Posted by: jeannineatkins | June 11, 2010

Scrap by Scrap, in Hunger Mountain Review

I’m so pleased that Hunger Mountain Review, the VCFA journal of the arts, just put live an article I wrote called Scrap by Scrap: Turning History into Poems. I wrote about the process of writing Borrowed Names: how it began as a book of prose for children, and why it changed it form; some of the poetic standards I set for myself, ways I mined images, and how I blended imagination and research. Here’s an excerpt:

Writing these poems, I lingered with the images the way I once turned over old greeting cards, cotton handkerchiefs, tangled necklaces, and mismatched earrings in my mother’s top bureau drawer, looking for clues about who she was. Now that my daughter is twenty-one and lives across the country, I sometimes wonder in a similar way as I straighten books, clothing, colored pencils, and photographs Emily left behind. What will she find in my words and bureau drawers one day? What will connect and what push us apart? There’s so much I’ll never know, but I put what I touch and see into words because that changes everything. Poetry reminds us that questions are as crucial as answers.

For the whole article, as well as a link to a short interview, please go to:

And click over to other poems fiction, and essays, including a great one Jo wrote about leading writing workshops with women in prison. The index to the whole wonderful issue is here:

For more Poetry Friday posts see:



  1. Great article!

  2. from Laura @AuthorAmok

    Hi, Jeannine. Congratulations on the article. I love your quote, “Poetry reminds us that questions are as crucial as answers.” Heading off to read the full article!

  3. Thank you, Mary Lee!

  4. Re: from Laura @AuthorAmok

    Thanks, Laura! Hope you find lots of good poetry in your weekend!

  5. Very cool! Thanks for sharing,Jeannine!

  6. Thanks, Kathy! Have a wonderful time at ALA! (and I second Loree’s thought that you need to extend your touring to the Boston area!)

  7. Top Ten Biography!

    Congrats!! Did you see this??

    Yay for you!

  8. Re: Top Ten Biography!

    Lisa, sending a smooch your way! I didn’t know about this bio list! Thanks for sending over the good news. Hope your weekend has bright moments, too!

  9. Congrats on your wonderful article!

  10. Jeannine,

    Great article. Again, I enjoyed learning about your writing process. Also, I clicked on reading excerpts at Macmillan site. I’m so glad to finally had a taste of your wonderful poetry. I especially like the line “eyes that can’t see past their shine.” What a positive way to say “blind.”

    Laura Evans
    all things poetry

  11. Kelly, thanks for coming by and reading and for your very friendly poetry Friday hosting!

  12. Laura, thank you again for reading and your kind words. Have a good weekend!

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