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Joanne the Poet - The Poetry of Joanne M. Clarkson




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!




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.




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.




Natural Bridge Publishes “The Difference Between Pigeons and Doves”

The journal Natural Bridge, published by the University of Missouri-St. Louis has included my poem in their No. 38, Fall 2017 issue! I wrote the poem, entitled “The Difference Between Pigeons and Doves,” during my November 2016 write-a-poem-a-day-for-30-days challenge with Tupelo Press. It is essentially true, about a ceremony performed by my step-brother Jimmy’s girlfriend after his death. The part about the man who feeds pigeons is also real.  The head librarian was really the president of the friends of the library — but that is too wordy for a poems. Thank you, Natural Bridge!




Poem in Santa Fe Literary Review

I am so pleased to have my poem, “Meeting the Great One,” included in the 2017 issue of Santa Fe Literary Review. The theme for this year’s journal was ‘Missed Connections.’ The publication is beautiful, filled with poetry, fiction and art from around the world. Besides the splendid print edition, there are two ways to read the journal online.  Searching the review’s name online will take you there. My poem is on pg. 188 — in case you want to skip ahead! I was a shy child — obviously I grew out of that aspect of my personality. The poem is about a child who is about to meet her favorite t.v. personality at a special performance, but in the end is too frightened to approach him. It is based on a true event.




“Moon Medicine” in The Healing Issue of Blue Heron Review

My poem “Moon Medicine” is now online in the Summer 2017 issue of Blue Heron Review entitled “The Healing Issue.” This poem is more structured than many of mine. It is near the end, so persevere.  Issues are archived, so poems are always available to read at any time.




Joanne Has Three Pieces in We’Moon 2018

I am so thrilled my work is again included in the We’Moon Datebook! The theme for 2018 is ‘La Luna’ and the moon is depicted, described and honored in a multitude of ways. We’Moon is subtitled Gaia Rhythms for Womyn and the book includes Lunar cycles, ancient holidays and feasts, astrologic information, tips on mindful moon watching and so much more.  Every week there are new meditations inspired by words and artwork. My first piece titled “Letter to Other Moons” is featured the second week in June and is actually a letter from earth’s moon to faraway sisters.  In September 2018, I have a short memoir about a Grandmother walking with her young granddaughter, talking about how each perceives the moon.  Later in September I have a description of a Palmist teaching her students about the Mount of the Moon which lies on the lower, outer edge of each hand.

The We’Moon datebook is available at Radiance in downtown Olympia and also at Barnes and Noble, Orca Books and many places where books, calendars and sacred arts are found.  We’Moon also has a beautiful wall calendar.  This year both are available in Spanish language editions.  Great gifts — for self and others!





Two Poems in Ice Cream Poems Anthology!

My poems “Melting Point” and “Sweet Demons” are included in the new Ice Cream anthology from World Enough Writers, an imprint of Concrete Wolf press.  Patricia Fargnoli is the editor.  The book is divided into 5 sections and contains work by over a hundred poets.  Poignant, funny, chilling and delicious!  I am so happy to have my poems included!

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