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, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year's

I received a copy of the GOOP newsletter today, an undertaking of the actress, Gwyneth Paltrow ( a personal favorite-- and her husband-- Chris Martin of Coldplay-- isn't too shabby either.). At any rate, this issue features cocktails from some of the top bartenders. They look fun to make an even more fun to drink, so I am passing the link along for all the responsible adults to enjoy! (Yikes, do I know any responsible adults?)

I hope everyone has a wonderful celebration and a year full of good things!

P.S. One of my favorite movies featuring Gwyneth Paltrow is "Proof." I also read the play on which the film is based, which was amazing. Anthony Hopkins plays her father, a mentally ill but brilliant mathematician. Paltrow's character questions her own sanity while caring for him. And there is a love interest played by Jake Gyllenhaal.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Happy Holidays!

I hope everyone enjoys a safe and happy holiday!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Livelihood of Crows

I am absolutely thrilled to announce that Mayapple Press has decided to publish my second collection of poems. Look for the new collection sometime late in 2010 or early 2011. I had an amazing experience with Mayapple on the release of my first collection, "Forms of Intercession," and I look forward to the opportunity to work with both Judy and Amee again.

Sunday, November 29, 2009


Where is the champagne?

Sunday, November 22, 2009


So Much News!!!
Plus...Oasis Reminder - New and
The Animal Rescue Site Challenge!
------Cross post freely-------Cross post freely-------Cross post freely-------
Thanks to all of you we are in SECOND PLACE....
won't you
Help us Win This Shelter Challenge!?!?
Please forgive us reminding you, but we really need your votes each and every day - the birds of the Oasis need to win this challenge - Won't you help?!!!
2nd place will bring in $5,000
FIRST PLACE IS $20,000!!!
But, we need your vote - once a day, every day through December 20!
We only have three weeks left to make this happen!
It only takes a minute or two each day, at most, costs nothing, and can mean so much to the Birds of The Oasis

Go to the link below, then do the following:
Enter Shelter Name: Oasis Sanctuary ,
and State: AZ
Click on Search (The Oasis Sanctuary in Benson AZ will come up - that's us!)
Click on Vote
Enter the animal that you see (spelling counts)
Click on Confirm Vote
You can vote once a day, every day through December 20.
On the left-hand side of the site, if you click on "Daily Click Reminders" and enter your email address, you'll receive a reminder every day so you won't forget to vote!

Here is the link that will take you directly to the voting page:


Thank you for your support!

NEWS UPDATE!!!! The OASIS SANCTUARY has a $2,000 Matching Dollars Grant for General Operating Costs from one of our wonderful Donors.
Between Monday November 23rd and Sunday December 6th
Your donation can double in it's value!
Help the wonderful Birds of The Oasis!
Please make a donation of any size within the next two weeks
Help us help them!!!

The Oasis Annual Holiday On-line Auction has begun!!
Starting TODAY and running through Sunday December 6th
We have a number of wonderful items to Bid on.
Go to:

Will you be in Southern Arizona December 5th and/or 6th?
Come to the Annual Cascabel Holiday Faire.
The Oasis Sanctuary
will be open for Tours and our holiday Gift Store will feature many bird-lover Gifts.

Sybil Erden, Executive Director
The Oasis Sanctuary
We can always use Volunteers...
Do you have time to learn about Parrots?
Come'on out!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Complementary Colors

"As with her first novel, For the May Queen, Kate Evans explores not so much a coming of age story as a coming to terms story in her new novel Complementary Colors. ... A deftly crafted exploration of self-identity as only Kate Evans can achieve. Brava! Sophisticated and nuanced." --Cynn Chadwick, author of Cat Rising

"Sophisticated and nuanced ... resplendent with the grace and wonder that accompany self-discovery." --Jayne Pupek, author of Tomato Girl and Forms of Intercession

What happens when a 31-year-old straight woman falls in love with a lesbian? It's 1993, and Gwen Sullivan is agitated. She's been married and divorced and is now living with her scientist boyfriend who loses himself in dark moods. Her job at a tutoring center and her work on the Bill Clinton-for-President campaign leave her vaguely dissatisfied. She hopes taking a night class in poetry might help.

In the poetry class, the allure of two lesbians takes her by surprise. She can't get them out of her mind. This prompts her to question who she is and who she wants to be. Soon, Gwen cannot deny her intense attraction to one of the women, Jamie. The feeling is mutual, but Jamie, too, is in a long-term relationship - with a woman minister. As Jamie and Gwen become more and more entwined, Gwen must ask herself who she is and what she wants from life. She begins to see gender, sex and sexuality differently. And as she feels compelled to confess her love for Jamie to her women friends, she is continually surprised by their complex reactions. This leads her to make one of the most important decisions of her life.

