Month: March 2016


Washington, DC, was to me a place of Saturday trips, museums and concert halls, subways and my sister’s house in endless Northern Virginia towns. My mother and I drove up from Central Virginia and crossed the Potomac to go to piano concerts. One windy day, … Continue reading Trace

Submission Season

It’s chapbook submission season. Paper Nautilus’ Vella chapbook contest is open and Durham’s Backbone Press has an open reading period now. Are you a feminist of any gender? Submit to Gazing Grain. Tupelo’s Snowbound chapbook contest just closed. You think I would be tired of submitting to Tupelo as they have been rejecting me for years, but I revised my chapbook and hope springs eternal. Or maybe habits die hard. Pick your cliche.

Maybe you’re more of a contest person. Solstice Literary Magazine has a contest going on right now. They are a fantastic magazine out of Boston that is dedicated to publishing diverse voices. For years my poetry friends and I debated what kinds of work would be more successful in a contest. We thought loud and bold. My spouse (a fiction writer) is untroubled by the nuance and says, “Just submit already.” No comment.

Today Brevity opens its submission period for an issue on race, racialization, and racism. Write a flash essay up to 750 words on an aspect of race and maybe (squee) have Joy Castro read your work!

How do you figure out where to send your work?



What Should I Read Next?

It’s seven o’clock and my tutoring shift is winding down. My spouse has promised to pick me up at work and we’re going to try the new Chinese restaurant in town. His class schedule this semester has him waking up at 4:30 in order to beat the traffic, so by seven, he is falling asleep in his (delicious) plate of General Tso’s chicken.

I look at his thousand-yard stare as we wait for the bill. Last week he literally fell asleep at the table. I do the marital mathematics of balancing our wants and needs. He wants to go home and go to bed. I am not sure I have anything to read. Let me repeat that. In a house of ten-thousand books I have nothing to read next.

Panic ensues.

I could drive home by way of the library and leave him in the car while I go get some books. But I’d have to be quick and I don’t really know what I want to read next. I could take him home and then go back to the library. Nah, once I’m home I’m going to want to stay home.  Then—thank god—I remember Maria Mutch’s Know the Night. I have something to read, and Spouse can go to sleep without interruption. Happiness all around.

Then this morning, someone posted a review of Olivia Laing’s new book The Lonely City: Adventures in the Art of Being Alone, and I know what I’m reading next.

What are you reading next?