While going through the galley reads of my upcoming book, Intention Tremor (IT), I’m always reminded of the editors who showed support for the work included in my collection by publishing it first.
These publishers, who tended to accept these works quickly and with excitement, are a key source of energy for me. When you’re writing about something like chronic illness, you always hope that what you have to say is valuable, enlightening, accessible, and appreciated beyond your small subset of friends and peers.
Here I acknowledge them all as a way to say “thank you for believing in me” (with links, wherever possible).
Please visit these publishers’ websites; read their stories, poems, and essays; subscribe, if you like; even consider submitting your own work.
I’m especially supportive of small presses and hope you’ll discover some great new ones on my list.
A tribute to my literary supporters
SOMETHING ON OUR MINDS
The editors of Something on Our Minds, an MS anthology, found my work fit for more than one volume. If they produce any more collections, I’m totally going to try them again. They publish a nice variety of work focuseD on the power of lived experience.
The editors—Laura Kolaczkowski, Caroline Kyriakou, Sean Mahoney, and Tracy Todd—published my flash personal essay, “Ouroboros” (now in IT) as well as my flash prose piece, “The Broken,” in their 2015 edition (left).
Meanwhile, my poems from IT, “Diagnosis” and “Hot Bath Test,” were selected for the 2017 volume edited by Laura Kolaczkowski, and Caroline Kyriakou, and Tracy Todd. They also published my poem, “The Bridge.”
“Something On Our Minds is a collection of writings from people living with Multiple Sclerosis (MS), a neurological disorder of the central nervous system affecting the brain and the spine. The written word is a therapeutic tool for many who fight MS. Whether the writer intends to make peace or is protesting the constant presence of living with a chronic disease, the words and thoughts in this anthology are their own. These contributors are a part of the estimated 1 million people in the US living with MS.”
SNAPDRAGON: A JOURNAL OF ART & HEALING
I love this journal so much! Snapdragon persists in a world where so many literary journals seem uninterested in the voices, words, songs, and stories of people living with illness and disability. They published my work in two different editions: “Racer’s Edge” in 2017 and “Map to New Normal” in 2019.
“We could not think of a better name for this journal other than Snapdragon! At its deepest level, the Snapdragon flower essence helps the soul to distinguish its use of creative forces—especially those which radiate from the lower energy centers, and those which are used for spoken word. The Snapdragon flower is often used as a remedy to help persons—particularly those who experience extreme tension in the jaw and mouth—to re-direct their powerful metabolic energy into its rightful channels. By harmonizing the relationship between these energy centers, the soul evolves in its use of creative power. And so, with Snapdragon: A Journal of Art & Healing, our desire is to provide a platform for your self-expression and soul’s healing!”
BARKING SYCAMORES: NEURODIVERGENT LITERATURE AND ITS CRAFT
“Uhthoff’s Phenomena” previously appeared in both Barking Sycamores in 2016 and its “Year Two” collection in 2017.
“Year Two continues an ongoing tradition of collecting literature and artwork by neurodivergent creatives published in the online journal, and sharing this body of work with the world in an annual anthology. We proudly carry on our mission to provide a medium for neurodivergent voices and invite you to read this exciting, groundbreaking collection that includes Issued 5 through 8 of the journal.”
One of my favorite things ever written by me, “Zebrafish Husbandry,” previously appeared in this local journal published by Alana Saltz in 2019. I had the distinct pleasure of reading this piece live in Tacoma in late winter/early spring 2020 (before the pandemic hit) at Saltz’s book release for The Uncertainty of Light.
“There aren’t many places where writers and artists with illness and disabilities can express themselves in a safe, open, and welcoming space. We want Blanket Sea to be that space. …We publish quality writing and art that is evocative, provocative, and tells a story. We are inclusive of creators from all backgrounds, orientations, identities, and ethnicities.”