Saturday, October 31, 2009


NANOWRIMO...And I'm in....

Happy Halloween...and a new Lars von Trier Film

Time to brush off those witches' hats and find the plastic fangs. I think I'm going to celebrate by watching some of my favorites horror movies-- Rosemary's Baby and The Exorcist are ones I keep coming back to when I want a really good scare. The most frightening movies and books for me are ones that seem the most possible-- and both of these seem plausible to me. One of the reasons that Jack Ketchum impresses me so is that his monsters are real people-- they could live next door!

On the subject of horror movies, I cannot wait to see The Antichrist. Lars von Trier is a brilliant director. His film, Breaking the Waves, is breathtaking and one of my favorite films.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Jayne Pupek:Freelance Profile

I have been busy with freelance projects during the past few months. I thought I'd share my profile on Elance for those of you who are interested in getting started as a freelancer or who might like to have me complete a project. Jayne Pupek

Posted using ShareThis

Thursday, October 15, 2009


With a goal to "demystify poetry and help make it more fun and relevant to students' daily lives," Shmoop offers guidance and refreshment for relectant readers.

Shouts & Murmurs: Subject: Our Marketing Plan:

Shouts & Murmurs: Subject: Our Marketing Plan:

Shared via AddThis

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Chaperons of a Lost Poet

Chaperons of a Lost Poet Chaperons of a Lost Poet by John Vick

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Vick's first collection is a bold and finely crafted portrait. The work is actually one long poem, but is best savored in small portions. This is a complex and textured poem, rich in imagery and language. Vick explores the landscape of the self with rare honesty and precision. Bravo!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

My New Macbook

My PC died recently, which was a drag, but my computer geek salvaged my hard drive. Whew! I bit the bullet and bought a MacBook. I may have to subsist on peanut butter now, but it is worth it. I will NEVER use a PC again. There should be a temple for Apple worshippers...maybe that is part of the reason for the Genius Bar in Apple stores...a place to kneel and give thanks for the Mac. I can totally see it.

Other news...Margaret Oleksa reviewed Tomato Girl on Read her review.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Monday, August 3, 2009

Poems for Shark Week

Poems for Shark Week

Where the fin of the shark cuts like a black chip out of the water...
—from "Song of Myself" by Walt Whitman

In honor of Shark Week, the Discovery Channel's annual weeklong series of television programs devoted to sharks, has compiled 35 Poems about Sharks, and examined how the animals have been represented in classic and contemporary poetry.

Described by poets as "death-scenting," with "lipless jaws" and "eyes that stare at nothing, like the dead," sharks have long served as a cultural symbol of mortality and looming danger. Despite the fact that sharks kill fewer than 20 people a year, their reputation as the ocean's most allusive and deadly predator continues to inspire fear and fascination in audiences throughout the world.

Included are poems by Carl Sandburg, Robert Graves, Martín Espada, Denise Levertov, Joel Brouwer, Walt Whitman, Tomasz Rózycki, Herman Melville, Alan Dugan, James Dickey, Vivian Shipley, Jamey Dunham, Nancy Willard, and many others.

On the web at:

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Poetry prize shortlist revealed

Olds' collection is my personal favorite.

BBC: Poetry prize shortlist revealed

Don Paterson won the best first collection prize in 1993
The shortlist for the 18th Forward Prize for Poetry has been announced.

Respected poets Sharon Olds, Hugo Williams and Christopher Reid are in the running for best collection for the first time in the annual awards.

Peter Porter, who won the award in 2002 for his Max Is Missing collection, is shortlisted for a second time with his 18th book of poems, Better Than God.

The shortlist for the £10,000 prize, to be presented on 7 October, is completed by Don Paterson and Glyn Maxwell.

Paterson, nominated for Rain, won the prize for best first collection for Nil Nil in 1993.

Glyn Maxwell - Hide Now
Sharon Olds - One Secret Thing
Don Paterson - Rain
Peter Porter- Better than God
Christopher Reid - A Scattering
Hugo Williams - West End Final

Another previous winner of best first collection, Paul Farley - who won in 1998 for The Boy from the Chemist is Here to See You - is among the contenders for best single poem, for Moles.

Shortlisted for this year's best first collection prize is Lorraine Mariner, who was previously nominated for best single poem in 2007.

The Forward Prizes were founded in 1992 to raise the profile of contemporary poetry.

