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Monday, June 26, 2017

Spotted in the Wild

My book Whiteout has been spotted loose in the world. A friend from elementary school posted a picture of her copy on Facebook, and to my knowledge that's the first one seen in the wild. I don't even have a copy yet! (Of course, I'm in Japan and that's the reason.) Anyway, this is exciting news! And I look forward to seeing more copies out there! Thanks, everyone, for your support.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Whiteout is Out

Although the official publication date for Whiteout is July 15th, it's actually available at the University of Chicago Press website NOW (they are distributing it for the University of Alaska, the actual publisher).

For those who don't know about it, here's a description:


64 pages | 6 x 9
When she was a toddler, Jessica Goodfellow’s twenty-two-year-old uncle, along with six other climbers from the 1967 Wilcox Expedition to Denali, was lost in an unprecedented ten-day storm blasting winds of up to three-hundred miles per hour. Just as North America’s highest peak is so massive that it has its own distinct weather system—changeable and perilous, subject to sudden whiteout conditions—a family whose loved one is irretrievably lost has a grief so blinding and vast that it also creates its own capricious internal weather, one that lasts for generations. Whiteout is Goodfellow’s account of growing up in this unnavigable and often unspoken-of climate of bereavement.

Although her poems begin with a missing body, they are not an elegy. Instead, Goodfellow struggles with the absence of cultural ritual for the uncontainable loss of a beloved one whose body is never recovered and whose final story is unknowable. There is no solace here, no possible reconciliation. Instead, Whiteout is a defiant gaze into a storm that engulfs both the wildness of Alaska and of familial mourning.

Thanks so much for your interest and support.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Star 82

The quirky and interesting online journal Star 82 has published my first erasures from Eudora Welty's story collection The Wide Net. This journal has all kinds of interesting work, including microfiction, photography, collage and more. Check out this collage by C. B. Auder, for example. There is a treasure trove of interesting art and writing in this issue, and in back issues. Enjoy.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Three Pennies for your Thoughts

Please check out the 150th edition of The Threepenny Review, with contributors including Atsuro Riley, James Longenbach, Kay Ryan, Dean Young, and me, among others. My poem "Darwin's Conjecture" is one of the few included on the website as sample pieces, so if you have a chance, please check it out.

Monday, May 29, 2017

A Way with Words (for the Birds)

I am thrilled and grateful to have a poem I wrote during my residency at Denali National Park & Preserve read on the NPR-affiliated radio show/podcast 'A Way with Words' by host Martha Barnette. It's a great show/podcast about word usage, etymology, etc. You should listen to the whole episode (you should subscribe!), and if you do you'll hear my poem 'The Magpie' beginning at about 32:05.
You can read all my poems from my residency and learn about the residency program at the park website here.

I'm really grateful to have the support both of the park and of Martha Barnette and 'A Way with Words.' I hope to do as much I can to support them right back. So be sure help me out checking out what they've got to offer (see above). Thank you!

Update: You can now hear it here, without having to search for the correct time: 

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Poetry Reading in Kobe

Isobar Press will have a poetry reading in Kobe on Sunday, June 4, to introduce Peter Robinson's new book Approach to Distance: Selected Poems from Japan. Also reading will be Isobar Press owner and editor Paul Rossiter, and Isobar poets Yoko Danno and me. 

Please join us if you can. The reading begins at 5:30 pm and will be at Bar Iznt, a nice open yet cozy space with some food along with libation. There is no cover charge, and no reservations are necessary. The address is M:2nd.bldg. 4F 1-1-8 Shimoyamate-dori, Chuo-ku, Kobe. More information and a map are available here

If you have questions, reach out to me here or at my website.

Hope to see you there.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

The Font of Language

The literary journal The Font is specifically for language teachers. It began in Japan, and for awhile many of its contributors had some kind of relationship to Japan. Happily, the word has gotten out and the journal is now publishing writers from all over the globe. I'm pleased to have a poem in their most recent issue with the well-chosen theme of Boundaries.

