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


Friday, June 27, 2008


My essay, "The Tapestry of Place" appears in the new issue of THE ALGONKIAN. This is "a small periodical about books, authors, and publishing, prepared from time to time for friends of Algonquin and any others who might take joy in it."

I enjoy reading these essays, not only to find out about the new books forthcoming from Algonquin, but to read perspectives from each author on how their stories came to be, or what influenced them in the approach they took to their particular story.

Erotica Accepted by CLEIS PRESS

CLEIS PRESS has accepted my story, "In a Station of the Metro," for inclusion in FRENZY, an anthology of short (flash) fiction erotica, edited by Alison Tyler. FRENZY will be published in the fall. Alison is also interested in two additional pieces of erotica that I submitted. I'm waiting to hear if the publisher has accepted those for other anthologies Alison has in progress. CLEIS PRESS publishes provocative, intelligent books in the areas of sexuality, gay and lesbian studies, erotica, fiction, gender studies, and human rights.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

And the winner is...

Justin Sullivan, Getty Images
This little guy has won the Ugliest Dog contest. Maybe he's not handsome, but then he has a certain charm. Or maybe this is just proof that I love all dogs. Read about Gus here.

Two Poems Up at The Dirty Napkin

I have two new poems up at The Dirty Napkin: "Dinner Party" and "Lives in Decline." This is a gorgeous journal, and I'm thrilled to appear alongside one of my favorite poets, the stunning Arlene Ang. (She and Valerie Fox have a new book forthcoming soon. I've had the privilege of a sneak preview and will post more details when the book's release date nears. It's a gem.)

At The Dirty Napkin, the editors provide the opportunity to record your poems. That was rather fun, even though I sounded like a drunken speed reader. Okay, yes, I drank a little wine before Jeremy called to do the recording. And I had to read fast because I live in a house with kids, parrots, and dogs, which means quiet moments are fleeting at best. Unlike Arlene, I did not wear a hat. Next time, I will borrow one from A, maybe something with feathers.

Other news of a distressing variety: My website has vanished like a fat man in quicksand. I am not amused. Apparently, a glitch occurred with the system where I purchased my domain name and website bundle. Now I am waiting to see if either the computer gurus or related gods can restore it. If I have to rebuild that damn site, expect to find me with a shaved head, wearing my sackcloth and ashes. There will be gnashing of teeth and profanity in mega doses. F%$#S@*S#$@#$%D^&*@!!!!!!!! See, it's already started.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Friday, June 13, 2008

Virginian Poet Anne Spencer’s Works Turned over to UVa

Anne Spencer is considered one of the most important voices of the Harlem Renaissance literary period, from 1925-1935

“She kept everything she wrote,” said Ann Spencer, widow of Anne Spencer’s son Chauncey, “not because she thought it was all important, but because she just didn’t throw anything away. She used the back stairs of the house as her filing system, and after she died, we could hardly get up them.

“She would even make corrections in books she was reading if she thought something was wrong.”

Such packrats are like gifts from God for historians.

As UVa employees hauled the boxes out to a white college truck, sweating even at 9:30 a.m., Ann Spencer said: “It’s a little sad to see them go, but I understand.”

Her daughter, Shaun Hester, felt the same way.

“It’s bittersweet,” said Hester, who recently moved back from Washington, D.C., to live with her mother in the family home across the street from 1313 Pierce. “I used to enjoy looking through that stuff myself. There’s magazines, stuff written on envelopes, letters, papers from my father.”

Read the complete article in the Lynchburg News and Advance.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Female contenders rule out 'archaic' post of Poet Laureate

Wendy Cope, a favourite for the post of poet laureate, said: 'It means nothing. It is not important'

Three of the leading contenders to be Britain's first female Poet Laureate have ruled themselves out of contention for the post.

The ancient role, currently held by Andrew Motion and remunerated by 630 bottles of Spanish sherry, is due to be reappointed next year.

But hopes that the 10-year tenure, whose previous incumbents have included Ted Hughes and John Betjeman, could go to a woman look set to be dashed.

Almost none of the leading female poets are interested in the position. Read the rest of the article in The Independent.

