Department Newsletter…again!

Monday, December 5th, 2011 by Rachel

It’s so nice to be featured by the department for both publications and my nomination.


The Doer: The Department of English & Rhetoric Newsletter
Issue 4.2: 1 December 2011

2011 Pushcart Prize Nominee!

Sunday, November 20th, 2011 by Rachel

The Camel Saloon nominated me for the 2011 Pushcart Prize for my poem “Waiting Room” !!! I am very excited about this honor, and I am so happy for this poem. “Waiting Room” is the opening poem of my NAU thesis, Diagnostics. It is a very different poem for me, but it’s a poem that I’ve always enjoyed. If you haven’t read it yet, head over to my Poetry page and check it out (as well as the other great poems at The Camel Saloon).

Palindrome Poem

Thursday, October 27th, 2011 by Rachel



by Natasha Tretheway


I was asleep while you were dying.
It’s as if you slipped through some rift, a hollow
I make between my slumber and my waking,


the Erebus I keep you in, still trying
not to let go. You’ll be dead again tomorrow,
but in dreams you live. So I try taking


you back into morning. Sleep-heavy, turning,
my eyes open, I find you do not follow.
Again and again, this constant forsaking.



Again and again, this constant forsaking:
my eyes open, I find you do not follow.
You back into morning, sleep-heavy, turning.


But in dreams you live. So I try taking,
not to let go. You’ll be dead again tomorrow.
The Erebus I keep you in–still, trying–


I make between my slumber and my waking.
It’s as if you slipped through some rift, a hollow.
I was asleep while you were dying.

Department Newsletter

Friday, September 2nd, 2011 by Rachel

This might be a nerdy thing to advertise, but I am proud of it, so I am going to share it. For the first time, I have been featured in a department newsletter because of my recent publications. Here is the link:


The Doer: The Department of English & Rhetoric Newsletter
Issue 13: 1 September 2011


I hope that I have more publication news to report soon. Right now, I am proud to share that I have received three personalized rejection letters in the past two weeks. It’s so good to hear that many of my poems are close to being accepted! I am staying optimistic and re-submitting to different magazines immediately after hearing results. It’s just about finding the right market and home for these poems.

Submission Season

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2011 by Rachel

If you haven’t already, you should check out the new and improved Poetry section of . It has been blank for way too long, and now I’m very excited that it’s beginning to fill up.


I first submitted poems during my senior year at UNC-Asheville. During my time at NAU, I was much more focused on scholarly papers and presentations than submitting creatively. I submitted during my time here at GCSU, but sporadically, usually when a big contest came up or I had a journal recommended to me. When I found out that I would be only teaching part-time here at Georgia College, I said that there was no excuse— time to submit like a crazy person. So I started, and it’s already paying off.


I plan to devote at least one day a week to submitting. So far this week, I’m at a total of about nine hours and fourteen submissions in. Simply sorting through the journals/magazines is what takes up most of the time. It’s so important to figure out where your work fits in, what the guidelines are, etc. I hope to submit to six more over the next two hours. I’m not sure I’ll make it, but that’s why I keep a list, so it’s easy to pick up where I left off tomorrow.


Submission season officially starts Sept. 1st, once schools are in session. But that’s why I’m trying to submit as much as possible before the real season, so that I am able to knock out both the out-of-season and in-season markets. I am casting a wide net, using the large body of poetry I’ve accumulated during my writing time of the last five years, and I hope to keep reporting publications on an increasingly regular basis.


Thanks for all of your support.

Found this in my favorites…

Tuesday, August 9th, 2011 by Rachel

Here, Bullet


by Brian Turner


If a body is what you want,
then here is bone and gristle and flesh.
Here is the clavicle-snapped wish,
the aorta’s opened valves, the leap
thought makes at the synaptic gap.
Here is the adrenaline rush you crave,
that inexorable flight, that insane puncture
into heat and blood. And I dare you to finish
what you’ve started. Because here, Bullet,
here is where I complete the word you bring
hissing through the air, here is where I moan
the barrel’s cold esophagus, triggering
my tongue’s explosives for the rifling I have
inside of me, each twist of the round
spun deeper, because here, Bullet,
here is where the world ends, every time.

A Finals Week Haiku for You!

Wednesday, December 8th, 2010 by Rachel



by Ernest J. Berry


the candle goes out
with the cat

Memorization Take Two & Quick Update

Monday, November 30th, 2009 by Rachel

It’s happening tonight. I changed my mind. I didn’t memorize Leda and the Swan, but I memorized A Debt is Paid, which I posted here a few weeks back. I’m sort of prudish about these things, so I can’t believe I’ll be saying butt and ass, but that’s okay. Will let you know how it does.


