The Liebster Blog Award

Thank you to Jo Marjoribanks with her lovely blog, Drifting Pages, for nominating me for a Liebster Blog Award!

The Liebster Blog Award is an award that is only for blogs with under 300 followers, and there’s a set of rules to follow.

The purpose is to spread the word about these blogs so they can share their visions with more readers. I love the pay-it-forward concept.

Here are the rules:

  • List 11 facts about yourself

  • Answer the 11 questions asked by whomever nominated you

  • Ask 11 new questions to 9 bloggers with less than 300 followers. (You can’t re-nominate the blog that nominated you)

  • Go to the blogs you’ve nominated and tell them that they have been nominated
  • Go back to the blog that nominated you and let them know you’ve answered his/her questions!

Okay, here goes. 🙂

11 Facts about me

  1. I was born on Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Fairborn, Ohio, because my dad was an Air Force B52 navigator; he was also the child of Mexican immigrants. He was gone a year for the Vietnam war when I was 7 and 8. My mother’s roots are in the Kentucky mountains. My little sister keeps me grounded in dreams, and my niece is a long-distance miracle and inspiration.
  2. I lived in LA for about 15 years. UCLA had a vibrant reading program and amazing professors. Coming from a small town myself, I thought my elderly Shakespeare professor’s British accent was magical and that he must have known Shakespeare as a boy.
  3. I play the piano a little. After four years of lessons, I play a little.
  4. My husband sings and plays guitar. He was a Marine pilot and is currently a psychologist at a prison; we dated when we were 16.
  5. My little daughter inherited her father’s singing and running genes and my test-taking genes. My big daughter inherited her father’s ability and willingness to tackle and overcome any problem, big or small.
  6. My sons inherited their father’s singing genes, and my little one inherited my ocd and love of words.
  7. My favorite color is cranberry. My favorite weather is rain. I love snow and square-shaped dinner plates.
  8. I loved living in Gainesville, Florida for my master’s program at UF. I wish I had known what pure joy it was to be required to read 1,000-plus pages a week and to teach literature and poetry and to write poetry and critical essays as my only jobs in the world – all among the real gators baking in the sun and all accomplished in the purifying humidity of the state with the most beautiful name.
  9. The UF professors were also amazing. I wish I would’ve stayed at UF for the MFA. They didn’t have it when I went into the writing program, and they only began it the month after I left. My masters thesis was already book of poetry, so I probably didn’t have too many classes to go. At the time, I felt it was sort of like running a two-mile race and then, at the finish line, having the race officials say, hey, how about another mile? Should’ve dug down and done it anyway. That also explains why I didn’t stay for the PhD, the other option at the time.
  10. Re: running, I work as an elementary track coach for my school. As a first-year track coach, I successfully made every available error. I look forward to making fewer errors next year.
  11. I was very lucky to receive a scholarship to attend the Key West Literary Seminar in January of 2010, held in honor of Richard Wilbur – what an amazing roster of poets including Tim Steele, Todd Boss, Billy Collins, Kirby Congdon, Erica Dawson, Rita Dove, Rhina P. Espaillat, Rachel Hadas, Matthea Harvey, Jane Hirshfield, Yusef Komunyakaa, Maxine Kumin, Paul Muldoon, Robert Pinsky, Kay Ryan, Mark Strand, James Tate, Natasha Trethewey, and Richard Wilbur. Catherine Tufariello attended but should have taught and panel-ed. An embarrassment of riches.

11 Answers for the Questions Posed to Me

1) What do you enjoy most about blogging? One of the things I like most about blogging is the sense of joining an international conversation – I also love the fragmented, overwhelming, collage-like feel of following and being followed by people who are also busy, scattered, and open-minded to new images and ideas. I love the idea that each blogger is his/her own first publisher in a way, creating something absolutely raw and simple, in a good way, out of a personal vision. As well, for myself, I love a great excuse to go into my little library and hunt down a few lines of poetry each and every day for my blog.

2) What’s the most unusual book you’ve ever read? (could be theme, format, writing style etc) I’m stuck on the word, unusual. 🙂 I think I will take it as, “unusual in a mind-opening kind of way.” So many books have re-ignited my love for poetry, and I’m finding new poets and new books daily. I don’t want to leave anyone out; however, for the sake of answering the question in the superlative, I’ll go with the most unusual book that comes to mind first: Tsim, Tsum by Sabrina Orah Mark. I love her poems which follow psychologically-accurate paths in a fairytale world, my favorite kind of world. Very real toads in very unusual imaginary gardens.

