This one has a pretty dark message, but I think it was just reflective of how I was feeling that day, after dealing with a lot of people.
Sometimes people aren't perfect, and that's okay.
This is the last #NaPoWriMo post. I didn't get as many poems as I wanted written this year, but I think it was still a fun month of poetry. I'm working on promo for my chapbook, which is exciting but also a lot of work. So I'm still getting things done even if I'm not writing every day. It's fun to play around and see where my poems are evolving or even backsliding. If you want to read more of my stuff, follow me on Instagram.
No idea where the idea for this came along, other than I wanted to write about an island. This is a prompt I used for the Weird Circular for May. I think it's interesting to think about what inanimate objects think, or how they might feel. We forget that we are part of the natural world and it is part of us.
I was traveling over the last two weeks so I didn't get a chance to upload my #NaPoWriMo pieces. While I'm traveling, I find it easiest to make short poems that I can write on my phone. I find poetry everywhere, it seems. This one I wrote while on the train into San Francisco. What compelled me to this topic, I've no idea.
On April 15, the Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Association (SFPA) launched the latest issue of Eye to the Telescope, their online journal. I was lucky enough to get to guest edit and I wanted to share what it was like seeing from behind the telescope.
I have so many thoughts about this but I'll try to be brief. Editing a journal is a lot of hard work. I think as writers, it's often mysterious to us what an editor does behind the scenes. For this issue, over 170 writers sent in their poems, meaning there were about triple that number poems to read. I had about two weeks to decide. Here's how I approached it, although I'm sure every editor has a different process:
The poem that ended up shaping this selection was Jess Capelle's erasure of Doctor Who: Nothing O’Clock by Neil Gaiman. I knew I wanted to showcase a variety of styles, forms, and content, while still featuring new writers along with more familiar names. Once I knew I wanted Jess' poem, I was able to look at structure. I fell in love with the weird and uncanny work of Gustav Sack (1885–1916), who is translated from the German by Peter J. King. I must give thanks to Peter for sending me more translations of his work to read. LeRoy Gorman's "Tree Rings" (A very short poem) immediately resonated with me because I have a short story I'm shopping around right now about this very same concept. I had to choose between TWO poems about cats and time and I feel honored to publish the incomparable Mary Soon Lee. She is so kind and someone that young writers can learn a lot from--just look at the sheer number of works she publishes each year if you don't believe me. I adored the simplicity and yet truly fantastic science-inspired concept of Brittany Hause's short poem, "The Philologist." Brandon O' Brien was kind enough to work with me on formatting his fantastic piece "Hunting with Zeno's Arrows" for online.
I'm more than a little thrilled to welcome several new (or new to SFPA) poets to this issue. Eloísa Perez-Lozano's "The Windshield Washer" prose poem is her first-ever speculative publication. Jess Capelle's erasure is her first-ever poetry publication (Simply wowed by that) and Jules Crewe-Kluge is an eighteen (!) year-old writer with a beautiful sense for form--they are certainly a poet to watch.
Perhaps the most difficult part of editing this issue was the sheer number of friends and acquaintances I ended up having to reject. ETTT has a limited budget and thus I was only able to take a few poems. But I feel really grateful to every writer who sent me their work, and I read each poem carefully. I know how much heart it takes to send your work out. Thank you for trusting me with it.
My main goal in selecting pieces was variety and also examining how the works spoke to each other. I have tried to take care in the order of the poems, so I hope you'll read them and enjoy. Also, make sure to read my editor's note.
This is the beginning of a pantoum poem with repeating lines. My NaPoWriMo stuff always seems to go to a dark place, or maybe that’s my natural inclination.
I'm thrilled that my little lapel pins with the cover image from my newest chapbook, Glimmerglass Girl, are in! Aren't they GORGEOUS? I'm totally enamored with them.
This is the fun part of writing, getting to make your own swag! Featuring a detailed photo of the glass-winged butterfly (Cover art by entomologist Geoff Gallice), these little pins are teeny but still big enough to stand out on a shirt, jacket, hat, bag, or anywhere else you want to stick them. They are epoxy-coated so they're sturdy, and they hit the light just so to reflect and look just like a real butterfly.
And because I love you, reader, you can get one for free! Just pre-order my chapbook, then send me your address so I can mail you one. I only have 50 of these beauties to give away, so don't miss your chance to get one!
