First prize in Poetry category of Hammond House Publishing contest

When I noticed the “Stardust” theme of this year’s Hammond House Publishing literary contest, I knew I’d have to submit a few poems. That theme is right up my alley in so many ways.

Their publishing model is a print anthology that will appear in 2022, and the contest results were delivered via YouTube as part of their regional arts programming in the UK. It was charming to settle in and listen to art news local to the part of England that Hammond House Publishing is based in before the 2021 awards were announced.

My youngest child came into the room as my husband and I were about to hear the contest results and realized he should stop talking and sit down. When my name flashed up on the screen for 1st Prize in the poetry category, we were in a funny state — my husband jumped up shouting, my youngest grabbed my phone to see how we could replay the announcement, and I just felt numb, in a good way.

For me, very much an emerging poet, this is quite simply an exciting moment. Tomorrow, I’ll go back to the work of developing and writing poems and studying the market to see where my work will best fit, but today we’re celebrating. It’s a lot of fun, and I can’t wait to read the 2022 “Stardust” anthology.

Shortlisted for 2021 International Literary Prize: Stardust

As a relatively new poet, one thing I’ve learned is that submitting new work to the most appropriate journals and contests makes a big difference. It takes time to figure out where one’s work might best fit. Gradually I’m getting better at this.

Continue reading “Shortlisted for 2021 International Literary Prize: Stardust”

New poem with a sweet companion painting

I was so excited to have my poem “Birds in the Very Early Universe” selected for Prism International’s Wonder Issue, and am now eagerly awaiting the arrival of the print journal in my mailbox. It’s always a big kick to find a good home for a poem’s intro to the world.

As shared on their website: “PRISM international is a quarterly magazine out of Vancouver, British Columbia, whose office is located on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territory of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm people. Our mandate is to publish the best in contemporary writing and translation from Canada and around the world. Writing from PRISM has been featured in Best American Stories, Best American Essays and The Journey Prize Stories, amongst other noted publications.”

I’ve loved discovering Prism International this past year; it’s a rare print subscription that I’ll be maintaining!

An even bigger kick is connecting with other writers and artists, and I’m so fortunate to know Danielle K.L. Grégoire, a non-binary human with a wonderful obsession for making art for people, community building, and supporting other people’s art.

We live in the same community and I and so many others get to benefit from Danielle’s inexhaustible creative spirit. They are in the process of fundraising for the rebirth of a wonderful arts space in our community, and as part of that they took on small painting commissions. I requested a chickadee at night and couldn’t be more thrilled with the results. Thank you, Danielle!

Chickadee against a night sky
Painting by Danielle K. L. Grégoire

I love the way this bird is now a part of my poem and my poem feels a part of this painted bird, and that both are part of evolving creative endeavour in our community.

Poem shortlisted for Bridport Prize 2021

I’m so excited to have a poem shortlisted in the 2021 Bridport Prize International Creative Writing Competition out of the UK.

The Bridport attracts an amazing and diverse range of voices from around the world. Making the shortlist along with 184 other poets out of nearly 5,000 entries is, for me, an exciting first appearance in an international competition.

I can’t wait to read the top three winners as well as the ten highly commended poems once they are shared.

Shortlisted writers are listed in a PDF at the bottom of the Results page for 2021.

My selected poem, “What is a bird”, still needs to find a home to get out into the world, but it’s a huge boost to have it recognized in this way.

New Poem in Issue 18 of Sky Island Journal

Issue 18 of Sky Island Journal launched today and it’s an amazing one, full of particularly dark and interesting poems, microfiction, and CNF. It definitely has an October vibe for me.

It’s a thrill to be included for a second time in this amazing journal. The whole process and presentation is exceptional, and it’s really like being part of a literary family.

My poem “Black Holes Here on Earth” is sixth from the top of the page.

New poem in Unlost Journal

My poem “The Stowaway” launched recently with Issue 26 of the amazing Unlost Journal (right hand pointing/ambidextrous bloodhound productions).

Last winter I was obsessed with two long form essays on jetliner wheel well stowaways run by The Guardian, and the result is this poem. It wouldn’t have come into being without the sensitive guidance of Jason Schneiderman who helped me navigate the ethics of such a piece.

Found poetry is very much a new form for me and I’ve enjoyed discovering the work of other poets in this process. Issue 26 and all previous issues of Unlost have amazing work by poets working with found elements, redaction, and other hallmarks of this genre.

Additional Reading

Out of thin air: The mystery of the man who fell from the sky, by Sirin Kale, The Guardian

‘I passed out with the lack of oxygen’: truth of Heathrow stowaways’ tragic journey, by Ben Quinn, The Guardian

New Poem in the Atelier of Healing Anthology

Way back in December I heard that a poem of mine had been selected for a special anthology “The Atelier of Healing: Poetry About Trauma & Recovery”.

The pandemic shifted plans for the anthology, but it recently came to life in a gorgeous online form. I’m still taking it all in, it’s a beautiful project. The editors Eric F. Tinsay Valles and Desmond F. X. Kon ZC-MD had a unique vision and it’s really something.

My poem “Suspension” appears in chapter 6.

Poem in Your Pocket Day 2021

Originally started in the United States, Poem in Your Pocket Day has its own iteration in Canada thanks to the League of Canadian Poets.

I’m so excited to have one of my previously published poems be amongst the 15 poems shared in this year’s campaign.

PIYP 2021

My poem “At Dusk” was originally selected as one of four poems in a contest to launch a new poetic form, the Prime 53, created by the editors of Prime Number Magazine.

When I discovered the Poem in Your Pocket campaign last year — which seeks short poems that people of all ages can enjoy, including school children — I felt “At Dusk” was a great fit.

It’s such a thrill to see the poem on a designed card of its own.

And it’s really neat to be a part of a community of poets with this series.

Postcard cover of "At Dusk" by Dagne Forrest

Three poems in Fenland Poetry Journal

The UK’s Fenland Poetry Journal is a lovely small format print journal from England published twice a year by editor Elisabeth Sennitt Clough (also a poet herself).

Spring 2021

It’s such a pleasure to have three poems of mine appear in the spring 2021 issue of the journal:

“These Fugitive Wings”

“Landscape Without Snow”

“What a Fragile Thing a Year Is”

The journal features poets local and from other spots around the world. It’s quite unique.

Cover of Issue 4: Spring 2021, Fenland Poetry Journal
Issue 4: Spring 2021, Fenland Poetry Journal

A compressed sestina in The Crank

A variation on the sestina that I wrote a few years ago has found a home with a new UK literary journal, The Crank.

‘Lost in the Woods’ is the first in a series of poems I wrote, and the most abstract of the three.

The Crank is a rare journal that looks exclusively for work that engages with established forms, something my pattern-loving mind is drawn to.

Read ‘Lost in the Woods’ in Issue 2 of The Crank.

Cover image for Issue 2 of The Crank