Updated: Dec 31, 2022
I really detest end of year reviews, and I certainly do not want to turn this into one. I am also not going to make any New Year’s Resolutions. They never work out anyway. And, yes, this is going to be a very pessimistic post. That is just how I feel right now. So, I am dealing with it. However, I have been praying every morning for things that I would like to happen in 2023 with regard to me and my poetry. I hope that does not sound selfish. If it does. So be it. What is next God?
2022 was not a particularly good year nor was it a particularly bad year. I guess that it just was. Certainly, there were some low points. I did get kicked out of a poetry workshop for standing up for myself. I wear that proudly like a kind of “red badge of courage.” I never really felt a part of the other poetry workshop that I participated in, despite other participants telling me that I was very much a part of it. That has been very much a feeling lately.
I often feel like an observer looking in instead of an actual participant, and this feeling has been much more prevalent lately. I have also had feelings that I am unable to describe or put into words. Like after our Christmas Eve-Eve Service, when I just started crying when I went to bed for no particular reason that I could identify. We presented a wonderful reading of my new poem “Christmas Fear” at the service. Indeed, I have shared my poetry with my church family at several services during the year, for which I am most grateful. Maybe, I am the Poet Laureate of Harmony Springs Christian Church.
I have dealt with a lot of depression and anxiety this year. The cancellation of my publishing contract six weeks before my manuscript was due, threw me into a very deep depression, and I basically just quit poetry for a period of time. It really was a devastating blow. Now, I just feel overwhelmed with the possibility of finding another publisher. Marilyn and others are so very positive that I will find one. I try very hard to cling to their optimism. I did burn the cancelled contract at the Solstice fire, and it went up into the universe with the ashes. Good riddance!
A lot of good things did happen during the year. I was part of the “Women of Appalachia Project” again and the “I Thought I Heard a Cardinal Sing” project as well. I have had several poems published in anthologies and magazines, and essays published in The Buckeye Flame. Marilyn and I become an integral part of Harmony Springs Christian Church and received a lot of support, encouragement, and love. Marilyn was elected to be an Elder in December.
I think that I’d better stop before this does turn in a detested end of year review. Let me just say that I wish everyone a Happy, Safe, and Healthy New Year.
Barbara Marie Minney is a transgender woman, award-winning poet, writer, speaker, and quiet activist. She is a retired attorney and a seventh generation Appalachian. Now based in Tallmadge, Ohio, her first collection of poetry entitled “If There’s No Heaven” was the winner of the 2020 Poetry Is Life Book Award and the Akron Beacon Journal Best Northeast Ohio Books 2020. It is available at www.poetryislifepublishing.com. Barbara is also the author of the "Poetic Memoir Chapbook Challenge." Follow her at www.barbaramarieminneypoetry.com.