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Things have been happening so fast that it has been hard to keep up. Most of the things have been very good.

Sheila-Na-Gig Spring Issue

I am so very proud and excited to finally be a part of the Sheila-Na-Gig family. This has been a goal for a very long time. My poem “Noir” was included in the spring edition (Volume 7.3). I also participated in a reading on Zoom. I read “Noir” and “The Funky Skunk,” which was inspired by a poem that I heard Dick Westheimer read at an open mic a few months earlier.

“Women Speak” Reading at West Virginian University

I am always excited anytime I have the opportunity to go home to West Virginia, especially if it is for a poetry reading. On April 22nd, I participated in a wonderful reading for the “Women of Appalachia Project” at the beautiful West Virginia University Library. Marilyn and I arrived early and were able to do some shopping at the Campus Store. We bought matching West Virginia shirts, which we wore to church the next day. We also saw an interesting mine workers memorial in Pennsylvania on the drive home.

Acceptance Letter from New Words Press

I received the absolute nicest acceptance letter that I have ever received, which certainly went a long way toward boosting my confidence and belief in myself:

Dear Barbara Marie,

Congratulations! This message confirms the acceptance of your submission to new words {press}. In fact, the editors had a really difficult time deciding which two to accept, since we only have room for two of the three. We'd love to publish Friday the Thirteenth Ars Poetica and Talk to Me. Regarding Woman in Progress, I was personally leaning heavily toward that poem. Power exchange is such an underrepresented, taboo subject, and you do a beautiful job in the poem of making it about so much more than tropes and surface level reactions. If you would be interested in submitting additional work for consideration in future issues, especially work similar to Woman in Progress, we would love that. Thanks so much for sharing your work with us and the world.

Elizabeth’s Bookshop Open Mic

Marilyn and I attended a new open mic at Elizabeth’s Bookshop & Writing Center. It is located in Compass Coffee, which used to be the site of the Latitudes Poetry Nights, which were instrumental in the start of my poetry journey. Marilyn and I both read. Some students were there and read as well. Afterwards, one of the students who is trans, came up to me and gave me a big hug. It was a very rewarding experience. It warmed my cold, cold, heart. I also made some connections with the Bookshop personnel, which may be valuable in the future.

Shelf Life Second Annual Lit Fest

I attended the Shelf Life Lit Fest, which was held at the Cuyahoga Falls Library this year. It really was a huge success. I was a little concerned at first because my table was kind of hidden in the back. My poetry reading at the Lit Fest went very well, and I met some very interesting people and made some very valuable connections. I read “Imperfect Strangers” and “The Sylvia Beach of Cuyahoga Falls” in honor of Danielle Sawat, which was a hit! I sold eight copies of “If There’s No Heaven” and two copies of the “Poetic Memoir Chapbook Challenge.” I also received some very favorable reactions to my poetry, which again was a boost to my confidence.

Cancer Scare

I had a biopsy on a spot on my chest, which I thought was a cut birthmark. The test results came back “severe atypical,” which required surgery. The surgery went well. I was as close as I can be to having melanoma without actually having it. More testing has been done, and I will get the results and my stitches out on Wednesday. I will also have to be monitored every six months.

National Mental Health Awareness Month

If you have been following me for any amount of time, you know that I feel strongly about removing the stigma surrounding mental health issues. That is a theme in my poetry. I have been struggling with depression again as my doctor and I battle to find the right antidepressant. I was so upset when my insurance company had an exorbitant co-pay for the antidepressant prescribed by my doctor. I’m so frustrated that an insurance company in this country has the power to negate a decision by my doctor. Our system is so broken. This sounded like the perfect medication for me. Now, I have to go back to something that didn’t work before. No wonder we have a mental health crisis in this country.

Trash Sandwich Magazine

I was delighted to have another erotic poem accepted by Trash Sandwich Magazine. Sometimes I wonder if I should shoot a little higher in some of my submission

Of Rust and Glass Pride

I am pleased to have two poems included in “Of Rust and Glass Pride.” The poems are “Dancing Naked Pantoum” and “No Experience Needed.” I will also be participating in the virtual book launch on June 3rd at 7PM. I’m sorry that prior commitments prevent me from participating in the in-person reading.

Mingle with the Flamingos

I was honored to be a featured reader at “Mingle with the Flamingos” on May 9th. It was a good reading, and I received some positive feedback.

Berlin Woods Treehouses

Finally, Marilyn and I were able to enjoy a much needed break at the Berlin Woods Treehouses. That was our third trip there. It turned out to be a working vacation for both of us. I must have been relaxed, because I allowed the most pictures of me that have been taken on any trip!

June is going to be incredibly busy, so stay tuned to this website for further updates and events. Thank you for stopping by!

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 through this website at Barbara is also the author of the "Poetic Memoir Chapbook Challenge." Follow her at

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