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...
Submitting your writing is hard and a little bit terrifying. But you don't need to go it alone! Over at Trish Hopkinson's blog, I wrote a guest post on the different resources you can use to submit your work, including submission trackers, query trackers, manuscript wish lists, submission stats, and places to find calls for submissions.
Read it here...
I was interviewed by the kind editors over at Literary Orphans about my new book of speculative poems, Glimmerglass Girl, which is due out in August! Scott Waldyn has been nice enough to publish two of my pieces in the past, In the Dark World, a tiny microfiction about adolescence, and Peony Red, a poem which appears in my book and is about living a childfree existence as a woman.
Read the whole interview here...
I've started doing reviews of poetry books, mainly because I wanted to read more contemporary poetry and I, being a writer, need a deadline. Here's one I wrote for a fellow Finishing Line Press writer, Tyler Robert Sheldon, on his new chapbook Consolation Prize.
"Reading Consolation Prize by Tyler Sheldon was a bit like that, waking from a dream in an empty house and not being able to remember what happened exactly, but knowing that something terrible was there in your consciousness and that thing reached out and touched you."
Continue Reading at Entropy Magazine. . .
I was interviewed by Charles Christian, editor of Grievous Angels who has been kind enough to publish my work in the past, about Glimmerglass Girl, witches, ghosts, and other weird things! Weird Tales Radio Show is available on iTunes and other podcast apps and also streams as an internet radio webcast on the Paranormal UK Radio Network Thursdays fortnightly.
I'm delighted that this year I'll be paneling at Readercon in Boston July 12-15!
Here are the panels where you can come see me (Please say Hi if you do! I love meeting other writers and making new friends!):
Friday, July 13, 12:00pm - C
Holly Walrath will present an alternative worldbuilding method called worldconjuring. Drawing on inspiration from fairy tales and ancient myths, worldconjuring creates liminal space or gaps in the world that the reader may fill in with their own imagination. Participants will explore contemporary authors who are using this method in short fiction and novels to create immersive worlds without the use of complex worldbuilding such as language creation or magic mechanics, and will get started worldconjuring with some creative prompts.
In Memoriam: Ursula K. Le Guin
Friday, July 13, 1:00pm - 6
Ursula K. Le Guin (1929–2018) was a powerhouse in American literature for over 50 years. She won countless awards, including the SFWA Grand Master Award and World Fantasy Award for Lifetime Achievement. Her Hainish sequence, Earthsea novels, and Orsinia stories remain benchmarks of speculative fiction. Her feminist and utopian visions influenced generations, as did her essays, criticism, and educational writing. We were thrilled to make her a guest of honor at Readercon 7. Join us in celebrating her life and work.
Speculative Poetry Deathmatch!
Friday, July 13, 4:00pm - A
This entertaining and interactive panel on science fiction, fantasy, and horror poetry will teach attendees a little about speculative poetry. Poets will read some of their works and then participate in a lyrical death match in which audience members decide which poet walks away with a tin foil crown and bragging rights.
Glimmerglass Girl was reviewed by Nancy Stohlman of Flash Fiction Retreats. I'll be a member of the flash fiction retreat in Breckenridge this August and I CANNOT wait to join the amazing writers who are in attendance!
"This dichotomy of delicate and strong, girl and woman, power and power distorted comes through beautifully in this debut chapbook of illustrated poems."
Thanks to Nancy Stohlman and Kathy Fish for their continued support of the writing community and for this lovely review.
Artist Lidia Tomashevskya approached me last month about doing another art collaboration and I could not resist her offer! So I've added a new story to my website for your reading and listening pleasure:
Confessions of a Tree Nymph
This story first appeared in 365 Tomorrows in June 2015. I hope you enjoy listening! Please let me know if you liked the audio version and remember that all my audio stories are available on Soundcloud, which has a lovely listening app for your car ride! I've been debating expanding to a podcast, but in the meantime it's fun making audio for you.
If you like what I'm doing and want to support more of my content, leave me a tip at Curious Fictions!
Glimmerglass Girl was featured on That Bookshelf Bitch, a blog by a lovely writer who is doing the hard work of supporting women writers through reviews! I am beyond honored to be listed among the names of Rupi Kaur and one of my favorite books of 2018, Women of Resistance.
My chapbook is featured today with a review at MookyChick! Thanks to Chloë Moloney for writing about my chapbook:
"Holly Lyn Walrath’s Glimmerglass Girl is a delicate yet prevailing portrayal of womanhood in the twenty-first century. With a voracious appetite for the world, Walrath invites the reader to explore and honour femininity in all its glory..."
Read the full review
I was interviewed by the Literary Librarian about my new chapbook, Glimmerglass Girl!
"My writing routine changes all the time because my schedule as a freelance editor is constantly shifting. On a good writing day, I sit down to read on my patio and get some inspiration from books I love. Then I’ll write for an hour or so, sometimes working from prompts or just playing around. There are times where I write every day, but for the most part I have to take the time for my work. It’s not easy to juggle all the demands of the world. I also like to play with writing every day in NaPoWriMo and NaNoWriMo..."
So, lately I haven't been able to read as much because I've been so busy promoting my new chapbook, Glimmerglass Girl. But I was able to sneak in this little interview with local Houston author Patricia Flaherty Pagan on three books I love.
These are authors that I return to again and again because their work speaks to me. I highly suggest you start reading them if you like short fiction and experimental work!
Hey y'all! I have a new poem up at the Ekphrastic Review. It is an excerpt from my chapbook, Glimmerglass Girl.
This poem is called "Anvil Crawler" and it is an art response poem to a piece of art by John Bernhard, a local Houston artist. I got to go see him yesterday and pick up my copy of the book Dreamlike Art & Deviations (Isn't it gorgeous?) which is now available on Amazon. John and I have worked together for several years now as part of his magazine, ArtHouston. So it was lovely to see him, the book, and his exhibition at the Art Car Museum in Houston.
I love collaborating with artists like this, and you'll notice that many of the poems in my chapbook are ekphrastic or pieces that are paired with artwork. There's just something moving to me about putting words and art together.
We weren't able to include John's artwork in the chapbook because it's full color and I didn't want to diminish the work by transferring it to black and white. As you can see, the color really makes a difference. However, I'm still glad that this piece appears in my book and it was a delightful experience working with John.
Anywho, go read the poem!
Whew, deep breaths. I am really pleased to share with you some early reviews for my forthcoming chapbook, Glimmerglass Girl (Finishing Line Press 2018). It is so exciting (and a bit terrifying) to see that people are already engaging with this book.
My chapbook was reviewed by VIDA: Women in the Literary Arts. This is such an honor, as VIDA is a very important organization working to expose gender parity issues in literary journals and the writing world. This is a mission that means a great deal to me so to have them review my work gives me a lot of feels. Read it here.
My chapbook was also reviewed by two bloggers, Melissa Jennings and Morgan Boyer. Thanks for the reviews fellow bloggers!
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)