New Poem Featured in the Summer 2019 Issue of Soul-Lit

I’m thrilled to share that my poem “Learning to Be” is featured in the Summer 2019 issue of Soul-Lit! This is the second time that my work has been featured in this online journal of spiritual poetry. (The first one was “Elegy,” back in 2013.) So it’s great to contribute once again to such an inspiring, thought-provoking journal that speaks to the heart and mind.

(Read more after the jump.)

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Poetry & Song: “Elegy” and Adele’s “Hometown Glory”

Do you listen to music while you write? Has a specific song or music artist ever influenced one of your stories, poems, etc.? This has happened with a number of my published poems. Thus, Poetry & Song is a limited-run series where I share one of my published poems and the song that “helped me write” it. I also offer insights into why I chose that particular piece of music, as well as any other inspirations for the poem.

Some of you might know that I’m a published poet, with several poems accepted for print and online publication between 2012 and 2014. While I’m focusing on novels now, from time to time I’ve entertained ideas about how to discuss poetry (either my own or the poets I admire) here at the blog. Then, during last month’s Iceland Writers Retreat, I took Nadifa Mohamed’s “Music and Literature” workshop, which explored how the music we listen to can influence our writing. It turned out to be my favorite workshop of the event – and it also sparked the idea for this series.

Today I’d like to kick off the Poetry & Song series with “Elegy,” which was published in Soul-Lit’s Summer 2013 issue. And had it not been for a certain piano ballad by one of the most incredibly voices and songwriters in current pop music, I’m not sure “Elegy” would be what it is today. That’s why it’s impossible to talk about the poem without the song, or how that poem changed my feelings toward the song forever.

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#1000Speak: On Writing Poetry From A Place Of Compassion

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Earlier this year, I took part in 1000 Voices for Compassion (a.k.a. #1000Speak) and posted articles about self-compassion and examples of compassionate actions in books I’ve read. It was one of the most enjoyable and rewarding blogging experiences I’ve ever had; and I knew before I had even finished drafting my second #1000Speak post that I wanted to write more in the future whenever my writing schedule allowed. Today happens to be one of those days.

This #1000Speak post is a little different from past ones. It’s a story of sorts, one that balances the personal with the universal. It’s about inspiration, sadness, and healing. It’s a story about the power of compassionate writing, the necessity for it in our world, and the impact it can have you as a writer.

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“Elegy” Featured in Summer 2013 Issue of Soul-Lit

As previously announced on this blog, Soul-Lit has accepted my poem “Elegy” for its Summer 2013 issue. The issue is now available online for you to read. Click here to read “Elegy,” and click here to see the index of all of the poets featured in this issue. I highly recommend you check out the feature on Janice Rebibo as well as poems by Wayne-Daniel Berard, Richard Ballon, and Margaret Vidale, for starters.

If you’re curious about the inspiration behind “Elegy,” please read my blog entry about the Boston Marathon bombings. At the end, I mentioned how I felt compelled to write a poem that described my reaction to the horror and tragedy of this event. “Elegy” is that poem. It’s my tribute to the people who were injured or killed at the finish line, and also to the area of Boston I’ve visited the most in my lifetime.

Considering I wrote the poem in May, I’m still shocked by the fingersnap-quick turnaround from the first, handwritten draft to publication. I’m also thrilled and grateful to the editors of Soul-Lit for choosing to include it with beautiful, inspiring work by other poets from all over the world.

Soul-Lit is a quarterly online journal based in Massachusetts that focuses on spiritual poetry. Visit Soul-Lit’s website or Facebook page to learn more about the journal, its editors, and their distinction between spiritual poetry and secular / religious poetry.

Coming Soon: My review of Second Empire’s self-titled EP at Sonic Cathedral

Quick Update

It’s been a while since I’ve posted an update of some kind on here. So here’s a summary of what I’ve been up to.

