Guest Review: Vortex Street

Misc.

Guest Review by: Kailey Tedesco

Kailey Tedesco is the author of She Used to be on a Milk Carton (April Gloaming Publishing), Lizzie, Speak (White Stag Publishing), and the forthcoming collection, FOREVERHAUS. She is a senior editor for Luna Luna Magazine. You can find her work featured in Electric Literature, Black Warrior Review, Fairy Tale Review, and more.

For further information, please visit kaileytedesco.com

The Review

Let Yourself be Swept into Heather H. Thomas’ Vortex Street

In a labyrinth, a vortex represents a choice. You’re in the center of a maze. You’re spiraling. You’re confused. All passageways say “exit”, but you know it’s not that easy. You must choose or else find yourself back where you started.

In Heather H. Thomas’ Vortex Street (FutureCycle Press), the reader is guided on a temporal journey through memory and witness where all paths lead back to the starting point, and the starting point is in a constant state of manifesting new paths to follow. All that are lost are eventually found, but the found will then continue to re-seek lostness dutifully. It is a collection that begs the reader to question the comfort of nostalgia so that the entirety of the self might be viewed objectively. In the ekphrastic poem “Voyage” inspired by Magritte’s “L’Evidence Eternelle”, Thomas writes:

As though parts of a body can suggest

            what is missing, a child and her father

sing open a spot where the parts

            reassemble and walk forward,

carrying themselves.

The speaker of these poems is acutely aware of & influenced byher ancestors, both biological and spiritual. She conjures apologies and confessions from deceased or missing relatives in order to create closure so as to continue the path of understanding the self in relation to those who surround her. In “Letter My Father Never Sent Me”, the poet writes: “All those years you were just across the bridge. You had a new / father, new name. Why interfere? How could I, having failed to give /your mother a cent” and later, “Look, there’s a war going / on. People getting killed by the hundred thousand, guys sweating it out / learning life, death, and God in the air…”

By adopting the persona of an absent father, the speaker exercises an act of empathy crucial to this collection as a whole. By removing the self from the self, the speaker briefly rectifies her relationship with her father by examining the possible trauma that may have led to him causing further pain. This insistence on interconnectedness is vital & woven into every poem. Further, the poet interrogates the way place and upbringing inform our ideas of family. In the poem “Pagoda”, Thomas writes:

            A poet becomes emperor of ice cream

and my parents split. The closed door where

a poem takes the place of a mountain.

Closed door that takes the place of my father.

Through masterful language & tone, the poem makes a direct allusion to the poet Wallace Stevens and then immediately ties this allusion to the speaker’s own familial background. Throughout the book and in the Notes section, it becomes clear that the poet briefly lived in the home where Stevens was born in Reading, PA.  Later, this same poem reads:

            I’m attached to my father because

his body was conjoined with my mother’s

before he was erased and

            When he died, we did not separate.

I am not this thing a hungry ghost

with my neck as thin as a needle’s eye

and my stomach the size of a mountain —

This home is then a place atavism for the speaker. The inhabitants behind the closed door of the house, in both past and present, inform her identity and her desire to understand the voices and ghosts of those who surround her as a way to insist that she is not a ghost herself. She is working on her own story through the stories of others. Here, to understand the past’s mingling with the present is to understand the significance of life.

And while this childhood home certainly holds significance, this collection also rejects the idea of home as a place. Instead, home becomes the practice of conjuring memory and bearing witness to all other existence. Vortex Street is also not a home, but a place to be visited or passed through. It seems to exist along the river of the speaker’s geographical upbringing, but it is also a place where the speaker “follow[s] the map / of your voice / divergent, convergent” and finds that those who inhabit Vortex Street have “defeated old ghosts / and stayed.”

These words come from one of six postcards from Vortex Street, each dated with no year. However, this particular postcard shares a date with a previous one: 4/13. The first of these April 13th poems reads: “The trees are for you, / the whole of their wideness // blooming magnolia.” In this haiku, the poet communicates succinct images suggesting growth and spring. Yet, on the later April 13th postcard, perhaps from the same day or perhaps from years before or after, there is a lack of trees — only darkness and ghosts. Something has been lost and so it becomes imperative to “[find] a flashlight and [go] / looking for [ghosts] again.”

