2012 in review::welcome 2013

Posted by Daniela Elza on Jan 01 2013

So, it is here, again, the new year. What a busy and challenging one 2012 was. I know, I have been delinquent in keeping up with family and friends. I used to write up to 50 happy-new-year cards by hand and send out around the world. What happened? This is what happened. Here are some quick highlights for 2012 in review.

  • January: I received my first writing grant from the BC Arts Council. Thank you BC Arts Council. I have been hard at work.
  • February: My poem accidentally buying a painting in Chinatown won second place in Pandora’s Collective Poetry Contest (Judges: Fiona Lam and Rob Taylor). The poem has found its home in Poems from Planet Earth Anthology coming out in Spring of 2013 with Leaf Press.
  • March: the weight of dew was published by Mother Tongue Publishing. Thank you to each of you who came to support the birth of my debut collection of poems.
    Featured with Vancouver Poet Laureate Evelyn Lau at the first in the Lunch Poems reading series (March 28).
    Gave a performance/discussion at SFU in an Arts Education class (March 29).
  • April: Poetry Month just got a lot busier. Launches at Twisted Poets Literary Salon (with Kate Braid), Poetic Justice, White Rock Public Library (with E.D. Blodgett), Surrey Muse, Poetry Around the World, and the weight of dew launch on Salt Spring Island. Workshop in a Surrey Highschool.
    Guest-edited for WordWorks Poetry Issue (FBCW publication)
  • May: Leaf Press accepted Milk Tooth Bane Bone which will be published April, 2013.
    Thank you to VBE Roberts and Gathering Place Education Centre for inviting me to do a two hour presentation on poetry. You can read the post here.

    [cover image of milk tooth bane bone. the art is by my son]

  • June: First book tour: Kamloops, Vernon, Kelowna, Penticton. Five nights, five readings. Thank you to all of you who helped organize and put me up for the night. Here you can read my post on behind the scenes of the tour. Thank you League of Canadian Poets for the help with funding.
    I went to my second convocation ceremony this time to receive a The Dean’s Convocation Medal for my doctorate thesis at SFU. Here are more details and photos on that. Thank you SFU.
    Took part in the Words and Music Festival with musicians Clyde Reed and Jared Burrows. You can read my post of the event here.
  • July: Four poems accepted for Force Field: An Anthology of 77 Women Poets of B.C., edited by Susan Musgrave (Mother Tongue Publishing, April, 2013).
    3 poems in the inaugural issue of Cascadia Review. Read WisÅ‚awa Szymborska (1923 – 2012) at Dead Poets Reading Series.
  • August: Self-publishing panel, SFU, Summer Dream Literary Arts Festival (feature, and host).
    Invitation to submit work to Poems for the Writing: Prompts for Poets by Valerie Fox and Lynn Levin (Texture Press, Norman, Oklahoma, January 2013).
    Publication of two poems in Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here: Poets and Writers Respond to the March 5th, 2007, Bombing of Baghdad’s “Street of the Booksellers.” Editors: Beau Beausoleil and Deema Shehabi (PM Press,Oakland, CA, 2012). We will be launching this anthology here in Vancouver at Twisted Poets Literary Salon on March 28th, 2013 with other resistance and socially engaged poetry. So stay tuned.

  • ~

  • September: Trip to Bulgaria with my sister to visit my mom and dad (with a week in Turkey and a day on the Isle of Lesbos in Greece). It was a good three weeks of getting away from my usual life and spending time with family. Always grateful for every day we spend together.
    Featured at the Poetry Tent @ Word On The Street (WOTS).
  • October: Six pieces of milk tooth bane bone accepted in the Incongruous Quarterly, issue 5 on Companion Animals (edited by Nikki Reimer and Alex Leslie).
    More improvising with words and music. Watch out for more exciting music and poetry combos in 2013. Here is Jared’s post on future plans to work together (4th paragraph down).
    Feature at TWS reading Series with yet another launch of the weight of dew.
    Launch of 111 West Coast Literary Portraits.
    Broke my monthly record of submissions: 10 submissions sent out this month.
  • November: My poem poppies are not (Enough was poem of the week at Split this Rock.
    Another launch of 111 West Coast Literary Portraits, this one in McGill Library in Burnaby.
    filling Station accepted 4 poems for their 2013 Experimental Writing by Women issue.
  • December: Another month that focused more on submissions. (About 50 submissions all together sent out in 2012).
    Guest co-edtior (with Bonnie Nish) of the ninth volume of Quills Canadian Poetry. (we have over 400 pages of submissions.) Not an easy task! We did it.
    Contributed a poem to Susan McCaslin’s Project to save McLellan Park-East in Langley. Visited the more that 200 poems installation in the park. Lets hope that all the media coverage and awareness brought about by these activities will lead to a change of heart of Langley Mayor and Council. (Decision pending January 2013).

Yes, change of heart, because heart is what you need for such things. As well as for writing. I can always tell when the heart is involved in the writing. Mind, body, and heart are the three ingredients to good writing. Then, we go on the long language journey.

Also, after three years of dedicated service, I had to let go of my duties at the Federation of BC Writers as a Vancouver/Lower Mainland Representative, as editor on their Wordworks team, and as their VOX newsletter co-ordinator and editor. This was accompanied with both a feeling of grief as well as relief. 2012 was a year of too many volunteer hours. I do not regret that one little bit, since I believe a lot of good and needed work gets done in the volunteer sector. However, it is time now to focus on my own work a bit more.
Well, this is about it.
Any questions? (Yeah, if you read this far, you are allowed to ask a question.)

Hope you have all been well. Happy New Year to YOU. Let it be healthy, creative, abundant, filled with love and lots of laughter between us! And most of all, love.

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