The latest issue of The Writer’s Chronicle arrived a few days ago. (It’s the March/April issue, and I don’t see it online yet; even when it goes online, I think you need to be a subscriber to access it in full.) Although I haven’t read through it in its entirety, I was intrigued to see the interview with Rebecca McClanahan and read that feature right away.
McClanahan teaches in the MFA program I attended, and while I never worked with her, the reading of hers that I attended was memorable and set me on a path to reading more of her poems and essays (I also purchased her writing-instruction book, Word Painting). I’ve always been drawn to the influence of extended family in McClanahan’s work, and The Writer’s Chronicle interview, which focuses on her recent family memoir, gave me much to think about in terms of my own family-infused writing.
I confess that even before reading the interview, however, I thumbed ahead to page 127, where the Fig Tree Books call for submissions appears. (Yes, I encouraged my employer and our marketing manager to place this ad!)
We celebrated my mother’s birthday this past week (this photo shows us on the very first birthday of hers where I was present–as was her own beautiful mother, also pictured).
Let’s just say that it isn’t exactly uncommon for me to buy my mother a book for these occasions. This year’s selection: Anita Diamant’s The Boston Girl. I read this novel recently in preparation for a new online book club organized by the Jewish Women’s Archive. I sensed that the immigration story in this novel–which shares certainly similarities to the history of my mother’s family–would resonate with my mom. And I found it to be a great read beyond that. Mom seemed happy with the gift–I look forward to hearing what she thinks of the book.
So, this week also brought the news from a poetry contest that I entered not long ago that the judging process had ended—and that my entry did not (even) make the longlist. I was fine with this news—though I would have appreciated it had the editor used the “bcc” feature in his notification email.
Now that I know the poem remains “available,” I’ve returned to it. And now that it’s not limited to the contest’s length dictates, the poem is breathing a bit, and expanding. It is one of the longest poems I’ve ever written (if not the longest).
I have a few venues in mind where it might be good fit, but if any of you have favorite litmags that you know welcome long poems, I’d love to hear your suggestions. Thank you in advance!