This weekly series highlights people in my writing circles who are exemplary literary citizens. I encourage you to look them up, buy their books, find them in the library, or otherwise read or support their writing lives.
This week, we meet literary citizen Sandy Yannone
Like so many people in my writing life, I met Sandy through a writer friend (Julene Tripp Weaver). This was recently, after I began the daily learning curve that is debut book promotion during a pandemic.
Back in January, I began to send out smoke signals to “my people” in social media, asking for any help they could offer in terms of reading series, bloggers, media contacts, etc who might be interested in featuring my new book, Intention Tremor.
Julene, among other things, pointed me in the direction of Sandy Yannone. Based on that recommendation, I reached out to Sandy. One thing led to another and I’m now scheduled as a featured author in one of her reading series, the New Books Showcase (see the listing here).
But that’s not where the story ends. She also attended my Intention Party launch in early February, and I was so grateful for her presence and support. I remember thinking, if poetry maven was a citation in the dictionary, it should come with a picture of Sandy Yannone next to it! Her passion is boundless and I found her to be friendly and knowledgeable. I was so very glad that I reached out to her.
But that’s not where the story ends, either!
Last night, I attended Parley Poetry’s Ray Ball reading and Eavan Boland tribute after Cirque editor Sandra Kleven invited me to attend as a previous contributor to that journal (they published my poem, “Kanab,” a couple of years ago; “Kanab” is now included in my new collection).
It was a long but really great reading, one of those events that leaves your mind whirling (but in a good way! A whirling mind can also be a terrible symptom of MS!).
Lo and behold, Sandy was also there (what a trooper… the reading was on Anchorage time and Sandy was on Connecticut time, so it was a really late start for her!). As before, she was highly engaged in the chat and responsive to the readers. A great audience member, for sure, and certainly inspiring to many of us when she shared her personal experiences working with Eavan Boland.
Sandy also signed up for the “Fringe” afterparty, right after my slot in the lineup. It was so late, she had every reason to just read and leave, but instead, she launched her section raving about my book! Totally unexpected! I was so flattered and encouraged by her energy and words, and really, she didn’t have to say a word. But she did, and that right there is a reason to designate a person the wonderful status of literary citizen. Thank you, Sandy! After that, someone from the zoom event, who I did not know before, bought my book.
Read Sandy’s work
I’ve just purchased Sandy’s book (because this is what we do, people! We buy books from our fellow and sister poets!).
So, no, I haven’t read it, but I’m already excited to get my copy, which I ordered through my local bookseller, Eagle Harbor Books (another thing we do, when we can… order either direct from the author or the publisher or an independent bookseller).
You can read the title poem from her first book, Boats for Women, and other samples of her work here.
You can also read a great interview with Sandy conducted by local poet Lauren Davis here.
Here is a snip from Sandy’s website, to give you some context for her book and perspective:
“Sandra Yannone grew up near the edge of the Atlantic Ocean off Long Island Sound in Old Saybrook, Connecticut. Her interest in the Titanic disaster of 1912 sparked a dialogue with Ireland, the country where Titanic was built (Belfast) and her last port of call (Cobh, formerly Queenstown), as well as with other international sites connected with the disaster. …She has written numerous articles about the intersections between poetry and social justice for the monthly newspaper Works in Progress. Her work has received the Academy of American Poets Prize and an AWP Intro Award.”
This year, Sandy’s next book, The Glass Studio, will also be published by Salmon Poetry.
She teaches at The Evergreen State College in Olympia, WA, and I’m willing to bet her students really love her.