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.

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Thursday, January 31, 2008

Red Glove in Mslexia

I just received my complimentary issue of Mslexia, the UK based magaizne for women writers. I'm honored that novelist Stella Duffy selected my poem, "Red Glove," for inclusion in this issue. Duffy wrote,"...the strength of tone in Jayne Pupek's 'Red Glove' attracted me enormously with a very clear setting, a concisely conveyed character, but also with an intensity many writers might spend several chapters trying to achieve."


A woman comes into the bookstore
late for the reading. Already the poet stands
at the podium, book open, his voice moving precipitously
over the page as if it were bruised skin and each word
printed there not a word at all, but a wound.
The late arrival takes the seat next to me,
no greeting or nod, she is already absorbing the poem,
the longing inside her stronger than anything
the poet might say. Her name may be Susan or Carol,
or even Isabelle, but she is just as likely to answer
to dirty floors, coupons, Clorox, aluminum foil.
She wears her life in the strands of hair
coming loose from the rubber band
looped around it, and in the man's shirt
drooping off her shoulders.
I smell her history in the cigarette smoke lifting off her coat
when she moves to hang the garment
across the chair's curved back.
Her needs show in her cheap shoes, discolored teeth,
and dark half-moons deepening her eyes.
And here I find the proof of her longing.
It is in the single red glove
clutched in her hand, and in the way she wrings it
like a cloth soaked with blood.

Jayne Pupek

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Poems up at Anti-

Two of my poems, "Census of Seagulls" and "Lunar Eclipse in Scorpio," appear in the first issue of Anti-. This is an exciting new journal. Check out submission guidelines for upcoming issues!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

A Busy Time

Whew---where does the time go? It seems only moments ago that I was placing presents under the tree, and now, January is almost gone.

This week has been especially full with the release of my poetry book, Forms of Intercession (Mayapple Press). If you haven't bought a copy yet, stop reading this and get thyself over to or Mayapple's webpage and order one now! Better yet, buy two. Oh, what the heck, why not three? Lol!

In between sending out review copies and spreading the word about my new book, I also completed an author questionnaire for Algonquin Books and sent them a photo. My son took the photo. I told him I'd raise his allowance if he made me look twenty instead of (gasp) forty-five. Considering how hard he laughed, I should make that child pick up pop bottles for the rest of his life. (When I was a girl, collecting soda pop bottles that had been tossed into ditches was a way to earn some extra cash.)

I've been working on my poem and letter for billet-doux, the love letter project to be released by Dancing Girl Press. My parents visited this weekend and helped me stuff the envelopes. Now I'm waiting for the scented silk rose petals and vintage stickers to arrive. Watch for the finished project around Valentines Day.

I've also been keeping up with the political news as much as I can. I watched the Democratic debate last night. More squabbling than I like to hear, but I think it is to be expected with the race so close. Obama definitely needs to win South Carolina to move forward in this contest. I think he can pull it off. I heard that Stephen King is endorsing Barack Obama, too. I'm telling you, great minds think alike. Lol!

After school today, my oldest son is going to register to vote. He once asked me if "Daddy votes Democrat, too." My answer: "I'm still married to him, aren't I?" Lol!

And last, but not least, I have two new poems up at Thieves Jargon.

Monday, January 14, 2008


Although Forms of Intercession (Mayapple Press) isn't technically released until January 22, my copies arrived today. I'm thrilled--more than thrilled! How much champagne can a 90lb woman drink before she drowns in the bubbles? Lol!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

This and That

Not such a good night for Barack Obama, but he gave a powerful speech, and I look forward to seeing how he does in South Carolina. As the mother of an African American son, I'm especially curious about the black vote. The African American community understandably loves the Clintons, but I'm wondering how willing black leaders will be to campaign against Barrack Obama?

This has nothing to do with either politics or writing, but I have to say that I cringe every time the AOL news hightlights show Donald Trump criticizing Angelina Jolie. Not only is Jolie arguably one of the most beautiful women on the planet, she is an Academy award winning actress, the mother of four lovely children, a devoted humanitarian, and she gets to sleep with Brad Pitt. Come on, now. The Donald must be inhaling too much hairspray; the resulting brain damage is all too apparent. Oh, to be both rich and pathetic in one lifetime.

Some recent poems are up online:


Mannequin Envy


Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Barack Obama

I'm glued to CNN, waiting to see who wins the New Hampshire caucus. It's no secret to anyone who knows me that I'm a die hard Democrat and have been all my life. Like a lot of Democrats, I'm tickled pink over the candidates we have this year. Choosing between them isn't easy. John Edwards is the most passionate, and I believe his convictions run deep, but his focus may not be broad enough. Clinton comes with some baggage, and is aloof as a candidate, but more than makes up for that with her intellect and experience. Obama doesn't have the extensive foreign policy experience I'd like to see, but he is a natural leader, a man of great intellect, and impresses me as genuine. He's refreshing, full of grace and vitality, and presents as a unifier. I'd be thrilled to see any of the three elected, but I believe Barack Obama offers the most.

Friday, January 4, 2008


2008 is off to a pretty good beginning. I received a letter from Kristy Bowen of dancing girl press telling me that "Notes to Jackson" will be included in an anthology of epistolary poems forthcoming around Valentine's Day. This is such an exciting project because it combines poetry and art. Each poet is responsible for creating a design for their "letter poem"---can be a postcard, a letter inside an envelope, origami, etc.--and the sky's the limit as far as what kind of medium used-- glitter, watercolor, collage. The individual pieces will be included as a set inside a 5x7 box. How neat is that?

I also received news that two of my poems were accepted by Zygote in my Coffee. "Inside the Ward" will appear in issue 103(February) and "Postage Stamps" will follow in issue 104 (March). Karl is wonderful to work with as an editor and responds promptly to submissions. Zygote is one of the most bold and innovative literary journals available in the U.S. If you're interested in a journal that is receptive to work with an edge, please consider Zygote.

I'm delighted that Press1 has accepted two poems ("Protocol" and "Life with Frederic on Cassatt Street) for their next issue. Press1 is relatively new, but the first issue featured amazing work. It was here that I first came across Leonard Gontarek’s poems. His collection, Deja Vu Diner, published by Autumn House Press in 2006, is one of my recent favorites.