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Midweek Notes from a Practicing Writer

Nice Surprise #1

I was elated when, last November, Cathryn Hankla accepted my poem “Fighting Words” for The Hollins Critic.

But I had no idea when, exactly, the poem would be published. So it was a nice surprise to arrive home the other day and discover a thick envelope containing a set of contributor copies. (And, yes, a check!)


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Midweek Notes from a Practicing Writer

Something This Writer Has in Common with Prince Harry

ICYMI: Britain’s Prince Harry recently made his podcast debut. (He did so as part of an ongoing collaboration with his brother and his sister-in-law—aka the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge—to promote mental health and de-stigmatize the subject; I applaud all that they’re doing.)

As it happens, I’ll be making my own first podcast appearance soon enough! Continue reading ›

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Words of the Week

Many meaningful words were shared by my fellow panelists at last Thursday’s “Memory Transferred: Voices from the Descendants of Destruction and Displacement,” an event held at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. I’m proud to present this video from the evening.

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Midweek Notes from a Practicing Writer

Back from #AWP17

Like thousands of other writers, I journeyed to our nation’s capital this past week for the latest gathering of the Association of Writers & Writing Programs (AWP). And, I suspect also like many others, I’m still “processing” those days.

One definite highlight for me, however, was Thursday evening’s “off-site” event at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. (Fun fact: This panel event originated as an AWP session proposal. Which AWP rejected. Just another reminder that rejection doesn’t necessarily signal “the end.”)

I’m waiting for the video of “Memory Transferred: Voices from the Descendants of Destruction and Displacement” to be posted to the Museum’s YouTube channel. In the meantime, though, I can share one of the event’s photos. Continue reading ›

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Midweek Notes from a Practicing Writer

Quiet Americans Is Required Reading!

There’s something so special about knowing that my work moves educators enough to share it with their students. So an email that I received on Monday—conveyed via my publisher and requesting a desk copy of Quiet Americans—was a wonderful surprise.

This time, students in a class on “Literature of American Minorities” offered within a Michigan university are the ones who are being asked to read the stories. It means so very much to me to know that the book is being included on the syllabus. (And yes, I’ve asked to see the full syllabus so I can see the other books included there. I’m always learning, too!) Continue reading ›

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Midweek Notes from a Practicing Writer

checklist-1316848_1280I Did It!

It doesn’t feel as though I’ve “accomplished” much, writing-wise, over this past week, but in the spirit of Lisa Romeo’s annual “I Did It!” lists, I’ll share a few things that I have managed to do over the past seven days.

  • Finished reading Robin Black’s wonderful Crash Course: Essays from Where Writing and Life Collide.
  • Began editing the Q&A (with Rachel Hall, author of Heirlooms) that will appear in the next issue of The Practicing Writer.
  • Began reading an advance copy of Alexandra Zapruder’s Twenty-Six Seconds, in preparation for a future Q&A.
  • Had a phone call with a program manager who might—might!—report back soon with good news about a way for a rejected AWP panel to find new life offsite next February in Washington.
  • Filed my August stats and updates for Poetry Has Value. (Not sure when they’ll be posted, though.)
  • Kept to the day-job’s blogging schedule and posted a new installment in our series of features spotlighting books that have won the Edward Lewis Wallant Award. (Up this month: Eileen Pollack’s In the Mouth: Stories and Novellas.)
  • Drafted some remarks about Quiet Americans and practiced them for a panel event taking place tomorrow.
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