Meet the Editors of VoiceCatcher’s New Online Journal

They’re five talented authors who love to read and write. They’re committed to VoiceCatcher’s mission of inspiring and empowering other women. And they’re courageously tackling the challenge of creating our new online journal for local writers and artists.

Meet Ginger Duncan, Lisa Maier, Helen Puciloski, Joanna Rose and Celina Wigle.

A native Oregonian and proud Portlander, Ginger Duncan writes poetry, flash fiction, and dabbles in photography. Some her favorite things include food, music, dancing, hiking and traveling. She tries her best to live simply and do everything wholeheartedly. Someday she hopes to have a dog.

Ginger began her VoiceCatcher career with the publication of “Thumbprint” in VoiceCatcher3 (see below). In June, 2010 she became our newsletter editor and joined the editorial team for VoiceCatcher5 and 6. Currently, she is our weblog administrator as well as a contributor to the design team for both our journal and weblog.

Why Ginger wanted to be an editor

I’ve been involved with different facets of VoiceCatcher since a piece of mine was published in VoiceCatcher3. I’m obsessed with the power of the written word – harnessing it with my own writing, reading it ravenously, helping others utilize it in their creative work – so being an editor for the new VoiceCatcher journal made perfect sense. It’s something I just knew I had to do.

Thumbprint

Please do not think that I wasn’t going to tell you about the hole in the living room wall that you found last night. It came from the hammer that I threw across the room last Saturday after hitting my thumb for the second time. I swore so loud I could hear your mother frowning from her hole in the ground. I was trying to hang a picture when I threw the hammer, and it was a surprise picture so I was determined to do it on my own. Freshly framed I looked at your face smiling next to his, your son’s, his arm around your shoulder, his crisp class A’s matching his black beret formed neatly to his prickly haired head. And it was you at the graduation. And it was you proud of his accomplishment. And it was you proud that your son had made something of himself. And I was behind the camera. It was signed on the back, the picture was, it said I love you dad, now signed by a ghost because I left it in my closet for a year like all of my great ideas. And I was so overwhelmed by the pain in my thumb and the ache of anger between my eyes that I smashed your surprise against the corner of the kitchen cabinets, the clean glass crunching while I cried out damnation for the man that killed him, and the man that told him who to be. I left our home after covering the hole in the wall with the old family portrait, this note attached to the back for you to find when you realized the picture was out of place. And all I really meant to say is that I have accidentally smashed a thumbprint through my heart. I was having one of my days and I know I promised I would always come back and I will. Just not today. And not tomorrow or the next day. But I will come back when I can’t see his face anymore. And I didn’t really mean to leave at all.

Lisa Maier is a Northwest poet and children’s picture book author. Her poetry was first published by VoiceCatcher in 2010 and an invitation to share her work live on KBOO’s Bread and Roses followed. Lisa’s recent work, “Summer Flies” in VoiceCatcher6, has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize for Best American Poetry.

In addition to being a journal editor, Lisa is also VoiceCatcher’s Pinterest Editor. Her enthusiasm for this social media site convinced us this was an important addition. If you haven’t heard about Pinterest, be sure to read Lisa’s engaging article.

Why Lisa wanted to be an editor

I’m thrilled to be a part of the new VoiceCatcher online journal. I was first published in VoiceCatcher5, and through that supportive experience I gained the knowledge and confidence to become the poet I knew I could be. As an editor on the VoiceCatcher team, I’m now able to give that opportunity to another woman.

Lisa’s favorite poem, “The Halt,” first appeared in VoiceCatcher5 and she was honored to read it on a Wordstock stage in 2010.

The Halt

The doctor’s thin-lipped mouth
creaks open in degrees,
damp webs of worry
lining its corners
and I feel the end
of everything.
All hopes
become eel slippery,
escaping through doors
now sealed.

I look at your face,
beautiful son,
and watch his words
age you in an instant.
A montage of your
unavailable life
plays behind my
shut tight lids
as I hold your hand:

Corsages pinned.
Cap and gown pride.
Rice scattered in the air.
Songs of your newborn.
My existence is halted
alongside yours.

Helen Puciloski has loved writing poetry since she was a child, but only began submitting poems for publication recently. She is a life-long Oregonian, born in Portland at a time when Portland had not yet achieved cool status. (She had faith in her city and herself.) Helen’s poetry has appeared in CALYX Journal, Four and Twenty, Floating Bridge Review, and Cloudbank. She completed an MFA in Poetry from Pacific University in 2012.

