February 2023

During a recent string of sub-zero days, my mind has been wandering to summer. I’m not wishing away winter days or dreaming mindlessly about sun and humidity. I’m thinking and writing about beetles.

A new essay, “Too Much With Us,” recently came out in the 2022 Bacopa Literary Review. While telling the story of a previous summer’s encounter with beetles in my garden, I grapple with the impact of invasive species in various ecosystems.

American Carrion Beetle Postcard

Then came an opportunity to contribute a poem about Necrophila americana, or the American carrion beetle. If I’m fantasizing about anything for the coming summer, it’s the chance to see these insects in action. This means getting really close to a dead animal, but the researcher in me is curious.

The research sounds morose, but it’s grounding me in deeper awareness of cycles: seasons, semesters, physical energy, life and death. In retrospect, I realize that my most recent poetry collection, The Feast Delayed, is about cycles. As I begin to structure two new books–one of poems, another of essays–I’m still discovering themes. That clarity comes with time and different experiences, the way writing about beetles helped me understand work already done.

Meanwhile, my debut essay with Inside Higher Ed, “Coping With Course Evaluations,” was published earlier this month. And the winter issue of The Indianapolis Review, just released, includes my poem “Before Words.”

And finally, I’ve updated my contact email. Innovation Prompt is the name of my coaching services, which include writing coaching and holistic life coaching. Spaces are currently limited, but I’m expanding with new programs later this year.

Wishing you curiosity as the days bring more light.