Book designer, editor & poet living in Topeka, Kan.

 

the other side

It’s an odd feeling to be on the other side of the publishing process. My chapbook, Birth in Storm, was released yesterday via Emerge Literary Journal Publications. It’s a little surreal to be the author this time rather than the one who designed/created the book. Now I’ve got a fuller perspective, and I tell ya, it’s an awesome feeling.

The cover photo is by William Hacker, who does gorgeous, haunting portrait photography in Brooklyn. Go follow him and his work. 

eleven years

Transcript of texts with my beloved stepmom today (eleven years from being in the womb of my parents’ love in Chicago):

Me: “Thinking about you a lot today. Having coffee with you and dad ELEVEN YEARS ago and then you driving me to my community college classes. 2001. Love you guys.”

CJ (Chicago Jill): “Me too! I think about those days with you living in the basement apartment so much. I wish we could do it all over again! I would love to wake up to you guys every day.”

Ugh. My heart exists still in Chicago. A tiny portion of it, apart from myself. 600 miles.

A Month After Her Birth

I have a poem up at the wonderful [PANK] Magazine for their parenting issue. There are a lot of great pieces up there and you should go read them.

wordmark.it

This is a site I use each and every time I begin a book. It’s an app that allows you to enter text (e.g. the book’s title) and it will use the fonts in your computer to make samples of that text. Awesome. The old days of squinting at the fonts in a drop-down menu are long gone.

I’ve been getting quite a few requests lately from people wanting to join the Writers Workshop here in Topeka. I’m getting ready to initiate a new session, even though I know I’ll be busy this summer doing graduate residency and graduate work, working on design projects currently on the horizon, traveling to see family in Illinois and Michigan, hosting two pre-teen nieces at my home, and herding my own summer-grubby children to camps, beaches, pools and family gatherings. Nearly three years ago, I was the mother of a 3-year-old and a 1-year-old, the editor of an A&E magazine, doing freelance work and beginning to develop a new quarterly magazine. Life was disheveled, sloppy, overwhelming. My writing was barely breathing under the brick-pile of other responsibilities I’d accumulated. But I rescued it, slid it out and placed it atop the pile by creating the Topeka Writers Workshop, framing my writing as a bullet point on my to-do list. It became a place of refuge from the chaotic stuff. And it turned out to be incredibly valuable to the other members, as well. Today we have a tight core of eight members, with an average of 12 members per session. There isn’t much better in life than a rowdy group of writer-friends, coffee or beer and a stack of poems. No matter what I have going on, I allow myself this small pleasure, this two-hour vacation bi-weekly.  

I’ve been getting quite a few requests lately from people wanting to join the Writers Workshop here in Topeka. I’m getting ready to initiate a new session, even though I know I’ll be busy this summer doing graduate residency and graduate work, working on design projects currently on the horizon, traveling to see family in Illinois and Michigan, hosting two pre-teen nieces at my home, and herding my own summer-grubby children to camps, beaches, pools and family gatherings. 

Nearly three years ago, I was the mother of a 3-year-old and a 1-year-old, the editor of an A&E magazine, doing freelance work and beginning to develop a new quarterly magazine. Life was disheveled, sloppy, overwhelming. My writing was barely breathing under the brick-pile of other responsibilities I’d accumulated. But I rescued it, slid it out and placed it atop the pile by creating the Topeka Writers Workshop, framing my writing as a bullet point on my to-do list. It became a place of refuge from the chaotic stuff. And it turned out to be incredibly valuable to the other members, as well. Today we have a tight core of eight members, with an average of 12 members per session. There isn’t much better in life than a rowdy group of writer-friends, coffee or beer and a stack of poems. No matter what I have going on, I allow myself this small pleasure, this two-hour vacation bi-weekly.  

Current project for Israel Wasserstein for Woodley Press

Current project for Israel Wasserstein for Woodley Press