Writer and producer Josephine Hart is chair of the judges for 2009.

She is joined by poet and librettist David Harsent, poets Jean Sprackland and Tishani Doshi, and the Guardian's poetry editor, Nicholas Wroe.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Holly Rose Review

Holly Rose Review (HRR), the first online poetry & tattoo literary journal, launches its June issue. The theme is PASSION with worldwide contributors. Poetry by Arlene Ang, Donavon Davidson, Lane Falcon, Peter Joseph Glovizcki, Kathryn Good-Schiff, Seth Jani, Pamela Johnson Parker, Christine Klocek-Lim, Daphne Lazarus, Jee Leong Koh, Donnelle McGee, Marie-Elizabeth Mali, Colleen Mills, Erika Moya, Rhonda Palmer, Siimon Petkovich, Jayne Pupek, Edwin Rivera, Kathrin Schaeppi, & Martha Silano. Tattoos by Seven Beckham, Chris Belville, Cengiz Eyvazov, Luba Goldina, Shotsie Gorman, Maxime Lanouette, Soul Expressions, & Shane Tan. Original art by Tiffany Carpenter, Bob Dilworth, and Thomas Woodruff.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

One True Bear

I found this to be an intriguing article by Sean Coughlan. As a mother of two boys, I recall how they delighted in drawing pictures of car crashes and buildings falling down. Using these kind of images in a children's story is bold and honest. I appreciate the fact that the children drew the pictures themselves. Here is an excerpt, with a link to find the rest of the article.

Blood and Bedtime Stories

By Sean Coughlan
BBC News

There's rarely room in children's books for scenes of slaughter and pictures of people being impaled, so why does one author want to change this?

There have been many calls to protect the young from violent images, but it's not often the opposite case is argued, that there aren't enough aggressive pictures in children's books.

But award-winning children's author Ted Dewan is conscientiously putting scenes of mayhem and destruction into his latest book, not drawn by an adult but by the children themselves.

Children, particularly boys, often produce violent images in their drawings, he says. But when it comes to children's books, this becomes a taboo. They're often fluffy and fleecy, but there's rarely room in the children's section for the scenes of slaughter that many boys like to draw.

One True Bear is a moral tale about a bear and boy. Mr Dewan wants children's literature to face up to this "hidden art" and to cast some light on the "type of pictures that don't get put up on the fridge". Read the rest here.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Audible. com

I signed up for a trial membership with Audible. com and am really enjoying the book.

What Is Audible?

We're active listeners who enjoy stories well told.

And we're your destination for the widest selection of digital audiobooks available for download.

Come join the millions of listeners who've discovered a new way to receive the entertainment, information, and knowledge they seek. In addition to audiobooks, we're home to magazines, radio shows, podcasts, stand-up comedy, and speeches from icons who shape our culture, politics, and business world. We feature the best narrators interpreting books by top authors.

How can vocal inflection—a pause, a breath, a smile you can feel through your headphones—add to your experience of the latest best sellers and timeless classics?

Find out by downloading an audio program now.

And listen for yourself.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Review of Forms of Intercession

Helen Losse wrote a wonderful review of my book, Forms of Intercession (Mayapple Press, 2008) which appears in Galatea Resurrects #12. Helen is the poetry editor of The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature and a fine poet in her own right. Helen's new book, Better With Friends is on Rank Stranger Press (2009).

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Cormac McCarthy's The Road

The movie adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's best-selling and Pulitzer Prize winning novel, "The Road," finally has a trailer, and it is decidedly dark and haunting. Viggo Mortensen plays a man trying to keep his son alive in a post-apocalyptic world. I loved this moving and disturbing book and am eager to see the film.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Birds, Birds, Birds!

I'm spending more time on freelance projects now and just landed a dream assignment for any bird lover. I'm writing a total of 10 articles on companion birds. Topics range from Buying a Parrot to Feeding a Budgie. My articles will appear at, a new site that will launch on June 15.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

Lullaby in Blue
by Betsy Sholl

The child takes her first journey
through the inner blue world of her mother's body,
blue veins, blue eyes, frail petal lids.

