The Works of Jayne Pupek

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Richmond, VA, United States
Jayne Pupek is the author of the novel "Tomato Girl" (Algonquin Books, 2008) and a book of poems titled "Forms of Intercession" (Mayapple Press, 2008). Her writing has appeared in numerous literary journals. In addition to her own writing, Jayne freelances as a ghostwriter, editor and mentor. A Virginia native, Jayne has spent most of her professional life working in the field of mental health.

Contact Jayne

To contact Jayne, email


Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy 2008!

I survived the holiday madness and am ready to settle into my normal routine. My youngest son received a drum set for Christmas. Need I say more? He's really quite good on them, and plays electric guitar, too, but I love quiet--I suppose most writers do--and drums are anything but quiet. My eldest son isn't so happy about the drums either, since his room is right across the hall from his brother's. I think I finally have them on a schedule that includes drum-free hours as well as hours my youngest can play. So far, the house is still standing.

Husband went to The Asian Panda yesterday and picked up dinner for New Year's Eve. Turns out to be the best Chinese restaurant we've tried in the area, because they have such a wide variety of vegetarian entrees like my favorite, eggplant in garlic sauce. He also picked up a raspberry and white chocolate cheesecake from The Cheesecake Factory, which went perfectly with the champagne and CNN/Anderson Cooper's New Year's countdown. Yes, I am one of those boring people who celebrates at home. I'm just not the type to endure the cold or fight the crowds to watch a ball drop from the sky so I can kiss the same man I've been kissing for twenty years. Nope, not happening. If Elvis or Anna Nicole Smith or Michael Jackson (Oh, wait, he isn't dead) stepped out of the ball, or if I got to kiss Richard Gere, maybe I'd show up...but probably not. I'm as reclusive as they come.

I must have been a good girl this year, because Santa brought me a huge stack of books for Christmas, along with some art supplies, red wine, DVDs, CDs, and chocolate. I'll highlight some of the books here as I read them, but if you want the wine and chocolate, you better get here fast. Neither last long around me.

I finished up round four of 30:30 at ITWS. As much as I'd love to continue, I find it very difficult to write both poetry and fiction simultaneously. They ask for different things, at least I find that to be true.
I hope you all enjoy a year of happiness, good health, and successes large and small.



Saturday, December 22, 2007


I'm winding down for the holidays and finishing up last minute tasks like wrapping gifts and making cookies. Not much left to do on the preparations. I plan to consume all the oysters, dark chocolate, and champagne I can hold. I have just a week left on the 30:30 challenge on Inside the Writer's Studio (Rules are simple: Write one poem a day for thirty days. Repeat as necessary.). I've been working on a few other projects, but will return to those after the holidays.

I'm happy to say it isn't going to snow this Christmas in my neck of the woods. I'm not a fan of the white stuff. I'd like for it to be June all year long.

We have an unusual arrangement with our tree this year, thanks to Tucker, our terrier-hound mix we adopted last year. He's a wild boy---more rambunctious than the three poodles. Tucker has few fears, but he is quite afraid of my African masks. So guess what surrounds our tree this year to keep Tucker from tearing it down? Yep, we circled the tree with African masks! Okay, so the animals run things at my house. You mean you didn't know that? Now, should we sing carols, or maybe paint our bodies and do a tribal dance around the tree?

A few more poems have been accepted for publication. "Lunar Eclipse in Scorpio" and "Census of Seagulls" are forthcoming in Anti-, which is a new and exciting literary journal. Eclectica Magazine has accepted three of my poems, which were written in response to a word challenge: "OCD Patient Narrates the Picnic," "Nights in Apt 14," and "Hotel Prayer." And my poem "Oject Trouve" will appear soon in qarrtsiluni. The editors suggested some fine revisions to that poem, which I was happy to make. Thieves Jargon, which publishes fresh, innovative, and provocative work, has accepted two of my poems: "Armand" and "Applicants to the Garden of Eternal (more or less) Rest." I'm thrilled!

I hope everyone has a blissful holiday---and please don't forget all the homeless and abused animals in need when you consider holiday giving. While Christmas is not typically a good time to bring home a new pet, it is always a good time to volunteer and/or donate money and goods to help them. Check out the Activism Page on my Web Site for some organizations you might consider. These groups rely on donations and support to do their work. Please help where and when you can.



Thursday, December 6, 2007


It's been a good week for acceptances. Ghoti is publishing three of poems in their winter issue: "Valley Notes," "Tuesday Afternoon," and "The Proof." A few of the poems in my forthcoming book first appeared in this journal, which is one of my personal favorites.

Six Little Things has accepted "Found Coins." This will be my first appearance in this journal, which features prose poems.

"Starving Artists" will appear in the next issue of Mimesis, a beautiful print journal.

