News

 

Just a quick run-down of writing news, for anybody just visiting this site.

Virga Magazine, my little pet, my third child, really– is growing–and I’m so happy. We’ve recieved so many stellar submissions! We need a few more super stellar ones, honestly, to make up issue two, but we have about a month to find them and I’m confident we will. If you’re a writer of poems or poem/prose/something-else-hybrids, please send that particularly formed humanity our way. We’d love to read your work.

On the first of this month I recieved word, and can now tell you all, that my unlikeliest of projects, a small chapbook titled epithalamium, was chosen as the winner of Sundress Publications’ 2017 Chapbook prize. I’m over the moon! I say it was unlikely, only because the decision to send that particular collection out happened on a whim. There was this cache of poems that fell by the way, here and there, as I was honing my still-in-limbo full- length manuscript; poems that I loved, but that I felt belonged to what I now often call my “alternative voice,” and didn’t fit well in the manuscript. Those poems comprise epithalamium. An epithalamium is, loosely denoted, a marriage song.  These songs go a little way into describing a marriage, with all it’s inherent contradictions, capitulations, beauty, banalities,  soaring heights, and yes, hurts. I’ll update later when the chap is closer to release. In the meantime, I’ll show you what Darren C. Demaree, the judge of this year’s competition, said about the work:

‘epithalamium’ is an incredible dancer working beautifully, relentlessly, spasmodically on a stage that was constructed small enough that the artist must at some point jump into the crowd to make their work the whole scene. The poems in this chapbook are dynamic and unique. The language, music, and energy used caught me off guard many times, and I can think of no better goals than that for poetry. None of these poems are “that blushing thing.” All of them are working and questioning the archetypes and mythologies that deserve to be questioned, and through that process something larger emerges. Through that process we learn to “forget stardust. / think transit. think love.” This chapbook approaches the real world with an otherworldly understanding of its machinations, and despite that deep look into our workings it emerges with a passionate idea of where this could all be headed.

Ridiculous, right?

But also so, sooo amazing and humbling. THANK YOU, DARREN. Thank you Sundress Publications, for making my whole summer!

There are a handful of places you can read individually published poems. These, and a few forthcoming ones I’ve listed on the “publications” page, if you’d like to peruse.

As I should have TWO new chaps come beginning of next year (Syliva Plath in the Major Arcana should be available by then, as well as epithalamium, I hope to schedule several readings in and around Southern Oregon. I *may* even travel to Portland? I don’t know yet. I’m bad at networking, and I’m still such a tiny little voice in the great big world of poetry, but I’m learning to be less of a hermit. Just a VERY little less, I suppose. If something is worthy of reportage, I’ll report here.

Thanks, loves, for following along.

 

 

Mama, What Are They Saying in Church?

 

window.jpg
Hi all, today I’m sharing something I wrote over the course of this past week. I’m not quite sure what to call the piece below; it’s sort of a poem, sort of a rambling diatribe, certainly a sad line of questioning. I want to thank my friend and fellow poet-in-resistance, Alina Stefanescu, for giving this its first read and helping me enhance several parts. I don’t usually post my work here, but I’m making an exception this time, because it’s first and foremost just me, processing things, and because it seems urgent, if somewhat lacking in grace and control. Feel free to share.

Mama What Are They Saying in Church?

Mama, I’m wondering if in church this morning,
you got permission to post
about #charlottesville on facebook.
#heatherheyer?

Mama, remember when you picked up that copy of
The Diary of Anne Frank at Goodwill
and told me I should read it?
I don’t think I was on the woman side of ten years old
and it felt unreal, but history
has a way of seeming fairy tale drained
of that genre’s pith—subversion, even risk—
when recited in Biblical terms, so on the regular side of Baptist,
I’m wondering if they mentioned #charlottesville and a woman
the same age as me, murdered by a Nazi.

Or will the pastor not call them that, just yet?

