Taking Stock

Order and collaboration: This assemblage, which was displayed in my living quarters, was created by a group of artists who’ve been associated with Penland over the years.

Winter is my season of list-making. I list the things I’ve done. I list the things I’ll do. I list the things I should do, but probably won’t (resolutions, dontcha know).
Alllll the lists.

And then I pivot from reflective, navel-gazing mode into get ‘er done mode. At my recent creative residency at Penland, I powered through my lists. Indeed, I did get things done!

I’m here to briefly report some of that progress–namely, on  s i r s e e.  I launched this project in hopes of finding the beauty of the world and paying it forward. So far, it’s taken the form of a handcrafted wine, now available here; and a journal, which I began editing at the residency.


Available by donation only, the Grenache wine I’ve crafted has raised funds for three nonprofit organizations. Each of these sums below is based on individual donations of $25 each. One of my goals is to find matching funds in order to boost the power of these dollars. We’re just gettin’ started, folks!

Don’t miss the chance to donate and drink! Follow instructions here.


My favorite time and place to work at Penland was early in the morning–before most other students had risen–in the dining hall overlooking the meadow.


My cherished first career was in publishing, so I’ve loved hopping back in the saddle and making a book again. I’d almost forgotten the pure damn fun of it.

I’ve been astonished at the range of contributors. When I posted the call for entries, my fear was that they’d all be somehow like me–which frankly would’ve made for a pretty dull publication. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Entries have come from all over the world–from an established poet in Brooklyn, a daydreamer in Australia, an erotica writer in the Midwest, a retiree in New England, and beyond. Creators of all ages, races,  and orientations offered their interpretations of the theme “Ripe for the Picking.”

Of the nearly 150 visual and literary entries, most are poems. During my time at Penland, I spent quality time with each and every entry. As I did, it began to sink in that I was the guardian of these works. How could I best shepherd them into the world?

I am still exploring that question–considering optimal printing methods. I’m also beginning to do my most hated thing, which is ask for money. In order to make the very best book possible, I am researching grants and other funding sources. I wanna do it up, y’all!

Meanwhile, I’ve  closed the literary entries for now, but am soliciting artwork through January 31st. (Both categories may reopen later.) Have some images to share? Submit here.


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