And I'm especially thrilled that Allison Tyler has accepted three erotica submissions for an upcoming anthology to be published by Cleis Press.

Front and Back Covers of Forms of Intercession

Saturday, December 1, 2007


It's been a hectic few weeks. I finished up round three at Inside the Writer's Studio, and began round four today. I am never, ever again going to try to do the 30:30 challenge and NaNoWriMo at the same time. I thought I'd never see daylight again! I finished the NaNoWriMo challenge of 50,000 words while writing a poem a day at ITWS, but by the time November 3o arrived, I was feeling junkyard-dog vicious. If a Salvation Army Santa had said so much as"Merry Christmas" to me, I probably would have poured my latte on his beard. I drank a lot of lattes during November. I kept asking my husband if they were making my behind fat. He said not, but we've been married twenty years, so he is well-trained.

If I had even two paranoid bones in my body, I'd swear the gods were timing things to test my reserves. My fiction manuscript was returned to me for some re-writing and proof-reading at the same time my poetry manuscript proofs arrived. Today, I received an acceptance for an erotica anthology, but was asked to rewrite one small section of one story (yes, I do go over the top once in awhile). All these things need to be finished at about the same time. Yikes! Will I make it? Somebody needs to sing the "I think I can...I think I can...." refrain.

For all my complainin', I love writing and enjoy being busy with projects that are coming to completion after hours of elbow grease, head-thumping, and chewing the end of my pen.

I must also add that I'm eternally grateful for the work my editor (Chuck Adams) and copyeditor (Janet Patterson) have done on my novel, Tomato Girl. Mayapple's Judith Kerman (publisher/editor) and her assistant, Amee Schmidt, have been invaluable in making Forms of Intercession (Poetry) the best that it can be.

Arlene missed her plane to the Phillipines, but that gave her time to drop her chapbook in the mail to me. What she doesn't know is that if she had mailed my copy before her first attempt to leave, she wouldn't have missed her plane at all. I want that chapbook in my little hands.

And some good news... I heard from the UK based journal FuseLit. They've accepted my poem, "Fox in Daylight," for their sepcial issue on foxes. I can't wait to see it!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Poem Accepted by Literary Fever

Literary Fever has accepted my poem, "3274 Hickory Lane" to appear in their next issue, due out in January. This is a relatively new journal with fresh voices and art. I'm thrilled to be included.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

2 Poems Accepted at Mannequin Envy

I received an acceptance today from Mannequin Envy. "Late Fall" and "Mannequins" will appear in the winter issue, due out by mid-December. Mannequin Envy is one of the most beautiful online literary journals I read--the visual art is as stunning as the poetry-- and I'm delighted to be included there.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Poem Accepted by Umbrella

My poem, "Wintering in Detroit, 2024" has been accepted for Umbrella´s special ¨cold poem¨ feature, online December 1st. This is my first appearance in Umbrella and my first "futuristic" poem. I'm excited on both counts.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

GirlChild Press Anthology and Ariel Journal

I was thrilled to learn that my poem, "Tomboy," has been accepted for publication in the next GirlChild Press Anthology, Just Like A Girl: A Manifesta. The anthology is scheduled for release August 2008.

I also heard good news from Ariel Journal (published by University of Calgary Press) this week. The editors have decided to include my poem, "After a Miscarriage," in the next issue. This is my first Canadian publication. I'm delighted!

Monday, November 5, 2007


Two of my poems are up at Hiss Quarterly: "Absolutely Modern: A Portrait of a Girl" and "Last Night." The accompanying art by Melody Herbert is vibrant, bold, and surreal. Love both paintings!

Friday, November 2, 2007


I'm thrilled that Zyogte in my Coffee has accepted my poem, "Eviction." The poem will appear in the December issue.

The Taj Mahal Review has accepted my poem, "Scheherazade," for their December issue as well. Published in India, I have yet to have the pleasure of reading this journal.


Well, I stayed away from 30:30 all of one day, and now I'm back. Arlene threatened to nail me down by my clothes. No one has ever threatened to crucify me before. Technically, it isn't a crucifixtion without the nails in the hands, and the cross, but I'm going to play the martyr, because I am doing both the 30:30 challenge AND NaNoWriMo in the same month!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

This and That

My poem, "Red Gloves," has been accepted for publication in the UK-based magazine for women writers, Mslexia. I'm very pleased with this acceptance, because I love the magazine. Very hip and fresh. Arlene introduced me to it. She's also hip and fresh, and has a new chapbook, Secret Love Poems, forthcoming from Rubicon Press. I can't wait to read it!

Today marked my completion of round two of 30:30 at Inside the Writer's Studio. I decided to take a break from the workshop for the month of November to participate in NaNoWriMo. All I can say is this: IS IT DECEMBER YET??????!!!!!!!!!!! I feel the need for a lobotomy or an exorcism coming on strong.

