Kersten Christianson is a raven-watching, moon-gazing, high school English-teaching Alaskan. She serves as poetry editor of the quarterly journal Alaska Women Speak. Her latest collection of poetry is Curating the House of Nostalgia (Sheila-Na-Gig Editions, 2020). Kersten holds an MFA from the University of Alaska.
This project, the best kind, emerged from the whim of writer and artist, Matthew Wolfe. When the pandemic began, he started assembling and sharing on Facebook a daily photograph of possessions, many with notes. Each photo carried a shadowbox appeal, a frozen moment in time. Enter Sheila-Na-Gig editor, Hayley Mitchell Haugen, who suggested moving this work to a book format, and to open a call for writers to share their writing in response to Matthew’s photos.
It is a hefty volume, beautifully crafted. The book contains Matthew’s writing, a record of the early days of the pandemic, his photographs with notes, and the writings of 46 poets from the U.S., Canada, India, and Wales, who responded in kind, ekphrastically, to Matthew’s work.
I am grateful to have three poems included in this collection: “Day 79: Something Cohen Said,” “Outside Terrace, B.C.,” and “Day 100: Road Trip Is Life.”
This project is truly an act of a collaboration in both the project and more global sense. It is one that I’ll look back on in gratitude having had this chance to document those early days the world entered into a period of social distancing, questioning, uncertainty, and survival.
Thank you to Matthew and Hayley for gifting this to the reading world.
It’s such an honor to have poetry included in the annual literary journal, Tidal Echoes. I’m sure I say this every year, but the journal is phenomenal. A quick preview of the Contents is akin to attending a family reunion, only it’s a paper family of writers that come together annually to celebrate not only the journal’s launch, but what it is to live in Southeast Alaska. We are lucky indeed that Emily Wall oversee this project. This year’s editorial team of Erika Bergren, Emily Bowman, and Ana Erickson carried the torch in ensuring the completed journal is not only as amazing as those of years past, but maintains its own unique identity. And his is evident from the front to back cover which features Lily Hope’s incredible weaving.
I think that the challenges of the year forced many to back burner their writing routines. I know that over the course of the year, my own writing output has diminished somewhat. As we’ve learned, this is a side effect of living through a pandemic. So many have experienced stress, anxiety, dismay, fear, and profound loss on many levels. It’s no wonder that writing is set adrift for the greater need to simply survive.
Anyway, I do thank this editorial crew for publishing this gem of journal. Its simple landing in my mailbox still beckons summer closer and I so I have great kinship with this work.
And I also thank the editorial board for including my poetry: “Tent’s Collective Memory,” “Heart as a burning state,” and “Before Snow Flies.”
I’m so grateful to Editor Carolina VonKampen of Capsule Stories for including some of my work in this sweet publication. This edition is chock-full of spring-themed poetry, and it couldn’t have landed in my mailbox at a better time. After a long year of Covid challenges and mitigations, the compilation of writing contained not only demonstrates that many small presses and their editors have persevered through this stretch, as have many writers. The struggle is real, and I know this firsthand, whether gathering the focus to edit, or the wherewithal to set aside time each day to truly write. I know it’s tough to put pen to paper, but if not now, when? Start small. Word into sentence into stanza, or paragraph. Start. The other piece I so greatly appreciate about Capsule Stories is much of the writing gives me hope. Much of the writing touches upon the natural world. Anyway, it’s a fantastic read.. Thank you to Capsule for publishing this. I know it’s not easy, but hopefully, it will become easier.
TL;DR Press paired with Action Against Hunger, an international organization committed to supporting malnourished children and their families by beating hunger. 41 writers from around the world have contributed writings to this anthology: Hope. I am thrilled that my short poem, “Sitting with Emily,” is included. Thank you to the editors of TL;DR for including it and pushing this publication out into the world, and to Action Against Hunger for the important work they do to increase access to food sustainability.
Dust Poetry Magazine is an e-journal published in the UK and edited by Tara Wheeler. Its goal is to publish the writing of new, emerging, marginalized, and established poets. I’m grateful they’ve included “Wanderlusting” in Issue 6: Glimmer.
Editor Sam Rose, from Northamptonshire, England, is the visionary behind Peeking Cat Literary. Over the years Peeking Cat has published both print anthologies and work online. Its website hosts a plethora of author interviews, along with a Speaking Cat Podcast, a newer aspect that I’m certainly interested in checking out. Throughout the years, my work has appeared both in print and online and Sam even took time to review my first collection of poetry, Something Yet to Be Named.
So it is always my pleasure when Peeking Cat continues to publish my writing. I am happy to share here the most recent two poems that Peeking Cat published in the fall of 2020, “No Postage Required” and “Life Force Energy.” Much gratitude to Sam and Peeking Cat poetry for continuing to publish writers from around the world.
I am happy to share that my first published writing of the year is through Red Alder Review. From their website:
Red Alder Reviewis an independent literary blog-based publication, operating on the unceded ancestral territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Səl̓ílwətaʔ (Tsleil-Watuth) and Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) Coast Salish peoples (Vancouver, BC). Editor: Michael Edwards
What better way to toe dip our way into the waters of a new year than through the publication of a haiku? It’s a fine testing of the water, and I am so very hopeful that this year gives us an open door out of the pandemic.
Thank you Michael Edwards for publishing this in the gathering of Mid-Winter Haiku.
I am thankful to Editor Matt Potter for including my poem, “Sunday, 10 Degrees Fahrenheit” in Pure Slush: Vol 19, Wrong Way, Go Back. Upon notice of this poem’s acceptance, I revisited my bookshelf to find I’ve actually published with this journal in a few issues. Pure Slush just recently celebrated its 10th birthday. Cheers to the next 10 years ahead!
Silkworm 13: Luck landed on my desk this fall. This journal is published by the Florence Poets Society out of Northampton, Massachusetts. This is the second opportunity I’ve had to publish work with Silkworm and in that is complete joy. It goes without saying that this is a fine publication filled with compelling readings. This collection begins with a quote by Emily Dickinson: “Luck is not chance — / It’s toil —”
But I also am drawn to this issue’s cover art, Coyote Song, by artist Lynn Sisler. Fantastic!
Much gratitude to the Florence Poets Society for offering “Surrender” a paper-paged home.
Feels Zine is an independent publication printed by Vide Press in Toronto, Canada.
Gathered in Issue 10: Loss are writings surrounding just that. As outlined by its editorial staff, “Whether it is our choice or not, there is a void we feel deep in ourselves when something, or someone, we carved space for is gone. How do we begin to process the absence? What happens when time and space don’t line up with our hearts and minds? In Issue 10, we explore the grief, sadness, anger, calm, and love that comes with loss.”
I’m delighted by this journal for a number of reasons: interesting paper quality, size, monochromatic design, smaller pages embedded within the journal’s overall standard page size. But I’m especially thankful that its editors provided a home for my poem, “Grief.”