Recent Publications

I’m dimly rousing myself after the election to express my gratitude that three poems of mine have been published this fall. My thanks to Christopher Nelson, editor of Green Linden Press, for today’s launch of Issue 2 of Green Linden, which until last spring specialized in poetry reviews and interviews, and is now a full-service poetry biannual. The inclusion of my poem among those by several of my poetry idols gives me a much-appreciated jolt of joy.

And my belated thanks are due to editors Jennifer Givhan and Molly Sutton Kiefer of Tinderbox Poetry Journal, who selected my prose poem “Amanda Bubble Composes a Fifty-Word, Third-Person Contributor Bio for an Anthology on the Theme of Vulnerability” to include in Issue 3.5. And to Caron Andregg and Ruth Foley, editors of Cider Press Review, for including my poem “I Anticipate a Metamorphosis” in Issue 18-4.

I’m grateful for the work and support of all these editors and for the vibrant, lovely journals they produce. Each issue creates a community with the writers and readers–including, I hope, you!–who join in. That community, and the writing itself, are solace and motivation.


New Poems Up at Bellingham Review and Pontoon

I’m honored to have two poems published this month! “Amanda Bubble Crafts a New Creation Story” appears in Issue 71 of Bellingham Review; my thanks to former Editor-in-Chief Brenda Miller, current Editor-in-Chief Suzanne Paola Antonetta, former Managing Editor Ellie A. Rogers, and current Managing Editor Louis McLaughlin for including my poem. When you visit, please check out the gorgeous essay “He Worked as an Electrician. He Enjoyed Television. (His Obituary Was Plain.)” by Spokane poet Maya Jewell Zeller!

In addition, my poem “What Was Good about Going to Church” has been selected for this year’s issue of Pontoon, the journal of poems by Washington-state poets who submitted chapbook manuscripts to Floating Bridge Press. My thanks to everyone on the editorial committee at FBP! For the first time, Pontoon is now online, allowing wider access to readers. Here’s my poem, and here’s the first page of the Table of Contents (be sure to click through all four pages to read the whole issue). I hope you enjoy!

Gratitude for Words of Encouragement

Joannie Stangeland’s latest collection of poetry (Ravenna Press, 2014)

Many, many thanks to Seattle poet, editor, and winemaker Joannie Stangeland for her write-up of Impossible Lessons as her Saturday Poetry Pick yesterday! Her lovely words are here.

In a wonderful coincidence, I’ve been reading her new book, In Both Hands. The poems there are haunting, replete with precise images of beauty and loss. I’m falling in love with, and going to school on, these incredible poems.

Be sure to read another recent post of Joannie’s, in which she describes her current writing projects.

Paintings by Mary Lingen

Lake Hattie 11 by Mary Lingen

Lake Hattie 11 by Mary Lingen

Sometimes when I’ve been writing and writing until I can’t write another word, I spend some time with visual art, and I can start writing again. Isn’t it interesting how the nonverbal has power to fuel the verbal? Or, maybe it’s simply that beauty strengthens and motivates…

While browsing literary magazines to submit poems to recently, I was reading Shark Reef, a journal based in Washington State’s San Juan Islands, and became captivated by the stunning visual art featured in its issues. When I came across paintings there by Minnesota artist Mary Lingen, I had to see more, and clicked through to her pages at I’m excited to show you two of my favorites, from her Lake Hattie series, shared with Mary Lingen’s permission.

Isn’t it surprising, how bare winter branches can carry so much color?

Lake Hattie 10 by Mary Lingen

Lake Hattie 10 by Mary Lingen

To see more of Mary Lingen’s art and learn more about her work, explore her blog at For visual and spiritual sustenance, I find myself returning to Mary’s paintings again and again.

Thank you for your marvelous work, Mary, and for permission to share some of it here!


Reading with Bethany Reid on Thursday, January 16, in Redmond

Winner of the Gell Poetry Prize 2012

Sparrow: Poems by Bethany Reid

I’m thankful for an abundance of opportunities to share poetry in the New Year. Next week, I get to participate in the SoulFood Poetry Night at Soul Food Coffee House in Redmond, Washington. I’ll be reading with Bethany Reid, whom I also had the privilege of interviewing for the Blog Hop last February. She’s author of the poetry collection  Sparrow, which won the Gell Prize in 2012.

The poems in Sparrow are gorgeous. Bethany writes about growing up on her family’s cattle farm, about her daughters and horses (I especially love her poems about horses)–and in language that’s precise, original, and felt by the body. I got to hear her read some of the poems in Bellingham last October, and her voice lends these poems an even-more pleasurable presence.

SoulFood Coffee House is located at 15748 Redmond Way; click here for map and directions. Our reading will start at 7:00, followed by an open mic at 8:00. Please join us if you can!

Poetry Reading with Kathryn Hunt on January 11, 2014

From Blue Begonia Press

From Blue Begonia Press

Everyone, let me tell you about Kathryn Hunt. She’s a Port Townsend writer and filmmaker whose first collection of poems, Long Way Through Ruin, is out this fall from Blue Begonia Press.

I’m thrilled to get to do a reading with her at Village Books in Bellingham, Washington, on Saturday, January 11, 2014, at 7:00 p.m. If you can get yourself to the upper-left corner of the Lower 48, please come and say hello!

This beautiful video features Kathryn reading her poem “Credo,” as well as a mini-interview with Kathryn about her writing:

Have you ever heard a more gorgeous line than “The silvering clouds with their luster / of honey and despair”?

You can read “Credo,” plus three other of Kathryn’s poems from her collection, here.

The Day After Thanksgiving

Day After Thanksgiving

This razor-bright morning, I hike the South Fork
of the Nooksack to see the salmon running.
Up from oceans, following some scent of granite,
they’ve sliced their way to these beds of gravel
to spawn and die. More are dead, now,
than swimming, in the water sharded at its edges
by ice, their brown and silver bodies piling
where the steep stream pools.

I hike higher, up a logging road, its skin graveled
with small stones like salmon scales
and layered with copper leaves:
fish-shaped, blade-like, their centers rotting,
serrated edges glinting and steely with frost.

I rest at the edge of a clear cut and watch
the peaks of the Twin Sisters tear
their slow bite into the sky–rock and snow
piercing the blue–and ponder how all this dying
puts a point on the tip of gratitude,
hooking in the throat like barb-cold air,
sharp like salt on the tongue.

By Jennifer Bullis
Originally published in Cascadia Review, April 15 2013. In Impossible Lessons, p. 53.