2016, 2017, American Goldfinches, arts grant, birds, Boobs: Women Explore What it Means to Have Breasts, Caitlin Press, Canada Council for the Arts, Four Portraits, gratitude, JackPine Press, Laura Ritland, New Year, Swoon, Swoon: A Reading Series on Love and Desire, The New Quarterly
2016 has been a pretty rough year for a lot of reasons and for a lot of people. It’s hard to stay hopeful and grateful when there is so much to be genuinely sorry about, but I am trying. I have a lot to be grateful about this past year. The publication of Boobs: Women Explore What it Means to Have Breasts with Caitlin Press, who have been incredibly supportive, and the amazing strength and intelligence of everyone who submitted writing and contributed to the conversation. The publication of Four Portraits (co-authored/illustrated with Laura Ritland) with the generous JackPine Press. The support of many literary journals, including The Antigonish Review, Event Magazine, and The New Quarterly. All of the writers and readers and audience members of Swoon. The Canada Council for the Arts, for the grant that’s enabled me to spend my time looking at, thinking about, and writing poems about birds. The many conversations I’ve enjoyed with fellow artists and nature lovers about art and creativity and making the world a better place. My students. My colleagues. My friends. My family. I know a lot of fierce, wonderful, smart people who give the world more love and care and who give me hope that we can make a difference.
I’ll be posting more in the New Year about forthcoming publications and projects, but for now I’ll leave you with this photograph of the flock of American Goldfinches who have been hanging out in the park nearest my new home. Their plumages are not as vibrant as they are during the summer (mating) months, but to my eye (and mind and heart) they are still cheery and lovely.