warranted—perhaps a small vanity press has sprung up, and they are charging a large contest fee. Your manuscript wins, but you are told that you must pay the press in order to have them publish your book. By the end of the ordeal, you have put out over $1000 and your published book is low-quality with no PR nor distribution. A social media post warning your poet friends about this press would be a public service!
In our opinion, if you are upset and irked by something a reputable press has done—share it with your friends and close fellow poets, but don’t make it a public spectacle on social media. If you receive a rejection that really bothers you, don’t submit to that press again, take a breath, and move on with your writing.
Thank you for sending in this question! It’s always tricky to address social media issues, so we hope our response gave you some insight!
For Questions to the Editors: email any questions you have about writing poems, submitting your work, book contests, etc. to: and we will choose a question to answer every other week!
Hey Zeke, I’ve Got a Problem
This week’s poetry exercise invites you to choose an unnamed or minor character in a novel, fairy tale, mythological story, movie, TV series, etc. For your poem, you will write some sort of note to this person, directly addressing her/him/them in a letter, postcard, social media post, message, bulletin, text, etc. The topic of your note to this individual will be a current issue going on in your personal life, in your community or state, in your country, or on a global level—you will be writing to your chosen character about something that bothers, irks, and/or upsets you.
For instance, maybe you choose the minor character Zeke from The Wizard of Oz (the farm hand who, in Dorothy’s dream, becomes the Cowardly Lion), and you address a postcard to him about an issue in your community that has been bothering you—the development of farmland into tract housing. Since not much is known about Zeke in the context of the movie, you can give Zeke a last name and you can discuss what specific work you imagine that he does on Auntie Em’s farm. Your poem can include how you think Zeke would understand the loss of farmland in your community—giving you an opportunity to vent and rant about unbridled development and how your town can not sustain more households without an upgrade in infrastructure.
Our example poem this week is by Maya C. Popa and is titled, “Letter to Noah’s Wife.” About her poem, Popa writes: I have been trying to work on poems about the environment that draw from and create tension with inherited narratives. I grew fascinated by Noah’s wife, a woman unnamed in the Bible, and her role during the flood. I chose to write to her as a way to think about my own role and potential inaction in the current crisis.
Letter to Noah’s Wife
You are never mentioned on Ararat
or elsewhere, but I know a woman’s hand
in salvation when I see it. Lately,
I’m torn between despair and ignorance.
I’m not a vegetarian, shop plastic,
use an air conditioner. Is this what happens
before it all goes fluvial? Do the selfish
grow self-conscious by the withering
begonias? Lately, I worry every black dress
will have to be worn to a funeral.
New York a bouillon, eroded filigree.
Anything but illness, I beg the plagues,
but shiny crows or nuclear rain.
Not a drop in London May through June.
I bask in the wilt by golden hour light.
Lately, only lately, it is late. Tucking
our families into the safeties of the past.
My children, will they exist by the time
it’s irreversible? Will they live
astonished at the thought of ice
not pulled from the mouth of a machine?
Which parent will be the one to break
the myth; the Arctic wasn’t Sisyphus’s
snowy hill. Noah’s wife, I am wringing
my hands not knowing how to know
and move forward. Was it you
who gathered flowers once the earth
had dried? How did you explain the light
to all the animals?
Inspired by Popa’s entertaining and poignant poem, write some sort of “message” to your chosen minor character that revolves around a personal, community-wide, or global problem that upsets you in some way. A personal issue might be a job loss, a community issue could be unchecked development, and a global issue could be political instability, poverty, data security, etc. You can also focus on country-wide issues that might be political, cultural, or social.
When you’ve chosen your character and your issue, write to your character in some form (letter, text, postcard, etc.) and directly address him/her/them as you discuss what bothers you about this problem. Allow yourself to vent and rant if you need to! Dive deep into the issue and try to bring out some of the complexities and nuances of it. Avoid being too simplistic and painting a black and white picture.
Like Popa, ask your character several (or numerous) questions throughout your poem. You may want to write your piece in the form of a prose poem as that structure will look like a letter, postcard, email, etc. on the page. If you would like, include the name of your character and your issue in the title: “Discussing Land Development with Zeke.”
Finding Lost and Discarded Treasures
This week’s journal reflection question invites you to do some dumpster diving! You don’t have to literally jump into a trash container, but you will be taking some time over the next few days to find and collect objects (or take a quick photo of them on your phone) that have been accidentally dropped or purposefully discarded. This exercise encourages you to go out into the world (exploring your yard, a stroll down the sidewalk, looking around a parking lot and in stores, walking through a city park or hiking in the country or going on a beach excursion, etc.) to find discarded and lost “treasures.”
Bring along some sort of bag to collect your found items (unless you will only be working with photos), and if you would like, bring along a pair of gloves. You will later be examining the details of your finds and grouping them, so if it makes you uncomfortable to bring these items indoors, find a place outside of your dwelling where you can study them and arrange them. If you’ve taken photos, download your photos to a space where you can arrange them in groups and magnify them.