Ghosts haunt the pages of Thomas’s collection. Sometimes they are guiding and sometimes they cautionary. In the poem “Oblivion”, the poet writes:

            Stone faces in my house tell their harrowing stories:

I got out but I lost my wife.

The men forced my son to watch. I never saw him again.

I crawled from a ravine where they’d thrown a pile of bodies.

Here, survivors of war and immeasurable pain speak of their trauma. They testify as the speaker listens, sometimes recording their stories in her “reporter’s notebook.” All of these stories become woven into the walls of the many homes the speaker inhabits and into the very infrastructure of the poems the writer records. The aforementioned poem continues: “Inside, the living / room brims with fish and fresh water. Everyone is coming in to eat, / drink, live on in the space after I disappear.”

A book of knowing and clairvoyance, Vortex Street is a testament to the existence of the living and the dead. It is a collection about survival through an examination of those who survive to tell our stories. It is a reminder that even behind closed doors, there are others witnessing our stories, recording them, validating our existence through understanding, even if that understanding is “Brief as a negative / held to the light.”

Thomas is a phenomenal poet, and so naturally Vortex Streets is a phenomenal collection that blends varying structures and language that is reflective of both modernist and contemporary sensibilities. Through a voice uniquely her own, Thomas weaves each striking image into the reader’s body & bones so that all who engage with this work are swept into the vortex, joining the chorus of prophetic and reflective voices that echo in this collection.

Heather H. Thomas is the author of six poetry collections, including Practicing Amnesia, twice a finalist in the National Poetry Series; Resurrection Papers; and Blue Ruby. Her honors include a Rita Dove Poetry Prize and a Gertrude Stein Award in Innovative American Poetry. Thomas’s poems have been translated into seven languages, including Arabic, Hebrew, Lithuanian, and Spanish. An award-winning teacher, Thomas is devoted to sharing the creative and healing power of poetry. She lives in Reading, Pennsylvania.

Blog Tour: I Asked the Wind: A Collection of Romantic Poetry

Blog Tour

WOW! WOMEN ON WRITING TOUR OF

Valerie Nifora’s: I Asked the Wind: A Collection of Romantic Poetry

 

Tour Begins February 10th

mockupshots-ValerieNifora23878-mock-00053Book Summary

I Asked the Wind: A Collection of Romantic Poetry is a journey into romance, love and loss through poetry. The poems published in this collection span over 15 years of writing. Often starting with short rhythmic patterns, each poem’s lyrical tone is filled with inspired words to express the deep emotion experienced in the intricacies of romance.

Handwritten in a journal and hidden away until this publication, the poems chronicle the journey into and out of love. Written in three parts, the book enables the reader to transverse the intensity of romantic love, from the first moment of falling in love, to the intense pain of heartbreak.

Beautiful and powerful in its lyrical and simple verse, the reader is immediately immersed in a world of sensuality, passion, desire, and innocence; all woven together into a tapestry of human emotion. Each poem transports the reader to a story through the art of poetry. Drawing on natural elements such as the sun, sand, wind and moon, this collection explores the light and darkness of romantic love, leaving the reader questioning if love was ever real at all.

Print Length: 108 Pages
Genre: Poetry
Publisher: The Unapologetic Voice House LLC
ASIN: B07X1VFBP7


I Asked the Wind: A Collection of Romantic Poetry
 is available to purchase at Amazon.comBarnes and Noble, and Target.

 

 

Praise for I Asked the Wind: A Collection of Romantic Poetry

“…a breathtaking compilation of tender poetry.” – Jessica Tingling, The San Francisco Book Review

“Valerie’s poetry evokes images of tangled butterflies caught in a breeze, leaves falling too soon, and speaks with a deep, deep tenderness.” – Troy Turner, Poet

“A beautiful tribute to reflective thoughts of love and losses suffered…this was well done… ” – Wanda Firman-Cooper, Reviewer

“Valerie’s poems are not only magnificent to read, but they stick with you.” – Robert Robinson, Executive Producer, The Dinner Salon

“In today’s age of fast-food thinking, attention-deficit scanning, and thumb scrolls past click-bait, it’s refreshing to find a relatable, digestible read that harkens back to an era of leather-bound literature’s reign in terms of meter and word choice.”– Amaani F. Lyle, Military Journalist

“Val’s poetry goes deeper…into a mosaic of sensuality that leaves you hearing love as if it were a song.” – Myra Jo Martino, Writers Guild Award Winner for Ugly Betty

 

Guest Post: “What helped me get through heartbreak.”

