It’s been a long time coming. I’ve shaped and reshaped the poems in this collection over many years, beginning with my early entry into poetry with poet Gigi Thibodeau, my first mentor, through to Lesley University’s MFA program working with the many talented and supportive faculty there: Erin Belieu, Teresa Cader, Sharon Bryan, Joan Houlihan, Kevin Prufer, Adrian Matejka, Cate Marvin, and Steven Cramer, to continuing my thesis and refining my craft with further mentoring by Erin Belieu, and Kevin McLellan and his Cambridge-based poetry workshop, not to mention the unwavering encouragement and support from my dear poet colleagues Eileen Cleary and Sarah Lain.
The book has worn many titles, but it wasn’t until I was sitting shirtless on a table in the plastic surgeon’s office after my mastectomy and reconstruction that it found its name.
Being a girl without a shirt represents many of the stages of my life: as a child when I’d run in the backyard without a shirt to be like my brothers, as a woman discovering my sexuality, and later love, as a mother nursing her child, and more recently as a breast cancer survivor. It symbolizes innocence, vulnerability, confidence, and courage.
This collection is intimate. It gives voice to many moments in my life when voice failed me; and to many of our world’s tensions that have me spinning. What emerged for me during the writing of this book is that life and love is complicated, that people hurt one another, but more importantly we love one another and are capable of great kindness.
Poems2go has been a way for me to help others’ voices be heard as they observe, explore, and experience the world. It’s been an enlightening five years and it makes me happy to share what others are doing and feeling.
I am blessed. My husband and I live by the ocean and we can experience joy (happiness without reason) every day, together. The book has many references to the ocean and the natural world. It is where I turn to pray and give gratitude.
Pre sales have begun and will run through Nov. 22, 2019. Here’s where you can order:
Thank you for reading!