Typus Orbis Universalis

Typus Orbis Universalis


I’m a writer, editor, and teacher, and I enjoy connecting with readers and other writers. On November 1, 2017, I was commissioned Alabama's Poet Laureate, for a four-year term. I grew up in Arkansas and have lived for many years in Alabama, although I’ve also lived abroad, in England and Romania, and have traveled extensively in Ireland and Greece. I’ve written two collections of poems, "Little Wanderer" (2016) a collection of road and travel poems, and "Bottle Tree" (2010), which focuses on my experiences as a southern woman. I’ve also written "Tell the World You’re a Wildflower," a collection of loosely interwoven short stories in the voices of southern women and girls. I love to put together collections as well, and I edited "Working the Dirt: An Anthology of Southern Poets," and co-edited, with Wendy Reed, "All Out of Faith: Southern Women on Spirituality," and "Circling Faith: Southern Women on Spirituality," as well as "Belles’ Letters II: Contemporary Fiction by Alabama Women," co-edited with Don Noble. I’m currently working on a memoir-influenced book about Scott and Zelda biographer Sara Mayfield as well as a new collection of short stories.

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Below you'll find occasional blog posts, as the spirit moves me.

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Thursday, July 19, 2012

Mediterranean Poetry

Good news this morning! My poem sequence “Evil Eye” is now posted in the e-journal Mediterranean Poetry.

Here’s my “artist’s statement” about the poems:

The sequence is composed of thirteen poems in the voices of women historically connected to Greece; it is my hope and intention that the poems stand on their own, but I have included notes at the end to fill in some of the details related to these women. Having traveled a great deal in Greece, I found myself wanting to write a series of poems set there. My husband, a Greek-American, suggested that I might want to write something having to do with Greek women. After thinking about it for some time, I began exploring resources on women from different places and periods in Greek history. By writing persona poems in these women’s voices, imagining the details of their lives, I felt that I was able to write about women’s issues in specific, grounded ways, and that many of the concerns of these women--economic and social freedom, marriage, religion, power--related to my own life as a southern woman.

The concept of the evil eye occurs in a number of countries. In Greece, it grows out of the idea that the rare, the beautiful, the lucky attract envy, and that this envy creates a negative energy that can cause bad luck. In many cases, the person with the “evil eye” may not even be aware of it but simply bring it on through envy of others’ happiness or good fortune. In relation to this collection of poems, each of the women portrayed has either experienced some bad fortune or is in a position to do so.

Of course, if you believe in the evil eye, I should be cautious about beginning a post with "Good news this morning"!

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