The next time you go to the store, to the post office, to a restaurant, to a mall, to a gas station, for a walk, etc. notice the items that are on the ground and collect the most interesting ones (or take photos of them.) Here are some examples of things you might find: store or gas receipts, a shopping or to-do list, a piece of a broken taillight, food wrappers, a spent lighter, a comb, a fast-food container, a straw, part of a balloon, a doll’s shoe, a coin, a photo, a hair clip or scrunchie, an apple core, an earring, a piece of junk mail, a pen or pencil, etc. For this exercise, try to withhold making any judgements about the items that have been discarded or dropped. In other words, finding trash might make us upset with the individuals who littered and might cause us to worry about the environmental effects, but as you are doing this writing exercise, only focus on the objects themselves as items of interest—get mad later!
Once you’ve collected at least ten items (or more!), spread them out and examine them (or download and look at all of your photos). Here are some possibilities for writing about these items in your journal in preparation for using the items in your poetry, essays, or stories:
Randomly arrange your items in a row or choose a quick way to group them (large to small, by color, by shape, by type) and jot down the items in your journal (moving from left to right). As you write each item, allow it to spark a single word, and write down that word next to it. For instance, maybe the doll shoe sparks the word “Barbie” or perhaps the apple core sparks the word “pie.” Now, write a poem (essay or short story) in which all of these items appear in the order you’ve placed them. For an extra challenge, also use some or all of the words sparked by each item. If you are using photos, arrange the photos from left to right.
Choose one item that speaks to you the most and is most interesting to you. Carefully examine all of the details of this “treasure” and write a piece that focuses solely on it—who dropped or discarded it? What story can it tell? Get wildly imaginative with this—it doesn’t have to be true to life! Perhaps the hair scrunchie you found at the gas station must have been dropped by Lady Gaga or the banana peel on the sidewalk was placed there by an underground syndicate who has a hidden camera to record all of the people who slip on it—the videos are later posted on the internet. Tease out all of the details of your item and entertain your readers.
Make a list poem using all of your items and begin each line with a phrase, such as: Because I found___________ For instance your poem might begin something like this:
Because I found a to-do list that says, “break up with Brad tomorrow,” I’m reminded of you.
Because I found a Cracker Jack bag, I’m looking for prizes in the clouds.
Because I found…
Continue your list poem until you have written about each item.
Good luck with this exercise! Have fun with it, and maybe throw away a few items that belong in the trash, not on the sidewalk!
*This exercise is inspired by writer Thisbe Nissen.
Two Sylvias News
It’s back for the 8th year! Our annual (and popular!) Online Summer/Fall Poetry Retreat is open for sign-ups!
Have one of your poems critiqued by Diane Seuss, Traci Brimhall, January Gill O'Neil, Jennifer Jean, or Jennifer K. Sweeney for the summer sessions. Fall session poems will be critiqued by the editors of Two Sylvias. We send you poetry prompts, example poems, creativity suggestions, and reflection questions to inspire your writing—ALL VIA EMAIL.
July 3rd - July 30th (July Session) We still have a few spaces open!
August 7th - September 4th (August Session)
October 2nd - October 29th (October Session)
Choose the session that best fits your schedule and sign up! Space is limited! Please visit our website to register: https://twosylviaspress.com/online-poetry-retreat.html
Did you know that the origin of the term “namby-pamby” is rooted in a squabble between several British poets in the 1700s? Namby-pamby is defined as someone or something that is weak, indecisive, lacking in character and substance. Here is how Merriam-Webster explains the origin of namby-pamby: Poets Alexander Pope and Henry Carey didn't think much of their contemporary Ambrose Philips. His sentimental singsong verses were too childish and simple for their palates. In 1726, Carey came up with the rhyming nickname Namby-Pamby (playing on Ambrose) to parody Philips: "Namby-Pamby's doubly mild / Once a man and twice a child ... / Now he pumps his little wits / All by little tiny bits.” Before long, namby-pamby was being applied to any piece of writing that was insipidly precious, simple, or sentimental, and later to anyone considered pathetically weak or indecisive.
Motown Anthology by Madville Press / Deadline: July 15, 2023 Reading fee: $8.00 Prizes: $300 for 1st place, $150 for 2 runners-up, poems published in the anthology. Previously published work is acceptable as long as rights have reverted back to you. Submissions should be “blind.” Author name should not appear on the submissions anywhere. This info is collected elsewhere when you submit. https://madville.submittable.com/submit/256043/signed-sealed-delivered-the-motown-poetry-review-deadline-extended NO Simultaneous submissions Blue Mountain Review / Deadline: Currently ongoing Reading fee: $5 Sending 1 - 3 poems Editor: Clifford Brooks https://bluemountainreview.submittable.com/submit NO Simultaneous submissions Reed Magazine / October 1, 2023 #ProTip: Submit early! Reading fee: 0 Submit up to 5 poems https://www.reedmag.org/submit Simultaneous submissions? –YES! Driftwood Press: Adrift Chapbook Prize / Deadline: July 15, 2023 Reading fee: $13 Prize: $750 & 20 copies Submit 15 - 40 pages https://driftwoodpress.submittable.com/submit/108359/poetry-the-adrift-chapbook-competition Simultaneous submissions? –YES! Academy of American Poets First Book Prize / Opens July 1 - September 1, 2023 Reading fee: $35 Prize: $5000 and publication by Graywolf Press #ProTip: This is a highly competitive prize, but a fantastic one to win! https://poets.org/academy-american-poets/first-book-award-guidelines Simultaneous submissions? –YES!
