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, March 31, 2008

Woman crashes her car, saves her morning coffee

This isn't me. I don't drive. If I drove, this could be me. Read the story.

April is National Poetry Month

April is National Poetry Month!Inaugurated by the Academy of American Poets in April 1996, National Poetry Month brings together publishers, booksellers, literary organizations, libraries, schools, and poets around the country to celebrate poetry and its vital place in American culture. has a list of 30 neat things one can do to celebrate. Check them out here!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

PotLatch Poetry

PotLatch Poetry promotes an exchange economy surrounding poetry books, chapbooks, journals and ephemera: a revolving bookshelf, moving material through the hands of writers across the world.

PotLatch is concerned with the inherent limitations of a regionalized, institutionalized, or otherwise constrained exchange of literature. It exists to enliven and expand a spirit of reading, trading and gifting.

Every item listed on PotLatch is either for free or trade.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Plush Obama Doll--so cute!

I found this doll at Hero Builders, a company that specializes in custom action figures and politcal dolls. How adorable!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Virginia Festival of the Book

2008 Festival of The Book

March 26-30, 2008, Charlottesville, VA. The 14th Annual Virginia Festival of the Book! These five days of mostly free literary events are open to the public as a way to honor book culture and promote reading and literacy. Check out the website for events and details.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Concelebratory Shoehorn Review

I'm thrilled to announce that my work will be presented in the May issue of Concelebratory Shoehorn Review, a wonderful E-Zine that showcases national and international artists in the photography, arts, music and literary fields. Submissions are by invitation only. The editor, Maurice Oliver (also a remarkable poet and photographer), selected these poems (to appear in May issue):

"Options While En route"

"For Jared"


"Outer Banks, 1987"

"Night Driving"

If you haven't read Concelebratory Shoehorn Review, you've missed a fine selection of fresh work. Check out the recent issue.

Article on Research Sources for Writers

I do more psyche delving (akin to dumpster diving) than research when writing poems. Writing novels, however, almost always demands at least a little research. Clay Collins has written one of the most useful articles on research sources that I've read in quite some time.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008


(photo by Gerald Herbert, AP)

I saw this photo and thought maybe there was hope for the man. Then someone suggested that Dick Cheney was in the rabbit suit, and I knew I was right all along. Our only hope is Barack Obama.

Monday, March 24, 2008

V to the Tenth

I read Ensler's "The Vagina Monologues" many years ago, and loved it. I don't live close enough to attend this event, but thought I'd post it here for those of you who are in the New Orleans area or can travel there:
On Saturday evening, April 12, 2008, V-Day will stage a once in a lifetime event - V TO THE TENTH - featuring international performances of The Vagina Monologues, musical guests, V-Day activists from across the globe including Kenya, Afghanistan, Iraq, The Philippines, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eastern Europe , men standing up for women and much more.Salma Hayek, Oprah Winfrey, Faith Hill, Jane Fonda, Jessica Alba, Jennifer Hudson, Glenn Close, Julia Stiles, Ali Larter, Marisa Tomei, Calpernia Addams, Rosario Dawson, Kerry Washington, and Charmaine Neville have already signed on.The evening will open minds and hearts and raise much needed attention and funds for groups working to end violence against women and girls around the world, and in New Orleans and the Gulf South.***TICKETS STARTING AT $25, ON SALE NOW. Quantities are limited.

The Elixir Press 2008 Fiction Award Guidelines:

Elixir Press is sponsoring a fiction contest open to all writers writing in English. Both short story collections and novels are eligible. The prize will be $4000, publication by Elixir Press, and 25 copies of the book.

Manuscripts should be typed on one side of the page and on standard paper. No dot matrix unless letter quality. Send a business size SASE for reply only; manuscripts cannot be returned. An SAS postcard for receipt of manuscript is optional. Please use a 12 to 14 point font. Do not send the only copy of your manuscript.Do not send biographical material, photographs, CDs, videos, or illustrations.Enclose a cover sheet stating the name of the manuscript and the author's name, address, e-mail address, and telephone number and a cover sheet with the title alone. Manuscripts must be double-spaced, paginated, and include a table of contents, if appropriate, and an acknowledgments page, if appropriate. Simultaneous submissions are welcome, so long as Elixir is notified immediately if a manuscript is accepted elsewhere.Manuscripts should be 120 pages to 500 pages in length.

Please secure your manuscript with either a binder clip or file folder. Do not otherwise bind your manuscript.

Friends, students, and former students of the judge or the editorial staff of Elixr Press are ineligible to enter.

Contest entry fee is $35.

The postmark deadline for the contest is May 31, 2008.

Submit entries to:

Elixir Press Fiction Awardc/o R. T. Smith

PO Box 195

Fairfield, VA 24435

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter!

