I was delighted to get to do a fun and quirky interview over at Riddled with Arrows literary journal. Riddled with Arrows publishes metafiction/ars poetica, one of my favorite genres of writing.
When did you first meet poetry?
HLW: I was maybe fourteen, sitting outside the crappy pizza joint across from my high school, where I often went to wait for my mom to pick me up after school. I think I was scribbling in my journal, you know, the kind of dreams and chapstick-scented hopes at that age. Maybe I was in love, or maybe just as lonely as only a teenager can be, when poetry came up to me. She had this lopsided grin on her face and she was wearing a cloak made of stars. Her face was cracked and two-toned like a faded map you might find rolled up in a scroll, hidden under the porch stairs in a dusty box buried in the dirt . . .
Read the full interview here . . .
This past weekend I participated in Zinefest Houston - one of my favorite local events. In this event, local paper artists create zines to sell--small, hand-made, individual books, pamphlets, and other paper ephemera. I've participated twice and I always enjoy this well-crafted event. What I like about Zinefest is the audience. It's mostly young people who are interested in meeting other writers and artists. It's also one of the most diverse and well-attended events I go to every year. I always end up meeting some lovely folks!
For me, the zine is about vulnerability. You can put something in a zine that you might not want to put online. You can also show off your skills with your hands. Each zine I make is hand-folded, hand-cut, or hand-colored. In this way, zines are ephemeral and special. Like chapbooks, they usually focus on one specific theme. I love making them and buying them because I always learn new ways to play with paper. We often forget that paper is what physically connects us to readers. It's a precious resource. Perhaps this is why most of my writing starts out as a handwritten draft. That connection to paper propels my imagination. It says, it's okay to make a mistake, in a way that Word, with its myriad of editing options, doesn't.
Zinesters are some of the coolest people I've ever met. They might seem strange to outsiders, but every time I'm around them I feel at ease. It's like finding your tribe.
I'm already thinking up new ideas for next year's festival!
This November 17, I'll be reading with Gemini Ink and fellow Finishing Line Press writers at Kaboom Books. I'll read a bit more from Glimmerglass Girl and try not to buy more books. Oh, let's face it, I'll probably buy more books.
RSVP on Facebook . . .
Feature in the Houston Chronicle: Looking through Houston poet Holly Lyn Walrath’s ‘Glimmerglass Girl’
Sometimes being a writer can be a little surreal. Yesterday, I went out to the Houston Museum of Natural Science to take pictures with the butterflies, today I get to share with you this Houston Chronicle feature about my writing.
Poems have always been there for me. I've had a whirlwind of personal life stuff lately. Putting out a new chapbook. Moving to a new house. A death in the family. But I can always come back to poems.
Thanks to everyone who has come with me on this journey and to those who've always supported my writing. It's lovely to know all of you. I'm grateful to get to share my words with the world.
"Walrath’s “Glimmerglass Girl” is an intense collection of poetry that speaks out from the first page. Not for the faint of heart, it’s open, but sharp as Walrath doesn’t shy away from letting her readers see the blood, even if she lets it drip across flowers and suburban kitchen countertops.
The female experience is a large part of Walrath’s poetry. Much of the work does match her interest in the speculative. The spirits of nature and the wonder of fairytales are common themes across her verses. However, like fairytales there is something dark and primal underneath the resemblance to children’s literature."
Read more at the Houston Chronicle . . .
Fellow poet and SFPA member Matt Betts asked me to do a "poetry post-mortem" for his blog! This is basically a behind-the-scenes of one of my poems, how it came to me, what inspired it, and why I wrote it. I chose "Two Hundred Fifty-Seven," a poem from my new chapbook Glimmerglass Girl.
Read the poem and its post-mortem here . . .
This fall I'm hitting up a few book events in Texas. Here's where you can find me, pick up a copy of Glimmerglass Girl, and say hi!
Join Writespace and Spider Road Press as we celebrate the release of Glimmerglass Girl, the debut poetry chapbook written by dedicated Writespace volunteer Holly Lyn Walrath. The collection’s publisher, Finishing Line Press, describes the work as a “unique visual collection of speculative poetry [that] addresses femininity, feminism, and the intersection of womanhood and nature."
To celebrate Glimmerglass Girl, we are inviting women-identifying writers to share their own work alongside Holly at our Women’s Voices Reading and Open Mic. We are excited to hear work that examines all aspects of womanhood, and we especially welcome historically marginalized voices.