If you have any work that might be appropriate for this journal, here are the submissions guidelines. They do accept reprints, as long as they match the themes and aims of the journal.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Residency Opp for Japanese Writers and Translators

From my friend Sue,  a heads-up regarding this call for applications. For more details, check this website (from which I cut and pasted everything below):

Writers’ Centre Norwich invites applications for a residency opportunity for writers and translators from Japan. We are offering two UK residencies of up to four weeks each, in July and August 2017, with the support of the Nippon Foundation. 
The overall aim of these residencies is to promote contemporary Japanese writing and culture in the UK. The residencies offer time to write or translate, in the peaceful surroundings of Norwich, UNESCO City of Literature. There will also be the opportunity to travel to other parts of the UK for research purposes.
Deadline for applications is Monday 24 April 2017.

Who can apply?

The residencies are open to creative writers and literary translators based in Japan, with an interest in spending time in the UK. You will need to demonstrate some track record of publication. We will give priority to applicants with a good working knowledge of English. 

What we offer

  • Up to four weeks in the UK to work on the writing or translation project of your choice
  • Return economy class airfare from Japan to the UK
  • Self-catering accommodation in the centre of Norwich
  • Small stipend to cover living costs
  • Some travel within the UK for research purposes
  • Support from the staff at WCN.

What you will offer

  • A willingness to promote contemporary Japanese writing and culture, and to engage in the literary and cultural life of Norwich
  • Two short blog pieces about your experience in Norwich
  • Your availability for any interview, filming or media opportunities that may arise during your stay.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Creativity through Music

I listen to a lot of poetry podcasts, naturally. In addition, I listen to two music podcasts in which musicians and/or composers discuss their process and their thoughts. I find these podcasts really helpful in thinking about: creativity, putting together a larger project, knowing when you reached the desired effect in a piece, cooperative artwork, and so many other artist issues and interests.

One podcast I'm listening to now is the Peabody Award-winning Meet the Composer (fashioned after the old radio show of the same name). It's host is renowned violist Nadia Sirota. The new season started last month, but prior to that they played some old audio clips from the original show, so there's plenty to listen to, along with the two previous seasons. You can hear John Cage, Meredith Monk, Caroline Shaw (who I discovered via this podcast, and now I'm a huge fan--she's what I listen to when I write, if I listen to anything), Donnacha Dennehy, and many others discussing the nature of music and sound, creativity, artistic challenges, etc.

The other podcast is Song Exploder, in which musicians discuss how they made their songs, layer by layer. Inspiration, improvisation, collaboration, adjustments, technicalities--all that and more are discussed by artists as disparate as Norah Jones, Metallica, and the composer who scored La La Land.

I'm learning from the masters, people. Oh so slowly, but learning.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Denali Donation

My donation from my writer-in-residency at Denali National Park and Preserve is now available online at the park's website. Three of the poems will also be published in the park's Summer 2017 newletter Alpenglow.

I'm so pleased to donate this work to the park in gratitude for hosting my last summer, and for supporting my project to write about my uncle. Special thanks to Jay Elhard, Frank Soos, Cinnamon Dockham, and Don Striker of the park.

You can see the work from other artists-in-residence from 2016 here: Emily JanKathy Hodge, Sara Tabbert; the other writer-in-residence Kathryn Wilder; and the composer-in-residence Alan Chan.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Poetry Books with Long Names

Pallbearers Envying the One Who Rides, Stephen Dobyns

You and Three Others are Approaching a Lake, Anna Moschovakis

People are Tiny in Paintings of China, Cynthia Arrieu-King

Unrelated Individuals Forming a Group Waiting to Cross, Mark Yakich

Into Perfect Spheres Such Holes are Pierced, Catherine Barnett

Illustrating the Machine that Made the World: From J. G. Heck's 1851 Pictorial Archive of Nature and Science, Joshua Poteat

The True Calm Keeps Biding Its Story, Rusty Morrison

In a Landscape of Having to Repeat, Martha Ronk

Encouragement for a Man Falling to his Death, Christopher Kennedy

The Last Time I Saw Amelia Earhart: Poems, Gabrielle Calvocoressi

The Little Office of the Immaculate Conception, Martha Silano

The Book of Whispering in the Projection Booth, Joshua Marie Wilkinson

A Point Is That Which Has No Part, Liz Waldner

Beauty Was the Case That They Gave Me, Mark Leidner

White Apples and the Taste of Stone: Collected Poems 1946-2006, Donald Hall

How to Dance as the Roof Caves In, Nick Lantz

Unincorporated Persons in the Late Honda Dynasty: Poems, Tony Hoagland

For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide / When the Rainbow is Enuf, Ntozake Shange

Because the Brain Can Be Talked into Anything, Jan Richman

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Erasures in a Time of Loss

My mother-in-law is staying with us right now for some end-of-life care. Clearly this is a stressful time, and also a not-so-stressful time as there is nothing to do but wait and take as much care as possible. But there are bodily functions to deal with, and there are requests that need taking care of, and writing is something that has fallen by the wayside.

