I am honored to be among FOUR Americans long-listed for the 2017 Over the Edge New Writer of the Year, and the only American short-listed.
I never thought I would ever be a performer. I always knew I wanted to teach and make a difference, but being on stage, performing a poem that I wrote, and making a difference? No way.
I was the five year old who hid behind her daddy’s coat at my piano recital… even though I was going to be first to get it over with. I was too shy.
So how did it come to this? How did I become so sure of myself that I would submit a performance poem to a contest in Ireland? – and, now that I am on the short list as a possible New Writer of the Year… I am dumbfounded. All I am doing is sharing my reality and my voice and my vision through language, am I really doing something so impressive? I suppose so – after all, my poems have been published, I have two chapbooks, one of which brought a small indie press out of hiatus, so my work must mean something bigger than myself.
Maybe that audience is in Ireland?
As a single parent to two special needs children, I spend most of my “me” time doing things around the house – groceries, laundry, vacuuming – you know, all those “mom” jobs.
As a person with BiPolar Depression, making time for myself is imperative to a healthy outlook on life and a healthy relationship with my children.
Who would have thought that a poem about my BiPolar experience would resonate with someone across the ocean? I certainly didn’t have any high expectations, after all, I am just a single mom doing what I can to survive in this world called life.
Thank you, Over the Edge, in Galway City, in the Republic of Ireland.
You have made my world so much larger.