This is Hefner, our beautiful mini-lop rabbit. Before he became the "playboy" of the Pupek house, he served as a preschool class pet. The teacher planned to relocate and did not want to take a rabbit with her. She couldn't find a home for him and intended to leave him at the local animal shelter. Always willing to take in one more furry (or feathered or scaled) mouth to feed, we gave the bunny a new home and dubbed him "Hefner." What a doll he is, and spoiled. He loves dried cranberries and carrots--peeled, washed baby carrots of course!

If you think you'd might like a rabbit as a pet, please consider adopting a homeless one. So many children receive baby bunnies as pets, only to tire of an adult rabbit, resulting in neglected and unwanted animals. To learn more about having a rabbit as a house pet, read "The House Rabbit Handbook" or "Rabbits for Dummies."
If you have pets, remember that lilies and chocolates are toxic to them, and plastic grass found in Easter baskets can be a choke hazard and block intestines. Keep your critters safe and have a wonderful holiday!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Magnetic Poetry

A fun way to nudge the sleeping muse is to explore words with magnetic poetry. The most extensive collection I've found is at MAGNETIC POETRY, where themed kits are available, including tamer ones based on ART or GARDENS-- to bawdier ones focused on menopause (can you say hot flash?) AND a new kit based on the F-word--yes, that F- WORD. A couple of the kits are available to play online, and of course, they offer other creative items like poetry stones, moleskine journals, and art kits. Wake up that sleeping muse and enjoy!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Obama's Speech

I thought Barack Obama gave one of the most eloquent, thoughtful, and honest speeches on the issue of race in America that I have ever heard, certainly in recent history. In case you missed it:

Monday, March 17, 2008


I'm Irish on my mother's side, so yes, I'll be celebrating! While you're enjoying your potato soup and green beer (or Irish whiskey), maybe you'll take a moment to listen to W.B. Yeats read "The Lake Isle of Innisfree" at or consider an afternoon reading from his Collected Poems.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Recent Poems and Acceptances

My poem, "Letters to Eli" appears in the new issue of Stirring. This is my second poem to appear recently in this journal, which is one of my favorites.

I'm also delighted to make a second appearance at Literary Mama with my poem, "Learning to Paint at Age 45."

Other acceptances:

Tattoo Highway has accepted my poem, "Alaska." The new issue should be up soon. I've long enjoyed TH and am pleased to have a poem forthcoming there.

Susan Slaviero at boneblossoms has accepted "Lazarus" and "Red Rulers" for the summer issue. I admire Susan's work and am delighted that she's chosen these poems. boneblossoms is new to me and I'm enjoying the work of many fine poets there.

Juliet Cook at Blood Pudding Press has accepted both "20 Reasons I'm Not Writing Today" and "The Xerox Girls" to be published in its next multi-writer project, ECTOPLASMIC NECROPOLIS. Juliet is a fabulous poet and her press has some exciting offerings.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Happy Birthday to Me!

Yesterday was my birthday. Forty-sixth. Good Lord, how did THAT happen? I try to count my blessings where I find them. I may be forty-six, but I don't yet wear bifocals and my boobs remain more or less where they're supposed to be. Now and then I find a gray hair, but I have teenager children, a husband, and a house full of animals. Gray hairs are inevitable.

I did receive lots of neat presents. (I made sure by picking out most of them myself, which is the ONLY way for a gal to get what she wants). A new pair of Birkenstocks were on the list and a couple of new sleepshirts from Victoria's Secret. (I live in these shirts. If only they didn't put the Victoria's Secret Logo on them, I swear I'd wear them in public.) I also received several books and DVDs.


Skid by Dean Young

Go with Me by Castle Freeman

Mudbound by Hillary Jordan


No Country for Old Men (Hasn't arrived yet)

To round things out, I got a new Panasonic telephone with speaker and headset and a Coleman lantern for when the power goes out. (When you live in the woods, the power seems to go out every time there is a cool breeze. It's a tree limb on power line thing). Mary Anne, who has known me from the days before I was married, sent beautiful flowers to brighten my desk.

Husband bought us dinner at The Cheesecake Factory. I'm crazy about their tamale corn cakes (appetizer). And the garlic mashed potatoes are the best thing since sliced bread. Of course, I had to have tiramisu cheesecake and a honey latte.

And to cap it all off, Barack Obama won the Wyoming caucus.

All in all, I kinda like being the birthday girl. Except the getting older part. But then as someone once said (maybe Woody Allen?), the alternative is worse!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Presidental Librarium--G.W. Bush

The Back-of-the-Envelope Design Contest -

Designs for the George W. Bush Presidental Librarium. Click here and vote for your favorite!

