Sunday, July 28, 2013

Do I Have to Wear a Label?

Many writers are identified by one genre. Some are poets and that is all they write. Some are novelists. Some write only creative non-fiction.

I like to write it all -- fiction, non-fiction and poetry. I also enjoy interviewing people and writing about what they have to say. I write passionately about subjects like indoor air pollution and multiple chemical sensitivity. I probably write more personal essays than anything.

So, am I a writer? A poet? A journalist? A memoirist? 
Do I have to be put into a box? Do I have to wear a label like a box of spaghetti on the shelf? 

In recent weeks I've published a review of a novel, an interview with a writer, and I have interviewed another writer. I am in the  process of finding the best home for that piece now.

Almost everyday I write a post for one of my blogs. These posts seldom have anything to do with poetry, but at times I will publish a poem on one of my blogs because it is short and because I want to share it. And sometimes I have a poem that seems to fit with my subject for that day. 

However some people think of me simply as a poet. I wear many hats in my life. I am a writer, a blogger, a poet, a teacher, a mentor, a business owner, a volunteer. Some people refer to me as a publicist at times. 

Variety makes anything more fun, I believe. I have been asked, "Can I write creative non-fiction and write poetry as well?"
Of course you can. At a recent reading at John C. Campbell Folk School, I read a true story, a memoir, and had many compliments from my audience. I also read one or two poems that evening. 

My friend, Estelle, says she tends to write poetry when she wants to express serious feelings and emotions. She finds that memoir helps her tell about her family, her past, her history. But short stories are her path to share humor. Another friend, Mary Mike, writes touching poetry that lingers in the mind of the reader, but her short fiction is memorable as well.

I might sit down to write and find that my subject lends itself to personal essay better than to poetry. I might begin to write a non-fiction piece and find that I'd rather embellish it and make it a short story (fiction).

If you look, you will see that I have published short stories, personal essays, articles in magazines and newspapers, memoir, and poetry. I like to do it all.

Below see where some of my short stories and memoir pieces are published in magazines, journals and anthologies:
How We Met – Forks in the Road -Anthology
Reunion – Reunions Magazine
Tar, Tallow and Prayer -- Moonshine and Blind Mules and other Western North Carolina Tales, 2006
Confrontation  --Muscadine Lines; A Southern Journal - 2009
What Did You Say? - Dead Mule School of Southern Literature - April, 2010
The Trillium -- Echoes Across the Blue Ridge, Essays, stories and poems by writers living in and inspired by the southern Applachian Mountains.
Pass it on - Breath and Shadow, online journal, July 15 issue,; ICL Newsletter, 2011, Clay County Progress Newspaper
Buck, My Brother Ned and the Snake -Muscadine Lines: A Southern Journal - 2011     
Public Domain - Dead Mule School of Southern Literature - April 2012   

1 comment:

abbiescorner said...

Hey Glenda, this was an interesting post. I remember reading your essay about multiple chemical sensitivity in Breath and Shadow, but it was nice to re-read it.

I'm like you. I write a little bit of everything except for horror, science fiction, and fantasy which I don't even read, and I'm definitely not a journalist. There's nothing wrong with wearing many hats as a writer.