New poem: “Witch’s Lens” in Polu Texni

My poem “Witch’s Lens” is out in Polu Texni!

Read it here: “My witchery awakens / with the rising season.”

I wrote this poem in April 2014, and edited it around a year later based on feedback from my writing group. (Yes, sometimes my poetry progresses veeery slowly, with edits happening ages after the first draft was written in a frenzy.) Another poem that improved significantly with the help of suggestions from my lovely group. <3

Sadly, unlike in the poem, Finland is still in winter's grip – we've got sun at last (sun! sun! sun!) but it's still close to zero and there's frost at night. I hope true spring comes soon and all things begin to grow. To paraphrase my poem: I want my witchery to awaken, my winter-faded soul to strengthen. I've been winter-tired and mired in a thousand busy things, but perhaps with the turning year I too can turn, awake and begin to live again.

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Sunday recs

Three powerful stories this Sunday:

A Fist of Permutations in Lightning and Wildflowers, by Alyssa Wong (on Tor.com). This story about weather-bending sisters and apocalypses is quite personally painful for me. But good, so good! Not an easy story, but very much worth the read.

Makeisha in Time, by Rachael K. Jones (in Crossed Genres). Such a fantastic story! It packs a lot of plot and character into a short space. I’m not the biggest fan of time travel stories, but this one does very interesting things with the notion.

And last, something far happier in tone: This is Not a Wardrobe Door, by A. Merc Rustad (in Fireside). This delightful tale about travelling between worlds, loss, and friendship is a great riff on Narnia-esque world-travel.

An Alphabet of Embers update!

Aaasdgjhsdg I got my pre-release contributor ebook copy of Alphabet of Embers (ed. by Rose Lemberg)! The official print and ebook launch will be on the Nebula awards weekend, 12-15 May. The book has a Goodreads page already!

I just. Incoherence and happiness, right now. I reread my story (it’s in an actual book! along with contributions from some amazing authors who I really look up to! and the art is so amazing!) and felt a bit astonished that I’d written something that beautiful.

An Alphabet of Embers was my first professional fiction sale (and so far, my only; but I certainly hope it won’t remain my last!). And what a first! I feel so awed to be part of something this cool. This book jumped up to the top of my TBR pile – I can’t wait to get to read everyone else’s stories.

I’ll tell you more about my story once the anthology is officially out.

Sunday recs: poetry from the classroom

I’m teaching a literature tutorial this spring, and in our final class on poetry, I made my students read some speculative poetry. I wanted them to see that poetry can involve any genre, and be more than just the classic (and wonderful!) stuff we’ve been reading. So here are the poems from newer writers that I used in class:

Gas Giants by Maria Velazquez, in Issue 6 (“Catalyst”) of Stone Telling. This poem is so powerful, with its space imagery and family issues.

Sarcophagus, by N. E. Taylor, in Issue 3 of inkscrawl. So much story and implied emotion in two lines! Amazing.

The Loss, by Mari Ness, in Strange Horizons, 2013. Bird-girls and the feeling of flight. Wonderful.

April, by Nita Sembrowich, in the Spring 2013 issue of Goblin Fruit. Starting as a delicate evocation of spring, the last two lines really make this poem for me.

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I’m using a story by Ken Liu and one by Amal El-Mohtar in my teaching, too. Because yay for literary SFF. :)

Poem sale to Strange Horizons

“Oh frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!” she chortled in her joy.

So yeah, I’ve sold a poem to Strange Horizons! Huzzah! “Taboo” will appear this summer. It’s got a fox in it.

I’m intensely happy about this, my first poetry sale of 2016. I love SH so much. This will be my third poem appearing in the magazine (the previous ones being Wolf Daughter and Raw Honey). Funnily enough, although I didn’t initially intend it to, “Taboo” fits in quite well with the Finnish-tinged fantasy/fairytale world of the other two poems.