Saying My Professional Gratefuls

It’s Thanksgiving here the U.S., and though this is a food holiday, and this is largely a food blog, I am not going to be writing about my meal today. Instead, I want to take a page from Facebook friend, Matt Bell, who posted about his professional thanks today and acknowledge my deep gratitude for some people and projects that have buoyed me up lately.

I’m grateful first of all to Bonne de Blas and Sammy Greenspan at Kattywompus Press, who gave me my first chapbook acceptance for Another Beginning, a collaboration between my poems and Paul’s art photography, which will be out sometime in 2013! I love collaborating in art, and especially with my very talented spouse, whose work inspires me every day. This is a very special one and if you’re local, you can come to the Palmer Museum of Art on Dec. 5th to hear Paul and I talk about the process of making the book. Thank you!

I’m grateful to Kristy Bowen at Dancing Girl Press for publishing A Woman Traces the Shoreline in December, 2011. I used to look at the DGP website and swoon–the books are physically gorgeous and the work inside fierce, thoughtful, smart and so reflective of the amazing poetry being written by women. I am incredibly honored to be among those talented people! Check out the chaps by my friends Sandra Faulkner and Gillian Devereux for a good sample of the kind of work Kristy puts out. Thank you!

I’m grateful to Leah Maines and Christen Kincaid and the people at Finishing Line Press for publishing my chapbook, Women Who Pawn Their Jewelry this year. The book is beautiful and the process of working with the press was easy and professionally affirming. They put out some wonderful books by very talented poets. Take a look at Laura E. Davis’ new chap, Braiding the Storm for a nice taste. Thank you!

I’m grateful to Ron Mohring at Seven Kitchens Press for accepting my chapbook, In This Dream of My Father, for publication in 2013. Ron has been a constant source of encouragement for my poems for several years now, and placing this manuscript with his press, which is so carefully curated, so gorgeously vibrant, is a dream come true. Thank you!

I’m also grateful to editors Helen Vitoria of Thrush Poetry Journal; Ira Sukrungruang of Sweet: A Literary Confection; Tom McCallister of Barrelhouse; Hugh Behm-Steinberg of Eleven Eleven; Joe Oestreich of Waccamaw; Meg Cowen of Noctua Review; Robin Becker of The Women’s Review of Books; Dinty Moore of Brevity and Roxane Gay of The Rumpus for accepting my work this year for publication in their wonderful journals. Thank you!

I’m grateful to Sandra Faulkner and Jill McCabe Johnson for including my work in their anthologies. Proud to be among so many other talented writers in these great projects. Thank you!

Thanks again to Roxane Gay and M. Bartley Seigel for welcoming me into the PANK family as Reviews Editor. Thanks, too, to all the reviewers who have written for me so far. You are fabulous and I am having such fun with this position! Thank you!

I’m grateful to the people who have invited me to come read my work–Tim Parrish and Jeff Mock at Southern CT State; Dana Kletchka and Elaine Meder Wilgus here at Penn State, and Amye Archer up in NEPA. Thank you!

I’m grateful to all of the women runners who have written for And I Ran, and to everyone who has shared the site and who is reading along. Thank you!

I’m grateful to everyone who has participated in my Food You Don’t Know What to Do With project on this blog. I’m having a lot of fun creating recipes and essays around your suggested ingredients. Thank you!

I’m grateful for my students at PSU, who open themselves up in amazing and sometimes painful ways on the page. I am inspired by you every day.

Finally, I’m incredibly grateful to my ever-growing circle of writers, artists, readers and other creative-minded friends who have encouraged, affirmed and supported my work this year and every year. You who have purchased my chapbooks and come to my readings; who “like” and comment on my publication successes; who respond to my frustrated rants or terrified laments about book publication; who keep assuring and re-assuring me that YES, people WANT to read what I write, that YES I am a writer, for real and forever.

Thank you, friends. You make it all worthwhile.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

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One thought on “Saying My Professional Gratefuls

  1. karenwalcott says:

    Damn, Sheila! Not only are you a writer for real, but you are a prolific writer. You wrote a lot this year! You are officially my writing role model and my poetry hero. Congrats on all your success!

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