Beyond that unborn brackish world so deep
it will be felt forever as longing, a dream
of blue notes plucked from memory's guitar,

the wind blows indigo shadows under streetlights,
clouds crowd the moon and bear down on the limbs
of a blue spruce. The child's head appears—

midnight pond, weedy and glistening—
draws back, reluctant to leave that first home.
Blue catch in the mother's throat,

ferocious bruise of a growl, and out slides
the iridescent body—fish-slippery
in her father's hands, plucked from water

into such thin densities of air,
her arms and tiny hands stutter and flail,
till he places her on her mother's body,

then cuts the smoky cord, releasing her
into this world, its cold harbor below
where a blue caul of shrink-wrap covers

each boat gestating on the winter shore.
Child, the world comes in twos, above and below,
visible and unseen. Inside your mother's croon

there's the hum of an old man tapping his foot
on a porch floor, his instrument made from one
string nailed to a wall, as if anything

can be turned into song, always what is
and what is longed for. Against the window
the electric blue of cop lights signals

somebody's bad news, and a lone man walks
through the street, his guitar sealed in dark plush.
Child, from this world now you will draw your breath

and let out your moth flutter of blue sighs.
Now your mother will listen for each one,
alert enough to hear snow starting to flake

from the sky, bay water beginning to freeze.
Sleep now, little shadow, as your first world
still flickers across your face, that other side

where all was given and nothing desired.
Soon enough you'll want milk, want faces, hands,
heartbeats and voices singing in your ear.

Soon the world will amaze you, and you
will give back its bird-warble, its dove call,
singing that blue note which deepens the song,

that longing for what no one can recall,
your small night cry roused from the wholeness
you carry into this broken world.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Cormac McCarthy Wins PEN/Saul Bellow Award

Associated Press
Tuesday, May 5, 2009

NEW YORK, May 4 -- Pulitzer Prize winner Cormac McCarthy has received another literary honor.

The author of "The Road," "All the Pretty Horses" and several other novels was named the winner Monday of the PEN/Saul Bellow Award for lifetime achievement in American fiction. The prize is worth $25,000.

The PEN American Center, the U.S. chapter of the international writers organization, announced several other honors:

Steve Coll, former managing editor of The Washington Post, won a nonfiction award for his book "The Bin Ladens," which was also a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and for a 2009 Pulitzer Prize in biography.

The PEN Center also awarded citations to Nobel laureate Nadine Gordimer, Ha Jin and 18 other authors for excellence in short fiction.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Beyond Forgetting: Poetry and Prose about Alzheimer’s Disease

I am so pleased that my poem, "Equations," is included in this wonderful anthology: Beyond Forgetting: Poetry and Prose about Alzheimer’s Disease, Holly Hughes, editor. Kent State University Press, 2009

From the publisher: This is a literary collection that illumines the darkness of Alzheimer's disease. Alzheimer's disease is now estimated to affect one in two persons over the age of eighty and is being diagnosed in people as young as fifty. For the many people now trying to cope with a loved one suffering from this tragic disease, this collection will provide solace and valuable insight for family members as well as for those in the medical community who work with anyone afflicted with Alzheimer's disease. "Beyond Forgetting" is a unique collection of poetry and short prose about Alzheimer's disease written by 100 contemporary writers - doctors, nurses, social workers, hospice workers, daughters, sons, wives, and husbands - whose lives have been touched by the disease. Through the transformative power of poetry, their words enable the reader to move 'beyond forgetting', beyond the stereotypical portrayal of Alzheimer's disease to honor and affirm the dignity of those afflicted. With a moving foreword by poet Tess Gallagher, this anthology forms a richly textured literary portrait encompassing the full range of the experience of caring for someone with Alzheimer's disease. Because the writers share their personal stories as well as their poems and prose, this collection will be a valuable companion to anyone embarking on this difficult journey. In their honest, deeply moving, and compassionate portrayals, the voices collected here help illumine the darkness of this passage and help us see, as one of the contributors put it, 'the unlikely light shining deep within it'.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

W.S. Merwin Wins Pulitzer for Poetry (his second win)

The Shadow of Sirius
By: W.S. Merwin
Copper Canyon Press

The nuanced mysteries of light, darkness, temporality, and eternity interweave throughout Merwin's newest collection of poems. "I have only what I remember," he admits, and his memories are focused and profound - well-cultivated loves, the distinct qualities of autumnal light, memories of Pennsylvania miners, a conversation with a boyhood teacher, and "our long evenings and astonishment." From the universe's chiaroscuro shadows, Merwin once again calls upon the language of surprise to illuminate existence. He is writing at the peak of his powers.

—from the publisher

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

National Poetry Month

Celebrate National Poetry Month! Buy books of poetry, attend poetry readings, write poems, hand out poems to friends and neighbors...there are so many ways to celebrate!

Writer's Digest is sponsoring A Poem A Day Challenge featuring prompts by Robert Lee Brewer of Poetic Asides.