In the best of times, I prefer to write in isolation. Even though my teenage kids no longer need my constant attention, and I can tell them I'm going into my office for two hours and am not to be bothered unless there is an emergency, I haven't really been able write when they are home. Ditto for when my husband is home--a fully-functioning grown man. I just do not like to write unless I'm alone and can be guaranteed of no interruptions. I do manage to edit when people are around, but the genesis of new poems generally eludes me under these circumstances.

So here I am with my MIL newly added into the household mix, and in constant need of attentiveness. I've given up expecting things to go a certain way, and that has really decreased my stress--deciding just to be there, do what needs being done now, and not try to make schedules and plans. But still, I'd like to write as a way to manage my own needs, my selfhood. And I've found a way to do it--erasures.

I've never been good at erasures, but now, as I watch my MIL lose more and more of her autonomy, mobility, and energy, erasure has been the natural thing to do. Rather than generating new work, I'm erasing into the essence. It fits the mood of what is going on, and finally I'm getting the hang of it.

I'm using a book of Eudora Welty short stories. I chose it because of the rich vocabulary and also because the space between the lines is generous, the print not as tiny as that in many books.

I put this out there as an idea for poets who are in a space that doesn't give them much room to maneuver, a time of demands that take precedence over writing, and time of loss. Lean into it: lose more--erase.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

AWP is Not for Me (This Year)

I won't be at AWP this year in Washington, D.C., but my latest book will. Mendeleev's Mandala will be at the Mayapple Press Table (SPD/CLMP 616/618). If you have a chance to visit it, please do. Wish I could be there, but in fact, I have never been to an AWP. Maybe next year?

Friday, January 20, 2017

The Craigo Stamp of Approval

Today Mendeleev's Mandala got poet Karen Craigo's stamp of approval over at her blog Better View of the Moon. Craigo's popular blog is committed this year to festooning (or appreciating, as she calls it) a book of poetry a day. Yes, you read that right--a. book. a. day. So far this year she has already covered the books of poets such as Sarah Eliza Johnson, Athena Kildegaard, Karen Skolfield,  Nicole Rollender, and so many more. How many more? Well, I mentioned 4 plus me, that makes five, and today's the 19th (in America) so 19 less 5 is 14. 14 more. And counting. Hurry! Get over there and catch up before tomorrow's poet is appreciated!

What are you still doing here? Get going!

And thank you, Karen Craigo!

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Going South

All a-tingle to have three poems from Whiteout (forthcoming from the University of Alaska Press) in the recent issue of The Southern Review, alongside Charles Simic (!), Gary McDowell, Floyd Skloot, Chloe Honum, David St John (!), Ryan Teitman, Laura Van Prooyen, James Lee Burke, Joelle Biele, David Bottoms, Jacqueline Osherow, and more! Thanks to poetry editor Jessica Faust for her support!

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Asian Poetry: Me?

Just found my first book The Insomniac's Weather Report on the Barnes & Noble Asian Poetry Page, alongside Basho, Tagore, Li Po, Sam Hamill, Jane Hirshfield, the Bhagavad Gita, and more.

How exciting!

Tuesday, January 3, 2017


Pleased to find Whiteout (forthcoming from the University of Alaska Press, July 2017) on Memorious editor Rebecca Morgan Frank's list of Anticipated Books of 2017, alongside work by Erica L. Sanchez, Bill Knott, Hadara Bar-Nadav, Michael Bazzett, Andrea Cohen, Alex Dimitrov, Jehanne Dubrow, Leslie Harrison, Jill McDonough, Karyna McGlynn, Kiki Petrosino, Christina Pugh, Tara Skurtu, Jennifer Tseng, Erica Wright, Lloyd Schwartz, Jacques Rancourt, Derrick Harriell, and Molly McCully Brown. Check it out!