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.
Spent the weekend enjoying readings and listening to pedagogy discussions at the Gulf Coast Association of Creative Writing Teachers' annual conference in Fairhope, AL. It was a pleasure to read alongside so many Gulf Coast writers, especially my past and present Center for Writers cohort. A big thank you to GCACWT's president, wonderful poet and person Katie Riegel, for organizing such a wonderful event.
A big thank you to the wonderful editors at Harpur Palate who chose my poem, "Coco," as the winner of the 2017 Milton Kessler Memorial Prize for Poetry! Honored to have my poem included in Harpur Palate's pages. Also, congratulations to Celeste Mohammed, winner of the John Gardner Memorial Prize for Fiction! The issue with my and Celeste's work is available for purchase here.
So grateful that my poem, "The Visible World," was chosen by Pimone Triplett as the winner of American Literary Review's 2017 Award for Poetry! Many thanks to Pimone Triplett and ALR's editors for believing in this poem. The announcement, including the list of wonderful finalists (and winners/finalists for other genres), can be found on ALR's website here.
The University of Southern Mississippi recently celebrated student writing for the state's bicentennial by hosting a special writing event in which high school students—guided by professors and graduate students in the English Department (myself included)—wrote poems, essays, and memoirs about their Mississippi experiences. These students went from invention to composition, revision, and publication, all in one day. So proud of the work they did—and grateful for the professors at USM that helped organize the event. Read the students' work here.