3) Was there a book series you started reading but gave up on because you lost interest? No. Since I have so little reading time available, I focus on books of poetry, literary journals, poetry criticism, and bits and pieces of found nonfiction and focused research. However, I do get to read some of the new serial books with my daughter when we read together. I’ve enjoyed those we’ve read, and we read all the books in each series. I’ve only not finished two books I’ve ever started and/or been assigned in school. I’m ocd that way.

4) What’s the worst book you’ve ever read? Why did you dislike it? Tristram Shandy. I read it in graduate school. It’s one of only two books that I’ve started but not finished, in or out of school. I’m sure it’s a perfectly wonderful book, and I really can’t even give a complete, personal opinion, since I didn’t finish it; I still don’t know what made me throw it against the wall and refuse to go on. But, I know it had something to do with the blank pages that were supposed to be an experimental excuse for a chapter.

5) What’s your favourite bookshop? (could be a chain or an indie) Any used bookstore with a great poetry selection and a great rare book section is my very, very favorite! I really loved Moe’s Books in Berkeley, Ca in the 1990’s or so – haven’t been there since, but I see they’re online now.

6) Has there ever been a book character which turned out exactly the way you imagined they would when you saw them in the film adaptation? Harry Potter, Hermione, Hagrid, Dumbledore, Katniss

7) Have you ever visited a location just because it was featured in a book? Ireland. 🙂 In the way that location becomes its own character in fiction and a real presence in the background and/or forefront in poetry, I have visited many locations because of books. I was sad to miss the Ulysses tour in Ireland, but, the whole country glowed with Heaney, Hughes, Yeats, and Joyce. And, I loved England. Shakespeare’s cottage. And, Oxford, Mississippi for every Faulkner book and/or story. And, Boston and Wellesley, MA for Plath, even the house where she lived when she was 20. And, University of Washington for Roethke and his house with the rumored black dining room. And, Key West for Merrill, Bishop, and Stevens. And, University of Iowa for Justice and Logan and Greger.

8) Do you have a particular bookmark you always use, or do you just use whatever is lying around? While I love beautiful bookmarks and own a few pretty ones, I usually end up using scraps from envelopes.

9) Do you mind if the spines or pages of your paperbacks get creased, or is it important to you to keep them looking like new? I love books too much to worry over a few creases. Most of my books end up looking, ummm, loved. 🙂

10) What’s the best library you’ve ever visited? Smith College, not sure which library, but it’s the one with the Rare Book Room and its Plath collection. Trinity College Library in Dublin was wonderful, wonderful. And, the Harvard Library that houses the poetry audio collection – headphones and hours and hours of requests. Sentimentally, I also love UCLA’s URL, Biomed and Hugh and Hazel Darling Law Library.

11) If you could spend a day in the shoes of any literary character, who would it be? Since some characters may, arguably, be considered literary and real, I would either like to be Gabriel on the day s/he first visits Mary, or Mary seven months beyond that day (for a day).

11 Questions for the Blogs I’ve Nominated

  1. What’s your favorite poetry reading that you’ve attended?
  2. What are 2-3 books that changed your life?
  3. What’s a location you visited that changed your life?
  4. What are 2-3 poems or poets that changed your life?
  5. With a busy life, how do you manage your creative minutes, blogging, poetry, fiction, photography, painting or other? About how many minutes do you try to achieve each day, and at what time of day, and where, and how?
  6. To which journals do you subscribe?
  7. To which artistic movement(s) do you feel akin?
  8. If you could have written one poem or novel, which one would it be?
  9. What inspires you to work?
  10. Was there a day or moment in which you first knew you wanted to do what you do?
  11. If you could be in your favorite spot on earth, where would it be, and in which weather?

Blogs I’m Nominating

  1. St. Brigid’s Press /
  2. Valdes Writes /
  3. Words by a Crafty Bibliophile /
  4. Bridie Mason /
  5. Words for the Year /
  6. Rare Books First /
  7. University of Glasgow Library /
  8. The Readist /
  9. And Yet the Books /

(Off the Shelf / (I still love this one, but I found that they have too many followers to nominate, which is wonderful for them! 🙂 )



2 thoughts on “The Liebster Blog Award

  1. Great to see your award post up! I enjoyed reading your facts and answers. I think things like this add extra fun to blogging because you get to know more about the people behind the blogs! I love poetry too, which is one of the reasons I started reading your blog in the first place, so it was nice to read more about your passion for it. 🙂


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