Exciting developments! Also, I need a break.

The last number of weeks have been a blur, and in a good way. I began and completed my third residency at Queens University of Charlotte, had a poem published, became a poetry editor and will be attending a retreat later this month! I’ve barely had time to breathe, but I guess that’s a good thing, right?

Third residency was a blast, but I’m now feeling the pressure of compiling my manuscript and researching for my craft presentation. Crazy to think that I just started this program last year, and now I have 11 months until I graduate. I’ve already (un)officially selected my thesis advisor and craft advisor – Jon Pineda and Robert Polito. They’ve both said yes, just have to do the official go-about. I also need to ask some people to be my readers, so I think I know who I’ll choose.

My small group instructor for the distance portion is Marcus Jackson, and I’m extremely lucky to be workshopping my stuff with him. He is super supportive of my work and said some really amazing things about my writing, so I can’t wait to improve my writing skills and write some goddamned good poetry. He also bought us a round of drinks on our last day of workshop, so he’s a cool dude.

As of June 2016, I am the new Poetry Editor for Firefly Magazine. I discovered this journal through the Twitter network, read their previous issues and saw there was an opening for a Poetry Editor. So I applied, not expecting to hear back or get it. Just a few days ago, I heard back from Iskandar Haggarty, the managing editor/co-founder who offered me the position! Anyway, I’m so happy to be part of such a cool editorial team and to begin reviewing poetry submissions that exemplify what I believe is “luminous writing”.

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check us out at fireflymagazine.weebly.com!

Even better news – I’ve been accepted into a creative residency at the Holes in the Wall Collective! I’ll be spending 6 days and 5 nights in New Jerusalem, Pennsylvania in a wooden cabin on some beautiful organic farmland. Their theme for the week I’m participating in is “Impact”, so I’ve time to think and discuss how my poetry revolves around that theme, and what I’ve learned in my time there. I’ll be driving up there, which is kind of frightening as I’ve never driven further than Charlotte, NC, but it’ll be a new experience.

Sea Foam Mag accepted my poem “pelican” for publication – you can read it here. I discovered that gem of a journal through Twitter. I love the cover image they chose for my poem too, so that’s a plus. I actually have this poem in workshop right now, because I feel like it could be better.

Twitter’s been such a powerful tool for connecting with literary magazines, and I for one am grateful for that. I’ve become the Social Media Manager for Qu Magazine, along with remaining as a poetry editorial assistant. I thought about applying for the Poetry Editor job but now that I have Firefly, I don’t want to overwork myself.

So I’m back to the real world – back to my real adult job (been applying elsewhere) and to responsibilities and bills. However, I’ll be heading to the beach end of next week, where I’ll enjoy relaxing amidst the sand and surf.

Until next time —

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