Two of my poems are up on The Daily Drunk magazine.
I got the acceptance e-mail 10 minutes after I sent the submission, which was a massively wonderful surprise, and definitely a record for me!
Read them here.
Keep writing & wandering,
Since creating my public Instagram account (@fromthissideofthesun) to showcase my travel adventures and writing, I’ve made so many connections & found friends in like-minded individuals. I’m so grateful that one of them, Edher, AKA The Cinnamon Traveler (find him on Instagram, and his Facebook page) asked to interview me on his YouTube channel.
Edher lives in Cusco, Peru and has conducted several interviews with travelers, bloggers, and more that I’ve found to be both fascinating and inspiring. He’s one of the most genuine people I’ve met, (which says a lot seeing as how we’ve only “met” a couple months ago, and have yet to meet in person!) and I’m so glad he shared his platform with me for me to tell my story as a solo female traveler.
I’m super awkward and there were some technical difficulties on my end, but I had such an amazing time chatting with him! Check out the full interview here.
Safe travels to the fridge and back for now,
I was delighted to be a part of many readings in April— and this one was one of them!
About the Write Now Series, taken from their webpage:
Hosted with the Frostburg State University Center For Literary Arts, the Write Now Series is a collection of workshops, writing sessions, and salon-style literary discussions where student and community writers come together. Members are mentored by presses and established writers from all over the country and enjoy participating in a showcase reading at the end of each semester.
Check out the video, now available on YouTube, and find the Write Now Series on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Soundcloud, YouTube, and Spotify.
My segment is a reading of a handful of poems and only about five minutes long, so what are you waiting for?! Also, be sure to check out poet Rick Campbell, who gives a reading and an excellent interview as well.
JUNE 2-17, 2019
I know I said my last residency was going to be January in Pittsburgh, but I decided I couldn’t miss out on one last opportunity to spend two weeks in the beautiful country of Ireland, learning from and connecting with incredible writers. Thus, I tacked on one more residency of my MFA program. (Click here to read about my first!)
I deeply missed my travel companion, Jaclyn, but still very much enjoyed solo travel in Limerick. I caught a flight there early to spend a couple days exploring before nestling into my dorm room at Trinity College, Dublin, for the two week residency.
Limerick was an adorable city, and I spent most of my short time walking over Thomond Bridge and along the River Shannon, admiring King John’s castle, St. Mary’s Cathedral, and the beautiful street art and roses. I stopped in for a coffee at Jack Monday’s, breakfast at Bakehouse 22, had a drink at Katie Daly’s Heritage Pub, and dined at Nelly’s Corner. (I basically ate my way back to my AirBnb. But really.) I spent a lot of time in People’s Park, sitting on a bench in the sunshine, and writing. I got lost downtown, stumbled upon Tait’s Clock, and browsing countless boutiques. While I was there, I also saw the Treaty Stone and visited the Milk Market, one of the oldest markets in the country. The Locke Bar next to Matthew Bridge was a great choice for my last night, as I experienced traditional music and dancing. It was a peaceful two days before the residency. See below:
The next day, I caught a bus near Arthur’s Quay Park to Dublin. Can I just say I love how easily you can travel this entire country?
Okay, okay- so now the writing part. During my first residency, in June 2018, I worked with the wonderful Irish poet Enda Wyley. I’ve never met a more passionate reader/writer. She reawakened my excitement for the written word and its endless possibilities. Here are all the current mentors in the Carlow/Trinity program:
Evelyn Conlon, Fiction
Carlo Gébler, Fiction
Brian Leyden, Nonfiction
Jean O’Brien, Poetry
Enda Wyley, Poetry
Visiting writers during June 2018 residency:
Thomas McCarthy, Poet (Master Class Instructor)
Sinéad Gleeson, Nonfiction
Richard Blanco, Poetry
Ann Harverty, Fiction
Alannah Hopkin, Nonfiction
Claire Keegan, Fiction
Mark Roper, Poetry
Declan Meade, Editor
Rosita Boland, Nonfiction
What a lineup, huh? So for this most recent residency (June 2018), I was lucky to work with another Irish poet, the fierce Jean O’Brien. Jean taught me to survive my grief, and to “kill the ruddy doves!”
Visiting writers during this June 2019 residency:
Paula Meehan, Poet (Master Class instructor)
Caitriona Lally, Fiction
Annemarie Ni Churreain, Poetry
Claire Keegan, Fiction
Sinéad Gleeson, Nonfiction
Kevin Barry, Fiction
Nithy Kasa, Poetry
Emilie Pine, Nonfiction
Danny Denton, Editor/Fiction
*Paul Muldoon reading
Every session was rich in its content, every writer was captivating in their craft. Unfortunately, I got sick somewhere between Limerick and Dublin, and the sickness seemed to spread like wildfire throughout the group. I had plenty of hot toddies to soothe my throat, and still managed to attend nearly every reading.
We also took a trip to Boyne Valley/Newgrange area, where I enjoyed the biggest Irish stew & coffee after exploring the Hill of Tara and Trim Castle:
That’s Valerie and I doing weird yoga poses in the photo halfway down on the left, one of my new favorite pictures 🙂
There is a part of Dublin, with its gritty streets, its green plazas, its rolling and quiet beauty, that roars on– a song cemented in my heart. I am forever grateful for the experiences I have had here, shared among friends and mentors, and the opportunity to connect with these brilliant writers, learning from them and their history.
These are just snapshots of a place, of laughter, of people in time. I take so many photos because I want to remember it all. And I’m so glad I do. A fellow student, Elicia Parkinson, passed away suddenly in October. She was a brilliant creative nonfiction writer and a dedicated student. Elicia, I hope wherever you are is as beautiful and lush as Ireland’s green pastures, and filled to the brim with books just as heavenly.
Our director included this poem in her e-mail to us, and I want to close this post with it.
That appeared once, still wet
As shining chestnuts under a tree in autumn,
And, touched, coddled, began to live
In spite of fires on the horizon, castles blown up,
Tribes on the march, planets in motion.
“We are, ” they said, even as their pages
Were being torn out, or a buzzing flame
Licked away their letters. So much more durable
Than we are, whose frail warmth
Cools down with memory, disperses, perishes.
I imagine the earth when I am no more:
Nothing happens, no loss, it’s still a strange pageant,
Women’s dresses, dewy lilacs, a song in the valley.
Yet the books will be there on the shelves, well born,
Derived from people, but also from radiance, heights.
As quick as the leaves changed in the fall, my season of readings for the last part of 2018 has come to a close.
I’ve kept busy the past couple months:
Red Dog Reading Series
Black Cat Market
Honey Bee Review Reading
Full Pint Wild Side Pub
Hell’s Lid Reading Series
And one more upcoming reading at the Millvale Community Library
Girls Write Pittsburgh Winter Reading Party
Here’s wishing you the happiest of holidays with your loved ones!
Until next time,
Two pieces: “Splitting the Family Tree” and “A Lesson in Direction” have been chosen for publication in The Laurel Review, issue 51.1.
Psyched to get some new work out to you guys soon! xoxo.
How is it November?! Life has been moving at a rapid pace for me, but I took some time to slow down and talk about some things that are important to me. Check out my interview below about travel, women writers, and my chapbook, Next to Everything that is Breakable at Speaking of Marvels.
Truly grateful for this feature, and wishing everyone a Happy Thanksgiving holiday!