Our First Muse Zoom Class was a Wonderful SUCCESS!
We were absolutely thrilled to have kicked off our first Weekly Muse Zoom Class on Generating New Poems last Saturday, June 24, featuring our very own Kelli Russell Agodon, cofounder of Two Sylvias Press, as well as our coeditor and cover designer. We must admit, we weren't quite sure what to expect when we started this new Zoom series, but wow!—we were so happy with how it went!
The energy of the group was delightful—we were so impressed by the enthusiasm, openness, and willingness to help and support each other throughout the class. And the poems that were shared during this first class were nothing short of amazing! It’s a reminder of what happens when we show up and write and what can be created in a short amount of time. We are so grateful to all the wonderful poets who attended—whether you shared work or simply joined in for the fun of writing new poems. The Muse Community (aka “Muse Crew” as Kelli coined it during the class) continues to amaze us with its boundless creativity and spirit.
And as we shared above, for those who missed our first Zoom class—no worries, as Kelli has kindly recorded a second video for those who were unable to attend or forgot! You can find it here. As we’ve mentioned, we didn’t record the actual class as we always want to honor the privacy of those who share their poems, but this recording still captures the essence of the class and provides all the same prompts that Kelli shared at the June 24th class.
This first class felt like a bit of risk for us as we weren't sure what to expect, how it would go, or what issues would come up, but we are happy to report it went really well, and the feedback we’ve received has been incredibly positive—thank you!
We want to express our gratitude to everyone who attended. It was a wonderful session, filled with learning, creativity, and joy. Your presence and enthusiasm made all the difference, and we can't wait to see you again in future classes!
We have upcoming Zoom events with Jeannine Hall Gailey, Maggie Smith, Diane Seuss, Susan Rich, and we've just added January Gill O'Neil to our schedule as her new book, Glitter Road will be hitting the shelves this February!
And if you have any thoughts or ideas of future Muse Zoom classes, salons, or workshops you’d like to see, please write to us!
Thank you again for being part of our community. We continue to work to help you write more poems, publish more poems, and improve your craft. Wishing you a wonderful July!
Subscriber News and Inspiration
Congrats to Marj Hahne whose poem “Blues Sings a New Tune” was just published in Full Bleed and you can read it here!
Mary Ann Crowe’s ekphrastic poem about Frida Kahlo, "What the Water Gave Me," has been published by The Ekphrastic Review (it can be found online by clicking the link and scrolling down, pressing "previous" to May 4, 2023, or you can search by title or name). And Mary Ann’s poem "Missing Daughters of Chicagoua" has been selected as a finalist for the 2023 Mary Blinn Poetry Prize by poet/performer Timothy David Rey, to be published this summer in After Hours #46.
Wow, Mary Ann! Congratulations on your publication and on being named a finalist!
Sarah Dickenson Snyder’s prose poem titled “Some Things I Miss & Some I Don’t” and mini-interview are featured on Heavy Feather Review. You can read the poem and interview here, plus hear Sarah read her poem as well!
Beth McCormick Wolfe’s poem “Hive Mind” will be included in the “The Call Us Catty” issue of the They Call Us zine! Congrats, Beth!
We received a wonderful email from Carolyn Maddux in response to last week’s Muse introduction on the theme of “rewilding” (Issue 61):
That was a beautiful Muse. Thanks! I have only been subscribed for a short while, so you may well have covered this, but the Writing the Land program is another way to reconnect with the environment of which we are a part. It links poets with trust lands across the country. I was recently named 2024 Land Poet for the Columbia Gorge Trust's Camas Patch property near Carson (WA State). I fell in love on first visit: a basalt outcrop hanging out over the Lewis & Clark Highway, gorgeous views up and down the Columbia, luscious Garry oaks and amazing wildflowers. Just learning the wildflowers we found that are, for the most part, entirely different from what we're likely to find here in the South Salish Sea environment was a delight. Feeling rewilded!
Link to the Writing the Land program: https://www.writingtheland.org/
Carolyn also adds: And an additional note might be for readers who have any connections to land trusts to encourage trusts' outreach to people to explore participation in Writing the Land. The more locations involved, the more opportunity for poets to connect.
Thank you so much, Carolyn, for taking the time to write us about this amazing project involving land trusts and poets! What a perfect way to rewild ourselves!
Please consider joining our private group of Weekly Muse subscribers on Facebook in order to share your thoughts on writing, your poems, your challenges, your successes, etc. Request to join here:
We would also love to share your successes in this section of the Weekly Muse. Please send along any publication good news to:
Have a wonderful week!
Kelli & Annette