Wednesday, August 24, 2016

SO THRILLED TO BE BACK BLOGGING! BIG NEWS, TOO!

I have BIG news! I’m excited to be back and catch up with all of you. 

Thank you FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART to everyone who wrote me during my absence.

I have a new poetry book out called IN SEARCH OF THE WILD DULCIMER and a BUSY BOOK TOUR planned, so maybe I can FINALLY meet more of you lovely human beings IN PERSON!

Yes, I went back to my roots with the MFA (from George Mason University 2008) and wrote a book of Southern poetry, though, really, it’s for anyone, anywhere who loves music, family, words.

Please go to my Facebook page for all the photos and current news until I GET THE NEWLY RE-DESIGNED BLOG UP AND RUNNING!


More Catching Up:

After we moved to Italy and back, Tom deployed to Afghanistan. Shortly after he returned, we moved to Washington, DC for language immersion training.

I LOVED being back in the METRO DC area and we lived on 15th Street just up from THE WHITE HOUSE. 

I’ll post photos from that DELIGHTFUL excursion soon.

After having taken several years off from actively being a journalist/fiction writer/poet (though I still read voraciously and wrote, too!), I FINALLY started “officially” being a writer again exactly two years ago.

I’d never submitted my fiction and poems before, only journalism pieces, so that was a first!

These two years have been so kind to me as a writer. I’m tremendously grateful!

They were also super tough (vast understatement!) with a complete hysterectomy/oophorectomy with complications on top of all the moves overseas and back and to DC and back. VERY HUMBLING!

But…the joy far outweighs the arduous aspects of my life, so no complaints here!

ONLY GRATITUDE!

Below you’ll find my little writer’s bio that encompasses lots of what’s been going on and a link to my book on Amazon.

PLEASE do not feel pressure to buy the book. That’s not why I’m writing this post. I just want to share with you what I’ve been doing.

I want to reconnect.

To start blogging regularly again, at least once a week!

I’ll still include some vintage design posts, though.

I sold out of all the large items on my ETSY site, but if I can ever make it back to Italy/France/Belgium again, I’ll add more stuff to it—I LOVE VINTAGE & ANTIQUE PIECES WITH A STORY!

Being a Southerner, I’ll occasionally include some cooking posts.

Also some “Here’s what I’ve been reading lately” posts.

Maybe some interviews with fellow writers!

Yep! Definitely that!

Maybe also some tips/hints to jumpstart YOUR poetry and fiction writing.

Most of all I want this blog to offer you ENCOURAGEMENT simply because I know we can’t go through this life alone.

We all need some light and love.

Actually, as much light and love as we can possibly find!

I am UTTERLY EXCITED to catch back up with you all.



Love and light to every single one of you,

Lana Kim White Austin


BIO:

A finalist for the 2015 James Wright Poetry Award, Lana Kim White Austin’s poems, short stories and interviews have recently been featured or are forthcoming in Mid-American Review, Sou’wester, The Writer's Chronicle, Columbia: A Journal of Literature and Art, Zone 3, The Pinch, Appalachian Heritage, The New Guard, and Switchback, amongst many others. Also a journalist, she has written for numerous newspapers and magazines. Austin studied creative writing, and received multipleawards and scholarships, at both Hollins and Mary Washington.

Her short stories and poems have made it to the finals and semi-finals of multiple national competitions, including the aforementioned James Wright Poetry Award, The Machigonne Fiction Contest, and The Crab Orchard Review First Book Award, amongst others. She has an MFA from George Mason University (2008). Her first poetry chapbook, In Search of the Wild Dulcimer, is from Finishing Line Press.

A former foster child born and raised in rural Kentucky, she has lived in England, Italy and Washington, DC, but currently resides in Alabama with her husband and three children. She teaches creative writing (Poetry, Fiction and Playwrighting) and directs original works via her Performing Playwrights classes as well as traditional operettas and musicals through Ars Nova Productions & School of the Arts. She is about to begin directing the first Opera In the Schools program in Huntsville in 2017, culminating in original operas being written and performed by area students.

Advance Praise for
In Search of the Wild Dulcimer:

Blood moves like music in the body of this book and you can hear it as you read. In Search of the Wild Dulcimer celebrates physical and invisible grace--all that gives life to art and to us. Austin makes us hear the sound that thrums inside us--a song that is a story. Here are poems of country ways and Southern melodies "divined from a vast river." What a joy to hear her sing.

--Steve Scafidi
Author of Sparks from a Nine-Pound Hammer, For Love of Common Words and The Cabinetmaker’s Window 

Lana Austin’s In Search of the Wild Dulcimer is a beautiful collection. In poem after poem, Austin recognizes the importance of the familial, the personal, and the ways in which sound, particularly Southern music—gospel, soul, bluegrass, and others—informs lives in ways deeply sensual and resonant. Indeed, Austin’s poems resonate with a vividness and genuineness that makes it easy to trust the poet—to know that what is written in these pages is more than poetry about family, music, and love—it is music itself, a book of call and response, close harmony, and sometimes “a single aural finger” that strums words both “lonesome” and “tremblingly full.” This book is a “host of voices,” a powerful choir of a debut.  

--William Wright
Series Editor of The Southern Poetry Anthology
Author of Night Field Anecdote and Tree Heresies



In earthy narratives calling on the lives and work of legendary traditional country music performers and blues players and in short lyrics of a rare, brave sweetness, Lana Austin woos us into the Kentucky of her origins and the region of the spirit. These poems are honest, straightforward, and resonant as a lost-love song.        

--- Betty Adcock
 Author of Widow Poems, Slantwise and Intervale

The poems in In Search of the Wild Dulcimer--like the hymns and secular songs which many of the poems reference, often paying homage—reconnect, reinforce, and define lineages and generations through love and suffering and conviction. “The almost Patsy Cline voice of Neko Case” at a concert can slick a couple of fifteen years into a frenzy of desire, which provokes the speaker to imagine her grandmother pulled into a “fierce coupling” with her grandfather, “when everything needed to come undone,” when the grandmother could put aside in those ecstatic moments “the crops that failed, the babies / [she] buried” while the couple “clutch each other against the seasons turning.” Lana Austin shows what too few poets writing about the South are able to capture: authentic Southern experience spoken by an empowered voice that refuses stereotypes, that knows the past and its connection to it but, ultimately, looks forward.

--Adam Vines
Author of The Coal Life and editor of Birmingham Poetry Review  



The poems in Lana Austin’s In Search of the Wild Dulcimer sing out with an Irresistible energy. Music is their theme, and their abiding metaphor, the tissue connecting our lives to the past and to the present. In poems like “Sex at the Ryman” and “Highland Elegy,” Austin brings us to that place where the body and spirit meet. She hears the “simple incandescent strand” of her Kentucky roots in the ballads of Jean Ritchie, the plaintive tremolo of the dulcimer, and the “hybrid harmony” of blood relations singing together. Lana Austin invites her readers to follow this strand, and in doing so offers a reminder of the rich and varied ways music and poetry move us. 

–Jesse Graves
 Author of Basin Ghosts & Tennessee Landscape with Blighted Pine