DATE: Friday, October 19th, 7:00 - 9:00 p.m.
LOCATION: Writespace (2000 Edwards, Studio #208, Houston, TX 77007)
PRICE: Free to all! If you are interested in reading, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Texas Book Festival - Tabling with Bountiful Balcony Books
DATE: Saturday & Sunday, October 27-28
LOCATION: Texas State Capitol
I'll be tabling with Bountiful Balcony Books at this year's Texas Book Festival! Come say hi and pick up a signed copy of Glimmerglass Girl or one of the other awesome offerings from the Bountiful table!
Zine Fest Houston - Tabling
DATE: Saturday, November 17, 2018
LOCATION: Lawndale Art Center
PRICE: Free to all!
I'll be tabling at Zine Fest Houston this year with some new story zines! Come say hi and pick up a signed copy of Glimmerglass Girl!
I have a new prose poem up today at Terse Journal: What it Feels Like to Play Video Games as a Woman.
Read the full poem here . . .
My tarot-inspired story "Tarot of the Animal Lords" is now available on Amazon in the Shards Noblebright anthology by Spring Song Press. This story is about a woman trying to find her way out of a dystopian future where a mysterious illness has devastated the countryside. Along the way, she reconnects with her wild roots and the boyfriend she left behind.
Get your copy today:
I have a new poem, "Erasure" (after Ralph Waldo Emerson) - in ARTHouston Magazine Issue#7 (September 2018)
those souls / in the pictures /
breathe / memory /
in danger of forgetting /
that they had their origin /
in wax / and / paint / in the narrow lodging /
of a thought which pours itself /
color and form / barbaric pearl and gold /
I was to see / with eyes / pierced
/ with / salt water, to find that which was perfect /
in the chambers of / the earth
I got to share some fun pics of my bookshelves over at The Coil Magazine as part of their #Shelfie series.
As I'm moving, books have been on my mind because my current shelves are bursting at the seams. I finally convinced my spouse to get me yet another bookshelf for the new house. (We now have 6?) But there's something magical about your whole house feeling like a library. Books are a safe harbor in the storm. Check out my copies of Jane Eyre, The Eyes of the Dragon, and of course, now I get to add my own chapbook Glimmerglass Girl.
Read the article here . . .
I have a new poem up today at Liminality: A Magazine of Speculative Poetry. It's called "Dead-Eye Girl" and it's nice and creepy for the upcoming month of October!
I am seeking you in the blood on my tongue
in the rims of shattered bottles under bridges
in the blossoms of storm clouds in summertime
in the songs of cicadas swarming.
Read the full poem here . . .
The Coil Magazine has five poems from my chapbook Glimmerglass Girl up today! It's really cool to see these poems out in the world.
Read them here . . .
I wrote a little creative nonfiction piece over at Cotton Xenomorph today on my secret food love: sweet pickles! Yes, I am a Southern girl and I love these little sweet nuggets of goodness. I am ashamed/not ashamed.
Read the full essay here. . .
Interview with Andrea Blythe: Poet Spotlight: Holly Lyn Walrath on hybrid writing and the idea of femininity
I had the pleasure of chatting with fellow Finishing Line Press poet Andrea Blythe about what it means to be a weird writer, how Melville's poems are way better than that whale book, and refusing to cater to genre rules.
Read the Interview here!
Today I have an interview up with Katie Lewington, a UK-based poet and book blogger! Katie and I chatted about my upcoming projects (Spoiler: Space Pirates!), how I balance writing/life (Spoiler: I suck at it.) and what poetry means to me.
"Edward Hirsch, one of my favorite poets, says that “Reading poetry is an adventure in renewal, a creative act, a perpetual beginning, a rebirth of wonder.” He talks about how the poem has to journey a very long way to get to the reader—all the way from inside my weird mind to the page, where I just hope that the right reader will find it . . ."
Read the full interview here.
I'm excited to share that my story "Tarot of the Animal Lords" will appear in the Shards anthology edited by C.J. Brightley. This is a story that I worked very hard on and always hoped would get picked up for publication. It's got a unique structure based on tarot cards. I hope you pick up your copy!
Pre-order a copy on Amazon!
Save the date! I'm celebrating the launch of my book Glimmerglass Girl in Houston at Writespace on October 19! And, because I love this community of writers, it's also an open mic for other women who want to come read their work. I can't wait to hear all the amazing writers who I know will be in attendance. This is not an event you'll want to miss!
