Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Vine Leaves Press

I'm excited to share that I will be the guest judge for the 2016 Vignette Collection Award for Vine Leaves Press. Submissions are open now! You can read the guidelines here.

Also, I would like to say thank you to Jennifer L. Knox, Carol Guess, and Danielle Pafunda for writing blurbs for my forthcoming book, The Crimes of Clara Turlington. They are all extremely busy and I so appreciate the time they spent with the manuscript and crafting blurbs. 

“Meg Johnson's new book is a furry pink pillow full of blood and teeth. Slyly brilliant, funny, and scary all at the same time, its effect can only be achieved through a careful attention to craft and unwavering clarity. Her psychological portraits of women and our subconsciouses—of our indefatigable rage and imagination—of our struggle for power and independence—had me laughing and gasping at the same time.” Jennifer L. Knox

“At once fierce and fragile, the heroines of Meg Johnson’s vignettes invite readers to peer through keyholes and riffle pages. Secrets stain characters’ careful lives, lending mystery to lyrical poetic fragments. In precise, musical language, Johnson invites us to study the stories behind quotidian thoughts and feelings. The Crimes of Clara Turlington reads like a thought police blotter: every nuanced emotion called in and cuffed.” Carol Guess

"Clara Turlington's [Meg Johnson's] girl gang teaches you how to make yourself unavailable, even when your body remains in the room. These girls know how to get things done. They attract the gaze and pin it to the ugly consequences of its greed. They're so visible as to be invisible. They laugh until we get the joke. They need naps and dirt naps. They make an uneasy alliance with other creatures who can anticipate a blow--horses, small children, some of us--and when they're lucky, feint." Danielle Pafunda

I was asked to write a post for a site about the "undercover soundtrack" (meaning the songs that I was listening to during the period of time I wrote the manuscript) for The Crimes of Clara Turlington. I'll let you know when it's out. It has been really fun gathering together the songs. The mix of musicians (and genres and time periods) is really bizarre. 

I have a couple new posts on MOGUL which you can read here and here.

I have some new writing projects I'm working on. My goal is to stay as productive as possible with these new projects when teaching starts again. Monday!

Thursday, August 6, 2015


I was recently asked to be a contributor for the site MOGUL and I have two posts up today. You can see my contributor page here and the posts here and here.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

New Poem in The Plot by Villainess Press, Poems Forthcoming in Bear Review

I got a little behind on blogging. This time of year has been busier than I originally anticipated.

On July 23rd I had two poems accepted by Bear Review. The issue is scheduled to be released in mid-September.

On July 27th I had a piece accepted by The Plot, an online literary journal by Villainess Press. On July 30th the piece was published. You can read it here. 

I have something coming out in The Nervous Breakdown in the late fall. More on that later.

On Wednesday, September 9th I'll be reading in Minneapolis at Magers & Quinn for Midwestern Gothic. The reading is at 7 p.m. In November I'll be reading in Des Moines. More details on those readings later.

The Crimes of Clara Turlington comes out in December. I will post updates about 2016 readings when I have more details. I'll be giving readings in various cities and states. I know right now that there will be a few events in Ohio in February including one you can read about here. (Scroll down to 2016 readings.) 

I haven't seen too many movies this summer, but I did recently watch What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?. It was scary in a good way. My favorite parts were when Jane (Bette Davis) would imitate Blanche (Joan Crawford).

Hard to believe it's already August...

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Dressing Room Poetry Journal: Issue Ten Release

Issue Ten of Dressing Room Poetry Journal is out now!

The issue features poetry by Brian BeattyRoy BentleyJennifer Jackson BerryDanny Caine, Meg Eden, Jill Carey Michaels, Thomas Stewart, Maria Garcia Teutsch, Anastacia Renee Tolbert, and Amy Schreibman Walter.

Approximately 2,500 poems were submitted for Issue Ten. Thank you to everyone who sent submissions!

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Five Day Poetry Challenge, Poems in Chiron Review, & Twitter...

I was tagged in the five day poetry challenge where you post a poem everyday for five days. I missed sharing poems over a span of five days, but I have five links to poems below. These poems will give you a tiny taste of what The Crimes of Clara Turlington is like.

