Praise for Department of Elegy

I’m so grateful to Nicole Yurcaba for the kind words about Department of Elegy over at Sage Cigarettes. Here’s a snippet:

“Savoring sadness but never giving in to it completely, the poems in Mary Biddinger’s seventh poetry collection Department of Elegy transport readers into the cracks and crevices of youth’s hot insanity and adulthood’s mundanity. Eager for experience and hungry for life, the poem’s speaker consistently examines the fine line between adolescence and adulthood and how those few years we spend standing on the cusp of adulting truly do shape us for the rest of our lives. That’s not to say the speaker doesn’t allow wiggle room for change—they do, but, if anything, the poems remind readers that there’s absolutely nothing wrong with quietly standing for a moment, breathing, and reminding oneself why those late nights in clubs with fake IDs are worth remembering.”

Thank you so much, Nicole!

Big thanks to Jeannine Hall Gailey, as well, for the kind words in her latest blog post. Jeannine describes Department of Elegy as, “a wonderfully nostalgic/anti-nostalgic, goth, reminiscence on a Gen-X childhood and young adulthood punctuated by midwestern vacant lot landscapes and marvelously bad decisions. I am loving it – it might be my favorite book of hers yet, so if you are on the fence, get it.”

If you would like a review copy of Department of Elegy, Black Lawrence Press would be happy to provide one–check out this page.

Trailer & Playlist for Department of Elegy

I’m finally getting around to some long overdue updates on this website, including creating a page for Department of Elegy, which is forthcoming in January from Black Lawrence Press. Pre-orders are still in effect via Black Lawrence Press, with a nice discount. I have a number of events on the horizon, and will keep you posted on those.

Here’s the official book trailer for Department of Elegy, thanks to Upside Down Dog Productions.

Here’s the official Spotify soundtrack for Department of Elegy, too. At first I was going to try to make this all covers, but I would have to leave too many important cuts out, so it’s a mix. If possible, listen in order. Enjoy!

David Has Zoom Pro Reading Series #3

David Has Zoom Pro Reading Series #3 lineup and details

Much thanks to Verse Daily for featuring my poem “Heaven and Its Orange Flowers,” originally published at Bennington Review and forthcoming in Department of Elegy.

I’m also so excited to be reading for the David Has Zoom Pro Reading Series tonight, Friday, 12/10, at 7:30 pm EST. Registration link here

This website is overdue for some updates, which will be coming soon. Happy end of semester to all who are end-of-semestering! 

Fall Back in Love with Poems: A Black Lawrence Press Workshop

I’m excited to be offering a workshop for Black Lawrence Press on Tuesday, 11/9/21. This event is free, but registration is required. Full information here! I’ll be sharing some approaches for reconnecting with poetry, and with your own work.

In this workshop we will ponder our relationship with poems in general, and with our own poems in particular, discussing strategies for approaching difficult subjects, as well as new ways to direct inspiration. We will also talk about a gentle approach to writerly goal-setting, especially as it relates to growing a series of poems into a collection. Q&A will be an important part of the conversation.

Recommended reading for the workshop:

1) “Dear Sugar, The Rumpus Advice Column #72: The Future Has an Ancient Heart” by Cheryl Strayed

2) “Twenty-Two Poem Hacks” by Carmen Giménez Smith

So you have a stack of poems. Now what?

I’m excited to be offering a workshop through the Lafayette Writers’ Studio in July: So you have a stack of poems. Now what? Next steps for your poetry manuscript with poet and editor Mary Biddinger

If you’re trying to figure out where to take a current project, wondering about ways to grow something new, curious about trends in publishing (including common problems), or just seeking writerly encouragement and community, this workshop is for you.

Workshop description: Ideal for earlier-career poets beginning to generate a body of work, published authors seeking fresh approaches to creating a new manuscript, and writers anywhere in between, this workshop will offer a combination of practical advice and contemplative pondering of a book’s possibilities. The workshop atmosphere will be positive and affirming, and significant time will be dedicated to answering questions from participants.

Autumn comes to Akron, Ohio

Friends, this update is long overdue. I’m coming to you on the cusp of week eight of the semester, a semester where I am teaching both online and in person + online at the same time. It’s, as they say, a doozy. Little time for writing and sending work out. Dreaming about eventually getting caught up or being able to read a book for fun. Here are a few updates since my last post.

It was an honor to have two flash fiction pieces published in On the Seawall. Here’s a link to “More Harm Than Good” and “Late August Edition.”

You can also check out three new poems in The Adroit Journal issue 34: “Your Damage,” “A Gentle Reminder,” and “I Found Your Diary and It Was Blank.”

Big thanks to Verse Daily for featuring my poem “Open Letter on Absent Friends,” from Southern Indiana Review.

Sending best wishes to all!