And check out the post at that features Poetry 101:Resources for Beginners.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009


Dawn at She Is Too Fond of Books wrote a lovely review of Tomato Girl. Read the review here.

I just finished another round of 30:30 at Inside the Writer's Studio. It was great fun and something I've missed during the many months of writing fiction. I think I'll return tomorrow to do another 30 poems. It's addictive!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Afterwords: A Poetry Reading

Afterwords: A Poetry Reading

Spiritual and mystical meditations on love, loss, and grief with poets Jane Hirshfield (After) and Gregory Orr (Concerning the Book That Is the Body of the Beloved). This event is sponsored by the U.Va Creative Writing Department and the Virginia Quarterly Review.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Sylvia Plath's son kills himself

Story Highlights

Son of Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath commits suicide, his sister says.
Nicholas Hughes, whose mother gassed herself, hanged himself in Alaska.
Hughes, 47, was unmarried with no children of his own and was marine biologist.

Read full story here.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Sunday, February 22, 2009


Many thanks to the bloggers and reviewers who have supported Tomato Girl. I appreciate everyone who takes the time to read my novel and share their impressions. New reviews can be found at Diary of an Eccentric, Book Editing Associates, The Inkwell, Literally Booked, Chicago Life,and B&b ex libris.

I had the great privilege this past week to talk via telephone with the members of The Omaha Book Club. They had recently read Tomato Girl and were eager to discuss it. What an enthusiastic and insightful group of readers! If you would like me to call your book club to discuss Tomato Girl, please email me at to make arrnagements. A Reader's Guide is also available for download to assist with discussions.

I've sent off my new manuscript to my agent. While I wait to hear from her, I look forward to catching up on some reading and working on my NEA application and reviews I've promised. But tonight is the Oscars, and I'm looking forward to the show along with dinner of baked salmon Dijon, mashed potatoes, and baby lima beans. (Not to be confused with H. Lecter's fava beans!)

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day

Just in time for Valentine's Day...Cleis Press has released Afternoon Delight: Erotica for Couples, edited by Alison Tyler. I'm delighted to have a short story included in this anthology.

And for a decadent dessert to celebrate the day, try Gwyneth Paltrow's recipe from her blog:

Molten Chocolate Cakes

TIME: 45 minutes, largely unattended

1 1/2 tablespoons butter, plus more for the ramekins
1 1/2 oz. chocolate
1 egg, plus 1 egg yolk
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, plus 1 teaspoon
2 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons crème fraîche
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat the oven to 450°F.

Generously butter two 4 oz. ramekins.

Melt the butter and chocolate together in a small glass bowl set over a small pot of simmering water. Let it cool a bit while you whisk together the egg, egg yolk and 1/2 cup of confectioners’ sugar in a separate bowl. Whisk in the melted butter and chocolate and then the flour.

Fill the ramekins and bake for seven minutes. The edges and top should be just set.

Meanwhile, whisk the crème fraîche together with the remaining teaspoon of confectioners’ sugar and the vanilla.

Remove the cakes from the oven, let them cool for a few minutes. Invert onto dessert plates and serve each with a spoonful of crème fraîche.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Two Links

I've been preoccupied with my new manuscript and still need to put some spit and polish on it. In the process, I've fallen behind on my blog, email, etc. I wanted to take a moment to post links to a guest blog post I wrote for Reading Group Guides and to a profile at Literary Mama, written by Kimberly Becker. I hope you enjoy both.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

John Updike's Death--From Entertainment Weekly

Photo Credit: Ulf Andersen/Getty Images
Pulitzer-prize winning American novelist John Updike, author of The Witches of Eastwick, Couples, Rabbit is Rich, and Rabbit at Rest, died today of lung cancer. He was 76. His most recent novels were last year's The Widows of Eastwick, the follow-up to Witches, and 2006's Terrorist. His short story collection, My Father's Tears and Other Stories, is due out later this year. Read the rest of Mike Bruno's article here.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Monday, January 19, 2009

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Catching Up

I've been very busy trying to finish a few projects, so I haven't posted in awhile. Still playing catch up!

Many thanks to Sandra at FRESH INK BOOKS for her lovely review and to David at LARGEHEARTED BOY for naming TOMATO GIRL on his list of favorite novels for 2008

TOMATO GIRL is available on cassette and CD at RECORDED BOOKS as part of their Southern Voices Audio Imprint. The audio is also available at Julia Gibson narrates the story. She's wonderful!

And for Amazon's KINDLE users, I see that TOMATO GIRL is now available in this format, too.

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