British Poet, Patricia Leighton

Making Hay on the Snowline

Sloe-black tadpoles
chassé the shallows
of this glacial lake
worrying their rumps
reaping a harvest from
ice-smooth rocks
with busy mouths.

How long in this short
summer to bloat bodies
and turn tail to frog?
How long to frog-bask
soft skinned on baked stone
flip to scissor silk again
choosing life’s temperature?

And when the crush of snow
deadens the plateau
turning silk to steel

what price survival?

© 2019, Patricia Leighton from Hidden (Oversteps Books, 2019)

I’m just in the middle of pulling together the Tuesday post with poems in response to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt (it will post in an hour or so) when I got this news from Patricia Leighton, a frequent contributor to the The BeZine and a member of the Second Light Network of Women Poets. I had to share it with you and congratulate Pat on her first published collection. Well done. I’m sure it’s stellar.

The poem above is from her collection and here is a sampling of the reviews:

“Patricia Leighton’s poems continually evoke the wonder of the everyday. She has an unerring eye and ear for life’s details, and yet her poetry conveys hidden depths of feeling and moments of soaring magic.” Jeremy Hilton

“Patricia Leighton’s thoughtful collection rings true in its humanity and its expressed doubt.  Many poems explore the margins of belief, the ‘leavings and seasonal returns’.  Leighton writes marvellous lines like: ‘I borrow small cupfuls of time from both ends’.  There is a great tenderness to her work, which navigates both large and little griefs alongside an unstoppable sense of awe at the world and its capacity for recovery.  I like her close focus on everyday things, and the strength she draws from them: ‘but this is an ordinary dawn like many others/ … two fields away a yard cockerel crows three times/ the day begins to chew.’ Jean Atkin

This also in from SAFTA and VIDA. I missed it while in the hospital, so please note the deadline for applications is coming up on May 15.  


Sundress Academy for the Arts & VIDA
Now Accepting Applications for Fall Artist Residencies

The Sundress Academy for the Arts (SAFTA) is excited to announce that they are now accepting applications for short-term artists’ residencies in creative writing, visual art, film/theater, music, and more. Each residency includes a room of one’s own, access to a communal kitchen, bathroom, office, and living space, plus wireless internet.

The length of a residency can run from one to three weeks. SAFTA is currently accepting applications for our fall residency period, which runs from August 21st to December 31st, 2019. The deadline for fall residency applications is May 15, 2019

For the fall residency period, SAFTA will be pairing with VIDA to offer two fellowships (one full fellowship and one 50% fellowship) for a week-long residency to two women writers of any genre. VIDA’s mission as a research-driven organization is to increase critical attention to contemporary women’s writing as well as further transparency around gender equality issues in contemporary literary culture. Fellowships will be chosen by guest judge, Sarah Clark.

Sarah Clark is a non-binary Native (Nanticoke) editor, writer, and cultural consultant. They are a VIDA Board member, Executive Editor at Vida Review, Co-Editor at Bettering American Poetry, a reader at Atlas Review, as well as Editor-in-Chief at Features & Reviews Editor at Anomaly. They curated Anomaly’s GLITTERBRAIN folio on mental health by trans and queer writers of color, a folio on Indigenous & Decolonial Futures & Futurisms, and edited Drunken Boat’s folios on Sound Art, “Desire & Interaction,” and a collection of global indigenous art and literature, “First Peoples, Plural.” They were co-editor of Apogee Journal’s #NoDAPL #Still Here folio, and co-edited Apogee Journal’sseries “WE OUTLAST EMPIRE,” of work against imperialism, and “Place[meant],” on place and meaning. Sarah has previously read for Sundress Press’s Best of the Net and Curious Specimensanthologies.

The SAFTA farmhouse is located on a working farm that rests on a 45-acre wooded plot in a Tennessee “holler” perfect for hiking, camping, and nature walks. Located less than a half-hour from downtown Knoxville, an exciting and creative city of 200,000 in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains, SAFTA is an ideal location for those looking for a rural get-away with access to urban amenities.

The residency bedrooms are 130 sq. ft. with queen-size platform bed, closet, dresser, and desk. There is also a communal kitchen supplied with stove, refrigerator, and microwave plus plenty of cook- and dining-ware. The facility also includes a full-size working 19th century full-size letterpress with type, woodworking tools, a 1930’s drafting table, and an extensive library of contemporary literature.

For more information and application material, visit


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