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


Thursday, February 28, 2008

Daily Lit

I registered for Daily Lit, a site that provides books to members via e-mail or RSS feed. I still prefer to read books the old fashioned way, but this is also a nice alternative because the book comes to me in short installments. I'm currently reading Chopin's "The Awakening" and Dostoevsky's "Crime and Punishment."

From Daily Lit's website:

"DailyLit sends books in installments via e-mail or RSS feed. We currently offer over 750 classic and contemporary books available entirely for free or on a Pay-Per-Read basis (with sample installments available for free). You can read your installments wherever you receive e-mail/RSS feeds, including on your Blackberry and iPhone. Installments arrive in your Inbox according to the schedule you set (e.g. 7:00am every weekday). You can read each installment in under 5 minutes (most folks finish in 2-3 minutes), and, if you have more time to read, you can receive additional installments immediately on demand. Our titles include bestselling and award winning titles, from literary fiction and romance to language learning and science fiction. DailyLit features forums where you can discuss your favorite books and authors. We also have a gift service, where you can send books via DailyLit to friends, with installments starting on any date you choose (even that very day - perfect for last minute gifts), and each installment comes with a personalized message written by you."

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Two New Customer Reviews at Amazon

Falling off the canvas into impeccablely crafted conceits, February 25, 2008
John S. Vick "ilikevangogh" (Minneapolis, MN USA) -

"The reclining nude is absent. / Diego claims she stepped off the canvas / while he napped. I told him / how a woman needs to be treated." So it is not so much the common, the banality of this poet's relationships so much like ours, but the remarkableness of stepping out and looking back on the quotidian and saying it was like "this," specifically. Pupek frequently steps off the canvas in Forms of Intercession, and even in the most tenuous of tangential leaps into touches of Simic-like surrealities, she sustains the conceits and metaphor which bind these poems together so delectably accomplished, so excellently resolved, and beautiful crafted overall. Pupek has a monument with this offering and it will sit on many bookshelves proudly, more often than likely open on a sofa, a side table somewhere interesting. Any intriguing stimuli around us in a room with Pupek's work stands secondary. All of the stimulating knick knacks of intellectual pleasure sit squarely in this revelatory book. Kudos to Pupek for this most compelling work.

Forms of Intercession, February 25, 2008
Brenda N. Cook (Texas) -

Jayne Pupek is a word artist, her book Forms of Intercession a masterpiece filled with poems that paint images in your mind that take flight to sear your heart. She is fearless in her choice of topics and she exhibits incredible emotional bravery. From page one she has a take no prisoner; offers no apologies attitude. It is this bravery coupled with her incredible resiliency of spirit that reaches out of the page and grabs you from her very first poem, to her very last poem. In one poem Pupek writes, Sometimes you must intercede on your own behalf. I'm spreading tarot cards on the ground and tossing out the ones that land upside down. Pupek's words challenge me to go outside and toss cards in the wind, she is a writer who is in complete possession of her own wilderness and lucky for us, she is willing to share. It is this quality that will have me read again and again. Congratulations to Pupek for an outstanding debut.

Monday, February 25, 2008

More on the Oscars

Although there were several strong contenders for Best Picture, I have to say that I'm ecstatic that Old Country for No Men took the award. The actors are top-notch, but no one could ask for a more brilliant pair of directors than Joel and Ethan Cohen, nor a more gifted writer than Cormac McCarthy.
My DVD wish list grew by leaps and bounds last night.
One of these days, I'm going to try my hand at a screenplay. I love to explore new things and to push myself to do something I haven't done. That's basically how I wrote my first novel. While signing up for a poetry workshop, I casually decided to participate in the novel writing workshop as well, "just for fun." I don't think it really occurred to me until I started that I would actually have to write an entire novel. Who knows what I was thinking? In a panic, I looked through my poems and found one to jump start the first chapter of my novel. I believed I could do it and was determined to give it my best effort. I kept the voice of the narrator inside my head and just kept writing. I didn't write to publish. I wrote to tell a good story and to complete a personal quest and challenge I'd set for myself. Publishing is always the icing on the cake, but I think you have to first love words and the worlds created by putting words together.

And the Oscar goes to...

Ralph Nader for Best Little Turd in an American Election.

