june 14, 2018

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“Fill your heart with what’s important and be done with all the rest.” ~ Unknown


top shelf


Solidago hit the stores tonight and what an honor to be shelved beside Bobbie Ann Mason. Our forth issue made its debut at Brier Books who hosted a launch party to celebrate. Brier Books is also our first brick and mortar store! They’re very focused on Kentucky writers. They happened to be looking to add more journals to their fold the day we walked through the door. Perfect timing.


words matter


Though Solidago is not exclusive to Kentucky – we have writers and artists from all over the world – we have had several writers from Kentucky make the cut. Five of those writers were with us tonight to read from their submissions (above: Sean Corbin, Bobby Steve Baker, Pat Holland, Allison Thorpe, and Kimber Gray). Corbin and Thorpe have chapbooks being released in the next few months, and Baker’s latest is already in stock at Brier Books. It was thrilling to hear their beautiful words. Pat Holland’s short story really struck a chord. A former National Geographic employee, she wrote a great piece about Barrow, Alaska, which resonated with me as a one time resident of the polar city. Finally, Kimber Gray closed the evening with her exquisite poetry. I predict great things for this young writer whose works are laced with humor and raw honesty. 


the team


The evening would have never happened without Catherine Brereton and Susan Stewart. The journal was their idea, and they inspire me every day, especially when I see the stacks and stacks of writing they sift through after every submission window closes. I feel so fortunate that, out of all the talented people they know, they chose me with whom to partner. I am very, very honored by that, and right proud of what we’ve done so far. But we’re just getting started, and that needs to be true for no other reason than we need better selfies than this one. I love these gals from the bottom of my heart, and I love our little journal. 

december 9, 2014

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“Do not grow old, no matter how long you live. Never cease to stand like curious children before the Great Mystery into which we were born.” ~ Albert Einstein




This is as fine a group of writers as I’ve ever had the privilege of sharing space with. Each is unique with their own voice, their own sense of style, and courage. They are, left to right, Gurney Norman, Megan Henson, Amy Copelin, Sarah Abbott, Jordyn Rhorer, Sean Madden, Sean Corbin, Ben Honea, John Duncan, Robin Rahija, and Joy Bowman. These folks gave me a multitude of gifts over the semester, among them the gift to step outside my comfort zone. It wasn’t always easy for me, and I got more than I bargained for, but I mean that in a good way.  I’m the only one who isn’t enrolled in the MFA program, so I was feeling unworthy most of the semester. Yet, several of my classmates encouraged me to change that tonight, even seemed disappointed that I’m not taking another course next semester. I was genuinely touched, and speechless. It was a complement of the highest order.




But wait, there’s more! In 2012, Gurney published a compelling book called Ancient Creek. It was a long time coming. The book includes three essays written in response to the story. Gurney very graciously gave each of us a signed copy tonight. He talked at length about how it came into being. Though it was penned in 1975, and originally made available on June Appal Records, I found the story even more relevant today (I read it when it came out in 2012, so I already know the story) what with mountaintop removal and the other environmental and socio-economic changes we’ve endured. This really was a special class full of great writers lead by a wonderful, wonderful mentor. I’m so glad they let me hang out with them.