Feminist, Literature, Motherhood, Poetry

Proof Positive

November 16, 2015 058The proofs for my poetry collection, Viable, arrived yesterday evening. Five Oaks Editor Lynn Houston has put together a beautiful book! This collection might be the most deeply personal thing I ever write, so I’m both nervous and excited to share it with readers. It includes poems about my own girlhood, marriage, pregnancies, miscarriages and motherhood, as well as poems which chanel the keening voices of grief-stricken historic and literary mothers.

Viable would make a great gift, especially for a mother or daughter. Lynn has worked hard to get the book out in time for the holidays. It is now available for pre-order, both as a paperback and an e-book. You can order through Amazon, but since more of the money goes to the actual press if you order through Market Square, I encourage you to support the wonderful small press that is championing my creative work. Here’s the link:


Appalachian, Fiction, Literature, Novel

On the Trail of a Novel


I just finished an amazing residency at Hambidge Center for the Creative Arts and Sciences in Rabun Gap where I worked on my novel-in-progress, The Recklessness of Water. Nothing like greeting fall in the mountains of North Georgia. The first few days were rainy and cool. I loved waking to the sound of the rain on the roof of my studio. As always, it took me a day or two to withdraw from my busy life and sink into all that creative quiet. To cope, I constructed an elaborate, colorful outline on the wall of my studio and worked on short, lyric, intercalary chapters.

Halfway through the residency, I took part in the Hambidge Great ARTdoors festival. My family came down for the event. The kids loved watching the ten-foot wolf puppet move through the crowd. They got to paint Raku pottery and “help” create an amazing community sculpture from borrowed ladders. While it was hard to say goodbye, I was eager to get back to work.

When the sun came out, the leaves began to fall, and I found a lovely rhythm. In the morning, I led yoga classes on the screened porch of Lucinda’s rock house or hiked the waterfall trail. I wrote all afternoon. My desk was in front of a large window, so whenever I looked up from my laptop, there was the golden flurry from the ash and maple trees. One evening, when I drove out of the holler to phone my kids, a double rainbow spread across the farm pastures.

548I finished eight intercalary chapters and three regular-length chapters—meaning I have only one and a half to go! I also began mapping possible creative collaborations with two amazing artists, print maker, Catherine Clements and painter Isabela Munci. Even the tire blow-out I experienced on the way home just outside of Sylvia, North Carolina, couldn’t dampen my experience. Now, if I can just keep that momentum going!

Check out more Hambidge pics on my Facebook author page: Julie Hensley