It felt like my entire chest would cave in. The shock of it all was just a bit overwhelming, that I wondered if it was possible, I was having a waking dream. I sat on the edge of his grey couch, we were watching television and he said, “I don’t think we should see each other any more. I’m getting older and I need to find someone I can marry.” I remember turning and thinking that it was a joke in severe bad taste. But he just stared forward. His head tilted on his arm. Watching television. It might have been the Daily Show.

We were young. I didn’t really think about marriage. I was in my mid-20’s. I just got my first apartment. It was four blocks down the street from his. We had already been together about four years.

But, there it was. Over. I remember collecting my few things in utter disbelief and managing to climb the stairs without having tears obscure my vision. I hit the pavement with the industrial door slamming behind me. It echoed. It was over. That was it. What was I feeling? Numb? Yes. It was numb. Was it rejection? Anger? Disappointment? Confusion? Everything seemed useless and awful and pointless and how could I have been so stupid? And he didn’t meant it? Wait, he broke up with me? What?

And in this awful maze of emotions and thoughts, I heard a small child laugh. And that was it. That was the sound that broke the spiral downward. In the universe beyond me, was laughter, joy, happiness and peace. It was mine to find. And this tiny voice in the back of my head just said, “It was probably for the best.”

I will confess that it was hard being in romantic relationship that ended, and not of my own choosing. We had a life we built with people in common and memories and adventures… and… done. But, what helped me get through heartbreak was gratitude. I know, it sounds like the most bizarre things in the world. But instead of loading up with anger and resentment and disappointment and feeling unbelievably sorry for myself — I instead felt grateful.

What in the world could I possibly be grateful for? I was grateful for the good memories I had. They were authentic. They were mine, and I got to keep them. I was thankful that he had the courage to say, the relationship wasn’t going to work anymore for him. At least he said it. (I just wished he said it sooner.)  I was being handed an opportunity to grow. Moving forward it wasn’t “us”, it was going to be “me”. It was time to learn what I wanted for myself, vs what anyone else wanted for me. I was grateful for everything feeling bittersweet. It let me find new outlets to express my feelings. I found writing. I wrote my first piece. I saw things in a new light. I found the magic in human emotions. (We are so complicated.) And, I was grateful for experiencing the parallel side of love — loss.

Nothing lasts forever. No one person lives forever. But, we have an incredible opportunity while we are here to experience love for however long it lasts. I always held to the belief that, “the heart that gives freely is never lonely.” I learned I was not alone. This was just the cycle of things. It was just a pause — the end of something so that there could be the beginning of something else.

What got me through heartbreak was understanding I was being released to live a new life.

 

 

authorphotoAbout the Author, Valerie Nifora

Valerie Nifora was born and raised in New York to Greek immigrant parents. For over twenty years, Valerie was Marketing Communications Leader for a Fortune 50. She served as a ghost writer for several executives and has executed award-winning campaigns using her special gift as a storyteller to inspire. Her first book is a collection of romantic poetry that explores innocence, sensuality, passion, desire, heartbreak and loss through the lens of her personal experience spanning over 15 years. Her beautiful and powerful voice immediately calls forth a time of leather-bound books and invites the reader to find a comfortable chair and begin their journey through the powerful human emotion of love. Valerie holds a B.A. in Communications from Emerson College and an M.B.A. from Fordham University. She is married and a mother of two amazing sons.