It’s been a strange past week. I’ve had a hard time getting back into the swing of things. I need to write a research paper this week. It’s all in my head, but I’m a little worried that I might need to pull out some supplementary research to fit my topic. My paper is going to be on the role of pop culture in the composition classroom. I’m probably more of an expert on this topic than I give myself credit for. I just feel so uncomfortable writing about my teaching… I need to get over that.


No new news about Uncle TJ. I requested a see no speak no hear no evil bunny rabbit stack (meaning there are three of them piled on top of each other). that I saw in his office sitting on top of the tv. It was pretty creepy. You can barely tell they are bunny rabbits…I didn’t think I’d have much competition for it. Mom and Dad brought it to me on their way back through Milledgeville up to NC. Like I explained to them, these strange bunnies sat on top of his TV, and he must have looked at them every single day. He loved it, so I love it. I wrote a ghazal about bunnies today. We’ll see how that goes.


Speaking of ghazals, I’ve never heard of them, but I think the form is growing on me. I bought (and recommend) this book: Ravishing DisUnities. There is one in there by Richard Chess, one of my poetry teachers at UNCA.


I basically taught my last class last week. This week is conferences, and next week they’ll be turning in their 8-10 page research papers. Overall, my first semester teaching here at Georgia College has been a good one. Students have been diligent, interested, friendly, polite. I haven’t had any of the discipline or literacy problems that I had in my first semester at NAU. I would say that I’m sad that the semester is ending, but I’ll have 26 of the same students in the spring…I’m excited to see how having repeat students works out, since I only had one at NAU.

Memorization followup

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009 by Rachel

So I memorized Kim Addonizio’s “First Poem for You” and recited it last week in class. I gave a copy of the poem to my classmate (the only other incoming poet) Stephan to be my spotter, just in case, and I think that made me more comfortable. I recited it, and I think I did a pretty decent job.


I had to memorize a poem in middle school…something by Langston Hughes I think? I had to memorize a poem in my first college Intro to Poetry class—this one I recited in my professor’s office, just the two of us. I had to memorize a little eight line poem for class during my MA, and I remember becoming so infuriated. I was one of two students who actually bothered to do the memorizing, so the professor said, “eh, we’ll do it next week”. We never did.


I have always had trouble memorizing. Not only does it take me weeks to memorize and be able to say outloud a couple lines, but I have absolutely NO retention. I can’t even tell you the names or a line of those two poems from freshman year or a year and a half ago. I don’t know what they were. I don’t think I could recite Kim Addonizio’s poem right now without having to stop and really really think about it.


As a requirement for this class, I have to recite not one, but TWO poems. So with five weeks left, I need to get started. I think I’m going to choose another sonnet—Leda and the Swan maybe. But my question to you is, why should I memorize these poems? It’s a very old-school sort of traditional requirement. I appreciate it for what it is, but it seems like an awful lot of work to go into a one minute recitation and eventual forgetting of the poem. Do any of the rest of you have to memorize poems? And what do you feel about its purpose? Does it help you KNOW the poem any better than you did before?

Poetry Therapy?

Sunday, October 4th, 2009 by Rachel

This morning, as I browsed through Twitters, I saw an interesting post by JayTee of The MFA Chronicles and I Submit (see links page). She asked, “did you know poetry therapists exist?” and included the following link: Welcome to the National Federation for Biblio/Poetry Therapy.


I’ve never heard of poetry therapy in the real business-like sense, though a woman Jackie at NAU was getting her MA in poetry and her PhD in psychology so she could become a spiritual guru in Jerome, AZ. As we live in a world where people in increasing numbers run to therapy and drugs as a solution for their problems, poetry therapy/spiritual guidance achieved through writing does seem to be a different angle. Especially in “hippie” towns like Jerome or Asheville (where Derrick and I hope to end up at some point), there must be a market for this sort of work.


Why do any of us start writing? Because we’re angsty and adolescent and frustrated with ideas that we need to get out. I even admitted in class the other week that I’ve become so indoctrinated into the world of workshop. I worry so much more about line breaks and rhythm and words that sometimes I forget how much I learn about myself when I write. Sometimes I write about people who should be long forgotten, and I can’t help but reflect on what my life means—to me, to them, to anyone. This catharsis is so important, inseparable from most of our writing processes, I think. Because I believe in this inseparability, I think I might look into this poetry therapist certification thing. Why not? :)