Sunday Morning Muse // Reviews // with a Create-your-own MFA

tyg on keyboard

I work as a nurse practitioner in a cosmos of sick and dying people who are called “patients”.  I couldn’t do this work without (my cats, and) an immersion in poetry. So, mostly to cheer myself up,  here is — What I’ve been up to in poetry: 


  1. Reading poetry blogs! I love reading poetry blogs, and am so grateful to Dave Bonta, who puts together a digest of them every Sunday. And, if you don’t read his daily “morning porch” (short observational poems from his front porch that he has been writing for  years, which show up on Twitter these days) you’re really missing a treat.
  2. Writing Reviews of Poetry Books– I told a friend that doing this is my own private MFA, which expresses how much I am learning from doing it. You can read my latest review, of Killing Marias, at the Rumpus. I have upcoming reviews of Lynn Melnick’s Landscape with Sex and Violence at the Rumpus, and Jennifer Martelli’s The Uncanny Valley at Broadsided Press. I also plan to start reviewing chapbooks at a new site. Check back for details. Send me your chapbooks! 
  3. Hanging out with poets– my poetry workshop group is happening! Another create-your-own enterprise. What a gift to have poets to talk poetry with, in-person, with coffee.
  4. Registering for a summer workshop with Carl Phillips at the Port Townsend Writers Conference . Since I moved to the PNW, I have gone to this conference every summer and have workshopped with fabulous poets and started some meaningful friendships. And, it’s right down the road from where I live. How amazing is that!
  5. Editing my new manuscript, as yet multi-titled. I decided to follow Ilya Kaminsky’s advice, “less is more by cutting 15 poems from the manuscript. It’s still a pretty new manuscript, but I have started sending it out there . . .
  6. Running a press! Everyday I do something that helps keep Headmistress Press afloat! Mostly bookkeeping and fulfilling book orders. Also planning for AWP, where I will be staffing a table for Headmistress with Lana Ayers of MoonPath Press.  It’s in Portland! Big YAY for so many reasons.
  7. Planning to Attend the upcoming Palm Beach Poetry Festival  in January to see the sun, and do a workshop with Aracelis Girmay (excited!), and visit my kiddos in Miami (also excited!)

Can I take a nap now? 


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2 Responses to Sunday Morning Muse // Reviews // with a Create-your-own MFA

  1. Dave Bonta says:

    Thanks for the shout-out! Great list. You’re an inspiration, Risa.

  2. My first run-in with your name
    I will be visiting your site before long. I’m sure it will be inspirational.

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