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Midweek Notes from a Practicing Writer

Medical-Journal-AustraliaHot Off the Press

I am so happy to tell you that my poem “Homage to My Skull” appears in the current issue of the Medical Journal of Australia. Editor Leah Kaminsky suggested a perfect tweak (or two), and the MJA team has done a gorgeous job with the design/illustration.

(Unfortunately, the piece is behind a subscription paywall. So, for now, you’ll all just have to be patient and wait for it to pop up one day in my first full-length collection, right?)

But I can say some more about this poem.

I can tell you that I wrote the first draft of it in April 2015, as part of a concerted effort to draft a poem each day during National Poetry Month. I can tell you that I am grateful to Holly Thompson for offering the prompt. (And yes, in case you’re wondering, the prompt stems from Lucille Clifton’s famous “Homage to My Hips,” so I am grateful to the late Ms. Clifton, too.)

Latest Tallies from Poetry Has Value

And speaking of poetry—the latest updates and tallies, covering July, are up on Jessica Piazza’s Poetry Has Value site. As always, I encourage you to read them all.

But if you’re in a hurry and want to read mine asap, here’s a direct link.

Let’s Hear It (and Raise Some Money) for the Pajama Program!

(Is this already sounding familiar? You’re attentive! I posted this news last week, too. And I appreciate the support I’ve received thus far, truly. But I’m going to put this out there again, because the cause merits the additional bandwidth.)

To catch you up: I’m participating in a fundraiser for the Pajama Program. If you’re not familiar with it, the Program delivers warm sleepwear and nurturing books to children in need. Although it’s a national organization, the center in midtown Manhattan is where regular reading parties take place: “Our Reading Parties begin with circle time introductions and then we dive into reading in pairs or small groups. During the Reading Party, the children receive a snack, a new book of their choice, and a new pair of pajamas. The age range of the children is from 4-12 years old.”

The fundraiser—a “Sleep Walk” across the Brooklyn Bridge in late September—is intended to raise critical funds to support this superb program as we approach the fall/winter “Danger Season,” when the temperatures begin to drop and many of the children whom the Pajama Program serves go to bed without something warm to sleep in on cold nights.  I hope that you’ll consider a contribution to my campaign; I’m grateful for your support!

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  1. Hello Erika — Just a note to say hello again and to let you know that coincidentally,”Friends” second generation tale) an adaptation of a chapter of my novel The Beautiful Gathering was Narrative’s Story of the Week a couple of weeks ago, also “behind a subscription firewall,” although free to the reader. Just in case anyone would like to have a look, the link follows. Warmest. Toni

    http://www.narrativemagazine.com/issues/stories-week-2015-2016/story-week/friends-toni-mehler

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