Mama, I’m wondering how many guns
came to church today, but I don’t expect you know
who paid for a permit to hide his weapon.
On the news last night, they interviewed a man, who
called the woman one of his comrades mowed down
an animal. During the interview
he pulled five automatic weapons from his person,
where they had been secreted,
and threw them on the motel bed. And Mama,
I know it’s late, 
but I’m wondering about  Anne Frank again
and how you said 
we should think about what we’d do
if we were there, and 
I wonder if you think it all happens in a vacuum
and there is nothing but the damaged and
nothing but a closet to hide them in—
as if there is only ever a Christian hiding a Jew,
somewhere in the fairy tale,
always that hallowed cupboard or
crawlspace, just the fact of it having existed, to pull down
and dust off and show the kids–
self-administered absolution,
as if it couldn’t happen here, since my side of center,
(I can hear you saying it) trafficks too much in hyperbole.

Mama, what are they saying in church
about sides? About the one that’s saying
please don’t shoot us?
About the side whose persecutors,
unlike the others on the spiritual mantelpiece,
still have a few statutes left standing in their country, of
men like them who came before.
You can’t put them in a crawlspace or a closet—
its never that simple, and anyway, the ones we might
have harbored, not in a closet, but at Christian
kitchen tables, are obliged to stay
in cities like Aleppo.

#antifas have some
hashtags that the President has scorned,
saying all that really matters is those lives
that had a permit to assemble in #charlottesville.
A story revolves around permission, you used
to say. But Mama what are

they saying

in church?

Hello again

Hello again!

I have an odd assortment of things to post here. Small change, really, as nothing too large or life changing has occured, and yet–I guess you could say a lot of little things have added up.

  • Two copies of my chapbook, Children, Apostates are sitting on a self in an adorable indie bookstore in Ashland, Oregon. I mean, something I wrote–thirteen things I wrote, tucked between pretty covers, is sitting in a real bookstore. I’m pleased.
  • Virga Magazine was given some press recently, over at Trish Hopkinson’s blog and as a result, we saw an influx of awesome submissions! The Spring issue cut-off is March 31st, so come April, I’m excited to gather all the lovelies I’ve accepted and arrange them, format them into the inaugural issue, releasing May 1st!
  • I finished my full length poetry manuscript. Okay…that last sentence should be read: I kept myself from tweaking and/or overhauling the thing long enough to send it to three presses. Two contests, and one open reading period. As it stands, I’m owning it. It may undergo more meddling, but I’m owning it. It’s really something to stand back after, oh, I guess about a year and a half, and see how the voices have filtered down, how the arc became obvious. I asked the lovely writers on the Binders Group on facebook how long some of them had to wait before their debut collections were picked up. It ran a gamut. A lot of folks said they waited a year or two. A lot more folks said it took them 5-8 years. I’m not patient enough for half a decade. Please, if you care, send me all the good juju, good vibes, etc. so that this thing finds a home in, ohhh….a year? Maybe?
  • This week, after a bit of a dry spell acceptance wise, a long-ish poem was picked up by the guys running WINDOW (patient sounds). Oh man. This poem is my opus. It’s my favorite thing I’ve written. And it took a year of subbing it for it to finally land. I’m pleased as punch! Stay tuned!
  • the featured image for this post has nothing to do with anything other than that I like it.

And that’s about it!

What are you lovelies up to?

 

A New Literary Endeavor

benuaI’ve been scheming for two years. Today, I stopped scheming and launched my very own online poetry journal. As I type this, I’m a ball of happy-anxious. Virga Magazine, or just Virga, as it will likely shorten to, is officially OPEN FOR SUBMISSIONS!

Please visit VIRGA

If you’re a poet, send us something! If you know a few brilliant poets, tell THEM to send us something! We’re very excited to start reading your stuff!

postscript: Yes, I’m still writing. To see my latest (and strangest) piece to date, go HERE.

Dusted with flour, dusted with birdsong

cutouts.jpg

Hey guys,

I suppose some updates are in order. It is no longer a swelter here, but a brisk and colorful autumn. This weekend in particular, we’re in for a bit of weather–a typhoon off the coast is heading in with hurricane force winds and a lot of rain, so we’re battening down, crossing our fingers we can keep cozy inside. Cross your fingers for us, too, if you think of it! Here in the PNW, we’ve got it pretty good in terms of weather. Until the random….well, typhoon, apparently.