Pins will ship in May/June or whenever I run out! Books are due out in August.
i got a bit behind on NaPoWriMo in the past few days because LIFE and also the release of my latest chapbook, forgive me for I am not a robot. Wish I were. Anywho here is one complete haiku and two other snippets from things I’m playing around with. I love haiku because it’s such an ancient form but it’s also fun to stretch and play around with, to break the form.
“Tensile and luminous as a glass-winged butterfly, Glimmerglass Girl chronicles the passions of a woman’s heart and its multifarious musings with a marvelous mix of toughness and tenderness. In a shimmering world at once ‘honey-brimmed and buzzing,’ where ‘blueberry coffee’ and a ‘kissing prayer,’ or a ‘quiet mess of a body of light’ offer diurnal delights, this wildly chimerical gathering of hybridized fairy tales and fabulous meditations on womanhood might carry Emily Dickinson’s admonition of epistolary intimacy, ‘open me carefully.’ Indeed, readers should open Walrath’s slender volume carefully, hold these rare poems up to the sun, then lean in quietly to hear each one sing in flight.”
—Karen An-hwei Lee, author of Phylo of Joy, Ardor, and In Medias Res.
My first chapbook of poems, Glimmerglass Girl, is now available from Finishing Line Press for Pre-order! I am beyond thrilled (and a little bit terrified, tired, overwhelmed, and awed) to share this book with you.
Glimmerglass Girl is about feminity and feminism, how we negotiate our past as women and our present, how we other ourselves into creatures and what we pass on. The lead poem in Glimmerglass Girl is from the Greta Oto or espejitos butterfly. Although this little butterfly looks delicate, it can carry up to 40 times its weight. Some of the poems are introspective and personal narrative and others are imaginary. Some are disturbing. Some are illustrated and cross-genre. All are but pieces of myself.
"Washing the dishes, peeling an onion, wearing a bra, all these details of life become immersed in magic in Holly Lyn Walrath's gorgeous poems. In Glimmerglass Girl, the questions of how to be a woman and how to reconcile the different sides of our bodies and selves is brought into startling focus. Walrath's writing takes your breath away and then sucker punches you, but I mean this in the best possible way--these poems devastate, destruct, and then bring you back to life."
—Chloe N. Clark, author of The Science of Unvanishing Objects
Special Pre-Order Promotion:
All pre-orders are eligible to receive a free, limited edition, butterfly lapel pin. These pins are 1.25" wide, custom-printed and epoxy-coated, featuring a brass butterfly clasp. Only 50 pins are available, so get yours before they sell out!
To receive your pin, simply pre-order the book at Finishing Line Press, send me your address so I can mail you your pin! Pins will be mailed at the end of the pre-order period in June/July. Books ship August 3, 2018.
Wrote two poems today to play catch-up. Above is inspired by a line from a poem by Ursula K. Le Guin, “Twilight was a Sound of Water”
Sometimes I write tiny poem-like creatures like this snippet. They are mostly wandering stray thoughts.
I’ve been playing around with Instagram lately, adding images to photo. It’s fun to try out. This one was inspired by Blade Runner and K’s Baseline test.
This is a short piece that’s part of a larger chapbook of Very Small Poems I’ve been working on. The violence here is an extension of my own struggles with depression and violent thought patterns.
For this poem, I was struggling to get something down. So I picked up the New York Times in my coffee shop and made a found poem using phrases from articles.
I like the result. It’s a fun method to break out of my normal phrasing.
one of the reasons I like doing poetry challenges like #NaPoWriMo is that it shows we’re all human. This one has all kinds of scratch outs but it will get revised later and be awesome, I can just feel it sizzling.
I’m posting this late due to the fact that my schedule is basically insane right now. Enjoy this creepy ode to Shelley Jackson’s Patchwork Girl.
I have a new reprint up at Curious Fictions: Mermaid Hunt. This story first appeared in Pulp Literature. It's a flash fiction based on a world where gender roles are flipped, featuring a bad-ass lady submarine captain.
Stay tuned - I'll be updating this story to my website in free audio and text versions soon! Also be on the lookout for the glorious artwork that I commissioned to go with this story.
I've been posting some subscriber-only content on Curious Fictions, a new platform similar to Patreon. You can read them by subscribing to my author page.
This latest is about the odd jobs of writers and how we negotiate our past selves. Hope you enjoy reading!
About the Author
Holly Lyn Walrath is a freelance editor and author of poetry, flash fiction, and short fiction. Find her on Twitter @HollyLynWalrath
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