The folks at Farmer-ish recently reached out to let me know that they were nominating my essay, "Winter Song," for a Maine Literary Award. I'm grateful to them for their belief in the piece. The essay is about a dog, winter memories, and grief, as well as restoration and hope.
Photo credit: Натали Хмельницкая, Unsplash
My November/December 2021 newsletter is here. It includes some new publications, my dear friend and author Carole Starr and her book To Root & To Rise, an epic knitting fail, and some tiger facts from Zoe. You can read it here.
I'm delighted to have an essay in the Winter Solstice Issue of Farmer-ish, Winter Song, which is about our old dog Elsie, grief, and hope for a restorative winter. I'd also encourage you to check out the entire Winter Solstice issue as well as their previous online issues and lovely 2021 print annual, which you can learn more about here.
I've been fortunate to work on a recent project with the New Hampshire Coalition for Suicide Prevention helping to raise awareness around suicide, help individuals share their personal stories, and educate around suicide prevention efforts on a national and local level. A couple of the stories near to my heart include Jim Scott's story and KC Christensen's story. In addition, the group recently published this post about Holiday Stress & Suicide, and the website has a ton of informative blog posts, suicide prevention resources, and helpful information.
I recently had a short article included in the Maine Appalachian Trail Club's Maintainer Newsletter through a happy collision of two disparate parts of my life. My first husband Steve and I were volunteer maintainers of a section of the Appalachian Trail on Saddleback Mountain for many years, and shortly before his diagnosis we became lifetime members of the Maine Appalachian Trail Club. Since about a year after Steve's death, I have been working as a brain injury advocate and educator. Through this work, I recently was able to follow and highlight Maine stroke survivor Guy Pilote's thru hike of the Appalachian Trail to raise awareness around brain injury. Guy reached Katahdin in October, and I wrote up a little piece for the fall 2021 issue of the Maintainer, which you can find here. You can also download a copy here.
I'm honored to share that Farmer-ish has nominated my poem "Family Recipes" for a 2022 Pushcart Prize. You can read all about the wonderful pieces nominated here, and I would encourage you to check out Farmer-ish as a publication. They produce online issues as well as a beautiful print annual.
Image credit: Farmer-ish
I recently had an essay, Grieving My First Husband's Death & My Second Husband's Deployment, published in Insider Parenting. This was a hard one. I wrote the first draft of the essay in December 2020, not long after my husband deployed, and then I couldn't touch it for many, many months. I wrestled with edits here and there, and then cut it down to half its original length for Insider. The past couple years have been so difficult for many people, but I think enormously so for parents, especially those of young children. I was dealing with a lot of stress when I wrote the essay, but honestly, it's nothing compared to what I have experienced recently, nearly a year into solo parenting three children through a pandemic. Though the essay, which explores how my grief (and parenting experience) around my first husband's death mirrored so closely that of my second husband's deployment, was challenging to write, I'm grateful to have it out in the world.
My September/October 2021 newsletter can be found here. My dear friend Amy Jirsa is the featured writer, and there are publication updates, reading recommendations, a Maine Coon cat fact from Zoe, and more goodies to be found.
I'm delighted to have a new essay in Taproot's Issue 47::SUSTAIN. This essay explores some of the ways I have dealt with my grief over the years, especially regarding the things that I always find myself turning to for comfort and sustenance during difficult times: knitting, baking, gardening, and, of course, writing. Taproot is a lovely ad-free and Maine-based publication full of beautiful words, stunning art, recipes, projects, and more, and I'm always honored to have my work included in their pages. If you haven't checked them out yet, I highly recommend picking up an issue or, if you are local to Maine, stopping by their Portland storefront.
I'm delighted to have a new poem published in the latest issue of Farmer-ish, a newer but very cool Maine-based publication that focuses on farmers, farming, and the creative life. Crystal Sands, co-founder of Farmer-ish, says "I live in a world where farming and the arts go hand in hand. I wanted to share this world with others." You can check out the entire Fall Equinox issue (theme: Folklore) here, and you can read my poem, "Family Recipes," here.
Photo credit: Catalin Dragu, Unsplash
Sarah Kilch Gaffney lives and writes on a little piece of land in Maine.