It’s almost the end of the year, so I thought I should post an update.
My father died mid-October and I’ve been kind of picking up the pieces since then. But, there isn’t much time for grieving if you’re a freelance writer. I’ve published another article in The Philanthropist, sent out a poetry manuscript for consideration, worked (nearly) daily on my novel, submitted grant applications and various pitches, and have been accepted for a couple writing residencies in 2023 (yeah!). Add all that to looking after the cat colony in Galicia and you get one exhausted Angela Long. I wish all of you who might read this (anyone?) a very Happy New Year.
Thank you to everyone who came to my virtual poetry reading on the last day of August. One of the poems that I read, Waiting for Summer (set on Haida Gwaii during one of those summers when we all waited for the summer that never arrived), will be published in an upcoming issue of EVENT magazine, along with A Lexicon of Snow.
Every day (well, almost every day) I’ve been working on a novel that brings together two of my secret and not-so-secret loves: murder mysteries and cats.
One of my stories has been turned into a podcast episode with There She Goes – a series highlighting the travel stories of women. My story – “Good is Coming” – is about an encounter with a holy man in the foothills of the Himalayas. It was a life-transforming moment that I still get shivers about. To listen to me read on Apple podcasts, click here (click here for Spotify).
My rather unconventional poem about the landing of Mars Perseverance as I boil an egg, was longlisted for the FISH International poetry prize, judged by none other than my favourite “rock star” poet Billy Collins. Once again, close but no cigar here, but such an honour.
In July, I have been invited to read a few poems from “A Lexicon of Snow” with other finalists from The Poet’s Corner chapbook contest. If you’d like to attend, click here to register.
Here’s a link for my latest article for The Philanthropist.
While writing this I learned, yet again, that the worst part about writing for a magazine about the nonprofit world is comparing myself to the amazing people I interview who dedicate their entire lives to creating social change.
In other news, I entered a chapbook competition with a collection called A Lexicon of Snow, what I call my Japanese snow poems, and, guess what? I’m one of the top ten finalists. They’ll be announcing the winner on May 1st. Until then, I’m pretending I’ve forgotten about all this and possibly winning a $1,000 prize and publication by a cool small press in the U.S. (May 4th update: While judge Naomi Shihab Nye deemed my chapbook “outstanding and eminently publishable,” I did not win the contest. Congratulations to the winner Jeffrey Bean.)
For a little bit of fun, I’ve started an Instagram account for one of the stray cats here – @pepperthespanishcat – and he has become my alter ego. Here’s a photo of the new Instagram star:
Please come to my latest “Winter Reading Series” on December 21 @ 20:00 ET. I’ll be reading creative nonfiction this time, about a life lived on the road and the art of culling. Fore more details, click here.
Please come to my “Winter Reading Series” on December 2 @ 19:30 ET. I’ll be reading some of my latest poems about astronomy and the search for “home.” For more details, click here.
It’s the one-year anniversary of the world going into lockdown. Needless to say, no news is simply no news in these strange times. I’ve been flexing my muscles as a writer for The Philanthropist, learning about the world of Canadian charities and nonprofits. The Philanthropist is a digital magazine run by a group of kind individuals who pay their writers fairly. Perhaps this should be breaking news considering how poorly writers/journalists tend to be treated these days.
Here’s one of my latest articles about the Arctic Inspiration Prize, called Northern Light.
I’ve also somehow managed to put together a poetry manuscript that is sitting on the desks (I hope) of several publishing houses. Stay tuned for a video series featuring some of these poems.
For the time being, I’m back in Galicia, Spain taking care of a growing colony of cats and staring wistfully at the sea until the world opens up its doors again. It’s really not such a bad place to hunker down. I say to people that I came here in an hour of need that turned into more than two years. Thank you, Galicia, for your warm embrace.
Well, I’ve won something. A top-ten spot in an Irish poetry competition. This is a great honour because the judge was none other than Billy Collins (see Summer 2019) and nearly 2,000 poems were submitted.
The poem starts in a church in northern Ireland and ends with persimmons in northern Italy – an unlikely combo that somehow worked. Luck o’ the Irish, perhaps?
Thank you, Billy!
Hot off the press: My friend Susan Musgrave won third prize in the aforementioned poetry competition. Here is an article all about it in her local paper: Haida Gwaii-based writer takes home third prize in international poetry contest.
