Monthly Archives: April 2019

New Poetry

Hi Hart Beat. How are you? I’m sitting in my perfect little studio that Matt and I called “our little Scandinavian getaway” all winter long. It felt just like that, with the snow coming down softly on the roof, my fairy lights twinkling outside on the balcony. Now that spring is here and summer is coming fast, we rearranged the furniture to make room for a little sitting table and couch. I think we’re going to need another nickname soon.

Anyway, this month is National Poetry. I’ve written about poetry I love so much here on Hart Beat over the years. One of my favorite emails I get every morning is a poem of the day from the National Poetry Foundation. It took me a while to figure out I actually liked poetry though, Hart Beat. It wasn’t until I figured out that for me at least, liking a poem doesn’t mean understanding it or even loving it, it means I get a feeling from it. It doesn’t matter what the feeling is and half the time I couldn’t even name the feeling if I tried. It’s a low bar and for that, the world of poetry is now huge and I am grateful to know it.

This month the Pulitzer Prizes in Literature were announced. The winner for poetry is Forrest Gander’s, Be With. A few days after the announcement I saw a list float around on Twitter with all the other books that were under final consideration for the category.

I’m sorry to say that the only book I was already familiar with was Mary Karr’s. So, I did what any other aspiring writer who likes poetry would do, I requested the rest of them on inter-library loan. Most of them have come in since then. I loved The Carrying, Still Life with Two Dead Peacocks and a Girl, and Blue Rose. I’m still waiting for a few more, including the winner.

The full list is below if you’re interested in reading any of them. And if you’re not and just curious, here’s one of my favorites so far. Of course it’s one of Karr’s and even though I know it’s about God and religion, it makes me feel something and for that, I like it.

VI. Wisdom: The Voice of God
by Mary Karr

Ninety percent of what’s wrong with you
could be cured with a hot bath,
says God through the manhole covers,
but you want magic, to win
the lottery you never bought a ticket for.
(Tenderly, the monks chant,
embrace the suffering.) The voice never
panders, offers no five-year plan,
no long-term solution, no edicts from a cloudy
white beard hooked over ears.
It is small and fond and local. Don’t look for
your initials in the geese honking
overhead or to see through the glass even
darkly. It says the most obvious shit,
i.e. Put down that gun, you need a sandwich.


Full List of the runners up for the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry 2019:

Ada Limón, The Carrying
Forrest Gander, Be With
Kevin Prufer, How He Loved Them
Terrance Hayes, American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassin
Max Ritvo, The Final Voicemails
Kyle Dargan, Anagnorisis
Diane Seuss, Still Life with Two Dead Peacocks and a Girl
jos charles, feeld
Chelsey Minnis, Baby I Don’t Care
Diana Khoi Nguyen, Ghost Of
J. Michael Martinez, Museum of the Americas
A. E. Stallings, Like
Carol Muske-Dukes, Blue Rose
Mary Karr, Tropic of Squalor
Sherwin Bitsu, Dissolve

On The Line

Hiya Hart Beat! If you follow along on Instagram then you might have noticed I was in Austin, Texas last weekend. It was the last of a very long period of travel (more on that soon, I’m sure) and even though I was so tired of travel, I loved it.

This winter Jenny Lewis announced that she was going on tour this Spring for her new album, On The Line. Some college friends and I decided to meet in Austin for her concert. I had never been to Texas (or the south really) before and jumped at the chance.

Do you know I had to tell three separate people I had to pee in order to get out of random conversations while there? Are people honestly that friendly in the south? Are we really that cold in the northeast? I’m working on an essay about it so enough of that and let’s get down to the good and dirty stuff.

How good was Jenny?

SO GOOD SHE WAS AMAZING AND I LOVE HER. Jesus almighty was she good. That woman knows how to perform and loves it. I went expecting the best and was blown away. If you haven’t listened to On The Line then I’d say get right to it. It’s more Stevie Knicks than The Voyager and less folksy woman than Rabbit Fur Coat, two things I appreciated.

It’s hard to pick a favorite from the album. The one here “Heads Gonna Roll” is the first in the album and the first you should listen to if it’s all new. Personally? I love “Hollywood Lawn” and “On The Line” (BOBBY 4EVER WE WERE TOGETHER) but I don’t want to overwhelm you here, Hart Beat.

Hope you’re having a relaxing weekend. Put some time aside tomorrow or this week to listen to Jenny. And as always (EVEN THOUGH IT’S OUTDATED I’M SORRY) there’s a #famous Hart Beat Playlist you can follow along to on Spotify. Goes waaaaaaaaay back to 2011. Fun times. Hasta mañana!

Lost & Found

Oh! Hi! SWEET BIRTHDAY BABYYYYYY (I know it’s not your birthday but am I the only one who can’t get that god damned line out of my head?) It’s been too long, Hart Beat.

Why am I here again, popping up into your life again, you might be asking yourself. Valid. And it’s okay, I can take the judgment (most days). Well, to be honest, I’m banking on not many people still being here. Long story short is I spend the month of March up in Johnson, VT at the Vermont Studio Center for a writing residency. It was wonderful and scary and horrible and amazing and inspiring and I hated it the first week and loved it the last. Typical. Sounds just like me actually. (#hateschangeloveseverythingelse)

One of the best things to come out of my month-long residency was the realization that as much as I love the GD book, it has lost something in all the edits over the past year. What it lost though thankfully, is not very far. It’s here actually, in the thousands of sentences I’ve written for the past eight years on Hart Beat. I lost my voice. Yea, that’s right, this voice. The one that makes you cringe sometimes but also inspires fan emails (humble brag) pretty regularly. So in an attempt to connect back to what I love about writing, and what you apparently love to, is to start free writing here every morning before I jump into my manuscript.

I’ll try at least. The best made plans you know? So many things have changed since I started writing here in 2011. I’ve been through two major relationships, I’ve graduated college, moved to New York and from New York, become a dog mom, Snapchat came and was instantly taken over by Instagram Stories, fell in love with the one, and decided on a million more little (damn bangs) and big (I’m a writer?) decisions.

I’ll try not to rip content off of my Instagram or the personal essays I’ve been writing. There will be poetry, new music, movie reviews, favorite things, ramblings, and love notes. I can’t wait, Hart Beat. Hasta mañana.

.