Website: www.valerienifora.com.
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/vnifora/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ValerieNifora/
Twitter @vnifora
Instagram https://www.instagram.com/valerienifora/

Blog Tour Dates

February 10th @ The Muffin
What goes better in the morning than a muffin? Make sure you stop by WOW! Women on Writing’s blog today and read an interview with author Valerie Nifora as we discuss her book I Asked the Wind: A Collection of Romantic Poetry. You can also win a signed copy of her book!
http://muffin.wow-womenonwriting.com
February 11th @ Karen Brown Tyson
Stop by Karen’s blog today and read a guest post by author Valerie Nifora who will be talking about what prevents people from following her dreams.
https://karenbrowntyson.com/blog/
February 13th @ Michelle Cornish
Stop by Michelle’s blog and you can watch an interview with author Valerie Nifora. Don’t miss it!
https://www.michellecornish.com/blog
February 14th @ A New Look on Books
Visit Rae’s blog today and you can read a guest post by author Valerie Nifora about what helped her get through heartbreak.
https://www.anewlookonbooks.com/blog
February 14th @ The Burgeoning Bookshelf
Visit Veronica’s blog today and read a feature that spotlights one of the poems from the book I Asked the Wind: A Collection of Romantic Poetry.
https://theburgeoningbookshelf.blogspot.com/
February 15th @ Coffee with Lacey
Visit Lacey’s blog today and read her review of Valerie Nifora’s book I Asked the Wind: A Collection of Romantic Poetry.
http://www.coffeewithlacey.com
February 16th @ Phy Roselle 
Stop by Phy’s blog today and read Valerie Nifora’s guest post about what most people miss about live.
https://phyroselle.wordpress.com/
February 20th @ Precious Phyllis
Visit Phyllis’ blog today and read her review of Valerie Nifora’s book I Asked the Wind: A Collection of Romantic Poetry.
http://phytallic.wordpress.com/
February 22nd @ Beverley A. Baird
Visit Beverley’s blog today and you can read her review of Valerie Nifora’s book I Asked the Wind: A Collection of Romantic Poetry.
https://beverleyabaird.wordpress.com/
February 24th @ A Storybook World
Visit Deirdra’s blog today and you can read author Valerie Nifora’s guest post about why if you’re lonely, you are not alone.
http://www.astorybookworld.com/
February 25th @ Lori’s Reading Corner
Visit Lori’s blog today and read Valerie Nifora’s guest post about whether we really have to love ourselves before we love another person.
http://www.lorisreadingcorner.com/
February 28th @ Beverley A. Baird
Stop by Beverley’s blog again and you can read author Valerie Nifora’s guest post about how life is short, do it now before you die. Get inspired today!
https://beverleyabaird.wordpress.com/
February 29th @ Bookworm Blog
Visit Anjanette’s blog today and you can read her review of Valerie Nifora’s book I Asked the Wind: A Collection of Romantic Poetry. You can also read her interview with the author as well.
http://bookworm66.wordpress.com
March 1st @ Choices 
Visit Madeline’s blog today and you can read Valerie Nifora’s guest post about what her children taught her about love.
http://madelinesharples.com/
March 2nd @ Armed with a Book
Visit Kriti’s blog and you can read her review of Valerie Nifora’s book I Asked the Wind: A Collection of Romantic Poetry.
https://www.armedwithabook.com/
March 4th @ Armed with a Book
Stop by Kriti’s blog again and you can read her interview with author Valerie Nifora.
https://www.armedwithabook.com/
March 6th @ The Faerie Review
Come by Lily’s blog today and you can read author Valerie Nifora’s guest post about why risk is sometimes worth it.
https://www.thefaeriereview.com
March 9th @ It’s Alanna Jean
Visit Alanna Jean’s blog today and you can read a guest post by author Valerie Nifora, who will discuss why people fear failure. Don’t miss this one!
http://itsalannajean.com/
March 10th @ Jill Sheets Blog
Visit Jill’s blog and you can read Valerie Nifora’s guest post about why we settle on mediocre.
https://jillsheets.blogspot.com./
March 15th @ Teatime and Books
Stop by Janet’s blog today and you can read her review of Valerie Nifora’s book I Asked the Wind: A Collection of Romantic Poetry.
http://teatimeandbooks76.blogspot.com/

Guest Post: “On the Benefits of Staying Busy” by Michael Chin

Guest Post

Author photo.jpgMeet Michael Chin.