One of my articles was just published in The Philanthropist after a more than six-month wait in the vault. The editor updated it to include a COVID-19 spin. If you’re curious about the link between rural journalism and philanthropy, read here.
Sorry for the lack of news. I’ve been working on a few articles here and there, and writing poetry again. I’ve also been suffering from depression and getting a divorce. Oh, 2020, it’s already been quite the ride. I’m currently taking a break from the rural journalism book.
The world changed overnight in the town where I’m living in Galicia, Spain. We just finished Day 2 of a nation-wide lockdown due to the coronavirus. Luckily I have lots of practice living in a state of self isolation. But this feels different. The streets are eerily quiet.
They say famous writers have composed great works during the quarantines of the past. Let’s hope that happens here in this tiny house beside the Atlantic. Actually, let’s just hope I can stay sane.
Welcome to the lonely streets of March 16, 2020:
Finally, the latest in the Fluff Stops Here series, Rewriting Colonial Narratives.
In late July, I met my poetry idol Billy Collins in Armagh, Northern Ireland as one of 12 writers accepted by the John Hewitt Society for his masterclass. He wore a pink linen shirt. He shared pearls of wisdom, such as “no stranger has an interest in your internal life” and “death is the magnetic north” for poets and “gets us up in the morning.” On top of all that, he actually liked my poetry. I am still in shock.
When not hobnobbing with famous poets, I’ve been slogging away at my computer, continuing work on the J-Source series (stay tuned!) and an upcoming article for The Philanthropist.
Oh, and that book about rural journalism.
I’ve also been the foster parent for a number of Spanish kittens (five, at last count) abandoned throughout the countryside where I’ve been living in Galicia.
Here’s the latest wee girl, Luna, who was abandoned in a box by the side of the road in plus 30-degree heat:
Here’s the latest in the J-Source series, published on April 18th: Death of an owner silences small northern Ontario paper
Read all about Judy Wells, the one-woman show in Deloraine, Manitoba, right here.
Just published the fifth J-Source article, set in Watrous, Saskatchewan.
Number four of the J-Source series is here: A fourth-generation newspaper rides the waves of change
Where next, you ask? Deloraine, Manitoba.
The latest J-Source article – Delivery by the thousands beneath glacier clad peaks –was published on February 21st. Warning: you might want to move to the Kootenays after reading this.
This is the February 7th article: Do oil and paper mix on B.C.’s northwest coast?
The next stop on the Fluff Stops Here series will be Provost, Alberta.
My first J-Source article, Not gold, but close, about the local news scene in Dawson City, Yukon is alive. Next stop–Haida Gwaii.
Would you like to buy my latest book? Here are a few places where Every Day We Disappear is available:
J-Source has agreed to publish a ten-part multimedia series about my rural journalism project. We are aiming to publish the first article in January, 2019 about the local news scene in Dawson City (population 2,323).
The Toronto book launch was a success. Many thanks to everyone who came. On October 28th I’ll be heading to Vigo, Spain to mingle with some Galician writers and particpate in some literary events. Stay tuned!
Hot off the press: Every Day We Disappear is here. A book launch? you ask. Just waiting for the word from my publisher.
Local news project: I’ve returned from the east coast with ten pounds of PEI potatoes and at least ten hours of interviews. I have one paper left to visit in Kahnawake, Quebec, and then I’ll be donning a pair of headphones to transcribe interviews for weeks. Wish me luck.
Upcoming book: Just finished reading proofs for my collection of essays Every Day We Disappear which will be published by Saskatchewan literary press, Radiant, very soon. Writer Susan Musgrave was kind enough to review the book:
Angela Long writes of hash dens and tulip fields, avocados dropping like bombs in Guatemala, plotting to free an elephant in the cardamom forests beyond Madurai; she writes with a clear eye, a big heart, a wry wit. She offers tender hope for the f-word (the future) in this engaging, endearing, life-affirming book.
Local news project: On a rainy day in late April, I packed up my car in Toronto and headed west to begin work on a local news research project, thanks to the Canada Council for the Arts and Wolsak & Wynn.
I travelled more the 17,000 kilometres, to the land of the midnight sun and back, talking to those on the front lines of rural journalism.
Tomorrow I will head east to PEI where I will interview the staff at the Eastern Graphic in Montague and visit several other Atlantic Canada communities. Stay tuned for stories about local news in rural Canada.
Copyright © 2020 Angela Long