Helen is new to VoiceCatcher and her insights and suggestions have already had an impact on our organization.

Why Helen wanted to be an editor

I wrote stories and poetry regularly from the time I was a child to when I reached my mid-twenties. At that point, commitments to children, work and other family made me think it would be impossible to dedicate myself to writing again. This thought, coupled with doubts about my abilities, kept me away from something I loved. I do not want this to happen to any other woman.

I learned about VoiceCatcher from several women who had either volunteered with the organization or been published by it. When VoiceCatcher asked for volunteers to help with its new online publication, I was excited to help. VoiceCatcher creates a space that supports creative women. Who wouldn’t want to be part of that?

Helen’s poem “Hindsight” appeared in CALYX Journal, Summer 2009.

Hindsight

When I open the letters,
more than words fly out;
bees alert for the first hint of pollen
crawl out between the pages,
circle my head and disappear.

It’s all there:
our honeymoon, that fishing trip
of tangled lines,
later spring days spent hiking near the river,
even our stillborn we buried in the rocks.

In my fingers, grit and an odd tickle:
tiny red ants retrace
the path of each sentence in my hands.
They know what it means
to follow one thing after another
in the constant search for sweetness.

He writes of the abandoned cat,
never really welcome, and
all our separate friends,
no mention of weeks passed
in heated silence,
or the one last entry
I would write to remember
the whine of the screen door
before it slapped the house.

Folding the letters,
there’s a low hum,
an irritating prickle on the skin
that I am sure my younger self
brushed aside, smiling,
when she handled these pages,
thinking of honey.

Joanna Rose is the author of the award-winning novel Little Miss Strange. Her poetry and prose have appeared in Bellingham Review, The Oregonian, Windfall Journal, High Desert Journal, Northern Lights and ZYZZYVA, among others. She is a language arts consultant for various arts agencies and school systems. She teaches youth and adults around the northwest and will jump at any chance to go to the beach. She lives in southeast Portland in a small house the color of faded blue jeans.

Joanna is also new to VoiceCatcher and has taken on the role of Youth Editor. When we announced we had a dream about publishing young voices in our new online journal, she jumped at the opportunity. We are thrilled to work with a woman so committed to teaching students the art and craft of writing.

Why Joanna chose to be an editor

I chose this work because, in all my years of teaching youth and adults, it is the younger voices that tend to thrill me to my bones. My challenge as a teacher is not to get young writers to see that their writing is good, but to get them to understand why it is good, and, always, how to explore their writing further.

Joanna’s poem “Biology” appeared in the Bellingham Review #62.

Biology

Being crickets in the tongue of day.
Being the single stoplight in a town
that used to be here.
Being thistleburr in stories that sing moon.
Being woodcutter’s mandolin in backwater.
Being oranges that rouse butterflies
in a madrigal of scent.
Being leaf, being cup, being a small dish of salt.

Celina Wigle is an Oregon native and graduate of Portland State University’s English Literature program. Her mystic alter ego, the Celestial Concubine, has produced three chapbooks and a spoken-word album. She is also the host and spoken-word artist for the project Symbols&Cymbals. In her spare time she cares for new families and babies as a postpartum doula.

Celina has been a dedicated VoiceCatcher volunteer for several years. Whenever we put out a call for help, whether to staff our Wordstock booth or help with a used-book sale, Celina was always among the first to respond.

Why Celina wanted to be an editor

I leapt at the opportunity to be an editor for VoiceCatcher because I was so very excited to return, if only a little, the energy VoiceCatcher gave me. Having released most of my work as a self-published artist, I took a chance and submitted to a VoiceCatcher anthology and was accepted. Being published in a book for the first time was its own reward, but with it also came the opportunities to perform for a whole new audience and to share with and experience the works of so many amazing women. VoiceCatcher gave me a huge boost of encouragement both as a writer and as a woman, and I am so very excited and honored to be able to give a boost back.

Listen to Celina’s voice in the following poems:

Touch the Sky

the world seems to be giving me a boost
now is the challenge
of tethering the excitement
and patiently waiting
to touch the sky

Embrace the Ecstatic Days

embrace the ecstatic days
when your coffee cup leaps from your palms
making Pollock prints on the sidewalk
and your hair stands up in salute to the day
refusing to back down

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