women’s review of books

The current issue just arrived from Wellesley Centers for Women on my computer screen. An impressive collection of serious writing about thought-provoking issues, from academia, tenure and feminism to historical and current events, criminal justice,  sex museums, marriage equality, and so much more. Including poetry. And on the last page (32), two poems of mine.

When I first received the invitation to submit poetry to Wellesley College’s Women’s Review of Books, the call was for pairs of related poems. The challenge intrigued me, as I was just assembling a new collection about my sister. Of the three or five poem pairs I submitted, they accepted “Late Spring” and “Early Spring.” You can read them here.

The Wellesley Centers for Women, according to their website, “is a premier women- and gender-focused, social-change oriented research-and-action institute at Wellesley College. Our mission is to advance gender equality, social justice, and human wellbeing through high quality research, theory, and action programs.”

The Women’s Review of Books is one of their significant publications, and I am beyond honored to have been published by them twice now. (see my author’s note for HEAR ME, SEE ME).

at the new year

woman gazing outward, swb, 2018

This year started off dragging a long bag of the last with it. I have been slow to drop it behind me. Especially when the bag included a veritable stream of rejections received the first week of this year for pieces sent with high hopes in the second half of 2017.

I needed to regroup. Hence, for instance, the uploading of a new sub-page under ‘Creative Endeavors’ (collage).

But the new year brings with it lovely surprises, as well. Such as hearing from a favorite poet that you have been accepted into her 2018 Poetry Intensive Workshop. Yep, you read that right! Marge Piercy  — who only wants ’12 serious poets’ to work with in her coveted workshop —  chose me as one of them.

The new year is looking brighter already. Perhaps it’s time to start that collection from my recent trip to Portugal; to polish up some of my earlier attempts at more public (political) pieces; to sort through accumulated poem drafts and consolidate, trash or face-lift the old … and generally, to remember that rejection is not a statement of whether or not one ‘should’ write. It’s just a goad to keep on doing so.

As Marge writes in the final stanza of her powerful ‘At the New Moon’ from “The Art of Blessing the Day: Poems with a Jewish Theme,” Alfred A. Knopf, NY, 1999:

Let the half day festival of the new moon
remind us how to retreat and grow strong, how to
reflect and learn, how to push our bellies forward,
how to roll and turn and pull the tides up, up
when we need them, how to come back each time
we look dead, making a new season shine.

new poem acceptance

Aside

Dos Gatos Press is releasing its third POETRY OF THE AMERICAN SOUTHWEST anthology early in 2018. Each poem in this new collection is precisely 100 words long. And they accepted my “Lonesome Boy-Cow,” inspired by our spring trip to Taos and a breath-taking sunset drive toward the mountains.

In accepting the poem, one of the editors wrote: “Sarah, we LOVE THE DESERT SCENE HERE.’

Moreover, following a brief interaction resulting in a modest tweak of the title and one word, he wrote “It is such a pleasure to work with writers who don’t get defensive (and aggressive) with an editor.”

Gotta say, I don’t generally get this kind of feedback from editors. You can imagine I was equally appreciative in my responses. A feel-good day all around.

gratitudes

Last week I ‘officially’ launched SLOW BLOOMING GRATITUDES with a lovely event held at colleague Teresa Davis’ fabulous studio. [If you live in the Burlington VT area and are not yet familiar with her offerings, you MUST visit. In addition to fabulous art classes for children and adults, she runs a lovely pre-school and Starving Artist’s Cafe … check out their brunch!!] Teresa and I started our businesses about the same time and have in the past shared space. All this brought an extra layer of meaning to holding my launch in her beautifully and tastefully renovated permanent building.

Thanks again to my friend Anne-Marie Littenberg for permission to use her lovely photograph for the cover of my collection; and to my friend Anne Averyt for capturing the launch with hers (all photos on this page courtesy of Anne).

I greatly appreciate those who have read (and raved!) about the collection; and those who have chosen to leave their comments on the bottom of the Amazon page. In addition I am collecting feedback on my book page.

To entice you into reading the collection, let me share here the opening poem, which sets the tone for the pages to follow:

MILKWEED

Like milkweed seeds
with their parachutes of silk,
may my words settle
into your heart

their landing unnoticed
‘til they root, emerge
into service and sense – thus

I want my words to spread
beauty and use, healing surprise
to calm your breath, your fevered stress,
to purify what circles within

that feeling and thought might open you
to beauty and nurture against bitterness
that would divide; like milkweed,

weave a silken cord connecting
head and heart – yours,
mine and ours.

‘change’ issue of MER

mer 14 cover

“Happy Breastfish” by Sally Deskins

Dear Friends,

I’m excited to let you know that my work is being featured in the latest issue of Mom Egg Review.

Mom Egg Review Vol. 14 “Change” is a unique literary collection about motherhood focusing on change. It contains short fiction, poetry, and creative non-fiction by the best mother writers from around the world, and by others, writing about motherhood as it intersects with change, global and local.

You can read more about MER and find additional features, book reviews, interviews, submissions info and more here.

The issue launches this April, but copies are available now. As a contributor, I can invite friends and family to purchase copies at a discounted MER Community rate of $15 (cover price is $18). Click here for more info or if you would like order a copy for yourself or as a gift.

All the best,
Sarah

PS There will be a launch reading in New York City on Sunday April 24. I look forward to meeting other contributors to this issue and to sharing my work aloud. Be sure to let me know if you will attend so I can say hello and thank-you!