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


Saturday, November 29, 2008


Read a recent review of Tomato Girl on Peeking Between the Pages. Thanks so much, Dar!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday. I ate way too much pumpkin cheesecake.

Now that the holiday shopping has begun in earnest, I'm urging everyone I know to buy books as gifts. Skip the big televisions, ugly scarves, and plastic toys. Buy books!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Q&A and Readersville Essay

Gayle invited me to participate in a Q&A at her blog, Every Day I Write the Book. I hope you enjoy the post!

I have a post up today on Readerville where I list and describe some of my favorite books about mental illness.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Review and Guest Post at Booking Mama

Cup Cakes by Howard Shooter
Cup Cakes

I'd like to thank Julie at Booking Mama for her wonderful review of Tomato Girl.

From Julie's review:

Well, TOMATO GIRL was a very good book and I really enjoyed reading it; but I admit that I hesitate to use the word "enjoy" when talking about this novel -- it is one of the saddest stories that I've ever read. But don't let that deter you from reading this beautiful novel because I think you will ultimately end up loving it. It is a wonderful story about a very special (and resilient) young girl. In fact, I actually felt uplifted and very hopeful when I finished this novel.

Julie invited me back to share some of my favorite holiday recipes.

From my guest post:

Folks who know me would characterize me as a CNN junkie, but I also tune into the Food Network when I have the chance. The following recipes are among my fall favorites. The first is a Rachel Ray recipe, "Pasta with Pumpkin and Sausage." This dish is so easy to make and tastes amazing. Since I don't eat pork or beef, I use a soy-based "fake" sausage and substitute the chicken stock with vegetable stock. The "Spinach Salad with Apple and Red Onion" is the perfect accompaniment. I like to serve red wine with this meal.

And for dessert, what could beat Paula Deen's "Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting?" As a girl, I looked forward to Christmas dinner at my Grandma Arbutus' house where the red velvet cake was my favorite. Cupcakes make a nice alternative and are easier to make, I think. Paula Deen is the queen of Southern Cuisine. I gave my mother one of her cookbooks last year for Christmas.
Find the recipes here.


Cafes by Joan Miro

My poem, Letter to Eli, has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. This poem first appeared in Stirring
My deepest thanks to editor, Erin Elizabeth Smith, and the rest of the Stirring staff. This is my third Pushcart nomination.


In last night's dream, you were a crumpled paper
in my hands, your asymmetrical wings

unfolding as you took to the sky,
a small wounded bird unable to fly

a straight line. The sun illuminated your body,
and I saw for the first time

the bullet hole, dark and round, barely missing
your heart. Then I understood

your incessant need for sex, for prayer,
for uncooked food. The fields

surrounding my house went vacant for years.
Nowadays I inhabit all the places you dwell.

Sometimes I lean my ear to the ground
and hear your voice cajoling black

ants to finish tasks they've begun.
I spend my days hunched over

the kitchen table, making paper boats
that might carry me across the river.

I long for the land of lost ghosts
and incomplete shadows. Surely you know,

I write our names on each boat.
Inside crayon hearts, Eli, we are still in love.

Jayne Pupek

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Review Up at Every Day I Write the Book Blog.

Gayle Weiswasser reviewed Tomato Girl on her blog, Every Day I Write the Book Blog. Gayle is also hosting a book giveaway and will soon be posting a Q&A session with me. Check her blog for updates. Good luck to everyone who enters to win an autographed copy of Tomato Girl.


Frenzy: Sixty Stories of Sudden Sex, edited by Alison Tyler, is now available from Cleis Press. I'm delighted to be included in this spicy collection of short erotic tales.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Barack Obama still has time for a little poetry

Three days after winning the presidential election, Barack Obama was spotted in Chicago carrying a book of poems by Derek Walcott, the West Indies Nobel laureate.

The Illinois senator was photographed holding the new-looking book, perhaps a gift he had just received, and reading a letter as he headed to his car with his wife, Michelle.

The 500-page volume, Collected Poems 1948-1984, is one of 20 collections by the poet, theatre director and playwright, who has also written more than 20 plays.

Read the rest of Catherine Elsworth's article in The Telegraph (U.K.)

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Reader's Guide

The Reader's Guide for Tomato Girl is now available online. Download it here to use in your book discussion groups.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Monday, November 3, 2008

2 Reviews, Guest Post, and a Reminder to Vote!

CL Bledsoe reviewed Tomato Girl in the current issue of Ghoti. CL is a wonderful poet whose first full length collection, Anthem, is forthcoming from Cervena Barva Press in 2008. A chapbook, _____(want/need) was just published by Plan B Press.

Lisa Evans also reviewed Tomato Girl on her blog, Books and Cooks. Lisa, an awesome Southern gal with good taste in books and food, invited me to guest post as well. Read my post here.

I also want to remind everyone to get to the polls tomorrow to vote!! The lines might be long and it may be cold and raining, but this is too important to neglect. I have already mailed in my ballot and bought champagne for the celebration to come! My prediction: Barack Obama will win 52 per cent of the popular vote and 350 electoral votes. And I will drink the whole bottle of champagne!