In memory of Mom, a poetry month p.s.

Okay, okay. So this isn’t a “post-script.” I didn’t actually post a blog last month. Mea culpa! But I do have an excuse: I was too busy writing poetry. A little lame, as excuses go, but, hey, April was National Poetry Month.

Anyway, appropriately enough given the proximity to Mother’s Day, I was writing about my mom, Doris B. Ferm. I won’t try to eulogize her here — that would be a very long post. But just to say that she was, among other things, a talented poet, never published, who nonetheless always encouraged me to write and to publish.

Unfortunately, I could not post last month’s poetic efforts, because my poem actually won one of ten Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest Walk Awards! (Yikes!) To do so, it had to be unpublished, and that includes this blog. Although I retain rights to the poem, I needed to wait until it was formally published by the contest organizers, before posting it. The chapbook was released at the awards ceremony on May 18. You may now*, view it in “Imagine That,” the section of this site for my free poetry and fiction.

I have considered myself at best an occasional poet. Or perhaps that I have occasional attacks of poetry. They never seem to be under my control. One minute I’m happily editing a short story and writing a novel (or vice versa), and the next I find myself frenziedly writing sentence fragments, scribbling and erasing for days, unable to think of much else. Once the fit passes, it could be months before the next one. Generally, I stick it in a file or post it here or on Facebook, heave a sigh of mingled satisfaction and relief, and return to editing and writing prose.

This time, the timing was so auspicious — prompted, in fact, by a flyer publicizing the contest — that I popped it in an envelope and sent it off.

So I’m pleased and astonished to announce that “In-between places” was published in the Sue C. Boynton 2017 chapbook, and also will be posted for a year on the Poetry Walk outside the Bellingham Public Library, illustrated by a local artist. Poems from the contest will be posted inside WTA buses. The poem also can now be read on the Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest website, under the Winners tab, https://thepoetrydepartment.wordpress.com/winners/.

The poem is about one phase of my grieving for Mom, who died May 3, 2013. In her honor, I accepted the invitation to read the poem aloud at the public awards ceremony at 7 p.m. May 18 at the Bellingham Ferry Terminal. All were invited to attend, although I should confess I’d never done a poetry reading in the presence of more than a dozen people. I think it went okay!

(And since this is a belated April post, a new post for May will be appearing in this space very soon!)

*This post was updated June 7, 2017

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