"The final two stanzas took my breath away."
Poetry Contest Judge
Poetry Contest Judge
2022 Wisconsin Writers Award
I'm thrilled to have won an Honorable Mention with the Council of Wisconsin Writers' 2022 Lorine Niedecker Poetry Award. The award is given to the best collection of up to five poems published in literary magazines by a Wisconsin-based writer in the previous year. And it comes with a one week residency at the Painted Forest. A first for me! You can find the five poems I submitted -- Winter Lives of Bubblers, My First Orgasm, My First Blue Gill, Snake Molting and Fluid Dynamics -- in the poetry section of this website.
What's Been Published...
Sister Dorothy’s chalk wand
dolled up the alphabet
like mascara and red
lipstick dressed our moms.
She showed us how to fuse
our clumsy marks into
molten loops and a girl’s
finest friend, curlicues.
I wanted to kiss each swipe
of those linked letters, touch
my tongue to the spaces
between each fluid word.
Even capital letters --
their perilous sweeps and
archaic frills — thrilled me.
I uncapped the crystal
throat of my blue BIC pen and
ravished spiral notebooks
with the sighs and whispers
of my new liquid name.
What Editors Say...
"It's just a vivid, musical, highly condensed, and yet evocative rendering of a scene that Edward Hopper might have painted."
- Max Garland, judge for Wisconsin Writers Association Jade Ring Contest.
I love this poem. My girlfriend and I will only wear black when we eat out.
-- Michelle Hartman, Editor of Red River Review
Your poems show a side of and take an angle on Ritual that is unique among our submissions, and we think they would be an excellent addition to the Issue.
-- Troy Payne, Editor of Lantern Journal
These concrete details are lovely; their settings stronger still. Your understanding of how to move a piece forward, how to give it motion, is a true strength.
-- Judge from Sustainable Arts Foundation
Thanks for sending us your work, and we’ll be very pleased to include it in one of our poetry issues. I’m thrilled to be able to include your work.
-- Dr. Christopher Todd Anderson, Guest Poetry Editor, The Midwest Quarterly
Congratulations! Thank you so much for your recent submission to Blue Heron Review! We would be delighted to include your beautiful poem. Thank you for your wonderful contribution! I found your poem to be very unique. I especially loved the last stanza.
-- Cristina M. R. Norcross editor of Blue Heron Review
What Else I've Been Doing...
I fell in love with basketball. Again. I'm going to as many Milwaukee Bucks games as possible. By myself. With binoculars. I even bought a basketball. And I started writing a poetry collection about the Bucks more than a year ago. How I feel. What I see. What I might know. I have so much to learn! Here are some titles of the poems I wrote about each 2021 player:
Can you match those titles to the players?
What Readers Say ...
Lyrical and sensitive …
-- Jayshree M. Tripathi
I really enjoyed this uplifting poem which celebrates the power of the perfect shoe.
-- Pamela Newham
I love this, and I really relate to the torn feelings you so eloquently shared.
-- Stephanie Gagos
This poem uses simile and extended metaphor in surprising and ultimately very lovely ways: each image and comparison is clear, extremely specific, and intentional. The concision of the syntax leaves plenty of room for the reader’s imagination, and the sentences get shorter as the climax approaches – a breathless stuttering. The final two stanzas took my breath away. A cat in the garden, a tussle, and a shower of petals – and the speaker steps into the beauty of her sexuality for the first time. This is a gorgeous, finished poem.
-- 2021 Triad Contest Judge