Karen comes out of Hiding

Hello blog readers and spoken word enthusiasts!

I am writing to ask your forgiveness for my radio silence. I think sometimes writers need to slip below the noise of life and swim around in the stillness. That and I’ve been hella busy! Things are just going crazy in all good ways right now. I hope I can present my many forms of good news without being too self-serving. Here is a bird’s eye view of my own little life bumping along.

1. On Wednesday, I was announced as a winner of the Write Bloody publishing contest. Out of 225 open submissions, my new poetry manuscript was chosen to be published in Write Bloody’s new line up. Write Bloody is a small press started by poet Derrick Brown and has published writers like Anis Mojgani, Buddy Wakefield, Andrea Gibson and Danny Sherrard.

I haven’t signed any agreements and I don’t have any further information right now, but I’m honored and thrilled to have been chosen! (Goodbye little chunk of self-doubt.) I was working really hard on this manuscript for a good part of the winter and it accounts for many nights in which I didn’t see friends, go to readings or post on this blog. Here is the product of my silence

2. I was nominated for a poetry award! The Rona Jaffe Foundation awards promising women writers in the early stages of their careers with a monetary award large enough to take time away from working and write. I’m deeply honored to have been nominated. Winners will be announced in the fall. The application also accounts for many nights locked in my house without the benefits of company. The life of a writer is less about glamor and more about coffee and comfortable sweaters.

3. I’ve been rehearsing with the Seattle Poetry Slam Team for nationals and we are having a stupendous time! Our first workshop was with the poet Roger Bonair Agard and it was nothing short of life changing. (Or at least writing changing.) Roger is one of the absolute top writers/performers in the world. He was here for a couple of weeks from NYC and I hope to say more about him in another blog entry.

4. I am about to do the Northwest leg of The Morrigan Tour with Marty McConnell and Andi Strickland. This all-female spoken word tour is the first multi-voice spoken word show I ever saw back in the early aughts. (Is that how you spell that?) Everyone agrees that these women pioneered a touring style. We have a great show planned for YOU at the Richard Hugo House on Tuesday, June 16th. All ages. $5. Please mark your calendars now!!! This is going to be an amazing show!

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The other Morrigan Poets, including Emily Kagan Trenchard

The other Morrigan Poets, including Emily Kagan Trenchard

5. I just got licensed to officiate marriages. (With this same license, I am also qualified to absolve you of your sins.) (Consider it done.)

A final thought on the life of a writer, contest, etc. I have wrestled with all manner of sometimes debilitating self-doubt. This doubt can fluctuate wildly from “is my writing good enough?” to “will anyone ever love me?” I’m working diligently to celebrate every accomplishment, no matter how small. I’m also trying to keep my eyes on my own work. I offer this because I think sometimes hearing about someone else’s awards can be scary and I’ve listed a lot of mine here. Ultimately, writing isn’t about awards or being good enough. It is about engaging in a life that is introspective and the sometimes insane joys of getting to share that introspection with other people.

Thanks for reading! More soon, I just promise.

2 responses to this post.

  1. how could there be no comments???!!! Big huzzahs and lots of pot banging – yay you and your work!


  2. Posted by Brian on June 17, 2009 at 3:46 pm

    Congrats, Karen. 2009 has been a good year for you!

    Also, thanks for the final sentiment here. I’ve been feeling a little down on my own writing recently after not scoring several grants I’d applied for. Nice to hear a voice of reason here. Guess it’s time to stop feeling sorry for myself and get back to work.


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