I usually write cross-legged on the living room floor before grading too many composition papers. I have too many dogs, and I teach too many classes at Central Piedmont in Charlotte, NC, where I am full time faculty. I hope to be the next Kay Ryan--a woman who never loses her love for teaching community college and can write a damn good line. Sometimes I actually write a damn good line or two, like in my poems that have been published or are forthcoming in journals including Halycone, Yemassee, Cold Mountain Review, and Southern Indiana Review.
I have an MFA in Creative Writing (Poetry) from McNeese State University, but what's cooler is that I lived in my car for a few summers and drove across the country. No shit--I am a lover of landscape, but when I write about it, I end up with leaps or associative drifts in my poems. I might move from the dunes of the Outer Banks to the uncomfortable memory of bleaching buckets of sand dollars in Georgia. A mountain lion stalked me in West Texas; I watched an 18 wheeler strike a blue heron. I love the desert, but if any place will kill you, the desert will. On my road trips, I learned what I already knew: America is beautiful and horrifying. We want to turn towards our TVs and away from any discomfort, especially now, but we can't. I try to sit with the uncomfortable in my poems.
Your support will give me vital inspiration as I write for thirty days this month. I feel that Tupelo Press has published some of the finest poets being published. I have especially admired the work of poets like Maggie Smith and Ilya Kaminsky who is being honored this year with the Anisfield-Wolf Award.
For the 30/30 project, Tupelo Press provides the canvas, I bring my words, accompanied by other fine poets, writing thirty poems in thirty days, all ours to edit and submit as we wish. 30/30 poems have been taken by over 90 journals and featured in over 40 published chapbooks, all so Tupelo Press can keep publishing exquisite and diverse voices that might never be heard otherwise.
Every dollar gives me confidence to write more, and helps the press place more poems in gorgeous books. Help me to help this distinguished press.