The Open Mic & Potluck Extravaganza at Grub Street on July 12th was so much fun! It was great to hear a wide range of works, from poetry to excerpts from novels and short stories – even parts of a published essay about living in a Guatemalan village for a year. (That last one was eye-opening and entertaining, and probably my favorite of the night.) It was also good to get people’s feedback on the two (new) poems I read. Now I can’t wait to return to Grub Street next weekend for a workshop on character development in novel-writing.

Unfortunately, due to a change in plans, I’m no longer able to attend tonight’s Open Mic Night at the Catbird Cafe in Weymouth. I am tentatively targeting a September date to return there and will let you know when I’m more certain about it.

The Summer 2013 issue of Soul-Lit, which features my poem “Elegy,” should be coming out very soon. I’ll share the link with you as soon as it’s available!

Music-wise, my review of Agharti’s debut album Change should be online at Sonic Cathedral any day now. In the meantime, I have finished a review of Second Empire’s self-titled EP and will start writing soon about The Jessica Prouty Band’s upcoming third album Set Me Free. I actually caught a JPB show in my hometown a few days ago, and really enjoyed it! Fun, energetic hard rock with a blues base. JPB played several original songs as well as covers of Led Zeppelin, Joan Jett, Evanescence, Blink-182, and Paramore. If you like some or all of those bands, chances are you’ll enjoy The Jessica Prouty Band.

Still making progress on the book, too! At this rate, the next “Chronicling The Craft” article will probably go online sometime in August. It’s tough to fit in time for it with a full-time job and other commitments (both writing and outside of writing). But so far, I’m happy with the pace as well as the progress I’ve made so far.

Finally, just a reminder that you can also follow me on FacebookClick here to visit and “like” my page, where you can read about my writing projects, upcoming events, and lots more in the realms of music, writing, and literature.

Have a good weekend!

~ Sara

More Poetry News

Two literary magazines have accepted my work for publication later this year!

First, Soul-Lit, a Massachusetts-based online journal that focuses on spiritual poetry, will feature my new poem “Elegy” in its Summer 2012 issue. If you read my recent report on the 2013 Massachusetts Poetry Festival, Soul-Lit may sound familiar. Its editors put on the “Soul-Lit: A Panel on Spiritual Poetry” event that had resonated with me. I even mentioned in the blog entry that I was planning to submit work to the journal after attending that event.

Second, three previously unpublished poems – “The Critic And The Muse,” “Nightmusic,” and “Eve Of Spring” – will be included in The Curry Arts Journal’s 40th anniversary issue this fall. The Curry Arts Journal (also known as CAJ) is the student literary magazine of Curry College (my alma mater) in Milton, Massachusetts. As part of the upcoming milestone, CAJ’s faculty advisor invited alumni who had published poetry, short stories, essays, and artwork in the journal as students to submit new work. The CAJ editorial staff is also planning on-campus activities to celebrate the anniversary.

I can’t express how grateful and ecstatic I am to be a part of both publications. I also recommend you check out both Soul-Lit and CAJ if you have a chance. You can read past issues of Soul-Lit here and find more information about CAJ on Facebook and at Curry College’s website.

Soul-Lit’s Summer 2012 issue will be online in July, and the 40th Anniversary Issue of The Curry Arts Journal should be published in September. I’ll share any links here as soon as they’re available.

Coming Soon: My review of Edenbridge’s The Bonding should be online at Sonic Cathedral by this weekend. Plus, as I’ve promised, a new “Chronicling The Craft” article will be posted after I’ve reached the 10,000-word mark in my novel-in-progress.

Field Trip: 2013 Massachusetts Poetry Festival

2013 Mass Poetry Festival

Attending local literary events has become one of my favorite ways of pursuing and nurturing my writing passion. I’ve gone to the Boston Book Festival every year since its inception in 2009, and also to the AWP Conference in Boston this past March. These have all been immensely enjoyable learning experiences that convince me to return the following year. So, for this reason, I finally made plans to go to the 2013 Massachusetts Poetry Festival. This year’s edition was held in Salem, Massachusetts from Friday, May 3 through Sunday, May 5. I was only able to go on Saturday, but what a nourishing – and gorgeous! – day it turned out to be. Continue reading