RSVP or Share on Facebook!
Glimmerglass Girl was reviewed by Stefani Cox and here's what she had to say about it:
"There are meditations on heart and soul, with a tender probing of loneliness underneath. Many of the poems have a mirrored and echoing quality—they seem to come from the borderlands of the psyche, where who we know we are meets the subconscious and mysterious currents below."
Read the whole review . . .
Glimmerglass Girl was reviewed at The Coil Magazine. Here's what reviewer Laura McKenzie had to say about it:
"The notion of the “instapoet” is one that looms over the work of any contemporary female poet, and parodies of poems by writers such as Rupi Kaur often have a punchline that frames poetry as nonsense that teenaged girls scrawl in diaries. But Walrath’s collection suggests an intelligence that retaliates through showing the beauty, complexity, and tragedy of modern womanhood — a butterfly that can haul 40 times its own weight seems an apt metaphor for the unifying strength and delicacy of femininity we still struggle with. As visceral and violent as certain moments are, Walrath’s poetic voice is never dwindling. Glimmerglass Girl flitters seamlessly between the abstract and the digital age, undeniably placed in 2018 while feeling timeless. She gives into the “act of self-interrogation” not in her reflection but in her selfies, asking “is this what I look like to him.” Of course, anyone could tell you that no selfie is an accurate portrait, but then, does that stop any of us from trying?"
Read the full review here . . .
Today I am featured on the NetGalley Insights blog, where I was interviewed about #GlimmerglassGirl being a top-requested book in poetry. I love getting to share some behind the scenes info on how I market my book for new poets who might be looking for tips and tricks. And of course, I'm blown away by the response to my book and the kindness of reviewers on Goodreads and NetGalley!
Read the whole interview...
I was interviewed at South Florida Poetry Journal in their "Interview with a Poet" series about my favorite books on writing, what I'm reading right now, and whether poems have ever made me cry.
"One of my favorite books is Edward Hirsch’s How to Read a Poem. Hirsch says “These poems have come from a great distance to find you.” He talks about how poems are a message in a bottle. As a writer, I send out my work into the world because I want the one person who needs it to find it. The distance between the poet and the reader is a great gulf, crashing in the darkness, and I get to shine a light into the crevices and weird places of the world with my words. This is why my work is so often speculative in nature—because it’s the undiscovered country that excites me."
Read the full interview here...
I have two new poems up at Isacoustic - "When Darkness Leaves" (after Mark Strand) and "Diary Outside of April" (after Sylvia Plath). These are both poems which reference other poets and if you can pay attention closely you might be able to figure out where the inspiration comes from! They are what I call "mirror" poems where I replace each word from another poet's work with an opposite word, eventually compiling my own poem.
Read them here...
I was interviewed at Freethinking Ahead, a blog about science fiction, feminism, and free thought, as part of their Speculative Poets in Conversation series.
It was fun to get to talk about my new book, Glimmerglass Girl, in the context of feminism and resistance, as well as dip into my history as a Texas author and what that means for me as a woman.
Read the full interview here...
My chapbook of speculative feminist poems was reviewed by Christina Rosso over at Rag Queen Periodical:
"The language in Glimmerglass Girl is seductive, soft to the touch, yet stabbing. You feel like a knife is twisting in your gut as your read through each poem. Walrath uses the collection to explore her experience as a woman, shedding light on the insecurity, desire, and self-love she has faced. The collection looks at the business of disappearing, of splintering one’s female self, while also showing a woman’s desire to be noticed, to be seen as beautiful. In the poem “In Rejoice of Kindred Grief,” she writes, “for anyone to truly / see her drunken starlight as female beauty / for a body that’s not a four-letter word / for one true kiss.”
Read the full review...
I have three new poems up at Nice Cage journal, as part of their "Climate Change And/Or Die" issue: "Boll Heart," "And Farther Death Goes," and "A Deep Enough Abyss"
Read the poems here...
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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Holly Walrath's books on Goodreads
ratings: 19 (avg rating 4.21)
Our Space: Shorts & Poetry from the Houston Community
ratings: 4 (avg rating 4.25)
In Medias Res: Stories from the In-Between
ratings: 2 (avg rating 4.50)
The 2017 Rhysling Anthology: The Best Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Poetry of 2016 Selected by the Science Fiction Poetry Association
ratings: 16 (avg rating 4.31)
ratings: 9 (avg rating 4.67)