Michael Chin was born and raised in Utica, New York and currently lives in Las Vegas with his wife and son. He has three full-length short story collections on the way: You Might Forget the Sky was Ever Blue from Duck Lake Books (available for pre-order from the publisher here: https://catalog.ducklakebooks.com/p/you-might-forget-sky-was-ever-blue.html or on Amazon here: https://www.amazon.com/You-Might-Forget-Ever-Blue/dp/1943900167), Circus Folk from Hoot ‘n’ Waddle, and The Long Way Home from Cowboy Jamboree Press. He has also published three chapbooks: Autopsy and Everything After with The Florida ReviewDistance Traveled with Bent Window Books, and The Leo Burke Finish with Gimmick Press.

Find him online at miketchin.com and follow him on Twitter @miketchin

 

The Guest Post.

On the Benefits of Staying Busy

One of the more memorable moments of the original Avengers movie sees The Incredible Hulk reveal how and why he’s now able to control his transformation between regular ol’ human being Bruce Banner, and big green super hero—a shift formerly subject to his emotional state (i.e., when he was mad, the Hulk came out).

He casually explains that rather than having to get upset now, and rather than being subject to his emotions, instead now he’s always angry.

Full disclosure: I’m not a big fan of the Marvel movies for the low/contrived/artificial stakes and excessive action sequences that pervade most of them. This moment, however, teaches something valuable in the name of consistency and harnessing that which risks teetering out of control.

I write more than most people I know, which is a part of why this year and a half will see not just my first, or first two, but my first three books launch into the world.

I’m always writing.

Workaholicism is too often celebrated in our culture as people put achievement and money ahead of their families, health, and mental wellbeing—you know, actual happiness. Advocating for the practice of always writing might feel like an argument in this vein, but it isn’t exactly. I’ve found that consistently writing some—say, a half hour, five hundred words a day—is both sustainable for me and enough to have a lot of pages after every few months, every year, even in the typical case that while parenting and working at least one job at a time (usually more), I don’t have a ton of extra time or energy to give.

Staying busy in this style also facilitates diversifying my projects. I first drafted the collection of stories about circus performers that would become my second book, Circus Folk, in 2013. In between drafts, I wrote the stories that would become my first book, You Might Forget the Sky was Ever Blue. In the anything but linear process of drafting, revising, and organizing that manuscript, I wrote other stories and poems, and drafted multiple novels—some of which have been published as stand-alone pieces in literary journals, some I’m still re-working, and of course a fair portion of which will probably never see the light of day. (Though I should also note that those in between times included drafting over forty linked flash pieces that became the backbone of my third book, The Long Way Home.)

I say all of this not to suggest that my way is the way for everyone. Neither can I claim enough success to justify such bold pronouncements, nor does everyone have the same work style, nor resources that I have at my disposal (not least of all, more than one full-time job that has facilitated stealing time for my own work in between long stretches of doing the work I’m being paid for). It’s worth some food for thought, however, for those writers, like myself, who have also spent significant stretches not producing as much as they want or feeling disconnected from their writerly selves. Sometimes, it’s less useful to get busy than to stay busy.

Author Interview With Holly Lyn Walrath

Author Interview

Meet Holly Lyn Walrath.

IMG_8359_large_cropped.jpg

Hi Holly! Thanks for joining us today. Tell us a little about yourself.

Holly Lyn Walrath is the author of Glimmerglass Girl (Finishing Line Press, 2018). Her poetry and short fiction has appeared in Strange Horizons, Fireside Fiction, Luna Station Quarterly, Liminality, and elsewhere. She holds a B.A. in English from The University of Texas and a Master’s in Creative Writing from the University of Denver. She is a freelance editor and host of The Weird Circular, an e-newsletter for writers containing submission calls and writing prompts. Find her online at http://www.hlwalrath.com or on Twitter @HollyLynWalrath.

Social Media Links:
http://twitter.com/hollylynwalrath
https://www.instagram.com/holly__lyn/
https://www.amazon.com/Holly-Walrath/e/B01KVVE6HA
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14395887.Holly_Walrath

 

The Interview.

If you could describe writing a flash fiction story in just five words, what would they be? Go!

Pure imagination distilled to electricity.

Lately I’ve noticed how much my ‘editor’ voice annoys my ‘writer’ voice. Do you have difficulty separating the two? If yes, how do you make peace between the two different roles you have?

