Thursday, October 6, 2016

Publication Alert: Bibliotheca Alexandrina

Dear Reader,

First, I should note that I'm in a perpetual state of disbelief these days. (And no, I'm not talking about the election, although that's all pretty surreal lately, too.) In the last two months I've become a home-owner (!!!), been researching post-MFA degrees, and begun my final full-time year at SCSU's MFA program. Pardon the expression, but holy freaking $h*t -- when did this adulthood thing happen, and how is this program almost half over already?? To clarify, I'll probably be working on my thesis for several months after the spring (especially since I'm still figuring out what my thesis is going to be... oops), so I won't be completely graduated for awhile. Still, despite my short time here, it's going to feel bittersweet to leave this great network of writers soon.

But one more happy bit of disbelief: a new set of poems published! (This announcement is actually a month late, so I apologize for that. House-buying an' all.) I am exceptionally excited about this publication, as it has been long in-the-works and features what I consider some of my best work.
No less than three of my poems -- "Guan Yin's Lullaby," "Kuka Mama, Sown," and "Papatūānuku: A Lament" -- have been published in Bibliotheca Alexandrina's newest anthology, "Garland of the Goddess: Tales and Poems of the Feminine Divine." For those of you who haven't uncovered this gem yet, Bibliotheca Alexandrina is the printing company for Neos Alexandria, an online community of Neopagans and anyone interested in the worship or study of polytheistic deities. Now, if you're a staunch monotheist like myself, don't let that description deter you. Neos Alexandria is a beautiful, comprehensive, and fun resource for simply exploring global mythologies and polytheistic cultures. And of course, the creative work in their anthologies is enchanting. In this "Garland" anthology, we see depictions of legendary goddesses as exotic, glorious, tragic, seductive, vulnerable, humanized -- in short, as femininity in all its sublimity. I also had wonderful communications with NA/BA's editorial staff throughout the entire publishing process, so being a part of their publication has been a great pleasure.

You can read more about the "Garland" anthology here, and purchase a copy at their CreateSpace store. My poems are on pages 152, 193, and 228.

About the work:
You can find this information in my author's notes, but each of my poems are based on non-Greco-Roman goddesses that are lesser known to the Western world. I wrote "Papatūānuku: A Lament" first, years ago in a poetry course. It's inspired by a native New Zealand creation story, which I'd fallen in love with for its portrayal of longing and loneliness. After submitting it to NA/BA, I was asked to send more, so after a flurry of research and reader feedback I wrote "Guan Yin's Lullaby" (about a Chinese Buddhist deity) and "Kuka Mama, Sown" (about an Incan goddess). It was amazing how much the mythologies of other cultures fueled my writing. These stories were so powerful, but also had a surprising humanness to them, and I tried to capture that balance by re-imagining the goddess-psyche in an intimate way. I hope you find the results as rewarding as I did, and that you explore the other contributors' marvelous work, too.

Fun fact: I also had a fourth poem accepted by NA/BA for another anthology -- so be on the lookout!

Enjoy and share away! Grace and peace to you.


Previews of above-mentioned poems are now available below (images may be clearer on Web Version):

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