We read, avidly, the many poems that came in as a response to the call that went out to mnartists.org members, and we’re deeply grateful to the poets who sent their work. Certainly there were more works that merited inclusion; we hope that those who sent work will respond to future calls for poems on the site. Language is a gift held in common by all of us, and we hope to keep spreading the words of poets across the web to enrich this common possession.
The poets selected in this round are Rachel Moritz, Kelly Barnhill, Tim Brennan, Amanda St. John, and Fran Addington.
Rachel Moritz’s poetry has been recently published or is forthcoming in Beloit Poetry Journal, Bombay Gin, Butcher Shop, Court Green, How2, and Indiana Review. She is the recipient of a MN State Arts Board Fellowship in Poetry and an Academy of American Poets Prize. She co-edits WinteRed Press, a chaplet publisher of innovative poetry based out of Minneapolis.
Kelly Barnhill has been a bartender, a wild-land firefighter, a waitress, a church janitor, a middle school teacher, a forest ranger, a coffee jerk, an activist, an office lackey, and a kosher meat slicer. She now writes full-time, and is published in Thin Coyote, The Heartlands Today and Ariston. She was a finalist for the Jerome Foundation’s Emerging Writers Fellowship, and received the Abigail Quigley McCarthy Award and the Creative Nonfiction
Mentorship through SASE. She is an active member of the Minneapolis Writers Workshop. Ms. Barnhill is currently finishing up two literary novels, entitled "Love. And Other Heinous Crimes." and "The People Who Lie In Bed".
Tim Brennan has been a secondary English teacher, drama director, and academic team advisor for a southeastern Minnesota rural school for 22 years. He is a published regional poet, but still considers his writing “a hobby in progress.”
Amanda J. St. John was raised in Toledo, Ohio where she attended the University of Toledo for two years. She was studying Pre-Social Work when she decided she could better assist her family and community as an artist and poetess. She is currently attending the Minneapolis College of Art and Design where she seeks a Bachelor’s in Fine Arts for Illustration.
Fran Addington began writing poetry at about the age of 5. She wrote a column for her high school paper, which included some poetry, and then didn’t write much more until after the birth of her children. She has self-published a small book called “The Cat Book, A Game Book for Cats” which included poetry, and “Fog Trip and Other Poems,” which she performs.
How will Poem of the Week be featured?
For 6 weeks in May and June, we’ll run one poem a week as an article on the front page. We’re looking for sponsors to continue the program. See the first poem, by Tim Brennan, this week.
How were the poems chosen?
mnartists.org hired Lightsey Darst, a poet and critic who has been a State Arts Board Fellow in poetry, to administer this pilot project. She in turn selected 3 judges to read the over 150 submissions from 40 poets. They each chose 2 poems to feature. As it happens, two judges chose two different poems by the same poet; so there are 5 poets, 6 poems, which will be featured over the next two months.
The judges were Jeff Shotts, Greywolf Press’s poetry editor; Yuko Tanaguchi, poet; and Dave Kapell, the charmingly innovative inventor/CEO of Magnetic Poetry.
We’d love to continue to feature poems selected in this way on our website, and to figure out ways to grow partnerships and events around the feature: sponsors, readings, public sitings of poetry—there are a lot of possibilities. Obviously the talent pool of poets is out there, and deep.