Speaking of novels, I just finished making revisions to Tomato Girl, which is forthcoming from Algonquin Books in the Fall of 2008. Chuck Adams, the editor who worked on my manuscript, did an amazing job, bringing out the best in my story by showing me where to cut what wasn't essential. Now, if only he made house calls, I could nail this novel writing thing.

Not two hours after I returned Tomato Girl, I received edits and suggestions on my poetry manuscript, Forms of Intercession. Judith Kerman, the publisher/editor at Mayapple Press, is incredibly perceptive and energetic. Mayapple has produced quite a number of fine books this year, which is no small feat for a press this size. Judy has made many excellent suggestions, and I'm particularly excited about this book, which is scheduled for release in January, 2008.

My mother always said, "There is no rest for the wicked." I'm living proof.

Tomorrow is an exception, because it is Halloween. I intend to eat a lot of chocolate, drink a substantial amount of red wine, and scare myself by watching Rosemary's Baby and The Exorcist. I'm not dressing up, as my kids are teenagers and there is no frightening them now. I did threaten them recently, that if I kept finding them online looking at naughty pictures (okay, porn), I would have my face installed as the screensaver on their computer. That seemed to frighten the little darlings a bit.

Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 11, 2007


This is the image that will appear on the cover of Forms of Intercession, forthcoming from Mayapple Press in January, 2008. The painting is from The Underground Series by Megan Karlen. I couldn't be more thrilled and am eager to have the book in hand. Judith Kerman, the poet and editor who founded Mayapple, has been a delight to work with on this project.


Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Two Poems Accepted by Hiss Quarterly

I'm so pleased that The Hiss Quarterly has accepted both "Absolutely Modern: A Portrait of a Girl" and "Last Night" to appear in the next issue, "Slip Out the Back, Jack", which will be posted on or about November 1, 2007. The theme for this issue was The Anatomy of Abandonment. To chek out upcoming themes and deadlines, visit here.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Two Poems up at Eclectica

Two of my new poems are up at Eclectica.

And...I finished round one of 30 poems in 30 days. I started round two this morning.

Have sent out many of the poems written this month and hope a few of them find homes.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Monday, September 17, 2007

Two Poems accepted by Eclectica

I just received word that two of my poems have been accepted for publication in the fall issue of Eclectica Magazine. The poems to be published are: "An Appearance" and "Distance." The issue will be released on October 1, 2007.

I spent much of the weekend working on new poems and preparing submissions. So much of the past year or more has been consumed by the writing and rewriting of my second novel, leaving little time for the making of poems. I'm working on my third novel, but have arranged my schedule to include more time for reading and writing poems. Participating in the 30:30 workshop at ITWS helps keep me focused on writing a poem each day.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007 Audio

Along with a very strong cup of Starbucks coffee---I'm not telling how many scoops I load into the machine---I love to start my day with poetry. The fact that I can bring Anne Sexton into my bedroom to read "Her Kind" while I drink my French Roast is just one of life's glorious and surreal moments. has an excellent collection of recorded poems. From their website: "Beginning with John Berryman’s historic first reading of The Dream Songs on Halloween night, 1963, the Academy of American Poets has presented and recorded over 700 poetry readings, lectures, and symposia, making the Poetry Audio Archive one the world's richest aural records of poetry."

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

The Underground Series

When Mayapple Press decided to publish Forms of Intercession, my first full-length book of poems, cover design was one of several topics to arise. I had never contacted an artist about using their work, but I definitely had the work of one artist in mind. I first came across Megan Karlen's Underground Series featured in 2River View, one of my favorite online journals of literature and art. I'm absolutely delighted that Megan has agreed to allow her work to appear on the cover of my book. I find her primitive birds and their underground worlds enchanting, quite evocative of fairytales and dreamscapes. I love Megan's masterful use of natural objects and her ability to achieve a surreal atmosphere. I'm not sure which image we'll be using, but each piece in the series is remarkable.

Megan Karlen is an abstract expressionist painter residing in Jackson Heights, Queens, New York. Her work can be viewed here.

Monday, September 3, 2007


My poem, "Some Days," will be included in the upcoming anthology edited by Holly Hughes, Beyond Forgetting: Poetry and Prose about Alzheimer’s Disease. Kent State University Press is publishing the book, with a projected release date late in 2008. "Some Days" first appeared in my chapbook, Local Girls, online at The Dead Mule.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Two Poems Accepted

"Culled Space" and "Gardenias" have been accepted for publication in Gertrude, a publication that showcases the creative talents of the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and allied communities. The editor wrote a very nice note, saying that he accepts less than five percent of the work he receives. I am honored that he accepted two of my poems.

