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Musings & Meanderings: A shout-out in P&W, houses of artists, where to submit, upcoming workshops, retreats, reading recommendations, manuscript consulting, more

By Leslie Lindsay

A curated newsletter on the literary life, featuring ‘4 questions,’ reading & listening recommendations, where to submit, more

Leslie Lindsay|Always with a Book


Hello 2023, Friends!

I’m writing this from a snowy-ish Chicago and reflecting on the year that just passed while gearing up for 2023. It’s a slower pace, and I welcome that.

My plan is to clear up the flurry that became my December office as we were preparing for an International trip, the holidays (my birthday is tossed in there, too…my daughter’s is next week…the celebrations just don’t stop!), and all of that year-end stuff. I find liberating to let the past year settle, yet there’s a collusion of seasons that make for a mess.

I’m in that collusion stage.

Surrounding me–on my desk–at least fourteen books, one literary journal, and some poetry chapbooks. I have notes from a book I am reading (whichis in the other room, next to my reading chair), on my desk with the intention to look up things I read about–you know, dig deep to find those primary sources.

That book I’m reading is all about artist’s and their homes…it wasn’t until more recently (say in the last 200-300 years), that we humans created rooms for various tasks. It used to be that the home was one big space for eating, sleeping, creating/working, and…lounging. I find that pretty fascinating. So it’s interesting (and a luxury) that I have a reading room and a writing room, a lying on the couch room, an eating room…

Have you thought about those things before? How the home is sort of a container for the stuff of life?

Respond here in a comment, or find me on InstagramTwitter, or Facebook.


~Leslie : )

By the way–super-duper-over-the-moon pumped about this mention in the Jan/Feb 2023 print issue of Poets & Writers in their ‘Reactions’ section. I was working out at my gym reading back issues of the magazine, ripping out sections I needed to do something about (order, read, submit)–when I got off the exercise bike, it all looked pretty artistic. I snapped a photo, shared on IG and boom–blown over when I saw it in the front pages of the new issue! No idea this would happen. Pleasantly surprised. So thanks, Poets & Writers! You know how to make a writer’s day.

This issue of Musings & Meanderings is jam-packed with some really great stuff to get your [writing and reading] year off on the right foot. Artifacts, yoga, coaching, book recommendations, journals to submit to, reading recommendations, author interviews, recently published prose, stuff that’s coming up…so check it out.

By the way, I do not get any ‘kick-backs’ or other kind of payment (in-kind, or otherwise) for mentioning these classes/workshops/books/individuals. Sharing because if helps me, maybe it’ll speak to you, too.

Some Writerly Things:

  • If you act quick, you can get your work submitted to Ploughshares before their Jan 15 deadline. There is a $3 submission fee.
  • The Cincinnati Review is closed for print submissions thru May 1, but they are always open for their miCRo series, which yes–I love the stylization of, but also the form. Check out what they are looking for HERE.
  • ONE ART: Poetry is open on rolling submissions for poetry. Check out their submission guidelines HERE. Subs are free.
Image retrieved from Facebook 1.5.23
  • Writing Workshops is offering a class on Yoga + Writing. It’s a 6-week generative Zoom workshop with supplemental readings starting Feb. 20th.
  • I’ll be attending Kristine Langley Mahler’s class on artifacts and writing: Artifacts into Art, taught via Zoom through the Lafayette Writer’s Studio. What do we keep and how does it inform our work? See my interview with Kristine Langley Mahler, which recently appeared in Brevity featuring her recently-released CURING SEASON: Artifacts (West Virginia Press, 2022).
  • This writing retreat in Iceland has definitely piqued my interest…
  • Zibby Owens, book influencer extraordinaire, is now offering an array of classes for writers…whether you’re just starting out or looking to get super-serious…published…whatever that means for you. Prices start at just $29.

Some Readerly Things:

Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko on Pexels.com
  • I’m currently reading HORSE: A Novel (Viking, June 2022) by Geraldine Brooks and I love it! It’s a lovely mash-up of literary fiction meets history meets art + science. I’ve never been much of a horse and pony girl, but this book has a little something for everyone. It reminds me a teeny bit of Seabiscuit, but different. HORSE is fiction but based on a true story. I think you’ll love it.
  • This book has captivated my interest, too. It’s not a sit-and-read-at-length-for-pleasure-book, but one I like to digest in little snippets. It’s all about houses of artists, not so much their studio, per se, but sometimes that’s there, too. This one is so well done, with lots of great information and photos! Homework for my WIP!
  • Speaking of that WIP, I devoured Cormac McCarthy’s new book, STELLA MARIS, which came out at the tail-end of November. Apparently, he turned in the manuscript to this one 8 years ago! His editors really kept quiet about it. How is it related to my WIP? It’s basically a transcript between a psychiatric patient and her psychiatrist. Fascinating!

Some Recently Published Interviews, Prose, Etc.:

  • Y’all, I am super-excited about this illustrated review in DIAGRAM, which has sorta been like a dream place of mine to get work published. It’s a beautiful melding of all things that bring me joy: fonts, words, ideas, art, books, and the human body. I mean…the only obsessions missing for me is architecture, travel, nature, and basset hounds. Check it out and the book, YOUR HEARTS, YOUR SCARS: Essays by the late Adina Talve-Goodman (Bellevue Literary Press, Jan 24 2023), which happens to be a Powell’s pick for January.
My illustrated review of YOUR HEARTS YOUR SCARS (Bellevue Literary Press, Jan 24 2023) as it appears in DIAGRAM 22.6
  • Kathryn Gahl in conversation with me about her poetic memoir, THE YELLOW TOOTHBRUSH (Two Shrews Press, September 2022), about her incarcerated daughter, perinatal mood disorder, more in MER, November 28, 2022.
  • Sarah Fawn Montgomery’s HALFWAY FROM HOME (Split/Lip Press, Nov 8) in Hippocampus Magazine, about her working-class unconventional childhood in California, moving across the country to pursue writing, home, displacement, and so much more November 13, 2022.
  • A conversation-in-review with the EIC of Salon, Erin Keane, about her memoir, RUNAWAY: Notes on the Myths that Made Me (Belt Publishing, September, 2022), in Autofocus Literary, November 12, 2022.
  • A conversation with Sheila O’Connor about elegantly exploring the nonlinear, (a total obsession of mine), in her EVIDENCE OF V: A Novel in Fragments, Facts, Fictions (Rose Metal Press, 2019), in Fractured Literary, October 25, 2022
  • A review-in-dialogue with Su Cho about her debut book of poetry, THE SYMMETRY OF FISH (Penguin Poets, October 2022) in The Cincinnati Review, November 1 2022.
  • Prose in SEPIA Journal Oct/Nov 2022 issue. Interiors is about an Appalachian family, black bottom pie, trains, and ear aches. It was inspired by my own family lore, and also: this journal is STUNNING!
Image retrived from SEPIA website

Coming soon:

  • A photo essay in On the Seawall featuring miniatures, houses, and a family besieged by mental illness.
  • A prose piece in Heimat Review, which is sort of a love letter to my late grandfather, my newlywed days, and an old house.
  • A a hybrid flash non-fiction piece about the mysteries of ancestry in ELJ Editions Scissors & Spackle.
  • A conversation-in-review with Nicole McCarthy on her genre-defying A SUMMONING (Heavy Feather Review, September 2022) to appear in CRAFT Literary in 2023.
  • A conversation-in-review with Jamila Minnicks, on her PEN/Bellwether Prize-winning debut, MOONRISE OVER NEW JESSUP (Algonquin Books, January 10, 2023) to appear in The Rumpus.
  • Tanya Frank’s ZIG-ZAG BOY: A Memoir of Motherhood & Madness (W.W. Norton, Feb 28 2023), a review and conversation to appear in Hippocampus Magazine, spring 2023.
  • A review-in-conversation with Gayle Brandeis, DRAWING BREATH: Essays on the Body, Writing, & Loss (Overcup Press, February 2023)

I’ll be sharing my published interviews here, after they’ve ‘gone live’ with their various publications.

There’s more to this newsletter. Keep scrolling.

Photo by Diahann Addison on Pexels.com

You are reading Musings & Meanderings, a consistently inconsistent weekly newsletter about the literary life from Leslie Lindsay, and home of an archive of bestselling and debut author interviews. I’m also on twitter and instagram. I try to answer comments as best I canFeel free to find my book suggestions on bookshop.org, and also check out the authors I’ve hosted in in-depth interviews HERE.

In the meantime, catch me on:

Reviewing books and talking about them with others on-line and in-person is one small way to engage with & support the literary community.

Thank you for letting me guide you on your bookish journey.

Let’s walk this bookish path together.


Some of you have been reading my reviews, interviews, and meanderings for more than a decade now. That’s huge and I am so humbled. Thanks for being here.

More than 2,800 folks read Musings & Meanderings.

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Wishing you much comfort and joy in the New Year!

Photo by Alissa Nabiullina on Pexels.com

Created by Leslie Lindsay. I’m a proud book nerd. Connect with me on Instagram, and Twitter. See what I’m reading on Bookshop.org. Find my reviews on GoodReads. I’m also a Zibby Books Ambassador.

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