I have a few newsy bits to relay in terms of the writing.

Crab Creek Review, The Ekphrastic Review, and Dead King Magazine have all accepted poems. You can read the ekphrastic poem at ER on thier site right now!

Also, over the month of August, a streak of inspiration hit and a chapbook was born. Not just born, but homed!”Sylvia Plath in the Major Arcana” (tentatively titled) is coming out with Anchor & Plume Press as part of their 2017 list! I couldn’t be more grateful to Amanda, the editor of A&P.

What are you lovelies up to?

 

 

New Poems

books

Hi all

Well, it’s the dog days of summer. The heat and the slow moving days can feel to this girl a little oppressive. Writing gets done, but the sun just seems to idle at a blistering 90-105 degree heat in the sky, and creativity seems to need some shade. Shade is hard to find. Right before these appropriately named dog days were inaugurated,  however, late may-ish, I had a few pieces accepted by some great publications; one flash fiction piece, which is forthcoming from HYPERtext Magazine – so stay tuned for that – and a couple poems. Poems I can now finally share with you today, at Red Paint Hill and The Minola Review, respectively. Follow the links to read the pieces.

I also have a piece forthcoming later this month, which was acccepted by the amazing poet Jenn Ghivan, editor of Tinderbox Poetry Journal! Look her up, she’s just incredible and so talented, which makes this acceptance particularly awesome!

What are all you writer’s up to? How are you beating this heat??

 

 

Ch-ch-ch-changes

Hi guys.

me me me.jpgThese days, I write here infrequently. Always the one to make a big start and then feel reality set in too real, I fizzled on the Say What Wednesdays and Sunday Posts, as you’re aware, if you check in here.

I’m keeping it small and manageable these days. I’m playing to my strengths, or what I hope are my strengths. I’m writing.

As other writers have done, I’m shifting the emphasis here. More narcissism, of course. More relevance. I realize the only thing I’ve really been doing here is alerting you readers to literary worthies online or alerting you to my own internal meanderings, potential fodder for my own future literary endeavors. When other writers do this, they often do so under a domain dedicated solely to thier work.

So, while I did try to do the consulting thing, the interview thing, the review thing….I think now this space should simply be a landing site for readers of things I write. This site will, henceforth, be an unglorified “author site.” I will be changing the name of the domain soon. Something close to my name– Laura Page.

Buffalo Elliot is not dead, however.

Though I’m not sure how the moniker will manifest in the near future, there are tentative plans. Please keep that, if you care, on some back burner!

I hope you’ll keep “landing here.” Despite my half-starts. Despite it all.

 

xo

Laura

 

Snafu

mystery

I don’t think I worried about anything before I had kids. I just don’t remember stressing about how I was living my life, about whether or not I was doing enough. BEING enough. Lately, despite my efforts and pep talks, I get overwhelmed–with the accumulated mess that is adulthood.

Snafu.

What a weird word. When I first heard the word, I categorized it with other words I thought equally weird (but which denoted not so hard-to-describe things), like “pithy” and “kitsch” and “svelte.”

Choas. A mess.

No matter how many cute little Instagram memes encourage me to “embrace it,” I’ve always been on the defensive with my messes, with my own life’s particular brand of chaos. I’m not sure that will ever change. If I can’t embrace, though, at least (social media assures me) I’m not alone in dealing with things.

While I deal, I continue to write. And read.

Both I’ve been doing rather intensively, hence the lack of posts. See the picture above for one title I’m especially super duper excited about starting. Anchor and Plume’s new release from Robert Vivian. Check out the title here!

Noteworthies

Hi all,

Today I just wanted to direct your attention to a couple great new authors with titles out now (available for order and pre-order) at one of my very favorite independent small presses, Anchor & Plume.

logo

I had the distinct privilege of interviewing both Ryan Tahmaseb and Lindsay Illich for the A&P site. Click the links for the virtual sit-downs above!

While you’re there, pick up these writers’ books! Or browse the shop for other amazing titles. Support small presses, folks! Enter HERE!