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Joanne the Poet - The Poetry of Joanne M. Clarkson

Apr.

11

2018

“Suitcase” Poem in the Annual Edition of Paterson Literary Review

My poem entitled “Suitcase” is in the 2018 Paterson Literary Review edited by the amazing Maria Mazziotti Gillan. This is what I call a ‘whole cloth’ poem, one that arrives intact and I just needed to write it down. We were flying to Arkansas for the Eureka Springs UFO conference last April. The woman in the seat next to mine and I began talking and she told me this personal and heart-wrenching story. When we got to the hotel that evening I wrote it down. Suitcase is that poem.

Mar.

21

2018

Two Poems Accepted by Earth’s Daughters

The New York women’s journal, Earth’s Daughters, has accepted my poems “Esther’s Last Story” and ” Bone Notes” for their upcoming issue themed ‘lines.’ The first one is about my psychic grandmother and the second one features my artistically talented mother. The website is www.earthsdaughters.org and is a wonderful source of inspiration about women’s issues and mother story in all its aspects.

Mar.

06

2018

“Jailow” in Common Ground Review

My poem “Jailow” is in the Fall/Winter 19.2 issue of Common Ground Review published by Western New England University in Springfield, MA. It is based on a memory from childhood. My father, who grew up in extreme poverty in West Virginia, was drafted into World War II. During the war he learned to be a meat cutter and continued this profession after he was discharged. But he hated cutting meat and when I was about 4 years old he came home one day and told my mom he had quit his job and was going to build houses. He had always enjoyed carpentry, but he learned the skills needed for home construction by hiring experienced carpenters at the Union Hall. One of the first was a man named Walt Jailow. Jailow was a whiz with hammer and nails but he had a severe drinking problem. The poem is based on my recollections of the few months this man was in our lives.

Feb.

11

2018

Review of “The Fates” in Pudding Magazine

Issue #66 of Pudding Magazine, The Journal of Applied Poetry includes a review of my poetry book, “The Fates.”  I was thrilled by the attentive reading editor Connie Willett Everett gave my work. She cites specific poems and clearly grasped the overall structure and themes.  She writes, “Clarkson’s poems are richly detailed, textured and sensual, twisting along a mythic tether, flirting with surreal imagery.” Thank you so much, Connie, for honoring my poems this way!

Feb.

11

2018

Poem in The Tishman Review

My poem, “Holyrood,” was a finalist in the annual Edna St. Vincent Millay contest hosted by The Tishman Review and appeared in Volume 4, Issue 1, January 2018. This beautiful publication combines poetry, fiction, and essays with plenty of beautiful artwork. Holyrood is the cemetery in north Seattle where my father is buried. The poem is a snapshot of my mother and I visiting his grave when I was a little girl. I tried to include small details that would somehow depict the pull a young widow and her children felt to this place and what death feels like in such a situation.

Jan.

07

2018

Three Poems in the 2018 Switchgrass Review!

Three of my poems are featured in Switchgrass Review, which defines itself as ‘a national journal of women’s health, history, education and transformation.’ It is published in collaboration with the English Department at Texas A&M University.  One of the poems is called “A Pear for Peace” and describes how a friend of mine has made it her mission to take Muslim women shopping. Even in a city as progressive and liberal as Seattle, there is plenty of hatred directed at cultures labeled ‘different.’ Switchgrass had this poem up on its website and FB page on Christmas day.  Another poem is “One Black Feather,” about a hospice patient who had a devotion to eagles. An hour after her passing I witnessed an incredible mating ritual in the sky between two eagles, a beautiful testimony.  The final poem in this groups is about my aunt Virginia, titled “The Aunt who Sent Me Books.” This piece was sparked by some revelations at a family reunion with cousins on my father’s side. It’s fascinating what generosities offered over the years continue to touch and shape us!

Dec.

26

2017

Poetry at Bus Stops in Olympia

My poem “Madonna of the Boardwalk” is now posted in the bus stop shelter in front of the Olympia Timberland Library on 8th street! Oly Poet Laureate Amy Solomon-Minarchi chose 15 poem to decorate stops throughout the city. More poems will soon be on city buses. My poem is about the beautiful bronze sculpture downtown created by Simon Kogan.  You can find a list of authors, poems and locations on the City of Olympia Poet Laureate website.

Dec.

26

2017

Two Poems in Bright Hill Anthology

“Like Light” is the title of the anthology which celebrates 25 years of Bright Hill, the press that published my book, “The Fates.” Editor Bertha Rogers collected poetry and prose from writers who have either been published by or who have read at Bright Hill Literary Center in Treadwell, New York.  My poem “Lipstick” is both about my mother and about a deaf patient who could read lips. “A Relic of Skin” is based on a childhood memory of finding a snake skin in my grandmother’s cellar. The 474 page book is beautifully presented by Bertha who is a graphic artist as well as a poet. I am so thankful to Bertha and Bright Hill’s Staff and Board for honoring my work and including me with all the other gifted writers who have been blessed by this earthly source of beauty and inspiration.

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