A Feathered Metaphor

I have a short essay on birds and poetry craft up at Tahoma Literary Review. TLR published my poem “The Chicken Poem” in their summer print issue; it should be available online at the TLR site shortly.


I had a blast writing the essay and hadn’t realized how much I actually know about birds.

P.S. I like birds just fine. It’s just envy speaking.

Article from The Onion

Oh writers & readers, how true this rings:

Author Promoting Book Gives It Her All Whether It’s Just 3 People Or A Crowd Of 9 People

“Shortly before her reading Tuesday at local bookstore Word Mentality, author Francine Massey told reporters that she does her absolute best for everyone who comes out to see her, whether it’s just three people or a much larger crowd of nine people…” Read more


That hits a little close to home. Of course, we can change this. YOU can change this. Go to a reading, support other writers, buy books when you can, send fan notes!

A Review, a Poem, a Couple of Fan Notes

Frost in the Low Areas got a nice mention over at Literary Mama in the “Now Reading: July 2015” column:

Literary Reflections Editor Libby Maxey shares, “I’ve recently finished Karen Skolfield’s Frost in the Low Areas, an award-winning collection of poems that’s readable, memorable, and truly likable. Skolfield’s voice is strongly pronounced, realistic with a comfortable familiarity about it that makes room for a good deal of humor. (Her titles tend to be funny even when the poems aren’t.) There’s no pretentiousness here, however cosmic the reach of her musings; she asks many questions and leaves the door open for mystery, but she grounds her poems with defined characters and concrete experiences, in both the natural and the social world. Those characters and experiences tend to be familial, so there is much here that will speak to the mother reader. The title selection is a plain and poignant vignette in which the speaker and her husband make pesto on the eve of an early frost while joking about the gap between their life expectancies. In ‘Last of a Species,’ the speaker remembers the newspaper photograph of a nearly-extinct bird that her father had cut out and put away in a buffet drawer, a gesture utterly unlike him. In ‘The Sound Under the Car Can’t Be Good,’ she is haunted by a relentless automotive thwacking reminiscent of children clamoring for attention, ‘a reminder of a woman trying not to hear.’ My very favorite of all might be ‘After Making a Wrong Turn I Become Stubborn and Pretend to Know These Barns.’ It captures perfectly how we—in life and in poetry—insist on identification, how we manifest our faith in whatever we come from by claiming that it defines the world beyond our particular sphere. Skolfield’s poetry is for those of us who don’t mind owning a bit of that stubbornness, who, like the cows banging their heads through mended fences, ‘live in a state of unlost, hoping / for the rare moments of meander.'”

…and you can read the whole “Now Reading” column here:

I also have a poem up at Oddball Magazine, a kind of goofy fun little thing I wrote, so isn’t Oddball the perfect home for it? My apologies… ahem… to people living in Delaware. See, I grew up there, and… (hangs head in shame). Here’s the link:

Look at that – the page has a rating system. People of Delaware, feel free to give it one out of five stars. I get it.

And finally: I’m writing some fan notes this afternoon, because who doesn’t love getting a fan note? First to fiction writer Vincent Scarpa: his short story “Best Behavior” in the summer 2015 Indiana Review was knockout (and, pssst, I had a poem in this issue, which was a great reason to tuck into the whole journal). Second fan note goes to Robin Coste Lewis for her incredible poem “Summer,” which you can read here thanks to the Academy of American Poets. http://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poem/summer-3

Happy August!