I'm so happy to announce that the incredible Patricia Smith has chosen my manuscript as the winner of the 2019 Gatewood Prize. Adelante will be published by Switchback Books in 2020. All of my gratitude to Patricia Smith for choosing my book and calling it "a treasure of deftly-honed narratives that manage to be both unleashed and enviably controlled." You can read the rest of her kind and thoughtful comments, as well as the list of wonderful finalists and semi-finalists for the prize, on Switchback Books' news roll.
This year's The MAX (Mississippi's Arts + Entertainment Experience) Youth Poetry Contest + Slam in Meridian, MS, was a truly wonderful event. High schoolers in Mississippi are writing some amazing poems, and it was an honor to hear them in person. Thank you to Antavia Mason for organizing the event and inviting me to serve as a judge. If you couldn't make it, you can watch some of the performers on The MAX's Facebook page.
This year's AWP approaches, and I'm grateful to be reading alongside Samar Fitzgerald, Cade Leebron, David Mura, Gale Marie Thompson, Kathleen Winter, and others at "An Evening with Witness & American Literary Review." This offsite event is happening in Portland on Friday, March 29th, from 8:00-10:00 PM at Paddy's Bar & Grill. More details can be found on the Facebook event page.
The great folks at Poetry Daily chose my poem "Florida Orange" (originally published in Shenandoah) as today's Featured Poem. All my thanks to the Poetry Daily team for sharing my work, as well as Shenandoah for first publishing the piece. Read "Florida Orange" on Poetry Daily here.
Next week I have the privilege of leading a community workshop for the Hattiesburg Writers' Workshop. Sponsored by the Hattiesburg Arts Council, the Writers' Workshop course meets for six sessions, each focusing on a different element of craft. For this session, which meets on January 28th at 6:00 PM, poet Todd Osborne and I will lecture on structure across genres by looking at poems and stories by Claudia Emerson, Agha Shahid Ali, Tobias Wolff, and others. Visit the Writers' Workshop event page for more information about the course.
So grateful to the Jet Fuel Review team for nominating "Return to the Queue" (published in their spring 2018 issue) for this year's Best of the Net anthology. It has been such a pleasure appearing in their pages and experiencing firsthand the care with which they treat their authors. See the official announcement for a list of nominees in all genres.
Thankful for the opportunity to lead a workshop for young writers at this year's Mississippi Book Festival with my Center for Writers colleagues. In just one hour, these creative young people completed an invention exercise, discussed a model flash fiction story, and wrote their own strong drafts! Literary talent continues to thrive in Mississippi.
I had the most wonderful time at the Community of Writers at Squaw Valley's Poetry Workshop this year! Seven days, seven poems, seventy-two talented participants, six generous faculty members, six craft talks, four (?) nature excursions, and one trip to the beautiful Lake Tahoe = one of the most enriching poetry gatherings of my life. So thankful to have participated in this humbling and uplifting week!
Grateful to have participated in the panel 'Untimely Regions: Arizona, New Mexico, and Florida' alongside Luis Iglesias, Antonio López, and Cris Hollingsworth at this year's American Literature Association conference in San Francisco.