This is always a struggle for me. I’ve noticed this not intersecting with my writing so much as my reading. Since I began writing and editing full-time, I realized that I can no longer suffer through writers who I don’t like or that have annoying tics. If a book isn’t well-edited, it just doesn’t get my time anymore. I’m much more willing to put a book down and move on.

I find revision terribly dissatisfying. Even though I’m a professional freelance editor, I still have to get feedback and edits from someone else on my work. It’s hard for me to see my own writing from the editor mindset!
Share with us the background of your newsletter “The Weird Circular” and how it came to be.
About two years ago I decided I wanted to do an author newsletter. However, I didn’t want it to be some boring thing that people didn’t care about receiving. That’s how I got the idea to do a newsletter that was mostly informative. It curates submission calls from select markets, writing prompts that I come up with, and other strange tidbits for writers. I focused on “weird” because I wanted a word that conveyed the content in the circular was going to be for speculative writers, but also for writers who feel they are on the fringe of things.
What is the weirdest writing prompt you ever tried to write for?
Oh, I love weird writing prompts. My favorite prompt I stumbled across recently was to write a story using a title from the Pulp Sci-Fi Title-O-Tron (https://thrilling-tales.webomator.com/derange-o-lab/title-o-tron.shtml#titleotron) . It has some fantastically strange titles, like this one: “Ensnared by the Thing of the Asteroid.”
If you could live in only one of your pieces, what piece would it be and why?
I’d love to know that the world of The Joy of Baking (http://www.hlwalrath.com/thejoyofbaking.html) existed. An afterlife where you are greeted with cake and given the time you need to sort out your issues before moving on. It’s kind of something I think we all wish we had in our real world—space to deal. It’s ninety percent wish fulfillment, ten percent chocolate sprinkles.
What is an average day in the life of Holy Walrath like?
Chaos and words! On a regular writing day, I try to wake up early and get in front of my desk. I read for a little bit (usually from SFF magazines) and then try to write. But after that bit of writing time, most of my day is spent working with clients, on phone calls, self-promoting, going to community literary events, and sometimes actually getting to edit! It’s a constant juggling act, but one I am beyond grateful to star in.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with the readers today?
Be sure to check out my latest chapbook, Glimmerglass Girl (https://amzn.to/2MGh3aS). It’s a collection of poetry and images about womanhood and femininity.

Front Cover Only copy.jpg

 

Thank you Holly for stopping by A New Look On Books!

Guest Post: “Small Business Thoughts for the Strange” with Haley Jenkins from Selcouth Station

Bookish Interview, Misc.

Meet Haley Jenkins.

Author Pic Full.jpg

Haley Jenkins holds a Creative Writing Master’s Degree from The University of Surrey and a Creative Writing Bachelor’s Degree from The University of Roehampton.

In 2016, Haley was awarded First Prize in the Elmbridge Literary Competition for her short story ‘Talisman’ and in 2014 won 3rd Prize in the Hopkins Poetry Prize. She has been published in two anthologies by Fincham Press – The Trouble with Parallel Universes (2014) and Screams & Silences (2015), as well as publications such as, Guttural MagazineTears in the Fencepainted spoken and The Journal of British & Irish Innovative Poetry. Her work has also appeared in online zines such as datableedzine, Rag Queen Periodical, epizootics and ez.Pzine (Pyre Publishing)Haley’s first poetry chapbook was published by Veer Books (August 2017). She runs Selcouth Station Press (https://www.selcouthstation.com/), which she founded in April 2017. You can follow Selcouth Station on Facebook, Twitter (@SelcouthStation) and Instagram!

 

 

The Guest Post.

Small Business Thoughts for the Strange   

I’ve given myself more labels than I have been labelled. This is the price paid by all of us who think inwardly a little too much. I’ve called myself fat, useless, mad, bad, fucked-up and a few words in made-up colours and languages Google can’t translate. But somewhere along the line between sitting in college corridors alone and shying away from any social engagement where I might have to talk to someone, I became proud of my strangeness. I didn’t fit the mould, I never would, so why not celebrate that?