My poem, “Kanab,” previously appeared in Cirque in 2019 and I was fortunate enough to read it and other work before an audience in Kenmore, WA in the same year. I also had the opportunity to meet the editor, Sandra Kleven, while at the Portland AWP bookfair in 2019.
This is one of my favorite journal covers ever, by the way.
“Cirque, published in Anchorage, Alaska, is a regional journal created to share the best writing in the region with the rest of the world. This regional literary journal invites emerging and established writers living in the North Pacific Rim—Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Hawaii, Yukon Territory, Alberta, British Columbia, and Chukotka.”
“The Coil is a daily literary magazine that features essays, book reviews, interviews, shelfies, columns, articles, fiction, nonfiction, poetry, artwork, historical writing, literary recipes, book lists, soundbites, and more. We always have something new and electric, and we post up to four new pieces per day, so follow us, and check back often. We welcome diverse and underrepresented voices and are an LGBT+ safe-space.”
HALFWAY DOWN THE STAIRS
“Halfway Down the Stairs is a quarterly literary magazine established in 2005 to publish cutting-edge fiction, poetry, and nonfiction by promising new writers.”
KISSING DYNAMITE: “LIFT EVERY VOICE”
“A collection of poetry by twenty-eight contemporary writers, Lift Every Voice pays homage to the Black National Anthem penned by James Weldon Johnson in 1900 as a celebration of the perseverance and grit necessary to liberate our voices.”
LOUD COFFEE PRESS
Thank goodness for patient editors when it comes to funky formal poems. Loud Coffee Press took great care to publish my white-out piece, “Suddenly, I can’t finish my sentences when I try to order Starbucks” in January 2020, in a slightly different format than it appears in IT. I created this piece from original text pulled from a research paper on MS-related aphasia.
“Loud Coffee Press is an unpretentious and unapologetic literary journal and lifestyle brand that focuses on three things we love: flash fiction, coffee, and music. We look for writing that hovers in that perfect brew spot of 195 to 205 degrees Fahrenheit, where the entire piece rocks us to our core. Give us something that keeps us up at night and leaves our ears ringing the next day.”
One of the first pieces I wrote to be included in Intention Tremor was this prose poem piece, “Group Admin, Illness Forum.” pioneertown showcased it in 2017.
From The Writer: “pioneertown [is an] online literary journal founded by Brenna Kischuk, who grew up in a suburb of Los Angeles. It features fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, and hybrid works. ‘The name of the publication works on a literal level because the work that I want to publish is all about taking risks and exploring and discovering and forging ahead,’ she explains.”
POSTCARD PROSE & POEMS
I don’t have a lot of humor in IT, but my piece, “Sideways,” featured in Postcard Prose & Poems in 2018, takes a stab at waking up in a strange new “elevation.”
From Poets & Writers: “Who are we? Imagine a painter, photographer, novelist, and poet all running willy-nilly and meeting full-speed. That collision is Postcard Poems and Prose. We want you to find prose, poems, and art all in a 4×6 postcard format. We want you to be able to stand and look at that revolving wire rack that’s in every tourist trap on earth. We want you see it from your laptop or handheld device. Just like the postcards of yesteryear, we want you to be able to share that experience with friends. We want it to be quirky and personal. And we want it to be great.”
Last but not least! Following its first appearance in Loud Coffee Press (see above), “Suddenly, I can’t finish my sentences when I try to order Starbucks” won Honorable Mention in the Tom Howard/Margaret Reid Poetry Contest and reprinted by Winning Writers in May 2020. WW is listed on the “101 Best Websites for Writers” list (Writer’s Digest, 2015-2019) and the “100 Best Websites for Writers” list (The Write Life, 2016).
“Winning Writers seeks to be a welcoming place for diverse authors and stories, with a culture of listening to people of all genders, backgrounds, and abilities. We look for high-quality original writing that portrays under-represented perspectives with sensitivity, accuracy, and passion. We are always open to hearing from our readers about how we can better embody this mission.”