decatur book festival 2015

I’ll be reading from my chapbook, Tiktaalik, Adieu, between 3 pm and 4 pm this Saturday the 5th in Decatur, Georgia, at Java Monkey along with Christine Swint, Diana Anhalt, Rupert Fike, and Amy Pence. This is one of 18 stages at the Decatur Book Festival. More information can be found on the festival page. A complete schedule of the local authors reading Saturday and Sunday is here. Java Monkey is at 425 Church Street, Decatur.


Thanks to editor Jenn Monroe for featuring this interview about process and science in Tiktaalik, Adieu at

Originally posted on Extract(s):

We featured an excerpt from Lynn Pedersen’s  Tiktaalik, Adieu (Finishing Line Press) in April. Her poems, essays, and reviews have appeared in New England Review, Ecotone, Poet Lore, Southern Poetry Review, Palo Alto Review, and Heron Tree. In addition to Tiktaalik, Adieu, she is the author of another chapbook, Theories of Rain (Main Street Rag), and her full-length collection, The Nomenclature of Small Things, is forthcoming from Carnegie Mellon University Press in 2016. A graduate of the Vermont College of Fine Arts, she lives in Atlanta, Georgia. Her website is

One of the poems we featured includes the lines “Beginning / is the hardest part, the part that unlike the vision / takes action.” Do you find this is true with your writing as with other aspects of life? How then, do you begin a poem or…

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collin book list

Thanks to Collin Kelley of Atlanta INtown news for featuring Tiktaalik, Adieu as part of his Summer Reading: Books by Local Authors series. The article is here and includes work from many genres. Each book is pictured with a short description of the contents.

poetry atlanta presents

I’ll be reading from Tiktaalik, Adieu along with fellow featured reader Brent Calderwood at Poetry Atlanta Presents on July 29, 7:15 p.m. at the Decatur Library, 215 Sycamore Street in Decatur, Georgia. More information at this link.

More information about Brent Calderwood and his writing is online at

This is his poetry book cover for The God of Longing (Sibling Rivalry Press). I’m looking forward to hearing him read these poems in person!


Poets House Showcase 2014


My most recent chapbook, Tiktaalik, Adieu, is part of this showcase in New York featuring all of the poetry and poetry-related publications published in the last year by commercial, university, and independent presses. It’s free and open to the public.


Poets House

10 River Terrace

New York, NY 10282


Showcase On View June 25 – August 8

More information on the organization’s website: Poets House.

Also, through July 2, 2015, the current exhibition features Walking the Brooklyn Bridge: Poems on Brooklyn & Beyond.


Three of my poems from Tiktaalik, Adieu are showcased at Extract(s) Daily dose of lit. Huge thanks to editor Jenn Monroe for featuring these as part of National Poetry Month!

Originally posted on Extract(s):

From Tiktaalik, Adieu

No plans and preparations without first having a vision, like an angel appearing to you in your bedchamber, or thought slipping in as you butter your toast, stir your coffee. And how to know what to pack, especially for a trip to where no one’s ever been? Easier to follow a river or a mountain range. I’ve read there are few new roads, that most roads follow common paths, follow the route animals have taken, as if the animals know the easiest grade to follow, the path of water, and the Oregon trail is just a dot-to-dot of Indian footpaths—so Lewis and Clark, or some other explorers, can’t take credit. And particularly difficult is the journey to a place that never existed—the Fountain of Youth. How do you map that? What part of a mountain range, what river corresponds to fantasy? Beginning is the hardest part…

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My chapbook, Tiktaalik, Adieu, is out in the world now and I’ve done an interview through the Speaking of Marvels website created by William Woolfitt. The site features Q & A with chapbook and novella authors.

The interview is here, and questions cover themes and process for both of my chapbooks, Tiktaalik, Adieu (Finishing Line Press) and Theories of Rain (Main Street Rag). Here are a few of the topics discussed over at the Speaking of Marvels site:

  • What are some of your favorite chapbooks? Or what are some chapbooks that have influenced your writing?
  • What are your chapbooks about?
  • What’s the oldest piece in Tiktaalik, Adieu? Or can you name one poem that catalyzed or inspired the rest of the chapbook? What do you remember about writing it?
  • Describe your writing practice or process. Do you have a favorite prompt or revision strategy? What is it?
  • How did you decide on the arrangements and titles of your chapbooks?
  • What kinds of writing (comics, dictionaries, magazines, novels, etc.) that aren’t poetry help you to write poetry?

One small fact I would include if I were doing the interview again today is tiktaalik (/ˌtɪkˈtɑːlɪk/) is an Inuit word for freshwater fish. The paleontologist, Neil Shubin, who discovered the fossil fish in Canada near the arctic circle asked the local Inuit if they would provide the name.

Both books are available from the publishers, and Tiktaalik, Adieu can also be ordered from this website or










A Year With Rilke

February 18, 2015 — 2 Comments


I stumbled across this book of quotes and reflections by Rilke, A Year With Rilke (translated and edited by Joanna Macy & Anita Barrows). The quote for February 18, today, is my favorite. It’s from Letters to a Young Poet, July 16, 1903:

“I want to ask you, as clearly as I can, to bear with patience all that is unresolved in your heart, and try to love the questions themselves, as if they were rooms yet to enter or books written in a foreign language. Don’t dig for answers that can’t be given you yet: you cannot live them now. For everything must be lived. Live the questions now, perhaps then, someday, you will gradually, without noticing, live into the answer.” ~Rilke

The daily entries come from Rilke’s letters as well as his books of poetry. It’s a very attractive 5 x 7 inch hardback book with 365 pages.


I recently read Letters to a Young Poet for the first time in many years (translated by Stephen Mitchell). It’s a short book, a compilation of ten letters written by Rilke between 1902 and 1908 to Franz Kappus, a young man entering military service. Rilke gives advice and insight to Kappus about what it takes to be a writer and an artist, and no matter where I am in my own writing life, I can find some sentence or thought that applies directly to me.

From the third letter in the collection:

Everything is gestation and then birthing. To let each impression and each embryo of a feeling come to completion, entirely in itself, in the dark, in the unsayable, the unconscious, beyond the reach of one’s own understanding, and with deep humility and patience to wait for the hour when a new clarity is born: this alone is what it means to live as an artist: in understanding as in creating.

In this there is no measuring with time, a year doesn’t matter, and ten years are nothing. Being an artist means: not numbering and counting, but ripening like a tree, which doesn’t force its sap, and stands confidently in the storms of spring, not afraid that afterward summer may not come. It does come. But it comes only to those who are patient, who are there as if eternity lay before them, so unconcernedly silent and vast. I learn it every day of my life, learn it with pain I am grateful for: patience is everything! ~ Rilke

Rilke’s idea of the artist maturing slowly–time of no consequence–is in direct opposition to today’s social media world of instant gratification. I highly recommend both books if this is an area of interest.