Okay, that's all I'm going to say about it.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Ballot Bowl and billet-doux

I watched CNN's Ballot Bowl this afternoon while eating Cajun catfish and organizing my desk. Okay, attempting to organize my desk. The commentators talked a bit about the debate. I agree with their assessment that Thursday's conversation didn't change much. Clinton is a skilled debater. Obama has improved consistently over the months. Neither made any huge mistakes, nor were there any significant points scored. I think there are more differences in their leadership styles than there are distinct policy differences between the candidates. I don't expect Tuesday's debate in Ohio to be dramatically different, but of course I'll watch. I'm hopeful that March 4th primaries result in wins for Obama, and perhaps Clinton will be ready to concede.

billet-doux, an anthology published by dancing girl press is now available! Order here.

This limited edition collection of missives includes 15 love letters by 15 poets. Each box includes letters, postcards, and prints by Erin Bertram, Bronwen Tate, Michaela Gabriel, Cecelia Pinto, Shawn Fawson, Diane Kendig, Christine Hamm, Jeannette Sayers, Suzanne Frischkorn, Annie Finch, Emma Bolden, Julie Enszer, Ariana-Sophia Kartsonis, Kelli Russell Agodon...and yours truly. I'm thrilled to be a part of this project!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Power Out and the Primary

Winds took down a power line in our area last night, leaving us in the dark. As any writer knows, timing is everything. This is not only true in books, but in life as well. So of course the power went out while I had lasagne baking in the oven and CNN was about to captivate me with primary and caucus results. Instead, I wrapped up in an Afghan, turned on the Coleman lantern, and read a few chapters of What the Dead Know. All was not lost on the lasagne or the election results, as the power returned just as breaking news came on CNN to announce Obama the winner of the Wisconsin primary. I enjoyed lasagne and beer while watching the speeches by Clinton and Obama. In recent days, Clinton looks more tired, stressed, and desperate. I think the rhetoric vs. results debate is getting her nowhere, and the recent assertion that Obama plagerized a speech simply seems ridiculous and trite. Obama comes across as bigger than life, while Clinton looks small and petty by comparison. Her inability to congratulate her opponent on his wins continues to rub me the wrong way. A poor loser is never pretty.

The debate takes place tomorrow. Here's hoping Virginia Dominion Power keeps my lights burning and CNN bright and clear on the tube.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

First Amazon Customer Review of My Book

Dreaming in Color, February 13, 2008
by K. Becker

The poems in Jayne Pupek's haunting debut collection are technically polished, even as they confront rough material: a mother's deliberate killing of her children, a stillbirth, terminal illness. Pupek ranges comfortably from an imagined Eve in Kansas "shucking corn in high heels" to the effect of the discovery of Spalding Gray's body on someone whose own "body leans towards water." Imagery and association are surprising and sometimes startling--"Wounds open like the mouths of whores"--but always engaging. It is hard not to assume that Pupek's experience as a mental health professional has lent her compassion and skill in plumbing the depths of the psyche. Even when the speaker of a poem is "varnished in sickness," the poems themselves are robust. Gorgeous and evocative cover art by Megan Karlen complements the written work. "We dream colors/ while sleeping in the curl/ of an egg," Pupek writes. Unquiet dreams, maybe, but dreams that linger and demand attention.

Big wins for Obama!!!!!!!

I was glued to CNN last night. (I'm a self-admitted CNN junkie). What an amazing set of wins for Barack Obama! Not only did he win all three primaries, but he won by huge margins. Also significant is the fact that he made marked gains in Clinton's base of support, capturing the white, Latino, and women voters that were once squarely behind Clinton.

When this began, I liked both candidates about the same. As time goes by, I think less of Clinton. Not only did Bill Clinton's racially charged comments offend me, but Hillary shows herself to be less than a good sport. She doesn't even have the grace to congratulate her opponent when he wins. I take that as a sign she is desperate. And well she should be. I think Obama will undoubtedly win Wisconsin and Hawaii next week. That will give him ten straight wins, and the momentum will clearly carry him toward success in Ohio and Texas. I wouldn't be a bit surprised to see a John Edwards' endorsement of Barack Obama sometime prior to the Ohio primary.

