From associate professor of English to management trainer to retiree, Carolyn Martinis a lover of gardening and snorkeling, feral cats and backyard birds, writing and photography. Her fourth poetry collection, A Penchant for Masquerades, was released by Unsolicited Press in 2019. Find out more about Carolyn at www.carolynmartinpoet.com.
I was a late bloomer both in poetry (Didn’t write what I would call a “real” poem until I was 27) and in my sexual identity (Didn’t settle into the comfort of knowing I am a lesbian until my early 40s.) Perhaps growing up in the 1950s, entering a Roman Catholic convent in 1963, and leaving 20 years later accounted for the latter. Anyway, it thrills me when young women embrace their identity – whatever that may be – early on, and are encouraged to grow into the incredible human beings they are born to be. To have poets from ages 14 to 87 in this anthology is a gift to all ages.
When I saw the call for submissions for an anthology about women loving women, I had already published a number of poems about my relationship with my life partner of (now) 27 years. These poems had nothing to do with erotica – that’s not my scene – but with a couple living everyday life with all its quirks and quarrels, endearments and enlightenments. What thrilled me – and this is an important theme in Smitten— is that the details of this woman/woman relationship appealed to a universal audience.
As I say in a poem, we make “love visible to those with eyes to see.” And readers want to see how love can evolve in any kind of relationship.
It is gratifying that so many journals today say they are looking for diverse voices from POC to LGBTQ authors. To have doors open to traditionally underrepresented writers can only enrich art. However, being an iconoclast, I don’t imagine myself a spokesperson for any group. My bio makes no mention of my sexual identity and probably never will. I want my work to be judged on its own merits, not on the fact I am a lesbian – and, indeed, a happy one. Good writing is good writing in spite of the author’s sexual identity. And that good writing can help dispel stereotypes and misconceptions about any minority by being authentically human.
SMITTEN is coming out late October, 2019 via all good book stores. Published by Indie Blu(e) www.indieblu.net
Please consider supporting this project of over 120+ talented poets and authors by purchasing a copy of SMITTEN for someone who appreciates beautiful poetry. https://www.facebook.com/SMITTENwomen/