Friday, March 7, 2008

9th Annual Tupelo Press/Crazyhorse First Book of Poetry Contest Open

9th Annual Tupelo Press/Crazyhorse First Book of Poetry Contest Open

Submissions should be postmarked before April 15, 2008

Judge's Prize: $3,000

For poets who have not yet published a full-length collection of poetry.

Judged together by Jeffrey Levine, Editor-in-Chief of Tupelo Press, Carol Ann Davis, and Garrett Doherty, Editors of the esteemed literary journal Crazyhorse.

All who enter will receive a copy of the winning book at no charge.

All previously unpublished poems in each submitted manuscript will be considered individually for inclusion in a future edition of Crazyhorse, which will set aside a significant number of pages for that purpose.Winner will be awarded publication and national distribution. All finalists will be considered for publication.

Full guidelines can be found at the Tupelo Press website.

I Always Knew Rats Were Amazing...

Tony Blair is a self-taught artist. And a rat! Read his blog here.

Read an article about Tony here .

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Review by LouAnn Shepard Muhm at Her Circle Ezine

Forms of Intercession by Jayne Pupek
March 5, 2008
Mayapple Press, 2008Review by LouAnn Shepard Muhm

Paper Chariots of the Profane

In Jayne Pupek’s 2008 collection of poems, Forms of Intercession (Mayapple Press), “the eternal optimist must be on strike.” These poems go to dark places, where all the fruit is rotting, all the children dead or abused, and all the lovers unfaithful. In the poem “Stories,” Pupek says “There are stories I don’t want to live,/ don’t want to tell, don’t want to write down.” And yet write them down she does, with a fierce clarity that makes it difficult for the reader not to turn away. It is the very excellence of the writing that makes this collection hard to read; if the images were less clear, less sharply drawn, we could go on more easily, not faced with such crystalline photos of ruin. When Pupek describes a therapy session in which inkblots turn into bats, they are “bleeding…/ Blue grey veins…pipettes snapped in half” and end up “Overhead, blind angels [who] flutter shit, and cry.” The senses are engaged, the revulsion complete. Describing the aftermath of a mother’s beheading of her child, Pupek makes us see “the bagged head…[the] small mouth open/ a cavern of milkteeth and flies.”
Imagery of the ravaged body abounds in these poems. Breasts “consist mostly of fat,/but fail to keep [the speaker] warm or well-fed,” or serve as simile for a fallen cake “flat as a breast/deflated with age” and are then removed, with “the smell of scorched meat,/ a black hole in the bandage.” In “Gangrene,” a stubbed toe reminds the speaker of “the stench in his boots;/red streaks growing dark,/wide; sap gathering green /in the deep purple crevice/where his missing toe belonged.” An aborted fetus is “a mass of cells/ splitting, replicating, taking root/ like a parasitic jellyfish.” Mouths are equated with wounds, stomachs are filled with bile, skin serves to cover “watermarks [that] never wash clean.”
The title of the book begs the question: Where is the intercession? Where is the relief for a poet who “…notice[s] things you do not see: a teller’s smirk,/skipped stitches, and ceiling cracks reaching past roof-line”? The speaker in the title poem says “sometimes you must intercede on your own behalf.” Perhaps the poems themselves are the intercessions. Perhaps she, like the writer she imagines in “Contributor’s Notes”, believes in the salvation of “images ignit[ing] in slivered light/…if only [s]he can jot down this color, thin/ and uncorrupted.”
Forms of Intercession is a journey beyond the veil into the gritty, gothic world of suffering. Readers who can withstand its clear-eyed, unapologetic view of pain and its causes will be rewarded with sharp imagery and keen analysis of the dark hidden worlds inside us.

Change of Heart Giveaway

Girls Just Reading is giving away Jodi Picoult’s Change of Heart. Leave a comment here; link from your own blog for a double entry.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Long Sigh

Well, I had certainly hoped to see Barack Obama win Texas and Ohio last night, putting an end to Clinton's bid. No such luck. So the race continues...

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

A New Review Posted at

A must-read for lovers of contemporary women's poetry..., March 3, 2008
Susan J. Slaviero

When a book of poetry gets under my skin from the very first line--"Today I am medium rare. Don't touch me."--I know that something extraordinary is about to happen... Forms of Intercession both entrances with Pupek's graceful use of language and keeps the reader on her toes with unexpected, intense imagery, tuning in to what lurks beneath the veneer of an ordinary life. Even the most mundane household objects take on a shimmer of both the lovely and the grotesque in these fabulous poems. Definitely recommended!

Sunday, March 2, 2008


Small Press Month, now in its 12th year, is a nationwide promotion highlighting the valuable work produced by independent publishers. An annual celebration of the independent spirit of small publishers, Small Press Month is an effort to showcase the diverse, unique, and often most significant voices being published today. This year's slogan is “Celebrate Great Writing”. To find out more, check out the website here.

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