Year 7 of The Writing Life (and a Rededication)

Tomorrow is the 7th anniversary of Adam’s death. 

He was born premature and had health challenges all of his life. It’s a long, long story. I don’t mind talking about it, and I have, but what I want to share is that when he passed I was grief-stricken–but very aware–that I was blessed to have been his mother. 

After Adam died, I turned to writing to assuage my grief. I turned to writing to recover.  Seven years on a dedicated path into the writing life, I can say there are many amazing writing-related happenings happening that would never have happened if not for Adam. Today I feel like I am living up to my promise to Adam, made seven years ago, to honor the gifts I was given and to write in his memory.  

I would like to tell you some of the great news that I am bursting to share.

First I would like to say thank you to Press 53’s publisher, Kevin Morgan Watson, and Press 53’s poetry editor, Tom Lombardo, for selecting my work for inclusion in the 2011 Spotlight Anthology. The 2011 Spotlight anthology will showcase a select group of emerging writers in a print anthology published by Press 53 that will be released June 1, 2011. Ten of my poems will appear with selections from two other poets and five short story writers.  It’s a wonderful thing and I couldn’t be happier.

I have work forthcoming in The Centrifugal Eye. My poem “Note to Self” is selected to appear in the next issue which will be released in April.  

I will be reading with poet/novelist/teacher/funky-hip-mama Lana Wiggins at Casa Azul on April 21st.  Lana will likely read from her novel and I will be reading new poems.  I love having this annual reading to look forward to.  It gets me writing in anticipation so that I can share new work. I thank Patrice Melnick of Festival of Words Cultural Arts Collective, Inc. for allowing us the opportunity again! This will be the third year Lana and I will read together in April—National Poetry Month, at Casa Azul Gifts in Grand Coteau.

I am a participant in a new writing group in Grand Coteau. The group is directed by the very creative and adept writer and entrepreneur Patrice Melnick, and is sponsored by the Festival of Words Cultural Arts Collective, Inc.    ~It feels like home. ~

I am again contributing writing to the Acting Up (in Acadiana) theatre company for a new project called CARAVAN.  I submitted two short, strange bits and may have more in me.  We shall see.  

And last but not least, I have kept this “hush-hush” so as not to jinx anything but I will give you a little peek into my closely held secret—I am expanding my role as a “working poet” into that of a “teaching poet.” There is a wonderful opportunity which may come though for me this fall. I promise I will give you notice when I hear the official word. I am so ready. I am up with energy and full of ideas—so I sure hope I will be allowed to expand my role through this (possible) new opportunity.

I am ebullient. Great energy is arising within and without. The momentum is with me, it seems.  I dedicated my writing life seven years ago to Adam because he gave to me, and I rededicate my efforts in Adam’s memory and to my girl, Madelynne. They will always be miracles in my life.

Lana Wiggins and Clare Martin Poetry Reading, and Open Mic

Come celebrate National Poetry Month with Clare Martin and Lana Wiggins at Casa Azul. Each will read original poetry, followed by an open mic. Feel free to bring your own poems, songs or stories for the open mic that follows. This free, community event is open to all ages. More details available at

Clare L. Martin is a poet/mother/wife and graduate of the University of Southwestern Louisiana. Clare’s creative writing has appeared in Inch, Eclectica Magazine, The Dead Mule, Wheelhouse Magazine, Blue Fifth Review, Clean Sheets, Press1 and Glass: A Journal of Poetry, among others. She has work forthcoming in Literary Mama, Blue Fifth Review and in the anthology The Red Room: Writings from Press 1. Her poem “4-Way Stop at Dusk” appears in the anthology Best of Farmhouse Magazine Vol. 1. Her work has been nominated for Best of the Net and Best New Poets.

Lana Maht Wiggins is currently an English Instructor at the University of Louisiana, Lafayette, and a former Instructor at the University of New Orleans. Lana is the author of Notes from Refuge, a book of poetry that chronicles her life in New Orleans immediately following Hurricane Katrina. Notes from Refuge was recently nominated for the 2009 Kate Tufts Discovery Award, and Lana placed 3rd for The Smoking Poet Award in 2008. She was an invited guest poet at the 2008 Encres de Sang International Writer’s Conference in Paris, France, a finalist for the Marsh Hawk Poetry Award in 2006, a recipient of the 1996 Judge Felix Voorhies Award for Creative Writing and a 1996 recipient of the Jon Z. Bennet Award. Lana has been published in The Southwestern Review, The Deep South Writer’s Chapbook, Dance to Death, Words-Myth, Moondance, Knock, and The Smoking Poet.

