Brief Essay and Three Poems just posted in “Dead Mule School of Southern Literature”

Well, this all came about because some weeks ago, Curtis Dunlap, host of “Blogging Along Tobacco Road,”

told me of this on-line journal and suggested I submit—because I had told him about my southern roots–through my father’s family in South Carolina.

The journal required a “Southern Legitimacy Statement” to validate one’s connection to the South. I had a great time writing that one–and there are things in it that probably none of my poet friends know about my own memories of trips “down south”, and from various tales my father told of his rural South Carolina past. Also, I added a few memories of visiting my parents after they had moved from NJ to Buda, Texas—outside of Austin. Here’s the URL for that page; scroll down to get to mine:

To submit, I selected poems that I thought would be appropriate from what I sensed of the journal. These three are not that recent, and I had not scooped them up yet for inclusion in an already published book or current manuscript. But I’ve always liked them and am glad to see them “in print” 🙂 So I invite you to explore Curtis’s blog, my legitimacy statement, and the three poems.

I was glad to get this piece of good news this morning, since I am feeling a bit more sad than usual this week. A year ago today began Bill’s sudden decline which brought him into the ICU, and to his death on October 11th. I plan to spend a portion of Sunday, the 11th, at the Ocean City Beach with my daughter and family. I’ll walk the tide line alone for a bit, meditating on the blessing Bill was in my life, and all the blessings that have come my way since—for which I am most grateful.

Before or after that, we may also go to a farm stand to pick out Halloween pumpkins—a small one for my front porch :)—and other things like corn sheaves, which my daughter wants to use in decorating her house for the season. (And suddenly, I’m remembering the scent of roasting chili peppers from our years in Santa Fe. Ah, time . . . . )


About penhart

I am a poet and writer, published widely in journals and anthologies, and my literary autobiography appears as an extended essay in "Contemporary Authors." My poems have recently appeared in "Rattle" ,"Tiferet," and "U.S. 1 Worksheets". Work has also appeared in "The Valparaiso Poetry Review," and "Umbrella." Recent books include 'One Bowl" (2012); "Recycling Starlight" (2010); and "The Night Marsh" (2008).. Earlier collections include "Along River Road"; "Lizard Light: Poems From the Earth"; and "Buried in the Sky." My illustrated alphabestiary for children, "The Beastie Book," was published in the December, 2009, by Shenanigan Books. I have won three poetry fellowships from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, as well as awards from the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, the Mary Carolyn Davies Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America, and the first William O. Douglas Nature Writing Award for my work in the anthology "American Nature Writing 2002." I was invited to be a "featured poet" and read at the 2010 Dodge Poetry Festival, and was awarded a residency / fellowship for January, 2011, at VCCA (Virginia Center for the Creative Arts." I live in the South Jersey shore area, and work as a visiting poet in the schools through programs sponsored by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts and various other agencies. I'm still fairly new at blogging and hope to add more graphics, etc., as I learn more.
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