Not many people know this, but I started graduate school for my MFA in January.
I am still working full time, but I decided that this goal was one I seriously wanted to accomplish for myself and to push myself academically and personally, to become a better writer.
My motto for this new year has been to just go for it, and that’s what I am doing. The residency proved to me that I made the right decision. Never in my life did I connect so quickly to my peers and mentors. I felt like even though I only met these people ten days ago, it felt like we had been friends for a lifetime! I was surrounded by the most brilliant writers, and the energy was contagious. All in all, it was the single most overwhelming (but in the best way) thing I had ever experienced.
And now, the real work of practicum begins. For those of you who are or have previously been in grad school, especially a low residency program, what advice would you give?
Some truly exciting news to announce! I am taking over as the new co-curator of the MadFridays Reading Series. MadFridays is sponsored by Carlow University and features the work of the Madwomen in the Attic. Readings take place typically on the second Friday of each month at Delanie’s Coffee in Southside.
I’m thrilled to be stepping into this new role alongside emcee Laurin, and looking forward to hearing the maddest writing readers have to offer!
One day before my 27th birthday, I celebrated the release of my first chapbook, Next to Everything that is Breakable (Finishing Line Press 2017) at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.
Over 50 of my friends, family, and colleagues came out to support me as I launched this chapbook into the world.
The author & the artist.
Books were for sale, as well as artwork by my dear friend Catherine (who also took the photograph on the cover of the book).
Catherine’s creations with my poems.
Around 2:30 p.m., people arrived to mingle and get refreshments. Shortly after 3 p.m. my mentor, Tess, welcomed the audience and introduced me.
Tess & I.
I became overcome with emotion as I looked around the room and thanked those that had helped me so much, for I knew without them this endeavor would not have been possible.
After the reading, I signed copies of books and spent precious, too-short moments with the guests- even my high school English teachers came!
It was an intense whirlwind of an event, but I’m thankful for how smoothly it went. Seeing the people I love come together to show their support for my passion was the highlight of my birthday weekend.
Check out some pictures below:
P.S. For those that were unable to make it to the launch party but would like a signed copy of the book, please message me!
The guest book!
Delighted to see this poem, a very important piece to me, “up” at Uppagus in their new spring issue!
Check out the direct link here.
Stoked to announce that I’ll be reading *TOMORROW* Tuesday, February 14th, at Carlow University with the Red Dog Reading Series.
The Red Dog Reading Series is Carlow University’s undergraduate reading series open to the community and all universities.
Come out this Valentine’s Day- 7 p.m. until 8 p.m. in the Carlow University Commons, 2nd floor university space, and help share the love of poetry!
Remember that time I joined the Madwomen in the Attic workshops at Carlow University? If you don’t, I wrote all about how excited (and nervous) I was, and about the class here.
Time does fly when you’re having fun. I have been a Madwoman for over a year now, and it’s one of the greatest chances I’ve taken on myself.
I’m thrilled to announce that on Friday, December 2nd, I will be reading at the Madwomen Book Party from the anthology Voices from the Attic Volume XXII, where I have two poems published.
Here are the details:
Madwomen Book Party, Reading & Fundraiser
Voices from the Attic, Volume XXII
Friday, December 2nd, 2016
Community Broadcast Center
90.5 WESA Studios
67 Bedford Square, South Side
Hope to see you there!
Yesterday, November 6th, I brought my racing career (click here for details) full circle yet again with the Pittsburgh EQT 10 miler.
It was a gorgeous fall day for a run- a little chilly in the morning, but once my feet hit the pavement and the sun burst through the gray of morning, it was the perfect temperature. I ran for seven miles with a friend and truly understood how running with someone can be such a great therapy question. We talked about running and relationships, and before I knew it, the miles and number of bridges we’d run on had flown by!
I had spent this past week submitting my work out to numerous publications, and began tracking my progress. The one certainty you can expect as a writer is rejection, and I was beginning to know it all too well.
You can imagine my surprise when I got an e-mail later in the afternoon stating that a literary magazine wanted ALL FIVE of the five poems I had sent to them. I was ecstatic that these poems finally got accepted, and it was a wonderful break to receive!
So with that, I leave you with this image, and a reminder that “Autumn carries more gold in its pocket than all the other seasons.” I knew there was a reason it was my favorite.
Until next time,