Give Grass Whistle a Sticker! MA Book Awards

•May 13, 2014 • 5 Comments

Yep, my second book, Grass Whistle, won top honors from the Massachusetts Center for the Book!MBA Seal small

You can see the entire list of “must-read” books here.

Those of you who’ve followed Pokey Mama from her tightly bound beginnings will probably guess that this feels like a miracle to me. To get the book written, under the circumstances, was challenge enough. To find a publisher—ridiculous!

Now to find my book on the same list with past winners like Jorie Graham, Martin Espada, Henri Cole, Lucie Brock-Broido, David Rivard, etc., well, that’s just plain crazy.

This is what the judges said:

In Amy Dryansky’s Grass Whistle, we are invited into a world we know, but may have never seen. Her craft is subtle, yet engrossing. Her universal themes are given the perfect amount of loft with her language, her structure, and her unerring sense of the complicated simplicity of life.

So, take heart, Mothers, workers, people of the books. It can happen. Don’t stop, don’t give up, keep dreaming your dream.

You can still listen to my interview at Out of Our Minds,
& on Francesca Rheannon’s, The Writer’s Voice.

You can find the book at Salmon, on-line, or at your local bookseller.

NaPoMo Interview: A Writer’s Voice

•April 21, 2014 • 2 Comments


Here’s the link to my NaPoMo interview with Francesca Rheannon, on A Writer’s VoiceI had a really lousy head cold when we talked, but folks who’ve heard it say I sound smart. And I didn’t pay them.

Francesca asked me about my Pokey Mama journeythe struggles I had writing as a woman and mother after my kids were born; what’s changed for women writers and what hasn’t. That’s  where I gave a shout out to the VIDA count, which shows that as far as publishing is concerned, not enough progress has been made. But we’re working on it, right?

You have to skip to the second half of the show for my interview, but you might want to listen to the first part, too.  Great piece with Leah Vincent, who talks about her memoir Cut Me Loose: Sin and Salvation After My Ultra-Orthodox Girlhood.

Good News for Grass Whistle

•April 10, 2014 • 5 Comments


Grass Whistle has been named a “must-read” by the Massachusetts Center for the Book and is one of six finalists for the MA Book Award in Poetry! You can see the entire list here. I’m in good company.

What’s really exciting to me about this is that the MCB works closely with libraries across the state, and I happen to think public libraries are the one of the last bastions of true democracy in our country, and besides, I just plain love them.

Stay tuned for more about the Book Awards—the winner is announced in May and I’ll let you know if I’m celebrating or just trying to be happy for the poet who won.

In the meantime, you can still listen to my interview at Out of Our Minds here

& Francesca Rheannon at The Writer’s Voice is featuring poems of mine all month on her show, along with an interview that will air later this month. I’ll post that link when it’s up.

Out of Our Minds

•March 27, 2014 • 1 Comment
kitty listening
The podcast from my interview for J.P. Dancing Bear’s show on KKUP, Out of Our Minds, is now available for your listening pleasure.  We talked about poetry and stuff. Sylvia Plath came up. You know.
Take a listen here.

Writing Without Purpose (On Purpose)

•March 19, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Check out my guest post about writing with purposeful purposelessness and how place finds its way into my work on C.A. LaRue’s blog, BoneSpark!

and don’t forget–this Saturday, March 22, as part of the Berkshire Festival of Women Writers


Reading and discussion with Amy Dryansky, Annie Boutelle & Ellen Doré Watson

Hosted by Tupelo Press

MCLA Gallery 51, 51 Main Street, North Adams, 2 p.m.


The Real March Madness: Berkshire Festival of Women Writers

•March 6, 2014 • 1 Comment


It’s March, so it must be time for the Berkshire Festival of Women Writers!

If you live in or around the western MA, VT, NY, CT (polar) vortex, check out the month long line-up of readings, panels and special events here.

If you want to visit with Pokey, I’ll be here:

Woman Talk: Voices We Write

Reading & discussion with Amy Dryansky, Annie Boutelle & Ellen Doré Watson

Saturday, March 22, 2pm

MCLA Gallery 51
51 Main Street, North Adams

Sometimes the voices we write have a distinct persona, and sometimes it seems as if the poet herself is speaking. Between these two poles is a continuum in which the poet’s experience, identity, intention and imagination are at play. How do we know who’s really doing the talking? Hosted by Tupelo Press.

and here…

Special Event: 2014 BFWW Essay Contest Reading and Prize Ceremony

Saturday, March 29, 2pm

Hosted by Michelle Gillett & Nina Ryan with Jennifer Sahn, Barbara Zheutlin, Alice Maggio & Amy Dryansky

Centennial Hall, Miss Hall’s School, 492 Holmes Road, Pittsfield

This year’s contest invited women writers to submit nonfiction, fiction and poetry on the subject of “weather”: weather of the heart, weathering the storm, how weather extremes are affecting us personally, politically, culturally, environmentally, keeping in mind the special of the 2014 Festival, “Writing the Self, Righting the World: New Visions of Personal and Planetary Health.”

The prize ceremony will feature a reading by each winner, followed by a panel discussion moderated by contest judge and Orion Magazine editor, Jennifer Sahn. With the four winning pieces as a starting point, the discussion will focus on ways to examine, explore, and spark new perspectives on the links between personal and planetary wellness, particularly within our own lives and communities. How can writing inspire change? What stories are being told in our culture and communities on this subject? What stories are not being told?

See you there!

6 More Days to Reach My Goal!

•February 22, 2014 • 1 Comment

Tupelo Banner

It’s Day 22, and I only have 6 more days to reach my goal for the Tupelo 30/30 Project.

I hope you’ve enjoyed the poems, and I ask you to please consider making even a small donation–$10, $15, $20? You can sponsor either me or another 30/30 Project poet by making a donation to Tupelo Press here. I will send something special to each person who sponsors me—how about a signed broadside of your favorite poem?

Supporting small, independent presses is so important! If you don’t believe me, here’s what the Council of Literary Magazines and Presses has to say:

Placing the cause and calling of literature ahead of the bottom line, independent literary publishers serve as a primary link between writers—particularly those representing emerging voices, culturally specific communities, and literary art forms not fostered by mainstream publishers—and readers. 

  • Independent literary publishers are mission-driven—they focus on publishing literature.
  • Independent literary publishers provide access to the voices of entire communities.
  • Independent literary publishers produce over 98% of poetry being published each year, and the majority of literature in translation and works of fiction by emerging writers.

Remember, if you make a donation of $50 or more, Tupelo will send you a copy of the erotic poem anthology Myrrh, Mothwing, Smoke.  Just make sure to mention my name in the donation form, and put in the comment box that you’d like a copy of MMS. 

Thank you for supporting poetry and independent voices!


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