Saturday, March 08, 2014

"Letter from Lara" to be published by Spark

Spark, A Creative Anthology will publish my poem "Letter from Lara, Yuriatin, 1920" which won 3rd place in their "Winter" contest--Spark is a beautiful publication consisting of an eclectic mix of writing styles, short stories and poetry.  I am so fortunate to have discovered them and feel very proud to be published there.  They offer fair compensation for publication and excellent prizes in their quarterly themed fiction and poetry contests!  The artwork is also standout, as exemplified by this cover art by Casey Robin for their Volume V, where I hope the poem will be included:

Thursday, February 20, 2014

The Best Rejection Letter Ever!

I just heard that I didn't win the Minerva Rising Literary Journal chapbook contest, but the Editor sent me such a wonderful rejection letter that I am just as excited as if I had won!  They will be awarding me a runner-up prize and publishing one of my poems in a later issue.   I am very honored to be a finalist in their first chapbook contest and look forward to seeing one of my poems published in their journal this year!

Northern Liberties Review publication and Label Me Latina/o acceptance!

Northern Liberties Review published my poem "Demo Session at the Newport Guitar Festival" this month!   They are published from Philadelphia, my hometown, so I was particularly happy they accepted it.

This was followed by an acceptance from Label Me Latina/o, "an online, refereed international e-journal that focuses on Latino Literary Production in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. The journal invites scholarly essays focusing on these writers for its biannual publication. Label Me Latina/o also publishes creative literary pieces whose authors self-define as Latina or Latino regardless of thematic content."

They will publish my poem "Poem for My Father" in this year's Spring issue.  I am very excited to be published there, as I enjoy their unique mix of scholarly articles with creative works, and I admire all the poems they have featured.

Friday, January 03, 2014

2014 auspicious beginnings...

2014 seems to be getting off to a good start--I just found out yesterday that my poem, "Letter From Lara, Yuriatin, 1920" won 3rd place in Spark, A Creative Anthology's Contest Four!!

"Letter From Lara" is a persona poem written from the point of view of a fictional character from Boris Pasternak's novel Dr. Zhivago.  Pasternak was a Russian poet; Dr. Zhivago was his only novel besides one written in verse.  The prompt for the contest was "winter," so the frozen steppes of Siberia inevitably came to mind!

2013 in review

Writing-wise, 2013 was a great year for me:

  • 11 publications
  • 2 radio appearances on WLRN (one reading and a reading/interview)
  • 2 writers conferences/workshops (resulting in 3 poems)
  • 1 guest blog
  • 1 Quote of the Day
  • 1 poetry contest award
I feel like I made significant progress this year; I think
it will turn out to be turning point in my writing.

Next year I already have made commitments for two poetry
events in April, National Poetry Month!  2014 is shaping up!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Random House's "Zombies Take Back the Library" contest winner

I just found out my zombie library display was one of the winners!  We won four free books for the library!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Interviewed for WLRN-Miami Herald News --Miami Book Fair International takes off!

I received an email from WLRN-Miami Herald news wanting to interview published poets who have another job during the Miami Book Fair International.  Because of my participation in the O'Miami Poetry Festival, they must have had my name on a contacts list. The feature article, "These Are the Day Jobs of Miami Bards" by Rachel Morello aired on 91.3 FM, November 22, 2013.

Photo Courtesy of Rachel Morello, WLRN Miami News

Quite a few of my favorite poets are appearing at the Book Fair this year, beginning with Sharon Olds, Mary Jo Salter, Robert Pinsky, Campbell McGrath and Richard Blanco and ending with a reading by the Miami Poetry Collective!

My retired colleague and friend Andy Grof, will be reading from his novel as well!

What happens when you google yourself....

I found out that I was "Latino Quote of the Day" on November 14th!  Thanks to Bobby Gonzalez for the honor!  He quoted from my Latina Book Club guest blog about writing.

He shared my quote on his syndicated site:  Latino Quote of the Day

“At 50+ I can claim many freedoms I did not possess before—my hair is thinner but my skin is thicker—I can take rejection and criticism and stand my ground better…”
             -    Beatriz F. Fernandez, Puerto Rican/Peruvian author.

Latino Quote Of The Day™ is curated by Bobby Gonzalez.

Bobby González is a nationally known multicultural motivational speaker, storyteller and poet. Born and raised in raised in the South Bronx, New York City, he grew up in a bicultural environment. Bobby draws on his Native American (Taino) and Latino (Puerto Rican) roots to offer a unique repertoire of discourses, readings and performances that celebrates his indigenous heritage.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

FIU Writers Conference Wrap-Up

I fought burn-out and migraines during the FIU Writer's Conference but it was well worth it!  I attended sessions held by Frances de Pontes Peebles, Lynne Barrett, Campbell McGrath and the keynote speech by Dennis Lehane, who is very funny!  He told the audience to get used to being "mutants" who care about this weird thing called writing and not to expect others to understand (paraphrasing wildly from memory here, but you get the idea!)

The best experience for me, naturally, was the poetry workshop held by FIU professor and poet Campbell McGrath.  We discussed various styles of poetry and then he assigned us two poems and then we read them and discussed them in class. He said one of my poems was "terrific" and told me to go home and write some more!  When Campbell McGrath tells you that, you dare not disobey!

Lynne Barrett led us through a breakdown of good fiction-writing practices by using Hansel and Gretel as an example of an enduring and effective story.  This was a very interesting method which clarified many things in my mind even though I'm not writing fiction right now.

I wish I could have attended all the sessions and events but I wasn't able to--the activities began at 7:30 in the morning and lasted until the evening with breaks for meals.  I met many nice people and was very impressed with the level of writing of the participants,

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Irene Adler haunts Sherlock's mind....

My poem, "Very Truly Yours, Irene Norton, née Adler” which won 2nd place in Spark's Contest Two, will be published in Spark, A Creative Anthology Volume III on Halloween!  

“To Sherlock Holmes she is always the woman. I have seldom heard him mention her under any other name. In his eyes she eclipses and predominates the whole of her sex. It was not that he felt any emotion akin to love for Irene Adler. All emotions, and that one particularly, were abhorrent to his cold, precise but admirably balanced mind. He was, I take it, the most perfect reasoning and observing machine that the world has seen.... And yet there was but one woman to him, and that woman was the late Irene Adler, of dubious and questionable memory.”

― Arthur Conan Doyle, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
Marissa Ball made this great pastiche of photos from my Zombie Halloween display for the FIU Green Library!

Love Letter Ekphrastic Ghazals for October

Evan Mantyk of the Society of Classical Poets was kind enough to accept my companion ghazals, under the title "On Viewing Dante and Beatrice by Henry Holiday, 1884" for publication on his site.

The poems were inspired by Holiday's beautiful painting, shown below and on the website.

The Society consists of a group of poets dedicated to the revival and proliferation of good, new poetry that follows classical forms. See the website if you are interested in joining.

Read my poems here.