2 Poems Up at Blossombones

I am ecstatic to have two poems, "Lazarus" and "Red Rulers," appearing in the newest issue of Blossombones. Susan Slaviero, poetry editor, has put together an amazing group of poets, including Kristy Bowen, Juliet Cook, Brooklyn Copeland, Shanna Germain, and others. Original artwork by Missy Frattini. Don't miss this bold and exquisite journal!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

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Saturday, June 7, 2008

The Book Collection that Devoured My Life

photo credit:Walter Iooss for The Wall Street Journal

"I like to think that I'm no bookworm, egghead, four-eyed paleface library rat. I often engage in activities that have no reference to the printed words. I realize that books are not the entire world, even if they sometimes seem to contain it. But I need the stupid things."
Read the entire article by Luc Sante here.

Hillary Suspends Campaign, Endorses Barack

Hillary Clinton suspended her extraordinary presidential run and pledged her full support to Barack Obama at a speech in Washington, D.C. "I ask of you to join me in working as hard for Barack Obama as you have for me," she told a cheering crowd.

I thought Clinton's speech was not only historic, but heartfelt, as she brought her own campaign to a close and threw her support behind Barack Obama. Although I have been a supporter of Obama since the early days of the campaign, I admire many things about Hillary Clinton, including her tenacity. I don't know if the "dream ticket" is the best way to proceed, but it is certainly something to consider. Clinton could help unite the party very quickly, and she'd do much to help Obama secure states such as Arkansas, Pennsylvania, Florida, and West Virginia. But as a Virginian, I have some preference for Tim Kaine or Jim Webb. I'm sure there are many fine candidates that haven't even crossed my mind.

Open Books: A Poem Emporium

From Joseph Darda | June 5, 2008
Christine Deavel, co-owner of Open Books: A Poem Emporium, holds Grenade by UW alumna Rebecca Hoogs.

What an amazing thing--a book store that sells nothing but poetry.

Located a mile from the UW campus, at 2414 45th St., Open Books: A Poem Emporium is one of only two exclusively poetry bookstores in the United States. The bookstore has an inventory of more than 9000 titles, including new, used and out-of-print books.

Husband and wife team John W. Marshall and Christine Deavel opened the store 13 years ago after having owned a more general bookstore for the seven years prior.

Read the rest of the article in The Daily of the University of Washington.

Friday, June 6, 2008


BookBalloon is a site for readers and writers, devoted to literature, writing, and the arts. Some of the features you'll find here now, and coming soon: a discussion forum, articles, columns, and special features.

The Forum is up and running now. Some popular topics are: The Book Club, Best Books, Literary Events, New Books!, Publishing News, and What Are You Reading Now. You'll also find special-topic book discussions, as well as a featured area for writers. To protect your privacy and security, registration is required to enter the Forum, but it's free and simple -- and guaranteed spam free.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Yes, we can!

Sen. Barack Obama claimed the Democratic nomination for president in a speech in Minnesota -- an historic achievement that for the first time will place an African American at the top of a major political party's ticket.

I am so thrilled with his win, and look forward to the November election. John McCain doesn't stand a snowball's chance in hell.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Review by Library Journal-Tomato Girl

Beth E. Andersen - Library Journal

The wonder of it all is that Ellie Sanders was able to maintain her charming, tenderhearted outlook for the first 11 years of her life. She and Rupert, her strong, protective father, have their hands full managing her mother Julia's wild bipolar mood swings. Then Rupert brings home Tess, the beautiful, epileptic 18 year old who provides tomato plants to Rupert's store. Pregnant Julia has fallen down the basement stairs, and Tess is there to care for the family. Then every kid's worst fear becomes Ellie's reality. She struggles mightily to manage the kind of cruel confusion caused by parents who force their children to cover for their mistakes. Rupert loses the battle of decency, succumbing to the unique idiocy of blinding infatuation, leaving Ellie alone with her mother while he flees the law with Tess. Only the loving kindness of an elderly black couple saves Ellie from the ensuing cascade of tragedies, a salvation complicated by the racial divide in Ellie's Southern community. Pupek's debut is a wrenching, stunning, and pitch-perfect novel that captures the best of Southern literature's finest storytelling colors. Highly recommended.