I’ve been writing personal essays, short stories, and rambling thoughts since high school. I have also worked on a memoir/novel about my mother’s life for several years. But I never considered myself a poet.
I’ve certainly dashed off wild thoughts about personal or environmental and other social issues that somewhat resembled poetry. But not having had a formal education in creative writing, I never deemed them as having proper structure. I only wrote “poetry” as an expressional outlet.
Despite my lack of education in poetry writing and encouraged by writing coach Victoria M. Johnson, who holds classes in Santa Cruz and online, I submitted three poems to the online literary magazine phren-Z. To my great delight and surprise, the magazine accepted all three, and I recently participated in an online reading for the magazine’s fall launch. It is the first time my creative writing has been published other than on this blog.
phren-Z is a quarterly online magazine that features the work of Santa Cruz County writers. Local organization Santa Cruz Writes, sponsored by Catamaran Literary Reader, publishes phren-Z.
Why I Chose Haiku Format
I intended to submit a personal essay or maybe find an old short story, but the deadline was near, and I already had one poem ready to go, A Love Story Told in Haiku. I also wrote the other two, Under the Sun and Coward, in Haiku format, well, almost. Under the Sun does not fit the 5-7-5 syllable breakdown, but I think it has the same flow as Haiku. Writing poetry in this style helps me convey my thoughts directly and succinctly.
I had written Under the Sun years ago when I lived in Southern California, one of those “thoughts” quickly written on a mobile app. Finally, I finished fleshing out Coward, a piece with one or two lines written but forgotten until I swiped through my notetaker and readied it for submission.
I am honored to be among a group of esteemed writers for the fall issue of phren-Z: Santa Cruz poet Laureate David Allen Sullivan, whose book of poems, Strong-Armed Angels, was published by Hummingbird Press; Pushcart-nominated poet Dane Cervine, whose poetry has won awards from Adrienne Rich, Tony Hoagland, the Atlanta Review, and Caesura; and Roxi Power, a poet, performer, and lecturer in the Writing Program at UC Santa Cruz; among other talented writers.
You can read my poems and the other writers’ work in the current issue here: phren-Z Fall Issue, 2022.