 

Selcouth Station Press arrived out of a desire to meet people like me, who wanted to write but for whom the Big Five, agents and contracts route was too scary, too demanding and let’s face it: too pressuring. I wanted to hear new voices, strange voices, engage with people who wanted to be seen and not just looked at or sold. There is a difference. It wasn’t easy – what did I know about running a press? I had volunteered with Veer Books, so I knew a lot about creating the physical books and editing. But how much did a small business cost? How do you find printers? How do you find writers? How do you use Twitter? The answers are: not as much as you might think if you’re smart about it, search engines, social media and Tweeting for a business is about consistency and sharing.

 

An important element of running a small business online is sharing and not just on Twitter. It is about not just asking for help but being the one to give it and giving it as freely as you can. I’ve built up a wonderful network of people by celebrating and promoting each other’s work, sending long emails about life and just being there. Ask for advice, email the writer whose work you loved in that zine, message a podcast you’d like to be on. The worst they can do is say no. I once emailed a famous photographer for a college project and got a very snooty response, asking why I even bothered emailing him when the Internet held everything I needed to know. I still printed off that email and stuck it in my portfolio: it was proof I had been brave enough to try. Being brave isn’t about not feeling scared, socially awkward or a fake, it is about doing it anyway. And you know what is brilliant about it? You don’t have to talk to anyone if you don’t want to.

 

Currently, Selcouth Station Press has three chapbooks to its name and we’re open for submissions on the theme of ‘Love’. After the next round of chapbooks, we’ll be looking into publishing solo collections. We regularly publish work online, including art work, interviews, guest blogs, fiction, poetry, flash fiction and reviews! We have two volunteer editors who joined me in the Spring, Sandra Partanen and Lorna Dicken, and we are open to collaborating with others. I am always happy to give insights and advice, you can message me at contact@selcouthstation.com.

Madness Monday: Poem – Untitled

October Spooky Features, Poetry, Writing

megan fehrMeet Megan Fehr.

Megan Fehr is a graduate of English studies and pursues the art of poetry in her spare time. Writing was not always her marked interest until her love of languages and deliberate practice compelled her to manifest her ideas on printed paper. Megan’s handful of poems construes a serious, oftentimes melancholy, tone; however, her poems are not to be taken literally. The art of forming her experience into written word through rhymes and adjectives allows Megan to share her internal thoughts and emotions that are not shared with anyone else. Exposing herself through poetry has been quite intimidating, but she wants to contribute her passion to anyone that is encouraging. Not only has writing been a safe haven for Megan, but consistently reading historical fiction and fantasy in her adulthood brought back the urge and longing to read that she has not felt since her younger school years. Unfortunately, her higher education at a university forced her to neglect her favorite diversion. Megan Fehr is of Irish and German descent and longs for the travel to Great Britain and Germany, in pursuit of her ancestral culture. From there, she will most likely feel at home and content with her surroundings. When she has the chance, Megan appreciates the solitude of walking in nature and the frivolity of the Renaissance Faire, complete with different costumes on occasion. History and meditation complete Megan’s reality while finishing each poem.

“We’ve all got both light and dark inside us. What matters is the part we choose to act on. That’s who we really are.” – Sirius Black (J.K. Rowling) Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

 

The Poem.

Like molasses oozing,

Snake-like, down the corridor,

A dark, putrid liquid reaches

For the stone, cobwebbed floor.

 

Its stain congeals in an abhorrent manner

Against the bottommost stair

Resembling the concord wine in a decanter

And spirits that are shared

 

Amongst the doe-eyed reception below.

A tiny drop… silence;

Another drop, following a shrill shriek

Throughout the ever-mindless

 

Gathering. Gasps and echoing screams

Collide and clang up the stairwell

Toward a dank, infested room

Where a monstrous silhouette begins to swell.

 

Awake! The mind shouts of the intrepid

Creature, urging its horrific transmutation

Onward, its goal to breathe in the last

Fragments to complete its subjugation.

 

Unbeknownst amid the flurry,

The Creature stalks down

The stairs in search of its prey,

Tantalizing the crowd’s drowned

 

Excitement. For this ceaseless night

Will be its last, considering all

Surrounding the room will perish

And be scaffolded upon the wall.