Monday, September 1, 2014
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
I met Carol in 1996. I attended my first NCWN West poetry critique group and, because there is a God, she was the facilitator. She liked my poetry, for the most part, and in a blind contest she judged the next year, she chose my poem, Tomato Man, for first place. I have always admired Carol's quiet demeanor and appreciated her gentle critique that never failed to improve my work.
She gave me advice on where to submit my poems. Carol went up to Berea, KY to accept an award and met the editor of Appalachian Heritage literary journal, Danny Miller.
“He is taking a job as poetry editor at the Journal of Kentucky Studies,” she told me. “He invited me to send him some poems. I think you should send some of your work.”
I trusted her judgement. I submitted three poems. The editor accepted one of them. Never was I so proud as when I saw my poem right next to Carol’s comic put poignant “You’re Not My Dog.” Some of our Netwest members will remember that poem from Carol's readings.
For years I’ve looked forward to when Carol would publish a poetry collection. The Habit of Mercy is a book for mothers and daughters. The pangs of watching them grow up, knowing one day the protected and beloved child will face the world as a woman on her own is almost too painful when I read these lines from The Shoes.
She whips the box lid off
and shows me her new shoes.
They are doorstops.
Their four-inch heels
will make her taller than her father,
will put her ahead of us somehow.
I make expected mother-sounds,
predict sprained ankles,
groan about the weird
things kids wear.
But I am thinking
they will take her
out of reach, beyond protection,
closer to those dangers
she is falling in love with
Repetitive Use brings to mind the constant chorus heard from mothers of young children. That twinge in a joint that was not there last week is a malady recognized only by mothers who become cross-country parents taking kids to academic competition, soccer games, band performances, dental appointments and all the myriad places children must go and must be driven. There is a pathos in these poems, a mother relinquishing her umbrella of protection, letting go. Letting her children test their wings, knowing as they do that she, as did her mother, must accept a new role.
It set in at a time I can’t remember
on the trek from cradle to crayon to college
when something in the sinew softened,
something near the bone gave way.
Maybe the poem I most relate to is Grand. Remember a special event you longed to share with your mom? It begins with these words.
Where do I send
the prom portraits
of my girl
now that you are gone?
With so many poems in this book that I love to read over and over, I can’t give them full measure in this short space. Take my word for it. You just have to get the book.
Carol Crawford graduated from Baylor University. Originally from Texas, she now lives in the North Georgia mountains where she is director of FLAG Adult Education and volunteer coordinator for the annual Blue Ridge Writers’ Conference. She lives with her husband Len, tennis addict and rabid UGA fan. When not knitting, writing, or wrangling dogs Dash and Laddie, she is probably emailing her daughters.
To order The Habit of Mercy, contact Carol Crawford, email@example.com
Tuesday, February 1, 2011
Go to their beautiful website to see the schedule of presenters and to complete an application.
Some Netwest members will be signing books at the Friday evening Reception which is a special Meet and Greet event for writers to meet the presenters.
Carol Crawford, one of the leaders of Netwest years ago, leads this conference each year and brings in outstanding speakers. This year Hope Clark of Funds for Writers will be on hand to personally give us some of the advice she doles out in her newsletter and on her blog. Scott Owens, poet from Hickory, will speak about online journals and talk from his experience as an editor.
For other presenters, visit the website.
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
The Writers Show offers a lively half hour once a month. It entertains listeners through interviews, discussions, readings, drama, stories, and poetry by award winning guests such as poet, Dr. Richard Jackson, and novelist, Karen McElmurray. In addition, the show offers support to local and regional writers by providing a public outlet for their work, information about writing events in the area, and news of trends and happenings around the region. Local theatre groups have provided radio drama, and actors and actresses do dramatic readings.
Frequently, requests for submissions are sent out for listeners to submit their work on a specific theme to be read on air.The show can be heard on the first Sunday of each month at 1:00 p.m. on WAWL FM 91.5.
Joan Hetzler is a native Chattanoogan and freelance writer whose work has been published in poetry chapbooks, magazine articles, newspaper feature stories, literary journals, and in dramatic form. She has served on the Board of Directors for the Chattanooga Writers Guild. For more information or to be put on the email list for upcoming shows and requests for submissions, contact Joan Hetzler at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can listen to her show live by clicking on this link to the WAWL website, http://www.wawl.org/ at 1:00 PM the first Sunday of September. Click on the "listen live" button. She always has interesting guests from the literary world. Joan is an excellent interviewer and has a great radio voice.
Her show should be syndicated on other radio stations throughout the south. Joan is a friend to writers. Listen to her show on September 7 at one o'clock and let us hear from you.
Saturday, June 7, 2008
I think Stephen King says it best, Writers.
"Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work."
Sunday, March 30, 2008
Congratulations to Carol Crawford and the Blue Ridge Mountain Arts Association for another inspiring Blue Ridge Writers’ Conference this weekend. A number of Netwest members were present and heard fiction writer, Joshilyn Jackson,author of three novels including The Girl who Stopped Swimming and Between Georgia. Registrants filled both her sessions after her keynote address. Joshilyn gave a hilarious imitation of her agent, and she impressed us with her savvy about the publishing world. She said it is easier to publish traditionally than to self publish and have all the work of selling your book.
Steven Harvey, author of Geometry of Lilies and Bound for Shady Grove, two books I enjoyed, spoke about my favorite subject, writing memoir. I was happy to hear him reiterate many of the points I use in teaching my classes. Although he says he could never have made a living as a stand up comedian, and he has to steal the funny things he includes in his books, Steve often brought smiles to our faces today. He leads a relaxed workshop with audience input.
Jim Smith, poet, came home to his native land from down in Savannah where he is Associate Editor of Southern Poetry Review. I was fortunate to attend a session where Steve Harvey and Jim discussed imagery in verses from past issues of SPR. Nancy Simpson says Steve took Jim under his wing when Jim was a young man at Young Harris College. It is obvious Steve is proud of Jim’s success. Jim Smith was one of the presenters at Netwest’s Lights in the Mountains Conference in Hayesville in 2006. Wish he would visit our Poetry Critique Group sometime when he is in town