Date: Thursday, April 15, 2010

Time: 7:00pm – 9:00pm

Location: 232 ML King Grand Coteau, LA

Poetry on the Radio


Lana Wiggins, Patrice Melnick and I will be interviewed on KRVS 88.7 FM Lafayette, LA on April 13th at 3:30 PM to promote poetry (National Poetry Month) the Casa Azul Reading Series, and the co-reading Lana and I will be having at Casa Azul Gifts on April 15th at 7 PM. Lana and I will each read a short poem on the air! Our interview can be heard live over the Internet at the appointed time through the KRVS website.




I wrote a new poem last night/today titled REUNION. I feel it is in final form and will be sending it out very soon.  I am prepping material for my anticipated feature at Casa Azul in Grand Coteau, LA in April (National Poetry Month) of 2010. I know it is a ways off but I want to generate new material for this reading.  I rarely read a poem twice publicly. It is a commitment I have made to myself and my short term goal to produce new work.

I am listening to Radiohead KID A and feeling naturally buzzed on this fine music.  FYI: my modus operandi often is to write the night away, but it’s not a workable plan for every night.  But if I am fired up to write I have no choice to obey the muse.

Well if you call this a life…

I received a great compliment from my 13 year old daughter today when she said in reference to herself: “Well my mom’s a poet.” And then she rattled off a few titles of my poems that she particularly likes. I was made immensely happy—maybe for life.

I have poems coming up in “Press 1” in May. I’m so thrilled that “Memento Mori” and “Tattoo” have a home; and Press 1 is an impressive mag. Great thanks to editor Arlene Ang and her co-editors!

Press 1

I participated a bit in the “30 Poems/Drafts in 30 Days” National Poetry Writing Month Challenge. I missed several days but I am not upset about it. I stayed on task for the most part and I wrought a few poems out of the drafts. A handful will be sent tomorrow to a literary magazine, maybe just after midnight–since their reading period is exclusively the months of May and October. I’ll let the world know how that goes if it goes in my favor. If not I probably won’t make a peep.

I can’t believe it’s almost the weekend. I am hoping this weekend to tackle most of the Must-Dos. Then I can breathe awhile…I wish you good breathing too.

Don’t you love to breathe?

In Clear Voices: Lana Maht Wiggins & Clare L. Martin

Casa Azul Reading Series
(Hosted by Patrice Melnick)

In Clear Voices: Lana Maht Wiggins & Clare L. Martin


Thursday, April 9, 2009

7:00pm – 9:00pm

Casa Azul Gifts

 232 ML King Dr

Grand Coteau, LA

Host: Patrice Melnick

Phone: 3376621032



Thursday, April 9, 2009. 7:00 to 9:00 p.m., poets Lana Maht Wiggins and Clare L. Martin will read original works of poetry, followed by Open Mic.

Lana Maht Wiggins is the author of Notes from Refuge (Plain View Press), poetic narratives of her life in New Orleans and her personal refugee experience immediately following Hurricane Katrina. Notes from Refuge was a finalist in the 2006 Marsh Hawk Press Poetry Contest. Lana also received the Judge Felix Voorhies Award for Creative Writing and a Jon Z. Bennet Award in The Deep South Writer’s Conference Poetry Contest in 1996. She has been published in The Southwestern Review, Deep South Writer’s Chapbook, Dance to Death, Words-Myth, Moondance, Knock and The Smoking Poet.

Clare L. Martin is a poet-mother-wife. Her creative writing has appeared in Inch, Eclectica Magazine, Wheelhouse Magazine and The Blue Fifth Review and in other literary magazines. Her poem “4-Way Stop at Dusk” appears in the anthology Best of Farmhouse Magazine Vol. 1.  She is also the playwright of “Waterlines” produced in April and November of 2006, and in May 2007, as part of the project “Sustained Winds,” a collaboration with the theater company Acting Up (in Acadiana) and 40 Louisiana artists responding to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. In 2007, “Sustained Winds” was performed in New York City as part of FringeNYC. Sustained Winds was again performed at Festival International de Louisiane April 25, 2008.

Recently Clare served as a poet-presenter of a poetry workshop and facilitator of a storytelling session for the first annual Festival of Words, in the communities of Sunset and Grand Coteau, LA; and served as Lead Writer for Play. Music. Heal.: a multi-disciplined collaborative theatre work-in-development by the company Acting Up (in Acadiana.) The project brings together actors, musicians and writers in creating a contemporary story revolving around the potential for music to heal.

The performances will be followed by an Open Mic of poetry and music in which everyone is invited to participate.  This free event takes place from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. in Grand Coteau at Casa Azul, 232 ML King Dr. Free Black Beans and Rice.