From the Blog Editor – A Year in Gratitude

This time of year, there are a lot of people giving a lot of speeches that all say more or less the same thing. So I’m going to keep this brief. We’ve accomplished so much this year – introduced a multimedia book, got Vol. XIII ready in time for a February launch, kept in touch with all of you throughout – it’s dizzying to think about. All that’s really … Continue reading From the Blog Editor – A Year in Gratitude

Blog Exclusive: A Conversation with BK Fischer

Photo courtesy of BK Fischer
Photo courtesy of BK Fischer

I arrived at B. K. Fischer’s picturesque Dutch Colonial home in Sleepy Hollow, New York on a sunny spring morning. She greeted me at the door in an aqua VIDA (Women in Literary Arts) t-shirt and jeans, and welcomed me in. As a former student, I know Barbara, so I wasn’t surprised at the ease of our conversation as we set about discussing her work past and present, the effort to balance motherhood with poetry, and her role as a poetry editor at Boston Review.

– Adrianna Robertson, General Reader, Poetry


LUMINA: How long have you considered yourself a poet?

BK Fischer: Not sure about “poet,” but around age five was when I first had the notion that a poem was something a person could want to write. My mom still has a few poems I wrote then. There is one about my friend turning six while I was still five: you are now six, and I am still five, and what does that mean for us?

LUMINA: Wow—what a treasure to have poems like that from childhood. Does that come from a strong artistic gene in your family?

BKF: My parents are both teachers, so the idea of approaching literacy in an academic or literary way seemed natural. My grandfather wrote stories for me when I was a kid—he typed them up on the back of old John Hancock stationery, tales about a character named Crazy Claire, and a whole series about my brother and me and our neighborhood friends as secret Martians. My Martian name was Skeeter. I think I got the idea of being a writer-on-the-page and storyteller from him.

LUMINA: Those must have been great stories…and it makes me wonder what I would want my Martian name to be…Skeeter is such a good one! Your grandfather had quite an imagination…how lucky for you. I also often think that imagination can very much be affected by your surroundings. At present, where do you do your work—what does your workspace look like?

BKF: It’s this sun porch—my favorite room in the house. The room has no wall space to speak of, only bookcases alternating with windows. I love that it is light-filled and book-filled and looks out on my garden.

LUMINA: Yes, that’s pretty perfect—I would venture to say that most writers would kill for this kind of workspace. What is your process like? Do you write every day?

BKF: I wish I could say I had a process! With three kids and editing and teaching occupying most of my time, I just fit writing in whenever I can. It’s a constant struggle to clear a path through the avalanche of daily tasks to make space for writing—writing is always the last thing I manage to get to in my week, and the first thing to go when things get busy. But somehow the creative work gets done. I have stopped worrying about it because one way or another, it does happen. I have come to have faith in it, though it is streaky. For example, I wanted to start working on a poem about the painter Balthus. In December, I was given the catalog for the Cats and Girls exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and I had been looking at the book on my coffee table for months and taking some notes, but I didn’t get the chance to draft a poem until February 27th when I got on the plane for AWP in Seattle. These days to find time to write I need a boarding pass. That flight offered me the protected time I needed to do it.

Continue reading “Blog Exclusive: A Conversation with BK Fischer”

LUMINA launch @ KGB

Thanks to everyone who came out on April 23rd to celebrate Vol. XIII! We had a great time at KGB – good friends, wonderful readers, and of course, a gorgeous new journal.

We’ve got some photos and videos for you to enjoy. Don’t forget that you can order copies of Vol. XIII (and our back issues) right from this site!

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All photos courtesy of Richard Harrington.

Video clips below the jump. Continue reading “LUMINA launch @ KGB”

April Good News Roundup

Sean Bernard (Vol. IX) has been named the 2014 winner of the Juniper Prize for Fiction. His short story collection Desert, Sonorous will be released by UMass Press in 2015. Christiana Langenberg (Vol. IX)‘s essay, “Foiled” received an Honorable Mention for the Thomas J. Hruska Memorial Nonfiction Award. The essay appears in Passages North, Issue 35. Hila Ratzabi (Vol. X) has been selected for the Arctic … Continue reading April Good News Roundup

#FridayReads for 4/25/14

Julia Weiss (Poetry Editor) is reading Details of Flesh by Cortney Davis. Before you make assumptions – no, this isn’t some sketchy romance novel. Details of Flesh by Cortney Davis, a nurse practitioner and poet, is dedicated to the interiors of hospitals from salacious gossip that nurses share to direct quotes by patients awaiting their imminent death. Loaned to me by the gracious and brilliant Kate Knapp Johnson, this … Continue reading #FridayReads for 4/25/14