Best of the Web

I'm delighted to announce that The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature has nominated one of my poems for Best of the Web 2007. I'm always looking for an excuse to send hubby out to buy me sushi and champagne. This will do the trick. (Note: Even though I love sushi and champagne, I'm known to eat grits and drink beer on my front porch like any good Southerner should.)

"Ghost Child", the nominated poem, can be found at The Dead Mule, or on my web site:

Check out the other fine nominations for both poetry and fiction:

According to the rules, each poem or story must have been first published or appeared on the web between July 1, 2006 and June 30, 2007.

Thursday, August 30, 2007


I'm so excited to finally have my web site up!!!!!!!!!!!

All my thanks to Arlene Ang for her hard work, wit, and technical know how (expertise I completely lack.) I love the images we've used and hope others will enjoy visiting there.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Diane Arbus, Photographer

I have an affinity for films about the lives of writers and artists. I suppose it has to do with my curiosity about how they evolved, what inspired them, and how they managed their lives---the balancing of their art with the more mundane tasks we all have to do. This weekend, I watched Fur, a film featuring Nicole Kidman and Robert Downey, Jr. that explores the photographer, Diane Arbus, as she begins her journey as an artist. While the film does not claim to be an actual biography, it is clearly one interpretation of a fascinating and gifted woman. The ending was a little too predictable, but overall, I was so enthralled with the film that I could hardly wait to order the actual biography. Arbus's fascination with the grotesque both moves and intrigues me.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Animated Poetry

I came across these Billy Collins poems on YouTube. I love the idea of animated poems. Collins is such an accessible poet and his work is well suited to this medium. I could watch these over and over again. I think I will.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Two Stories Up at CommonTies

Losing Sam

The Marks We Leave

Photographs as Prompts

One of my favorite exercises is to browse the web for photographs and other images that somehow move or interest me, and then use them as writing prompts. This morning, I came across a photograph of a kitchen window filled with cobalt glass and other items that intrigued me. I used the image to write a poem. Here's a link to the photograph:

Sunday, August 5, 2007




given by the Academy of American Poets

To read a 1998 interview with the poet:

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Longing for the Yellow Bus

This happens to me every summer, just as July moves into August. A longing comes over me. Sometimes it feels like falling in love. I see the yellow buses move through the neighborhood and I feel giddy and warm inside. No, school hasn't resumed yet; these little trips by the buses are only precursory ones to the garage for maintenance checks or perhaps a dry run before school starts. But he promise is there, and it is all I need. Don't get me wrong, I love my sons. Absolutely adore them. Even on days when they test my patience (which is limited) and my wits (which are even more limited), they are the best thing that have happened to me. And yet, I relish my quiet time. Children are notoriously noisy. When the boys were younger, there were sounds of Thomas the Train and that ridiculous yellow sponge-child hybrid noted for his square pants and ability to make crabby patties. Now, there are arguments over who forgot to flush the toilet; sounds of my youngest son strumming away on his electric guitar (he has just informed me that he wants a drum set for Christmas--tell me it ain't so.); my oldest son's cell phone constantly ringing (the telephone rings so many times in my house that my African Gray parrot now mimics the sound. You don't want to know how many times I've almost picked up the bird and said hello). During summer months, the noise level peaks. It is like hurricane season--every year you know it is coming, but other than buy a few bottles of water and some tuna, what can you really do about it? You wait it out, that's what you do. That's what I'm doing now, stealing moments to write when I find them, and waiting for the yellow bus to return like a beacon on the asphalt sea to show me the way back to the empty pages, the cups of Starbucks, and the hours of quiet solitude where there is nothing except that ringing bird (and her cohorts) to interrupt my train of thought.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

On Blogging and Technology

This is my first attempt at blogging. I don't have a clue how to go about it from a technical standpoint. I'm convinced that those For Dummies and Idiot Guides were written just after someone saw me lighting candles and chanting desperate pleas at my computer screen. I just don't have a knack for anything high tech. I don't understand how mechanical things work and electronics--well, just forget it. When I bought my new Dell, the transition from Apple to Microsoft left me irritable and sleepless for days. Thankfully, I had a team of people to help me with this process: my teen sons who are more tech savvy than I will ever be; the cable man who connected me to Broadband, and a computer tech guy who so impressed me with all he knew of my computer, I came close to proposing to him. So far so good. Every day, I wake to my AOL greeting, telling me I have mail. I point and click and take in new worlds. Amazing. Thank you, Al Gore. Incidentally, I still proudly display a Gore bumper sticker, and would have voted for him even if he hadn't created the Internet where I now live, work, and play. That is a mark of a writer, I think--the willingness to jump into the unknown and unpredictable; the tendency to swim into water over our heads, simply because it is there and we are curious.
Dorothy Parker once said that the cure for boredom was curiosity, and that there was no cure for curiosity. I live by those words, and try to write by them, too.

Okay, now where is the damn spellchecker on this thing?