Yes, we can.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Support Barack Obama

Support Barack Obama

Grammy Night

Last night's show was one of the best. I thought the performances were amazing. Beyonce's duo with Tina Turner was electrifying. Alicia Keys has one of the most beautiful voices in recent memory. Kanye West's tribute to his mother was nothing less than heart-wrenching. I was happy to see Herbie Hancock win a Grammy for his jazz tribute to Joni Mitchell; I plan to add that CD to my wishlist. I'm pleased, too, that Barack Obama won an award for his spoken word CD for his book, The Audacity of Hope. The highlight of the night for me was watching Amy Winehouse perform. In spite of her personal demons and problems, she's an immernse creative talent. Her Back to Black CD is one of my recent favorite buys.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Review Up at Stick Poet Super Hero

I'm delighted to announce that Midwestern poet, Michael Wells, has reviewed "Forms of Intercession" on his blog, Stick Poet Super Hero. I'm reposting the review here:

“Today I am medium rare. Don’t touch me.” So begins the first line if the poem Forms of Intercession, the title poem in Jayne Pupek’s book published by Mayapple Press. Throughout the book, Pupek pokes around at medium rare subject matter. It seems there are few things that inhibit her writing which can be both disturbing and refreshing.Each new page seems to contain a poem that is scarcely able to clutch the edge of its page and as the reader, you find yourself hanging onto each line, each raw emotion in a desperate attempt to intercede and keep it from falling into the darkness of nowhere. I had to check my own hands for blood stains when finished.For all the dispare, Forms of Intercession isn’t all that fatalistic. No it touches a core reality of life… that it is “full of broken combs and blisters. Still we go on, / because it is in us, the need for continuance, / that sliver of persistence inside every cell.” I found it a very artistically mature and straightforward read.

Several Things

I can't believe it's Sunday already. The weekend has flown by, and as is so often the case, I didn't get around to half the things I'd hoped to do. My father would say I have too many irons in the fire, and he's right. I'm interested in too many things. Take books. Many people happily read one genre, maybe two. I tend to read everything, except maybe chick lit and westerns. I'm an avid poetry reader, especially of contemporary poetry, but also some of the greats of the past. I also love to read about the craft of writing and bios of writers who intrigue me. Then there are the novels, and again, my tastes vary. I am as content with a good suspense/mystery as I am with literary or mainstream fiction. Toss in some horror and erotica now and then as well. Several nonfiction topics interest me, so my books in that category include ones about animal companions and memoirs of interesting people (or not so interesting people who had extraordinary adventures). Let's not forget plays...and children's books... and...well, you see what I mean.

Obama had an amazing night, winning in all the states that held primaries and caucuses. Maine will vote today, then the election comes to my neck of the woods, as Maryland, DC, and Virginia hold primaries on Tuesday.

New poems are up in several places. "The Livelihood of Crows" appears in the new issue of Stirring. Three poems, "Valley Notes," "Tuesday Afternoon," and "The Proof," appear in the new issue of Ghoti. "Eviction," one of my more edgier poems, is up at Zygote in my Coffee.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Super Tuesday

Oh, boy, do I ever need more coffee. I'm thinking maybe an IV hookup to Starbucks' French Roast would do the trick. I stayed up way too late watching the primary results and rooting for Barack Obama. The tension is killing me. I'm sure there are advantages to a long race, but I'd like to soon see a clear winner emerge. Maybe then I could actually get back to work on my novel. Meanwhile, I'm glued to CNN.

I make it no secret that I'm a loyal Democrat. I don't have any real preferences when it comes to the Republican race. I feel a little sorry for Mitt Romney because I don't believe a Mormon has a chance in the South, where evangelical types often view that faith as a cult. Huckabee is just off the charts, and I don't know what to make of a person who dismisses evolution. I mean, does he believe in gravity, the laws of relativity, etc? John McCain keeps vowing to follow Osama Bin Laden to the gates of hell. Really, is someone stopping him from embarking on the mission now? I do know that I'm tired of his overuse of the phrase, "My friends," which he inserts in every third sentence. I know he's old and the Arizona sun is hot, but he can do better than to sound like a used car salesman, my friends. Don't you agree, my friends?

I did manage to finish proofing Tomato Girl. Hubby is off to ship it back to Algonquin. It's very exciting to see the manuscript evolve into an actual book.

One of my poems, "The Livelihood of Crows" is up at Stirring.