Poetry Link One

Poetry Link Two

Poetry Link Three

Poetry Link Four

Poetry Link Five

I have three poems in the new issue of Chiron Review. You can order a copy here.

I've been trying out facebook and twitter lately. By "trying out" I mean that I currently have both, but... I'm a commitment phobe about social media. 

Monday, June 22, 2015

The Crimes of Clara Turlington Cover, Poem in Tinderbox Poetry Journal, Some Other Things

The Crimes of Clara Turlington is scheduled to be out before 2016! You can see the cover(!) and read more about it here.

Thanks to everyone at Vine Leaves Press! I love working with my editor Jessica Bell!

Vine Leaves Press may or may not have asked me to get a facebook account. I may or may not have created one. I'm better at remembering to post updates on this blog and also on here than other places. I communicate electronically the most with people through texting (lots of texting!) and email (meg4margaret@gmail.com). I need to get a new computer so my mind is on that right now.

The next issue of Dressing Room Poetry Journal will be out later this summer. Very excited about the issue!

I have a poem in the new issue of Tinderbox Poetry Journal. You can read it here. I believe the issue just came out today. Thanks to the editors! The poem (and the bio) are from this past winter. I wrote the poem after becoming friends with more people from California this past year. I thought about how much the midwest is part of my identity and how midwestern winters can be brutal even when you are used to them.

This poem might go into my third manuscript. I'm writing new poems, but the third full length manuscript is way in the future. Like, it will be The Jetsons era before it's finished. Or at least that's how it feels.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Iowa State Daily Article (& Other News)

On Wednesday an article came out in the Iowa State Daily about my second book, The Crimes of Clara Turlington, which is forthcoming from Vine Leaves Press. You can read the article here.

Congratulations to Stephanie Bryant Anderson who was published in Issue Eight of Dressing Room Poetry Journal. Her first poetry manuscript, Monozygotic | Codependent, will be published by The Blue Hour Press in June 2015. You can order the book here.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Poems in Lemon Hound, Poems in Verdad

I have poems in Lemon Hound. You can read them here.

I also have poems in Verdad which you can read here.

I had a wonderful time in Kansas. Here's Jen and I getting a shout-out from Jim McCrary.

I hope to have some downtime next week. I really need it.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Superstition Review's New Issue, Poetry Video, Reading in Kansas, etc.

I am reading tomorrow (Sunday) in Lawrence, Kansas with Jennifer L. Knox and Rich Smith in the Taproom Poetry Series. You can read more about it here and here and here.

The new issue of Superstition Review is out now. You can read my poems here. There is also a video of me reading the poems on Superstition Review's iTunes channel. You can access it here. My vodcast is #142 and it was filmed March 14th or 15th. I can't remember. I do remember it was the middle of the night.

The news about the new book is still sinking in. I got these pretty flowers from my parents on Thursday.

Congrats to Dressing Room Poetry Journal contributor Genevieve Jencson on the release of her chapbook, Lanugo, from dancing girl press! You can order it here.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Second Book: Winner of the 2015 Vignette Collection Award (Book Forthcoming from Vine Leaves Press)

I am happy to announce that my second book The Crimes of Clara Turlington won the 2015 Vignette Collection Award and is forthcoming from Vine Leaves Press!

The book was selected by Sara Sargent (an editor at Simon Pulse, an imprint of Simon & Schuster) and the Vine Leaves editorial team!

I am so honored! I'm so excited to work with Vine Leaves!

When I first heard about this contest, I was really excited to enter. I love line breaks, prose poems, writing that doesn't fit into genre boundaries, poetry, nonfiction, fiction... (Can you tell I went to the NEOMFA?)

An earlier version of this book (at the time titled Butter Sad) was my MFA thesis. Halfway through my MFA program, my first book Inappropriate Sleepover was accepted for publication by The National Poetry Review Press and came out during my last semester in the program. (At the beginning of the program Inappropriate Sleepover was my thesis.) When my first book was taken, I started writing a new manuscript. My thesis director was Mary Biddinger. Frank Giampietro and David Giffels were also part of the committee. Best thesis committee ever. I continued to work on the manuscript this year. This fall, I was lucky enough to meet and become friends with Jennifer L. Knox. Jen has been extremely supportive of me during this process which has been so helpful.

I feel extremely grateful.

And feisty.

Very feisty.