Exactly what is Magical Realism fiction — what is it, and what differentiates it from fantasy? Since it’s the category I’ve chosen to read most and often write, I think a lot about this. The many good lists of magical realism fiction online point us toward some stories that seem to me to belong more in the category of fantasy. More
I spent my morning reading and replying on the Women’s Fiction Writers Association website to a discussion about defining women’s fiction. One of the topics was trends in Women’s Fiction, and in that thread the topic of “girl” and “wife” books came up. Bestseller titles tell you much about the trend: Gone Girl, Girl on a Train, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Time Traveller’s Wife, The Kitchen God’s Wife. Girls who are women trying to save themselves, as one commenter on the thread so aptly put it.
I’m really happy that one of my most recently published poems was “Wings Clipped” and appeared in Issue 4 of a journal called Panoply. Several reasons: 1) I’ve had a panoply of acceptances this season — far more than my usual batting average! 2) “Wings Clipped” is the lead poem in my new manuscript, Arabesque (available to an interested publisher) and 3) the poem brings together the two art forms I’ve devoted myself to: dance and poetry.
The journal One from Jacar Press also published one of my poems — “Elegance” — that brought together those two arts. Even though this lovely art form broke my back, I would do it all over again. I suppose that might be a form of courage. And publishing that poem helped me have the courage to focus the opening section of my book around the way these arts and injuries shaped me.
This year I’ve had 16 poems accepted so far, which is much more than ever in any 9-month period. They’re all from this manuscript, which makes me feel it’s strong. I campaigned the poems to support publishing the book, but I never expected so much so quickly.
To be part of new literary ventures is also an exciting privilege I’ve had this season. The new and beautiful Peacock Journal recently published four of mine.
And they did me the kindness of pairing the work with a beautiful image that means a lot to me, as it’s involved in my new novel, The Renaissance Club (also available). Bernini’s Ecstasy of St. Teresa figures in my story, and when I met this sculpture in Rome, its power is partly why I wanted to write the novel.
The other new journal I was happy to participate in is Mockingheart Review. They took three of my favorites from Arabesque, including my favorite dream poem, “Giraffes.”
Gingerbread House published one of the poems that surprised me the most to write — a poem about a dead-drunk superhero called “Transparency” — and they paired it with original art that was just perfect. Thanks to the editors for that pairing!
I have a poem forthcoming from Prairie Schooner, and I’m waiting to hear on a few more. But all in all, 2016 has been a bonanza for this poet. And in other ways, a most interesting series of literary adventures. Some of which I will have to wait to tell. Thanks for listening to my surprised delight.
It seems like a good time to consider tolerance and all its meanings, especially for those of us who write and can give voice to the need for it. The dictionary defines tolerance as: “willingness to accept feelings, habits, or beliefs that are different from your own.” I think the key word here is “willingness” — an open mind.
Last year I joined the staff of Tiferet, a journal founded on the principle of tolerance and compassion. Tiferet brings together writers who promote tolerance. Founder Donna Baier Stein, who named the journal, says the Hebrew word Tiferet means “heart, compassion, and a reconciliation of opposites.” Today more than ever, seeming opposites must learn to come together.
Through a quarterly literary journal, monthly radio interviews, and global community of writers Tiferet brings divergent faiths and beliefs together. inspiring us to create, exchange, and grow.
And in 2015, happily, Tiferet’s community and projects are also growing. Tiferet needs to raise $10,000 for another vibrant year of publishing, interviewing, community-building, and more. Hopefully, Tiferet’s Indiegogo campaign — to concludeon February 19 — will push forward and raise much-needed support.
And hopefully, you can help! Here’s a link to learn more: