Update 12/25/21: Veronica has continued writing poetry. She recently completed her 11th year of NaPoWriMo.
by Veronica Hosking
living with cerebral palsy
writing poetry I begin
to lose constraints my mind is free
words give me possibility
Poem first appeared in Bare It All Expo at 9 the Gallery 2016.
Veronica Hosking is a wife, mother and poet. She lives in the desert southwest with her husband and two daughters. She was the poetry editor for MaMaZina magazine 2006-2011. “Spikier Spongier” appeared in Stone Crowns magazine November 2013. “Desperate Poet” was posted on the Narrator International website and reprinted in Poetry Nook February 2014. Silver Birch Press published several of her poems.
When asked to describe her style, Veronica says, “In 3rd grade I read Dear Mr. Henshaw by Beverly Cleary, and she said, write what you know; many of my poems are autobiographical. Quite a few years ago I became a member of gather.com (which no longer exists), and the people I connected with on the site gave me a lot of great feedback on my poetry. I think it is the place I became comfortable calling myself a poet.”
Bekah and Veronica connected this year via the 2018 Poet Bloggers Revival Tour and realized they had also been published together in the Silver Birch Press “My Mane Memories” series back in March 2016. We wanted to know more about Veronica and her poetry, so here is our interview with her.
Q~Tell us a little about your poem, “Escape.” Is there a backstory you want to share?
A~“Escape” is a poem I wanted to share because it is autobiographical. I was born with cerebral palsy and have escaped within my writing from a young age — I also use reading as an escape. You know the old adage, you can’t write if you don’t read. “Escape” appeared in an art exhibition in Phoenix, AZ Bare It All (pictured above). It was an expo where women talked about self-love, learning to love our bodies flaws and all. Then in 2017 the rondelet was made into a 5 line poem and published in the anthology, The Colour of Poetry. This poem was not an easy one to write, because it was the first one I wrote focusing on my CP.
Q~Why do you write poetry?
A~The big reason is it’s short. The cerebral palsy affects my right side; I type everything out with only one hand. I love writing. I began writing short stories because I knew I’d never be a novelist, and I didn’t have confidence in my poetry, nor did I think poetry would be lucrative. But, once I met some writers online and started getting some great constructive criticism, I grew more confident in my poetry. I participated in my first NaPoWriMo (National Poetry Writing Month in April) in 2010.
Q~You seem to enjoy writing challenges and prompts. Why is that?
A~I do enjoy writing for challenges just to see if I can. Remember a challenge is just to get words on paper. You can always go back and edit and polish later. Not everything one writes for a challenge/prompt is gold, but it’s a great way to get your creativity flowing. Speaking of NaPoWriMo check out poets.org you can request your own poster for the month.
Q~What are your poetry highs/lows of the last year?
A~At the start of 2017, I had a poem published on Silver Birch Press – “Me at 17” series. Later on, Melanie (the editor) announced she was going on hiatus, and then she closed the website indefinitely. In April, I completed another NaPoWriMo; however, most of 2017 my poetry muse was quiet. At the beginning of 2018, I was excited to read that poets have decided to work on sharing their writing process and poetry in the 2018 Poet Blog Revival. This February, I learned the month has been dedicated to writing haiku – shortest month, short poetry form. I’ve been writing at least one haiku a day on Twitter with the @baffled #haikuchallenge word.
Q~Will you share a favorite haiku or two you’ve written for February’s challenge?
A~Here are some favorite haiku from NaHaiWriMo
I see my breath fog
brisk February morning
Canada geese honk
Despite growing up in Buffalo, NY, I’ve acclimated to desert weather, and when it only gets into 60s for a high, I’m cold. Also, Buffalo is very close to Canada and has many Canada Geese. I love hearing their honk when they migrate in the spring and fall.
Sunday has arrived
do laundry over again
cycle never ends
I like this one because it depicts my life as a mom and the never-ending work.
Q~Are you involved in your local poetry scene? What’s it like?
A~As for the Phoenix poetry scene, I’d say I’m passively involved. I’ve attended several poetry readings, but I have not gotten in front of the poets to read my own work. I’m more than happy to cheer on the speakers while sitting in the audience. The poetry scene in Phoenix is active. I follow the Phoenix poetry events page on Facebook. They post several readings a month. It’s easier for me to participate on the Internet because it doesn’t involve transportation issues. Right now, I’d say I’m involved in the Poet Blog Revival online. What I enjoy most about the Poet Blog Revival really isn’t being a part of it myself, though it does give my muse something to aim for once a week. My creativity was somewhat lacking last year. What I really enjoy is the insight into the lives of fellow poets and seeing I’m not alone in this struggle to express myself in words.
Q~Is there an online resource you would like to recommend?
A~My go to place to submit poetry is Submittable They recently opened a discover page where you can peruse submission calls by genre, deadlines and probably even specific magazine/publisher names. I signed up for it because I submitted a few pieces to markets that used the website, but I love the new discover feature and have used it a few times already to submit to new places.
Q~Where can readers go if they are interested in reading more of your work?